Madhesi leaders welcome redress

  • But ask government to do more to rebuild trust
- ROSHAN SEDHAI, Kathmandu

Nov 5, 2015-

Madhesi leaders have welcomed the government decision to provide compensation to families of deceased protesters, but said that it still falls short of building adequate trust that has eroded after the fresh episode of violence in the central Tarai.

The government on Wednesday decided to release Rs 1 million in compensation to the families of protesters who died during the Tarai protest. Though some families have already received the compensation amount, many are still waiting.

Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party General Secretary Sarbendra Nath Shukla described the government move ensuring unconditional compensation to the families of the deceased and treatment facilities to the injured as “positive signal”.

“It’s the state’s duty to provide compensation and treatment facilities. But the government seems unwilling to address our political demands,” said Shukla.

Other Madhesi leaders

said that taking steps to address non-political demands means little without

addressing other important issues.

“Why is the government resorting to use of force if it is serious on resolving the crisis through dialogue?” asked Laxman Lal Karna, co-chair of the Sadbhawana Party. “It should immediately stop killing people if it wants talks.”

Revision of the federal boundaries with two provinces in the Tarai plains remains the main bone of contention. Though the two sides have inched closer to finding amicable solution on other disputed issues of the new constitution, Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM)—an alliance of various Madhes-centric parties—is growing suspicious of government’s intent due to the delay in addressing preconditions. The Morcha has been asking the government to withdraw the armed police force from the Tarai, provide martyr status to the deceased and drop false charges against its leaders and cadres.

Independent observers in the Tarai said that common people are becoming increasingly frustrated at the government’s mishandling of the crisis.

“Common people want to see this crisis settled as soon as possible and PM Oli should take a concrete step towards that end,” said Chandra Kishore Jha, a Madhesi civil society activist and a journalist. He said that the government is taking all imported commodities to Kathmandu while leaving nothing for the Tarai.

Members of the government talks team said that discussions are on to address the crisis through a decisive round of negotiation. Ram Janam Chaudhary, minister without portfolio, said the government has already recognised the Tarai issue as a political problem and it believes in finding a political solution to the crisis.

“The government has already made commitment to address the issues of Madhesi and Tharu communities based on high-level political understanding. The negotiation will start soon,” said Chaudhary.

‘India isn’t supporting Tarai protest’

KATHMANDU: Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has expressed concerns over growing anti-Indian sentiments in Nepal in recent days.

In a meeting with CPN-UML leader and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the latter’s residence on Wednesday, Rae clarified that widespread reports about India assisting the Madhes-centric parties in their protest and the border blockade were untrue.

“We were happy about the resumption of talks between the government and agitating parties, and we want to see Nepal moving ahead by resolving its internal affairs on its own,” Rae told Nepal, according to a statement issued by Mohan Gautam, personal secretary of the senior UML leader.

Nepal told Rae that Nepali political parties were capable of resolving its internal affairs, and asked the Indian government to take the growing human crisis in the aftermath of “Indian blockade” seriously. “We are committed to resolving our internal issues, but we want to urge the Indian government to be serious towards

problem faced by Nepalis due to the obstruction of essential supplies to Nepal,” he said. (PR)

Published: 05-11-2015 08:24

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