‘Empower janajatis for peace’

Kathmandu, August 9:

The Minister of Local Development, Khadga Bahadur GC, has said the indigenous nationalities, Dalits, women, and other deprived communities should be brought into the mainstream for peace-building. Minister GC made this remark at a seminar organised by the National Foundation for the Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) to mark the World Indigenous Day-2005 yesterday. In his keynote speech, historian Harka Gurung said the country will be ruined if the government does not employ the skills and capabilities of indigenous nationalities, which constitute around 40 per cent of the population of Nepal. The vice-chairman of the NFDIN, professor Santa Bahadur Gurung, said the indigenous people, who are most affected by the peoples’ war, terror and violence, are the most hesitant

when it comes to raising their voices. He accused the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) of not playing an effective role in the UN. “There is an urgent need to bring the indigenous nationalities into the mainstream to pave the way for lasting peace in the country.” Stating that the ratification of the ILO convention 169 on indigenous issues would also help in the restoration of peace, he said the NEFIN should put pressure on the government to expedite the ratification process.