KATHMANDU, Dec 26: The Newari ethnic fronts associated with UCPN (Maoist), Nepal Congress (NC) and CPN-UML and other Newari organizations on Saturday jointly declared Newa autonomous province.
The Joint Action Committee for New Autonomous State declared the autonomous province amid much fanfare at the Dasharath Stadium. The president of the committee Narendra Hada announced the autonomous province and a flag of Newa province was fluttered. On December 16, Maoists had unilaterally declared Newa autonomous state.
Speaking at the function UML leader Rajendra Shrestha said that his party has already delineated autonomous Newa province and this should be endorsed in the Constituent Assembly.”
Nepali Congress leader and CA member Tirtha Ram Dangol said that eight districts of Bagmati zone, seven of Narayani as well as Dolakha and Ramechhap districts should be integrated into one and declared Newa Autonomous province. He also claimed that 218 janajati CA members would press for ethnicity-based provinces.
Likewise, Maoist vice chairman Narayankaji Shrestha said that the declaration of the autonomous province was a “slap on those elements opposing federalism and constitution making”. Referring to the declaration of autonomous provinces by his party, Shrestha said people themselves have declared provinces and so there would be no turning back.
Also speaking at the function, activist Malla K Sundar argued that the declaration of the autonomous province was not a challenge to the jurisdiction of the CA, but a move to make the demands of the Newari community heard.
Cadres of the Maoist-affiliated Newa Rastriya Mukti Morcha, NC-affiliated Newa Loktantrik Dabu, and UML-affiliated Loktantrik Newa Sangh, among others, attended the function.
The Newa province´s policies of language, cultural, economic, education, and other minorities were also revealed at the function.