Need to stop gun culture stressed

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 28:

Various speakers emphasised on the need of discouraging gun culture in order to stop violence against women and restore peace in the country. More than 4,000 women are living a single life as a result of violence that has engulfed the country since 1996. This was informed at an interaction on "Stop Gun Culture and Violence against Women". The programme was held on the occasion of the 44th anniversary of Amnesty International Nepal Section (AI-NS) in South Asia Partnership Nepal (SAP-Nepal) - hall. Hiranya Lal Shrestha, foreign expert urged the respective parties not to pave the path towards militarisation.

"Today our country is dominated by gun culture. As a result the nation is ruled not by policies and ethics but by power," said Shrestha. "Even minor kidnappers, poachers and drug smugglers possess guns. This shows how cheap a gun can be in the Nepali market," said Shrestha.

"National security is at stake due to the rapid development of gun culture," said Karna Bahadur Thapa, security expert. He also pointed his finger at the penetration of mafia in the country. "After the ceasefire ended, more than 10,000 people have died and among them 90 per cent are women and children," said Sobha Shrestha, secretary, South Asia Small Arms network (SASA -Net). Among the refugees, 80 per cent are women and children, she added. "The entire social structure is being ruined and nobody is untouched," said Sobha Gautam of the Institute of Human Rights Communication, Nepal.