UDMF to continue its agitation

Kathmandu, January 25

The United Democratic Madhesi Front today decided to continue its agitation till its 11-point demands were addressed in a package.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the UDMF which was attended by second-rung leaders of the front as the chiefs of the constituents were out of Kathmandu.

Issuing a press release here today, the   UDMF said the two amendments made to the new constitution on Saturday were a result of the unilateral decision of the three major parties who imposed the new constitution on marginalised communities in the same manner.

The front urged all agitating forces to unitedly fight for the rights of Madhesis, Tharus and indigenous nationalities, Dalits, Muslims and OBCs.

The front announced fresh protests from January 27 to February 1, including candle light vigils at district headquarters in memory of those killed during the protests, organising regional mass meetings and holding interactions in district headquarters with politicians, intellectuals, employees and various organisations.

The front demanded to form a high-level probe committee to investigate into the killings of protesters in Rangeli and Dainiya and other places during the Madhes agitation.

The front said the attacks by cadres of CPN-UML-affiliated Youth Association Nepal and ‘brutalities committed by the government’ in Rangeli and Dainiya recently when UDMF cadres were engaged in peaceful protest was an attempt to derail the ongoing negotiations and incite communal violence in the country.

The front said investigation into the killings was necessary to check impunity and dictatorial attitude of the state. Vice-chair of the Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Brikhesh Chandra Lal said the two amendments made to the constitution gave nothing to Madhesis and marginalised communities and the major parties passed the amendments just to give false impression to the public and the international community that it addressed some demands of the agitating forces.

Co-chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said, “Interim Constitution had ensured our rights after 51 Madhesis attained martyrdom.

Two elections were held as per the provision of the Interim Constitution but the new constitution does not ensure what was guaranteed under the Interim Constitution.” When asked if the UDMF had relaxed its obstruction on the Birgunj-Raxaul border entry point, Lal replied in the negative.

“Only some media outlets are spreading this rumour,” he said and added that the UDMF was ready to find a negotiated settlement of its demands, but the government was not ready for it.

Karna said the government was not serious about holding negotiations with the agitating forces.