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Honoring a Legacy of Peace in Kathmandu

Nepal-2010-06-08-Honoring a Legacy of Peace in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Nepal - At the first Legacy of Peace program in South Asia, Prime Minister of Nepal, Rt. Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal, honored the program as Chief Guest. The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Sujata Koirala, was the Special Guest of Honor.

“Peace requires non-violent management and resolution of conflicts,” the prime minister said, referring to the current impasse in the peace process in Nepal. He made these remarks in his address to a select audience of over 200 guests which included a former prime minister, ministers, ambassadors from three nations, high-ranking police and army officers, leading lawyers of Nepal’s judiciary, and other dignitaries from all over Nepal.

The prime minister then outlined three goals for his administration: drafting a democratic constitution, socio-economic development, and improving the quality of life for his people. When people remember those who have passed on into the spiritual world, it changes their perspective on life on earth. Possibly with this in mind, Prime Minister Nepal emphasized the need for consensus, saying that “the time has come for each one of us to realize the urgency of our responsibilities and behave accordingly.”

Because of time constraints and illness, Prime Minister Nepal had asked to stay just 30 minutes. This agreement was prearranged. So, in breach of Nepali customs, the Chief Guest was the first speaker. Yet, in spite of speaking first, the Prime Minister Nepal was caught up in the spirit and ultimately decided to stay for the entire event, which lasted more than one and a half hours.

The program highlighted the recent passing of Girija Prasad Koirala, four-time prime minister of Nepal, who ascended into the spirit world a little over two months ago. Prime Minister Koirala was the architect of Nepal’s peace process, which still has to reach its final conclusion. Nevertheless for the risk in reaching out the militant Maoists and starting Nepal on the road to peace, he is being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. UPF endorses his nomination. He was represented by his only daughter, Hon. Sujata Koirala, who holds the two posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Focusing on the theme of the program, Hon. Koiral said her father “suffered his entire life for democracy and the promotion of democratic governance in Nepal and beyond.” She continued by noting that, “He has left us with a legacy of peace that we need to carry forward with consensus, unity, purpose and cooperation.” She summarized her father’s character by say he was “a man of action and steadfastness.” Even UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal some time ago spoke of former Prime Minister Koirala saying that he has a “strong conviction... [and] was serious about the peace process.” Concluding her address, Hon. Koirala especially thanked the UPF founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, for his “for his contribution to world peace and well-being."

Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Regional Chair of UPF-Asia, read an address by Father Moon. This was his tenth visit to Nepal in the two years since Father Moon gave him this leadership position in Asia.

While reading the address, Dr. Yong added some comments towards the end. He explained that Father Moon teaches that we have three environments of life: we breathe water while inside our mother’s womb, we breathe air as we live in this earthly world, and finally “when you go to the spiritual world you breathe based on the standard of true love.”

Dr. Yong emphasized that we must learn to live for the sake of others in this world. That is the purpose of our earthly life—to prepare for our eternal spiritual life. “Those who live for others, for the sake of world peace,” he stressed, “can breathe freely in the spirit world and travel anywhere.”

Cong. Ek Nath Dhakal, Chairman of UPF-Nepal, began his remarks in a rather unusual and noble way. He invited the spirits of the eight leaders being honored at the Legacy of Peace program to be present at the august gathering. It seemed like such a natural gesture. Awakening the international audience to the harsh reality that “ultimately, we all die,” Cong. Dhakal added that “the only thing we leave behind is our own legacies of peace for future generations to remember.” Cong. Dhakal said the purpose of the program was to “honor our heroes, those who lived their lives for the sake of others.” By honoring them we not only connect to them in spirit, we open ourselves up to learn and inherit from them.

Amb. K.V. Rajan, Executive Vice-President UPF-India and former Indian Ambassador to Nepal, paid tribute to all eight Legacy of Peace awardees, highlighting G.P. Koirala’s role in the peace process in Nepal. Amb. Rajan said that the best way to remember the former prime minister would be to “consolidate the peace process, end the violence, write the constitution, deepen democracy, and accelerate inclusive economic development in Nepal.”

Tributes were paid to the seven other Legacy of Peace honorees:

  • H.E. Laxmi Mall Singvi, Indian jurist, parliamentarian, constitutional expert, and scholar: “A deep and abiding faith in the power of religion to improve the human condition and usher in peace.”
  • Hédi Annabi, Chief, United Nations Stabilizing Mission to Haiti: “A true citizen of the world.”
  • H.E. Abdurahaman Wahid, President of Indonesia: "Here lies a humanitarian."
  • Gen. Alexander Haig, Jr., US Army General, US Secretary of State, NATO Commander: "A rare leader who moved from being a successful army man to a statesman."
  • H.E. Rodrigo Carazo, President, Costa Rica: “If you want peace, prepare for peace.”
  • H.E. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister, Sri Lanka: “She could not be kept down.”
  • H.E. Kim Dae Jung, President, South Korea: “He never abandoned his ideals.”

For more information about Legacy of Peace programs, click here.