Minorities seek secularism

Kathmandu, Nepal - Members of different religious communities today demanded enshrinement of secularism in the constitution to ensure the rights of all religious minorities.

Stating that some dominant religious groups were hatching plots against secularism, speakers at a programme organised by Inter-Religious Secular Protection Movement demanded that the constitution enshrine secularism to guarantee religious freedom.

At the programme ‘Constitution Drafting and Secularism’, a six-point memorandum was presented to draw government attention. The movement demanded a separate religious Act to ensure equality for all religious groups.

The memorandum demanded a constitutional National Commission to deal with the rights of all religious groups. It further demanded end to all kinds of discrimination against minority religious groups and sought individual right to adopt or abandon any religion.

Human rights activist, Daman Nath Dhungana, said the state should treat all religions equally.

Deputy coordinator of the movement, Ishu Jung Karki, warned that failure to enshrine secularism in the new statute would agitate religious minorities.

Coordinator Palshan Lama said the movement is relevant as some groups from dominating religious communities are conspiring against the secular state.