Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal, has issued a statement as an attempt to do damage control over PM Oli’s controversial statement on Ram and Ayodhya. On 13th July, Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli had said that Shri Ram was Nepali and India has engaged in ‘cultural encroachment’ by creating ‘fake Ayodhya.’ Now, the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Nepal has issued an official statement as clarification.
“Although the real Ayodhya lies at Thori in the west of Birgunj, India have claimed the Indian site as the birthplace of Lord Ram,” PM KP Sharma Oli had said.
Alleged wrong interpretations of the statement
The ministry said that the statement made by PM Oli during the 207th birth anniversary celebration of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya had been misinterpreted. PM’s speech had no political link and he had no intentions to hurt anyone’s sentiments or feelings.
“The Prime Minister was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilization,” the ministry added. They said that there are several myths and references about Shri Ram and places associated with him.
The PM did not mean to debase the significance and cultural values of Ayodhya. The festival “Bibaha Panchami” is celebrated in Nepal and India in which a marriage possession comes from Ayodhya, India, to Janakpur, Nepal, every year. In May 2018, the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India launched the Ramayana Circuit. Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service is an integral part of the initiative, the statement added.
Increasing problems in India-Nepal relationships
In the past few months, several steps taken by Nepal have damaged the relationship between the two nations. The new map approved by the Nepalese Parliament in which it included parts of India drew sharp objections from Indian side. There have been reports that Nepalese Radio stations have been playing anti-India songs across India-Nepal border. Nepal also removed a Nepalese lawmaker Sarita Giri from the House of Representatives for taking a pro-India stand.