DIALOGUE FOR PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF MADHESHI MOVEMENT

February 4, 2007 at 8:54 am 10 comments

DIALOGUE FOR PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF MADHESHI MOVEMENT

Shree Govind Shah

3 February 2007 

Madheshi people staged protests and demonstrations since 19 January 2007 primarily under the guidance and leadership of Madheshi Jan Adhikar Forum. Other political organizations such as Sadbhavana Party (A) and Jantantrik Mukti Morcha were also involved in Madheshi movement, which is seen by many people and civil societies as ANDOLAN III. People from rural areas and women in large numbers are taking part in this mass movement, never seen in the history of Madhesh. If such a mass movement would have been taken place in Kathmandu, the government would have been either changed or removed by the people. Government mechanism does not seem to be very serious and people from Tarai have no faith on the present government. This would invariably affect democratic movement in the country.  

Madheshi people are fighting for their NATURAL RIGHTS and survival in Nepal; equal rights and opportunities in all aspects of social, political, and economic life. The demands are as follows:

    a) Federal system of governance and regional autonomy with rights to self determination,

    b) Proportional representation according to population in the Constituent Assembly,

    c) Redelineation of the Constituencies, and

    d) Representation of Madheshi people in State organs and programmes during the transition period  

These demands are genuine, very rational and legitimate.  

Movement got support from Human Rights organizations, UN Mission, and the international community in Nepal. The State used police force brutally and 19 Madheshi people were killed and more than 550 people were injured till 3 February 2007. Some of the injured persons are in critical stage. 

The State was put under pressure and the Prime Minister on 31 January expressed commitment for a federal system of governance and some increment to the number of electoral constituencies in Tarai region. He made a provision for forming a committee to hold dialogue with the groups staging protests and demonstrations. Most political parties such as UML, NC (P), CP Maoist, Prajatantra Party and Madheshi Jan Adhikar Forum as well as Human Rights organizations and Civil Societies have felt that the Prime Minister’s commitment could not address the basic political issues raised by Madheshi people. However, the PM’s address has opened door for dialogue, which has been accepted by some of the groups staging protests. 

On 2 February, government formed a 3-member “Talk Team” led by Mr. Mahant Thakur, Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives to hold dialogue with the agitating parties in Tarai, the other members being Gyanendra Bahadur Karki (NC-Democratic) and Rajendra Pande (UML). The affected Tarai political groups are still working on forming a cohesive “Talk Team”.  

We assume that the Tarai Talk Team would discuss the above mentioned four demands in the in the dialogue with the government Team thoroughly and concisely. However, they would need technical support from intellectual groups and civil societies during the dialogue process. We have to make the Tarai Talk Team ‘Do it for people’.  

The components of the four major issues are discussed here, which would help the groups in the dialogue process. This is not complete and I request your input to finalise it. This will be given to the Talk Team and widely circulated for knowledge and information. We would not be in the Talk Team and but we can press both the Talk Teams during dialogue; we have to influence them for acceptable outcomes. 

Working Paper on Demands by Madheshi Movement 

TALKS MODALITY 

The first and the foremost thing is the Talk Modality. All the concerned groups involved in protests and demonstrations are to be included in all forms of dialogue. This should include: 

    a) Concerned groups involved in Madheshi Movement such as Madheshi Jan Adhikar Forum, Jantantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha, Sadbhavna Party (A)

    b) Representatives from Civil Societies

    c) Observers: International IDEA Sweden (Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance) – working in the area of constituency, democracy etc; technical assistance; UN system – assistance for peace process. 

Federal system of governance, 

Demand I:  Establishment of Federal System of Governance and Regional Autonomy with Rights to Self Determination 

We can seek advice from various national and international bodies.  

The following components of Demand – 1 are to be discussed and agreed by both government and Tarai groups. 

1. Establishment of central government at national level and a number of provincial governments of common nationality.  

2. A “Madhesh Pradesh” in the Tarai ecological region extending from Mechi River in the east to Mahakali River in the west will be established as a province under the federal system of governance in Nepal. 

3. Distribution of powers is an essential feature of federalism. The central national government would exercise power over some issues and the provincial governments would exercise power over other issues. Powers among the three branches of government – legislative, executive, and judicial are to be separated between national government and provincial governments. Both the Central and Provincial governments shall have three independent branches of government: Legislative, Judiciary and Executive. The framework has to be discussed and agreed by both the Teams. Some of the framework examples are given in Table 1. 

Table 1. Powers distribution between national and provincial governments

(This Table is not complete)

 table-1a.JPGtable-1b.JPG

Structure of Provinces 

1. Each province will have few zones made up of a group of districts. Zones shall be formed based on language, geography and population. 

