JANUARY 2017

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NEPAL: News Briefs

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Madheshi front cadres block imports from India at border entry points: The imports of petroleum and other supplies from India and third countries have been lying at Indo-Nepal border areas near Biratnagar due to the blockade imposed by the United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) on September 25, the second consecutive day of obstruction in the industrial hub of Nepal. Similar blockades are being carried out by the Madheshi protestors at the border areas on the Nepali side of Birgunj, Janakpur and Nepalgunj as well. My Republica, September 26, 2015.

Baburam Bhattarai quits party and parliament: Baburam Bhattarai, Nepal's former Prime Minister (PM) and top Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) leader sympathetic to Madhesis, on September 26, resigned as lawmaker and also quit the party to form his own political "force" amid differences with the major Nepalese political parties over the new Constitution. Bhattarai, a veteran leader of the UCPN-M, was the senior-most leader after party chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda. Bhattarai has indicated that he would form a new political "force" within a couple of months. Times of India, September 26, 2015.

New Government after October 3, 2015: With the promulgation of the new Constitution, the major parties have now started preparations for forming the new government as per the provisions of the new Constitution. Prime Minister (PM) Sushil Koirala on September 21, told the meeting of the Nepal Congress Central Working Committee that he would tender resignation from the post of the Prime Minister as soon as he returned from New York. Koirala is leaving for the United States (US) on September 23, to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly at New York and will return on October 3. Himlayan Times, September 22, 2015.

New Constitution promulgated: President Ram Baran Yadav on September 20, announced the commencement of the new Constitution during the Constituent Assembly (CA) meeting-cum-special function organised at the CA's regular meeting venue. President Yadav proclaimed, "I announce, before Nepali people, that the Nepal's Constitution, endorsed by CA, authenticated by CA chairman and presented here, has commenced today - 20 September 2015." With the promulgation of the new constitution, the CA has transformed into legislature parliament. However, Madhes-based parties are protesting against the new constitution as observed September 20 as Black Day. Himlayan Times, September 20, 2015.

10 protesters killed and another 129 others injured in Nepal during September 7-13: On September 11, two protestors and one Policeman were killed in Jaleshwor area of Mahottari District. Three more protestors were killed in Janakpur area of Dhanusha. Fifty three others were injured during protests in several areas.

On September 9, three protesters were killed in Jaleshwar area of Mahottari District and another one was killed in Bhardaha area of Saptari District during clashes with Police. 50 others also were injured during the clashes with Police in Mahottari.

On September 8, at least 26 protesters were injured when Security Force (SF) personnel used force during demonstration staged by Madhesi parties at Bhanu Chowk in Janakapurdham in Janakpur.. My Republica; Himlayan Times, September 8-14, 2015.

Three major parties pause process to draft constitution: Three major parties - the Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) - on September 11 decided to halt the constitution-making process for two days and invite the protesting forces to sit for talks. The protesting forces, the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and Tharuwan/Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee, however, rejected the talks offer again, saying they were not against talks but they could not hold dialogue without the government withdrawing the Nepali Army, normalizing situation in the Tarai Districts, providing compensation to the kin of those killed in Police firing and free treatment to the injured persons. Himlayan Times, September 12, 2015.

MPRF-D Chairman Bijay Gachchhadar forms new alliance to champion Madhes cause: Madhesi People's Right Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Chairman Bijay Gachchhadar announced a new alliance, Federal Democratic Front (FDF), comprising of three Madhes-based political parties, at a press meet at Singha durbar, Kathmandu on September 2. The alliance has been formed to pile pressure against major political parties for revising the draft Constitution to address the issues of Madhesi people. Sharat Singh Bhandari-led National Madhes Socialist Party (NMSP) and Raj Kishor Yadav-led Madheshi People´s Rights Forum -Republican (MPRF-R) are part of the front. My Republica, September 3, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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