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Racial Discrimination Issue in the new constitution

Kathmandu, 26 Mar, 09- Many personalities stressed the importance of effectively addressing issues of racial discrimination in the new constitution in order to make an inclusive democratic Nepal.

Speaking at the program titled "Effects of Racial Discrimination in the Society and Nation Restructure" organized by the National Coalition Against Racial Discrimination (NCARD) on the occasion of International Day against all forms of Racial Discrimination on Wednesday in Lalitpur, the speakers urged implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Chief Guest of the program, Constituent Assembly (CA)'s speaker Subhas Chandra Nembang emphasized preparation of a model for the elimination of discrimination and exploitation in the new constitution.

"It is time to understand the desires and needs of the people and make a plan for the elimination of all forms of discrimination, now rampant in our society, in the new constitution." Nembang stated.

Speaker Nembang pointed out the necessity to implement national and international commitments to eliminate discrimination from the society and the nation as a whole.

He further expressed his commitment to draft the constitution within the stipulated time and claimed to make it inclusive according to the opinions and the suggestions given by the people during opinion collection campaign conducted by CA members.
Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Nepal chief Richard Bennett expressed his concern over the gap between commitment and implementation of international conventions in Nepal.
"Not only in developing countries but also in other countries the government is delayed in implementing commitments" Bennett said, adding, "However, constant advocacy and interaction by the civil society with the political parties is most important to address the issues. Pressurizing the government helps to bring change in the society."

Comprehensive law is very necessary to free Nepal from every sort of discrimination, stated Bennett.

Sociologist Dr. Mukta Singh Lama explained 'inclusive' doesn't alone help in elimination of discrimination in the nation, rather the concept of equity is most important in the present scenario of Nepal.
"The new constitution should address the issue of equity. In fact, substantive equality is necessary in a democratic nation like Nepal "he explained.

He also emphasized the need to provide legal remedy after examining cases of direct and indirect discrimination.
" It’s so essential that the state should recognize all unjust discriminatory acts of the past done to several groups," he stated.

Another sociologist Janak Rai claimed that the main source of existing racial discrimination in the nation reflects the decades-long concept of Hinduism, Brahmanism, and patriarchic society followed by Nepali rulers from the past to present."

N-CARD general secretary, Malla K. Sundar said the issues relating to existing social, economic and regional discrimination have to be addressed in the new constitution of Nepal.

During the program, N-CARD chairperson Dr. Sumitra Manandhar Gurung, Women’s Rights activist Dr, Renu Raj Rajbhandari, Human Rights leader Padma Ratna Tuladhar also expressed their views.

-Sangmo Yonjan-Tamang in Kathmandu
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