Talks between Nepali ruling parties and agitating groups fail

February 24th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, Feb 24 (Xinhua) Talks between the ruling seven party alliance and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) have failed to reach a final agreement, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported Sunday. Seeking common opinion on UDMF’s six-point demand, the ruling seven parties of the coalition government held a meeting in Kathmandu Saturday.

The ruling alliance agreed to fulfil all UDMF demands other than declaration of entire Madhes region as a single autonomous state with the right to self-determination.

The UDMF leaders abandoned the talks after the ruling alliance argued that it is the task of the constituent assembly to determine the number of federal states and the basis for doing so.

Asked if talks with the government had broken down, chief of UDMF’s talks team Anil Jha said, “We are still holding discussions over the proposals made by the government”.

UDMF, an alliance of three major agitating Madhes-based parties - Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF), Terai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) and Sadbhawana Party - has put forth a six-point demand including an autonomous Madhes state with a republican order and right to self-determination.

To press for its demands, UDMF has been carrying out an indefinite general strike in the southern plains since Feb 13, which has affected a large portion of the Terai populace.

Some UDMF leaders had left Kathmandu Saturday to further intensify the Terai agitations.

Madhesi people are the Nepalese mainly living in south Nepal’s Terai plains, who are socially and culturally very close to the neighbouring Indians.

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