September 13 2015 – United Madhesi/Tharu Society of America organized a candlelight vigil in Times Square of New York, USA to commemorate the victims who lost their lives and wish an early recovery for the injured in Madhesh/Tharuwan of Nepal. Most of the victims were civilians indiscriminately killed by Nepal Police in southern Nepal. Some policemen were also mercilessly killed by protesters. About 30 unarmed civilians have been killed by Nepal Police and Armed Police Force during protests since August 8. Similarly, about 10 policemen have been killed by angry mob of protesters.
After the candlelight vigil, Nepalis in America also held peaceful demonstrations to protest against the massive human rights violation in Madhesh, Nepal. The protest was attended by distinguished community leaders and influential personalities from various groups such as Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), Federation of Indigenous people of Nepal in America (FIPNA USA), and Association of Nepalese Terain in America among others. The group held signs that called for the UN and international community to intervene and prevent further escalation of human rights violations. The photographs below show some of the signs held during the peaceful demonstrations.
Stop Genocide in Madhesh, Nepal, STOP Killing Innocent People of Terai, Nepal
Stop Dialogue of Bullets, Save Buddha’s Son Madhesis, We are Buddha Son, Stop Killing Us
Break Silence on Human Rights Violation
Madhesh is Dying, UN Where Are You?
We Want Green Nepal, Stop Red
Stop Genocide in Madhesh, Nepal
Some additional photos from the protest
United Madhesi/Tharu Society of America also issued a press release that provides a description of the event and massive human rights violation in Nepal, signed by the event coordinator Binod Sah.
The full text of the press release is also included below:
Peaceful Protest and Demonstration followed by Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Madhesh/Tharuwan Movement and against massive human rights violation in Madhesh, Nepal organized successfully at heart of the world, Times Square, New York, USA
Organized by United Madhesi-Tharu Society of America, Hundreds of Madheshis, Tharu, Janjati Nepalese & Non-Nepalese Americans from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland assembled on September 13th, 2015 at heart of the world – Times Square, New York for peaceful demonstration and to show their solidarity against massive human rights violation in Madhesh followed by Candlelight Vigil for Victims of peaceful Madhesh/Tharuwan Movement in Nepal. The event was also endorsed and supported by many local organization like Federation of Indigenous people of Nepal in America (FIPNA USA) & Association of Nepalese Terain in America ANTA.
Many distinguished community leaders and influential personalities like Ex-Parliament Members of Government of Nepal; Atmaram Shah, Non Resident Nepali Association International Council (NRNA ICC) Executive Members from USA; Dr. Binod Shah, NRN NCC USA Advisor; Suneel Shah, Federation of Indigenous people of Nepal in America (FIPNA USA) General Secretary; Mam Bahadur Magar, NRN NCC USA Board of Director; Satendra Sah, Association of Nepalese Terain in America Greater New York Chapter (ANTA GNYC) Ex-President and Current Advisor; Amit Shah, ANTA GNYC Past President; Aniket Shah & ANTA GNYC President; Arbind Singh also attended the program to show their solidarity against Human Rights Violation and Injustice to Madhesi, Tharus & Janjati in Nepal. Further, these people also advocated for protection and preservation of fundamental Human Rights more particularly rights to peaceful protest for their demands and representation in the political and equality in socioeconomically parameters of Madhesi, Tharu, janjati and others marginalized community in Nepal.
Participants of this historical event also displayed hundreds of placard with following slogans; Stop genocide in Madhesh Nepal, We need green Nepal not red, stop dialogue of bullets, save Buddha’s son madhesis, madhesis can’t even speak un where are you? 35 killed in 35 days, stop ethnic cleansing, Stop state terrorism in Nepal, Need equal right Not ethnic fight, Stop killing madhesis ethnicity, Save madhesi community in Nepal from killing by state, Stop killing innocent madhesi people in Nepal, Do not play the game of bullet.
Community leaders and participants also lauded the voice and requested International communities, connected authorities and organizations like UN to take serious account of the current situation and ask the government of Nepal to create a suitable environment in finding a solution to the key issues regarding madhesi, tharu and janjati community of Nepal.
Binod P. Sah
Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Madhesh/Tharuwan Movement and Peaceful Protest against Massive Human Rights Violation in Madhesh, Nepal
Massive Human Right Violation in Nepal
After ten years of Maoist insurgency and Madhesh (southern plain of Nepal having almost half of population) agitation/movement, the 240 year ruler Shah Monarchy of Nepal was abolished in 2008 and people-oriented a democratic and federal constitution was to be written by the elected Constituent Assembly. However, due to political disagreements, the first constituent assembly could not accomplish its task. The ruler Khas (elite class of Hill people) leadership who have absolute control in military, police, civil servant and judiciary used their state machinery to divide Madhesi leaders and were able to secure 2/3 majority in the second constituent assembly a year ago which was required to pass the new constitution of Nepal.
After they got absolute majority in the constituent assembly they decided to disown all the commitments/agreements made by them during Maoist insurgency and Madhesh agitation/movement. For example the Interim constitution of Nepal 2007 had guaranteed to address many issues which were the root cause of suppression and discrimination to Madhesi and other indigenous communities that included (i) Centralized unitary governance system will be replaced by inclusive, democratic federal states- Article 33D; and (ii) Inclusive, democratic and progressive restructuring of the state shall be made to bring about an end of the discrimination based on cast, language, sex, culture religion and region by eliminating the central unitary system- Article 138 etc.
Nepalese Monarch had treated Madhesi including Tharu (living in western Madhesh) as second class citizen in Nepal during their 240 year of rule. The Shah Monarch empowered Khas community who were living in hills and mountains. After abolition of monarchy the Madhesi were expecting to get equal treatment as the citizen of Nepal. However, the betrayal is continued and the current Khas rulers representing various political parties decided to continue discrimination to Madhesi and Tharu which was reflected in the currently proposed formation eight states. Only a small territory (8 out of 22 districts of Madhesh) was proposed as Madhesh State and remaining 14 districts of Madhesh (including western districts of Tharu) were split into remaining seven states. Therefore, the Madhesi will again continue to remain as second class citizen of the country as they would be in helpless situation after new constitution will be promulgated. However, the Khas ruler wanted to pass the constitution with the majority ignoring all previous commitments and tried to impose the new constitution using the bullet.
In this situation, Madhesi had left only one option to raise their voice through peaceful protest which they started more than three weeks ago. The strikes/bands in the most of 22 districts are continued for over three weeks. The most of the government offices, educational institutions and commercial activities are closed in Madhesh. The police used force to create a terror on the peaceful protestors, they were not only beaten brutally rather even shot bullet in the head or chest of peaceful protestors so that they could not survive and such killing could create a terror in Madhesh so that no one should dare to protest further. However, the peaceful protest continued in various parts of Madhesh including villages and killings by police is continued each day. The total death has reached more than to 38 persons in three weeks and thousands injured who are suffering and many would have disabled life. The curfew is imposed every day to suppress the protest and transport the goods for capital and hill territories.
The brutality by Khas ruler is increasing against Madhesi each day leading to a civil war where the state authority will be cleansing Madhesi community and the polarization of Madhesi people will be increased that could lead to a great civil war in Nepal.
It is the time to respond by international community and human right institutions to stop the killing in Nepal by state machinery and resolve all issues in amicable manner without delay otherwise the country would face a great disaster and the whole world will have to regret for not taking timely action to save over 10 million Madhesi people in Nepal.