Nepal’s agitating Madhesi leaders knock on China’s door

  • PTI, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2016 19:23 IST
Nepalese lawmakers stage a protest as other lawmakers vote a constitution amendment bill in Kathmandu on January 23, 2016. (AFP Photo)

On the eve of Nepali Prime Minister K P Oli’s visit to China, leaders of agitating Madhesi parties in Nepal have approached the Chinese envoy here to express their concerns regarding the new Constitution.

In a meeting held in Kathmandu, the leaders of the alliance on Friday handed over a memorandum to Ambassador Wu Chuntai urging China to exert diplomatic pressure on Nepal for fulfilling their demands related to the new charter.

“We have mentioned that a large section of the population in Nepal has not accepted the new Constitution and the government has been suppressing their agitation against the new constitution,” said Manish Suman, the general secretary of Sadbhavana Party.

“We also said that the Prime Minister has lied to the international community through his claims that the new constitution has ensured rights of all communities in the country,” he claimed.

According to Suman, “the meeting was a step toward establishing people-to-people relations between Nepal and China” by sharing proper information.

Until now the Madhesi leaders have only met Indian officials seeking support for their demands and agitation.

According to Suman, Wu told Madhesi leaders that he has noted their concerns and reiterated the necessity for improved people-to-people relations between the two countries.

Oli will visit China next week during which he is expected to finalise agreements on importing fuel and gas besides transit and transportation deal to facilitate entry of Chinese goods into landlocked Nepal through Tibet.

Madhesis, who are largely of Indian-origin, organised a nearly six-month violent protest campaign also imposing a trade blockade with India over the newly-promulgated Constitution which they said discriminated against them.

They only withdrew the campaign that crippled essential supplies to the Himalayan nation and left over 50 people dead, after the Constitution was amended to include their participation in government institutions in proportion to their population and fresh delineation of electoral constituencies.

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