Nepal Foreign Ministry issues clarification after PM Oli’s remarks on Ayodhya

New Delhi (NVI): Nepal’s Foreign Ministry issued a clarification today, a day after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli made controversial claims on Lord Ram’s birthplace, saying that Ayodhya was in the Himalayan country and that “facts have been distorted” by India.

The Nepal MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) issued a statement with three-pointers with regard to Oli’s comments, saying that the “remarks were not meant to debasing the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears.”

“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 Nepal Foreign Ministry said, adding, “there have been several myths and references about Shri Ram and the places associated with him.”

The ministry claimed that remarks made by the Nepal PM are not linked to any political subject and have no intention at all to hurt the feeling and sentiment of anyone.

MOFA said that there have been various “interpretations” of remarks made by PM Oli during the 207th birth anniversary celebration of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya, the author of the Ramayana in the Nepali language.

The Ministry further underlined: “…the tradition of celebrating Bibaha Panchami where a marriage procession coming from Ayodhya, India to Janakpur, Nepal takes place every year.”

“The Prime Ministers of Nepal and India launched the Ramayana Circuit in May 2018, of which Janakpur-Ayodhya Passenger Bus Service is an important component. These facts signify the bond of time honoured cultural affinity between our two countries and peoples,” it added.

Speaking at an event yesterday, Oli had said that Lord Ram was not from India and Ayodhya was originally an area in Nepal’s Thodi, west of Birgunj, a town bordering Bihar. He claimed that Nepal has been culturally deceived by India as the latter has “distorted facts”.

Oli insisted that Ayodhya in Faizabad district of UP was a later-day creation of India and not the real ancient kingdom of Ram. He also claimed that the priests who performed the ‘putresti yagna’ for King Dashrath were from Ridi area, in Nepal.

-ARK