Federal Alliances declares new agitation in Nepal

Saturday 23 April, 2016   |   Political affairs

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Federal Alliances declares new agitation in Nepal

Federal Alliance, a coalition of 27 Madhesi and Janajati parties that have rejected Nepal's new constitution, announced a new agitation on Friday. At a press conference in Kathmandu, the alliance unveiled a series of protest programs for two weeks. It also threatened to announce more protests if its demands were not addressed.

The alliance has put forth 26 points of demand, exerting pressure on the ruling coalition and the main opposition to amend the new constitution to ensure proportional representation of Madhesi, Janajati and other ethnic minorities in Parliament and other state organs. It says the constitution, if implemented without being amended, will perpetuate discrimination against and marginalization of Madhesi and Janajati communities.

The alliance has put forth 26 points of demand, exerting pressure on the ruling coalition and the main opposition to amend the new constitution to ensure proportional representation of Madhesi, Janajati and other ethnic minorities in Parliament and other state organs. 

Nepal's new constitution was pushed through by major political parties in September of last year, keeping Madhesi and Janajati forces out of the process. Madhesi parties spearheaded a six-month agitation, but failed to put enough pressure on the government to amend the charter. After a hiatus of two months, they have revived their agitation, this time hand-in-hand with Janajati parties.

Nepal's indigenous community also did not support the constitution, but were divided over the approach and failed to spearhead a powerful strike like the Madhesis did. But together with the Madhesi, the Janajatis are also up in arms and have vowed to not relent unless the ruling parties give in.

The alliance has threatened to bring in thousands of people from outside Kathmandu Valley, and encircle Singha Durbar, the country's administrative center, on the last day of the first phase of its agitation. 

The alliance is beginning its agitation on 27 April, submitting memorandum to the government through District Administrative Offices (DAOs) to press for demands like implementation of the past agreements, undiluted secularism, identity and proportional representation.

On 29 April, the alliance will hoist black flags at government offices in the headquarters of all districts. It is also preparing to stage mass demonstrations in major district headquarters and towns like Biratnagar, Panchthar, Pokhara, Dhangadhi,  Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Dhankuta, Hetauda and Birtamod. 

The alliance has threatened to bring in thousands of people from outside Kathmandu Valley, and encircle Singha Durbar, the country's administrative center, on the last day of the first phase of its agitation. 


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