LETTERS: Progressive and inclusive
Leaders of the three major parties who were instrumental for the promulgation of the new constitution have claimed that they have not excluded the Madhesis and ethnic communities. They have claimed that their rights have been duly ensured in the constitution. They have been saying that the new constitution – seventh in row – is the most inclusive, progressive and liberal political document endorsed by 90 per cent members of the Constituent Assembly. Nepal is a country inhabited by different communities since time immemorial. Therefore, the new constitution should have ensured the proportional rights to all the 130 ethnic communities so that they can also take part in the nation building process. History has it that most of the state organs are occupied by those who were always in the power centres.
Time has come for all the communities to get a fair share of benefits that the state provides on a proportional basis. One of the major concerns of the second Jana Andolan, people’s war and Mahdes andolan, was to ensure rights to all the communities, particularly to the backward people and region, so that they can also benefit from the political changes. Despite having some weaknesses the new constitution is more progressive and inclusive compared to the previous ones which were drafted by a
commission chosen by the kings or the rulers of that time. Whatever weaknesses the new constitution may have it can be amended in due course of time to address the grievances faced by those communities who have felt being left out.
Pragya Ananda, Kathmandu
I would like to draw the attention of the Government of Nepal about the sit-in protests in front of the Nepal-India customs points and no-man’s land staged by Madhes-based parties for a number of days.
We should not kneel down before the undue demands of those who have created a humanitarian crisis in Nepal by not letting the petroleum products enter the country. We can also survive even without the supply from India which has imposed an undeclared economic blockade against Nepal soon after the
promulgation of the new constitution by the Constituent Assembly. Instead of compromising on the national interest let us make a new treaty with China, Pakistan and Bangladesh for importing essential commodities, including the petroleum products, if India does not cooperate with Nepal. Nepal must raise the issue of right to transit for the landlocked countries at international forums, including the United Nations. An international convention on landlocked countries’ right to transit states that a landlocked country like Nepal shall enjoy the transit right up to the sea for doing overseas trade. If India continues to impose the so-called blockade against Nepal any longer, public opinion in Nepal will – which has already gone – go against India and such a blockade will also affect the Indian economy, particularly along the Indian border towns.
Prabal Rai, via e-mail