Dahal vows to push rights of indigenous nationalities

KATHMANDU, May 15: The UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday reiterated his commitment to indegenous nationalities saying he compromise when it comes to ensuring the rights of marginalized communities in new constitution. His latest assurances came during an informal meeting with lawmakers and party leaders from indigenous nationalities and those representing different geographical regions on state restructuring in Singha Durbar. [break] "I will never surrender to other parties in the name of bringing a set a new constitution," lawmaker Gyanendra Kumal quoted Dahal as saying. "I am fully committed to ensure the rights of all marginalized groups in new constitution." Most leaders suggested party leadership to choose 11-province federal model if they were to forced to choose between 8 or 11-province model. They however, insisted that the Maoist should continue to press for single-identity based provinces. Lawmaker Ram Charan Chaudhary objected to the commitment made by three major parties on Monday to decide on the undivided far west after collecting people´s opinion in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. He said any move to decide on undivided far west won´t be acceptable to Tharus living in the region. Another lawmaker Krishna Chaudhary criticized the government for holding talks with only those taking to the streets for undivided far west region while ignoring Tharu groups who are fighting to keep both Kailali and Kanchanpur districts in Tharuhat province. Interestingly, lawmaker Lekh Raj Bhatta, who is one of the key leaders pushing for undivided far west region, did not make any argument for the undivided far west. "He only stated that the issue should be resolved amicably," said a participant. Lawmaker Surya Man Dong said they won´t accept the mix province of Newa and Tamsaling, arguing that it is only a conspiracy to invite conflict between Newar and Tamang. While Ram Kumar Sharma and Bharat Sah argued that the party should not accept more than two provinces in the Madhes, Purna Singh Rajbansi said Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari should be put in Kochila province. Likewise, Gyanendra Kumal said that the ethnic communities who have small population should be guaranteed their autonomous regions. Maoist lawmakers Barsha Man Pun, Lokendra Bista Magar, Amar Tamu, Sudan Rai, Hit Bahadur Tamang and Haki Kullan Khan, among others, also put forth their views on state restructuring.