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» 05/24/2010
NEPAL
Hindu fundamentalists plan to restore a theocratic monarchy
by Kalpit Parajuli
Nepali Hindus organise a conference in Mumbai a few days before the deadline for the signing of the new democratic constitution on 28 May. They are afraid the country could lose its identity that was once defined by religion. Christian and Muslim minorities are concerned about such plans, insisting that under the republic they exercise greater freedom of religion.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Hindu fundamentalists are against the transformation of Nepal into a secular state. For this reason, they held a conference in Mumbai titled “Nepal Hindu State Unity Campaign” to prepare the restoration of the monarchy. Delegates from 64 countries, including the United States, Japan and Great Britain, participated in the event, which was organised by Nepalis living in India with the support of the Shiva Sena and the World Hindu Federation. In the meantime, back in Nepal, Maoists are preventing the ruling coalition government from working at a time when it is faced with a 28 May deadline to submit a new democratic constitution without which the country might once again plunge into crisis and a new Maoist insurgency.

Kamal Thapa, leader of the pro-monarchist Rastrya Parjatra Party-Nepal, told AsiaNews, “Political parties don't have right to declared Nepal as secular. Eighty per cent of Nepalese are Hindu;” for this reason, “there should be a referendum before taking such a decision.”

“In order to fight secularism, we have been trying to forge a global alliance,” he added. “If Nepal is declared a secular nation, we will lose our identity at the world level.”

Mashuriddhin Ansari, who heads the Muslim Civil Society, disagrees. “Through their actions, Hindu fundamentalists are trying to push the country towards religious chaos and violence. People of different religions will lose their religious freedom and conflict will prevail among various communities.” In his view, the state already became secular in 2006 with the fall of the monarchy, and “No one should try to go back on it”.

Nepal’s Hindu monarchy was abolished in 2007 after ten years of civil war. King Gyanendra was forced to step down after he dissolved parliament in 2005 and imposed military control.

Religious minorities welcomed the change of regime. Hindus, who want to see the king restored to his throne, reacted in a wave of protests, including attacks against mosques and churches.

At present, a coalition government is in power in Nepal, but it is under constant pressures from Maoists, who walked out of parliament last year. The latter want the current government to resign and refuse to sign the new constitution.


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See also
06/04/2008 NEPAL
Pro-monarchy Hindus accept transition to republic
by Kalpit Parajuli
07/12/2012 NEPAL
Economic crisis and corruption favour the return of former Hindu king
by Kalpit Parajuli
04/27/2006 NEPAL
Maoists declare ceasefire, peace and stability closer at hand
by Prakash Dubey
02/26/2009 NEPAL
Former Nepalese king visits India: meetings with Hindu leaders scheduled
by Kalpit Parajuli
02/08/2005 NEPAL
Kings offers talks to rebels as he cracks down on them

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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