KATHMANDU, April 28: The United Democratic Tharu Front (UDTF), a newly formed cross-party alliance, has unveiled a concept paper, demanding an undivided Tharuhat state with preferential political rights and right to self determination.
A two-day national gathering of UDTF held in the capital on Saturday came up with the concept paper that envisages initiatives to get the Tharu community´s concerns addressed in the new constitution through co-ordination with political parties and other organizations.
The alliance has also demanded declaration of those killed in the Tharuhat movement as martyrs and involvement of indigenous people of the Tharuhat state in every level of state affairs.
Co-coordinator of alliance Surendra Chaudhari Tharu said that they are against the idea of dividing the Tarai region into two or more provinces. He added that the alliance would stage shutdown in all the Tarai districts from May 3-5 to press for their cause.
Addressing a press meet organized by the alliance in the capital on Saturday, Tharu said, “Our bottom-line is an integrated Tharuhat state. We will not accept a divided Tharuhat at any cost.” He also warned the major political parties not to look for alternative to the Constituent Assembly (CA) to promulgate the new constitution.
“Conspiracy is being hatched to dissolve the Constituent Assembly (CA) but we won´t accept a constitution that will be promulgated from outside of the CA,” Tharu maintained.
Tharu leaders said that they have joined forces for common concerns despite their affiliation with various political parties.
“We have come together by rising above partisan interests,” said Chief Whip of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Ramjanam Chaudhari.
Tharu leaders have claimed that the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) has also expressed solidarity with UDTF.
Asked if they would support Tharu leaders, a senior UDMF leader said they have no objection to the demands of UDTF. “Whether you name it Tharuhat or Madhes, we also want an integrated Tarai,” added the leader on condition of anonymity.