Interaction program on Federal Terms: Meaning and Definition

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On the 29th December, 2012 (14 Poush, 2069) Nepal Intellectual forum and Constitution Information Center co- organized a one day interaction program on ‘Federal Terms: Meaning and Definition’ in Pokhara. The programme was chaired by the chairman of Nepal Intellectual Forum Prof. Dr. Pashupatinath Timilsena.

The forum had already organized an interaction programme immediately after the dissolution of Constituent Assembly on 1st of Asadh, 2069. The interaction program was based on the queries related with “what after the dissolution of constituent assembly” in order to resolve the confusion lingering over the national political scenario. In this connection, it was felt that the latter interaction programme had tried to make people understand the federal terms, its meaning and definition. It also eneavoured to remove the confusion related with the theoretical and practical aspects of these terminologies.

In the interaction program on ‘Federal Terms: Meaning and Definition’ four conceptual papers were presented related with the main subject. In the program Prof. Dr. Lokraj Baral presented a paper on Federalism in general, why Nepal needs state restructuring, and then gave an overview of glossary. Likewise, Mr. Resham Gurung presented a conceptual paper entitled “Bases of Constituting Federal Units”.  He talked on the topics of Identity, Capability, Name of Provinces and Territorial Demarcation of Provinces which are essential for establishing a Federal state. Third paper on Division of State Power and Relationship among Federal Units was presented by Mr. Vijaya Karna. He talked about the Jurisdiction of Center, Province, Local government and Autonomous region. He conducted a discussion on proposed model for Nepal, Relationship between Centre and Province and Inter Provincial relationship. Dr. Deepak Bhatta presented the fourth conceptual paper on Group and Minority Rights. He elaborated upon the definition of minority, excluded and marginalized groups, rights of dalit, women, indigenous nationalities and madheshi in federal set up.

The programme was conducted in various sessions and representatives of different political parties, indigenous organizations, human rights organizations, organizations working for marginalized groups, women and handicaps, intellectuals and lawyers participated in the programme. There were all together 90 participants in the progamme. The participants put up their queries in the related field and gave their suggestions too, Prof. Dr. Nagendra Lal Shrivastav, Prof. Dr. Dil Bahadur Chetri, Dr. Gyan Bahadur Karki, Dr. Lekhnath Bhattarai, Dr. Balram Upadhyay, Padmasharan Regmi, Amar Tulachan, Dipesh Poudel, Paan Bahadur Gharti, Chaturman Bishwakarma, Durga K.C., Bamdev Poudel, Krishna Baral, Dr. Bimal Kesari Poudel, Khushiman Tamu, Dr. Bishwokalyan Parajuli, Dr. Saroj Koirala, Bindiya Goutam, Prof. Dr. Bishwo Shrestha, Dr. Karnabir Poudel, Shobha Poudel, Pole Bahadur Tamu, Bijay Tamu, Kalidas Sharma, Tank Sharma, Bhave Sarki, Dr. Krishnaraj Adhikari, Dr. Mahesh Acharya, Sher Alimiya, Ganesh Bahadur Gurung, Najbun Nishakhan, Tej Bahadur Tamu, Raj Thapa, Anjana Sunar, Bishnu Baral, Badri Binod Pratik, all together there were around 51 participants who shared their opinion in the gathering. Participants were of the view that federal state system is essential in Nepal but its theoretical aspect as well as its explanation in the society and among the common people has been interpreted in a wrong way. Therefore, in a unanimous voice it was emphasized that all such the illusory views should be removed and by a constituent assembly a federal democratic system should be established in Nepal.

Summarizing the program Prof. Dr. Krishna Hachethu expressed his views that the suggestions obtained from the interaction were invaluable and should be included in the Glossary of Federal Terms. In the programme the chair of the co-organiser, CIC Gandaki zone, Juna Gurung delivered the welcome speech and Mr. Khushi Prasad Tharu representing International institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) informed the audience about the significance of the Glossary.

All the sessions of the programme was chaired by the president of Nepal Intellectual Forum Prof. Dr. Pashupati Nath Timilsena. Analysing the whole programme he said that the voice of the Nepalese society which remained subdued since ages could not be brought together with the practical life and hence it resulted in the dissolution of constituent assembly. He further added that how so ever difficult it may be, the establishment of federal democratic system is a must for Nepal and for this, interaction progammes of such gravity is necessary to be carried on frequently. Thus, thanking all the participants and organizations he declared the programme close.

The programme was conducted at Family restaurant, Naya Bazar, Pokhara from 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and was supported by International IDEA.