08/23/2010, 00.00
NEPAL

Lamp of Buddha at Shanghai Expo, to counter Tibetans

Kalpit Parajuli
The lamp arrived in China today and will be exposed in the coming days on in the Nepal stand, after touring the main holy places of Buddhism in China. Kathmandu reaffirms that Nepal is the only place of birth of Buddha and increases relations with Beijing. China demands, once again, a halt to the activities of Tibetan Buddhists in exile in Nepal.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The government of Kathmandu has sent the lamp of peace, a symbol of Nepalese Buddhism to the Shanghai Expo and again reaffirmed that Nepal is the only place of birth of Buddha. The initiative comes only days after Beijing renewed its call for a halt to ongoing activities carried out by pro-Dalai Lama Tibetan exiles in Nepal. According to China they are supported by some members of the Nepalese government in collusion with India. The lamp left Lumbini last August 21, where hundreds of faithful celebrated the event with traditional songs and dances. It is due to arrive in China later today. It will be displayed in the Nepal stand, after touring the sacred places of Buddhism in China.

Ishwor Pkherl government spokesman in Kathmandu said: "Many people in the world are still sceptical about the real birth place of Buddha. Others believe instead that he was born in India, because several Indian texts say that Lumbini in reality lies in India. To dispel these lies we decided to organize this initiative at the Shanghai Expo”.

After the invasion of Lhasa in 1951 and exile of the Dalai Lama to India, Nepal took in thousands of refugees fleeing from Tibet, under the historical relations with the Indian government that has always supported the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. With the disappearance of the Nepalese monarchy in 2006 and the rise of Maoist parties (Unified Communist Party of Nepal) and Marxist-Leninist (Unified Marxist-Leninist), the country has begun to tighten economic agreements with China, forbidding the over 20 thousand exiles from any type of anti-China demonstration.  
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