KATHMANDU: A report commissioned by the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour, on Monday painted a gloomy picture of the state of religious freedom in Nepal.
The report, among other things, chronicles ‘outright interference’ and ‘intimidating presence’ of police on Tibetan Buddhists’ religious celebrations.
The report “International Religious Freedom Report 2009” has said that though Nepal turned into a secular state through the promulgation of the Interim Constitution in January 2007, it has restricted the freedom of religion, specifically prohibiting ‘proselytising’.
Citing one religious event organised by the Tibetans, the report said that the police confiscated and burned a picture of the Dalai Lama, even as the organisers obtained the permission to observe the event.
“The government went on a campaign to steadily increase intimidation against the Tibetan community, successfully shutting down protest activities and severely constraining even purely religious events,” said the report.
It added that Tibetans who had arrived or were born after December 31, 1989, did not have legal status and were vulnerable to implicit threat of deportation.
The report further added that the police have frequently interfered even in their private programmes .