MIREST-Nepal launches a resource book on constitution making<br>A COORESSPONDENT

Sept. 3, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 4 No.-07 September 3-16, 2010 (Bhadra 18, 2067)

Despite the fact that the constitution making process is virtually stalled due to differences among major political parties, a civil society organization, Media Initiative for Rights, Equity and Social Transformation (MIREST Nepal), is making efforts to support the process.

MIREST-Nepal organized several programs on constitution making and finally launched a resource book to help in the process. The book includes articles by experts.

Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Chandra Nembang released the book titled “Political Accountability: Resource Book on Constitution Making Processes" published by MIREST Nepal recently.

Chairman Nembang also released another book “Will of the People” published by MIREST Nepal as a public submission to the Constituent Assembly on the same occasion. It has already submitted to the CA thematic committees, 10 public submissions in book format prior to this.

“The party leaders, who had joined hands to fight regression, are not in the same line anymore. I do not understand why,” Nembang said, addressing the book launching programme attended by invitees from diverse groups of Nepali society.

Nembang, however, said there was no alternative to unity among the parties for the sake of peace and new constitution. He elaborated the history of how the unending process of prime minister’s election, nowhere else exercised, had begun in Nepal during the succession of late Girija Prasad Koirala as prime minister.

He reiterated that, MIREST Nepal's work will definitely help in galvanizing more efforts in the historic constitution making process in the extended period of the CA. He added that the CA failed to clarify before the people that its functions were not interrupted even when the parliament was disrupted for almost five months earlier. MIREST Nepal has tried clarify the situation in the book.

Addressing the function, CA delegate Pari Thapa said there were conflicts of approach in the constitution-drafting procedures and principles.

Likewise, commenting on the newly released book, CA delegate Khim Lal Devkota emphasized that the book included details of constitution making process held inside the CA as well as outside at public.

Former Country Representative of UNFPA to Sri Lanka and peace expert Dr. Som Pudasaini stressed the need to address issues, including transitional justice, the root cause of conflict and the concerns of victims before finalizing the new constitution.

Similarly, Dr. Bipin Adhikari, a constitution expert, opined that the book released by MIREST-Nepal will play a vital role in providing some of the important information on constitution making process and efforts by Constituent Assembly over the past two years.

While addressing the function from the chair, Suresh Acharya, President of MIREST Nepal, shared his views that such a book on constitution making was the need of the hour not only to scrutinize the works of the CA but also for referral use in the future. He thanked the people who directly and indirectly helped in its publication in its current form. He also called upon the political forces and civil society to put all their efforts to end the deadlock in the prime ministerial election to re-embark upon constitution writing and peace building efforts.

Similarly, while commenting on “Will of the People” released by MIREST Nepal on the issues of women to be addressed in the upcoming constitution, CA delegate and president of Women Caucus in the CA Usha Kala Rai stressed that it was now a high time to include some of the important clauses mentioned in the "Will of the People".

CA delegate Dina Upadahya highlighted the national reach of MIREST Nepal as broadest and deepest in constitution making through communication outreach programmes. Journalist Babita Basnet, president of Sancharika Samuha, highlighted the importance of the book and its relevance in the context of constitution drafting process.

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