26 CA seats belong to ‘left out’ groups, claims NEFIN

Kathmandu, May 11:

Demanding that the 26 seats for the Constituent Assembly to be nominated by cabinet be allocated to the “left out” marginalised indigenous groups, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities today urged the intellectuals not to accept the nomination meant for them.

“We call on the Nepali intellectuals not to accept the nominations for the 26 CA seats meant for the left out marginalised indigenous groups without the latter’s consent,” said NEFIN president Pasang Sherpa, claiming that the 26 seats were allocated following the agreement between the government and the indigenous leaders after a struggle.

“We had asked the government to ensure one seat each for the 59 indigenous nationalities and the parties agreed to allocate 26 extra seats to the left out indigenous groups,” he said. Representation of indigenous groups while writing new constitution is essential, while the intellectuals have many ways to contribute in the statute drafting process, he said.

“By grabbing the seats meant for the marginalised groups the intellectuals would also make themselves morally weak. Therefore, we hope that the intellectuals would not accept the seats even if they are nominated.” He said they would be forced to launch an agitation if the government failed to include ‘left out’ marginalised groups in the Constituent Assembly. “We’ll disrupt the CA meeting right from its first sitting if our demand were ignored,” he warned.

Sherpa said they would begin with a sit-in and resort to fast-unto-death strike if the authorities remained indifferent towards their demands. “We would take the exclusion as the beginning of the discrimination against our communities,” Sherpa added.

Of the 59 indigenous communities mentioned by the government, 28 groups were yet to find a representative in the CA.