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Going nowhere

Monday, August 31st, 2015


New Nepal BAN MAP

Indefinite shutdowns imposed by various political groups dissatisfied with the way future provinces are being carved in the new constitution crippled life across the country throughout August.

The Tarai districts are the most affected: two general strikes enforced by the Madhesi Front and the Tharuhat Struggle Committee have brought business, transportation and education to a grinding halt in the eastern and western plains for two straight weeks.

The Tharus had initially called a shutdown demanding a Tharuhat province only in Bardia and a few other districts. But when the major parties in Kathmandu failed to address their demands even when they increased the number of provinces to seven from six, they called an indefinite general strike from Nawalparasi to Kanchanpur.

In the central and eastern Tarai districts, an indefinite strike by the Madhesi parties was already ongoing and was in its 15th day on Monday. As the four parties rejected the Madhesi demand to halt the constitution writing process to create a conducive environment for talks, an end to suffering of common people is nowhere in sight.

In nine districts east of the Arun River, regional political groups demanding an autonomous Limbuwan state enforced strikes for six days in August. Even on Monday, public transport, schools and factories remained closed due to a strike by Federal Limbuwan Party.

With major border points closed, there is a looming shortage of petroleum in Kathmandu Valley. The Prithvi Highway connecting Kathmandu to Chitwan has not been blocked, but tankers carrying petrol, diesel and cooking gas are finding it difficult to reach Narayangad due to closures of Birgunj and Bhairawa borders.

Police are busy quelling protests in the daytime work into the night to escort convoys of vehicles up to Chitin so they can make their way to Kathmandu. The industrial corridors along Butwal, Simara and Itahari have all been badly hit.

According to the Department of Customs, more than 2,200 container trucks that were stranded had been escorted to Kathmandu from Birganj and Bhairawa during the latest shutdown. But more than 1,500 containers are still stuck there.

After violent clashes erupted in Birganj on Monday, local administration clamped a curfew.



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2 Responses to “Going nowhere”

  1. duej on Says:

    same old divide and rule .. who needs federalism? directly ask the people, conduct a referendum.

  2. deshman on Says:

    No new set up will work in Nepal, continue with the system what we have and make amendments as required according to the needs and aspiration of people.

    No one wants to belong to another province or place and be under the whims and fancy of particular race, who might dominate in that area.

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