Govt formally invites UDMF for talks

Kathmandu, May 8

The government today sent formal invite to the United Democratic Madhesi Front for talks.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, who heads the government talks team, wrote a formal letter to the UDMF, inviting its constituents for talks.

Stating that the government was committed to addressing the Madhes movement on the basis of dialogue and consensus, he said the first two amendments to the constitution were also made as per the understanding reached during the talks held between the government and the UDMF.

Thapa also wrote in the letter that the government had already formed a political mechanism to address the question of provincial boundaries.

Thapa said the government took UDMF’s decision to change the forms of protests positively. He said the participation of UDMF MPs in the Parliament and its committees was also a positive step.

Stating that all the political parties needed to come together to accelerate the pace of reconstruction and economic development, Thapa urged the UDMF to come to the negotiating table in order to resolve the issues through dialogue.

He said the date and time for the dialogue would be fixed soon after talks between the government and the UDMF.

Rajendra Mahato, chairperson of Sadbhawana Party, a constituent of UDMF, said the front was not against dialogue and negotiated settlement of constitutional issues.

He said the front would take a final call on the issue after holding its meeting but he personally believed that the government was not serious about resolving Madhes problems through dialogue.

“Had the government been serious about negotiated settlement, it would have sent this letter much earlier,” Mahato said and added that the letter was being sent to UDMF months after the talks team was formed.

Mahato said the government sent the formal invite to weaken the ongoing agitation. “We are going to intensify our movement from next week and hence the government wrote this letter today to defuse our movement.

The letter does not reflect government’s seriousness about dialogue,” Mahato said.

He added that the government was using the talks offer to mislead the public and international community.