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Last updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2002
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Statue Project "not to be moved to Kushinagar"

20 March 2002. It appears that during January when His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in Bodh Gaya he was asked about the Maitreya Statue project by Marcel Bertel, and he said in response that Kushinagar was a good place. This has led to discussion about whether it will perhaps be built in Kushinagar rather than Bodh Gaya.

The Times of India published a report on the 17th of January saying that the project cannot be shifted according to Sameer Sharma "no decision has so far been taken to shift the project to Kushinagar".

The Dainik Jagran also published a report on the 17th of January. Its story about these events is that what happened was that the Dalai Lama was asked to make an augury about the project while in the central chamber of the Mahabodhi temple (the garbha griha) which led to the statement that "Kushinagar is a good place." This led the spokesman to point out that if the project were to be moved an official statement would be issued. However, if an augury concerning the statue says this it is hard to see how it would not mean it should be moved to Kushinagar. What else could it mean?

This has opened up a new dimension in the debate over the project, whether it might be transferred to another site.

Perhaps related to this are reports that negotiations between the Project and the Bihar Government over the payment for land to build aspects of the project on have stalled. According to the Dainik Jagran report the Project has not yet paid a fee demanded by the Bihar Government last year. Due to this at one point an officer from the project said it would be built in Jharkhand. Meanwhile the Times of India report also mentions this dispute and a denial by the project that it has approached the UP chief Minister Rajnath Singh to provide free land in Kushinagar.

Related Links

Times of India article

Dainik Jagran article

 


Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.