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Nepal celebrates Lokatantra Day

world Updated: May 11, 2008 18:56 IST
Nepal celebrates Lokatantra Day

Nepal on Wednesday celebrated the second anniversary of Lokatantra Day, commemorating the ushering of a democratic republic in the Himalayan nation.

The government has announced a public holiday today and all government offices are illuminated for a three-day celebration.

On April 24, 2006 King Gyanendra gave up power bowing to an uprising where over two million people took to the street of Kathmandu for 19 days demanding an end to the king's absolute rule and to establish a democratic republic in the country.

The celebration assumes significance in view of the victory of the Maoists during the recently held Constituent Assembly polls. The Maoists, who had been a waging a decade-long war against the dynastic rule, returned to the mainstream and took part in a peace process, thus ending an insurgency that claimed lives of over 14,000 people.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said the country need to eliminate poverty, unemployment and illiteracy from the country by initiating and adopting new ideas.

"We all should play a vital role in transforming the country into a stable, peaceful and prosperous nation through unity, mutual cooperation and collective effort," he said.

Later, Koirala hosted a reception for political leaders, newly elected Assembly members and diplomats among others at the Sheetal Niwas on the Foreign Ministry premises.

The Prime Minister also addressed a special programme organised by the Nepal Army at the Tundikhel Open Ground.

Nepalese people are celebrating the Lokatantra day in a grand manner for three days from April 22-24 starting on Baisakh 11 according to the Hindu calendar.