UDMF announces fresh agitation programmes in Tarai

Kathmandu, January 9

The United Democratic Madhesi Front announced fresh protest programmes besides other forms of protest, including blockade of border entry points.

The UDMF announced fresh protests including mass meetings in district headquarters, photo exhibits of martyred protesters, baton rallies, torch rallies, observance of sacrifice day and protests in cities and villages.

General Secretary of Sadbhawana Party Manish Kumar Suman said the UDMF would not withdraw its blockade and other protest programmes till its demands were met.

The front accused the government of not being serious about resolving the unrest in the Tarai region through talks.

Although the Tarai agitation has been on for almost five months, there is no change in the state’s racist and unitary mindset, the front said in its press release. The front accused the government of filing false cases against protesters and committing brutalities. It also said those in leading the   government had continued to make insulting remarks against Madhesis, Tharus, indigenous nationalities, Muslims, Dalits and deprived communities.

“Twenty-five formal and informal talks have been held, but the government has not been serious,” the front said in its release.

The UDMF said the government had failed to address the demands of the agitating forces due to lack of clear vision regarding a negotiated solution to the agitating forces’ demands.

UDMF said the Nepali Congress and the government, instead of being ready to rewrite and amend the non-inclusive, discriminatory and anti-people constitution that had already been rejected by majority of the people, tabled the Constitution Amendment Bill to mislead the public.

The front said that the Constitution Amendment Bill had tried to reflect the old unitary mindset for it had distorted the concept of inclusion, which had already been implemented by the Interim Constitution.

The UDMF also said if the Constitution Amendment Bill was passed by the Parliament in its present form, it would not address the issues raised by Madhesis, indigenous nationalities, Tharus, Muslims, Dalits and other marginalised sections of society.

The front demanded that the state stop all actions against media outlets of the Madhes and government employees.

The front also clarified that it had no option but to intensify its protest programmes as the government was creating state terror in the Madhes and Tharuhat regions with heavy deployment of security personnel.

The release was signed by Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal’s Upendra Yadav, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chair Mahantha Thakur, Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal Chief Mahendra Raya Yadav and Sadbhawana Party Co-chair Laxman Lal Karna.

Meanwhile, the UDMF also decided to induct other political parties in the Federal Alliance that has nine constituent parties at present.

Senior leader of Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal Ram Naresh Ray said Dalit Janajati Party leader Yashoda Lama and Chair of National Madhes Socialist Party Sharat Singh Bhandari today attended the front’s meeting and told them that they would like to join the Federal Alliance.

Ray said Lama and Bhandari were associated with other parties in different alliances and since they had similar agendas as the UDMF, they would join the Federal Alliance. Parties associated with the UDMF are also constituents of the Federal Alliance.

Ray said the UDMF wanted to bring all like-minded parties under a broader alliance so as to electrify its ongoing agitation.

According to Ray, Bhandari told UDMF leaders he would try to bring the constituents of the Federal Inclusive Madhesi Alliance to the Federal Alliance.