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No question of referendum on national integrity and sovereignty, PM Oli says

  • ‘Those claiming that the second point of the agreement means referendum are trying to create rumours among the public’
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Mar 11, 2019-

Amid a swirl of controversy over the interpretation of the deal signed between the government and CK Raut, coordinator of the Alliance for Independent Madhes, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said there is no question of referendum on the issues of national integrity and sovereignty.

Addressing the 18th anniversary of National Security Council meeting on Monday, Oli said neither the 11-point agreement talks about the referendum nor is that its spirit. He claimed that the agreement has brought an end to the secessionist demand and given a message that separatist force has no future.

“The government has ended the secessionist movement through the agreement,” he said, adding that those claiming that the second point of the agreement means referendum are trying to create rumours among the public.

“I am surprised that some people are rattled to see secessionist force giving up agenda and joining mainstream politics. Holding a referendum on topics that undermine the national integrity and sovereignty is unthinkable," Oli said.

Stating that the issue of national security should not be seen only from a singular or narrow mindset but understood as a wider dimension, he asserted that “the government is capable to stop every anti-national activity.”

Differences have surfaced, even within the ruling Nepal Communist Party, over phrase “jana abhimat”, after Raut and his cadres took on its social media interpreting it as ‘referendum’. The cross-party leaders and civil society members also have sought government’s clarification on the matter. They said the language used in the agreement is ambiguous which could be interpreted as ‘people’s opinion’ or even as a ‘referendum’.

“... We have agreed to follow democratic processes based on ‘jana abhimat’ to address the remaining dissatisfactions of people from different places, including those of the Tarai-Madhes, as per the constitutional rights of Nepal’s citizens,” reads the second point of the 11-point deal sealed on Friday. The suspicion has increased after Raut’s supporters, while welcoming him in Janakpur, on Sunday showed their ‘strength’ sloganeering demand for ‘Free Madhes.’

The point number six of the agreement states that the alliance will not distribute any publicity materials and carry out activities against the spirit of the constitution. However, Raut was welcomed in Janakpur with banners and slogans of ‘Free Madhesh’, stirring up controversy.

Published: 12-03-2019 07:00

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