Nepal Today

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No end to Indra jatra with continuing protests

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 21 Sept: For the first time in nearly two centuries, there still was no end to the Kumari and Indra jarta festivals Sunday which should have concluded two days ago Friday evening with the ride of Living Goddess Kumari on the chariot through the thoroughfares of the capital.
Police and members of the Newar community for the second consecutive day Sunday fought pitched battles in the inner core of the capital, including New Road, demanding a public apology from government for discontinuance of government dole of the observance of Kumari and Indra jatra festivals.
Joint appeal of Maoist minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai and CPN-UML Home Minister Bandeb Gautam didn’t impress protestors who closed down the inner city, including New Road.
Government was trying to negotiate a solution with the Newar community demanding an apology for suspension of government dole for observance of traditional rituals.
Businesses suffered for the second day with the forced closure.
An appeal of Dr Bhattarai government hadn’t stopped government didn’t convince protestors.
Communist Brahmin Bhattarai is married to a Newarni Hishila Yamani, a government minister.
The Kumari festival has Newar origins. But is accepted by Hindus and Buddhists.
The inner city was completely closed because if the protest that could take a religious and communal turn if not handled properly by the Maoist-led and communist dominated government.
Protestors are demanding an apology from government.
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29 dead, 40 missing

Kathmandu, 21 Sept: At least 29 persons are confirmed dead and 40 are missing in floods and landslides in the mid and far-West since Friday, Radio Nepal said.
Bad weather Sunday hampered search and mainly rescue effort.
The floods have affected Kailali, Kanchanpur and Bardaiya mainly.
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