Nepal adopts its first democratic constitution in a largely peaceful event, a historic step for a nation that has been trying to create a modern state for more than 65 years. Diane Hodges reports.
The Himalayan country of Nepal is hoping the new constitution will help end years of political and civil unrest. The country's constituent assembly adopted the document on Sunday. One member of the assembly says it marks the end of a long struggle to set up a democratic, secular government... in this predominantly Hindu nation (SOUNDBITE) (Nepali) SATYA PAHARI SAYING: "The new constitution has been successful in addressing the six-decade-long aspirations of the people. Nepal has now entered a new age." Not everyone is happy. Some groups wanted to re-establish Nepal as a Hindu nation... others felt the document is unfavorable to people in the plains, near India. In recent weeks, some 40 people have been killed in protests against the new constitution. But plenty of troops were on hand Sunday and there were only minor reports of violence. Government officials say an imperfect document is better than nothing, and add that the constitution can be amended later.