Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Madhesi leaders spit venom at supplementary bill

Even though the three Madhesi parties allowed the resumption of Constituent Assembly (CA) meeting, Wednesday evening, their leaders blasted the government-sponsored and seven party-approved supplementary bill on constitution amendment claiming it does not address their demands.

"Don't think that this is the end of our struggle. Our struggle has just started," said Upendra Yadav, coordinator of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), indicating possibility of continued confrontation among major parties.

Addressing the CA meeting, he said that the Madhesi parties had to allow the resumption of the CA only because the country was heading to a collapse due to lack of budget, delay in formation of new government and similar important matters.

Mahantha Thakur, chief of Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), also blasted the supplementary bill. "In fact, we had not expected you (seven parties) to fulfill our demands," he said, adding that Madhesi struggle will continue.

Rajendra Mahato, chief of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP), also strongly deplored the bill and warned of intense struggle.

Even as the Madhesi parties had demanded single Madhes province and group entry of Madhesis in the national army, the bill has provisions, which state that Nepal will be a federal democratic republic by upholding the aspirations of autonomous provinces of Madhesis, indigenous people and people from backward and other regions. The bill adds that the detailed definition regarding such provinces would be determined by the CA.

Regarding the demand of group entry of Madhesis in the army, the bill says that the army will be made inclusive on the basis of principle of equality and inclusion.

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