Talks team formed by United Democratic Madhesi Front today told the negotiators of the three major parties — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the Unified CPN-Maoist — that their blockade of entry points on the Nepal-India border would continue until their demands were met.
UDMF negotiator Sarvendranath Shukla said the negotiators of the three parties did not have any political roadmap so they told them to come up with a clear roadmap tomorrow when they sit for talks again.
Shukla said they told the negotiators of the three parties that in the past the state had declared those who were killed during the protests as martyrs but this time the state was not following the precedent. He said the government had decided to withdraw its decision of declaring some areas in the Tarai districts as riot hit or prohibited zones, but in practice those decisions had not been implemented.
“The government decided to provide free treatment to those who were injured in police firing but if you go to Bir Hospital, you will see the injured are not getting any help from the government,” he added.
According to Unified CPN-M negotiator Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the UDMF talks team said provincial boundaries were their main concern and they would not accept any proposal to resolve the issue through a federal commission.
Shukla said Madhesi people feel cheated, as the three major parties did not respect the eight-point agreement and, therefore, they want boundary issues resolved soon. “Forming commission to settle the boundary issue means trying to linger the issue,” he added.
The three major parties have been telling the protesting forces that the boundary question would be resolved on the basis of political understanding and the report of the federal commission to be formed.
According to Shrestha, the UDMF negotiators told the three major parties’ negotiators that they were taking a long time to prepare the ground for formal talks.
They told the representatives of the three parties to meet all the demands for preparing the ground for dialogue today itself.
The negotiators also demanded to from judicial probe commission to investigate the use of excessive force during the protests. Shukla said while the police had to maintain law and order, it also had an obligation to protect people’s human rights. “There must be credible and impartial probe into all the killings that took place during the protest and the guilty should be punished,” Shukla added.
According to Shrestha, the UDMF negotiators told the three parties that the government had not fully implemented its decision to meet the conditions for talks. He said the three parties’ negotiators told UDMF negotiators that they were committed to incorporating proportional inclusion in the right to social justice clause of the new constitution and were also committed to delineating election constituencies mainly on the basis of population without depriving any district from having at least one constituency.
He said the three parties’ negotiators would meet the top leaders of the Big Three before meeting the UDMF negotiators again tomorrow.
Published on: The Himalayan Times (Oct 7, 2015)