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Nepal Govt makes fresh appeal for talks over new Constitution

Kathmandu: Nepal's government today made fresh call for talks with the agitating Madhesi and other groups over the new Constitution assuring that their grievances could be addressed through amendment, a day before promulgation of the
PTI September 19, 2015 23:30 IST
PTI

Kathmandu: Nepal's government today made fresh call for talks with the agitating Madhesi and other groups over the new Constitution assuring that their grievances could be addressed through amendment, a day before promulgation of the statute that has sparked protests.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala appealed to the agitating Madhesi and Tharu groups to withdraw their agitation and come forward for dialogue, saying the outlet to all problems can be found through agreement and co-work.

In a joint press conference of three major political parties, Koirala said the new Constitution has guaranteed rights of all, and requested everyone to celebrate its announcement.

CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli said the grievances over demarcation of provinces can be addressed in coming days.

He said the door for dialogue is still open and the issues could be resolved through amendment to the Constitution even after its promulgation.

He said that all the issues should be resolved through cooperation, collaboration and unity among the political parties.

UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda said that most of the demands raised by the Madhesi parties including citizenship certificate distribution, proportionate representation and inclusiveness have already been incorporated in the Constitution.

"The only issue that needs to be resolved is demarcation of provincial boundary, which can be settled through setting up a commission," he said.

Their call for fresh talks came hours after India's Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar wrapped up his two-day visit to Nepal during which he met top political leaders and expressed India's strong support for the Constitution-making process.

The three leaders said that the new Constitution is fully democratic as it consists provisions of human rights, press freedom, religious freedom, inclusiveness and the sovereignty resting upon the people of Nepal.

The top leaders said that Constitution also has the provision of setting up separate commissions for Madhesis, Tharus, ethnic groups, Dalits, and indigenous groups for protecting their rights, welfare, culture and language.

The said the Nepalese people are having their own Constitution written by themselves after the struggle of 65 years, so the occasion should be celebrated in a grand manner.

The Madhesi parties have, however, warned a blackout in the southern plains tomorrow as they claim that their demands were not incorporated in the Constitution.

Southern Nepal has witnessed turmoil since lawmakers from major political parties struck a breakthrough deal on August 15 to divide the country into seven provinces.

The Madhesi parties are protesting against the seven-province model of the federal structure as proposed by the major political parties, triggering violence which has claimed at least 40 lives so far.