KATHMANDU, July 7: Concluding that there is a need of a separate political party representing ethnic and indigenous communities, leaders from the communities gathered in Kathmandu have formally declared to form such a party.
The leaders avowed that the new party will be guided by the principles of human rights, social justice, equality and indigenous rights.
"We call upon all the leaders and cadres from ethnic and indigenous communities, who are members of various political parties, and the people in general from the oppressed and marginalized communities to participate in the process of forming a new political force," said the statement issued at a press conference on Friday.
The two-day national gathering was jointly convened by Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), a caucus of former lawmakers from ethnic and indigenous communities and other organizations in Kathmandu, starting Wednesday.
Leaders and activists from the ethnic communities argued that it has become essential to form a new party that would champion the causes of ethnic, indigenous and oppressed social groups as the top leadership of all the major political parties was occupied by Brahmins and other so-called high-caste leaders.
The statement said the new political force has become a necessity to end the hegemony of the high-caste leaders who want to retain the old systems and stand against any changes in the society.
The gathering held the top leaders of major political parties responsible for the demise of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on May 27. "The anti-federalist and rightist Brahmin leaders of the three major political parties, CA Chairman [Subas Nembang], Chairman of Constitutional Committee [Nilambar Acharya] and their coterie held the CA hostage leading to its demise," concluded the gathering.
They called upon all the organizations representing indigenous communities to boycott the anti-federalists.
Some senior leaders from CPN-UML, including the party´s vice-chairman Ashok Rai and other noted leaders such as Prithivi Subba Gurung and Ram Chandra Jha, were not present at the press conference.
Though the caucus of former lawmakers from ethnic and indigenous communities was one of organizers of the event, the caucus´ coordinator Gurung didn´t show up at the press conference. Former lawmaker Pasang Sherpa attended the event on behalf of the caucus.