Speech by NRMA President Basant Kumar Kushwaha in the United Nations CERD 94th session: Thematic Discussion on Racial Discrimination, on 29th November 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Welcome to the Non-Resident Madheshis (NRM) Association website. The NRM-A is a global non-political organization of Madheshis living abroad – for the welfare of all Madheshis. The objectives of the NRM-A are
to promote the awareness of Madhesh and the Madheshi identity around the world
to educate the world about the problems and issues of Madhesh and Madheshis
to participate in the social and economic development agenda of Madhesh
to voice a concern for the rights of all Madheshis
to encourage the investment and development projects in Madhesh
to promote tourism in Madhesh
to promote an environment of cooperation and support among the Madheshi students and professionals
The NRM-A strives to have chapters or representatives in every country with a significant presence of Madheshis, in future.
Access to proof of citizenship was not a central issue in Nepal’s protracted armed conflict nor did the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) explicitly highlight citizenship as a major issue to be addressed as part of the peace process. However, the economic, social and political marginalization of people unable to prove their citizenship weighs heavily on economic and democratic development. The number of people unable to prove their citizenship in the Tarai is high, most of who are poor and uneducated. Regardless of their citizenship status, they are de facto part of Nepali society and their disenfranchisement causes their families and communities to feel excluded. As Nepal consolidates its transition to democracy after a decade-long armed conflict, it is paramount to maximize political, economic and social participation rather than create unnecessary divides. Thus finding durable solutions for people unable to prove their citizenship is critical for Nepal. Addressing the problems faced by people unable to prove their citizenship has been recognized as central for Nepal to succeed in its transition toward sustainable peace2.
The people who are unable to prove their citizenship in Nepal are generally poor, scattered and not in a position to question the status quo. However, some political groups have seized upon the matter as an identity issue, especially when the voting rights of part of their constituency began to be threatened. Voter registration that requires citizenship certificates faced resistance even before the voter registration teams began to cover the lower Tarai belt. In some villages of Parsa, they faced a violent reception3.
The people interviewed for this field bulletin tell the tale of daily obstacles due to lack of citizenship certificates, of missed opportunities when trying to obtain such certificates, insufficient public information and officials facing ambiguous legislation. Often living close to the border and with family links to India, but not from specific minorities, many are confused as to why they are unable to obtain the citizenship certificates which some of their family members possess. This field bulletin also highlights how the problem is worsening with time as the next generation of people is unable to prove their citizenship.
The state and various armed groups are competing in perpetrating extra-judicial killings in Tarai, a report shows.
“The Series of Extra-judicial Killings in Terai”, published by the Democratic Freedom and Human Rights Institute (DFHRI) on Friday shows the state was involved in 133 extra-judicial killings while armed groups were involved in 128 cases during the 2007-2010 period.