By Laura Barros
Asuncion, Dec 2 (EFE).- Paraguay’s links with the nonexistent country of Kailasa, led by a fugitive Indian godman, featured donations of Ibuprofen boxes, signing of sister city agreements and visits by representatives of the fictional state that eventually led to the dismissal of an official of the South American nation.
The developments have been greeted with surprise and criticism, while memes have sprung up all over the internet.
The scandal broke out earlier this week, when local media released documents and photographs that showed officials from the Agriculture Ministry, two mayors and student delegates smiling next to two people dressed in turbans and saffron-colored attire.
The agreements, written in Spanish on the official letterhead of Paraguay, were posted on social media and other networks by Nithyananda – a self-proclaimed Hindu godman wanted in India on criminal charges – and his followers.
Since 2019, Nithyananda has been wanted by the Indian authorities on charges of alleged rape and abduction of children. In 2020, he announced the creation of his own nation, which he named Kailasa.
According to the published documents, Kailasa’s representatives met in Asunción with officials from the Agriculture and Livestock ministry and an external advisor to the Congress.
A proclamation dated Oct. 17 signed by Arnaldo Chamorro, a senior official of the Ministry, came to light on Wednesday that ended up in his dismissal.
Chamorro recommended that the Government of Paraguay “consider, explore, and actively seek the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States of Kailasa.”
Consulted by ABC Cardinal radio, Chamorro confirmed the visit of the Kailasa representatives and their meeting with Minister Carlos Giménez, to “offer help.”
“I don’t even know where it is,” the official admitted during the interview.
Hours later, the Paraguay agriculture ministry said in a statement that Chief of Staff Arnaldo Javier Chamorro had been fired and temporarily replaced by Luis Migue Paredes.
Local media reports indicate that Chamorro recommended pursuing diplomatic relations with the “United States of Kailasa” and endorsing its global membership bids.
The ministry clarified that the purported agreement had no legal validity and accused Chamorro of “procedural errors” for signing it without authorization. They denied that Chamorro had any “institutional responsibility” for the pact.
However, a closer examination of the situation reveals that Chamorro was not the only one to ally with the fictional state.
The mayors of the town of Maria Antonia and Karapai, Luis Carlos Ledezma and Ezequiel Ayala, respectively, signed friendship agreements with Kailasa.
Ledezma told ABC Cardinal radio that the agreement was finalized on Nov. 2 at the behest of Fidel Morinigo, a congressional aide who also signed a proclamation.
The visitors – admitted the mayor, who traveled 200 kilometers to Asuncion for the appointment with the foreigners – donated money for the purchase of two tires of four required for the municipal ambulance.
Nithyananda announced that they also donated medicines. Photographs published on their networks show boxes of ibuprofen from a local brand, arranged in white boxes bearing the name, United States of Kailasa.
However, not everyone agreed to receive the emissaries.