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Progress in Nepal talks

Ameet Dhakal

KATHMANDU: Nepal's Government on Sunday began another round of dialogue with the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) after it called off the national strike announced earlier for Sunday and Monday. Both parties said they had made good progress and that they would resume talks on Monday. Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel, who leads the Government team said, "We are making progress and I hope that by tomorrow we will reach an agreement."

The NEFIN, an umbrella organisation of the indigenous people who make up about 23 per cent of the population, has been demanding proportional system in the Constituent Assembly election and representation of indigenous and other marginalised groups in all state organs. Its delegation called on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. NEFIN chief negotiator Om Gurung said, "The Prime Minister was very serious about our demands and we are optimistic that they will be fulfilled soon." The Government's talks with the NEFIN and the Madhesi People's Rights Forum are crucial since holding the CA poll in November as planned is impossible without bringing them on board.

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