Nepal protesters demand installation of Buddha statue
KATHMANDU (AFP) - Buddhist monks halted traffic in Nepal's capital on Tuesday as they protested against a refusal to allow them to build a religious shrine in an area they say is an important holy site.
Authorities have rejected calls by the monks to allow them to install a five-metre Buddha statue and shrine in Kakrevihar in the Himalayan nation's southern plains, saying it is a protected forest area.
"This is the country where Buddha was born - let us erect the statue," hundreds of monks and their supporters shouted outside government offices, blocking traffic for two hours in Kathmandu's downtown, an AFP photographer said.
The Buddhists say they will stage bigger protests unless authorities in the Himalayan country back down.