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Indigenous people’s organisations announce joint protests

Indigenous Nationalities Movement of Nepal

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Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and Indigenous Nationalities Movement of Nepal Monday announced joint protest programs to guarantee the indigenous people's rights to identity in the new constitution.

The Padma Ratna Tuladher-led Indigenous Nationalities Movement of Nepal and NEFIN made an agreement on Monday, November 17, 2014, to work together on issues related to indigenous people's identity and rights and their place in the new constitution.

Issuing a joint statement on Monday afternoon, the two organisations said they had decided to join forces to fight for issues related to inclusion of ethnic identity in the Federal Constitution while the constitution promulgation process was ongoing.

The shape the protests would take and the programs it would include will be formed as more discussions take place, the agreement to move forward together, signed by Tuladher and NEFIN president Nagendra Kumar Kumal, says.

In the meantime, Indigenous Nationalities Movement of Nepal and Madhesh intellects have accused Nepali Congress and CPN-UML of conspiring to pass their 7-province model by pushing through majority voting. They too have decided to launch action and protests against the NC-UML proposal.

"We don't see any alternatives other than starting a movement against this. NC and UML have put forward a type of proposal which will turn the whole of madhes into a desert. The talks are not budging an inch on the table it's on. With the situation in this stage, we reached the conclusion that there was no other way than to head into a revolution. Senior indigenous rights leader Tuladhar also announced protests earlier in the day," advocate Surendra Mahato, who took part on Monday's discussions, told nepalnews.

The discussion, held in Kathmandu on Monday, November 17, 2014, was attended by about a dozen leaders including Tuladhar, Mahato and other Madesh intellects -- Jaya Nishant and Sunil Ranjan Singh, among others.

The 7-province model has also attracted criticism and objection from Madheshi leaders inside both NC and UML.  Madeshi lawmakers recently submitted a petition against the proposal to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who is also the president of NC.

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