India out to drown Lumbini

Keshav Pradhan

Kathmandu, July 31

A NEPALESE claim that India was using a river embankment to submerge Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, reached a new level of stridency. The attacks came as incessant rain wreaked havoc in parts of the kingdom. Some 40 persons died in landslides in western Nepal in the past three days.

The embankment in question is in Uttar Pradesh's Siddharth-anagar district, close to Lumbini, a Nepalese village which now enjoys worldwide recognition as the birthplace of the Buddha.

A section of Nepalese smell a conspiracy by India to destroy Lumbini, a world heritage site, by diverting water with the help of the embankment.

Samyukta Jan Morcha MP Lilamani Pokhrel alleged in Parliament yesterday that India wants to project Piparhawa, an Indian border village, as the Buddha's birthplace. He claimed India has built an artificial stupa to prove it is the birthplace of Buddha. This comes despite India's earlier announcement that the UP government had already halted flood control work along the embankment on June 24.

The announcement also clarified that 47.5 km of the 60 km-long emban-kment was built decades ago. It claimed UP was building two regulators to monitor the flow of water through the incomplete 12.5 km stretch.

On Sunday, a seminar attended by religious leaders, geographers and hydrologists, also made similar allegations against India.

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Referred by: Mukundan C.M.
Published on:August 1, 2001
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