Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Parties resume discussions to end the Madhesi Question

The top leaders of three parties are holding discussions with senior leaders of three Madhesi parties at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Tuesday.

Maoist chairman Prachanda, Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) general secretary Jhal Nath Khanal, Nepali Congress (NC) vice president and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) coordinator Upendra Yadav are taking part in the meeting.

The talks resumed on Tuesday morning after the discussions on Monday ended in a deadlock after the Madhesi leaders objected to the plural term 'autonomous Madhes provinces', proposed by the seven parties in the draft bill. The seven-party leaders, on the other hand, said they were not ready to mention a single 'autonomous Madhes province' in the constitution.

The two sides have also differed on the issue of Madhesis' representation in the army.

While the Madhesi parties reiterated their demand for "proportionate representation" of Madhesis in the national army, the seven parties said they were against the proportional representation but in favour of making the army an inclusive organisation.

Because of the protests by Madhesi parties including MJF, Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) and Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP), the regular meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) has remained disrupted since past two weeks.

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