Incident Reports

Mitini Nepal, BDS clash at press meet


REPUBLICA KATHMANDU, Dec 22: A press conference organized at the Reporters Club on Saturday by Mitini Nepal, a lesbian rights organisation, turned violent and left a few individuals, including a student of GoldenGate International College, injured after members of the Blue Diamond Society clashed with Mitini members, inviting police intervention. The situation went out of control after Binod Lama, a participant, challenged the idea of ´third gender´ during his paper presentation. He had said that there is no gender other than male or female and the term ´third gender´ was coined by BDS just to attract donors. Upon this remark, members of BDS started chanting slogans against the organizer while a few of them grabbed the mike and some others started hitting the organizers and their supporters. “I was there just to learn more about gender minorities since I have been doing my thesis on this topic. As I was announcing for the program, they might have thought I was also lesbian. So they spit on my face and hit me,” said the GoldenGate student asking not to be named. “Of course, I was hurt and harassed, but the sadder part was to see them fighting instead of helping each other though they belong to the same community,” she added. Talking to Republica, President of Mitini Nepal Laxmi Ghalan said there is a long list of people who have been victimized by BDS and the press meet was organized to bring the truth before media. That was why it had to face blatant attack by BDS, she said. “Three people were presenting papers against BDS. They had concrete points to make against the organization and the media would be there to judge their allegations,” said Ghalan. “However, even before we reached there, the hall was filled by BDS members. That was already an intimidating approach,” she added. However, Pinky Gurung, president of BDS, told Republica that the disturbance was not at all deliberate. “Yes, there were around 50 to 60 of us there. But that was not at all to disturb the press meet. We just wanted to attend the program,” she said. “The situation turned violent after Binod Lama said that ´third gender´ was a fake term. Our members would not tolerate any attack against their identity and dignity.” After police intervention, the press meet went on for an hour. However, members of Mitini Nepal and the ´National network of lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders´ had to be escorted by police to their destination. “Anything could have happened to us if the police had not escorted us,” said transgender Badri Pun. The network is in the process of registration, according to Pun. BDS has been grabbing media attention since some time for alleged corruption and discrimination against lesbians. Following the media reports, BDS had organized a press meet a few weeks ago. Today´s program was meant to counter the claims of BDS.