Nepalese Diaspora Hold Huge Peace Rally in NYC
Nepalese Diaspora Hold Huge Peace Rally in New York
New York, March 27, 2005
Two weeks after holding the Peace Rally in Washington DC, Nepalese Diaspora staged a huge peace rally in New York. The rally represented almost all ethnic groups of Nepal including Gurungs, Limbus, Magars, Newars, Sherpas, and Bhramins, Chhetris and others. The participants in the rally included people from almost all regions of Nepal including terai, mountains and Kathmandu. There were also a number of Tibetans who wanted to support the Nepalese in their efforts to establish lasting peace in Nepal. The rally participants included a number of professionals. A large group of people came by bus from Washington DC and Boston.
The participants in the rally had over eighty placards and three five feet by three feet banners. The placards and banners had many slogans which said ?Long live Nepal America Friendship?. The rally carried fifteen large flags of Nepal and a lot of small flags.
The rally committee chair was Shree Parajuli and the vice chair was Chhiring Tenzing Lama and Pemba Lama was treasurer. The committee was assisted by the following members: Gopal Gurung, Shasi Gurung, Rudra Pun, Ang Kami Sherpa, and Gyal Jen Sherpa.
The welcome address to the group was given by Mina Shrestha. Shasi Gurung sang the Nepalese National song. The following individuals addressed the group about the desire of the Nepalese people to live in peace: Rajaram Poudel, Prahlad K.C., Govinda Giri, Dilnath Giri, Netra Lal Shrestha. Nirakar Man Singh Regmi read a patriotic poem. The function was coordinated by Bhup Narayan Gharti Magar.
Five of the participants registered a petition in the UN Headquarters. The petition was signed by 1550 Nepalese diasporas and friends of Nepal. In addition, about fifty of the rally participants submitted a petition to Nepal?s Permanent Mission at the UN Headquarters.
Despite of the cold weather, the participants seem to be very enthusiastic and shouted slogans ?Long Live Nepal America Friendship?, ?We condemn terrorism?, ?Punish the Corrupt Criminals?, ?We support the HM King?s Actions?.
The whole operation is being coordinated by US Committee for Peace and Democracy in Nepal. The committee has forty members representing forty states of the USA. The members of the committee and other volunteers have collected over 1558 signatures in support of the petition submitted to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. In addition, the committee submitted a petition to President George W. Bush and Secretary State Rice.
The following are the highlights of the petition:
Nepal has been facing Maoists insurgency for the last nine years. As a result of the insurgency, more than 11,000 Nepalese people have lost their lives. Another 23,000 have committed suicide because they could not take the pain and suffering caused by the loss of relatives and property.
It is estimated that nearly a million people have been displaced and forced out of their homes and have become refugees either in the district head quarters or have moved to Kathmandu, the capital city due to the actions of the insurgents.
There was constant struggle and fighting both within and among the political parties. Instead of concentrating on the welfare of the people, the elected government and members of the parliament resorted to all means of corruption. The personal interests of collecting wealth became the main focus of the members of the government and the parliament. Consequently, the party bosses became like the new kings. They abused the foreign loans and grants given by international agencies. Once the ministers themselves were involved in massive corruption, the whole government bureaucracy became corrupt.
According to a report published in Janadharna a weekly newspaper published in Kathmandu on Feb. 10, 2005, the political parties and their leaders have looted Rs, 92 billion. That is equivalent to US $ 1.5 billion. The Royal Commission appointed by HM the King is busy unearthing the looted money. However, the relatives of the corrupt individuals are trying hard to prevent that. Unfortunately, some of their relatives are even here in the USA.
The majority of individuals, who represent a cross section of Nepalese people including the 70% illiterate people of Nepal and 90% of those who have no access to modern amenities, whole heartedly support the decisive moves taken by His Majesty. The King had absolutely no choice but to impose the state of emergency to prevent further death and destruction in the country. By taking this action, His Majesty has put his life and his throne at stake. Please believe us; if the King fails Nepal will turn into another Cambodia. The Pol Pots of Nepal will massacre nearly eight million people, that is, a third of the population of Nepal.
The political parties wanted to reinstate a duly dissolved parliament so that they could continue in their efforts to loot the country. The Supreme Court rejected out right the idea of reinstatement of the parliament. One cannot make a dead horse live again. His Majesty the King wanted to hold elections and mandated not one or two but three governments to hold the general elections. However, they all failed to do so. Many political parties were opposed to elections. What kind of political parties are these which oppose elections?
on behalf of all those
- parents who lost their children
- orphans who lost their parents
- 90% of the people who live in villages
- 70% of the people who are illiterate
- relatives of the 11,000 of the people who have lost their lives
- relatives of 23,000 of the people who committed suicide
- over a million people who have been displaced in the course of last nine years of civil war.
We express our support to the moves of His Majesty the King of Nepal.
The most important human right is the right to livelihood. Vast majority of Nepalese people have no food to eat they are dying of hunger. Many of them have become homeless. They have been victims of violence. Therefore, it is ridiculous to talk about freedom of speech and freedom of movement and right to gathering when there is not even right to life or right to livelihood. People are being murdered, tortured, and subjected to terror everyday. His Majesty the King must establish peace and end the insurgency before we can talk about the human rights. Besides, His Majesty has made a commitment that he will honor human rights.
Our friendship with both UK and the USA is much older than young India. Therefore, Nepalese people request both the governments not to support India in its attempt to subjugate Nepal at its time of great crisis. Nepalese people would appreciate it if they get the support when they need it the most, which is undoubtedly right now.
Mr. President , Nepalese people greatly appreciate the tremendous help the US government and people of the USA have provided to Nepal in the last five decades. The assistance provided by the US has made a positive impact on every aspect of the lives of Nepalese people. The steps taken by His Majesty the King of Nepal were absolutely essential to save the country from the imminent take over by the insurgents.
Those who abused the power in the last fifteen years and used democracy as a tool to plunder the nation are very much opposed to the actions of the King. Because they know that they not only have to return the looted money but also have to spend time in jail. The elected criminals, who collected massive wealth, have sent their relatives and children to study and work in the USA and other Western countries. These people are hiding behind the curtain of human rights and democracy. They are making a lot of noise in the name of Human Right and democracy so that they can get away with the loot.
Dr. Khagendra Thapa