| March 28, 2017
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Govt writes to UDMF to come for talks

Govt writes to UDMF to come for talks
Tripathi cold shoulders invite
KATHMANDU, May 9: The government has formally invited the agitating Madhes-based parties for dialogue to address all their issues and concerns.

Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa, also the coordinator of the government's dialogue committee, wrote official letters to all the seven agitating parties under the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). Thapa's press and public relations advisor Mohan Shrestha reached the headquarters of the agitating parties on Sunday and delivered Thapa's letters.
Thapa has urged the Madhes-based parties to sit for talks at a mutually agreeable date and venue. "It is necessary that all the political parties stay together to take ahead the tasks of economic development and reconstruction. In this regard, I, on behalf of the Government of Nepal, request you to sit for talks as soon as possible reiterating the commitment that all the problems could be resolved through dialogue," states the letter delivered to the agitating parties.

Thapa has also said that the changing of the modality of protests and the participation of the agitating parties in the activities of parliament have been taken positively by the government.

Thapa has said that the government is committed to addressing the demands of the Tarai-Madhes movement through dialogue. He has also claimed that the first amendment of the constitution was done in the spirit of the dialogues held earlier with the agitating parties.

Thapa has also mentioned that the government has already formed a high-level political mechanism to forge consensus on the issues including the delineation of provinces.

"The dialogues were stalled for a long time and the formal call was made again with the intent of resolve the Madhes issues through dialogues," said Shrestha.

However, the leaders of the UDMF termed the letter just a formality. Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) Vice Chairman Hridayesh Tripathi said that he was amused by the letter from the government "which was ignoring the Madhes issues."

"This call has been made without meeting prerequisites for dialogue. The government should have made the call only after taking responsibility of treatment of the injured individuals, declaring those killed in Madhes movement as martyrs and withdrawing trumped-up cases against our cadres," said Tripathi.

"The government should also make its position clear on the issues that we have been raising. Earlier, the taskforces from both the sides had reached a gentleman's agreement on some issues. The government should make its position clear on all those issues before inviting us for dialogue," he added.