Friday, January 11, 2008

FAQ commentary on Nepalese Women Leader

By Krishna Hari Pushkar, a FAQ commentary on Nepalese Women Leader

FAQ on Sujata Koirala

I would like to extend my sincere congratulations and warm greetings to Hon. Ms. Sujata Koirala for her outstanding political achievements.

Who is Sujata Koirala?

Newly appointed Hon. Minister Ms. Sujata Koirala is a strong and active women personality of Nepal Congress Party of Nepal, who holds special expertise in national and international political arena. She has been working as a capacity of chief: International Division of Nepali Congress Party. She is executive member of central committee of Nepali Congress Party and member of Interim Parliament too. Besides, only she has got a grand opportunity to observe the evolution of political and democratic development in Nepal since her childhood by empirical observation through the eyes of G.P Koirala. She is informally in active politics since her uncle BP and father GP Koirala were actively involved in the democratic revolution in Nepal despite of living and exiled life in India and after 1990 she adopted officially active political career.

Why Sujata is appointed as a Minister?

Basically her appointment is considered as a part of state commitments towards women inclusion in the overall State affairs & decisions making system. She holds more than enough political, legal and professional capabilities and is emerging as a most eligible candidate for Minister, in the Nepali Congress Party and nation too. Before blaming her as a part of nepotism or favouritism, one can also compare her with other existing and past women members of minister council. Obviously, she would be more eligible than others (7 indicators to conclude this.)

Beginning of political affiliation and activities, academic ground, professional capability, contribution for social development and welfare (She has been contributing more than the local State mechanisms through her NGOs/charity/foundations in various sector and part of Nepal), capabilities of international relation and political diplomacy, political and social hold in respective area and sector, popularity in national and international affairs, & Personal and political performance.

However, these comparisons must be based on the span of age and his/her achieved political productivity.

What are her major exclusive political contributions in Nepali Congress Party?

A. She must be congratulated for the greater role and contribution in women empowerment, and women mainstreaming works inside the parliament, government and her own male-dominated traditional political party of Nepal. B. She must be accredited for the Institutional development and internationalization of Nepali Congress party and its mechanisms. C. Her one of the major achievement is constitution and effective expansion of the various wings of Nepali Congress Party in various part of the world including Europe. D. She is only one the non-Madheshi central members of Nepali Congress Party who has been boldly raising and advocating the Madheshi and issue of minorities ethnic groups and harmoniously coordinating with various Madheshi and other ethnic leaders and parties to resolve the contemporary ethnic issues. & E. She has been maintaining very good relations with various donor agencies, global renowned personalities, international political leaders, diplomats and institutions on behalf of the Nepal Congress Party.

What are her major strengths for her political career?

A. She became top-brass women political national leader; B. She has an exceptional political backup C. She has a greater sympathy from women, and new generation’s political cadres and their supporters; D. She has one of the most strong and productive national and international political network and access E. She has emerged as a successor of existing Head of the State/Government, F. She has a strong political hold among the people and specially with the voters in respective constituency, & G decades long direct and active affiliations in social service, welfare and development through NGOs are also considered as her huge political strength

What are her major weaknesses?

A. She trusts anyone easily and speaks frankly in informal issues and ways in good faith without digging detail and analysing the people’s ground and environment B. She is considered little short tempered, highly emotional with less longanimity. C. She is straightforward and performs non-buttering/western behaviour which is still indigestible in Nepalese traditional societies and political culture D. She has failed to build an inclusive personal and professional advisory/assistive network and connections which are crucial in present context since she belongs to Madhesh region of Nepal. E. Her inefficient affiliation, role, tackle and interventional touch in national controversial issues. F. She has often difficulties to follow up, renew and maintain update for political relation and people to people interpersonal contact due to her unmanaged political and social daily schedule. & G. Until now, she is nor much strategic neither very tactful

Why Nepalese media often highlights & affiliates her name in corruption, smuggling, and intervention, illegal and un-democratic activities?

A. Normally it is being contempt due to political ideology and basically by communist and anti- Koirala family medias due to jealous and various self-centred grievances , however, they never ever have submitted or presented any officials proofs for her any bad-doings. B. They consider Ms. Sujata as successor and synonymous image of Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala, so all the personal and political enemies and competitors of Koirala’s consider her in similar way. C. Many political leaders as well as Nepalese anti-Koirala Medias don’t like to see Koirala family anymore as a national political power and sources. They are afraid of her emerging political strength and Nepalese circumstances of political transition. They think their controversial misinterpretation and unwanted accusation on her in various issues could badly damage her personality and finally they would be able to push down her political career, & which would later make it easy to achieve their self-centred individual interests. D.She is highly active and takes deep interest in various national issues of public interests, so it is obvious that the level of mistakes could possible in the quantity-quality of performance delivery and activities ratio. & E. The prejudiced Nepalese media and her opposers often present her only as a nutcase daughter and successor of existing Prime Minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala, despite the fact that she has also her own exclusive active political role, contribution and affiliation in Nepali Congress Party since decades.

Why some people consider her as hated personality?

There are no any special reasons for such pathetic perception or feeling, though her prejudiced opposers claims that She does not have any political contributions in democratic movements of Nepal despite the fact that She holds decades long political contribution, affiliation and sacrifice in various personal, political and social phenomena. In addition, they also claim, She unwontedly intervene the decision making process to fulfil her personal interest by abusing the power and authority of her father, which is black and white lie because PM Koirala has his own world where Ms. Sujata rarely gets even a chance to have an access during the decision making process in kitchen cabinet of Mr Koirala. However, the relationship as father and daughter should be considered in natural manner. People should understand it is not her fault and neither should be considered as a disqualification for anything.

Who hates her?

I have asked plenty of her opposers that why you hate her? Unfortunately no ones were able to give me even any single satisfactory reasons for why he or she hates her! Most of her haters have either misinformation/misunderstanding or no idea who is Sujata in her real personal or political ground, her qualities, her capabilities, her activities and so on. They simply say I have heard or read something nonsense about her in media, so I hate her. I think it is totally insane to hate someone without knowing him/her.

How her haters are changing to her supporters/lovers?

In my observation, she is really nice, honest, friendly, cooperative and very social person. To be honest, it is hard to have a direct meeting with her but once you get an opportunity of direct conversation or access, you will certainly change to a supporter of her. She listens and considers all rational and legitimate problems and issues in natural manner, once she is convinced, she immediately approaches to help through all possible means without knowing your political and other grounds. She has not any nonsense habits like other Nepalese certified corrupt politicians who ask first about several grounds e.g. relation, contribution, political ideology, recommendations, address, cast, sources, money, and more before to listen your problems.

