In The News (11)

Nepal: Conflict Alert
Spiralling protests against a draft constitution have left 23 dead and hundreds injured in Nepal in two weeks. An over-militarised security reaction and inadequate political response from the centre threaten to fuel deep-seated ethnic, caste and regional rivalries less than a decade after the civil war’s end. The major parties should recognise the depth of discontent and the fundamental challenge this poses to the legitimacy of the proposed constitution. A hastily-passed document, weeks after mobilisation of security forces to counter citizens’ protests against it, is unlikely to be the social contract Nepal needs. .......

plains-based Madhesi, Tharu and smaller groups, Dalit caste groups in the hills and plains, hill ethnic Janajati (“indigenous nationality”) groups and women. Many have concluded that the 8 August draft does not adequately deliver on commitments to a federal system and inclusion.

..... The government and its opposition partners in the constitution deal say they are under pressure to end years of uncertainty by passing the draft quickly. They downplay the significance of the protests, arguing that not everyone in a democracy can be satisfied and that the constitution can be amended. The state response to the protests has been security-heavy and in some areas, the army has been mobilised to deal with civic unrest for the first time since the civil war. .......

Since 2007, governments have signed over 40 agreements, often contradictory, with different groups.

...... Madhesi communities, one of the country’s biggest population blocs and the largest group across the Tarai, and Tharu communities, many concentrated in the far-western Tarai, say the current system puts them at a demographic disadvantage politically. ...... Madhesi and Tharu groups believe the major parties want to renege on the letter and spirit of earlier commitments to political empowerment and reform. ..... The NC and UML have forbidden their members from trying to amend the draft; 33 smaller parties have refused to be part of the process, and the oldest Madhesi party, Sadbhavana, resigned from the Constituent Assembly last month. ...... There are protests and agitation in much of the Tarai. Kailali district in the far west, parts of which Tharu groups and the hill-based Undivided Far West Movement want for their respective new states, had the worst violence last week. ...... Tharu groups, considered among the most historically marginalised in Nepal, who said their grievances were ignored as they lacked close ties to Kathmandu power centres. ...... Since the protests began three weeks ago, at least fifteen people have been killed by police in various parts of the country. On 24 August, seven police and a child were killed in an apparent attack by protesters in Kailali’s Tikapur town. Kailali remains under a 24-hour curfew. Given restrictions on movement, it is difficult to verify reports of significant displacement of Tharu families fearing or following retaliatory violence. Birgunj city and areas in the central Tarai are tipping into serious violence, with nine people killed by police this week. The National Human Rights Commission has not officially investigated any of the deaths. The army has reportedly been mobilised at different times in Kailali, Dang, Parsa, Rautahat and Sarlahi districts. ...... An indefinite banda (strike) across the Tarai is in its third week. ....... the mobilisation and leadership comes largely from within local communities. Many of the protests do not involve huge numbers, but rely instead on better organisation and target the shutdown of specific infrastructure, such as government offices and stretches of the national East-West highway. .........

The enormous trust deficit between agitating groups and Kathmandu’s political leadership will worsen if the government and major parties persist with a heavily securitised response to fundamentally political protests, and if they and the media portray the protests as marginal or criminal.

The government should also urgently form an independent commission to investigate the recent killings. ........

Small adjustments to the proposed boundaries of states in the far west and east would significantly lower tensions but are strongly resisted by some leaders.

...... Tenor will matter as much as issues. If there are more deaths and if groups feel negotiations are not respectful or in good faith, this could jeopardise confidence in other contentious compromises on citizenship, the electoral process, the number and distribution of constituencies, the threshold for political parties, representation and inclusion.

मधेश आन्दोलनको पहिलो मुस्लिम सहिद

मधेसी सेना गठन गर्ने चेतावनी
मधेस आजभन्दा वर्षौं पहिले स्वतन्त्र देश नै रहेको र पछि वृटिस शासकहरूले यहाँका शासकहरूलाई दानका रूपमा मधेसको भूमि सुम्पेको इतिहास रहेको बताए।उनले केही नेताका स्वार्थका कारण अखण्डको नाममा संघीयता धरापमा पार्ने षड्यन्त्र गरिरहेको आरोपसमेत लगाए। ...... मधेस नागरिक समाज .. समाजका अध्यक्ष डा. डम्बरनारायण यादव .... मधेसी युथ थिंकका प्रशान्त झा ..... अधिवक्ता रोशनकुमार झाले प्रचलित संविधान विपरीत मधेसमा सेना परिचालन गरेको जिकिर गर्दै यो कार्य अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय नियमकानुनसमेतको विपरीत रहेको बताए।कार्यक्रममा मधेसी युथ फोर्सका संयोजक महेश कलवारले मधेसी युवालाई मधेसी मोर्चाले सडकमा उतारेर वार्ताको पनि तयारी गरिरहेको भन्दै यदि वार्ता गर्यो भने कारबाही गर्ने चेतावनी दिए। उनले आवश्यक परे मधेसी सेना गठनसमेत गर्ने बताएका छन्। मधेसी पार्टीहरूले संविधानसभाबाट राजीनामा दिनुपर्ने उनको अडान छ।कार्यक्रममा सञ्चारकर्मी अनिलकुमार कर्ण, डा. गंगाप्रसाद अकेला, डा. विनय पन्जियार, डा. अशोक महासेठ, हरिबाबु चौधरी, महावीरप्रसाद सिंह, प्रवीण लाभ, अधिवक्ताहरू मनोहर साह, सीताराम अग्रवाल, रत्नेश्वर शर्मा, यमकुमार योन्जनलगायतले आ–आफ्नो मन्तव्य राखेका थिए।


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