Representatives of several religions pledged yesterday to pray for the country’s political leaders at a time of constitutional uncertainty. Two constitutional assembly members and human right activists joined them at a public meeting in central Kathmandu. Christian representative Chirendra Satyal, secretary of Religions for Peace and the inter-religious commission of Nepal’s Catholic Church, said: “Instead of playing the blame game, Christians in churches are praying for political leaders and also fasting for them. Unlike groups who are ready to kill for a cause, we are ready to die but will never kill for anything.” Damodar Gautam, president of the Nepal office of the World Hindu Federation, said: “You may be considered as speaking against peace if you ask why a new parliamentary resolution, seeking to extend the constitution-making deadline by one more year, was tabled by the prime minister without consulting anyone a few days ago. “Let us just pray that God gives wisdom to our 600 assembly members who seem to want to extend deadlines easily, as they are getting paid well for doing nothing for three years.” Muslim leader Nazrul Hussein said: “Let us pray for our political leaders, so they will formulate a constitution that will equally include everyone - even minorities.” Religions for Peace Nepal president Indira Manandhar, a Buddhist, said that three years of salary and benefits has been wasted in paying some 600 politicians to make a constitution. Ethnic groups should take an example from religions in Nepal that co-exist peacefully and stop violently demanding different states of their own via national strikes, she said. Congress party assembly member Gagan Thapa said: “As the May 28 deadline [to make the new constitution] approaches, we assembly members feel ashamed to go out in public. He said assembly members had been caught selling their diplomatic passports illegally or stealing electricity, which had “humiliated all of us.” “I think the youth in Nepal today should be made aware that they have to consult and involve religious leaders when planning the future of our country.”
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