» 05/22/2006, 00.00
Nepal is secular state: minorities happy
According to minority groups, the historic decision of parliament is "revolutionary and democratic". The 1990 constitution had described the country as a "Hindu state".
Whole regions without food as strikes and protests are held against the new constitution
Demonstrations have plunged the country into chaos. A 19-day general strike has grounded air transport to the western districts. More than 30 people have been hurt in clashes between indigenous groups and opponents of federalism. Ban Ki-Moon calls on Nepal to respect minorities in the new constitution.
From Hindu kingdom to secular state
The premier has accepted to consider the request of several local ethnic groups to declare the country as a secular state. A local activist said: "Only a secular Nepal can put an end to the explicit and implicit discriminations suffered by minorities".
Nepalese Muslims pray for tolerance during Ramadan
Islamic leaders preach respect for other religious communities. The country still debates choice of a secular state or a return to a Hindu monarchy.
Christians in Nepal from marginalized to political actors
Protestant and Catholic leaders want more space in institutions in response to political and economic stalemate that has afflicted the country for months. Bishop Sharma in Kathmandu, says: "No leader has displayed a genuine interest in people. It's high time for the Christians in Nepal to engage actively in politics".
Minorities accuse Nepalese government of favoring Hinduism
With the beginning of the feast of Tihar, ethnic minorities in the country are raising their voices against the Maoist government of Prachanda. They are criticizing the favorable treatment shown toward Hindus, accusing: "In Nepal, secularism is only a declaration of intent."
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