Kathmandu, February 17
The main organising committee of the International Buddhist Conference has started preparations for the event that is going to be held from May 5 to 7 on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti.
The three-day event will take place in Lumbini, in which participants from 21 countries will come to attend the conference.
A meeting of main organising committee held today at the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) informed that participants from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, South Korea, Bhutan, Mongolia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, America, United Kingdom, Russia, Costa Rica, France and Germany have confirmed their participation.
Likewise, several researchers and students of Buddhism will also take part in the event.
However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese participants may decide to cancel their registration.
Addressing the meeting today, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai said, “This conference will help to promote Nepal as a religious destination.
As the country is celebrating the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, this conference could help us to bring in a large number of tourists into the country.”
As a conference hall that can accommodate 5,000 people has been built in Lumbini, the conference this year will not face the problems faced in the previous two conferences, he said, adding, “Moreover, we are trying to bring the Gautam Buddha International Airport into operation in time for the conference.”
The meeting has decided to observe Buddha Jayanti this year with a week-long celebration. On the first day of Buddha Jayanti week on May 1, a cleaning campaign will be organised in Lumbini, Bhairahawa, Kapilvastu and Ramgram areas. It will be followed by a blood donation programme on May 2 and tree plantation on May 3 in Rupandehi and Kapilvastu.
On May 4, a peace marathon and cultural events will be organised in Lumbini. Meanwhile, during the three days of the conference, peace rallies and chanting of Paritran Paath will be organised.
A version of this article appears in print on February 18, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.