2. The administrative boundaries of all the existing districts shall be reviewed and realigned on the basis of geography, ecology, topography, population and linguistic characteristics. 

    Structure of Madhesh Pradesh 

1. The Madhesh Pradesh will comprise of five administrative zones, established on the basis of language, geography and population (Table 2). Each zone will have a total population in the range of 2.0 – 2.5 million, and will consist of a group of administrative districts.  

2. New administrative districts shall be established by realigning the boundaries of the existing districts based on geography, ecology, topography, population and linguistic characteristics. The hill and mountain area in the existing 20 administrative Tarai districts shall be excluded, and made part of other provinces. Similarly, Tarai ecological area of other districts will be included in the realigned Madhesh districts e.g. Udaypur district. 

3. The local government at district level shall be based on decentralized principles of governance, similar to the existing provisions of the Local Governance Act 2058 BS (2002). 

Table 2: Proposed Zone and Districts of the Madhesh Pradesh

    Population figures in ‘000

 table-2a.JPG

table-2b.JPG

    Source: Shah (2006)
    1/ Currently, there are 20 administrative districts in the Tarai region
    2/ Population as per 2001 census

3/ ISR&RC District Development Profile of Nepal 

Demand 2: Proportional representation according to population in the Constituent Assembly 

1. Both the government and the Madheshi movement groups should agree on proportional representation system based on population in the forthcoming Constituent Assembly election.  

2. Consideration could be made to elect one person each from the six Himal districts such as Manag, Mustang, Dolpa, Humla, Mugu and Rasuwa for the Constituent Assembly; these districts are primarily the habitat of Janjati ethnic community. These districts had population ranging from 9,587 (Manag) to 43, 937 (Mugu) in 2001.

 

Demand 3: Redelineation of the Constituencies 

1. Currently, the average population per constituency in mountain districts and Tarai districts is about 73,000 and 127,500 respectively. This drastically reduces the number of parliamentarians from Tarai administrative districts. As about 48% of the country’s total population live in 20 Tarai districts, 48% of the total constituent assembly members should be from Tarai districts. 

2. Both the government and the Madheshi movement groups should agree on Redelineation of the constituencies based on population for the forthcoming Constituent Assembly election. About 70,000 population should be considered for each constituency. About 300-310 constituencies could be delineated.  

3. Ethnic communities e.g. indigenous Janjati, Dalits and Muslim should be represented in the Constituent Assembly on the basis of their population. 

Demand 4: Representation of Madheshi people in State organs and programmes during the transition period  

1. Madheshi people including Janjati, Dalit, and Muslim have been, in practice, excluded in the socio-economic, political governance, decision-making and policy planning processes, and in major state organs. Similarly, the donors and the international agencies/ organisations have mostly excluded development activities in areas where Madheshi people have majority.

There would be a transition period of about 3 years before the provinces under the federal system would start functioning. Both the government and the Madhesh Movement groups should agree on including Madheshi people in all state organs and activities. 

2. Madheshi should be explicitly included in the exclusionary group. Currently, government’s commitment is only to Janjati, Dalit and women groups. 

3. Inclusion in practice of Madheshi people in all kinds of State approved programmes and opportunities. Both the government and the Madhesh Movement groups should agree on penalties for non-compliance. 

4. Government should immediately redirect donor communities, international agencies, and INGOs to develop and implement socio-economic development programmes in Tarai districts. 

5. Both the government and the Madhesh Movement groups should agree on declaring and respecting all the Madheshi people killed during the Madheshi Movement as “Martyrs”. The government should compensation and rehabilitate the martyr’s families under an acceptable package. 

6. Government should bear all the expenses for treating all the injured persons now hospitalised in Nepal and India. Government should immediately pass an ‘order’ and direct the concerned ministries to comply. Some of the injured persons are amputated and some of them would not be able to work for their living as normal person. Government should compensation and rehabilitate them and their families under an acceptable package.

7. Government should immediately and effectively stop use of brutal police force against the protests and demonstrations and immediately remove curfew in Tarai districts.  

8. The government should form a judicial commission to investigate the killings in Tarai and perpetrators should be brought to justice.  
 