Why most of her supporters very often annoyed with her?

It is just due to her poor kitchen cabinet. Her secretariats or something similar and its affiliated actors are nor good neither efficient. They bar unwontedly even important people and visitors beyond the interest of Ms. Sujata. They do not often convey your serious message or issues of public interest even to Sujata and neither properly implements the orders and instructions of Ms. Koirala. They often put her in shadow and fulfil their own personal interest by misusing the name of her. It is also pity that she is not being able to monitor and supervise the true performances of her affiliated and recruited staffs and its mechanisms.

What should Ms. Sujata immediately do for her effective, efficient and productive performance?

A. She should immediately reform her personal kitchen cabinet and secretariats and its people with relevance to contemporary perspective of Nepal B. She should make inclusive team in official and personal secretaries and advisory team because it is must for her as she belongs to the Madheshi constituency and represents national women. C. She should develop a special election oriented master strategy with reference to the help for women mainstreaming, mobilization and resolving the crucial issue of Madhesh and Madheshi and other ethnic minorities too. & D. She should include direct and effective public relation and grievances handling schedule as a part of her compulsory daily activities and routine works

What are her major challenges for the election of constitutional assembly?

For instance, one of her major challenges is Madhesh issues and to get supports from the large number of Madheshi voters in her constituency, which is not an easy job. As Madheshi doesn’t consider her as a Madheshi ethnicity and neither seems until now in the mood to support the non-Madheshi candidate in the Madhesh. However, she has huge sympathy form the Madheshi and non-Madheshi women groups and communities and she is also exceptional non-Madheshi leader who has strong and good personal coordinative relation with Madheshi leaders and parties including the leader of MPRF, Sadbhawana, TMLP, RPP, NC, and UML etc. She also significantly raises and advocates the voices of Madheshi and other deprived ethnic group’s need and interests in various official and non official national and international forums. Therefore, it would not be impossible to manage the challenges, if she uses good and systematic efforts.

Another challenge is a high expectation of women from her leadership. In addition, there are plenty of existing Parliamentarians and future political cadres who have also huge expectation from her for parliamentary tickets, pecuniary supports and more. Hence, it is natural challenges and seems manageable for her, however, urgent dynamic role and visionary steps are essential.

(Author is a peace and conflict management professional and lives in Berlin, Germany, he holds special expertise about Nepalese affairs)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

“What is federalism?”

“What is federalism?”
By: Yumnam Chaoba Singh

Recently the 4th International Conference On Federalism was held at New Delhi (November 5-7) for unwinding regional disparities in which representatives from abroad - Switzerland, Comoros, Nigeria, Ethopia, Bosnia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Austria, Pakistan, Nepal, Iraq, Sudan, Malaysia, South Africa, Argentina Brazil, Bolivia, Libya, United Arab Emirate as well as representatives of state or Union Territories of India were present.

According to prof. Garner “Federalism is a political system in which all the administrative powers are divided between the central and state governments by the constitution”. In India this statement is only partly true.

First, we may have a glimpse of mind on the federal polity of India. A major characteristics of the Indian polity is that the states are units not of a federation but of a Union aptly styled a quasi-federation. Means Indian polity is federal in structure but unitary in spirit.

Although the term federation has not been used anywhere in the text of Indian constitution yet our constitution provides for a federal government in India. Article - 1, of the constitution describes India as a “union of states”. This expression implies that (i) unlike the USA, the Indian federation is not the result of an agreement between the units; and (ii) the units have no right to secede from the federation. Truly speaking the units of the Indian federation have no independent existence of their own. The parliament can alter their names and Territories even without consulting them.

The Indian constitution is a written document containing at present more than 400 Articles and 12 schedules. All the authorities in India are legally bound to respect it. The Indian constitution is one of the lengthiest documents as compared to the constitutions of most other federations.

The Indian constitution is fairly rigid. Amendments to it cannot be carried out easily. In particular the provisions concerning the relation between the Federal and state governments as well as the judicial organisations can be amended only by the joint action of the Federal and state governments. These provisions require two-third majority of each of two houses of parliament as also approval by the majority of the state Legislatures.

The Supreme Court of India is the highest court in India. It acts as the guardian of the constitution. It can declare any law or order ultra vires of the constitution if it contravenes any of the provisions of the constitution. The Supreme Court also ensures that the Federal and State governments operate within their respective spheres.

In contrast to a unitary state, under the federal system, the federal government as well as the state governments draw their authority from the constitution. The residuary powers are left in the hands of the centre. The Indian constitution divides powers between the centre and the states on the CANADIAN pattern. All powers have been divided into three lists - (i) The Union List, (ii) The State List and (iii) The concurrent List. The states possess exclusive powers to legislate on the items contained in the state List. But both the Central government and State governments can legislate on the subjects contained in the concurrent List. However, in case of clash between the central and state Laws, the Laws framed by the centre prevail.

Constitution of India also provides for a bicameral parliament consisting of Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha Comprises representatives directly elected by the people on the basis of universal adult franchise. The Rajya Sabha mainly consists of representatives of the states including educationists etc. Thus the constitution maintains a balance as between direct representation of people in the Lok Sabha and representation of units/indirectly elected and nominated) in the Rajya Sabha.

The Supremacy of the constitution which is another feature of federalism is also present in India. The constitution is at the top of the hierarchy of all laws - both centre and state. The central as well as the state governments have to operate within perimeters prescribed by the constitution. If they pass any law which does not conform to provisions of the constitution or in any way goes beyond the legislative authority given to them, the same can be declared ultra vires of the constitution by the supreme court.

Second, during the British period, we had provinces and princely states all being totally subordinate to viceroy and Governor General ruling from Delhi. Before the advent of the British, India was badly divided. Successive invaders conquered and ruled India since there was no unity among those who ruled different regions and parts of the sub-continent. Before independence there was bloodshed and upheaval and the country was divided into two - Pakistan and India. According to the Republican constitution of independent India, the nation is union of states. It has not been described as a federation of independent states. However the framers of the constitution wanted to preserve the unity and integrity of the country while affording scope for the development of regional culture, languages etc.

