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Himalayas

The States at Regional Risk project has been materially involved in facilitating the expression and assertion of cultural and religious rights among Tibetan Buddhists across this region.

In May, 2011, the SARR P.I. conducted a pilot trip to the Himalayan region to establish contacts and evaluate possibilities for the Himalayas SARR component in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. Previous contacts had already been established in India. The well-known political challenges that face Tibet are contextualized and thrown into relief by comparative consideration of Buddhist populations and nations across the Himalayas. These areas are impinged politically, socially, and economically by India, China, and Russia, including Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Buddhist republics within Russia such as Buryatia and Kalmykia, Buddhist-majority areas of northern India such as Ladakh, Sikkim, and Western Arunachal Pradesh, and areas with China such as Amdo and Inner Mongolia within China, in addition to Tibet itself.

On November 23-24, 2011 a conference entitled "International Conference on Himalayan Buddhism" was held in Lumbini, Nepal (the birthplace of Buddha). The SARR project provided partial support for the conference, which was co-organized by the Buddhist Academic Foundation of Nepal and the Conservancy for Trans-Himalayan Art and Culture, based in Washington, D.C. Conference participants included seventeen Members of the Nepalese Parliament, major government and civil society leaders from Nepal and India, eminent leaders of Tibetan Buddhism now residing in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Russia, and the United States.

At the conclusion of the conference, following two days of animated presentations, conferees unanimously adopted articles asserting their common religious, cultural, and social rights across the Himalayan region. These articles are now collectively known as "The Lumbini Declaration."

Documents relating to the
"International Conference on Himalayan Buddhism"

Lumbini Conference Report

Lumbini Declaration

Lumbini Conference Agenda

Photo Slideshow of Conference (click on Photo below) or
click here for PDF version of Photo Slideshow

LumbiniSlideshow