Nepal | April 23, 2019

Citizenship issue should be resolved soon, says former minister Basnet

Himalayan News Service

Former home minister Shakti Basnet addresses a public hearing programme ‘on the issue of citizenship certificate organised by Forum for Women, Law and Development in Kathmandu, on Monday, December 12, 2016. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, December 12

Former home minister Shakti Basnet said every citizen has the right to acquire citizenship certificate.

They should be provided citizenship as per the categoy they belong to. He said, “The constitution of Nepal has provision of citizenship, if one is of Nepali origin. Also, they should be provided identity card if they provide proof of Nepali origin.

Speaking at a public hearing programme ‘on the issue of citizenship certificate organised by Forum for Women, Law and Development today, he said that the problem of citizenship should be shot out as soon as possible. “The problem can be solved by implementing the constitution and make the citizens feel more secure inside the nation.”

Speaking of the struggle to get the citizenship certificate, 40-year-old Sukumari Lama of Makawanpur said, “I couldn’t get the citizenship because I married to an Indian. Being a woman, I couldn’t provide birth certificate to my two daughters.”

Lama had been sold in Mumbai at the age of 12. She was made to work at a circus. Later she was forced to marry a disabled man. She returned to Nepal 12 years ago to make her certificate. She requested her parents to provide her a citizenship card but they refused to do so because she had been sold in a foreign country.

“I don’t need anything for myself but want to secure the future of my two daughters. My first child couldn’t appear for the grade VIII exam because she did not have a birth certificate. Because of the affection of her teachers she got that opportunity and now she is studying in grade IX.”

She went to the VDC office, CDO office of Maka wanpur district with her relatives, but her application was rejected because she was married to a foreigner.

Similar is the story of Arjun Kumar Shah also said he couldn’t get citizenship from his mother’s name. His mother was married toan Australian man, but both shah and his mother have been staying in the country. “I need birth certificate to complete my studies and citizenship for getting a job.

If I can’t get the certificate in my mother’s name, then what shall I do? he questioned, adding, “We hope for justice from the new constitution of Nepal. We request that it be implemented as soon as possible so that, our life can be secure.”

A version of this article appears in print on December 13, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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