Voice of Terai from the United States of America
The following is a press statement issued by ANTA (Association of Nepali teraians in America) NY chapter president Dr. Binay Kumar Shah in 20 Jan.
Association of Nepali Teraian in America (ANTA) has noted with concern the continuing disruption of normal life in the Terai region of Nepal. ANTA believes that the recent success of negotiations between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) Government and the Communist Party of Nepal (M) leading to the promulgation of an Interim Constitution, Interim Parliament and the forthcoming Interim Government offers the best opportunity ever to restructure the Nepali state so as to reflect the best interests and aspirations of all Nepalis, including the traditionally marginalized people of the Terai region. ANTA firmly believes in democracy, fair political competition and proactive policies by national government as means to overcome the disadvantaged position in which the people of Terai have been relegated by the past regimes. Keeping a forward looking approach, ANTA sees the holding of the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections as central to forming an inclusive democratic system in Nepal.
Aware of the high stakes in a successful transition, ANTA calls on all the political leaders and Nepali people to show highest levels of tolerance, restraint and accommodation at this critical juncture of political transition. Welcoming the statements, as reported in the media, by the government leaders as well as the leaders of both factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) to engage in negotiations to resolve outstanding issues, we call for expedited negotiations to end violence and strengthen the democratic process. ANTA also shares The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Nepal’s concern over the arrest of Madhesi activists and political party members and calls for their immediate release. In the best interest of Nepal’s national unity and democracy, ANTA also calls on the government to
respond promptly to the legitimate demands of the people of Terai region including speedy distribution of citizenships to all those eligible population as the basis of representation, greater autonomy to the people of Terai region and better and visible representation of Terai people in all aspects of government. ANTA firmly believes that the overall development of Terai can only result in a stronger Nepal.
Scene from Lahan, Siraha: Protestors burnt several vehicles.
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By Bharat Jargha Magar
Siraha Distric Administration has clamped a curfew from 6pm today to 4am tomorrow in Lahan, Siraha and the surrounding regions after the entire locality grew tense following the death of a student during a scuffle between Maoist cadres and Forum for Madhesi People’s Rights. A 16-year-old student Ramesh Kumar Mahato of Majhaura, Siraha died when he was shot by the Maoist cadres on Friday at Lahan Chowk. The Maoist cadres opened fire following an argument between them and the forum activists killing Mahato. The forum activists were staging a demonstration at Lahan Chowk when Maoist cadres who came in two minibuses and a jeep accosted the demonstrators just before one of the Maoist cadres opened fire. Following Mahato’s death, a group of angry locals attacked the Maoist cadres. Shiyaram Mahato who opened fire was seriously injured in the attack. The agitated locals also burnt two trucks and eight other vehicles. The forum activists had been staging demonstrations since the morning protesting against the arrest of their president Upendra Yadav. Police later fired several blank rounds to control the situation and have detained two Maoist cadres. CDO Shashi Shekhar Shrestha said that a curfew order has been issued to bring the situation in the region “under control.” Despite the curfew, irked locals kept on staging demonstrations in several thoroughfares in the city.
Questions we ask to Nepal government and Maoist:
1. Why are Maoist cadres still roaming around with arms?
2. Why both of you don’t start talking to groups like Terai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (TJMM) [both Goait and Jwala Singh factions] and Forum for Madhesi People’s Rights (FMPR)?