29 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
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
ASIA
PIME in China: new men in new facilities
by Piero GheddoThe mission in China is possible. It should focus more on educational facilities. Old and new martyrs offer a role model. Here is a commented review of a letter the PIME superior general sent out to his confreres after a trip to China.
EUROPE – ISLAM
For Nîmes imam, the Islamic State group kills Christians, but also threatens Islam in Europe
by Hocine Drouiche*Political Islam is becoming a "thuggish Islam," one that values ​​lying, hate, and enmity. Christians and the West are its enemies. However, Islam has had periods in which dialogue, reason, encounter, assimilation were held in high esteem. The belligerent Islam that fascinates so many young people is the result of myths and manipulations and causes Islamophobia. It is time to create and develop Europe’s own Islam, one that guarantees freedom of conscience and coexistence with Christians and Jews. Solving the Palestinian problem requires dialogue.

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.