Bahkti Shah, a physical training instructor, has been
expelled from the Nepalese army on grounds of indiscipline. The woman's appeal
against her sacking has been rejected by an army court.
She has been thrown out because she is a lesbian, charge
Shah, who was based at a barracks near the capital, Kathmandu, was one of two women expelled from the
military after being kept in army detention for several weeks.
She filed an appeal at the army's special court supported by
two activist organizations.
Army spokesman Brig Gen Ramindra Chetri told the BBC Shah
had not been expelled for lesbianism but for two other things - violating
military discipline and the army's code of conduct, and collecting money from
cadets for her personal benefit.
He refused to elaborate but did say that army instructors
should not go to out-of-bounds areas including cadets' barracks.
A special army court has now dismissed Bahkti Shah's appeal
against her sacking.
The other woman did not appeal and has gone underground.
On paper at least the rights of sexual minorities have
recently advanced in Nepal
more rapidly than in other South Asian countries.
Gay men and women and members of
other sexual minorities have long complained of discrimination in Nepal.
But six months ago the country's Supreme Court
ordered the government to scrap laws that discriminated against homosexuals.
The court ordered that sexual
minorities should be guaranteed the same rights as other citizens.
In their ruling, two Supreme Court
judges said: "The government of Nepal should formulate new laws and
amend existing laws in order to safeguard the rights of these people.
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex are natural persons irrespective of their masculine and feminine gender and they have the right to exercise their rights and live
an independent life in society."
Sunil Panta MP and president of Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights group, has denounced
the sacking of Shah as undemocratic and ridiculous.
The military court's verdict is a breach of the Supreme Court verdict that
recognizes the existence of the third sex, Panta said.