Rastriya Prajatantra Party objects to State Department’s religious freedom report

In a letter addressed to US ambassador to Nepal Dean R Thompson, RPP chairman Rajendra Lingden has asked the State Department to revise the ‘one-sided’ and ‘biased’ report.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Rastriya Prajatantra Party has issued an objection to the claims by the State Department’s religious freedom report that the party under the pressure and support from India’s Bharatiya Janata Party is campaigning to reinstate Hindu state in Nepal.

Writing a letter to the US envoy in Kathmandu on Friday, the RPP said that the US report drawn their serious attention. “The report contains baseless allegations against the RPP,” says RPP Chairman Rajendra Lingden in the letter. “The report, attributing civil society leaders, allege “influence from India’s ruling party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and other Hindu groups in India continued to pressure politicians in Nepal, particularly the RPP, to support revision to a Hindu state.””

According to Lingden, first the report does not clarify who the civil society leaders are. “The said civil society leaders in turn present no substantive evidence to back the allegation. The report moreover fails to seek any view or clarification from the RPP. The report hence, reflects a one-sided bias and comes short in presenting a balanced, credible and trustworthy reality, if not the whole truth per se.”

In the letter RPP has clarified its ideologies. Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) is a nationalist, democratic party established in Nepal by Nepali citizens, says the letter. “We are a centre-right party and draw our strength from the Nepali people. We stand by our conviction for democracy, human rights, constitutional monarchy as the guardian of the nation, and a Hindu state with equal respect and freedom for all religions.”

RPP has further clarified that it does not entertain external interference and monetary support to push its agenda. “We welcome good faith from our friendly countries in establishing our agenda and goals however, the RPP does not entertain any kind of external interference and monetary support whatsoever.”

While emphasizing that the United States is a longstanding friend of Nepal and the RPP holds the US and the American people in high esteem and admiration, the RPP chair has said the party is deeply hurt by the sweeping allegations of the report which “tends to tarnish our image.”

The party has also asked the State Department to revise its Nepal content. “We hereby urge and call upon the United States Department of State to revisit and set right the shortfalls of the report.”

Earlier on Friday, Senior Vice President of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Rabindra Mishra took a strong exception to the United States Department of State’s report on religious freedom.

[Related:  International Religious Freedom Report categorically fails to provide evidences on several allegations against Nepal: Rabindra Mishra]