Global Peace Association Nepal Hosts Interreligious Assembly to Support Constitutional Framing

Eric Olsen
July 21, 2011

Leaders representing Nepal’s diverse religious community at the General Assembly, “Contribution of Religious Sector to Constitution Drafting.

Nepal’s recent transition from a Hindu monarchy to a parliamentary democracy is not yet complete. The framing and ratification of a Constitution to provide just governance for Nepal’s people remains an urgent national priority.

In the hope of advancing this process and providing a voice for Nepal’s diverse religious community, the Global Peace Association Nepal (GPA), Religions for Peace-Nepal (RAPAN) and Interreligious Council Nepal (IRCN) organized an important Interreligious General Assembly on the theme of “Contribution of Religious Sector to Constitution Drafting” on May 21, 2011.

The chief guest of the program, Chairman of Constituent Committee Hon. Nilamber Acharya, told the assembly that the concern of religious sector is crucial in the new Constitution drafting process, and he pledged to play a significant role in addressing this concern in upcoming constitutional forums.  Dr. Bhimarjun Acharya, a constitutional law expert and Senior Advocate was also present at the program as the special guest.

Hon. Nilamber Acharya, Chairman of Constituent Committee (top left); Rev. Piyadashi, a member All Nepal Buddhist Association (bottom left); and GPA Nepal President Dr. Kishor Kumar Rajbahandari (bottom right) address the General Interreligious Assembly.

Representatives and religious leaders from all of Nepal’s major religion expressed their perspectives on the relationship of a secular state to institutions of faith within the forthcoming national charter. The faith leaders agreed that the Constitution should not be anti-religious, but pro-religious in ways that could inspire religious adherents, facilitate cooperation between religions, and uplift the spiritual values of the citizens. They stressed the need of provisions to set up an interreligious constitutional national council.

More than 120 spectators from various sectors participated in the four-hour long interactive program, which was widely reported by major newspapers and television news broadcasts.

GPA Nepal is playing a significant role in facilitating cooperation among all religious leaders and providing platforms to campaign for referencing God/Creator in Constitution and proposed interreligious national council. GPA Nepal is submitting the proposals recommended by the May 21 General Interreligious Assembly to the Prime Minister in July 2011.

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