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Nepal gov hosts LGBTI rights seminar, but decides not to renew only gay rights group's license

Nepal's government is hosting a UN seminar on LGBTI human rights this week, but has decided not to renew license of the country's only gay rights group
Blue Diamond Society's Sunil Babu Pant

Details have been released for a UN seminar on LGBTI human rights in Nepal this week, demonstrating the progressive attitude of the government. But at the same time it has decided not to renew the license for Nepal's only gay rights group.

The seminar will be held on Friday and Saturday this week (22 and 23 March) with a welcome from the Minister for Social Welfare, Women, and Children Riddhi Baba Pradhan, a presentation on how international human rights law can end violence against sexual orientation and gender identity minorities and testimonials from Asian lesbian, gay and transgender people.

'Its interesting but also embarrassing that in one hand Nepal is hosting regional seminar on Human Rights, sexual orientations and gender identity but in other hand it does not renew Blue Diamond Society's license and causing big crisis to LGBTI community in Nepal,' Sunil Babu Pant, who is speaking at the seminar, told Gay Star News.

Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal's only LGBT rights group, had its license discontinued after Pant was accused of drawing salaries from two different government sources while he was an MP and the head of BDS.

'The chief district officer (CDO) said he would renew BDS's license only after I retrain one salary. I asked the CDO which law I  violated, he said "its not based on law but on morality",' Pant said.

Even though Pant has given back his BDS salary, the government is still not renewing the group's license.

'Community members and 750 staff of BDS from across Nepal are continuously suffering as we can not receive funding and run program,' said Pant.

'No salary is paid for last 6 months, no HIV prevention programs are going on, no care and support program is being conducted for MSM/TG living with HIV. We can not also give legal support and human rights programs.' 

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