Tharus against ‘One Madhes’

Kathmandu, June 28:

Tharus living in Kathmandu today protested the Madhesi parties’ demand for a single Madhes autonomous state and claimed that there was no region called Madhes in the country.

They opposed the demand for ‘One Madhes, One Pradesh’ during a protest rally organised by some 10 organisations representing the Tharu community here today. They also demanded for an autonomous Tharuhat state.

“There is no Madhes region in Nepal. It is the only Tarai region,” said Raj Kumar Lekhi, president of the Tharu Welfare Society, the umbrella organisation of several Tharu organisations.

Speaking at a corner meeting after the rally, Lekhi warned that the Tharu community would revolt if the government agreed to ‘One Madhes One Pradesh’ demand.

President of the Tharuhat Autonomous State Council Chandra Narayan Chaudhary said the government should implement the five-point agreement signed on March 1 with the Joint Tharu National Front.

“The government had agreed to declare Tharuhat Autonomous Republic,” he said, adding, “This should be ensured by amending the interim constitution.”

He also appealed to all Tharus to raise voices for their rights, as their representation in the Constituent Assembly was “not sufficient”. Tharus would form an alliance with other Tarai-based indigenous nationalities and come up with protest programmes, Chaudhary said.

“We are not Madhesis. So there should not be a single Madhes state,” said Saraswoti Chaudhary of the Tharu Women’s Society.

Meanwhile, Chure Bhavar Ekata Party Nepal (CBEP) today said conspiracies were afoot to disintegrate the Tarai region.

Issuing a statement, CBEP president Keshav Pra-sad Mainali said they were against the ‘One Madhes One Pradesh’ demand. “We demand that the government take serious measures to avoid any confrontation in the Tarai,” he said.