Shri O. Ibobi Singh, chief Minister and the Governor represented Manipur in the federal conference at New Delhi (5-7 Nov) as head of the people and Governor as head of the state as the twin is obligatory and mandatory to the federal polity of India including the commonplace people. Shri Ibobi and the people are quite aware that Manipur’s territory was forcefully annexed to the union of India on 21st October, 1949 under the duress of Maharaja Bodhachandra at Shillong. Metaphorically (it is hypothetical presentation) if a lass without her consent is made house wife of a given family through physical and psychological intimidation, then can she be treated as member of the new family? If so, was the juxtapositional stand towards the centre by Shri O. Ibobi Singh and his participation in the conference in the right direction? Shri. Ibobi knows the insurgency problem in Manipur is from the loss of sovereignty, hence, historical and psychological maladies on the part of insurgents. If it is/was so, what message or missive had he shared in the conference or did he remain taciturnity as silent is a symbol of consent? if so, reciprocally, New Delhi should always have monomaniacal helping hands at times. Whether called or uncalled from the smaller ones especially North-East states as what a patriarch/matriarch does to his/her offspring with fondle, caress, rational admonition and absolution. This is the simplest example for leading to a successful federation in India as well as in the sub-continent and even of global federal polity.

Third, in the aforementioned conference, prime Minister, Manmohon Singh underscored to have reduced regional disparities to lead a compactly federation. If not mistaken, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, pre-eminence of one race/caste over the other, territorial quarrels, linguistic minorities, cantankerousness among the clans or endogamy, autonomy, separatism etc. are the root cause of regional disparities. India got a federal pattern with strong bias. So long we have been able to have a stable government at the centre with a single political party commanding sizeable majority in the parliament, all seemed alright. A coalition government at centre will be weak and unstable. It will be unable to keep the governments in the states under check. We have already seen that in this sub-continent, we have regional interests, cultural aspirations, linguistic affinities and the like. Hence we have to aim at unity in diversity. This is not possible without state autonomy.

**The writer is Retd. Asstt. private Secretary (Edn/S).

Nepal in transition: abolishing the monarchy

Nepal in transition: abolishing the monarchy

Santosh Giri [advocate/human rights lawyer, Supreme Court of Nepal]: "The abolition of Nepal’s nearly 240-year-old monarchy and declaration of Nepal as a "federal, democratic, republican state" was made by an overwhelming majority in the interim parliament late last month. 270 members in the 329-member House of Representatives voted on December 27, 2007 in favor of ending the monarchy (3 pro-monarchists cast against the motion while the rest abstained). However, Nepal will become a republic only after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly, which is due to be elected by mid-April next year. The decision also serves to put the peace process back on track and paves the way for elections notwithstanding the fact that elections have been postponed three times since June 2006. Constituent Assembly seats has been increased from 497 to 601, of which 335 (58%) will be elected on the basis of proportional representation, with 240 to be directly elected and 26 to be nominated by the country's cabinet.


Since 1990 restoration of democracy, there were 3 elections in 1991, 1996 and 1999. Numerous governments were formed and numerous failed. The parliament was dissolved in 2002 which paved way for an absolute monarchy again. In 2005, the king staged a coup d’état. Seven major political parties united and formed an alliance with the Maoists to overthrow the king in April 2006 after dozens of innocent killings. In April 2006, the king restored the parliament which eventually led to abolishment of the monarchy. The November 2006 agreement between the political parties and the Maoists came as a peace pact which enabled a cease-fire and temporarily ending the conflict in which more than 13,000 people died since 1996. In January 2007 the Maoists entered the parliament and the cabinet in April 2007. In September 2007, the Maoists walked out of the government citing differences and demanding fulfillment of their demands of abolishment of monarchy and restructuring of the electoral system. They also threatened to quit the parliament in December 2007 if their demands were not met. Meanwhile the Constituent Assembly elections were postponed thrice, firstly citing lack of preparedness, secondly unfavorable security situation and thirdly the Maoists opposition. In December 2007, a new accord was signed which agreed on both demands and the Maoists reentered the cabinet. In December 2007, the parliament with a majority decision abolished the monarchy (subjected to ratification by the Constituent Assembly Parliament) and restructured the electoral system.

Nonetheless, the Maoists continuously lost support because of continued terrorism through splinter groups such as Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) etc and its sister organizations such as Young Communist league, All Nepal Free Student Union (Revolutionary), All Nepal Free Trade Union (Revolutionary) and others. Extortion, protection, murder, kidnapping, disappearance, property seizure, forced displacement, forced recruitment and censorship against newspapers are rampant. Moreover, in the southern Terai plains region they have been involved in inter-ethnic rivalry, resulting in several deaths. The seven-party alliance, on the other hand is widely criticized for its lack of control over the heightened insecurity, increase in crime and impunity.

Nepal's transition from a monarchy to a republic

Nepal’s monarchy has drastically changed from being traditional, titular, democratic, absolute and stripped-off-powers until recently. The recent abolishment of monarchy has shelved the 240 year old rule in the history forever. A challenging transition phase is yet to be completed for a complete transformation to a republic. Since April 2006 parliament has made strong decisions on monarchy such as stripping off its powers, titles, rights and privileges of the king and finally the abolishment of the institution.

Criticisms are widely being drawn regarding the abolishment of the monarchy based on the following:

(a) Uncertain Elections: Uncertainty of elections still persists amidst ongoing Terai (Southern Plains) Crisis, where several violent and non-violent groups have put forth demands to ensure the rights of the Madheshis (people from the Southern Plains) who have been discriminated historically in all walks of life. Many doubt if an election will ever occur for some time! If there is no election, there is no endorsement! In an event the election go through, it will be obliged to endorse the motion of abolishment of the monarchy and will not have the power to amend or reject it.

(b) Just a Fuel: The recent decision is also understood as a last resort to elongate the November 2006 agreement between the Seven Party Alliance and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) which seemed to be breaking away until December 2007. There were vows from the Maoists to quit parliament after they walked out of the government and to take up arms again to wage a ‘decisive war’. That agreement came three months after Maoist rebels had walked out of the government in September 2007, demanding immediate abolition of the centuries old institution. The abolition of the monarchy and change in electoral laws has been two key campaigning issues for the CPN-M.

(c) The South Block: India has been against the idea of abolishing the monarchy as much as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which insists that the monarchy in Nepal is essential for the sake of Hinduism.

(d) A Ploy of the SPA-M Alliance: There have been accusations from the Terai based parties and groups that the agreement and the recent decision is nothing but a mere ploy to give continuance to the ruling government which comprises of seven major parties and the Maoists. Accusations also raise serious concern over the lack of proper action by the government on the nations increasing insurgency and displacement of the citizens.

