Yalmaya Center Returns War Memorial Pole to Beni Municipality

In a significant gesture of reconciliation and historic preservation, the Yalmaya Center, located under the Madan Library Guthi, has returned the war memorial pole to the Beni Municipality. The pole, which was damaged during the attack on the Beni headquarters by the then rebel CPN-Maoist, had turned into a symbol of conflict. 

Human rights activist Kanakamani Dixit tweeted to social network X on Thursday to express gratitude and acknowledge the Beni Municipality's efforts in planning to protect the poles. The return of the pole marks a step towards healing and commemorating a dark chapter in history.

Efforts to retrieve the war memorial pole had been ongoing since its removal on that fateful day near Manglaghat in Beni, in front of the then army barracks. Despite numerous attempts, the pole remained elusive until recently. The process of its return gained momentum after Dixit, the director of the Yalmaya Center, pledged a commitment to promote peace and cease the dissemination of messages of war.

A team, led by Shankar Paudel, the city police chief of Beni Municipality, played a pivotal role in retrieving the pole as they reached the location. The return coincides with the completion of 20 years since the Maoist attack on Beni, which occurred on B.S. 2060 Chaitra 7th.

Surat KC, the Mayor of Beni Municipality, highlighted the municipality's broader plans to attract the new generation and foreigners through the establishment of a war museum. The decision to preserve the returned pole as a 'War Memorial' in the planned Shanti Park at Birendra Chowk in Ward No. 7 is part of this vision. The municipality, showing keen interest, has allocated a budget for the creation of Shanti Park and securing the war memorial pole.

The Madan Prize Library, the recipient of a letter from the District Coordinating Committee, facilitated the return of the pole in response to the municipality's request. The letter emphasized the municipality's intention to integrate the pole into the envisioned Shanti Park, commemorating the historical significance of the Beni attack.

Construction progress on Shanti Park and Children's Park, spanning an area of about 10 ropani in the Public and Barahpakho Community Forest, has been underway. The Division Forest Office and Beni Municipality collaborated on the project, preparing a detailed project report (DPR) and initiating the structural development. Mona International has also expressed interest in contributing to this initiative.

The Beni attack involved 4,500 fighters and 1,900 volunteers from nine Maoist battalions, wielding 66 AK-47 rifles. The clash, which occurred 19 years ago, marked the largest confrontation between the Maoists and the state in Beni. Mayor Surat KC sees the establishment of the war museum and the preservation of the war memorial pole as crucial steps in acknowledging and learning from this historical event.

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