SLMM calls off banda, border sit-ins formallyThe Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on Monday decided to call off its border protests but said its other agitation programmes, including Kathmandu-centric ones, will continue.
The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on Monday decided to call off its border protests but said its other agitation programmes, including Kathmandu-centric ones, will continue.
The announcement from the Morcha, an alliance of four Madhes-based parties, comes four days after local residents and traders from both sides of the Birgunj-Raxaul border forcefully removed tents pitched by protests and roadblocks allowing vehicles to freely roll into Nepal. The opening of the border on Friday brought relief to the country which was reeling under acute shortage of fuel and other essentials including medicines.
“Taking into account the current crisis facing the country and people’s aspirations, the ongoing protests, including general strikes, border blockade and government office shutdown, have been called off for now,” read a statement issued after a Morcha meeting held at the residence of Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur in Sanothimi. “But other agitation programmes will continue.”
Oli welcomes Morcha move
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa on Monday welcomed the decision taken by the agitating Samyuktya Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha to call off its border protests.
I have taken the Madhesi Morcha decision as a positive [move], said PM Oli in a statement. “Differences can be sorted out through talks,” Oli said in the statement.
Mahato hauled over the coals
KATHMANDU: A meeting of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha on Monday noted that comments made by Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato “had dealt a blow to the Madhes agitation” and instructed Mahato not to get involved in “anti-Madhes” activities.
Long before Morcha decided to officially call of its border protests, Mahato had said there was no point continuing with the protests at the [Birgunj-Raxaul] border.
“Mahato’s remarks demoralised the Madhes agitation,” a statement issued by the Morcha after Monday’s meeting read. “The Morcha directs Mahato not to repeats such activities.”
Sadbhawana Party leaders, however, condemned the statement.
During the meeting, Tarai Madhesi Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party Chairman Mahendra Yadav said that Mahato’s remarks and unilateral decision to recall his cadres from Birgunj border point was “unforgivable”.
They also accused Mahato of putting Morcha’s credibility at stake “for his personal popularity”.“We didn’t say anything when the Sadbhawna Party decided to walk out of the CA or shift their office to Birgunj. But his (Mahato’s) remarks over blockade without Morcha’s official decision were uncalled for. He should correct himself if he wants to work as a team,” said a Morcha leader.
Mahato, who seems to have fallen out with the Morcha, has started informal discussions with other fringe Madhes-based parties.