On October 17, SGI-Nepal held its 20th Annual Meeting in Kathmandu. The meeting was attended by some 1,000 members as well as their friends and family members. 

Nepal SGI Youth performYouth perform at the Annual Meeting on October 17

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message in which he stated that by basing their lives on the Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, SGI-Nepal members can overcome any obstacle and, in doing so, become a source of hope for others who are also struggling.

At the meeting, plays, traditional dances and songs were performed by around 100 SGI-Nepal members including some who had traveled from Ilam District, one of Nepal’s eastern-most districts, some from Pokharā, its second largest city, and others from the south of the country.

On October 16, the day before the Annual Meeting, SGI-Nepal sponsored a poetry symposium focused on environmental themes. The symposium, which featured 15 presenters, was held outdoors on the banks of the Bagmati River that runs through Kathmandu. Both the surrounding area and the river itself have been affected by severe water pollution. SGI-Nepal has been actively involved in the Bagmati Cleaning Program and, in December 2013, opened the Lotusbari garden which was created by cleaning up an area of the river bank.

Nepal SGI poetry symposiumThe poetry symposium on October 16

Guests included National Poet of Nepal Madhav Prasad Ghimire and Chief Secretary of the Government of Nepal Leela Mani Paudyal. 

On October 18, at the SGI-Nepal Peace Center in Kathmandu, a peace symposium was held, focusing on themes from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s 2014 peace proposal titled “Value Creation for Global Change: Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies.” The symposium was sponsored by SGI-Nepal and attended by some 180 people. In his speech, Chief Secretary Paudyal commended Mr. Ikeda’s clarity in depicting the reality of various issues including environmental protection, the abolition of nuclear weapons and the need to promote the rights of women. 

related article Building Global Solidarity Toward Nuclear Abolition (September 8, 2009) by Daisaku Ikeda, President, Soka Gakkai International In his Nuclear Abolition Proposal released on September 8, 2009, SGI President Ikeda suggests a five-part plan towards creating a foundation for a world without nuclear weapons. In his remarks, Prof. Dr. Kedar Bhakta Mathema, formerly vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University and ambassador of Nepal to Japan, emphasized the role of value-creating education in the fostering of capable youth who can empathize with others and respect cultural differences. 

[Adapted from articles in the October 19 and 22, 2014, issues of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]

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