Kathmandu, May 4 :

Convener of the Indigenous Nationalities Peace Commission Nepal (INPCN), Parsuram Tamang, today said a nationwide conference should be organised to sort out the differences over the formation of a Constituent Assembly (CA) and move ahead.

“As there exist differences over the formation of the CA among the parties and the indigenous people, a conference, with the representation of each and every section of the Nepali society, should be held to sort out the differences and pave the way for the formation of the CA,” Tamang said at an interaction on ‘Constituent Assembly: Formation and Process’. The interaction was organised by the INPCN.

“The indigenous nationalities want the new constitution to guarantee secular state, reservations, ethnic and lingual autonomy,” Tamang said.

“How the constituent assembly is going to address all these demands is a major question,” Tamang said, adding: “We have been demanding a conference with each and every section of the Nepali society on the issue”.

The constitution should ensure proportionate representation of all ethnic groups through elections, he said, adding: “Only such a constitution can end all forms of discrimination.”

“With confusion looming large over the formation of the CA, the parties may opt for a prolonged parliamentary session,” he said.

Leftist leader Bhakta Bahadur Shrestha also stressed the need to launch a nationwide awareness campaign to enlighten the people on the CA.

As the unitary state mechanism has failed, a federal system, in which the people have the right to self-determination, ethnic and lingual autonomy, should be adopted, Tamang said.

“Power still rests with the King. He can use it anytime,” Tamang said.

As the parliament alone cannot represent all the people of Nepal, a nationwide conference is essential to pave the way for the election to the CA. Both the armies should be put under the supervision of reliable international agencies, he said.

Former speaker of the House of Representatives Daman Nath Dhungana said: “The CA will remain a dream unless politics obstacles are removed.”

“The king may opt for an interim constitution to delay the formation of the CA,” Dhungana said. He also stressed the need to address ethnic problems.

“For the first time in Nepal, a large number of indigenous people have taken part in the people’s movement spontaneously,” said Sitaram Tamang of the United Left Front (ULF).

Only by separating the monarchy from the army can the latter be made fully accountable to the parliament, the ULF leader said.

Calling on the parties and the Maoists not to fight with each other, he said both the parties should work towards creating a favourable environment for holding the election to the CA.