Several members of civil society in Nepal have signed a letter that appeals for an amendment to the constitution in order to create an environment conducive to the second round of local elections. The contents of the appeal reads as follows.
An appeal to amend the constitution and create an environment conducive to the second round of elections:
18 May, 2017
We would like to extend our congratulations to the government and the political parties involved for holding local-level elections successfully in three of the seven provinces of the country.
We would also like to remind the government of its promise to address the grievances of Madhesis, Janjatis and women through constitutional amendments.
A large section of the country’s population—in particular Madhesis, Tharus and other Janajati communities—remain deeply unsatisfied with the constitution promulgated in 2015. Neither do they take ownership of the document, a result of which was a protracted protest in which many citizens were injured, maimed, and even lost their lives. The agitation also led to a huge loss of private and public property. That the government is aware of the extent of the dissatisfaction is proven by the various agreements made with the Madheshi Morcha and other disgruntled groups.
Realizing the volatile situation we are in, we request Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other political leaders to pass the amendment bill and address the demands of the protesting front. Such a move will facilitate a smooth operation of the upcoming elections in four remaining provinces.
We are gravely concerned that blocking the amendment bill for narrow political and electoral gains will create deeper political and social polarization in society and plunge the nation into a dangerous sectarian crisis.
We, the representatives of the civil society in Nepal, therefore, urge the government, political parties and other concerned authorities to make the right decision and amend the constitution so that every Nepali, irrespective of caste, creed, ethnicity and gender, can feel proud of this moment in history.
Dr. Jiwan Kshetry, Writer/activist
Sabitri Gautam, Writer
Kailash Rai, Researcher
Shraddha Ghalay, Writer
Dr. Prakash Writer, Researcher/activist
Pranika Koyu, Social Activist
Binod Acharya, Scientist
Dr. Sabin Ninglekhu, Anthropologist
Nirwan Moktan, Tourism Entrepreneur
Dinesh Pant, Student
Binod Bikram KC, poet
Keshav Silwal, Poet
Aditya Adhikari, Writer
Rita Sah, Researcher
Sangeet Srota, Poet
Rajendra Maharjan, Writer
Heema Rai, Researcher
Mukesh Jha, IT Specialist
Dipendra Jha, Advocate
Kamal Bhatta, Film Maker
Brabim Kumar, Social Activist
Gyanu Adhikari, Journalist
Anurag Acharya, Journalist
Chandra Shekhar Kushwaha, Activist
Binod Aryal, Publisher
Jagadish Adhikari, Publisher
Ujjwal Prasai, Columnist
Raju Syangtan, Cultural Activist
Pradip Pariyar, Activist/Entrepreneur
Weena Pun, Writer
Binod Devkota, Entrepreneur
Elina Saba, Researcher
Anjana Luitel, Social Activist