U.S. senior official enquires about constitution amendment proposals in Nepal

Tony_Blinken_v1_8x10_200_1KATHMANDU, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — United States Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has enquired about the Constitution amendment proposals tabled in the Nepali Parliament with Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli during a telephone conversation on Friday, the Nepali authorities said here on Saturday.

“The U.S. Deputy Secretary particularly enquired about the Constitution amendment proposals tabled in the Parliament,” Prime Minister Oli’s Political Affairs Advisor Bishnu Rimal told Xinhua Saturday morning.

The Nepali prime minister responded the U.S. senior official that the Constitution amendments are aimed at addressing genuine demands of the agitating Madhesi communities and ending a prevailing unrest in the Southern belt of Nepal.

The U.S. senior official’s call to the Nepali prime minister has come at a time when Nepal’s Parliament is preparing to make the first amendment in the new Constitution to address the demands raised by the ethnic Madhesi minorities who have been running anti-Constitution protests in the Terai region of Nepal bordering India for nearly five months.

Over 50 protesters including 10 police personnel have been killed in the violent clashes during the agitation launched by the Madhesi groups.

Local media reports suggested that the Parliament will approve amendment proposals on the new Constitution possibly on Saturday afternoon.

A month ago, the Nepal government had tabled a bill in the Parliament to amend the Constitution in view of addressing two demands of the Madhesi people related to proportional representation and delimitation of constituencies.

Madhesi fringe parties, under the banner of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), have been rejecting the Constitution amendment proposals, saying that it doesn’t deal with their core demand of fresh demarcation of provincial boundaries.

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