May 21, 2016- President Bidhya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the International Buddhist Conference to mark the 2560th Buddha Jayanti amid a special function in Lumbini on Saturday.
President Bhandari lit an oil-fed lamp to inaugurate the programme delayed due to rain and strong wind.
"Lumbini and its surrounding areas are all related to Lord Buddha and are holy. It is important to preserve all historical structures and facts related to Buddha," she said after inaugurating the programme. Appealing for the speedy completion of Lumbini Development master plan, Bhandari called for government attention and care in preserving and promoting the art and history of Buddha's land.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli called for developing Lumbini as the holiest shrine for Buddhist across the world. He said Lumbini stands as the place of origin of peace and goodwill for being the birthplace of Gatuam Buddha and the source of Buddhism. He also pledged to build a structure that can accommodate at least 5,000 people at once to use it during the Buddha Jayanti celebrations or other occasions.
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal also addressed the conference.
The function also endorsed the 10-point 'Lumbini Nepal: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha and the Fountain of Buddhism and World Peace' declaration.