Federation retracts its statement on Asia Pacific meet

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Nov 26, 2018-

Universal Peace Federation, a South Korea based “inter-religious” organisation, has retracted its statement regarding Nepal government co-hosting its Asia Pacific Summit after widespread criticism, led by Nepali Congress.

The federation on Sunday changed the statement in its website that had identified Nepal government as the co-host of the event, which is taking place in Kathmandu on November 30-December 3. The latest statement recognises Nepal government as a supporter of the summit.

On Saturday, Nepali Congress had voiced serious reservations over the issue of Nepal government co-hosting the summit organised by a non-government organisation promoting a particular religion.

“The government decision to co-host an event that preaches a certain religion violates the spirit of the constitution that has embraced secularism,” NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma had said.

The other partners and supporters of the summit include the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties. Its invitational committee is led by former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.  

Nepali Congress Vice President Bimalendra Nidhi said his party would never tolerate flagrant promotion of a particular religion.

 

“We are against all kind of religious extremism and promotion of a particular religion which are against the ethos and the spirit of the constitution,” he said.

The government of Nepal and its representatives were heavily invested to organise the summit in Kathmandu.

Before he was appointed the foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister  KP Sharma Oli, Rajan Bhattarai, as an emissary to the prime minister, had visited many South Asian and Asia Pacific countries to hand over invitations to their leaders.

Bhattarai was accompanied by Ek Nath Dhakal, the federation’s Nepal representative, and a former lawmaker.

“This shows clear involvement of the government and it is against the dignified protocol,” said one government official.

Published: 26-11-2018 07:40

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