HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Hundreds of groups of indigenous nationalities, including the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), today warned the government of serious consequences if its decision to award Brahmin and Chhettris the status of indigenous nationalities is not scrapped.
“We will be forced to take necessary actions against the target groups, obstruct government activities and go for severe movements to safeguard our rights if the government fails to mend its erroneous measures,” said a statement issued at a press conference organised by the agitating indigenous organisations including NEFIN today.
Agitating indigenous groups have urged the government not to violate the accepted standards for determining the indigenous nationalities.
“Enlisting of any communal group or indigenous nationalities cannot be done from a political decision, any whim or a circumstantial agreement,” the statement read. The groups said that there are different national and international standards for determining the indigenous nationalities.
Indigenous Nationalities of Nepal led by Prof Dr Om Gurung termed the government’s proposed plan as a “ploy to continue the ongoing suppression” against the indigenous people of the country for the last 240 years defying the standards and criteria set by the high-level task force to enlist.
During the conference senior indigenous rights activists Krishna Bahadur Bhattachan said the government’s decision is an unnecessary provocation, which may rouse violence and anarchy in the society and the government must be responsible for any untoward consequences.
NEFIN chairman Lekhi said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said he was helpless in this issue. He claimed that the parties were preparing ground to impose a state of emergency in the country so as to extend the term of Constituent Assembly.
Earlier issuing a separate press statement, NEFIN general secretary Ang Kaji Sherpa had opposed government’s decision. “We will not accept the 11 states sans names and strongly protest the government decision on the registration of the five castes – Brahmans, Chhettris, Thakuris, Dashnamis and Dalits - in the indigenous list which is against the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights.”
The organisations have announced a three-day general strike starting from Sunday until Tuesday to mount pressure on the government to scrap the decision, threatening that it would continue its protest programmes until the decision is withdrawn. As per the plan, Newars of the Kathmandu Valley is preparing for a mass demonstration at Khulamanch on Saturday.
The government and the Joint Struggle Committee had signed a three-point deal, assuring the latter to address all of its demands yesterday.