A. TOPOGRAPHY SCENARIO. Nepal is naturally divided into three main “Belts” running east to west.
TERAI: About 17% of the total lands area of the one-third of Nepal, known as “The Terai”
HILLS: The central belt of Nepal is the Hill region, ranging in altitude from 610 meters (2,000 FT.) to 1600 meters (5,249FT). This belt consists mostly of hills and valleys and here lies Kathmandu, the Capital, and largest city.
HIMALAYAN: The Trans-Himalayan region lies along the northern sector of Nepal. It is between 1600 meters (5149 FT.) and 8,848 meters (29028 FT.) at the peak of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on Earth.
CLIMATE: There are five clearly defined climatic zones in Nepal: Tropical, Sub-Tropical Temperate, Alpine and Sub-Arctic.
PEOPLES: Nepal is a country of mixed races, Languages, Religion and Cultures. Different peoples have come into the area from all directions, mostly from the north,mongoloid types and south, Aryan Indian people.
B. POLITICAL MAP
With seven states or provinces or Nepal second map of Nepal with seventy-five district of Nepal names in English for both map.
C. ABOUT NEPAL
The chronological history and current update of Nepal.
1769: Nepal becomes a unified nation state and Hindu Kingdom and 1846-1950: Autocratic rule of Rana family.
1950: Popular revolt succeeds in removing Rana regime and introducing multi-party democracy with constitutional monarchy.
1960: King dissolves parliament removes elected prime minister and bans political parties. There is no religious freedom conversion is illegal and Christians are harassed and imprisoned.
1975: King Birendra Crowned “Divine Emperor” of all Hindus.
1990: Pro-Democracy demonstrations establish multi-party parliament forcing king to become constitutional monarch.
STATE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIAN CONVERTS ENDS.
1996: Communist party of Nepal (MAOIST) begins what is to be a 10 year civil war.
2002: King Gyanendra dissolves parliament removes prime-minister rules as absolute monarch, declares emergency and deploys the army against the Maoists. Political parties start street protests against unconstitutional rule of king.
2006: Mass people’s movement and demonstrations force king to restore parliament. Peace agreement signed with Maoists.
DEMOCRATIC SECULAR REPUBLIC ESTABLISH
2008: Election of the constituent assembly (CA).
2012: CA fails to meet extended deadline to draft and promulgate new constitution and is dissolved leaving president advised by caretaker cabinet to rule by decree.
MARCH 2013: Non-Political government formed under chief Justice. Elections for new CA announced for 19 november 2013.
CURRENT POLITICS OF NEPAL
Nepal is a federal republic democratic county. A federal republic was established in may 2008 which enede 240 years of monarchy rule in Nepal. The politics of Nepal functions within a framework of a republic with a multi-party system. Currently the position of president (head of state) is occupied by Bidhya Devi Bhandari. At present time the positon of prime minister (head of government) is held by Sher Bahadur Deuba. Executive power is exercised by the prime minister and his cabinet while legislative power is vested in the constituent assembly.
Nepal still is a Hindu nation constitutionally
but during the last two decades it has evolved into a modern democratic republic. Before 1990, Nepalsese were not permitted to chage their religion and converts to Christianity were severely harassed and imprisoned. A decade-long military conflict with Maoist communist forces ended with the establishment of a democratic republic, but the peace process has yet to produce a constitution. Civil right society and human right organization are advocating for the new constitution to guarantee every person the many different faiths which exist in Nepal.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND EXPRESSION OF FAITH
At present, there is no systematic discrimination or organized suppression of members of minority religions. Buddhists and Muslims have generally been treated with respect, as have members of local traditional religions. But religions which are newer to Nepal, such as the Christian and other new religion have not always been tolerated and treated well at all. Militant movements with link to India were responsible for religiously-motivated killings of Christians in 2007 and 2008..
A key issue now is that the right to freedom of religion or belief must be protected full in the new constitution. The mandate for the constitution is that it must be fully consistent with universally accepted human rights, including the conventions approved by Nepal, but this is not the case with draft proposals on the right to freedom of religion or belief.
The issue of conversion in contraversial or emotive in Nepal. Although at present there exists a general freedom to choose one’s personal faith, public evangelism and the teaching of new faith to those under eighteen can provoke strong antagonism.
Draft proposals for the new constitution deal with conversion in a problematic way. The provision that “No person shall be entitled to convert another person from one religion to another” leaves little room for seeing religious conversion as a positive choice, and it is not consistent with Nepal’s international human rights obligations.
FUNERAL OR BURIAL RIGHTS
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the bodies of the dead are traditionally cremated, although there is one ethnic community, the Kirats who bury their dead. There is no land in Nepal traditionally allocated to Christians for burial. Christians and Muslims both find themselves seeking land for burial, but this is a particularly severe problem for Christian Churches who find Hindus are unwilling to sell land if it is to be used for burial. In some rural areas, Christians seeking to bury their dead have found themselves victims of violent reactions from local Hindus who have seized and forcibly cremated the body. The supreme court of Nepal has established that the state is not responsible for providing land for burial, but is responsible for providing protection when there are obstructions to the burial of the dead on Church owned land.
Since women have traditionally had such a low status in society, the development and protection of women’s rights and the participation of women in education and all sectors of society is a key issue for the future of Nepal. Gender-Based violence is still a major problem within the family, on city streets, and in rural areas. Dalit and ‘low’ caste women are particularly vulnerable. The requirement in the 2008 elections that 33% of MPS must be women were an historic step forward, but this has not been matched n other areas of society.
However strong Nepal’s laws may be, they are irrelevant if they are not implemented properly. The widespread impunity for those committing serious crimes is a major issue. No one has yet been prosecuted for crimes committed during the decade-long conflict. Since that time, the perpetrators of police inefficiency and corruption are party responsible, but political leaders show little determination to implement the law, and political interference at the highest level into criminal investigations and prosecutions has been a major cause of impunity for criminals.
THE BAPTIST CONVENTION OF NEPAL
Bcon has been working for over many years with the local, regional and national Churches and other groups, including the inter-religious network, to promote freedom of religion and related human right. We have also sent letters in the Nepali language to constituent assembly members, and requested to take action provide equal justice under and rule of law of the nation of Nepal.
D. ECONOMIC SCENARIO
Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal is heavily dependent on remittances, which amount to as much as 22-25% of GDP.Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for more than 70% of the population and accounting for a little over one-third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of commercially reasible capacity, but political uncertainty and a difficult business climate have hampered foreign investment.
Landlocked geographic location, persistent power shortages, underdeveloped transportation infrastructure, civil strife and labor unrest, and its susceptibility to natural disaster. The lack of political consensus in the past several years has delayed national budgets and prevented much-needed economic reform, although the government passed a full budget in 2013.
E. RELIGIOUS SCENARIO
Hinduism and Buddhism are the two dominant religions in Nepal. Hindus make up about 90% of the population and Buddhists approximately 7%. The remaining 3% is divided between Muslims (2.5%) and Christians (.5% – approximately 1.500,000 nationwide). Hinduism is the official state religion of Nepal but other religious beliefs are “Tolerated.” It is still illegal to convert from one religion to another. While Church services can be held openly, occasional persecution continues for evangelism occurring outside the Church walls. Christians can be sentenced to one-year prison for attempting to convert a person from another faith and up to six years for Baptizing a convert. Pastor Ram Nepal has personally survived severe religious persecution. He has been imprisoned seven times, most recently in 1989. He has been beaten severely and has suffered permanent physical damage to his body.