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Kathmandu, August 5
The Dalits leaders continued their protest in capital on Wednesday, with the United Political Dalit Struggle Committee, Dalits Lawmaker's Coordination Forum, Dalits Civil Society Organizations and rights activists.
Calming that the draft constitution had curtailed the Dalits rights which had already endorsed by first Constituent Assembly (CA) and the committee formed to study and determined constitutional records, the Dalit leaders urged the Constitution Drafting Committee to incorporate their rights in the constitution as it is. They have put forth a nine-point demand, including the retention of the provisions endorsed by first CA and the committee formed to study and determined constitutional records. They have been demanding at least three, five and ten percent of the representation at central, provincial and local level respectively.
A rally, taken out from Babarmahal converged in to a corner assembly outside the CA building, remained peaceful throughout.
Addressing the corner assembly Dalits leader lawmaker Min Bishwokarma has strongly criticized the draft constitution saying it has curtailed Dalit rights. Lawmaker Bishwokarma also blamed the major political leaders of ignoring the past agreement and promised to continue the protest until their demands are met. 'Dalits who had brawled against the Rana the Panchyat and Shah are again forced to struggle for their rights against the Brahminism'. He said
'We need to struggle ourselves to ensure our rights' another lawmaker Jitu Gautam said. All the Dalits should unit to lobby against those provisions which are against Dalit's rights he added.
Dalit leader, a CA member Daljit Shreepaili said that they would not step back from the movement at any cost. Addressing the mass meeting Sharmila Karki, Chair of the NOG Federation of Nepal said that the movement of Dalits is the national movement too. 'This is the struggle for Justice' she added.
Other participants of the programme, Padam Sundasm, Bhakta Bishwokarma, Dinesh Tripathi Pramila Das, Dil Bahadur Bishwokarma, Bijaya lal Karna, Padam Bishwokarma, Upendra Chhatunjel among others suggested Dalits rights and propositional representation of Dalits in the new constitution. Over a dozen leader and activists made cash donation for the treatment of injured. Coordinator of the Global Forum, a Dalit rights organization, Dharma Bishwokarma donated Rs. 50 thousand through his institution.
FEDO is a national level Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) founded in 1994 to establish the rights of Dalit women by organizing and empowering them for their mainstreaming into national development. [+ read more]
- Global fund for Women
- International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)
- European Union (EU)
- Womankind Worldwide
- WaterAid Nepal
- Open Society Foundation (OSF)
- World Bank/CECI
- Australian Embassy
- DanChurch Aid (DCA)