October 13, 2012
According to yesterday’s report by Purna Basnet for Republica, the controversial Chinese government-connected Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF) and Britain-based Vertical Theme Park (VTP) Group have inked a deal on developing Nepal´s Lumbini as an “international peace city”.
This blows previous Lumbini development projects out of the water, in terms of aesthetics, investment and the viability of preserving the cultural heritage of Lumbini, birthplace of the historical Buddha.
APECF had last year made public a three billion dollar project on developing the birthplace of Buddha. For complete details on APECF’s foiled proposal in spite of its Maoist-Beijing connection, click here: LUMBINI IN PERIL
RELIGION AS LUCRATIVE ENTERTAINMENT: WHAT IS THE BRITISH-OWNED VTP GROUP’S EXPERTISE IN DEVELOPING SPIRITUAL CENTERS?
According to VTP’s mission statement, found in its website:
VTP Global are tower specialists and experts in major city centre entertainment and tourism projects.
Our team have a wealth of experience in the design, delivery, and long-term safe operation of entertainment towers, major urban attractions, theme parks, extreme activities and real estate.
VTP Global have assembled a world class delivery and operations team with significant experience in real estate development, leisure and theme park operations, ride design, health and safety and destination marketing. The business is majority owned by the Pettifer family (85%), with the remainder held by senior management and Intamin.
VTP Global deliver VTPs as turnkey projects and will advise as to the most suitable design, height and ride mix for a particular city, at all times working to an agreed project budget. Our team can conduct a desktop analysis on any new VTP opportunity within four weeks including site analysis, validation, visitor flows, real estate and financial structuring.
The operating team is headed up by Richard Pawley who is
one of the most recognised figures in the leisure industry. Richard's
achievements include being the first in the world to develop and operate
innovative rides such as the "stand-up freefall", the UK's first
"reversible log flume" and "stand-up spiral corkscrew roller
Republica reports that VTP Group’s realtors are “close to the United Kingdom´s royal family members.”
Again, from Republica:
"VTP Global Special Project Team has signed an agreement on developing Lumbini as an international religious destination," the VTP Group has stated on its website on September 13. As per the deal, VTP would work as the main development manager of the project.
Also, Xiao Wunan, executive vice-chairman of APECF, upon his arrival in Hong Kong told Republica that they have reached the deal after a series of discussions with officials from VTP group.
"VTP group was keenly observing the Lumbini project for the last one year. The group wants to apply the western concept and role in the project," said Wunan.
VTP group is a renowned international company, which has built towers, city centers and tourism destinations. The group is already working on a design of Lumbini Cloud Tower to be built as an "International Symbol of Buddhist Philosophy" in the northern side of the Lumbini Village.
"In London, the APECF delegation had an in-depth exchange with VTP Group regarding the Lumbini project and signed MoU with the company.
Subsequently the APECF delegation held a discussion with Eric Kuhne, the designer of Lumbini Cloud Tower, and both sides reached consensus," the APECF stated on its website.
Last year, the APECF had announced to have reached an agreement with the UN´s Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on developing Lumbini as an international peace city.
But later, the deal was dragged into controversy as the government of Nepal said it had received no notification in this connection.
APECF´s involvement in the proposed Lumbini project drew political attention as well because UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is co-chairman of the foundation and is actively involved in the Lumbini development project.