Sunday, January 24, 2016

Need of the Hour: Stop Making Provocative Acts

Rabin Man Shakya
State Education Director,  NRNA-NCC-USA, Oregon Chapter

The media report about Nepal Police firing on Madhesi protesters  in Morang on Thursday, killing Draupati Chaudhari, 62, Mahadev Rishidev, 45, and Siru Majhi 25, has raised  questions about the sincerity and honesty of both the K P Oli government as well as the Terai Madhesi parties.

Tensions which have remained high in Terai region of Nepal since adopting its first republican constitution in September, 2015 were further inflamed when the police fired at the protesters on Thursday in Morang.

The incident is likely to aggravate the already existing tensions between Terai Madhesi parties and the Oli government.

At a time when there is a light at the end of the Terai crisis tunnel, when optimism about relaxing of blockade was building, this tragic incident may shatter the rays of hope. This incident is not the first one in the series of provocative acts. President Vidya Devi Bandari's visit to Janaki temple recently and other incidents could have been  stopped.

The timing and selection of Morang as a venue for UML's Youth Force program was sure to provoke the Tarai Madhesi protesters. This is  very sensitive time and no body and no political party should should move any provocative steps.

The crux of the problem in this case is the extremism and intransigence of the UML  party as well as the Teari Madhesi parties. Well, it definitely was not an appropriate time for UML's Youth Force to organize "Tarai Madhesi Dialogue and Awareness Campaign" in volatile Tarai area of Morang at this sensitive time.

And it was also an example of jingoism and stubbornness on the part of Tarai Madhesi parties to create a debacle by trying to preventing the UML Youth Force's program. The three innocent people who died and scores of others who were critically injured in the police firing were caught in the crossfire in the "battle" between the government, UML Youth Force and Tarai Madhesi parties.

As a result, the challenges facing the ordinary Nepalese people are indeed formidable because the mainstream political parties and Tarai Madhesi parties are working for their own vested interest, not giving a damn about the people's wellbeing.

Since it would be impossible to make a significant breakthrough towards making a negotiated deal between the government and the Madhesi parties unless both the sides come forward with flexibilities for the broader interest of the nation, they should at least stop making provocative acts to ease the current political stalemate.

It is to be noted that the United Madhesi Front, which is leading the protests for last five months, wants state boundaries to be redrawn to give their communities more power, a step that the mainstream political parties are reluctant to move.

The need of the hour is:  Until the much-awaited deal is reached, both the ruling parties and the Nepali Congress as well as the Tarai Madhesi parties should be able to quit their stubbornness and intransigence and stop making provocative acts for the common good of the people.

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