Nepal | November 14, 2019

Guthi Bill discussed in Lower House

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 16

The Guthi Bill remained a major issue of discussion in today’s meeting of the House of Representatives, with lawmakers from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) defending the bill and the opposition party members objecting the draft legislation.

Members of indigenous Newar community stage a protest against the controversial Guthi bill at Araniko Highway in Bhaktapur, on Sunday, June 16, 2019. The protesters demand that the government withdraw the Guthi bill registered in the National Assembly which envisions nationalizing all religious sites and trusts under a powerful commission. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Ruling lawmakers argued that the bill did not bar guthis from conducting activities related to religion, culture and tradition. They said that guthis in Kathmandu valley were different from those outside, and added that the bill was registered with the objective of addressing problems facing the entire guthi sector.

Lawmaker of the main opposition party, Nepali Congress said that the bill if passed as such would completely dismantle the guthi practice, ultimately destroying religion, culture and tradition of the country, being upheld for generations.

NC lawmakers demanded immediate withdrawal of the bill that sought to end the culture and civilization of Nepal.

Samajwadi Party, Nepal lawmaker Sarita Giri said religion, culture and tradition were above the state, and that no attempts should be made to disrupt these entities. Ruling NCP Lawmaker Birodh Khatiwada urged the government to hold talks with the protesters and address problems related to the Guthi Bill.

But another NCP lawmaker Ganga Chaudhary termed protesters as ‘people hired’ by those having vested interest in guthi property. “Let’s not withdraw the bill from the parliament bowing down to the hired people,” she said.

A version of this article appears in print on June 17, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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