Non-Madhesi MPs, journalists dwell on woes of Tarai folk

Kathmandu, June 9:

The overall development of Nepal will not be possible without resolving the problem of the Madhes and guaranteeing the rights of the Madhesi people, said parliamentarians representing the Madhes at a programme organised here today.

Speaking at an interaction between non-Madhesi MPs of the Madhes and the Madhesi journalists here today, the MPs said the present unrest in the Tarai region was a result of the indifferent attitude of the state towards the

Madhes. The region has not been justly represented, they said, while pointing out the need for the government to take the demands raised in the Madhes agitation seriously.

Addressing the programme, Sujata Koirala of Nepali Congress said the Madhes had remained behind due to problems of education and health and added that a federal governance or decentralised system of governance would ensure the rights and well-being of the people of the Madhes.

Sharat Singh Bhandari of Nepali Congress-Democratic emphasised on the need for unity among the MPs of the Madhes to resolve the problems facing the region and said a common agenda should be developed in regard to the issues relating to the Madhes, as many organisations and parties were fulfilling their personal interests in the name of the Madhes.

Tara Samyangya of CPN-UML said the nationalities and Dalits of the Madhes region were deprived of access to the State mechanism and that a proportional representation system of election should be there to increase their access.

Referring to the slogans of the Madhesi and Hilly people being raised in the Madhes, MP Devendra Raj Kandel complained that he was being termed a non-Madhesi despite residing there with family for many generations.

MP Gopal Koirala said nobody should indulge in acts that would affect communal goodwill and emphasised that the problems of the Madhes should be resolved through discussion in a cordial atmosphere.

Speakers also said that all should remain alert towards the revolt being carried out in the name of Madhesi rights by Goit and Jwala Singh factions of the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha and other groups.

They added that nobody should compromise on national sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country.

Journalists Sitaram Agrahari, Hridayakanta Jhapa and Kaushal Singh also spoke on the occasion.

Journalist Rajesh Ahiraja presented a working paper at the programme.