Lawmakers call for repealing Guthi bill

Kathmandu, June 13: Lawmakers from the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, speaking in the meeting of the House of Representatives today called for retracting the Guthi bill, citing it was against the religion and culture.

MPs of the Nepali Congress and the Rastriya Janata Party (RJP) stood from their seats in protest soon after Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara started the proceedings.

Speaker Mahara then allocated time to lawmaker Bhimsen Das Pradhan to speak wherein he called for taking back the bill. Referring to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's recent participation in the International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s conference, Pradhan reminded that the ILO in its conference in 1991 had passed a provision for the protection of the Guthis for the protection of religion and culture of the indigenous nationalities and demanded to withdraw the Guthi bill without delay.

"The language, religion, culture and heritage of Kathmandu have identified Kathmandu to the rest of the world but the government has now challenged these very things. It has brought the Guthi bill without discussing with the stakeholders and suppressed the peaceful demonstrations held by the people to protest the bill. The government should take legal action against those involved in the suppression of peaceful demonstrations. Nobody can stop if the people of Kathmandu waged a movement. We are worried not that the government will fall but the federal democratic republic itself might be at risk," lawmaker Pradhan said.

Reminding that the agenda of the People's Movement in 2006 was not overthrowing the monarchy but that was exactly what happened after the people of Kathmandu later rose up against the monarchy, Pradhan drew the attention of the government to take this into count in time. He added that although Prithvi Narayan Shah took over the Kathmandu Valley through battle, he did not challenge the local culture and so the Shah rule lasted for 240 years.

Call for amending constitution

Lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna said that he was speaking in parliament at the moment to remind the parties of the need of amending the constitution as one of the ruling party in support of the amendment seemed to have forgotten their promise.

"Let us not be forced out of the parliament by not starting the constitution amendment process. It would be a mockery of the parliament if the government and the Public Service Commission were not to obey the parliamentary committee's directive. Let the prestige of the parliament be maintained," he said.

Karna called for the implementation of the parliamentary committee's directive. He also demanded that the report on the Madhes movement submitted by an investigation commission constituted under the coordination of former judge Girish Chandra Lal be made public at the earliest.

Call for annulment of PSC advertisement calling for vacancies in local level

Meanwhile, lawmaker Bimala BK speaking in the 'zero hour' of the House of Representatives session today demanded annulment of the vacancy announcement by the Public Service Commission some days back for filling up vacant posts in the local bodies on the grounds that it was discriminatory.

She said that the vacancy announcement was against the proportional inclusion principle of the constitution and came with the intention of marginalizing the oppressed communities like the indigenous nationalities, dalits, women and Madhesi, among others.

Other lawmakers speaking in the zero hour raised various issues of public concern like shortage of fertilizers and seed for the paddy cultivation, providing compensation to the locals of Dhading whose land has been acquired for construction of the Nagdhunga tunnel way, reforming several provisions in the Guthi bill, shortage of food grain in Humla and providing relief to the flood victims of Gulmi, and drew the government's attention towards addressing them.

The lawmakers raising these concerns include Brijesh Kumar Gupta, Bharat Kumar Shah, Bhumi Prasad Tripathi, Meena Subba, Maina Kumari Bhandari and Rangamati Shahi.

Lawmaker Ram Kumari Jhankri drew the attention of the parliament saying the negative views towards the lawmakers raised by the announcement of providing laptops to the MPs which was publicized by the media.

Similarly, lawmakers Rajendra Kumar KC, Mahendra Kumari Limbu, Yagya Raj Sunuwar, Min Bahadue Bishwakarma, Maheshwar Jung Gahatraj, Bhawani Prasad Khapung, Rajendra Kumar Rai, Rajendra Prasad Gautam, Renuka Gurung among others drew the government's and parliament's attention on the delay in the post-earthquake reconstructions, the hard time faced by farmers due to the heavy rain and the minimum salary increase of teachers.

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