KATHMANDU, July 6: A two-day national gathering of ethnic leaders and activists concluded on Thursday after deciding to form a new party of indigenous people, most likely on August 9, which is International Day of the World´s Indigenous Peoples.
"The gathering concluded that it is essential to form a new political party based on social justice, equality and human rights," said Professor Krishna Bhattachan, a participant in the national gathering, about the decision of the national gathering.
Asked when the indigenous leaders would form the new political party, Bhattachan said, "We will work to form the new party on August 9, but it may be delayed two to four months as there will be rigorous discussion on the issue."
He stated that a taskforce of ethnic leaders and activists would work on the formation of the new party.
According to Bhattachan, the ethnic leaders and activists concluded that the Constituent Assembly can be reinstated only if the parties agree to single identity-based federalism.
"There will be no point reinstating the CA if the political parties do not first forge consensus on single ethnicity-based federal states," he said about the decision of the gathering.
Indigenous leaders who attended the meet said that the gathering also decided to urge the indigenous communities to socially boycott political parties and leaders who oppose single identity-based federalism.
Treasurer of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Dandu Sherpa said the gathering concluded that the major political parties must take them into confidence while reaching any decision on federalism.
"No political agreement would be acceptable to us if it is forged among political parties in the absence of indigenous leaders," Sherpa told Republica.
Similarly, the indigenous leaders demanded that a new constitution must be promulgated through the CA. "We won´t accept a new constitution promulgated from beyond the CA," Bhattachan told Republica.
Sherpa said that they would expose anti-single ethnicity-based federalism forces at the grassroots. "We decided to expose political parties and leaders that are against single ethnicity-based federalism," he maintained.
The decisions are scheduled to be made public in the declaration of the two-day national gathering amid a press conference at the NEFIN central office in Lalitpur, Friday morning.