Nearly 7 years ago Nepal elected a Constitutional Assembly, in the first democratic elections for several years, the task of the assembly was to produce a constitution for Nepal, and they were given 2 years to do so. Nepal, newly democratic and no longer a Hindu kingdom but a secular state.
|Picture from www.thehindu.com|
After 4 years of trying the sticking points proved too sticky and no constitution was forthcoming so the assembly was disbanded. 18 months later in November 2013 fresh elections brought about the second Constitutional Assembly. The deadline for that assembly to produce a constitution is this week, Thursday 22nd January 2015.
Reading the papers and following the news there is not a lot of hope that this time will see success. There has been lots of talks of Bandhas (strikes) by various opposition parties, to push for particular demands, for a constitution, or against a constitution that is pushed through by vote (as opposed to the desired consensus). So far though we have only seen one nationwide bandh last week, but there is likely to be disruption this week. This is a lot more peaceful and with much less disruptionthan previous years. Although, one group has already announced that they will strike on Friday to burn the constitution if one emerges on Thursday.
As we have said before the strikes and protests and political to and fro’s hit the poorest worst as they are forced to shut up shop or have vehicles vandalised. Please remember Nepal this week and if you pray, pray for a peace filled week and for politicians to come together for the good of this nation.