Stockholm/London/Sydney/Boston, 7 October 2015)
We welcome the new Constitution of Nepal promulgated recently. It is necessary for the Constitution to have the support of the communities from all walks of national life. In this regard, we regret that the Constitution was not able to address the legitimate concerns of some communities before its promulgation. Consequently, Tharus and Madhesis, in particular, have been protesting to have their concerns heard. We are concerned by the violations of human rights by the Government of Nepal in its response to the campaign launched by the people within these communities resulting both in the detention of some of their leaders and tragically in death of several other community members. We are equally concerned by the killing of a number of law enforcement officers and violence committed by those participating in the demonstrations. Therefore, we denounce the violence committed on both sides and call upon the Government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
No one community within Nepal is more important than another. Their equality before the law must be respected by all. The fundamental law of the land, as enshrined in the Constitution, should embody this spirit and address the concerns of the Tahru and Madheshi communities and all necessary constitutional amendments should be made at the earliest opportunity.
We are of the view that India has committed a flagrant violation of the rights of Nepal as a land-locked country under international law by imposing an undeclared economic blockade and by interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs. We denounce this open disregard of Nepal’s freedom of action as a sovereign nation and call upon the Indian government to lift its economic blockade and recognize and respect the internationally guaranteed rights of its small land-locked neighbour. In the absence of this necessary gesture, we are compelled to assist the Government of Nepal towards bringing this matter to a greater attention of the international community and to take the matter to the international judicial institutions, if needed.
In view of the aforementioned situation and keeping in mind the long term interests of Nepal, we a group of academics of Nepali origin working in different disciplines at various universities around the globe have brought forward our decision to establish an independent, impartial and non-partisan institution – the Global Policy Forum for Nepal (GPFN). The main objective of the Forum is to assist Nepal by investing intellectual capital, technology, and knowhow needed in the formulation and implementation of its policies in order to develop Nepal as a self-dependent and prosperous country. We are committed to assisting our fellow Nepalese and when appropriate, through the Government of Nepal, in building a cohesive, tolerant, and inclusive society guided by the values of democracy and plurality. We intend to expand this organisation to bring on board as many academics, other intellectual and professionals with diverse knowledge and expertise as necessary.
The coordinating committee of the newly established Forum is headed by Professor and Barrister Surya P. Subedi, O.B.E., Professor of International Law at the Univeristy of Leeds. Other members of the committee are Professor Dr Shiva Gautam of Harvard University, USA; Associate Professor of Surgery Dr Kumud Dhital of the University of New South Wales, Australia; Professor Katak Malla, Professor of International Law at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, and Professor Upendra Dev Acharya, Professor of International Law at Gonzaga Univeristy, USA. Those who are interested in working with us or in supporting our endeavour are invited to contact us via: https://www.facebook.com/global.policy.forum.nepal.