Nepal Adopts New Constitution Admist Celebration And Discontentment

Kathmandu, September 21: Nepal adopts its new constitution which is the world's newest constitution on Sunday last.Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav announced the official adoption of a new constitution, whereby the Hindu monarchy will be formally converted into a secular, federal, republic with seven states.

Although the constitution was passed by 85% of the constituent assembly,Madhes-based political parties and members from the Tharu community walked out of the Constituent Assembly who are culturally and ethnically closer to India, say they have been marginalised under the new constitution which splits Nepal into seven states on geographical basis. They want this done on basis of ethnicity to keep up their representation in the new parliamentprotesting the new constitution for the negligence of their demands.

Demonstrations in the lowlands have largely been met with a tough response from Kathmandu. On Saturday, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala appealed to the agitating Madhesi and Tharu groups to come forward for dialogue.

Still, one person died on Sunday during a clash between the Madhesis and the police in Birgunj, where a curfew was declared later. Over the last few weeks, more than 40 protesters and policemen have died.

The Constitution aims to reinforce Nepal as a secular, democratic republic with a provision for the protection of religion, and establishes seven provinces. Its passage is the latest chapter in a turbulent history that includes a bloody civil war, the overthrow of the 239-year-old monarchy and a devastating earthquake in April that killed thousands and left thousands more homeless.

"We believe the country will move to adopt a speedy path of socioeconomic development,"Mr. Yadav said.

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