Refusing to be drawn into a controversy over Lord Buddha's birthplace, Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi today said he was the "prince of the Indian sub-continent".
Suu Kyi, who visited Lumbini - Lord Buddha's birthplace, said "Siddhartha was the prince of the Indian sub-continent," and added that everybody should be proud of him.
Lumbini is one of the cultural heritage sites enlisted by UNESCO. According to historical sources, Buddha was born in Lumbini, situated in southern plains of Nepal in 623 BC.
"We look upon Prince Siddhartha as the Prince of the Indian sub-continent. However, we all recognise that his birth place is in Lumbini, which is situated in Nepal," Suu Kyi said in response to a question.
Suu Kyi today completed a four-day trip to Nepal -- her first visit in four decades to the country where she lived for some time as a youngster.
Before her departure to Myanmar, she said: "I think Lord Buddha would not like to be called whether he be an Indian or a Nepali. Lord Buddha should be looked (upon) as a supreme human being, of whom everybody should be proud of." Suu Kyi has written a book named "Freedom from Fear" in which she has said "Siddhartha was an Indian prince." On a question about possible areas of cooperation between Nepal and Myanmar, she said: "I think in Nepal and in Myanmar we are trying to establish a strong and healthy democratic system."
She said that people should not feel bad about the turbulent situation in the two countries.
"We should look upon it as an opportunity to face the greatest challenge perhaps that our country will have to face," she said.
Asked about where she got the energy during her fight for democracy in Myanmar, she said: "Basically I think discipline is very good for one's health. I have gone through years and years of house arrest in which I am taught about disciplined living."