Nepal Today

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No tika for president; protests in capital against govt. interference in Kumari tradition

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 20 Sept: Violent protests continued in the capital for the second day against government interference in the observance of Indra jatra Saturday one day after Goddess Kumari didn’t put the tika on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, security sources said.
The president was scheduled to visit Kumari Ghar on the last day of the festival Friday to receive tika from the Living Goddess as the kings did before the establishment of a republic this year.
The chariot with the Kumari couldn’t be pulled through the capital’s streets even as devotees lined the streets to have a glimpse of her and offer tribute.
The Maoist-led government didn’t set aside money for animal sacrifice on the last day of the festival drawing immediate protests from locals and managers of the trust.
The discontinuance sparked violent widespread protests in the capital Saturday, including New Road and the inner areas of the capital and other parts of the Valley.
To quell the anger of protestors who charged government was interfering in religious practices, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdeb Gautam issued a statement said government won’t interfere with cultural tradition like Kumari worship and observance of Indrajatra.
He said traditional government dole for the festival observance will continue.
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Casualties, destruction by rain in mid and far-West

Kathmandu, 20 Sept: At least three persons were confirmed dead and eight others are missing in Kailali alone after heavy rains and storms in the mid and far-West Saturday.
Rising rivers in the region have flooded more than 4,000 homes displacing 1,000 families.
Many areas have been cut off with highways washed away by floods; telephone services have been disrupted and many areas are without electricity.
This year’s monsoon should retreat from Nepal three days later Tuesday.
Floods have damaged crops as well and air services in the region have been disrupted.
Heavy rains have also triggered landslides in hills killing people.
Dhangadi is under waist-deep water.
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