Hundreds stage protest against proposed name for Province 3
Kathmandu, January 6
Hundreds of people representing indigenous communities today gathered at Maitighar Mandala, to protest the name and headquarters of Province 3 proposed by the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Secretariat.
NCP had, on December 29, decided to propose to the NCP-led Province 3 government to carry forward the process of naming the province Bagmati and designating Hetauda as its permanent headquarters.
Agitated with the decision, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities and other organisations advocating the Newari identity have staged protest against the decision.
The protesters, during today’s protest programme led by NFIN, displayed placards with slogans such as ‘Long Live Indigenous Autonomy’.
The demonstrators demanded that the province be named Newa-Tamsaling Province.
NFIN has been demanding that the province be named Newa-Tamsaling as it would protect the identity of indigenous Newari and Tamang communities. They have also demanded that either Banepa or Dhulikhel be designated as the headquarters of the province.
Jagat Bahadur Baram, president of NFIN said, “Naming Province 3 ‘Bagmati’ will be a mere repetition of the Panchayet system. We cannot accept this as we have contributed immensely to bring about changes in the ruling system and establish federal democratic republic system in the country.”
Suraj Maharjan, secretary of Samajwadi Newa Sangh, said, “Naming the province on the recommendation of the party ruling at the centre suggests that the federal government does not want to designate power to provinces.”
Maharjan stressed the need to base the name of the province on identity and added that the state must give due recognition to the identities of indigenous people.
Most of the protesters were of the view that although the ruling system had changed, the rulers were still guided by the same old mindset.
Parbat Tamang, one of the demonstrators, said, “Our identity should be reflected in the name of the province.
The participants also warned of stringent protests if their demands were ignored by the government.