Human Rights Activist, Politician Tuladhar dies at 78

KATHMANDU: Senior leftist politician and human rights activist Padma Ratna Tuladhar died while undergoing treatment at a Kathmandu hospital. He was 78. Doctors pronounced him dead at 1:00pm today.

Tuladhar’s body, which was brought to his home at Lazimpat this afternoon, will be kept there for public homage until tomorrow morning. The cremation rites will be held at Shova Bhagwati in the afternoon, Tuladhar’s daughter Sumnima told The Himalayan Times.

A local guthi is planning to hold the funeral procession at around 3:00pm tomorrow, and the government is planning to offer tribute to him, according to his son-in-law Gauri Pradhan.

Tuladhar was admitted to Annapurna Neuro Hospital on October 26 after he suffered brain haemorrhage. He was transferred to Norvic Hospital on October 30.

Tuladhar was a strong advocate of ethnic and linguistic rights as well as political freedom.

Hundreds of political leaders and cadres, rights activists, civil society leaders and the general public visited the hospital and his home to pay tributes.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Naya Shakti Party-Nepal Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai and Nepal Communist Party (Revolutionary Maoist) General Secretary Mohan Baidhya visited the hospital and his home and expressed deep condolences.

“I am deeply saddened to hear about Padma Ratna Tuladhar’s demise. His contribution to Nepal’s communist movement will always be remembered. I offer my deep condolences to the families, relatives and loved ones,” PM Oli tweeted.

Dahal said that Tuladhar had played a historic role in promoting human rights and cultural movement in Nepal. “Tuladhar played a facilitating role in creating conducive environment for the peace process,” Dahal said. Tuladhar and former speaker Daman Nath Dhungana were facilitators and mediators between the government and the then CPN-Maoist. Dhungana said Tuladhar was a perfect gentleman.

Tuladhar had won elections in 1987, 1991 and 1994 under the symbol of ‘sun’ as an independent candidate. He became health minister in the CPN-UML government led by late Manmohan Adhikari.

Although he never took membership of any political party, he was identified as a leftist leader.

Tuladhar is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.