UN chief welcomes Nepal constitutional amendments

United Nations, Jan 27 (IANS) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed Nepal parliament’s vote to amend the constitution and hoped that the positive development would help ease the border blockade.

Responding to a question, Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday that Ban “welcomes parliamentary action to amend the Constitution as an important step in resolving differences on constitutional arrangements.”

“He hopes that current positive developments could help normalise passage of supplies at Nepal’s border points and refocus attention to address urgent reconstruction and other needs,” Dujarric added.

Over the weekend Nepal’s parliament voted to amend the constitution in order to create a House of representatives, redelineate electoral constituencies so they can potentially meet the demands of Madhesis and ensure social justice.

However, the Madhesis, whose protests have led to a blockade of the border with India, have rejected the amendments saying they did not go far enough to meet their demands. Their principal demand is the creation of two separate Madhesi provinces in the plains region, which was not included in amendment project.

Participating in the walkout before the vote on the amendment, Laxman Lal Karna of the United Democratic Madhesi Front said, “It does not even touch our main demand for changing the borders of the provinces.”

Dujarric said Ban “encourages all parties to exercise maximum flexibility in resolving remaining issues via dialogue.”

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