Nation should now strive for drafting federal constitution: PM
N24 Correspondent, KATHMANDU: On the eve of new year, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai announced that the nation has entered into a new era and should focus on ending drafting the gains of the ten year long insurgency, and Jananadolan.
Two days after brining former Maoist combatants, their arms and cantonments under the government, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on Thursday announced the move has dawned a new era in the country.
“With the combatants, arms, and arms container under the control of the state, now the nation has one state and the condition in which two armies existed has been ended” said the PM in his address to the nation.
Stating that the April 10 decision of the Army Integration Special Committee of handing over the former PLAs to the government as one of most complex and important issue, PM said that “the army integration had gone beyond the irreversible point. Only the technical aspect of the integration is remaining. It is a historical achievement and the government would not back away now.”
“Peace process has gone beyond the irreversible state and this would not have been possible without the flexibility of the Maoist, responsible behavior of Nepal Army, understanding shown by political parties, and the former PLAs,” the PM said.
He claimed that the incumbent government has succeded to bring the peace process to the present stage from a stage when “repeated failures of consecutive governments and parties to resolve complicated issues of peace and constitution processes were giving rise to fear of turning the country into an unsucceful nation”.
“Seven months on, the cloulds of uncertainity surrounding both processes have cleared and differences between political parties have also narrowed down” PM Bhattarai said while stating that another era, drafting the new constitution, was yet to institutionalized.
PM Bhattarai said that the government had focused itself on concluding the peace process and accordingly the first meeting of the Army Integration Special Committee successfully had handed over the keys of arms container to the state.
“And since than the government has never looked back on the process,” said the PM while flaying the ‘regressive and traditional forces’ and the dissident faction of the Maoists for ‘creating rumours and fears about the integration process’.
Acknowledging the presence of conflict between ‘progressive objective ideologies’ and ‘regressive backward ideologies’, the PM said that ‘revolution is launched by intellect and not by emotions.”
While stressing on the need to take the nation ahead by formulating policies that correspond to global, regional and internal context of the nation itself, he called dissatisfied leaders of his party for not raising unnecessary ripples and suspicions about army integration and peace process.
He appreciated the efforts of the PLAs in dawning republicanism and in showing utter flexibility to conclude peace process, PM Bhattarai said that the sole task of the government in the days ahead will be drafting the new constitution that will address their concerns and find out the whereabout of the disappeared and provide relief and justice to the conflict victims.
He said that army integration, though important, wasn’t the sole peace process, and reiterated commitment to form Transitional Justice Mechanisms.
“Army integration is an important part of peace process but it’s not all,” he said. “It is equally important to find out truth about people who died, disappeared and injured, compensate the victims and reconcile in the society.”
He said that the process to form Truth and Reconcillation Commission, Commission of Forced Dissapperace were already initiated and promised to find out the truth about the persons that were disappeared during insurgency period and assured additional relief of Rs two lakhs to the victims’ family and lifelong allowances to the physically handicapped and injured.
Bhattarai further said that the latest advancement made in the peace process had paved for the political parties to concentrate on drafting the new constitution within the timeframe. “If political parties hinder the constitution drafting now, Nepali citizens will never forgive them,” he warned.
While assuring that he will play an active role in drafting the new constitution as desired by the general public, he urged political parties to engage in fruitful dialogues to resolve contentions surrounding issues related to constitution drafting.
Addressing the concerns about the content of the new constitution, Bhattarai said that “The new constitution will be a complete constitution featuring republicanism, federalism, securlarism and inclusiveness, and based on participatory democratic values”.
Furthermore the PM assured that “identity and capacity will be the major basis of federalism,” while warning that “backing off from these principles will push the nation into an abyss of conflict”.
Along with that the PM also assured to implement the four-point agreement reached between Samyukt Madheshi Morcha and the Maoist, democratize the Nepal Army and make it inclusive, provide social security to the general public and detailed out government’s plan to address the concerns of the general public.