Dr. Shree Govind Shah

Environmentalist and Policy Analyst

Chair Person, Adhoc Committee, Federation of Madheshi Community Nepal

P.O. Box 8975, EPC 1830

Kathmandu, Nepal

Phone: (977-1) 5526 903

Email: sgsjune10@yahoo.co.uk

           sgs@erma.wlink.com   

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Pushkar  |  February 4, 2007 at 10:38 am

    It sounds great.However some scientific expalanations are essentail and need to make preanylysis about the positive and negative impact of such structure. Further you also need to ask peopel and their local representative in ground level because. I do not know whether you considered some voices and sugessions from the Governance experts and other Socio-psycholoical experts too otherwise it will be difficult for people to accept such acadmic structure which normally dosent works in practice. In conclusion it is great but still need to work on it.Thanks

  • [...] Madheshi Community Nepal P.O. Box 8975, EPC 1830 Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: (977-1) 5526 903 Source: http://madhesi.wordpress.com/2007/02/04/dialogue-for-peaceful-resolution-of-madheshi-movement/ Posted under STATEMENTS_DOCS, Madeshiya rights on Sunday 4 February 2007 at 8:25 [...]

  • 3. Son of Tirhut  |  February 4, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    The article seems quite in favour of Madhesi people. So i request the loyal madhesi leader MJF and JTTM to come in front with precautions, otherwise we have to again wait for 238 more years. And the peacefull rally should not be stopped unless the demands are fullfilled.

    Jai Madhesh!!!!!

  • 4. MADHESHI FIGHTER  |  February 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    I would like to appeal all Madheshi to raise the voices in favour of Independent MADHESH. Now the time has come to show our power to the Pahade people so they would never think of discrimination to us in our home land. we have to fight for complete independency. We should forget our ethnic and caste related problems. First we should get freedom from the Occupants of our MOTHERLAND. We should share ideas of experts from our DHARTIPUTRA. We are capable enough to prove our Solidarity.
    LONG LIVE MADHESH ANDOLAN.

    JAI MADHESH!

  • 5. BimUqggg  |  November 16, 2007 at 5:38 am

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  • 6. shailendra  |  January 31, 2008 at 8:30 am

    all visitor are invited to visit collected news from madhesh

    http://www.madheshspecial.blogspot.com

    http://www.sarlahionline.com

    http://www.wenprogrammernepal.blogspot.com

  • 7. tharus  |  February 23, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    can someone explain the difference between…..autonomy and right to self-determination …. doesn’t autonomy give the people of that region full power ..except for the federal powers concerning the national security…. autonomy gives the concern state power over economic and politics… and one more thing y are Madhesis only asking for themselves….what about the other people living there … am not only talking about the so called pahades… what about the tharus.. we don’t seem to have any share.. if madehsis want an autonomous state…we tharus too want a separate state…so plz don’t only think about yourself … there are others living here too who at present are remaining silent …don’t take their silence as their weakness.. Tharus have a separate identity… do try to overshadow and blur it…and Mr. madhesi fighter… don’t think that by separating it will do good…both, pahad and madesh will suffer… remember what happens during the monsoon when the the rivers get flooded as the dams controlled my India doesn’t open, then who will help…India will be busy sending help to bihar and UP first not u….when last monsoon terai got flooded i was in ktm and it was the pahades who collected money and send money…not some foreigners …. not all pahades are bad…even u madhesis take tharus as kamaiyas.. u have made slaves of us…but not all madhesis did that….so just because of some rotten ones should we come after u and throw u from Tharuwan…

  • 8. tharus  |  February 23, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    and one more thing …. if only going by face tharus resemble both the pahades and madhesis… if going by what is inside…. we resemble with all of the humanity…. fighting for ones right, for justice is one thing but fighting to break up is purly selfishness … and as usual only the rich will gain… these so called madeshi leaders who came from NC are themselves jamidars… they are nothing but opportunist..first when there was king they were royalists …then they supported SPA now when they feel madhesh movement is going strong they joined madesh..most likely if another party comes they will join that party… they want to be leaders just to loot people…where were they when ur movement began….they just joined to show that it was because of them that the movement became successful…

  • 9. pitambar  |  February 24, 2009 at 6:34 am

    First of all tharu should understand that they are being used by Pahadia Bahun.

    Second they should understand and fight for their right within madhes as well.

    Third, Pahadia bahun are not going to give autonomy and right to decide for their destruction of power monopoly.

    Fourth, all ethnic group should wake up and unite together for their rights and fight against the discrimination in politics and beuraucracy and other levels. This is the right time to hit the hammer.

  • 10. om  |  November 15, 2009 at 8:12 am

    hey guys, i dont know much about it as i have been grown up in pahadi areas until i was 19 and i have been in australia for last 3 years now. Almost all of my fren are pahadi.Discrimination happens almost everywhere in any corner of world. It doesnot mean we should be tolerarting it , instead of blaming pahadis we should grow stronger by ourselves first. People dominate u only if u r weaker.Politicain use those things on their shake. Its good to have our own state but i dont think thats the complete solution unless we dont change the way we think, we behave, we live our life

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