Several buses carrying passengers and escorted by Armed Police Force were attacked yesterday night in front of Chinimill area in Birgunj. Around 29 buses had left the town for Kathmandu at 11 PM. Around 11:20 PM scoundrels attacked the vehicles, smashed wind glasses, and looted the books, clothes, and other belongings of Buddhist monks (Lamas). Attackers, suspected activists of Madheshi Peoples’ Rights Forum (MPRF), looted belongings of Lamas who were returning from Bodh Gaya, India. 43 Lamas were traveling. In the photo above, a Lama shows a book. He said that books like this one were looted. All pics by Subodh Singh
Lamas with scattered stuffs and the looted bus.
An Armed Police Force policeman looks from inside the looted bus.
A rally taken out by the teachers of R. R. Multiple Campus in Janakpur supporting the ongoing movement in Terai. The banner reads: Federal State System, Proportionate Electoral System, Electoral area based on population. Pic by Shyamsundar Shashi
A rally organized by Madheshi community in Lahan, Siraha where the first protests broke out last week. Today was peaceful. Pic by Bharat Jarghamagar
Today in Kathmandu: Task force asks eight party leaders to reach consensus on Madhesi demands
The eight-party task force recommend the top brass of the eight parties in principle to opt for a federal structure of governance, to address demands raised by the Madhesi people. A meeting of the task force held at the prime minister’s residence at Baluwatar earlier today could not, however, decide on the issue of proportional representation election system for Constituent Assembly polls, which is another major demand put forward by the Madhesi community. The taskforce today left it up to the meeting of the eight party leaders, which began a short while earlier at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s Baluwatar residence, to decide on the issues over which an agreement of principle could not be reached during its meeting today.
According to our correspondent Bikash Bhandary, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the CPN-UML was in favour of the proposed proportionate electoral system while talking to media persons outside the talks venue. “We are in favour of the proportionate electoral system,” Nepal said, adding “The issue of reconfiguring the election constituencies based on geographic consideration has also come up and we must move ahead with common understanding in this regards.” Nepal also demanded actions against those who have been found guilty of suppressing the April movement by the Rayamajhi Commission. (more)
Interesting development of the day: India directs state govts to increase security along Indo-Nepal border
By Gopal Khanal
NEW DELHI- New Delhi Tuesday asked its state governments to keep a close eye on security along the Indo-Nepal border to control the rising unrest in the Terai region. According to sources, Utter Pradesh and Bihar have already mobilized additional border security forces along the 1800-kilometer porous border with Nepal. The state government also began close vigilance on possible violent activities in the border areas. The Indian government’s move came after the visiting Nepali political leaders met with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shiv Raj Patil and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and discussed the recent unrest in the Terai region today.
The Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Singh, after meeting with the Nepali leaders, urged the eight-party leaders to resolve the Terai unrest at the earliest. “We have increased vigilance along the border,” said Foreign Minister Patil, adding, “You (Nepal) should also remain vigilant.” Visiting Minister for Culture and Tourism Pradip Gyawali, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel and UML leader Jhalanath Khanal separately met Mukherjee this morning. They met the Indian prime minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the sidelines of the Satyaghraha programme. “I want to assure you that there will not be any activities on our soil that will jeopardize the ongoing (Nepal’s) peace process,” Minister Gyawali quoted the Indian foreign minister as saying. When the Nepali leaders stated that “royalists and some extremist groups of India” had stirred the Terai violence, Indian Minister Mukherjee said that “some elements with bad intentions could have taken advantage of the open border.” During the meeting, the Indian minister also acquired information about Nepal’s recent political developments and Maoist arms management issues. (source)
And UWB condemns the MPRF threat to our colleague: Kantipur correspondent receives death threat from MPRF
Kantipur correspondent for Sunsari’s Inaruwa, Bedraj Poudel Tuesday was issued death threat by cadres of the agitating Madheshi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF). Alleging Poudel of not publishing stories regarding the forum’s ongoing stir, the MPRF yesterday evening threatened Poudel over the phone. Following the threats, Poudel abandoned his work station citing security concerns. According to Poudel, a man identifying himself as one Nanda Lal Mehta had called him through a mobile phone registered in the name of the forum’s Sunsari district chairperson CN Mehta and said that because he had refused to publish news about the forum’s unrest, the forum would kill him and torch his motorcycle if they caught him in Inaruwa. Meanwhile, issuing a press release today, Mahottari chapter of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists said that the ongoing Terai unrest had grown intolerable and urged the agitating sides to understand that journalists have their own limits and compulsions.
stating that the recent attacks and threats to journalists and media houses were out of line with the universal notion of free journalism. “News reporting and publications process is guided by its own code of conduct”, the statement read, adding that the entire media sector has to stand by these codes. Likewise, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), international association of journalists has flayed the recent attacks and threats on media persons. Stating that such attacks jeopardize the normal reporting of events of national concern. Issuing a statement yesterday, RSF has urged the government to guarantee security for the journalists in Nepal. The release has also appealed the agitating sides incluing the MPRF to be conscious regarding press freedom.