The four-page letter The Korea Times has obtained exclusively states that Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini and that Lumbini is a part of Nepal. “Most humbly I beg to bring to your kind notice the factual accuracy about the birthplace of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni which has been for many years and by many scholars has been (factually mistaken). Being aware of its significance and magnanimity of the sentiments of its large (body of) believers I take this opportunity to state the facts with humble request subsequently for its correction.”
The letter further states that when India was under the British rule, some British writers had written that Buddha was born in India and this is still believed to be true in many parts of the world.
The Shakyamuni Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, which at present is in Nepal, the ambassador writes. This place is at a distance of 32 kilometers north of the border of the Republic of India and while writing chronicles about Buddha the facts are in the ground.
“But many scholars mistakenly mention it following the old British archive. It seems many people are confused even today while answering the birthplace of Buddha,’’ he said, citing the colonization of India by Britain as the main reason. “With colonization of India British historians began to write its history in English. In these English histories it was written that Buddha was born in India. This mistake was done without any wrong motive. Until the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries the exact location of Lumbini remained unknown to them.”
Amb. Koirala also said that General Secretary of United Nations Ban Ki-moon has shown keen interest in the development of Lumbini, as it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. He also stated that even the British Museum changed the birthplace of Lord Buddha to Nepal on Nov. 7.
He said President Lee would pay heed to the plea.
Amb. Koirala has also sent a copy of the letter to Lee Sang-ki, a founding member of the Asia Journalists Association and the publisher of The Asian. Praising Koirala’s attempt, Lee said the South Korean government would definitely pay heed to it.
“My humble request to Your Excellency is that the Korean children and college students should be given the opportunity to read the facts on the life of Shakyamuni Buddha. The fact known to His Excellency Ban Ki-moon and thousands of Koreans should be made known to children, students and young people of Korea as well,” the diplomat said in his letter.
A South Korean primary school textbook, ``Ethics Part One,’’ states that Lord Buddha was born in Khapila Castle in India. Similarly, another secondary school book, ``World History,’’ states that Lord Buddha was born in a Royal Brahmin family and his birthplace has been stated as India.