“We Are Ready To Negotiation”

At a time when Nepal’s southern part is burning with massive agitation against the constitution and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is heading for New York to participate in UN General Assembly, CPN-UML leader K.P. Sharma Oli spoke briefly to media at

Sept. 26, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 09, No. -7, September 25 2015 (Ashoj 8, 2072)

As the agitation continues to rise in Terai, what do you suggest to end the crisis?

We have already called them for dialogue. We know that the one and only way is to invite them for a meaningful dialogue. We have been approaching them personally and formally.

As they have gone too far, asking for scrapping the constitution, do you think Madheshis will come to dialogue just for dialogue?

We can settle everything through dialogues. However, leaders of Madhesh should also respond to our call. I have been saying all the time that there is the need to respond immediately to the demands of Madheshi and Tharus with maximum flexibility. Delaying the process of negotiations will be more risky.

At a time when Madheshis are burning the new constitution demanding it be scrapped; do you think they will come to the table?

Everyone can make demands. I don’t think they want to scrap the constitution. What they want is to make amendments accommodating the demands of Madheshis, Janajatis, Thaurs and other vulnerable groups. We are flexible for the amendment of constitution.

As you are busy in celebrating the promulgation of new constitution and agitating parties are hardening their stands, don’t you think the situation will be bleaker?

Since this is historic occasion what is wrong to make celebration of promulgation of the new constitution.  Now on our whole efforts will be guided towards a peaceful settlement of Madhesh agitation. After inclusion of their demands in the constitution, we can again celebrate the constitution day. That will be more meaningful.

The Madheshi leaders have been saying that the big three betrayed them by rejecting their genuine demands. How do you look at this?

We had made every effort to bring them in the process and postpone the voting for two days. However, we were unable to convince Madheshi and Tharu leaders. It was really unfortunate.

As you are celebrating the promulgation of the new constitution, a half of the people are launching an agitation against the constitution? How do you bring them to the mainstream?

The promulgation of a new constitution is not the end. I have been saying that there is enough room to accommodate them through the amendment of the constitution. The parties need not to be violent. We are ready to amend the constitution to accommodate them. I don’t think burning the copy of constitution promulgated by the representatives of the people and launching violent activities will serve anybody’s interest. I want to call them again to come to dialogue.

The agitating Madhesh-based parties have already said that they will not come to talks unless you take certain concrete steps to fulfill the commitments made by the state. How do you look at this?

The new constitution promulgated by the Constituent Assembly has everything. The constitution has institutionalized republic, federalism and inclusiveness. The new constitution addresses all the concerns raised by Tharus and Madhesh-based parties. If there is a dispute on boundaries of provinces, we are ready to amend the constitution to accommodate their concerns.

They have been saying that the three big parties did not listen to them, even to your own ally, Madheshi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik. How do you look at this?

We have made our best efforts to bring them to the Constituent Assembly. We did not allow any chance not to listen to their voices. However, they did not come. So far MJF Loktantrik is concerned, we have considered everything as per its demand but they did not join us at the last minute.

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