International

Madhesis end Nepal blockade

Days before the visit to India by Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, the United Madhesi Democratic Front (UMDF) on Monday declared an end to the five-month old blockade which was started as a protest against the new Constitution of Nepal promulgated on September 20, 2015.

“We have decided to stop the blockade for now but we have not stopped our struggle for justice and representation within the constitutional limits of Nepal,” said Upendra Yadav, one of the key leaders of the UMDF.

‘Welcome move’

The declaration to end the blockade was formally made in a statement issued in Nepali by the UMDF in Kathmandu, on a day when Bishnu Poudel, the Finance Minister of Nepal, was wrapping up a two-day visit to New Delhi to firm up Mr. Oli’s visit to India. Sources have indicated that hectic parleys between Indian and Nepali interlocutors have convinced the Madhesi rebels to stop the blockade which has created a major domestic disturbance in Nepal and hurt India-Nepal ties.

“It is a welcome development and could be achieved as dialogue with the Madhesi leaders and the Nepali leadership in Kathmandu was kept alive under all challenging circumstances during the last five months,” said Member of Parliament Devi Prasad Tripathi, who has been one of the chief interlocutors on Nepal during the crisis phase.

The Madhesis, however, have threatened to re-launch the blockade in case the key demand for creating two states for the Madhesi region is not met by the Kathmandu leadership.

The government of Mr. Oli has promised to implement a series of amendments in the Nepali Constitution to increase Madhesi representation in the government, politics and society.

Normal trade has resumed over the last few days through Birgunj trade post which is the largest trading post on India-Nepal border.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:04:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/madhesis-end-nepal-blockade/article8210239.ece

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