Bhattarai urges support for Madhes, Tharuhat agitation

Kathmandu, December 3

Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is leading a campaign to create a new force, today urged the major parties to address the concerns of agitating Madhesi and Tharu parties.

Speaking at a “Solidarity with movement of Tarai/Madhes,’ programme organised jointly by the Bhattarai-led campaign to create a new force, Federal Alliance and Indigenous Nationalities National Movement (INNM) here today, Bhattarai said the government was trying to suppress the Tarai unrest on the pretext of India’s involvement.

Bhattarai also said the loyalty of Tharu and Madhesis to the nation should not be questioned. “If one section of society does not support a revolution or movement then the movement does not succeed. Kathmandu residents need to rise against the government and support the cause of Tharu and Madhesi forces,” he added.

Stating that Khas Arya people were unnecessarily doubting the loyalty of the Tharu and Madhesi people, he said a new force that his campaign was building would   bind all communities of the country together by protecting the rights of all.

Bhattarai also said that federalism would be good for the country and Khas Arya people should not think that it would be bad for the country.

Bhattarai said he signed the new constitution because some of the new gains such as republicanism and secularism were at stake, but he did not celebrate the promulgation of the constitution because it was far from enough as far as the protection of the rights of Madhesis and Janajatis were concerned.

Co-chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said the new constitution was not an excellent document as claimed by the ruling parties.

He said the ongoing Madhes agitation was trying to pressure the major parties to amend the constitution to protect the rights of all communities, particularly the marginalised Madhesis, Tharus and Janajatis and if the major parties did not show flexibility, then the new constitution might not last long.

He said the major parties were claiming that the people in Madhes had not read the provisions of the new constitution and if that was true then why had the intellectuals and lawyers in Madhes burnt the copies of the new constitution?

Karna said if the concerns of Madhesis and Tharus were not addressed in the constitution, then the statute would not last long.

“We are seeking a negotiated settlement of our issues, but if the major parties continue to ignore our concerns, they will have to be responsible for any consequences that their apathy could create,” he added.

Karna urged the people of Kathmandu to oppose the government’s apathetic attitude towards the cause of Madhesis and Tharus.

Columnist CK Lal said if the major parties wanted long life for the new constitution, they should be ready to amend it to address the concerns of agitating Madhesi and Tharu forces.

Lal said the current agitation was an agitation for justice and not any ideology, which demanded that the citizens caution the government and the major parties.

Lal said the state needed to honour the agreements it had signed in the past with various stakeholders, including the Madhesi forces, Tharus and the Janajatis (ethnic communities).

The Federal Alliance, INNM and the Bhattarai-led campaign have said they have come together to launch programmes in the Capital as well as to mount pressure on the government to address demands of agitating Madhesi and Tharu forces.