Complaint Petition to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Human Rights of Indigenous Madheshi in Nepal
|bindeshwar prasad <firstname.lastname@example.org>||Sat, Nov 25, 2006 at 2:01 AM|
|To: Madhesi Nepal <email@example.com>|
Date: October 10, 2006
To: OHCHR- UNOG
8 – 14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Fax: + 41 22 917 90 06
From: Dr Bindeshwar Prasad Yadav
United Nations Volunteer Medical Doctor
(First name: Bindeshwar)
Date and place of birth: July 28, 1956, Nepal
Address for correspondence: 63, Park Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Phone: 01868-744 6046
Re: HUMAN RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS MADHESHI IN NEPAL
In present Nepal, indigenous Madheshis people, who constitute approximately half of the population of the nation, are living as second class citizen or colonized person. Millions are without citizenship. The State had has compelled them to suffer economically, politically, socially and emotionally. Their language and culture have been eroded.They are excluded significantly from policy and decision making; as well as from administrative and judiciary frame work of the government. They are victims of discrimination in employment in government sectors; and are not allowed employment in the arm force. State had has been sponsoring and supporting internal migration of non-Madheshi people in the Madhesh land. The state has violated following articles of “Convention (No. 169) concerning Indigenous peoples in Independent Countries”: Articles: 2.1, 2.2©, 3.1, 4.3, 6(b), 6(C), 7.1, 14.2, 16.1, 17.3, 18, 20.2, 26, 28.1, 28.3, 31, 32.
Now, Madheshi people are demonstrating and demanding: for Citizenship to all deserving Madhesis before elections for the Constituent Assembly’ (CA); establishment of Federal, Democratic Republican political system; proportional representation in all state structures; and in the CA election. A fraction of Maoist, composed of Madheshi youth, called “Tarai Janatantrik Mukti Mocha’’ is demanding for ‘Independence’ that has imposed a threat of new armed revolt. Timely intervention of United Nations is extremely needed to provide human rights to Madheshi population to prevent a new cycle of violence and to establish the peace in Nepal.
Information on the complaint:
I am a Nepalese national, and belong to Madheshi community. Presently, I am an International United Nations Volunteer Medical Doctor for United Nations Development Programme, in Trinidad and Tobago; and am assigned to the Ministry of Health, Port of Spain.
Until 1769, present – day Nepal was composed of small independent states and principalities of different ‘nationalities’; and it was only in the 1930s that the Nepalese government began to adopt the name ‘Nepal’ in an attempt to make it a modern state (Shrestha BG 2004).
Modern Nepal is a result of conquest by Gorkhali kings over sixty principalities during the period from 1768 to 1813. All of these principalities resembled nation-states as they fulfilled all the criteria of nationhood: language, religion, culture, territory and a history of nationhood (Mehta D 2006). In 1813, the king conquered a large low land area called Madhesh, and included into the kingdom (Shah, G. S. 2006). The choice of the word ‘unification’ rather than ‘conquest’ was used to describe the expansion of Gorkhali power of Nepal (Whelpton 2006).
Madhesh and Madheshi
- The southern part of Nepal that is lowland between the boarder of Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttranchal, and hill-foot, presently called Tarai of Nepal; historically known as Madhesh.
- Its Indigenous population is called Madheshi, who resemble Indians in physical appearance; and constitute approximately 40-50 percent of the population of Nepal. They include different culture and linguistic groups- Maithili, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Tharu, and also some tribal groups.
- The domestic economy of Nepal depends overwhelmingly on this region that forms its industrial hub with more than 70-80 percent of all industries located in this region. Its agricultural bowl produces more than 65 per cent of the nation’s food grains.
- Before the quest, 1813, there were several small principalities or republics in the Madhesh region. The Nepal rulers treated the Madheshi people as second class citizens or colonial subjects, and suppressed them particularly in four areas: i. denying employment in the army overtly, and other government services covertly; ii. Capturing their land iii. Disempowering through restrictions in the use of their languages and practice of their customs; iv. Denying citizenship right. As a result, the Madheshis are suffering economically, politically, socially, and emotionally (Neupane G 2006). Prachanda said, “Expressing sadness over the fact that Madhesis are living like second class citizens in the country despite being an indigenous group, he said, “Our party started the campaign of liberating Madhesis and making them masters of the state right from the first year of the people’s war (Prachanda 2006).”
- Tarai (Madhesh) contributes 70 percent to the state’s economy while the government only gives back 16 percent of the funds reserved for development (Lal, C.K. 2003).
- The practice of the State with Madheshi population matches with the criteria of colonization (Yadav, B.P. 2006). Overall, evidences support that in Nepal, Madhesh and Madheshi are treated as if colonized under the cover of unification.
State concerned/Articles violated
Name of the State that is either a party to the Optional Protocol (in the case of a complaint to the Human Rights Committee) or has made the relevant declaration (in the case of complaints to the Committee against Torture or the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination):
(A) For Indigenous Madheshi, Government of Nepal had has violated the followings:
Articles of the Covenant or Convention alleged to have been violated:
Following articles of “Convention (No. 169) concerning Indigenous and Tribal peoples in Independent Countries” are violated:
Articles: 2.1, 2.2©, 3.1, 4.3, 6(b), 6(C), 7.1, 14.2, 16.1, 17.3, 18, 20.2, 26, 28.1, 28.3, 31, 32.
(B) State Nepal is treating Madhesh and Madheshi as if colonized.
