US enquires about Nepal’s proposed constitution amendments

Kathmandu, Jan 23 (IANS) US Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has querried Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli about the constitution amendment proposals tabled in parliament, the authorities here said.

To a querry over the phone, Oli told Blinken that the amendments were aimed at addressing genuine demands of the agitating Madhesi communities and ending the unrest in Nepal’s southern belt, Xinhua cited the prime minister’s political advisor Bishnu Rimal as saying on Saturday.
The call to Oli has come at a time when Nepal’s parliament prepares 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 were killed in the violent clashes during the agitation launched by the Madhesi groups.
The media reports suggested that the parliament will approve amendment proposals on the new constitution possibly on Saturday.
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), were rejecting the constitution amendment proposals, saying that it does not deal with their core demand of fresh demarcation of provincial boundaries.