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South Asia Peace Initiative

Rallies Celebrate the 7th Anniversary of Nepal's Peace Process

Kathmandu, Nepal - Celebrating the seventh anniversary of Nepal's peace process, UPF-Nepal held rallies in Kathmandu and seven other cities on November 22. In 2005, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon arrived in Kathmandu to found the Universal Peace Federation, and the Maoist insurgents and the government's Seven Party Alliance signed a 12-point Memorandum of Understanding, ending a decade-long Maoist insurgency and beginning Nepal's peace process.

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Father Moon inaugurated the Universal Peace Federation by delivering a peace message to an assembly of 2,500 people at the International Convention Center in Kathmandu on November 22, 2005. In his speech, which was telecast live nationwide, he explained that the most essential element of lasting peace and happiness is to "live for the sake of others, not for one’s own self-interest."

At UPF's November 22 rally this year in Kathmandu's Ratna Park, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Taranath Ranabhat served as the Chief Guest and testified about Father Moon's contribution to the peace process in Nepal and around the world. Mr. Santosh Kumar Paudel, Secretary General of UPF-Nepal and emcee of the program, said that peace is attainable only by putting priority on the country's interests over the interests of one's own political party.

The road to peace since 2005 has been rocky, and Nepal's Constituent Assembly was dissolved on May 27, 2012 after it failed to draft a constitution within the stipulated time, even after four extensions. Amid protests and disagreements among the political parties, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai scheduled elections for November 22. However, after opposition parties refused to participate in the elections unless the Prime Minister resigned, Nepal's interim government announced on November 20 that it would postpone elections.

Nepal's challenge is how to bring the peace process to its logical conclusion through dialogue. In this time of transition, UPF-Nepal has appealed to all concerned authorities to come together to resolve the crisis with activities such as dialogues throughout the nation with the active participation of Ambassadors for Peace. Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, President of UPF-Nepal and Cabinet Minister in the government's Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, made a statement to the press that the Memorandum of Understanding that was agreed upon by all the political parties should be carried out. In 2011, a seven-point agreement committed Nepal's political leadership to the reintegration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants, completing the constitutional drafting process, and initiating state restructuring.

Speakers at the UPF rally expressed their deep gratitude for Father Moon’s concern and initiatives for peace and reconciliation that are awakening the citizens to the possibility that peace can be attained through love, unity, mutual respect and understanding, and living for the sake of others and--most importantly--not by violence.

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