Foil bid to derail statute drafting: Leaders

KATHMANDU, August 13

Following protests in the far-west and mid-west districts, which seem to be spinning out of control, top leaders of some major political parties on Thursday addressed the Parliament and requested the people to stop the uprising to foil the attempts of anti-constitution elements.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala requested all Parliament members to persuade the agitating people that the new statute will ensure the rights of all groups and that the constitution will not be static, but changeable. “As many countries have faced serious complexities while implementing federalism, we cannot be an exception. The weaknesses can be corrected,” he said.

The PM regretted the death of protesters in Surkhet and arson and vandalism in the far-west and mid-west districts and said, “The concerned government bodies have been instructed to maintain restraint, but not to let anyone violating the law go scot-free.”

Stating that nothing can stop constitution drafting as it has already moved ahead, Koirala said the government would foil any disruptive activities. He requested the agitating people of Tarai, far-west and mid-west regions to withdraw their protest programmes and cooperate with the constitution drafting process.

Main opposition Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that parties had reached the 16-point agreement to bring the country out of the eight-year long vicious cycle of inability by delivering the new constitution.

Dahal said protesters were of two types – those wishing to ensure their rights and those wishing to foil the constitution drafting process. “So, we should treat them differently,” he said.

“The process of the new constitution has moved ahead and now no one can stop it. We will deliver the new constitution despite the difficulties,” Dahal said, adding, “Reactionary forces may resort to big incidents within the next two weeks to derail the process, and thus they should be foiled carefully”.

Dahal said, “There are some forces who initially demanded linking the Tarai region with the hills, but when the decision was taken, the same forces demanded that the Tarai and hills be delinked. What does this mean and what do they want?”

“Some friends who fought the people’s war under my leadership are now outside the CA. They neither accepted the 11-Pradesh model in the first CA nor have they accepted the six-Pradesh model now. And, the power balance does not allow adoption of our (party’s) 14-Pradesh model,” Dahal said.

CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli said the elements working to foil the process should be defeated.

Ultra-rightist and ultra-leftist forces are shamelessly running from Mechi to Mahakali to derail the process, Oli said. “Some are selling the slogan of dividing the country though they are consuming the soil, air and water of this country.”

Oli said, “We should be careful of those who always want arson and bloodshed. Some were encouraging communal riots by pleading for caste-based system with the intention of creating a situation like in Rwanda.

Chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Democratic Bijay Kumar Gachhadar said he compromised on the six-Pradesh model from the eight-Pradesh model to prevent possible disaster that was inevitable if the new constitution could not be delivered. “Tharus are decent, but they are now disappointed as their areas have been divided in the six-Pradesh model. So, this issue should be addressed properly.”

Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Kamal Thapa blamed the constituents of the 16-point deal of negating the fourth largest party and blaming the RPP-N to cover up their inabilities. “Who obstructed delivering the new constitution during eight years? Was it RPP-N or the leaders themselves?” He said the RPP-N wanted to tell the leaders openly that their way of drafting the constitution was faulty as they were ignoring the voice of the majority of people.