KATHMANDU, JUL 30 – The final rites on the body of Buddhist spiritual leader Kunsiug Shamar Rinpoche will be performed at Raniban on the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley.
According to Ramesh Dhungel, a historian who lobbied for bringing the body of the spiritual leader from Bhutan to Kathmandu, told the Post that his the body is kept at Sarvinav Gumba in Raniban, run by the Sarvinav Institute that Rinpoche founded.
His body was brought on a Druk Air chartered flight from Thimphu to Kathmandu after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday decided to allow it.
Thousands of his followers and disciples from across the globe have thronged Kathmandu to pay homage to Rinpoche.
In the decision process, the Cabinet also took a policy decision that Nepal can allow the last rite of any foreign dignitary in future if they so wish. The government can allow the final rites of any foreign dignitaries in the country without harming the cultural and religious harmony, read the Cabinet decision.
Earlier, citing his citizenship, the government had refused the request for permission to bring in his body.
After mounting pressure from the Buddhist community, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had instructed Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal to correct the decision and make a fresh effort by preparing the legal background to conduct the final rites.
Chief Secretary Paudyal later formed a panel headed by Raju Man Singh Malla, secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, which submitted a report to the office that there was no harm in allowing Rinpoche’s funeral in the country.
The decision to bar his body was issued by Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam in the capacity of acting prime minister when Koirala was in the United States for treatment. Amid media reports on the government barring Rinpoche’s body, the Home Ministry has clarified in a statement that the government had not received pressure from any neighbouring country.
Gautam had instructed officials not to allow Rinpoche’s body into Kathmandu, citing security reasons and his foreigner status. Rinpoche, who died aged 62 in Germany on June 11, held a Bhutanese passport.