Kathmandu, August 29
Samajwadi Party Nepal lawmaker Sarita Giri today rejected the Parliament Secretariat’s offer to lead the Nepal-Bhutan Parliamentary Friendship Group, saying she would not accept any post till the discriminatory provision of Article 289 was rectified.
This article bars citizens by birth and naturalised citizens from holding some key posts, including that of president, vice-president, prime minister and speaker.
Speaking at the House of Representatives today, Giri said she was rejecting the offer to protest the provision in Article 289’ that discriminated against citizens on grounds of descent and naturalisation.
“I obtained naturalised citizenship during the Panchayat era and I had equal political rights all these years under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990 and the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007, but the Constitution of Nepal, 2015 stripped me of my right and I oppose this,” Giri said, adding that she would not accept any
position other than what her party and the people of the country offered till the discriminatory provision was removed. She said she felt honoured by the
offer, but Article 289 made her realise that she was not a bona fide citizen and did not feel pride in representing the country in the world forum.
“Article 289 has created fear in the minds of people like me. I feel I am not an equal citizen of this country,” Giri said and added she would continue to fight for equality.
A version of this article appears in print on August 30, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.