Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The major seven parties—five ruling and two opposition—Wednesday reached an agreement on Wednesday to address the demands of the Tharu community

photo Dev Gurung

KATHMANDU, March 11 - The major seven parties—five ruling and two opposition—Wednesday reached an agreement on Wednesday to address the demands of the agitating Tharu communities even by bringing in a new ordinance.

A meeting of the seven parties including the main opposition party Nepali Congress and Tarai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) held at Prime Minister’s Office in Singha Durbar today agreed to fulfill the demands of the Tharu groups after meeting the legal and constitutional process.

Emerging from the meeting, UML leader Ishwor Pokhrel said that the demands of the disgruntled Tharus, who are launching their strike to press their demands in the southern plains, would be resolved by rectifying the error of the ordinance.

The Tarai region is witnessing a life crippling bandha since the past ten days due to the strike called by the Tharu communities in protest of the ordinance that categorises them as Madheshi—people from the restive southern plains.

“We have opened the legal and constitutional roads to address Tharus’ demands,” said Pokhrel, “All the parties have agreed on that.”

Nepali Congress (NC) leader Arjun Narsingh KC said that the government should address the demands of the agitating Tharus as soon as possible. He went on to claim that the inability to deal with the problems that has thrown normal life of the entire country out of gear has proved that the government is incapable.

KC said that the nation crippling shutdown is the result of the ordinance that was brought in despite out party’s protest.

Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP) leader Rajendra Mahato said that his party would accept if the government brings in the ordinance that ensures representation of all indigenous groups.

Saying that his party would not disapprove if the word ‘Madheshi’ is replaced with ‘Tarai-Madhesh’ in the constitution, the NSP leader said that the government should take account of every groups’ recognition and honour.

Maoist leader and Minister for Law and Justice Dev Gurung said that his party is ready to address the Thrus’ demands based on the principle of inclusiveness. “Democracy is the representation of all groups,” said Gurung, “That’s why the reasonable demands of the Tharu communities will be fulfilled.”

TMDP central leader Ram Kumar Sharma accused the government of sitting for dialogue with Thraus without due homework.

Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Janardan Sharma walked out of the meeting that lasted for about two hours to hold dialogue with the agitating groups.

The talks between the government and the agitating indigenous groups including Tharu community ended without making headway.

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