THT 10 YEARS AGO: Newars urged to boycott polls

Kathmandu, January 21, 2006

A dozen prominent Newar community organisations today vowed to actively boycott the municipal election scheduled for February 6, saying that it would not help resolve the political crisis. “First of all, this election is unconstitutional and second, it cannot solve the political crisis in the country. Hence we must work together to make sure the elections do not take place,” said Dr Keshav Man Shakya, the vice-chairman of Newa Rashtriya Andolan today at an interaction organised here to discuss contemporary politics and the role of the Newar communities in it. A statement published at the end of the interaction urged all the valley denizens to boycott the election. The statement bore the signatures of around 20 personal belonging to different Newar organisations. Shakya said that the Newars needed to fight for their own agendas: ethnic autonomy, inclusive democracy, the reconstruction of state, secularism and new constitution through constituent assembly. Malla K Sundar, the chairman of Newa National Forum, said that the forum had agreed to work in concert with the seven political parties but was also determined to organise its own movement. “Boycotting of the controversial municipal election is only a starting point of Newar politics. We have our separate agendas and goals as well,” he said. Educationist Laxman Rajbanshi said the municipal polls was only a ploy to foil the people’s movement. “But we too hold some reservations about the movements of the Maoists and the seven party alliance as they keep changing their voices,” he added.

NEFIN seeks detailed survey of Janjatis

The fourth meeting of the fifth working committee of federal council of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) has called on the government to conduct a detailed survey of indigenous nationalities of Nepal. “We had called on the National Foundation for the Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) to conduct a detailed survey of the indigenous people, but to no avail,” said Dr Om Gurung, general secretary of the NEFIN. The decision to call the NEFIN to conduct the survey was made as many indigenous nationalities had complained they were not included in the indigenous nationalities list. The meet demanded that a team comprising anthropologists, sociologists and linguists and led by NEFIN conduct the survey. “Due to the faulty classification of the highly marginalised communities as marginalised, they have not been able to receive government largess,” states the decision. The meeting has also decided to provide memberships to Kuswadiya, Bahragaunle, Dhanuk and Lhopa and recognise eight district NEFIN coordination panels of Lamjung, Dhanusha, Mustang, Sindhuli, Siraha, Dailekh, Sarlahi and Pyuthan as NEFIN affiliates.