Civil society activists begin 48-hour sit-in

KATHMANDU: Civic Movement for Democracy and Peace (CMDP) today staged a 48-hour sit-in protest in front of the building of the Constituent Assembly as part of its ‘Civic Satyagraha’.

The sit-in marked the remaining 90 days for the CA to promulgate a new constitution. The CA is mandated to come up with the constitution by May 28.

The peaceful protest is aimed at exerting pressure on political parties to iron out their differences and exclusively allot their time in promulgating a “forward-looking” and “human rights-friendly” constitution within the given timeframe, ensuring institutional development of the federal democratic system and politics of consensus and literally abiding by the Comprehensive Peace Accord.

Dr Sundar Mani Dixit, an activist of the CMDP, said the protest was purely meant for peace and constitution. “Sounding an alarm bell is the need of the hour as the clock is ticking for the CA to promulgate the constitution and settle all contentious issues without delay,” he said. He appealed to all political parties not to think of extending the tenure of the CA.

“Extending the tenure of the CA is like prolonging a disease. The more you prolong a disease the more you’re likely to die early. It isn’t in the interest of the country and the people,” he said.

Human rights activist Krishna Pahadi accused the political parties of wrangling over power instead of addressing people’s aspirations. “Time is running out for the CA to make a step forward to give the much-awaited constitution to the people,” he said.

The sit-in that began at 8 am will end at 8 am on Saturday, organisers said.

Around 100 civic activists have joined the protest. The CMDP is scheduled to hold a mass meeting on March 9.