Indigenous, madhesi leaders gear up for protest

- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu
Indigenous, madhesi leaders gear up for protest

Aug 10, 2015-

Denouncing what they called the “Hill Khas-Brahmins’ design to enslave Janajati and Madhesi communities”, dissident forces in and outside the CA have protested the agreement to delineate the country into six states.

Several Madhesi and indigenous lawmakers said they would not accept the state demarcation as it fails to ensure equal status for the marginalised and excluded communities. They said there were attempts to deny them state power and resources by fragmenting their stronghold with the state borders. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nefin) and scores of Janajati lawmakers from across the party line were the first to voice their opposition to the agreement. 

They said the federal model has robbed 56 Janajati communities of their identity and ignored their wish for inclusion.

“Many indigenous communities were made minorities overnight in places considered their stronghold. The demarcation is unfair and needs to be corrected,” said Nagendra Kumal. Tarai districts west of Chitwan, considered a Tharu stronghold, have been divided into three provinces. Janajati lawmakers claim there have been similar efforts to fragment cluster districts of other indigenous communities.

Nefin, which staged a mass demonstration outside the CA building on Sunday, has announced to launch protests taking other groups into confidence. Janajati lawmakers demanded the rights to autonomy, self-determination, and formation of special zones and areas for marginalised and excluded communities. The four parties should name the states in a way to reflect identity, said Bhote.

Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, a coalition of four Madhes-based parties, has warned of a popular revolt against the agreement. Morcha leaders, who have started internal consultation to launch a movement, said the four parties undermined the Interim Constitution, the Supreme Court ruling 

and agreements with the Madhesi people.

“Madhesi people can no longer accept a four-party dictatorship in the name of consensus. There could be serious repercussions if the major parties attempt to deliver a constitution with such regressive provisions,” said Rajendra Mahato, chairman of the Sadbhawana Party.

Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal, Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, Sadbhawana Party and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party walked out of the meeting of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee on Sunday.

Madhesi leaders in particular objected to the alignment of the plains with the Hill and Mountain districts. Their demand is to divide the entire Tarai into two federal provinces for the native Tharu and Madhesi communities.

“There will be a decisive protest against the four-party tyranny. We will never give up our agendas,” said Upendra Yadav, chairman of the Samajbadi Forum. Asked if the Morcha plans to leave the CA in protest, Madhesi leaders said there was no discussion about it.

“We plan to protest both inside and outside the CA at the moment,” said Mahato. The alliance has also intensified discussion with Janajati, Dalit, Muslim and other marginalised communities to unite for a joint struggle.

Published: 10-08-2015 12:34

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