Update: Nepal’s Buddha-“Disneyland” project amid regional contention of India and China

[The revolutionary people of Nepal are once again being set aside as capitalist interests in China and India compete for control of tourism in Nepal, and former revolutionary leader Prachanda reaches for the most lucrative strings of comprador puppetry to hang from. — Frontlines ed.]

Nepal’s Prachanda wants India in on development of Buddha’s birthplace

“Nepal, China and India should come together and form a strategic partnership” through $3 billion tourism initiative, says Maoist leader.
, Global Post, November 9, 2012
Buddha birthplace
[Boudhanath, one of the world’s largest stupas, is shown illuminated on the occasion of the 2547th Buddha Jayanti, or Buddha’s birthday, May 16 in Lumbini, Nepal. Stupas are dome-shaped structures that serve as a Buddhist shrines. The village of Lumpini is known to the world’s Buddhists as the Buddha’s birthplace. (Paula Bronstein/AFP/Getty Images)]

Days after reviving a controversial project to develop Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal, with the aid of a China-backed non-profit organization, the former leader of Nepal’s Maoist rebellion has invited India, too, to join in creating what some have derided as “Disneyland for Buddhists.” Continue reading

Nepal: After dismantling the revolutionary struggle, Prachanda turns People’s War into Tourist attraction

3 October 2012

BBC: “Nepal ‘Maoist’ leader Prachanda opens ‘guerrilla trail'”

Cover of the Guerrilla Trek guide book Prachanda hopes the trek will give tourists an insight into the insurgency

Former Nepalese Maoist insurgency leader Prachanda has launched a new tourist trail and guide book, giving walkers the chance to see routes and hideouts used by the guerrillas.

The trek – which lasts up to four weeks – stretches across several districts of central and western Nepal.

The aim is to attract more tourists to the impoverished Himalayan nation.

About 16,000 people died in the 10-year war, before a 2006 peace deal and elections won by the Maoists in 2008.

The civil war culminated in the king relinquishing his absolute powers and being forced to give up his throne in June of that year.

Prachanda derived his inspiration from Peru’s Shining Path rebels and dreamt of setting up a communist republic to address the plight of the rural poor and bring an end to Nepal’s ceaseless political bickering.

The former agriculture student and teacher went on to be prime minister of his country from 18 August 2008 to 25 May 2009. He remains chairman of the main “Maoist” (sic) party in Nepal. Continue reading

Taiwan turns 1950s military brothel into museum to lure tourists

[This article is about Taiwan attracting tourists to visit a “military brothel museum.” It  claims these brothels– for Kuomindang soldiers  who had fled from mainland China after the victory of  the revolution in 1949–were set up “so the military would not run into trouble with…the local women.”  The article does not present this sordid history from the perspective of the struggle for justice for the conscripted “comfort women.”–Frontlines ed.]

12 November 2010

Taipei – Taiwan turned a Cold War era military brothel on an offshore island into a museum Friday in order to lure tourists, including visitors from mainland China. The brothel, now dubbed the “Special Teahouse Museum,” once hosted soldiers who were guarding what was seen as a key position for Taiwan to prevent a Chinese raid from the mainland.

Some 50,000 troops were deployed on Kinmen during the Cold War and the military set up special tea houses for the soldiers, so they would not run into trouble with the inhabitants of the island, especially the local women. The Defence Ministry shut the so called tea houses on Kinmen in 1990 after some lawmakers condemned the establishments as a violation of women’s rights.

It was also during that decade that the area switched from being a military reserve to coming under civilian control. The museum was renovated as a a cost of nearly 500,000 dollars – and uses photos, posters and tape recordings to attract tourists. Also on display are the original reception rooms and tickets used by soldiers to buy time with the prostitutes.