KATHMANDU, OCT 29 – The Christian community has threatened of a nationwide stage hunger strike if its demand for a separate burial ground in Kathmandu Valley is not addressed by Monday.
According to Christian Burial Space National Struggle Committee, provided that the government fails to address the demand at the earliest, their protest programmes will be aimed at pressing for the resignation of Culture Minister Gopal Kirati.
“After Monday, we will stage a relay hunger strike outside the Culture Ministry in Singha Durbar,” said CB Gahatraj, general secretary of the struggle committee. “The government has ignored our woes.” He claimed that even the committee formed under the Culture Ministry to recommend appropriate burial spaces has not done anything so far.
On October 3, the government had formed a seven member committee to suggest appropriate burial spaces for Christian, Kirati and Muslim communities living in the Capital city. The committee with one month’s mandate has reportedly not even called a single meeting yet.
“I was informed that I was selected as a representative of the Christian community in the committee under the ministry,” said KB Rokaya, a Christian member. “No meeting has been called so far. I have not even received a formal letter to ensure my representation in the committee.”
Stating that the committee under the ministry had no “genuine” representation of the Christian community, the struggle committee had earlier demanded its dissolution.
“The agreement reached between the government and us on May 1 did not include the formation of a suggestion committee,” said Ishujang Karki, coordinator of the struggle committee. “Instead of forming a committee, the government should have immediately gone for implementing our proposal to allot 2,000 ropanis of land at Gotikhel of Lalitpur district.”ekantipur