Nepal's Prime Minister Announces Change from Hindu Kingdom to Secular State

May 15, 2006

Source: United Press International

On May 15, 2006 the United Press International reported, "Nepal's prime minister announced Monday that the government would change from a Hindu kingdom to a secular state, with equal rights for all.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said Monday that the declaration, to be proclaimed by the House of Representatives later, would protect the rights of the nation's indigenous people and minorities.

Hundreds of indigenous people were protesting in front of the prime minister's home to demand a secular state, the Himalayan Times reported. The prime minister made his comments in response to their demands.

The declaration drafted by the House was scheduled to be announced Monday, but was postponed as the seven-party alliance failed to come up with a final draft.

Limiting the powers of the king, changing the name of the country and placing the army under the control of the parliament were other issues expected to be included in the final declaration."