Exhaustion of domestic remedies
Steps taken by or on behalf of the alleged victims to obtain redress within the State concerned for the alleged violation – detail which procedures have been pursued, including recourse to the courts and other public authorities, which claims you have made, at which times, and with which outcomes:
- The Madhesi issue is as old as the emergence of Nepal’s democratic movement in 1950s; major grievance of that time was the imposition of Nepali as medium of education. In the mid-1970s and 80s, issues of citizenship and ‘work permit’ were the major problems for the Madhesis. For the last fifty years, they have been raising their voice against alleged ‘discrimination’ by the state, yet their problems remained unresolved (Yhome K 2006).
- The marginalized socio-cultural groups have repeatedly protested against various articles of the 1990 Constitution that they claim discriminate against them (Lawoti 2006).
- The Madhesis have demanded easy availability of citizenship certificates, constitutional recognition of the Hindi language, 50 percent reservation for Madhesis in government, and semi-government jobs, mass requirement in the army, land to the landless and demarcation of an electoral constituency based on the population and geographical and cultural uniformity (Hindustan Times 2003).
Application to other international procedures
I have not submitted the matter for examination under another procedure of international investigation or settlement.
Facts of the complaint
- Madheshis are treated as second class citizens or like colonial subjects.
- Millions are the victim of denial of citizenship of Nepal.
- State had has compelled them to suffer economically, politically, socially and emotionally.
- Their language and culture have been eroded.
- They are significantly excluded from the policy and decision making; as well as from administrative and judiciary frame work of the government.
- They are victim of discrimination in employment in government sectors.
- They are not allowed employment in the country’s arm force.
- Their lands have been captured in different ways by the states and relatives of rulers.
- State had has been sponsoring and supporting internal migration of non-Madheshi people in the Madhesh land.
Demand of Madheshi people
- Citizenship to all deserving Madhesis before elections to the Constituent Assembly’ (CA),
- Establishment of Federal, Democratic Republican political system
- Proportional Representation for Madhesis in all state structures
- Proportional Representation for Madhesis in the CA election
- Tarai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha demands ‘Independence of ‘Madhesh’.
- In principle, Government of Nepal has agreed to amendment in the rule for citizenship. It looks; hopefully, it will solve citizenship problem at large.
- Hot discussion is going on about the language issue.
- In principle, Government has agreed to recruit Madheshi youths in armed forces. But, the burning issue is how many and when?
- In principle, the Government has agreed for federal system of state. The government wants to divide the Madhesh region. Madheshis feel that it is a divide and rule policy; therefore, divided Madhesh is unacceptable.
- Madheshis are doing demonstrations for their demands.
Part II (For Independence of Madhesh )
- “He (the leader) told a group of journalists, “We are fighting for independence because we have been discriminated against for too long! (Pradhan S 2006)”.
- Madheshi youth feel that they have been colonized; and their homeland is a colony under the rulers of Nepal.
- In the terai (Madhesh), a violent hate triangle has been under play since 2004. The three players are the Nepal army (and other parts of security apparatus), the Maoists, and the secessionist Tarai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (TJMM), a breakaway fraction of the Maoists. TJMM recruits more members in its ranks and wages a war for secession much similar to the Tamil tigers. As it is, there is already a Tarai Tigers (Tigers in the plain 2006).
- While the Maoist insurgency, that unsealed a decade- old cycle of violence in Nepal and killed over 13,000 people, is heading for resolution, a new armed revolt is threatening to take place in the terai region of Nepal (Hindustan Times).
- The situation reflects that without complete liberation, the problem of Madhesh will not be solved; and violence will be continued.
- Overall the situation may impose another cycle of violence in Nepal; and it will cause more life lost than it had happened in Maoist insurgency.
We request for assistance to support that Madhesh and Madheshi people can avail their human Rights that only will prevent further violence, and promote peace in Nepal.
For any further information, please contact us without any hesitation. Looking forward to your positive response.
Kind Thanks and best regards,
- Sincerely yours,
(Dr Bindeshwar Prasad Yadav)
Checklist of supporting documents:
A Map of Madhesh (Tarai) in Nepal (pdf )
A copy of first page of my Passport
Hindustan Times (2003)“Nepalese discrimination against people of Indian Origin.” Indo-Asian News Service. Kathmandu, December 28. Accessed on December 28, 2003. http://www.hindustantimes.com/online
Hindustan Times. 2006. “Discontent brewing in Nepal’s terai region”, August 17, 2006. http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7598_1770329,000500020003.htm
Lawoti, M. 2006. The constitution as the source of exclusion https://madhesi.wordpress.com/2006/08/19/the-constitution-as-the-source-of-exclusion-4th-chapter/
Mehta, D. 2006. Democracy is incompatible with the concentration of power.
Neupane, G. 2006. Madheshies: colonial subjects or masters of their destiny?
Prachanda. 2006. Kantipur. ‘Beware of peddlers of Madhesi right’
Pradhan S. 2006. Politics- Nepal: And Now Ethnic Separatism
Pradhan S. 2006. Tarai on a slow burn
Shah, S.G. 2006. Social inclusion of Madheshi community in nation building
Shrestha, B. G. 2003. “Ethnic Nationalism in Nepal.” IIAS Newsletter, March 2003. http://www.iias.nl/iias/show/id=41332
Tigers in the plain http://nayanepal.blogspot.com/2006/08/tigers-in-plains.html
Yadav, B.P. 2006. Is Madhes a colony?
Yadav, B.P. 2006. Human rights for half of Nepal
Yadav, B.P. 2006. Separatism or Freedom
Yadav, B.P. 2006. Prachanda on Madheshi: Time to Test
Yadav B.P. 2006. Nepal: Restructuring of the State
Yadav R, P. 2006. Facts and Figures on Madhesi Marginalization (Caste/Ethnic representation in His Majesty’s Government at policy level in Nepal)
Yhome. K. 2006. Madhesis: A Political Force in the Making?
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