Yes, this is real: As their leaders were discussing the future of Nepal inside the Parliament building in Singha Durbar, pro-democracy people ghearoed the country’s administrative center (where parliament house is located) to pressurize parliamentarians to take bold steps for constituent assembly. Activists went up to the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah, who according to history books, unified Nepal some two hundred fifty years ago. Pic by Shaligram Tiwari
Blogger Tilak Pathak, who was in parliament this afternoon, reports:
Chitra Lekha Yadad read out the written message of Prime Minister Giirja Prasad Koirala. He proposed the parliament to hold an election to constituent assembly stating that his first commitment would be to implement the seven parties’ roadmap and the 12-point understanding. When Yadav read out the following lines, the house erupted in joy: “As per my commitment to go to constituent assembly to resolve the problems facing the country, I have registered a proposal to hold constituent assembly elections at the Parliament today itself.”
The first meeting of reinstated parliament became historic not only because of the circumstances but because of some procedures as well. There was no crown in the Gallery Baithak. The meeting convened at 5: 30 PM. Deputy Speaker Chitra Lekha Yadav chaired the meeting. Members welcomed her by with the thunderous applause. She welcomed all MPs and they raised to mark a two-minute silence to remember the martyr of second edition of the People’s Movement. “This meeting is historic,” she said. “International community were also surprised by the power of Nepal’s Peoples’ Movement.” She also said that people’s power has established the participatory democracy by defeating the power of gun.
– When former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba entered inside the Gallery Baithak at 3:45 PM, all MPs began to laugh. I couldn’t hear what he said but they might be talking about that day when Deuba recommended the dissolution of the same house four years ago.
-Many people expected Prime Minister Koirala to appear in the meeting. He didn’t come because of deteriorating health. In the written message Koirala hoped to assume the responsibility of Prime Minister because of the improving health condition.
-Indian communist leader Sita Ram Yachuri came inside the Parliament at 5:30 PM. Yadav informed the MPs about his arrival and welcomed him.
Update3: Okay, the session is over now till Baishak 17 (April 30).
Update2: Oh my God, its historic. The rare scene from inside the Gallery Baithak is that every MP is approving this announcement from the prime minister via Deputy Speaker in unified manner: To go for constituent assembly.
Update: Yadav is reading out the written message from Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in which he has tabled the proposal for the constituent assembly. He has mentioned that his first priority is to work as per the lines of the Seven Party Alliance and the 12-point understanding between the SPA and the Maoists.
Earlier we wrote: The historic first session of the parliament that was restored last week as per the popular demand of Nepali people has begun. Deputy Speaker of the House Chitra Lekha Yadav is in charge of the session. She is currently addressing the session as members of the parliament are approving her remarks. Nepali people were anxiously waiting to see the newly reinstated House of Representative in action this afternoon. The session began nearly four hours after the scheduled time. Earlier in the afternoon Kantipur Television was (and now too) constantly feeding live footage from inside the Gallery Baithak (the Parliament House).
Members of Parliament from all parties were appearing in front of the KTV cameras turn by turn from inside the meeting hall explaining the purpose of the today’s meeting. People in Kathmandu were (and are) glued to their TV sets. Seeing Chitra Lekha Yadav now on TV running the session reminds me of that day when these parliamentarians went to the courtyard of Patan Durbar Square to hold the special session of the House after they were denied the hall in downtown Kathmandu. Minutes after that special session began, it started raining. Parliamentarians didn’t seem to be caring about that. They continued the program even as the water from high above the sky started pouring in heavily.