(e) Pro-monarchs: Recent demonstrations by the pro-royalist parties including RPP and RJP (led by ex-prime ministers Surya Bahadur Thapa and Lokendra Bahadur Chand suggest integration of their like-mindedness and protesting the parliaments recent decision. Hindu extremists and traditional royalists have already started raising their voices against the abolishment. A recent interview of Bharat Keshar Singh, ADC to the King, shows the Royalists perception towards the recent developments. The royalists still claim the parliament and the results derived thereof as unconstitutional and ad-hoc in nature. Although such issues are not primarily significant at this point, it may still suggest a plot to be staged in future.

(f) Nepal Army: Previously known as the backbone of the Monarch, Nepal Army boasts itself as a People’s institution now. It has openly abstained from being associated with any ‘ism’ and has clearly denounced integration of the Maoist soldiers with the Nepal army. Maoists have already raised serious concerns about this. Though Nepal Army has made its stance clear that it shall not be involved in a coup, a possibility cannot be ruled out in a South Asian Political perspective.

(g) Intra-Party and Inter-Party Factions: Be it Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal or RPP, all of these have factions. There have been several breakaways and integration among each of them, which raises serious concerns over a sustainable peace, peace-pact and the results we have generated.

Strong provisions have also been made for removing the monarchy before the perspective polls in an event the king is found to "be creating serious hurdles to the Constituent Assembly Elections". A two-thirds majority decision of the interim parliament will be required in such situation.

The perspective on the abolishment of monarchy and the politics of Nepal does not necessarily represent the perspective of Association of Nepalese Lawyers in the US [ANLUS] as a whole or in part. The author is responsible for the views and perspectives. Information provided is not politically biased nor supportive neither opposing to any. Information contained in the article is generated from news and articles published in the newspapers in the internet and through personal knowledge."


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal?

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal?
Prakash Bom

The primary objective of declaring Nepal 'Federal Democratic Republic' as per the mandate proclaimed upon 'People's Movement II' can not just be boiled down to the abolition of the institution of the feudal Hindu monarchy. But the fundamental demand of proclamation is to initiate the process of transformations of its entire establishments. Transformations thus imply restructuring the state that can have all inclusive 'people' representations. Transformations have therefore become necessity without which people's demand for their right to self-governance cannot be fulfilled. Implementation of transformations thus is inevitable.

Make no mistake that people are going to keep quiet because the republic setup has been constitutionally guaranteed. Simply, people can stand no political power above themselves who (persons) or which (political parties) illegitimately over indulging national recourses. In republic democracy the sovereignty of the nation solely rest on people cannot just be established by declaring it in the constitution but implementing it in democratic process. Then only it is worth to mention that people are the symbol of the national unity. If not it is just a political jargon. For people to represent nation their representations must be processed in the structure that give people right to self-governance through the proportional representations.

Republic, therefore, does not mean just the absence of a hereditary based hierarchical institution of the monarchy. But republic must have people's direct impact on the formation of all branches of the government of the nation. This means democratic republic nation cannot form any branch of the government without the consensus of the people that can only be accomplished through the institutionalization of direct electoral process. Therefore, any government branch of the central (federal) or state or local government of 'Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal' cannot be formed without the direct votes of the electorates of respective constituencies. Under this republic provision all the members of both Houses of the federal democratic republic must be elected by the people. Democratic republic setup, thus, by no means can legitimate any form of nomination either arbitrary or consensus for political appointments to replace elected people's representatives.

First of all, do all political parties, their leaderships and cadres comply with these norms and principles of democratic republic? Political consensus plays a role model if it is farsighted and if it is all-inclusive, especially during a transitional political period of a nation like ours. If not, the absence of political consensus demands public awareness – movements of civil society, ethnic organizations, professionals, and so on. Ours is a feudal society where hereditarily dominated and hierarchically stratified ruling elites jump in and take over the state power illegitimately. In order to prevent such discrepancies 'Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal' must mandate the process of full electoral representations.

The question of full electoral representations in all branches of the government based on full proportional representation electoral system might be overwhelming in the beginning but in the long run it is the honest democratic establishment, which can truly transform our society. This may be literally discouraging those (hierarchically stratified ruling elites) who grab power through link of higher social stratifications, nepotism and party lobby. Therefore, the multifold conspiracy under the disguise of nationalism is inevitable to come forth from this group of people who despise federal structure and electoral process in democracy. Whatever is the consequence, the primary question is 'how in the world such a fully electoral representation system can be institutionalized in a nation that has diverse geography and diverse ethnicity?' Therefore, necessity for the federal governance structure has become predictable. The inevitability is to establish systematic federalized national union that can eliminate traditional and hierarchical feudal arbitrations in the government mechanism.

Democratic republic without federal system of governance is prone to one party or totalitarian or military dictatorship, often prompted by the false notion of nationalism. This is a historical fact that was how republican dictatorships emerged in the cold-war era of twentieth century. That's why our own autocratic monarchy lasted this far to the twenty-first century. Again, what sort of federal structure can give the people their right to self-governance as well as keep the national integrity firm are the issues that political leaderships, party-cadres, civil society leaders, leaders of the ethnic organizations, professionals, news-columnists, and Nepali think tank need honest scrutiny to find out the modality of federalism that can address our nation's diverse geography and diverse ethnicity. The truth is that Nepal cannot escape these inevitable democratic transformations without taking place in the entire nation.

Federalism so far has basically evolved with two kinds of structure - symmetric and asymmetric. In symmetric federalism all constituent states have same status and power whereas in asymmetric federalism the status and power of constituent states may vary depending up certain constituent states' geographical, ethnical and linguistic preferences. Under the asymmetric federal system even the some peculiar local constituencies can have certain preference within the states.

For example, if ethnic based federal structure (Maoist proposal) is scrutinized carefully, for instance, Magarat state that is composed of Rukum, Rolpa, Salyan, Pyuthan, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Baglung, Myagdi and Mustang districts Mustang district is the most peculiar of all in terms of its geographical, linguistic and cultural preferences. Such preferences of the constituencies (state or local) are established as per the geographical, cultural and linguistic necessity under the asymmetric federal structures. However, such preference of a local or a state constituency in the end is finalized by the votes of the electorates of respective constituencies even it is a constitutional decree.

