Thursday, 24 September 2015

Nepal's constitutional reform and post earthquake politics

Families living in outside in tents in the immediate aftermath of the April Earthquake. Photo by Naresh Newar from IRIN News.

Nepal is currently balancing Earthquake recovery which is taking longer than expected with the recent constitutional reforms that have outraged ordinary Nepalese. As Haitians have learned after a massive disaster, the Nepalese people are experiencing slow post disaster recovery and neglect both through indifference from the government and lack of international interest and unfulfilled aid promises. The Nepalese government for the last decade have been attempting to pass constitutional reforms that would split the landlocked mountainous country's provinces into 7 federal provinces. It is easier said than done. Federalizing and breaking up the provinces into multiple territories is unpopular among many Nepalese who come from ethnic minorities that have argued with the government over marginalization in economic and political representation, lack of infrastructure development, neglect in the post Earthquake recovery among many other justified complaints.

Nepalese citizens rallying and protesting on constitutional reforms

There are many Nepalese that are still struggling to provide a safe environment and a sense of normalcy for their families and many orphaned school children living in the provinces outside the capital Kathmandu. Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese migrant workers are currently in the Gulf countries ie Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia who are doing their best to aid their families back home with remittances. They have been ignoring the politics and focusing on finances. Qatari authorities barred some workers from returning home to return post Earthquake funerals and memorials. Nevertheless, the post recovery coupled with the ongoing protests against constitutional reform has placed Nepal back in the spotlight. Nepalese ethnic minorities do not want to continue to be ignored or overlooked by the national government any longer. They have been calling attention to the government to look at the political and social problems of all Nepalese and think beyond the post recovery efforts.

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