CA members boycott NGO programme in protest

KATHMANDU: A crucial consultative meeting between the Constituent Assembly members and NGOs and INGOs ended in a fiasco today as several parliamentarians walked out in the middle protesting against the organisers for "showing disrespect" to them.

The meeting organised by the Disaster Preparedness Network (DP-NET) and ECO-Nepal and jointly funded by the UNDP, Action Aid, Mercycorps, Practical Action, Oxfam GB was to discuss with CA members the programme theme: Disaster Management Act and Organisational Structure.

CA member Arbind Shah led the protest, loud and clear. "I do boycott this meeting," he said at the top of his voice. "The organisers that are here are not maintaining the hierarchy."

Shah was hurt when the organisers asked the attending CA members to remain seated wherever they were just as they invited Chairman of Disaster Preparedness Network (DP-NET) Dr Min Bahadur Chhetri, State Minister for Physical Planning Sanjaya Kumar Shah and Home Joint Secretary Shanker Prasad Koirala to the dias as guests, ignoring all some 10 CA members present at the hall then.

His contention was that the organisers acknowledged a joint secretary, but not the people's representatives.

Shah went out of the hall saying NGOs have repeated such behaviours many times in the past and tried to prove that CA members are of low profile. "We know NGOs, they think they know everything and we don't know anything," added Shah.

Three more CA members followed suit, grumbling and protesting against the organisers. Some others stayed on, but expressed their concern on the issue and their neglect by the organisers. "I don't want to leave the hall immediately because it is an important programme but we have been facing such problems elsewhere and here also if we maintain the hierarchy then CA members come after the state ministers but the joint secretary and the organisers were called in the dais humiliating us and this type of behaviour is normal now days ," added another CA member.

The organisers tried at the end to make it up to the angry CA members, saying that they didn't mean to embarrass the people's representatives.

"It was not deliberate and we don't have any intention to disrespect the CA members and parliamentarians," Dr Chhetri said.