बर्तमान संविधानले गृहयुद्धको बिजारोपण गरेको छ         नेपालको मंगोल समुदायको पुरानो चिनारी        राष्ट्रिय स्वाधीनताको रक्षा गर्न सैन्य शासनको आवश्यक        ‘भारतले नेपालको संविधान अस्वीकार गरेको होइन’         नेपालको संविधानबाट मधेशीले स्थायी अधिकार कहिल्यै पाउँदैनन्         तामाङ समुदायको अस्तित्व संकटमा        यो शताब्दी मंगोल समुदायको विजयको शताब्दी हो        नेवारी समुदायले बुझ्नु पर्ने कुरा        राष्ट्रिय पहिचान सहितको संघियता नभए रगतको खोला बग्नेछ        GIVE PEACE A CHANCE        
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The Right Eyes Sees the White Lies

The Nepali state is proud to claim that Buddha is born in Nepal while the cultural Buddhists are eager to integrate Buddhahood in their personal as well as cultural lives. One wants to commodify the Buddha as a mascot of peace while the other lives his cultural heritage in psychological despair, more so within a Secular state than a Hindu kingdom.

Eclipsing the Buddhists by Highlighting the Buddha

Buddhists are constantly navigating their lives within a chaotic Secular state with overtones of right wing tendencies. Today, a Tibetan born Buddhist, singing nun in Nepal is glorified for child outreach; yesterday, a foreign born Buddhist, Noble Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi was invited to inspire Nepalese in the land of the Buddha; day before yesterday, Lumbini Development National Directive Committee headed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal was mired in psychopathic absurdity trying to convince a foreign born General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, the importance of his Lumbini visit, connecting the Buddha, Lumbini and peace by sweeping the Buddhists under the red carpet. How and where do such well intent purposes perform such undesirable political/social polemics resulting in negative ill-intent misconstruction of Buddhahood, diminishing the Buddhists in the land of the Buddha?.

When the 601 (507) CA Assembly’s right to draft the Constitution is justified by the Preamble of the Constitution and the right to execute governance (political, social and economic), is clear as Hammurabi’s Code, by what ain (article) or kanun (law) can the Home Ministry retract in the decision to bring the body of the deceased Shamarpa Rimpoche or any Buddhist to perform his final rites in the very land of the Buddha, which, they claim to be so proud of. What would happen if the Hindus, Christians, Jews and Muslims were denied such rights in Banaras, Jerusalem, and Mecca? It is suffice to say the end of religious faith thereon, and death, the human fact, would pass in oblivion for the Arhats, killing the art of mourning.

In Reflection of Hammurabi’s Code

Firstly, Article 4 of the Interim Constitution has specified that Nepal is an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive Federal Democratic Republican State and Article 23 has vested its executive rights to all religious groups by guaranteeing the individual the right “to profess and practice his/her own religion as handed down to him/ her from ancient times, having due regard to traditional practices”. On the contrary, the spirit is against the guiding principles of the Interim Constitution.

Secondly, if the law has specified that foreign born nationals who dies outside the country cannot be performed in Nepal, why were the officials in the Nepali Embassy fooled to issue the ‘no objection letter’?. Do the embassies run as a party syndicate or do they abide by the Nepali rule of law?

Thirdly, if foreign nationals are not allowed to perform his last religious rites, no matter what his religious background, than what holds the light of freedom of worship in a Secular state? The Home Ministry must be very well aware that they are many Nepalese whose children are foreign born in the USA, Australia and other foreign countries, holding foreign passports. Does that mean that they are denied the right of passage to their cultural heritage to perform the last rites of their faith in Nepal? If this is to be considered the law of Nepal, than most Nepalese, including the children of many government officials will be denied to perform their death rites in their mother country. A brutal fact for a new Nepal! This brings many to make decisions from now on in weighing life sustaining opportunities abroad, based on death rites rather than life rights. Should the misfortune of the inevitable truth of death happen to a foreign born Buddhist/Hindu, his right to cultural rites in Nepal is denied based on this assumption. Death rites are performed all over the world based on religious/ cultural rites rather than state rights, specifically in a Secular state.

