Friday, July 4, 2008

Students protest 'One Madhesh' demand, say it'll be counterproductive for Madhesis

Student unions affiliated to big three parties - CPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist) - and other fringe parties have concluded that the demand for "One Madhesh Province" raised by Terai-based parties is illegitimate and that it will prove to be counter-productive for the Madhesi people themselves.

A meeting of eight students' union held in the capital on Friday called on the government to address the demands raised by Terai-based parties through the new constitution, but advised against explicitly stating "Madhesh as autonomous region" in the interim constitution. They were of the firm opinion that this demand can't be accepted under any circumstances.

"Since it has already been said that the issue of state restructuring would be tackled by the Constituent Assembly, the demand of the Terai-based parties for inclusion of the phrase 'Madhesh as autonomous region' and 'group entry' of Madhesis in the draft of the supplementary constitution amendment bill is not legitimate," said Pradip Poudel, president of Nepal Students' Union (NSU).

However, NSU's parent party Nepali Congress has been clearly divided over the issue, although it has been seen in favor of fulfilling the aspirations for autonomy of not only people from Madhesh but also of indigenous communities and backward regions.

Similarly, the students' unions also asked the Madhesi parties not to disrupt the CA session as they have been doing from the past some time, saying that it would only create obstacles in the formation of the new government.

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