Protest against decision to demolish Buddhist temple

05/11/2019

Kathmandu, May 11: The people of Asan have been enraged by the decision of the Guthi Sanshtan to demolish the Dhonchhe (God’s House) where the Ashok Briksha Vihara (Buddhist temple) is situated for the construction of a corporate building. The temple dates back to the 12th century. The Asan folks have constituted a committee to struggle against the decision. The committee on Friday organised a demonstration at Asan Friday, demanding the protection of the cultural heritage. Nepal Communist Party’s lawmaker Rambir Manandhar who joined the protest programme said the plan to replace the Buddhist temple with a corporate building should be prevented at any cost. Nepali Congress lawmaker and former minister Bhimsendas Pradhan urged the mass to unite for the protection of Nepal’s heritages while Socialist Party Nepal’s central member Hisila Yami spoke of the need of safeguarding the heritage. Newa Mukti Morcha treasurer Suresh Shrestha expressed his concern over the gradual destruction of ancient heritages for individual’s benefits. He sought the government serious attention to keep safe such ancient properties. Treasurer of the Kathmandu Valley Road Expansion Affected People's Struggle Committee, Saroj Shrestha, Nepal Heritage Protection Struggle Committee member Ganapatilal Shrestha, KMC Ward no 25 chair Neelkaji Shakya among other speakers said that the ancient heritages and monuments that are the unique identity of the Newar community should not be allowed to be destroyed. The Vihara is situated at the Kothunani Chowk at Asan which is the hub of religiousand cultural festivals and rituals of the Newar community. The Vihara is believed to be thousands of years old. It also includes the Vayu Devata Guthi, a religious trust. The Ashoka Briksha Vihara has an archeologically important statue of the Amitabha Buddha. Three families are managing this ancient monument. The locals of Asan have been agitated after the Guthi Sansthan decided to rent out the Vihara Chhen to a private company for 25 years. RSS

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