Tamang body calls off protest

KATHMANDU: Tamsaling Joint Struggle Committee Nepal today called off its programmes of agitation after signing an eight-point agreement with the government.

TJSC had announced an indefinite general strike in the so called Tamsaling State and Kathmandu Valley beginning August 17.

As per the agreement, Ministry of Local Development will form a team of specialists, including those from the Tamang community, for the implementation of model development programmes in the areas dominated by the ethnic nationality. The government has agreed to allocate budget for the survey of a Tamsaling Ring Road by the year end and to immediately constitute area committees for the conservation and promotion of Swoyambhu and Namo Buddha.

Besides, the government agreed to convert the Pipa Goshwara -- the logistics support Gan of the Nepali Army -- into a battalion by making it more inclusive through the recruitment of personnel from other communities as well. It has also been agreed to appropriately represent the community in the national army and to provide the Gan members better pay and perks.

The government inked a 19-point agreement with the TJSC on March 22. "The committee initiated the protest as the government failed to include the projects demanded by them in the government's policies," said Kumar Yonjan, general secretary, TJSC. According to him, a five-member team has been formed to monitor the implementation of the agreements made today. The team led by peace ministry joint secretary Bishnu Nepal includes Bir Bahadur Lama, Parshuram Tamang and Surya Man Dong of the TJSC. He said the government had been urged to implement all the points of the agreement by mid-September.

The government has agreed to release all the TJSC activists held during their protest after an investigation and to provide treatment for the injured. About 200 activists had been held during the protest programmes. Five people were injured in Kathmandu and 16 in Chitwan.