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"No such place as Madhes"



MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
The Tharu Welfare Council has been struggling to remove the terms Madhes and Madhesis form the Interim Constitution. On 7 July the council torched Article 63 of the interim constitution in 24 districts of the Tarai as well as in the capital. Interview with the Council's Raj Kumar Lekhi:

Why did you set fire to the Interim Constitution?
Article 63 of the Interim constitution mentions the term Madhes. The reality is that there is no geographical area of Nepal that can be identified with the word. Further, the Election Commission has included us ethnic Tharus under the Madhesi category. When we asked the EC about this, they pointed to the interim constitution. So we decided to burn that section of the constitution.

But do you have the strength in the Assembly to push through your demands?
Nothing is impossible when the people feel strongly about an issue. The agitation has come about because we felt the pressure for it from the districts. That is why we have launched the agitation in the Tarai.

What has been the response from Madhes supporters?
They are trying to trick us. They have been attempting to set a meeting and tried to get us to call off our program.

What have the major parties said?
We will soon put forth our demands before the major parties, intellectuals and the press.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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