SLMM seeks longer halt for talks

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Tharu leaders’ demand include lifting curfew, withdrawing Army and declaring those who died in protests as ‘martyrs’

Sep 13, 2015-The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) has asked the three major parties to postpone constitution drafting process for a few more days to create a conducive “environment” for talks. During informal discussion with major parties on Saturday, SLMM leaders said more time was needed for internal preparations on both sides, before clearing “technical” hurdles.

Following major parties’ decision to postpone statute drafting process till Sunday, senior Madhesi leaders have arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday and engaged in informal talks with leaders of three major parties. According to SLMM leaders, they will enter into talks once their preconditions are addressed.

“We want the government to first recall the Army to the barracks, honour the dead and provide treatment to those injured during the protest. This should create a right atmosphere for dialogue,” said Laxman Lal Karna, co-chairman of Sadbhawana Party.

Other SLMM leaders held telephone conservations with leaders of major parties in which they urged to stop the CA process for few more days.

SLMM leaders are fearful of the fact that sitting in dialogue amidst killing of people might give wrong message to protesters on the ground. Morcha leaders have reason to fear as there are several other fronts simultaneously protesting.

They have demanded assurance of implementation of past accords reached with the government.

Upendra Yadav, chairman of Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum-Nepal, said they are ready to seek solution through talks. He, however, said that much will depend on the seriousness of the government. “It’s not just about talks. We want fruitful dialogue,” said Yadav. SLMM leaders have demanded to federate the Tarai plain into two provinces. They have also sought major revision in electoral system and citizenship provision.

Tharuhat forms three-member talks committee

KATHMANDU: Tharu protesters demanding a separate Tharuhat-Tharuwan province have formed a three-member committee for informal talks with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and leaders of major parties.  

The committee will work to create ‘favourable environment’ for dialogue, said Raj Kumar Lekhi, a member of the committee.

Other members of the committee include Aman Lal Modi and Min Raj Chaudhary. Lekhi, former chairperson of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, said that they are scheduled to hold meeting with PM Koirala on Sunday.

“We want withdrawal of criminal charge and unconditional release of our leaders before negotiation. The government is positive on other seven preconditions we forwarded earlier,” said Lekhi.

Responding to Prime Minister’s offer for talks two weeks earlier, Tharuhat-Tharuwan Joint Struggle Committee, a loose alliance of Tharu lawmakers, right organisations and NGOs, had forwarded a seven-point condition for talks.

Demands include lifting the curfew, withdrawing the Army from the streets, declaring those who lost their lives in protests as ‘martyrs’ and providing treatment to those injured during the protests.

Published: 13-09-2015 07:30

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