Top leaders’ plea to stop protests

Kathmandu Four top leaders of major parties today issued a joint statement requesting people not to resort to activities that might derail the constitution-drafting process in its final stage.

A written appeal signed by Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar states, “We make heartfelt appeal to all people to maintain restraint, stop all kinds of protests and provide appropriate suggestions to end disputes.”

Their statement adds, “Several opinions and responses have emerged following the demarcation of boundaries of provinces. We are worried and concerned about the unpleasant incidents that occurred at certain places.”

The statement comes in the wake of violent protests in far-west and mid-west, killing three people in Surkhet and injuring many others yesterday.

The leaders stated that federalism was a new subject in Nepal and emergence of divergent views and suggestions leading to disputes was natural. “However, we will make attempts to find appropriate solution to these disputes keeping in view national necessity and welfare,” states the appeal that PM Koirala read in the presence of media persons in Constituent Assembly building after a meeting of the top leaders.

The leaders said it was imperative to fulfil the historic responsibility of drafting constitution through the CA. “We urge people to unite to promulgate new constitution for nationality, democracy, peace, stability and development,” they added.

After the PM read out the appeal, other three leaders addressed mediapersons defending their agreement and expressing firm commitment to delivering the new constitution at the earliest.

Oli said, “The first CA was dissolved without a new constitution. Some plead for separating Madhes and hills, while others are against separating them. One section of people calls for ethnicity-based demarcation of provinces, while another rejects such a demarcation. Amid these divergent views we have demarcated the provinces in the best possible way.”

He said the parties would foil any bid to derail constitution-drafting process. He appealed to people and the media to exercise restraint.

UCPN-M leader Dahal said, “It is a matter of regret that the first CA failed to deliver new constitution. It’s rare to have a second CA. It also failed to accomplish its task in its first year. The reactionary forces have become active but we are determined to deliver the new constitution at any cost.”

Stating that the new constitution would be a document of power balance, Dahal said the constitution could be amended in the future.

Gachhadar said, “We agreed on six-province model regardless of our differences after we sensed that the constitution-drafting process might be derailed if we failed to reach an agreement. We are determined to address the concerns of Tharus, Madhesis, indigenous people and other underprivileged groups within next four-five days.”

The signatories of 16-point agreement reached on June 8 said they might still change the federal structure before the final voting on the draft constitution.

Source : The Himalayan Times