Tharuwat Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC) Press Release of April 17 announcing second phase of agitation

Tharuwat Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC)

Press meeting of April 17th, 2009

Tharus, the indigenous habitants of Terai-Tharuwat had been reassured on March 14th by the Prime Minister, Puspa Kamal Dahal that the Winter Session of the legislature-parliament would conclude by repealing and amending various acts and laws infringing the dignity and fundamental rights of the Tharus in the Interim Constitutions, thereby making provisions for their self determination. Tharuwat movement escalated from March 2nd to 14th 2009, against the existing, repressive government, which passed the ordinance of enforced inclusion of 92 indigenous peoples living in the Terai within the Madeshi category. The movement heightened to a peak, when TJSC blockaded the Terai to a virtual standstill for 13 days, which literally paralyzed the country. This was in retaliation to the government's undemocratic action against the political issues raised by the Tharus, infringing their fundamental rights. On behalf of the Government of Nepal, the Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, Janardhan Sharma had concluded a six point agreement with Tharuwat Sangharsha Samiti (TJSC). However, contrary to the signed agreement, the Government of Nepal has violated the terms and conditions agreed upon, between the two parties. TJSC has resumed its second round of protest, objecting the ordinances, bills, acts ad amendments against the fundamental rights of the indigenous peoples of Nepal.

Violation of terms

1)                 The Nepal government had agreed to revoke the ordinance of enforcement inclusion in the Madeshi category by explicitly eliminating the terminology "Madesh" in the Interim Constitution and reinstatement of the word "Terai". The Interim Constitution would thereby recognize the inhabitation of the Adhibasi Janajati (indigenous) – Tharus, other Adhibasi Janajatis, Dalits, Muslims, Madeshis and other minorities and adopt / adapt provisions to ensure the equal rights to their self determination without discrimination.

2)                 Since Article 21 of the Interim Constitution makes comprehensive provision for proportionate representation by % in ratio to population distribution, thus securing social inclusion in all organs of government services and offices, the conflicting ratio of 55% - 45% is illogical and unconstitutional. The objection to this discriminatory ratio distribution not only marginalizes the participation of the Adhibasi Janajati – Tharus, Adhibasi Janajatis, Dalits, Muslims and Madeshis but the reformed bill incites conflicting interests without an acceptable formula and rule of law that allows an amicable co-existence of the above mentioned identities. The Tharu movement had demanded the implementation of the provisions for separate quota from the Madeshi category to fulfill their aspiration for separate independent identity. This would ensure them opportunities in various public services, to develop and empower the potential of the Tharus, who have been incessantly victimized by the state in oppressing, discriminating and exploiting them; whereby the state has been successful in marginalizing the Tharus from actively participating in the reconstruction of the state.

This transparent decision by the present government, headed by Puspa Kamal Dahal, confirms the Brahminbadi autocracy in oppressing the justifiable demands of the inalienable rights of the Adhibasi Janajati – Tharus, Adhibasi Janajatis, Dalits, Muslims, and Madeshis. Since the government of Prime Minister, Puspa Kamal Dahal has violated the trust agreement signed between the two parties; we are obliged to continue our civil rights movement with various civil disobedience acts. We demand that the government attend to the social justice issues as key to the political rights of the Adhibasi Janajati, Dalits, Muslims, Madeshis and the minority groups to establish a foreseeable peace in Nepal.

Main political agendas

v     Repeal and amend all acts and rules related to public services, Citizens Act, Election Act etc. in the Interim Constitution of Nepal, violating the spirit of the six point agreement signed between the Tharuwat Movement and the Government of Nepal. The government must uphold the spirit of equality by including the issues raised by the Tharuwat movement to be tabled by this Winter Session.

v     Replace the term "Madeshi" with "Tharuwat" in the Interim Constitution.

v     Recognize the territorial expanse of Tharuwat stretching from Jhapa in east to Kanchanpur in the west, including Udaypur valley, Kamala gorge of Sindhuli, Chitwan, Dang, Surkhet as "Tharuwat Autonomous Federal State" and Limbuwan, Magarat, Tamuwan, Newa Mandal, Tamangsaling, Khambuwan, Khasang as other autonomous federal states in the Interim Constitution and the drafting of the new constitution.

v     Enact immediately all rights enshrined in ILO Convention No. 169, UN General Assembly Declaration on indigenous peoples, Earth Summit Declaration 1992 etc. amending the constitution and formulate the legislation in the interest of indigenous nationalities as Nepal government has ratified the international rule of laws binding to its partners.

v     Implement equal rule of law by providing constitutional guarantee of full proportionate representation for all castes/ethnicities based on ratio of census at all levels of state organs and sectors of the state.

v     Immediate appointments of Adhibasi Janajati – Tharus in the posts of Judges, Chief district Officers, Local Development Officers, Education Officers, Police and Army Chiefs, Constitutional Commissions, Diplomatic Missions, Ministries, Departments, various Commissions, The Supreme Court, including all government offices/corporations and companies in Tharuwat districts. In addition, correspond to appoint the Adhibasi Janajati – Tharus immediately in International Multinational donor agencies and organizations etc.

v     Include Tharu language as an official language alongside other languages and special arrangement for education up to higher secondary level in Tharu language for the Tharus.

v     Constitutional guarantee should be provided for the political rights of the Adhibasi Janajati – Tharus, Adhibasi Janajati, Muslim, Dalits and minorities.

v     Execute immediately the task of compensation, re-establishing and empowering the freed ex- Kamaiyas.

Public bandhs and strikes program

v     21st April, 2009 06:00 PM

o       Torch rally in all Tharuwat districts.

v     22nd April, 2009 onwards

o        Public bandhs and strikes for indefinite period.

v     23rd  to 26th April, 2009

o        Padlock all government offices in Tharuwat region

v     27th April, 2009 onwards

o       Continuous public bandhs /strikes, boycotting local governance.

v     29th April, 2009 onwards

o       Tharuwat joint Struggle Committee will control all its natural resources, including water, forest, land by right of ILO-169

Tharuwat Sangharsha Samiti:

v     Laxman Tharu

v     Upendra Gachhedar

v     Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary

v     Yogendra Chaudhary

v     Shakun Sherchand

v     Gopal Dahit Tharu

v     Shailendra Chaudhary Tharu

v     Min Raj Chaudhary

v     Ramananda Chaudhary

v     Saraswati Chaudhary

v     Shrawan Chaudhary

v     C.N/ Chaudhary

v     Chandra Chaudhary

v     Chanda Tamang

v     Rukmini Chaudhary

v     Ganga Chaudhary

v     Chandra Prasad Chaudhary

v     Binod Chaudhary



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