Himalayan News Service

Jhapa, May 28:

He started his march for peace on January 5, 2003. Now after 16 months, Krishna Bhupal Mali, a resident of Kalopul-7, Kathmandu, has reached Jhapa after having toured the eastern districts. Saying that he would finish touring the entire country within five years, Mali, clothed in a costume made from the national flag, has been travelling with a 30-kg backpack and also carries banners and placards with nationalistic slogans on them. He also has a Buddhist flag as well as one with a pigeon on it.

His schedule of the day follows such a trail: he walks for 14 hours a day, eats whatever he gets, sleeps in public rest houses and when he does not find one, sleeps anywhere that he can rest his head. Mali spends around Rs 1,500 a month on the road. A father of two sons and a daughter, he is relentless in his search for peace. The royal massacre of Jestha 19, 2058 BS prompted him to embark on his peace march, said Mali.

Having met all kinds of people on his tour, Mali said that many believe peace will not prevail unless we fight for it. But Mali is confident peace will be restored in the country otherwise too.

His walk for peace has had its share of nightmares too. He has seen hundreds of corpses lying scattered on the hilly regions -- innocent people who have died in the crossfire between the security force and Maoists. His wish other than peace in the country: "If I die while I am on this campaign, drape my body in the national flag."