Incorporate Morcha revision: Lawmakers

  • constitution amendment
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 1, 2016-

Lawmakers have underlined the need of incorporating the revision suggested by the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) before endorsing the Constitution Amendment Bill, deliberations on which have started since Monday.

 Speaking in Parliament, lawmakers said protests cropped up in the Tarai-Madhes region, as some of their demands were not addressed at the time of promulgation of the new constitution. They advised their leadership and the government not to take any decision in haste and to try to seal a deal with Madhes-based parties using prudence.

The SLMM has been objecting to the government move of tabling the Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament, saying “it does not address” their concerns.

The amendment bill was tabled on December 15.  

Nepali Congress lawmaker Ananda Prasad Dhungana said dissatisfaction has emerged in Madhes as their aspirations were not accommodated in new constitution. “Top leaders failed to implement their assurances, and that’s why there are problems. Now that should be addressed,” said Dhungana.

 CPN-UML leader Rajendra Pandey said the constitution must be amended to address the demands of Madhes-based parties. 

He was of the view that no one should object to the amendment process. He said the country could face further problems if the amendment bill was endorsed without taking the consent of Madhes-based parties.

 UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Aman Lal Modi said problems had emerged after big parties showed reluctance to recognise the principle of inclusive representation and address the demands of marginalised communities. 

“The Constitution Amendment Bill should address the demands of Tharu, Madhesi, Janajati and other marginalised communities,” said Modi.

NC lawmaker Nagendra Kumal said the new constitution has not addressed the aspirations of Janajati, Madhesi and marginalised communities. “In the past, we registered amendment proposal on the same issue, but that was blocked, which as a result gave rise to problems that we are seeing now,” said Kumal. 

 UML lawmaker Yagya Raj Sunuwar echoed Kumal, saying that the Constitution Amendment Bill should address the demands of Madhesi and Janajati constituencies. 

Major parties, as per an understanding reached among them, have decided to take a “go-slow” approach. 

They have said negotiations with Madhes-based parties will continue as deliberations on the amendment bill are carried out in Parliament.

The agitating Madhesi Morcha too has said that it is ready to accept the major parties’ proposal on redrawing provincial boundaries through a political mechanism in three months, as proposed by the government, but it has said the major parties must come up with a concrete proposal in that regard.

Major parties too have said they are ready to accept a revision proposal, if the Morcha has any.

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Top leaders failed to implement the assurances given to Madhes-based parties, and that’s why there are problems. Now that should be addressed 

Ananda Prasad Dhungana, NC

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The country could face further problems if the Constitution Amendment Bill is endorsed without taking the consent of Madhes-based parties Rajendra Pandey, 

CPN-UML

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Problems emerged after big parties showed reluctance to recognise the principle of inclusive representation and address marginalised communities’ demands Aman Lal Modi, 

UCPN (Maoist)

 

Deeper reflections required at all levels for 2016 to be a better year

From accidents to natural and man-made disasters, 2015 couldn’t have been worse. While there is very little one could have done to prevent accidents and natural disasters, the man-made ones could certainly have been avoided.

The promulgation of the constitution without taking dissenting Madhesi and other marginalised groups onboard pushed the country further towards a path of a dangerous confrontation. India’s half-hearted response to the constitution and imposition of border blockade not only strained the bilateral relations, it also created a humanitarian crisis. The blockade also laid bare our dangerous dependency on few border points, our lack of strategic thinking on energy security, over-reliance of fossil fuel, and absence of diplomatic finesse in dealing with two giant neighbours.

By and large, the political class has been callous and irresponsible towards the hardships faced by the public-highlighting an alarming level of disconnect with the public. To have such a high level of democratic deficit in a democratic setup is worrisome. Political parties, as the lifeline of a democracy, will have to do the most introspection on what has gone wrong.

Published: 01-01-2016 08:36

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