| December 15, 2018

Agitating parties urge Oli to create environment for talks

KATHMANDU, June 13: The government has yet again urged the agitating Madhes-based parties and communities to come for talks to settle their concerns regarding the contents of the new constitution with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli sending official letters to the agitating forces on Sunday.

Addressing the launch of Naya Shakti Nepal, a party led by Baburam Bhattarai, on Sunday, PM Oli said that he has urged the disgruntled forces to come for dialogues to settle all their issues.

According to PM's Political Advisor Bishnu Rimal, the PM has appealed all the agitating political parties to come for talks as the government has been meeting the precondition set by them.

But the Madhes-based parties maintain that government appeals are mere formalities and that it was not serious toward resolving the issue.

"Last time, we had received a letter from the prime minister 10 days after he had publicly claimed of sending it. This shows how serious the government is," said Federal Socialist Forum Nepal Co-Chairman Rajendra Shrestha.

However, PM's Press Advisor Pramod Dahal said that all the agitating parties will receive a letter from the prime minister by Monday.

Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Spokesperson Sarbendra Nath Shukla told Republica that the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) would discuss Oli's offer for talks only after receiving the letter.

However, he argued that the government was yet to create a favorable environment for meaningful talks. "We have been demanding judicial probe committee to investigate the use of force by security forces during the ongoing Madhes Movement. However, government has ignored it so far," said Shukla.

"The government has remained firm on its earlier positions regarding the issues we have been raising. Leaders within the ruling coalitions are giving contradictory speeches on our issues. There is still a long way to go to start a serious dialogue," he added.
Shukla instead warned the government of launching fresh round of intensive protests if the government calls them merely for talks without creating conducive environment for settling the issues.