Church-sponsored Asia-Pacific Summit marred by protests by Hindus, Opp parties; HD Deve Gowda too attends the event in which former Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani slammed India for not supporting China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative
Amid protests by Hindus and criticism from opposition parties, Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli received a Good Governance Award from Hak J Han ‘Mother’ Moon, the head of the South Korea-based Unification Church on December 2. The award comprising $100,000 was presented to the Prime Minister at the concluding ceremony of the Asia Pacific Summit 2018 in Kathmandu.
The summit, on the theme “Addressing Critical Challenges of Our Time”, was marred with protests from Hindus and political parties. The Oli government has been criticised for its association with the Christian NGO which is allegedly on a mission to Christianize Nepal. The three-day Asia-Pacific Summit was organised by the Universal Peace Federation (an NGO founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon under the Unification Church), the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace and International Conference of Asian Political Parties.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and member of the organising committee of the Summit, according to a local Nepalese media report, Vijay Jolly said the summit is not aimed at promoting any religion. “It is not our intention to promote any religion through the summit,” he said, “I can say this officially.” However, Indian Express today reported that Vijay Jolly said Hak Ja Han Moon, a Korean Christian leader, will be the philosopher and guide of the conference.
Leading Nepalese daily newspaper, The Himalayan Times reported that even leaders from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) criticised the government. “We need to keep in mind national interest, diplomatic dignity and repercussions,” NCP leader and former deputy prime minister Bhim Rawal said in a Twitter post this afternoon. “Those organising the event in the name of peace should tell the people where so much money came from. Or else, the government should investigate and tell.”
As a part of the summit, the Church has organised a separate Christian ceremony in which “Mother Moon” blessed hundreds of couples. Though the names of Oli and his wife were enlisted among others for “blessing” ceremony, the couple did not attend the ceremony.
At least four previous Prime Ministers of Nepal reportedly refused to attend the controversial summit. Another former Prime Minister and party chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, quit the event at the last moment without addressing the delegates.
Meanwhile, the summit was attended by over 1500 delegates from around 50 countries including India. Former Indian Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and BJP leader Vijay Jolly were among those attended the controversial summit. Deve Gowda, in his address, said the world needs peace for prosperity, but that is not possible as long as countries continue to sponsor terrorism. “Terrorism is terrorism. There is no good or bad terrorism,” he said, adding that India had put forward a comprehensive document before the international forum suggesting ways to effectively deal with terrorism, newspapers reported. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Aung San Suu Kyi from Myanmar, and former Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani also attended the event.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani criticised India, without making a direct reference, for moulding the international debate on China’s ‘One Belt and One Road’ initiative. “With Pakistan being a partner in the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, people have started reaping dividends, defying anti-propaganda from some countries,” said Gilani.