KC’s supporters say medical bill doesn’t speak to have-nots

  • Urge the government to address the doctor’s demands in line with July 2018 deal
- NAYAK PAUDEL, Kathmandu

Jan 27, 2019-

Supporters of Dr Govinda KC on Saturday demanded that Nepal Communist Party lawmakers address the doctor’s demands as per an earlier agreement, when the revised National Medical Education Bill was tabled in the National Assembly last year.

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) on Friday endorsed the bill in the House of Representatives despite objections from the Nepali Congress, ignoring the July 26 agreement Prime Minister KP Oli had reached with KC. Since July last year, a parliamentary committee had changed some crucial provisions in the bill, going against the agreement. Dr KC has vehemently opposed the amendments.

Following the passing of the bill, KC stated that he is continuing his 16th hunger strike—which reached its 18th day on Saturday.

 “We are a democratic country. A democratic nation listens to the minority voice, it should listen to even an individual,” said Kapil Shrestha, a rights activist, on Saturday. “There is still time to form a law that will benefit the general public.”

The Solidarity for Dr KC Alliance, a coalition of KC’s supporters, had organised a protest programme on Saturday to warn the government of serious consequences if it maintained its indifference to KC, his health and his demands.

The protesters accused NCP lawmakers as well as House Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara of playing dubious roles in Parliament.

“Dr KC has spoken the words of the have-nots, as they cannot speak for their rights. The government is working for the rich and powerful and not for the underprivileged,” said Reshu Aryal, a board member at Teach for Nepal.   

The protest rally that had started from the Maitighar Mandala ended in New Baneshwor.

Supporters of KC also warned NCP lawmakers to amend the bill as per the demands of KC and incorporate the recommendations of a high-level commission led by Kedar Bhakta Mathema.

“Dr KC is not against the government. He is only demanding a proper law to govern the medical education sector,” said Shrestha, the rights activist.

After the bill was forcefully endorsed in the House on Friday, KC had demanded PM Oli’s resignation on “moral grounds” for failing to abide by his own agreement.

A section of ruling party supporters had taken exception to one of the statements of KC, in which he said

Prime Minister Oli’s decision-making ability has been affected because of the medicines he is taking.

Meanwhile, Dr Jeewan Kshetry, a representative of KC, quoted the doctor as saying, “These people who have criticised me for my statement have never been critical of the government’s inaction on some crucial issues, including the rape and murder of Nirmala Pant. The country is not only about the prime minister.”

Protests were also held in Pokhara and Itahari on Saturday to show solidarity with KC.

Cadres of Nepal Student Union, the student-wing of the main opposition Nepali Congress, on Saturday, showed black flags to Oli at the Tribhuvan International Airport after his return from Davos, Switzerland.

Hunger strike in support of KC

SUNSARI: Youths of Itahari have begun a 24-hour hunger strike in Itahari Sub Metropolis on Saturday morning. They started a strike to express their solidarity with KC, the anti-corruption crusader, who has been staging his 16th fast-unto-death strike demanding reforms in the medical sector. Twenty-eight people began the hunger strike from 10:00 am. Subechhu Dewan, one of KC’s supporters, said that they have demanded the government withdraw the endorsed Medical Education Bill and address the demands of KC.

Published: 27-01-2019 07:34

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