Non-Resident Madheshis Association in USA NRMA, an organization of Madhesi diaspora, organized a rally at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York City to protest against the unlawful detention of Madhesi Rights Leader Dr. Chandra Kant Raut and condemned the human rights violations by Government of Nepal (GoN) on the Madheshi People in Nepal. A group of Madheshis attended the protest rally and conveyed their concern to the UN Headquarter officials.
On 8th February, 2017 Mr. Sukhdev Shah, addressing the rally said that, “We have gathered here –at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York–to protest the Nepal Government’s abusive handling of peaceful and nonviolent protests by Madhesi citizens of the country, who are deprived of their citizenship rights and are kept in a sort of solitary confinement. Government has adopted harsh measures to silence activists who have rallied against rights abuses. Madhesh territory comprises the southern part of Nepal bordering India and is the original home of Madhesi people, who are the native of the land. They make up half of Nepal’s 30 million populations. Despite their indigenous status, Madhesi people have been deprived of their basic rights as citizens and, for all intent and purposes, Madhesh region looks like an occupied territory and ruled as a colony. On my visits to Nepal, I fly from Kathmandu to Janakpur, my hometown in Madhesh. At the airport, almost all of security and service providers are Pahadi, who belong to Nepal’s ruling ethnic group. I travel to the city and see all of the checkpoints manned by Pahadi police. I visit the key government outposts —courts, administrative centers, police barracks, military cantonments—all of them manned by Pahadi. Madhesi people are almost invisible from government institutions, in a city 90 percent populated by Madhesis. Not only in Janakpur, but all across Madhesh, Pahadi Rule of the region is absolute and complete. In the process, Madhesi people have been left to survive by earning a living from subsistence farming and petty trades. Nothing exists for them in terms of paid employment and, in most part; they aren’t accepted in government jobs. Rights Leader Mr. C.K. Raut and his followers–and a large chunk of Madhesi people who have knowledge of the situation–have risen up to oppose Nepal Government’s colonial rule and its violent suppression of rights activists From the beginning of the launching of his movement three years ago, Mr. Raut has been arrested and held in police custody dozens of times and many of his followers been severely beaten, detained, and abused while in detention. A typical scene at Mr. Raut’s protest rallies has been that of unarmed Madhesi public facing well-armed Pahadi military and police contingents. Security officials have been given almost a free hand in breaking up the protest rallies, including by shooting at the crowd without regard to how many of the innocent people get killed. Government representatives have seldom approached the movement leader Mr. Raut or his followers to come for a dialogue. Government’s only response to Mr. Rauts’ movement has been for the police and military to disburse the crowd with baton charge and random shooting at the crowd which results in many deaths. Nepal claims to be a democratic country and is a signatory to international human rights covenants that allow for nonviolent protests by citizens to oppose aspects of Government rule. However, Government of Nepal has been dismissive of such accepted international norms, without fear of facing international sanctions. Nepal Government has used the power of the gun to isolate Madhesi people from the outside world; keep them illiterate and backward; and rule them by sustaining a reign of perpetual terror. And Government’s resolve of maintaining a terror regime in Madhesh is backed up by an overwhelming presence of its security forces in Madhesh, to the effect that some 80 percent of its countrywide force is positioned along the Nepal-India border. In the event of a widespread protest turning into violence, the likelihood of a massive bloodshed looks as real possibility. As citizens of Nepal, we appeal to the international community to press Nepal Government to negotiate a peace deal with CK Raut and his followers that ends the suppression of human rights in Madhesh and gives full citizenship rights to Madhesi people. JAI DESH; JAI MADHESH”
The video of Mr. Sukhdev speech can be listened here.
The unlawful detention of Dr. Raut is condemned by various human right groups in Nepal and Madheshis, within Nepal, are protesting throughout various cities, towns and villages of Madhes.