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Chinese Prez, Indian PM among different dignitaries invited to Int’l Buddhist meet

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, among different dignitaries, to the International Buddhist Conference to be held here on May 19 and 20.

The Conference is being held in the Capital while the Buddha Jayanti commemorations would be held in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, on the occasion of the 2560th Buddha Jayanti or the birth commemoration of Lord Buddha, which falls on May 21 this year.

Other invited dignitaries include Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Chief Minister of Indian state of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Begal, Tripura and Sikkim: Nitish Kumar, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, Manik Sircar and Pawan Chamling respectively.

Ministers for culture and religious affairs from 13 countries – Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Bhutan, South Korea, Laos, Mongolia and Israel – have also been invited.

Representatives and delegates of Buddhist organisations from 23 countries are attending the event. They include Buddhist organisations from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, India, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Bhutan, South Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Russia, Germany, France, Austria and Canada.

As many as 92 delegations at the governmental level and others from 21 countries have confirmed their participation so far, Bachchu Narayan Shrestha, Member Secretary of the Conference Organising Main Committee, said.

Meanwhile, preparations for the International Buddhist Conference being held for the first time on the occasion of the Buddha Jayanti have reached the final stage.

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Although various conferences were held in the past coinciding with the Buddha Jayanti celebrations, this is the first time that a historic conference is being held under the chairmanship of executive chief of the country by inviting international representatives and renowned persons.

The government had begun preparations for the Conference from last year. Altogether 24 international working papers on Buddha and Buddhism including 18 by scholars and researchers from Nepal are to be presented in the Conference.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli heads the 501-member International Buddhist Conference Organising and the 2560th Buddha Jayanti Celebration Main Committee.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is the main organiser of the event.

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Govt fixes 18 ministries including Office of PM in Center

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has fixed 18 ministries, including the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) from the current 30, at the central level, under the new federal setup.

A cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar on Friday fixed the number of ministries including the OPMCM at 18.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli decided to limit the Cabinet to 18 ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Office, according to Environment Minister Lal Babu Pandit.

“Now the number of ministries will be 18, with the OPMCM included,” Minister Pandit told reporters following the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet decision comes two days after leaders of the left alliance–CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center)–agreed to bring down the number of ministries to 18 at the federal level.

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The new constitution has stated the central government can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the prime minister.

Besides the OPMCM, the proposed 17 ministries are the federal affairs and general administration; ministries of finance and planning; foreign affairs; defense; physical infrastructure and transport; health and population; information and communications; law, justice and parliamentary affairs; culture, tourism and civil aviation; labor, employment, women and children; urban development, drinking water and sanitation; and agriculture, cooperatives and land management; education and sports; home affairs; forest and environment; water resources and energy; industry, commerce and supplies.

Likewise, the Cabinet meeting has also appointed CPN-UML politburo member Bishnu Rimal as Chief Political Advisor to PM. Earlier, Rimal had served as the chief political advisor during Oli’s previous premiership.

The decision will come into effect after the government endorses the proposal on the jurisdictions of the 17 ministries, according to OPMCM officials.

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