Buddhists gherao Singhadurbar to protest Kakrebihar crackdown

The Himalayan Times, July 30, 2013

Capital witnesses massive traffic jam

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- People of Buddhist community staged a sit-in outside the Singha Durbar, the country's main administrative complex, to protest the government intervention in the installment of Lord Buddha’s idol in Kakrebihar of Surkhet district, on Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at Padmodaya, Hanumansthan, Maitighar Mandala and Bhadrakali --the entry points of Singhadurbar-- and demanded that the government ended discrimination against the Buddhists.

Their protest created traffic chaos in the Capital's heart for a couple of hours from 9 to 11 this morning.

Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) had organised today's sit-in as the start of second phase protest against the May 25 police crackdown in Kakrebihar.

Representatives of different organisations including All Nepal Monks Federation and Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Journalists had participated in the sit-in.

A Buddhist organisation had made preparations to install the idol at Kakrebihar on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti on May 25. Police, however, thwarted the plan, saying no construction can be made in the government forest.

The protesters have been demanding that the Buddhist community be allowed to set up the idol and they be assured of security, the government provided budget for its management, action against the security personnel who unwarrantedly used force on the Buddhists in Kakrebihar.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Chairman of the Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi has invited the Kakrebihar Sarokor Samiti for talks today.

Earlier yesterday, he had urged the stakeholders to cancel today's second phase protest.