Nepal: Madhesi Strike & Interim Government

The issue of Madheshi – the people living in the southern plains of Nepal – hasn’t ended. The Madheshi Peoples’ Right Forum, which led the biggest protest in southern Terai demanding the equal opportunity and inclusiveness, have resumed the strikes once again.

Parmendra Bhagat of Democracy for Nepal believed the calling off the protest on February 7 was a mistake. On that day, the protest was temporarily called off after the government agreed for 49 per cent of the representation of Madheshi in the constituent assembly.

It was a mistake to call off the Terai Band on February 7 in the first place. It was the movement's mistake to not have had a clear agenda. The agenda right then should have been that the Home Minister must resign and a probe commission must be formed, or the strikes would continue. Momentum was lost.

Bhagat argues that the movement should continue until all the demands are fulfilled. He also criticizes media for not covering the issue and a minority group leader for talking against the strikes.

The Madheshi strike has not only lost the momentum that it had, but also drawn criticism of closing down the transportation and businesses. Dinesh Wagle of United We Blog! summaries the defying of the strikes in the region.

Strike orders issued by the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) have been defied in various districts across the county. However, some districts in eastern Terai remain affected by the strike.

With the Maoists, the insurgents-turned-political party, readying itself to join the interim government in Nepal, its no wonder than the Nepali blogosphere is buzzing with the issue. The bloggers know the entry of the Maoists in the government will be a step ahead for the peace process and making of the new Nepal.

Ghanshyam Ojha of Dedicated to Daniel Pearl believes the interim government should be formed as soon as possible but shows his concern on continuing Maoists violence:

I also strongly feel an interim government, including the Maoist, should be formed as soon as possible. However, the Maoist should issue a public statement, stating that they are committed to stop all the violent activities; including obstruction to other political parties. The Maoist should also stop the public display of their weapons.

Ojha also has an interesting account of how he met with the Maoists supreme Prachanda. The account he gives is something like seen in movies – and of course shows how the Maoists operate in Nepal.

KP Dhungana on Hamro Blog (Nepali language) points out six reasons for delay in the formation of the interim government:

माओवादीको हतियार पुर्ण रुपमा ब्यारेकमा थन्किएको छ भन्नेमा सबै पक्ष विश्वस्त हुन सकेका छ्रैनन् ।
क्रान्तिकारी कुरा गरे झै माओवादीले सरकारमा सहभागी भएर क्रान्तिकारी काम पनि गर्नसक्छन् । जसले अरु दललाइ अप्ठ्यारो पर्न सक्छ ।
अमेरिका स्पष्ट रुपमा माओवादी सरकारमा गएको हेर्न चाहंदैन । उ जसरी हुन्छ माओवादीलाइ सरकारमा जानवाट रोक्न चाहन्छ ।
माओवादीका केही नेताहरु नै सरकारमा गएर अपजसको भारी बोक्नुभन्दा अन्तरिम सरकार नै गठन नगरी गणतन्त्रको घोषणा गरी शुरक्षित हुन चाहन्छन् ।
माओवादीले मुख्य मन्त्रालयहरुको माग गरेका कारणले समेत सहमति हुन सकिरहेको छैन ।
र अन्त्यमा
माओवादीले अहिलेसम्म विद्रोही स्वभाव परित्याग गरेको छैन । सरकारमा सहभागि भएर पनि यस्तै कुरा गर्ने हो भने सरकार अप्ठ्यारोमा परन्सक्ने अन्य दलको निष्कर्ष भएर ।

1. Not everybody believes that all the arms of the Maoists have been managed.
2. Other political parties fear the revolutionary steps from Maoists after they are in the government. This won’t be good for them.
3. America doesn’t want Maoists in the government and wants to stop it anyhow.
4. Some Maoists leaders believe announcement of republic rather than joining the government a safer way for them.
5. There has been no consensus as the Moaists have demanded main ministries.
6. Maoists haven’t stopped being violent.

Meanwhile, Deepak Adhikari of Deepak’s Diary shares his feelings about the Nepali youth seeking future abroad.

1 comment

  • This is a disgrace that a independent and responsible Press-man,Rajesh Ahiraj, is being prosecuted for bringing the unheard voice of Madhesh by the Government, whose constitution guarantees “TOTAL PRESS FREEDOM”

    The silence of major Political parties, the… indifferent media houses, and the uninterested Human Right clearly indicates their collusion in the conspiracy against the indigenous people of Terai.

    The verdict of Special Court restored the constitutional spirit by releasing the bold media person. But, the issue is Does it end here? Will it be guaranteed that media person will be protected?

    Plato once said “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Madhesh is facing this problem. The general availability of stupid politicians in our country (no offense for good leaders) will lead to chaos. Why didn’t the Madheshi leaders fought when voice of madhesh is being crushed systematically by the Government.

    Time has Come for good and right people to stand up and speak. Time has come that we remain united as Nepali and fight against all bigotry. Time has come that the leaders, political parties and concerned authority answer to the general public for their actions and in-actions.

    Hope all the concerned persons will raise this agenda.

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