Janajatis announce two-week agitation

Kathmandu, January 19:

Accusing the government of not addressing concerns of indigenous and ethnic groups while promulgating the interim constitution, the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) has announced a two-week-long agitation.

It also termed the process adopted in drafting and implementing the interim constitution “anti-democratic”.

In a press release issued today by 54 indigenous and ethnic organisations affiliated to the NEFIN and other political parties, the Nepal Indigenous and Nationalities Joint Struggle Committee announced that it will organise nationwide protests to put pressure on the government to meet demands put forth by the NEFIN.

The committee said it will announce fresh protests if their demands are not met.

“We are launching the first phase of the protest to put pressure on the government to amend or scrap some provisions that are against the movement of the indigenous nationalities,” the press release said.

Stating that the process adopted in drafting and implementation of the interim constitution was totally against the spirit of democracy, it said, “Democratic forces should be aware that another kind of autocracy might surface in place of the royal autocracy due to such an undemocratic practice.”

The NEFIN also expressed its disagreement over the government decision to retain cow as the national animal and crimson as the national colour.

The protest programmes include submitting copies of their charter of demands to the government, interim legislature, all political parties and other bodies and publishing it on January 23, interactions with indigenous nationalities and their organisations on January 24, interactions with indigenous nationalities, marginalised groups, women and members of the Terai community on January 25, interaction with the parliamentarians from the indigenous community on January 26, publicity campaigns like poster-making, wall-painting, corner meetings from January 27 to February 1 and a demonstration on February 2.