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International Buddhist Conference begins in Capital

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KATHMANDU — A two-day International Buddhist Conference has begun in the Kathmandu Valley on the occasion of 2560th Buddha Jayanti on Thursday.

Inaugurating the International Buddhist Conference orhanised as a part of the festival of the 2560th Buddha Jayanti here today, prime minister KP Sharma Oli said he felt greatly honored to have the opportunity to live in the land of the Buddha.

PM Oli said that Lumbini, the birth place of Shakyamuni Gautam Buddha, the proponent of peace, is the centre of world peace.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the Buddhist philosophy is a useful doctrine to humankind across the world.

“Lord Gautam Buddha is not only the Light of Asia, but of the whole world. Buddhism is a strong basis for establishing peace,” the PM declared.

Since Buddha’s teaching helped in the promotion of social harmony, tolerance, forgiveness and selfless service, it inspired humanity to follow the path of truth and non-violence, he said.

Stating that the Buddhist philosophy and literature that the Buddha propounded was significant for human welfare, PM Oli opined that it has enriched the human civilisation and culture also.

He also expressed the government’s commitment to effectively implementing the Greater Lumbini Development Plan that has been brought to develop the Buddha’s birthplace as a major tourism hub by promoting religious tourism.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Prasad Pokharel stated that the government hosted the International Buddhist Conference for the first time after the promulgation of the Constitution.

He also believed that the conference would spread the message of world peace from Nepal.

Representatives of various countries shed light on different aspects, practices and religious sects of Buddhism in the conference that kicked off under the theme- “Lumbini, Nepal: The Birthplace of Lord Buddha and the Fountain of Buddhism and World Peace.”

Religious gurus of the three sects of Buddhism – Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana – were present on the occasion. Singer Ani Choying Drolma presented songs about the Buddhist philosophy.

Government representatives, Buddhist religious leaders, monks and nuns and scholars on Buddhism from 28 various countries are participating in the conference.

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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