Nepal PM Sushil Koirala cancels US visit

Foreign advisor to Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala says Koirala cancelled planned US visit for talks on new constitution

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala (C) walks on runway

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala cancelled his first planned visit to the US due to demonstrations in his country against a new constitution, said his chief foreign advisor, adding Koirala will meet regional parties opposed to the country's first "secular and democratic" constitution adopted on last Sunday.

"Because of the domestic political situation, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will not go to the US,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, advisor to PM Koirala.

“He will stay at home... so he can hold talks with political parties opposed to the Constitution."

If had not cancelled his visit, he would have attended a meeting at the United Nations General Assembly next week regarding the new Constitution.

Nepal last Sunday officially adopted its first ‘secular and democratic’ constitution which took more than seven years to complete amid years of political and civil unrest. Work began on the constitution in 2008 after Maoists won parliamentary elections in the country after ending an armed conflict with the government following a peace accord.

The controversial document defines the majority Hindu nation as a secular federation divided into seven states, each with a law making body and chief minister. 

Nepal's Home Ministry has said that more than 40 people have died in demonstrations against the new constitution in a week.

The violence has also affected neighbouring India, which called on its ambassador to report on the situation last Monday.

The New Delhi administration "Repeatedly cautioned the political leadership of Nepal to take urgent steps to defuse the tension in these regions. We still hope that initiatives will be taken by Nepal's leadership to effectively and credibly address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation," it announced.

TRTWorld and agencies