Protests in Nepal over Parliament extension

Nepal`s parties have agreed to extend Parliament`s term by three months.

Kathmandu: The first protests started on Sunday soon after Nepal`s major parties agreed to extend Parliament`s term by three months more with an ethnic organisation calling a general strike in the Terai lowlands.

The Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha (TKS), an organisation of Tharus, an ethnic community who were among the first inhabitants of the Terai plains in southern Nepal, called the general strike on Sunday targeting the Tharu belt, an arc of 22 districts where the community has a sizable population.

The TKS had been demanding that the new Constitution be enforced by May 28, 2011.

It has also been expressing anger at the government`s failure to implement a past agreement with it, including giving proportional representation to Tharus in all state organs.

Since Nepal declared itself a federal democratic republic in 2008, the Tharus have been alarmed by the aggressive campaign by the Madhesi community to safeguard its rights in the Terai.

The Madhesis are also an ethnic inhabitant of the plains and Tharus say they have been grouped with the Madhesis by the government, which would lead to the eradication of their identity, culture and rights.


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