Nepal | July 08, 2020

Civil society members urge govt to find political solution

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, September 23

A group of civil society champions today issued a press statement urging the government to resolve the Tarai-Madhes crisis politically and shun the use of force.

They further appealed to the political parties and communities that have been agitating in different parts of the country to resort to dialogue and agreement to get their concerns addressed.

Issuing a statement, they said it was matter of concern that a situation arose in which all the parties in the Constituent Assembly and a significant part of the backward communities that struggled for change could not take part in the entire process of constitution delivery and could not take ownership of the new constitution.

“We would like to clearly and firmly state that this crisis cannot be resolved through use of excessive force and bureaucratically. Doing so may intensify the crisis instead of bringing the paralysed life in the Tarai-Madhes region back to normalcy,” read the statement.

Civil society members also appealed to the state and the major parties to resolve this issue immediately and address the concerns of all the disgruntled, particularly Tarai-Madhes through dialogue.

“In such a situation, not only will the implementation of the new Constitution be difficult and challenging, but the country faces the threat of another big conflict also,” they warned.

They warned the state against using state power or violent measures to resolve the unrest.

The signatories of the statement include former Speaker Daman Nath Dhungana, Lokraj Baral, Om Gurung, Krishna Hachhethu, Ganesh Kumar Mandal, Malla K Sundar, Vidyadhar Mallik and CK Lal among others.

Earlier, Unified CPN-Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai told civil society members that the leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and his own party had transformed into the ruling class ignoring the concerns of the marginalised communities.

“Arrogance of the ones who ruled for 240 years regarding Madhesi demands is uncalled for,” he said at an interaction with civil society in Kathmandu. Bhattarai, however, said those were his personal views.

Bhattarai said leaders of hill communities needed to go to Madhes to sympathise with the agitating people and he would take the initiative in this regard. Bhattarai said he would visit Janakpur to give a sense to the agitating Madhesi people that people from the hill areas were equally concerned about their issues.

“Madhesis and Janajatis were neglected for long and if at this time nobody from Kathmandu listened and sympathised with them, their frustration could rise, which could give birth to separatist feelings also,” Bhattarai said.

He said people in every household were agitating in Madhes and change seeking forces needed to capitalise on these protests to force the major parties to make the constitution acceptable to all.

A version of this article appears in print on September 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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