Nepalese PM Prachanda cancels UN trip

Kathmandu, Sep 19 (IANS) Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has cancelled his scheduled visit to the United Nations, in order to address the concerns of the Madhesis and Janjatis over the Constitution, a statement said on Monday.

Prachanda and his Nepalese delegation were supposed to fly to New York on Monday to take part in the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

He returned home on Sunday after completing his four-day state visit to India.

The Prime Minister decided not to leave the country after voices were raised from several quarters that he needed to address the demands and grievances of Madhesi, Tharu, Janajatis, rather than undertake the foreign trip, said the Prime Minister’s secretariat in a statement.

In his absence, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat will lead the country at the UN.

Domestic issues were more pressing than the UN visit so the Prime Minister decided to cancel the visit, said a Prachanda aide.

It further stated that there were calls and it was high time to focus on implementation of the Constitution and carry out reconstruction work of the damaged structures, so the Prime Minister decided to remain in the country.

Prachanda, who was elected Prime Minister in August, had prioritised the amendment of the one-year old Constitution to address the grievances and aspirations of agitating Madhesi based parties and other sections but little was done so far.

Having back-to-back foreign visits at a time when the nation is in a crucial political transition seemed “not good”, so the cancellation does have a meaning, said the aide.

The other reason being the constraint on time as per commitment made to Madhesi and other communities to address their demands if he had left for the UN.

Prachanda was scheduled to return on September 27 in the midst of festivities in Nepal.

Big festivals are coming up so it would be inappropriate for him to seek time for deliberations on constitutional matters so before the festivals begin, the Prime Minister is planning to implement the constitution, said the aide.

–IANS

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