Kathmandu, August 30
At a time when various indigenous nationalities are staging protests across the country, Janajati leaders of the three major three parties have started lobbying their respective party leadership to ensure their rights in the new constitution.
A group of Constituent Assembly members from the ruling Nepali Congress, including Chairman of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Nagendra Kumal, handed over a nine-point memorandum to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who is also the president of Nepali Congress, on Sunday.
They have demanded formation of a separate constitutional commission for indigenous nationalities, proportional representation of indigenous peoples in all state organs and secularism.
According to NEFIN Chair Kumal, PM Koirala said NC would hold talks with other major parties and try to incorporate their issues.
Kumal said if their demands are addressed most of the major demands of the agitating groups would also be addressed.
Another NC CA member Bahadur Singh Lama said Dilman Pakhrin, Tirtha Lama, Sita Gurung and Tharu CA members were also present at the meeting with PM . NC Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel and General Secretary Krishna Sitaula were also present at the meeting.
Janajati CA members of UML have also expedited meetings with top party leaders, including Chairman KP Oli, Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal seeking amendment to the draft constitution.
Chairman Oli has strictly directed all his CA members not to register any amendment proposal without consulting the party. UML CA member Yagya Raj Sunuwar said Janajati CA members have been lobbying top three leaders of the party for amendment to the draft constitution.
Party secretary Prithvi Subba Gurung said Janajati leaders and CA members of the party have been discussing amendment proposal with top leaders.
While Unified CPN-Maoist secretary Barshaman Pun said his party has registered note-of-dissent against anti-Janajati clauses in the constitution.
Pun said the country cannot backtrack from the provisions in the draft constitution already agreed upon by the parties. He, however, said his party cannot support those who are against drafting the constitution soon.
NEFIN sets condition for talks
KATHMANDU: The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) on Sunday set conditions for talks with the government. NEFIN General Secretary and Constituent Assembly member from CPN-UML Pemba Gurung Bhote said they have set implementation of past agreements, declaration of those killed in the protests as martyrs, release and withdrawal of cases against those arrested, treatment to the injured and withdrawal of the decision to deploy Nepali Army as conditions for talks.
A version of this article appears in print on August 31, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.