Nepal embassy in New Delhi unhappy

Kathmandu, October 7

The Embassy of Nepal to India expressed serious concern about the recent media coverage in India that inaccurately said the new Constitution of Nepal was not inclusive.

The embassy, in a statement, said its concern was seriously drawn particularly to newspaper contents like Op-eds, editorials; talk programmes on TVs, as well as social media networks that falsely alleged that the statute was not inclusive and that the provision of citizenship treated a group of Nepali people as so-called “second class” citizens.

“Such reports and opinions are completely untrue,” the embassy said in the statement.

Referring to Article 10 of the Constitution, the embassy noted that the charter clearly provided that no Nepali citizen shall be denied the right to acquire citizenship. Subsequent articles on citizenship (Article 11-15) have ensured the constitutional basis for acquiring citizenship, both by decent and naturalisation.

“The citizenship-related provisions in the present constitution are, in fact, the most accommodative provisions relating to citizenship in the constitutional history of Nepal and guarantees that all Nepalis can acquire citizenship as per federal laws, read the embassy statement of Monday.

The mission expressed wonder why some intellectuals, professionals, columnists and reporters in India have taken no time in terming the new constitution imperfect and less inclusive.

“While referring to the citizenship issue, some have even gone to the extent of saying that the constitution would bar many Madhesi people of Nepal from holding key positions. This is totally false,” the embassy clarified.

It has also cautioned that such divisive and unsubstantiated comments and opinions on the new constitution might have come without checking facts, reading the text of the constitution and taking into account the reality of ethnic diversity in Nepal and the cordiality of deep-rooted Nepal-India relations.

It made it clear that just as provided in the constitution of other countries, the constitution of Nepal too has a special provision requiring that a person should acquire citizenship by descent to be elected, nominated and appointed as president, vice-president, prime minister, chief justice, speaker of Parliament, chairperson of National Assembly, head of province, chief minister, speaker of Provincial Assembly and chief of security bodies.

It also clarified that the statute guarantees that every citizen, by descent or naturalisation, shall be equal before law and no person shall be denied equal protection of law. “There is no question of discriminating its own citizens as “second class”,” underscored the Nepal mission.

The embassy stated that every word and every sentence of the constitution was discussed, debated, cross-referenced, and improved to the best possible outcome through consensus and compromise after taking it to the people for comments and public hearing.

“Any opinion challenging the ownership or broad-based participation does not carry logic, rather it tries to undermine the most rigorous, transparent, democratic, inclusive and participatory process of eight years devoted by two constituent assemblies,” the Nepali mission asserted.

It also stated that the new constitution of Nepal is one of the most progressive, flexible and inclusive constitutions in the world.