KATHMANDU; The one-day general strike called by the Adibashi Janajati Brihat Morcha, (AJBM)- a front of the indigenous nationalities-had a partial effect in the national capital with essential services functioning moderately.
The strike, which overshadowed the Christian New Year, however, passed off peacefully, without any untoward incidences common in previous bandhs. The government had deployed around 5,000 riot police to ensure law and order.
The stirring front had defied the Home Ministry’s appeal to withdraw the bandh that coincided with the New Year.
Issuing a press statement, the ministry on Thursday had appealed the front to call off the strike. “The bandh on the Christian New Year’s day would encroach upon religious and cultural freedom of the community,” read a Home Ministry’s statement. AJBM had called the bandh, putting forth a charter of demands including right to self-determination, communal rights and ethnic autonomy. They have demanded that the government implement the United Nations Convention- 163 to ensure the inclusion of independent experts and other candidates in the Constituent Assembly. Indigenous nationalities have served the January 3 deadline to incorporate their demands in draft constitution.
Most educational institutions, industrial enterprises, private offices, markets and business centres remained shut due to the bandh.
Thousands stranded on
road in several places in the capital as the public transport came to a grinding halt.
The strike had distressing effect on the commoners, whose livelihood depended on daily public transport.
Strike disrupts garbage disposal
Kathmandu: Garbage disposal was disrupted once again today due to the general strike called by the
indigenous communities demanding among other things, inclusion of ILO
169 in the new statute which is in the making.
“Two trucks ferrying garbage to the Aletar Landfill Site were forced to return after the protesters blocked the road by burning tyres,” said Rabin Man Shrestha, chief of the Environment Management Department at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. “But the bandh didn’t deter us from collecting garbage heaps piled in the city streets. We transferred them to the Teku Transfer Station,” he said.
However, despite his claim, heaps of garbage that piled up from December 20 is yet to be removed from Baneshwor, Maitidevi, Dilli Bazzar, Sorhakhutte and Balaju areas.
“They will be cleared by Monday,” said Shrestha, adding that the disposal would resume regularly from tomorrow.