In regard to Nepal the asymmetric federalism has the prospect for the structures of local constituencies. The ethnicity based states, for example, Madhesi state (under Maoists proposal) consists of all districts of Janakpur, Narayani and Lumbini that have proportional percent of other ethnic settlements from different linguistic and cultural groups. On the other hand, there can be many local constituencies in this state, which have for instance majority of Mithili or Bhojpuri cultural and linguistic group settlements. Therefore, preference becomes probable for those local constituencies, but not for the whole constituent state. As a result, these local constituencies in their school, for example, can decide to teach Mithili or Bhojpuri or Hindi besides Nepali and English language.

Therefore, no ethnic states such as Tharuwan, Newa, Magarat, Tamuwan, Tambashaling, Limbuwan or Madhesi can have state level preferences because all these states have proportional percent of other ethnic settlements. Thus these states will have to accommodate all the permanent residence of their state as bona fide citizens of the nation. If not these states will violate the civil rights and liberty under the constitution of 'Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.'

Nepal has become conglomeration of mixed ethnic settlements. This is statistical facts. Except for certain highland districts of Nepal all other districts have mixed ethnic settlements. There can be no state under the 'Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal' that has hundred percent residence of one ethnic group. However, the probability can exist for local constituencies that have over seventy percent of residence of one ethnic group of people. This change for mixed ethnic settlements has occurred all over the nation drastically in recent decades and it will continue to occur as the nation proceeds further with the democratic changes and the global economy.

Federalism primarily establishes people's right to self-governance. It means constituencies from local level to the central are governed by the elected representatives of people. There is neither the supremacy of states over the local governments nor of the central government over the states. But all have mutual existence with the competitive and cooperative network of sustainability. Federalism is system that establishes trust between citizens and their elected representations. Therefore, it is the question whether SPA leaderships trust people or not to institutionalize such a close relationships.

The necessity of federalism is to have responsible government system which representatives – legislative, executive and judiciary - are directly accountable to people of their constituencies. For example, the local government of Jumla district is formed by the elected local representatives of the constituency, if the mayor or district judge or attorney or law enforcement officer did not do the right things for the district, electorates are not going to re-elect them in next elections. Such check and balance can be established under federalism in local level. The integrity and strength of the nation under federalism rests on the structures of the local constituencies. They are foundation and infrastructure of both states and the nation as a whole.

Therefore, Nepal must define first its local constituencies based on population that is viable for running an efficient local government. A local government can consist of single constituency (particularly in highland – 'Himalayas and Trans-Himalayas') or more than one constituency (generally in lowland and cities). Nevertheless, a constituency consists of units or wards or townships that represent local government's assembly (legislative), administration (executive) and justice (court, attorney and law enforcement agency) bodies of the government. If the minimum population of a constituency is set to fifty thousands, for example, then if the population of Nepal is thirty million there will be 600 constituencies in the whole nation. Then only demarcations for the state or regional governments can be viable. It is a misconception to create state or region first without creating infrastructure of the federation.

Unlike the distorted news media reporting – "republic leading to fragmentation"; unlike partially scrutinized columnist's article published under the title "Hard facts of federalism' on the local news paper; unlike all hasty and apprehensive statements against federalism; unlike untrue accusations that federalism will disintegrate the nation; the socialist democratic evolution of Nepal cannot be set back without the 'Federal Democratic Republic' setup. It seems as if feudal elites and their pseudo scholars around the world are more afraid of federalism than the king is afraid of republic. SPA leaderships must not divert their thoughts with all these negative bombarding of irresponsible news media that publish anything that is written in grandiloquence verse of English. SPA leaderships and their cadre must have faith in federalism as the most successful form of democratic government system that can deliver the most democratic state of affairs to the people and the nation.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Supporters rally for Nepal's king

Supporters rally for Nepal's king
Supporter of King Gyanendra at Monday's rally
The king's supporters have recently had little to cheer about
Hundreds of supporters of King Gyanendra of Nepal have staged a protest in Kathmandu against plans to abolish the monarchy.

Correspondents say it was the first public show of support for the king since he was forced to give up his absolute powers in 2006.

Nepal is due to be declared a republic after elections scheduled for April.

Gyanendra's dynasty dates back to 1769, but he lost popular support when he sacked the government in 2005.


"Save the nation! We love our king!" shouted about 1,500 protesters as they paraded through the centre of Kathmandu, blocking traffic for hours.

Police kept a close watch over the demonstrators but there were no reports of violence.

Gyanendra at ceremony
Gyanendra has only months left as king

The protesters congregated outside the prime minister's office where they waved flags of the monarchist National Democratic Party of Nepal (NDPN), which organised the rally.

They were angry over the decision last month by seven of the country's main political parties to turn Nepal from a monarchy into a republic after the April elections.

The vote in parliament was part of a peace deal with former Maoist rebels who left the government in September, vowing not to return unless the monarchy was scrapped.

They rejoined the coalition government last week.

Overwhelming majority

"We were quiet and patient for a long time, but we have been compelled to come out in the open to save our nation," demonstrator Kamal Thapa of the NDPN told the AP news agency.

"How can these so-called main political parties decide for the entire nation to remove a 240-year-old monarchy from the country?" he asked.

King Gyanendra of Nepal (R) is greeted by supporters during his visit to the Nawa Durga Hindu Temple in Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
King Gyanendra has been keeping a low profile

A spokesman for Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's Nepali Congress party said the protesters had the right to demonstrate, but that it would not save the monarchy.

"In a democracy every individual or organisation has the right to express their views in a peaceful matter... But the decision we reached in removing the monarchy is what the people want. If they (the monarchists) don't like it, they can challenge it by taking part in the election," he said.

The decision last month to make Nepal a "federal democratic republican state" was taken by an overwhelming majority - 270 MPs out of 371 voted to abolish the monarchy, with only three against.

The king has now been stripped him of his powers, his command over the army, his immunity from prosecution - and is soon likely to lose his title.


Political Execution of People's Sovereignty

Political Execution of People's Sovereignty

By: Shashi P.B.B. Malla

Last Friday was a black day in Nepal's history. The so-called 'interim parliament' passed an amendment to the likewise 'interim constitution' which will make Nepal a 'federal democratic republic' after the elections to the Constituent Assembly (CA). That is to say, the very first session of the CA is to make this declaration. However, there are many imponderables and hurdles on this road map of the Gang of Seven (the six party alliance and the Maoists or SPAM).

