Int’l community briefed on crisisDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa on Tuesday briefed the international community on the country’s political situation.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa on Tuesday briefed the international community on the country’s political situation.
In his briefing to the Kathmandu-based diplomatic community held in the ministry, DPM Thapa thanked Nepal’s development partners for their support for concluding the peace process and promulgation of the new constitution. He reminded
the world that Nepal had become the second country in South Asia to get its constitution through the Constituent Assembly.
“I am also confident of receiving your continued support which is crucial for implementing this constitution,” said Thapa. Recalling that the country’s progress was stalled due to the decade-long armed conflict and eight years of painful transitional, Minister Thapa said there was no alternative to adopting the new constitution to conclude the peace process.
He added that the constitution had realised the long-cherished dream of the Nepali people to draft their own constitution. He defended the new charter highlighting its provision of a democratic and inclusive polity.
“Commitment has been expressed in the very preamble to democratic norms
and values, civil liberties, fundamental freedoms, human rights, periodic elections, complete press freedom, independent and competent judiciary, and the rule of law,” he added.
He informed the diplomatic community that the new constitution guarantees the rights of socially backward groups and communities based on the principle of inclusion. “Separate Dalit, Indigenous, Madhesi, Tharu and Muslim Commissions have been provisioned to protect the rights of the respective communities,” he added.
Pointing to the agitation of the Madhes-based parties against some provisions of the new charter, Minister Thapa said the genuine concerns would be addressed through dialogue.
He informed the diplomatic corps about the constitution amendment process that has moved forward—to ensure proportional inclusive representation in state organs and electoral constituency delimitation on the basis of population while maintaining at least one seat in each geographical district—as a result of rounds of dialogue between the government and the agitating parties.
He said that a high-level mechanism including representatives of major political parties and the agitating side would be formed to settle the dispute over the demarcation of provinces.
Hailing India’s response to the amendment proposal as an encouraging and positive gesture, Thapa expressed hope that the trade and transit problem between Nepal and India would be resolved soon. He noted an improvement in the supply of commodities from the southern border where several customs points have been obstructed owing to disputes over the contents of the newly
adopted constitution. “I have been informed that all check-points, except the Raxaul-Birgunj, are now operational,” said Thapa.
He said the government had taken up the continued disruption of supplies, especially of medicines and petroleum products, from India with the Indian authorities.
“I hope the supply situation will return to normal with the resumption of all border check-points within a few days,” Thapa said.
I am confident of receiving your continued support which is crucial for implementing this constitution
KAMAL THAPA, FOREIGN MINISTER
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa in a session with the Kathmandu-based diplomatic community at the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. Photo courtesy: MoFA