Activists vow to defy Maitighar Mandala ban

  • Nepali Congress and Bibeksheel Sajha Party say ban on protest rallies muzzles citizens’ freedom to express
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 30, 2018-

Political leaders and activists on Friday reiterated their resolve to defy the government’s decision and continue their protests at the Maitighar Mandala.

Leaders from main opposition party Nepali Congress, Bibeksheel Sajha Party and the anti-corruption crusader Dr Govinda KC have vowed to defy the government’s ban on peaceful demonstrations at the Maitighar Mandala.

The government recently banned holding public protests at Mandala and a few other places in the city.

Activists say the government’s decision muzzles citizen’s right to express and stage peaceful protests.

Dr KC said he would ‘sincerely defy’ the ban on the citizens’ rights to speech and expression.

The government is equally determined to keep protesters out of Mandala.

Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa reaffirmed the government’s resolve to enforce the ban at a press conference hosted by the ministry on Thursday.

“As decided by the Kathmandu District Security Committee on April 13, Maitighar Mandala will remain a protest free zone effective from July 15,” Minister Thapa said.

He said the decision does not curb people’s right to stage peaceful protests because the Kathmandu District Security Committee has designated seven other places where people can hold protests and rallies.

Dr KC, who starts fast-unto-death at Jumla today, said, “Maitighar Mandala remains the best place with high visibility to hold protest rallies. To amplify citizens’ issues we need to demonstrate at a place that has high visibility and accessibility instead of secluded places far away from the headquarters of the rulers.”

NC Spokesperson Biswa Prakash Sharma said, “The ban will be defied at an appropriate time,” he tweeted.

“In USA demonstrations are allowed near Whitehouse. I would like to remind the government that this is not North Korea, but Nepal.” Bibeksheel Sajha Party Spokesperson Ramesh Poudyal said, “The government move is a ploy to curb citizens’ right to expression. Mandala is a well know venue and symbol of peaceful protests.

“We are discussing with leaders of civil societies and human rights to secure citizens’ right to protest at Maitighar Mandala.”

Published: 30-06-2018 07:07

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