This spurious third amendment of the counterfeit 'constitution' (how can, for instance, any democratic constitution worth the name enshrine the name of the current seven ruling parties?) was voted for by 270 of the 321 existing members, in large measure comprising largely those from the three biggest political parties represented-the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-United Marxists-Leninists(UML) and the CPN-Maoist. It is a matter of great shame that only three members-Pashupati Shumsher J.B. Rana and Krishna Pratap Malla of the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Pari Thapa of the CPN-United voted against the proposal. Four members, two from the Rashtriya Janashakti Party-former PM Surya Bahadur Thapa and Renu Yadav, and two from the Sadbhawana Party-Rajendra Mahato and Yagya Jit Shah, boycotted the vote. Very interestingly, a large number of 44 members, including Taranath Ranabhat of the NC, K.P. Oli and Jhala Nath Khanal of the CPN-UML were absent during the voting. This can be interpreted as a major vote of no confidence.

The amendment-to be formerly endorsed by the first meeting of the elected CA-failed miserably to address the issues raised by the ethnic groups in the Terai-the Madhesis and also other Janjatis. Second, and above all as Surya Bahadur Thapa and Pashupati Shumsher voiced the true sentiments of the common people and so eloquently condemned the whole proceedings as "a blatant assault on the people's right to exercise sovereign powers". Ashutosh Shrivastav writing from Texas in the United States (in: strongly condemned the violation of the constitutional process by declaring the country a republic without the mandate of the people. This treacherous behaviour of the parties in power had in fact raped democracy in the so-called name of the people. He also contrasted King Mahendra's supreme contribution in the preservation of Nepal's sovereignty and his balanced foreign policy with the Gang of Seven's dangerous game of kowtowing to India. Tilak B. Shrestha, Ph.D. from Alabama, USA was even more specific (also in NepalOfficers): " This is a simple case of the threat of Maoists, duplicity of UML and cowardice of NC" and would certainly lead to the disfranchisement of the people.

As has been highlighted in this journal, the de facto declaration of a republic has now taken place; the so-called 'formal' completion after the CA-elections is just a smoke screen. In the well-tried and tested salami tactics, the functions and privileges of the King and head of state were already usurped by caretaker PM Girija Koirala. This has also been formalized by the said amendment, which also laid down that the CA could not 'restore' monarchy. Thus, the people have been side-lined. Now Maoist honcho Dahal (aka Prachanda) and minister and NC vice-chairman Poudel have independently of each other claimed that the republic is now reality in practice, and the CA confirmation a mere formality-after all both are of the same feather. Poudel was even contemptuous enough to call for the King to abdicate voluntarily. Poudel, like others of his ilk makes two major blunders: first, he is unable to distinguish the person from the institution; and second, the last word has not yet been said, but Poudel is already counting his chickens.

Where does all this leave us, the people? Considering the antics of SPAM, there can be no doubt that if we are to exercise our fundamental human and civic rights, we must forge ahead and take the initiative for decisive action. This is especially imperative, as there is no guarantee that the CA-elections will take place in the near future, or at all, and even if they do that, they will not be manipulated to the advantage of the Gang of Seven. How much or how little SPAM thinks of the democratic process can be judged from the fact that UML boss Madhav Nepal (aka Makune) has demanded the reservation of seats in the elections for the top guns of the authoritarian ruling syndicate.

The need of the hour is a grand alliance of all true democrats and independent civil society and of the Madhesis and Janjatis that have been terribly let down by the current government and the governing political parties that not only reign but also rule in a most autocratic manner. The immediate purpose must be to start a genuine people's movement to win back the people's inherent rights that have been usurped by SPAM. It should not be at all difficult to find leaders that are willing and able to shed their personal and political differences in the larger interests of the nation. Such leaders like Surya Bahadur Thapa, Pashupati Shumsher, Ram Raja Prasad Singh, Prakash Koirala and Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohini come readily to mind.

The first order of business of this 'coalition of the willing' in the international New Year 2008 (it is indeed no point waiting for the Nepalese New Year 2065, as the current government and constituent parties are absolutely incorrigible) would be to demand the dissolution of the now defunct, so-called 'interim parliament'. Like a faithful and old dog, it has outlived its usefulness. It has performed it's rubber-stamp functions in an impeccable manner. It has also become an unnecessary burden on the national exchequer. Now that elections have already been proposed for the middle of April 08, the raison d'etre for the 'interim parliament' has completely vanished.

However, there does remain a sneaking doubt whether SPAM is at all serious about the CA-elections. After all, they must be having serious doubts about their own performance since they took over power. The loose talk about elections may very well turn out to be a sop for the international community.

Second, the 'interim constitution' itself has turned out to be an instrument of manipulation in the hands of the politicians of SPAM. It does not deserve to be respected in any way. It is of no use any more to SPAM, and is of no importance to the country at large. If the people's delegates are going to draft a new constitution in any case, it can be dispensed with immediately. It is worthless as a document providing inspiration for the constitution drafting process. Thus, like everything to do with SPAM, it can be got rid of as bad rubbish.

SPAM has established itself as the bastion of unreason and authoritarianism. Third, for the sake of the future of our country, we must wholeheartedly agitate for the formation of an independent government of national unity and reconciliation. Only such a government will ensure that the CA-elections are truly free and fair. This is a just demand even in the run-up to the elections. It is totally unacceptable that SPAM is monopolizing political power as if it is their birthright. There must be an end to sham democracy. This must be our New Year's resolution of all patriotic Nepalese. Let us the bells toll for the end of the infamous Koirala era and its disruptive collaboration with the Maoist terrorists, so that a truly new epoch of history can be heralded.

The writer can be reached at:


Is Maoist Leadership Losing Control Over its Cadre?

Is Maoist Leadership Losing Control Over its Cadre?

Rajan Pokhrel

Is the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) gradually losing its control over its grass-root cadres and combatants?

CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda admitted on Friday that cadres of the pro-Maoist Young Communist League have not given up their unruly activities. "It was reported that the YCL cadres have improved their conduct, but this is not true," Prachanda said while visiting Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital at Maharajgunj to meet pro-CPN-UML student leader Deepak Gautam who is fighting for his life after being severely beaten up by YCL cadres in Kavre. ANNFSU central member Gautam was injured in the YCL attack on Monday. Talking to the media, Prachanda reiterated his hackneyed statement that he had issued strong directives to Maoist cadres not to attack any body. While he was crowing, "They will follow the directives," YCL cadres were merrily beating up traders in Baitadi district the same evening. At least a dozen traders were injured by YCL cadres in Khodpe Bazaar of Baitadi. YCL went on a rampage after traders took to the streets protesting against its highhandedness. In Sankhuwasabha, a group of Maoist cadres led by a district committee member severely beat up police inspector Amrit Thapa on Saturday. "They charged me with snatching their posters," Thapa said adding that he never did so. On Tuesday, three pro-Nepali Congress students were injured in an attack by the YCL in Ramechhap district.

