4 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/16/2012
NEPAL
Whole regions without food as strikes and protests are held against the new constitution
by Kalpit Parajuli
Demonstrations have plunged the country into chaos. A 19-day general strike has grounded air transport to the western districts. More than 30 people have been hurt in clashes between indigenous groups and opponents of federalism. Ban Ki-Moon calls on Nepal to respect minorities in the new constitution.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Strikes, demonstrations and clashes with police have plunged Nepal into chaos a week before the new federal constitution is supposed to come into force. Most of the violence has been reported in the country's western districts and in the Terai region. In both areas, ethnic minorities have been fighting for autonomy for years. Yesterday, United Nations Secretary General , Ban Ki-moon called on the members of the constituent assembly to heed the demands of Nepal's ethnic and religious minorities.

In the Far Western Development Region, a general strike against the region's division has paralysed it for the past 19 days. No planes have been able to fly in and out of local cities and remote villages.

Local sources said that in mountain areas people have run out of food and drugs that can only be brought in by plane or helicopter. The lives of thousands of children and old people are at risk.

In Jumla, "People are coming to buy rice but our stock has completely run out," said Narendra Pariyar, who is the local deputy chief district officer. Local authorities are also unable to do anything because rescue helicopters are grounded by the strike.

Clashes between pro-division indigenous Tharu and pro-union activists are making matters worse. After days of peaceful demonstrations, the two groups clashed yesterday in Jumla District. More than 30 people were injured, including 11 police agents.

Many fear more violent demonstrations. Locals are afraid of leaving home and want police to enforce law and order.

In the southern region of Terai, indigenous Madhesi, Gurung and Magar are planning demonstrations and strikes. The Nepal Federation of Indigenous and Nationalities has called for a general strike in the region's 22 districts.

Its goal is to force the Maoist-dominated constituent assembly to pay attention to the problems of ethnic minorities, living on the margins of society.

The new constitution was drafted after the establishment of a secular state in 2007 following 11 years of civil war between Maoist guerrillas and the monarchy. It is expected to be approved on 28 May.

However, various groups are protesting, putting pressures in favour or against federalism. Political parties are also divided over the issue and over the number of federated states.

Tensions are also running high between the Hindu majority and the country's 60 or so ethnic and religious minorities, which demand protection and rights in the new constitutional charter.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/22/2006 NEPAL
Nepal is secular state: minorities happy
by Prakash Dubey
05/16/2006 NEPAL
From Hindu kingdom to secular state
by Prakash Dubey
05/29/2006 NEPAL
Hindus protest "secular" status of Nepal
by Prakash Dubey
08/03/2011 NEPAL
Nepalese Muslims pray for tolerance during Ramadan
by Kalpit Parajuli
07/20/2010 NEPAL
Christians in Nepal from marginalized to political actors
by Kalpit Parajuli

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.