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India expresses concern over lack of political progress in Nepal

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New Delhi/Geneva: India has expressed concern over the lack of political progress in Nepal but promised to continue to extend all assistance to the Himalayan nation for its peace, stability and socioeconomic development.

India made the statement at the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR), part of the Interactive Dialogue at the 23rd Session of the UPR Working Group at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva on Wednesday.

Welcoming the delegation from Nepal led by Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, India in its statement said the people of the South Asian nation, after having endured a devastating earthquake in April this year, were facing another tough challenge during the ongoing political transition.

“Violence and instability in parts of Nepal have worsened in the run-up to and after the adoption of Nepal’s constitution in September 2015,” the Indian statement said.

“Over 45 persons died, mostly civilians, and hundreds injured. Firings, which ceased just after the adoption of the constitution (of Nepal), have reoccurred. We are concerned over the lack of political progress.”

The UPR is a unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 UN member states.

Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN member states is reviewed every four-and-half-years. Forty two states are reviewed each year during three Working Group sessions dedicated to 14 states each. These three sessions are usually held in January-February, May-June and October-November.

“We note the concerns expressed by UN human rights bodies, UN country team and Nepal’s own human rights commission over continuing incidents of violence, extra-judicial killings, and ethnic discrimination in the country,” the Indian statement said.

“We urge the government of Nepal to investigate and take credible measures to prevent their recurrence. The problems facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force or a security-based approach.

India said, as a close and friendly neighbor, it has consistently appealed to the Nepal government to address all challenges in a spirit of dialogue and reconciliation.

Referring to Thapa’s statement that Nepal was currently in a very delicate situation resulting from the obstruction of essential supplies at the border points with India, New Delhi stated: “Obstruction referred in the honorable minister’s statement is on the Nepalese side caused by Nepalese protesters.”

The Indian statement said, “with deep rooted historic and cultural ties, will continue to extend all assistance to Nepal for peace, stability and socioeconomic development of the country”.

(IANS)

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Ancient Hindu Temple Changu Narayan in Nepal Possesses Historical Significance

Changu Narayan is a sacred Hindu temple in Nepal and was built in the memory of Lord Vishnu

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Changu Narayan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Nepal. Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Changu Narayan is considered to be the oldest temple in Nepal
  • It is based on a high hilltop know was Changu or Dolagiri
  • It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has an interesting tale behind it

New Delhi, July 14, 2017: The ancient Hindu temple Changu Narayan is situated on the top of a high hill well known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple had a neighboring forest of champak tree and a small village called Changu and is situated in Bhaktapur District, Nepal.

The hill is about 7 miles or 12 km east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. This holy place “changu narayan Temple” is devoted to Lord Vishnu and held in admiration by the people of Hindu religion. Changu Narayan is believed to be the oldest temple in Nepal’s history. Bhaktapur king established kingdoms in Kashmir and kept it as Hindu kingdom.

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“changu narayan Temple” has a very intriguing story behind its existence. In old times, a Gwala, a cow herder, was given a cow by a Brahmin whose name was Sudarshan. The cow was believed to produce milk in large quantities. The cow herder used to take the cow for grazing to Change, which was a Champak trees forest that time. The cow was always found under a particular tree’s shade while grazing. In the evening, when the Gwala started milking the cow at his house, he received only a negligible quantity of milk. This continued for a number of days. He was disappointed and told the Brahmin about the cow not giving enough quantity of milk. After seeing this incident with his eyes, Sudarshan agreed and they decided that they should examine the cow while her grazing activity was being undertaken.

Changu Narayan Temple, east side, with the griffin (stone sculpture) left at the entrance. Source: Wikimedia

Both of them hid behind the trees and observed the cow. They noticed that a small black boy who had come out of the tree started feeding himself with the milk. This infuriated the two men as they thought of the boy as a demon and the tree as its home.

So the champak tree was cut down by the Brahmin. While he was doing this, he saw human blood come out of the champak tree. Both Brahmin and Gwala presumed they had done a crime and started crying.

Lord Vishnu suddenly emerged and told the Gwala and Brahmin, the mistake was not theirs and began narrating the story of him committing a crime by unknowingly murdering Sudarshan’s father while forest hunting. Afterward, he was cursed and he wandered on his mouth, as ‘Garuda’ descending on the Changu hill where he survived on stolen milk. The cutting down of the tree by Brahmin beheaded Vishnu and freed him from his sins.

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Following this incident, Brahmin and Gwala started worshiping that place and built a small temple of Lord Vishnu. That place has been considered sacred ever since. Even today, Sudarshan’s descendant is one of the priest of that temple and the Gwala’s descendants as conservators.

People belonging to Newar community reside in and around the area of Changu Narayan. Due to tourism development in this area, we can locate many hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants etc.

However, this holy temple “changu narayan” faces a lot of challenges and threats. The Manohara stream has witnessed rampant mining of sand and stones. The local administration has failed to cut down the mining activities. Due to these mining activities, the temple area has become prone to landslides. Because of overgrazing in the nearby forest, the chances of soil erosion and landslide have become very high.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025