Two months ago, Maoist cadres thrashed a Swiss tourist Steve in Kaski in October for allegedly refusing to pay "tourist fee". Steve said: "I had read in the newspapers that Maoist chairman Prachanda had said that his party's policy forbade extortion" adding the Maoist cadres started hitting him with bamboo sticks on his head when he said he could not pay the fee. According to news reports the Maoists are still collecting donation from tourists in the area after setting up checkpoints at different places.

Maoist cadres abducted journalist Birendra Shah from Dhodiya Pipra bazaar of Umzam VDC of Bara district on October 5 and killed him the same day. His body was recovered on November 7. After a huge international and national outcry, the Maoists in a press conference in Kathmandu admitted that party cadres Kundan Foujdar and Ram Ekwal Sahani shot Shah after abducting him. The Maoist brass itself expressed commitment to bring the culprits to book within a month but the murderers are still at large. Maoist cadres abducted Kanchanpur-based journalist Prakash Thakuri from Bhansi Bazaar of Mahendranagar on July 7. His whereabouts is still unknown. Probe panels have already tabled their reports to the government saying Thakuri was abducted and is feared killed e by YCL cadres. The Maoist leadership has kept mum till date about the incident.

Another horrific incident was the abduction of a doctor and officials of the Biratnagar-based Nobel Medical College. Young Communist League (YCL) cadres kidnapped Dr Gyanendra Giri from Kathmandu and the officials and they were severely beaten up. Each time, the Maoist leadership refutes allegations, then admits these and vows not to let such acts be repeated.

The series of atrocities continued, with a group of Maoist cadres looting weapons from the Fikuri police post in Nuwakot district in the first week of August and revolting against their party to form their own Janbadi Yuva Samuh. Rajkumar Regmi 'Sandesh' said that they revolted against the party to protest unequal treatment by the leadership. CPN-UML cadres were attacked in Ramechhap last week while scores of other unruly activities by Maoist cadres were reported in 2007.

In 2007, newspapers publication houses and businesses were targeted by Maoist cadres though its leadership kept parroting that it has no policy of attacking media houses. A few months ago, 10 Maoist Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) men left the Sindhuli camp and joined the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha (Jwala Singh) in Siraha district. The incident raises the question what step will the 12,000 combatants who have been disqualified from the PLA take in future. Will they turn into to political cadres easily? Pro-Maoist Tharu leader Roshan Tharu quit the party and formed a front of Maoist dissidents. Some district cadres revolted against the Maoist leadership in Sindhuli. YCL chief Sagar has threatened to revolt if the party top brass ties up with "nationalist" royalists. There are cogent reasons behind these incidents: unequal treatment, immature schooling in political ideology, reluctance to give up arms and other rude habits, emergence of new armed groups, impunity, lack of security bodies' effectiveness and transitional phase, among others.
Most of the businessmen, common people, teachers, students and farmers among others who were contact for their opinion asked to remain anonymous due to fear of revenge, but the majority of them averred that the Maoist leadership was losing control of its cadres. A senior police officer said it was difficult to book guilty Maoist cadres. "If we arrest any accused Maoist cadre, hundreds of his comrades gherao our office demanding his unconditional release," he said.

Speaking at a programme in the capital on Saturday, CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said the Maoist cadres have not given up their 'looter attitude'. Nepal commented that the grass-root level cadres of Maoists were out of the leadership's control. Continuing unruly activities by the Maoist cadres were harmful for both the peace process and the constituent assembly elections, he added.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

नयाँ सहमति र मधेशका मुद्दा

नयाँ सहमति र मधेशका मुद्दा

जयप्रकाश गुप्ता

अन्तरिम संविधानको तेस्रो संशोधनबाट पनि मधेसका जल्दाबल्दा विषयहरूलाई पन्छाउने सात दल र सरकारले संविधानसभाको निर्वाचनमा मधेशीलाई कसरी सहभागी गराउन सक्छन्?

समझ्दारीको शृङ्खलामा सात दलबीच फेरि एउटा २३ सूत्रीय समझ्दारी थपिएको छ। यो समझ्दारीको कार्यदिशा अगामी चैतभित्रमा संविधानसभाको चुनाव गराउनु भनिएको छ। आम अपेक्षाका आधारमा अब चुनाव हुनुपर्ने हो। तर जसले खासगरी मुख्य दलहरूको आफू हार्ने चुनाव किन गराउने भन्ने आत्मपरक निष्कर्ष र संघीयताका नाममा हरण हुने एकात्मवादी शासन रक्षाको चिन्ता यसअघिको निर्वाचन स्थगनको गुह्य कारण हुन् भन्ने बुझेका छन्; तिनलाई चैतमा पनि निर्वाचन हुने कुरामा विश्वास गर्न गाह्रो छ। यसको साथै चैतमा संविधानसभाको चुनाव हुनेमा ठूलो अविश्वास मधेशको भयावह हुँदै गएको घटनाक्रमले पनि खडा गरेको छ।

मधेसको क्षेत्रबाट संविधानसभाको चुनावमा अवरोध आउन सक्ने तीन वटा सङ्गठनात्मक पक्षहरू छन्ः पहिलो, नेपालको पूर्वी–दक्षिणी ओरालोका मधेशी भागमा समेत सशक्तताका साथ बढेका लिम्बूवान् पक्ष तथा आवद्ध मोर्चाहरू; दोस्रो, मधेशको सवालमा शान्तिपूर्ण तरिका अपनाएका तर मागमा अविचलित फोरम र मोर्चाहरू; तथा तेस्रो, पृथकताको मागमा अडेका विभिन्न सशस्त्र विद्रोहीहरू। यीमध्ये लिम्बूवान पक्षबाट चुनावको शान्तिपूर्ण सम्पादनमा सामान्य कठिनाई हुन र मधेशी सशस्त्र समूहबाट चुनाव रक्तरञ्जित हुनसक्ने कुरामा द्विविधा छैन। तर मधेशका आन्दोलनरत् शान्तिपूर्ण मोर्चाहरूले गर्नसक्ने निर्वाचनविरोधी जनपरिचालनबाट चुनाव नै हुनसक्दैन। यी वा यीमध्ये केही शक्तिबीच आपसमा चुनाव गर्न नदिने सहकार्य भएमा मुलुकको ठूलो हिस्सामा चुनाव असम्भव हुन्छ।

