Saturday, March 14, 2009

Maoist secretariat asks govt to address Tharu demands after political Consensus

Maoist secretariat asks govt to address Tharu demands after political Consensus; PM to talk to Tharu leaders

The central secretariat of the main ruling party, Unified CPN (Maoist), has asked the government to address the demands of agitating Tharus and other janajati groups after consultation with major parties including those in the opposition.

A meeting of the Maoist central secretariat held at the Baluawatar residence of party chairman and Prime Minister Prachanda suggested the government to first forge consensus on the agitators' demands.

According to secretariat member Narayankaji Shrestha, the meeting asked the government to call a meeting of major parties today itself to address the demands of the agitators.

A meeting of five ruling parties, main opposition Nepali Congress and Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party has been planned later today. Following the meeting, PM Prachanda is expected to hold talks with the representatives of different groups.

The third round of talks held Friday night hit a deadlock over the issue of 'Madhesh'. Tharu leaders demanded the term 'Madhesh' be removed from the interim constitution, while the government said the term could not be removed altogether.

After the unsuccessful talks on Friday Tharu leaders said they would now talk only with the PM.
Meanwhile, the day-to-day situation in various Terai districts has become extremely difficult on the 13th day of the agitation.

Tharu stronghold Dang has remained tense after two demonstrators were killed in police firing last night. The district administration has imposed a curfew for an indefinite period. Clashes between police and demonstrators have also been reported from other parts of the country.

Tharus, Muslims and different janajati groups have been waging a massive protest movement for the last 13 days, demanding withdrawal of government decision to put them in Madhesi category and amendment in the interim constitution in a way it recognises their distinct identity.

At least five persons including a security official have died in violence during protests that have brought life in the Terai plains to a standstill

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