Instability in Nepal Endangers New Constitution, LGBT Equality

Reports out of Nepal suggest the new constitution being drawn up, which would offer LGBT people equal rights, is in danger of missing a deadline and being lost altogether:

Nepal  "A specially elected constituent assembly has until May 28 to complete the draft of the nascent Himalayan republic's first constitution, two years after it got rid of the monarchy.
But assembly chairman Subas Nemwang said the panel, dominated by the Maoist former rebels, still had a long list of chores and could take at least four months to complete the task.
'There are difficulties to meet the May 28 deadline. We don't have enough time to follow the procedures and rules,' Nemwang said.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal seeks to extend the deadline, saying 'a situation has arisen under which the constitution cannot be made in time', his office said.
And the leader's immediate concern is to ease a political standoff with the Maoists, who demand his resignation to make way for them to head a unity government, a year after they quit.
But the support of the Maoists, who control 40 percent of the seats in parliament, is a must for any change in the schedule.
The Maoists have said an extension of the deadline will be 'meaningless' until the prime minister resigns.
'This government is not keen in pursuing peace and on preparing a new constitution,' Maoist chief Prachanda said at a meeting.
In a sign of a hardening position, a Maoist strike last week closed transports and businesses for six days to press for their demands.
Analysts said missing the constitution deadline would erode the credibility of political parties."


  1. thomas walker says

    Frankly Andy, you’ve chosen a quote which really leads us to believe that it’s the Maoists, and not the old parties who cooperated with the king, who are holding up the process and stifling the process of lgbt rights. In fact, it was pressure from the queer groups WITHIN THE MAOISTS’ PARTY that pressured the parliament to pass measures granting full equality for queer people–over the objections of the likes of the Congress Party and others who for years were TOTALLY AND 100% COMPLICIT in the oppression of lgbt people in Nepal.

    This is really, terribly disappointing framing, and disingenuous.

    Instead of focusing on the massive transformation inspired and created by the Maoists in Nepal, which until 2006 was a country run by the supreme power of a king and which subjugated totally women, most national minorities, and gay people–it was feudalism, people!–you have chosen to imply that they are somehow standing in the way of progress.

    It’s also an important maxim to remember that in a revolution, gay rights aren’t the only consideration. What about the gay people who CANNOT AFFORD TO EVEN EAT because they have to pay so much to landlords who were given land by the king?

    Again, very disappointing that you would present the issue in this way and I STRONGLY urge you to be more investigative.

  2. unokhan says

    glad i back-tracked here for tw’s observations. one wants to believe that people will recognize the shared elements of struggle against a common foe and combine/coordinate their efforts, but single-issue types are habitually unlikely to have the patience for that kind of out-of-the-box thinking.

  3. says

    Well what a surprise, it never fails to amaze me on how little time is given to equality issues. Many people say they would deal with the equality issues but they have not got the time, they should make the time these issues are important and relevant so if the deadline has to be moved then move it.

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