Political and Religious Polemics

If Shamar Rimpoche, holding a diplomatic Bhutanese passport is denied his last rite of passage in the land of the Buddha because of the reason of vexing a xenophobic Chinese Government , than what is the equidistant foreign policy with the Indian Government who has given refugee status rights to thousands of Tibetan Buddhists. Two wrongs don’t solve diplomatic rights.

Such Draconian law of denying someone to perform his death rites in the land of Buddha will send a negative message to International Buddhists all over the world. It is equivalent to denying human rights justice to Christians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims the right of passage to the place of their faith restricted by the country of their birth only. As a sovereign state, Nepal has the right to accomplish neighborly geo- political conduct with China and India as best followed by propounding the middle path of the Buddha. Denying the last rites to Buddhists in the garb of Chinese threats is undermining the sovereign rights of its peoples, whose deep seated cultural rights abide in the Buddha, Dharma gurus and the Sangha. As the light of the Buddha is elevated for national purposes, the plights of the Buddhists remain critical in a day to day basis.  Cultural Buddhists in Nepal comprise more than 68 % (ref: Reuters) and increasingly so, due to the caste-based tendencies. As Buddhists are closely associated in practice with their Dharma gurus, all activities are inter-related in Buddhism.

Consecration Rites Denied to Buddhist Spiritual Leader, the 14th Shamar Rimpoche in Nepal.

The consecration rites of His Eminence, the 14th Shamar Rimpoche Mipam Chokyi Lodro in Nepal have been revoked without homework. Earlier, there have been several spiritual, foreign born lamas, whose bodies have been consecrated in Nepal. H.H. Shamar Rimpoche holds a diplomatic passport with the Bhutanese Government seal. He passed away peacefully in Germany while giving his last teachings on 11th June 2014, in one of the 800 Karma Kagyu centers in the world. In this solemn occasion of the passing away of a high reincarnate lama, following with Buddhist traditions and rituals, it is deemed proper for his devotees and followers to pay their last respects.

The mortal remains of His Eminence has been traversing from Germany – Kalimpong- Delhi, so all his devotees who have congregated from various countries  are eager to participate in the” Kudung” ceremony and thus receive his blessings. As India has followed the enshrinement of its secular, democratic constitution to allow such ceremony as is rightfully deemed to honor our Dharma gurus; Nepal on the other hand, has denied the same right, violating the spirit of the Interim Constitution. Having said this, approval given by the Nepali Embassy in Delhi, followed by the approval of the Counselor Section of Nepal has been unfairly revoked by the Home Ministry.

The late Shamar Rimpoche’s connection to Nepal is historical and deep seated as his 8th reincarnation was born in Helumbu. He has a large following among the Himalayan Indigenous Buddhists due to the Karma Kagyu lineage. He carries the faith of the Newar communities in Kathmandu. In 2012 he was invited by the Nepal Himalayan Federation of Indigenous Buddhists to sanctify the 1st historical “Monlam Chenmo”, a prayer for world peace, presided over by the President Ram Baran Yadav. This historical three days event had congregated more than 300,000 devotees nationally and internationally.

He had always expressed his desire to have his Kudung rites performed at the Shar Minub Monastery in Nagarjuna, Kathmandu. It is deemed a social responsibility to honor the wishes of the Buddhist gurus who wish to consecrate their last rites.

To deny Shamarpa’s bodily consecration, following centuries old cultural rights of the Buddhists of Nepal does not forebode well for neither secularism nor the message that Buddha was born in Nepal. The common sense values of secular rights as bestowed on the Nepali citizens, is beset with the challenges of imparting equal rights and justice suitable for a perceived democratic Nepal.

It would be appropriate for the Home Ministry to undo an unconstitutional flaw under any given pressure and ensure the human rights values to the Buddhists in the land of the Buddha.

-Shakun Sherchand

(Buddhist Peoples’ Rights Nepal)

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