Government says it will withdraw the Guthi bill

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 18, 2019-

Following a week of tense protests and debate, the government has said it will withdraw the Guthi bill from Parliament.

The Guthi Bill, which was with the Upper House, proposes repressive provisions that would nationalise both private and public guthis, regulate all religious sites, and replace the Sansthan with a powerful authority.

After the bill was proposed, members of the Newar community in Kathmandu Valley took to the streets. For many, the bill was the final straw in the systematic erosion of indigenous Newar culture and rights by the state.

Read: Everything you need to know about the Guthi Bill

A statement issued by Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation following the announcement stated that the ministry had decided to withdraw the bill from the National Assembly, citing additional need for discussions with concerned stakeholders regarding the matter.

“The ministry has decided to withdraw the said bill from the National Assembly to hold further discussions with concerned stakeholders as attempts were made to spread rumours, entice the public and disturb the environment in regards to the bill,” read the statement.

Around 300 representatives during a meeting with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday had said the government must suspend--or withdraw--the bill, against which Kathmandu locals are preparing a massive protest on Wednesday.

The Oli administration, which has over the months introduced various bills that have landed in controversy, has hit a raw nerve with the Guthi Bill because Guthi trustees say its provisions are aimed at destroying the centuries-old culture, tradition and customs.

Also read: Ills of the Guthi Bill

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Published: 18-06-2019 17:03

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