मुलुकमा, खासगरी मधेशमा, शान्तिको सार्थक प्रयास नथाल्ने हो भने साधारण आँखाले देखिने आसन्न दृश्य यही नै हो। यस दृश्यको मञ्चनलाई प्रोत्साहित नै गर्ने हो भने त्यो शाही सत्ताका बखत गरिएको निर्वाचनले जनआन्दोलन–२ लाई उक्साएको जस्तो सकारात्मक परिणाम दिने खालको हँुदैन। बरु, त्यसले मुलुकमा नचिताइएको हिंसालाई बढाउनेछ। त्यसको परिणामस्वरुप मुलुकको विखण्डनको एजेण्डा संस्थागत हुनेछ।

यस्तो परिकल्पनाले सबैलाई दुःखी तुल्याउनु स्वाभाविक नै हो। तसर्थ यस भयावह दुःखमा बस्न अभ्यस्त हुने संस्कृतिको विकास गर्नुभन्दा आजै समस्याको समाधानका लागि उपाय खोज्नु प्रासङ्गिक हुन्छ। गत माघमा अन्तरिम संविधान लागू गरिँदा मधेशले आफ्ना अपेक्षाहरूलाई स्पष्टताका साथ राखेको थियो। तर त्यसलाई वेबास्ता नै गरियो। मधेश आन्दोलन पश्चात् संघीयता, जनसङ्ख्यामा आधारित प्रतिनिधित्वलगायत केही विषयहरूमा सहमति भयो। अन्य आधारभूत सवालहरूका बारेमा आन्दोलनरत् समूहहरूसँग सरकारको वार्ता जारी रहँदै गरेको बेला अन्तरिम संविधानमा दोस्रो संशोधनको प्रस्ताव हठपूर्वक संसदमा छिराइयो। त्यसपछि विभिन्न आन्दोलनकारी पक्षहरूसँग भएको सहमतिले संविधानमा तेस्रो संशोधनको औचित्यलाई अकाट्य बनाएका छन्।

मधेशको दृष्टिकोणबाट संविधानमा 'गणतन्त्र'को प्रावधान आउनु स्वागतयोग्य विषय हो। संविधानको प्रस्तावनामा 'मधेशी पहिचानको मान्यता' वस्तुतः नेपालको बहुसांस्कृतिक चरित्रअनुरुप भएपनि यसलाई संशोधनमा स्वीकारिएको छैन। मधेशले भावी संविधानमा राजनीतिक अधिकारका साथै जनताका सामाजिक–आर्थिक–धार्मिक–सामुदायिक तथा सांस्कृतिक अधिकारहरूको प्रत्याभूति खोजेको हो। यसअघि मधेश आन्दोलनको दायित्व पूरा गर्न दोस्रो संशोधनबाट समावेश गरिएको 'संघीयता' आत्मनिर्णयको अधिकारसहित क्षेत्रीय स्वायत्ततायुक्त हुनु पर्दछ भन्ने मान्यता मधेशको एक मुख्य माग छँदैछ। मधेशले प्रारम्भदेखि नै पूर्ण समानुपातिक निर्वाचन प्रणालीमा जोड दिँदै आएको हो।

यसअघिकै संविधानसभाको सदस्य सङ्ख्यालाई पूर्ण समानुपातिकमा रूपान्तरण गरिँदा पनि हालै संसदबाट पारित समानुपातिक प्रतिनिधित्व सम्बन्धी कानूनअनुसार मधेशी समुहले सूची प्रणालीमा कम्तीमा पनि आफ्नो समुदायको जनसङ्ख्याको अनुपातमा उम्मेदवार चयन गर्नका लागि अन्य गैरमधेशी क्षेत्रबाट सूची बनाउनुपर्ने बाध्यता विद्यमान छ। अब संविधानसभाको सदस्य सङ्ख्या ६०१ बनाइएको तेस्रो संशोधनबाट मधेशीको प्रतिनिधित्वलाई यथार्थमा खुम्च्याउने काम भएको छ। यसरी नै अन्तरिम संविधानमै किटान गरिएको राज्य पुनर्संरचना आयोगको कार्यक्षेत्रले यस आयोगलाई मधेश तथा अन्य उपेक्षित समुदायको अपेक्षा अनुसार प्रदेशहरूको सिफारिस गर्न दिएको छैन। राज्यको पुनर्संरचनाका सन्दर्भमा 'मधेशको प्रादेशिक अक्षुण्णता'को अहम् विषयलाई नयाँ संविधानमा प्रवेश गराउन यो सवाल आजै संविधान संशोधनको विषय बनेको छ। संविधानसभामा मधेशीको जनसङ्ख्याको आधारमा प्रतिनिधित्वका लागि पहिलो हुने जित्ने निर्वाचन क्षेत्रको सार्थक पुनरावलोकन फेरि पनि संविधान संशोधनकै विषय हो। यससम्बन्धी प्रतिवेदनको खारेजीको माग गर्दै मधेशी सांसदहरूबाट डेढ महिनासम्म संसद अवरूद्ध हुँदा पनि सो विषयको समाधान भएको छैन।

उपर्युक्त विषयहरू मधेशका सशस्त्र र निरस्त्र दुवै पक्षका साझा मुद्दा हुन्। यसबाहेक सशस्त्र समूहका मात्र अलग मुद्दा छन्– मधेशलाई अलग मुलुक बनाउने। यस स्थितिमा मधेशका साझा मागहरूको बारेमा राज्यको स्पष्टता आउनु पर्दछ― कि त ठीक भनेर, कि नाजायज। ठीक हो भने विद्यमान अन्तरिम संविधानले अङ्गीकार गर्ने विषय हुन् वा होइनन् भनी स्पष्ट गर्नु पर्‍यो। तेस्रो संशोधनबाट यी विषयहरूलाई पन्छाएर सात दल र सरकारले संविधानसभाको निर्वाचनमा मधेशीलाई कसरी सहभागी गराउन सक्छन्? यसमा सात दल र सरकारबाट इमान्दार प्रयास नहुँदा मधेशका सशस्त्र र निरस्त्र समूहहरूको साझा मागलाई पूरा गराउन आवश्यक देखिने अन्तर–आबद्धतालाई कसरी कम गर्ने, यो सर्वाधिक विचारणीय छ। यसैको निरुपणबाट चैतमा संविधानसभाको निर्वाचन गर्न मधेशको सहमति बन्न सक्छ।


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