Madhesi group announces fresh stir in Nepal

Kathmandu, Jan 9 (IANS) The agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha in Nepal on Saturday announced a fresh agitation programme from January 12 to 22, after several rounds of talks with the government over inclusiveness in the constitution did not yield any result.

The alliance of four regional parties of the southern plains has been protesting since four months in the Terai region and obstructing supply of goods at key Nepal-India entry points. The government and the agitating Morcha have held 25 rounds of talks.

Asserting that the government has not exhibited seriousness over their demands, including making the constitution more inclusive and changing demarcation of seven federal units, the Morcha said the talks with the government was a flop show.

In a press statement on Saturday, the Morcha said the constitution amendment proposal to meet the demands of the agitating parties was unacceptable to them.

The government registered two amendment proposals in parliament to address the demands of the agitating parties to ensure inclusive representation of various ethnic minorities in various state organs.

“The one-ethnic group centric mentality of the (erstwhile) ruler continues… People in the government have not stopped making blunt statements against the Madhesis and other deprived, marginalised communities so that it is difficult for them to sit in talks and seek a consensus,” the statement said, while announcing the fresh stir.

The Morcha said 58 people have lost their lives during the movement in the Terai region and the government was arresting Madhesis and charging them with false cases.

It said the proposed amendments cannot be accepted as they do not address issues raised by Madhesis, indigenous communities, Tharus, Muslims and Dalits.

According to the agitation programme, the Morcha will hold mass meetings at the district headquarters, cities and towns to “expose the wrongdoings” of the government.

The Morcha would organise mass rallies and protest assemblies in all district headquarters on January 21, display paintings, photos and documentaries about the government’s “suppression” on January 14, and stage other rallies on January 16, 18, 19 and 21.

The Morcha will also mark January 19 as “Balidani Diwas” (day of sacrifice) in memory of those who lost their lives in the agitation.

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