At long last, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump had their summit in Singapore, and half of the locals interviewed on international tv were happy and excited, while the other half were angry.
The summit that may result in something or nothing cost Singaporean tax payers $20 million. But that is a small price to pay. The Korean people suffered enough at the hands of the Japanese, the Americans, the Russians, the Chinese and their own rulers for a very long time. Hence the hopes for a lasting peace and ultimately unification of the Koreas.
Next time the world needs a venue for a summit of leaders to end a conflict, it could be Lumbini. There are, at any given moment, numerous wars going on around the world. They all get tired of fighting, and at some point wish to talk. If they need a venue, Lumbini is always there.
Cynics will scoff, but what better place than the birthplace of the Prince of Peace for this purpose? There are new hotels, soon an international airport, and there are plenty of Gurkhas to protect and guard the venue.
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What we may need is a bit of help from Singapore on how to organise, manage and pay for such an event. But Nepal’s hospitality industry is gearing up for an expected boom in tourism. There are three new airports coming up and the existing one in Kathmandu is supposed to be upgraded. Luxury hotels and resorts are popping up all over the place: Kathmandu, Lumbini, Chitwan, Nepalganj.