Sanghiya gathabandhan contemplates further protests

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 30, 2016-

Madhesi and Janajati parties have begun fresh discussion on ways to take the anti-government and constitution protest ahead once the ongoing mass campaign comes to an end on Monday. The first round of extended programmes of protest is expected to conclude amid a formal programme in Pokhara--the second largest city. 

Leaders affiliated to Sanghiya Gathabandhan, a joint alliance of ethnic and Madhesi groups, said that the protest would continue. 

But the parties are still undecided over the form, length and target of the upcoming protest. 

“The protest would continue but its length and nature would be decided only after a meeting of the top leaders,” said Rajendra Mahato, chairman of the Sadbhawana 

Party.  Gathabandhan’s second rung leaders had held a meeting on Friday to review the protest and discuss further moves.   

While Gathabandhan allies are determined to continue the protest, some disputes remain over its form and length. The Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal and most of the ethnic parties in the alliance have insisted on more protest programmes targeting large cities including Kathmandu. They have also argued on behalf of confining the ongoing protest to an awareness campaign. 

But Madhesi parties, including the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party and the Sadbhawana Party, have stood in favour of resuming protest at the grassroots level in the Tarai citing lack of expected support in the hills. 

Meanwhile, talks to end the Tarai crisis stare at further delays, with the government and the agitating parties blaming each other of being insincere over talks. 

The Gathabandan have sought another formal invitation from the government addressing the Madhesi-Janajati alliance instead of the Samyukta Loktantrika Madhesi Morcha.

“We are ready to sit for negotiation anytime if the government is serious about finding a solution,” said Ashok Rai, senior leader of the Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum-Nepal.

Published: 30-05-2016 08:21

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