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Dr KC’s supporters to launch hunger strike en masse

२०७५ साउन ६ गते ०:२७

Dr. KC’s supporters protesting at Baneshwor. Pic-RSS

Kathmandu, July 21 – Supporters of protesting Dr Gobinda KC are set to launch a hunger strike en masse from Sunday in support of his move. They are set to embark on sit-in at Basantapur, Kathmandu from 10 am onwards.

The information was shared at a protest rally launched on Saturday by Dr KC’s supporters, demanding the protection of his life by addressing his demands. Dr KC is currently on a hunger strike at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for the past 22nd days demanding reforms in medical sector. This is the 15th times that Dr KC has been on strike.

The demonstration means to mount pressure to address Dr KC’s demands, said Om Prakash Aryal, advocate and supporter of Dr KC, a participant of the protest rally.

The rally saw participation of people from different walks of life including former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, former Chief Justice Sushila Karki, former health minister Gagan Kumar Thapa, rights activist Krishna Pahadi, writer Khagendra Sangraula and actress Manisha Koirala.

Addressing the demonstration, former CJ Karki and rights activist Pahadi demanded that Dr KC’s demands be fulfilled soon.

Earlier the government had brought back Dr KC to Kathmandu from Jumla where he had launched a hunger strike. He was brought to Kathmandu for treatment, said the government. Dr KC however denied any medical checkup and medicines until his demands are met. His health condition is deteriorating, said doctors.

Dr KC’s demands to be addressed through democratic process-Home Minister

Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa has said the demands of Dr Govinda KC would be addressed through democratic process.

Talking to journalists at Janakpurdham Airport today, Minister Thapa shared that the ground works are being carried out as to what could be done on the medical education bill as per the demand of Dr KC.

The Home Minister made it clear that the process related to State Police Force will take stride only after the promulgation of Federal Police Act.

Noting that the complications surfaced on border would be settled on consensus, he said the time was already ripe to review the agreement.

Minister Thapa again warned the contractors for not carrying forward the construction works as per the agreement with government.

The process of party unification will be reached out to the local level as well, he noted.

‘Parliament, not street, is the right place to examine Dr KC’s demands’

– Ramesh Lamsal/RSS 

Kathmandu, July 21 – Voices are growing that the dispute regarding the Medical Education Bill should be decided from the Federal Parliament, the sovereign body of the people’s representatives, and not from street agitation or through hunger strike.

The cognisant people are of the view that any solution sought outside the federal parliament which has the people’s mandate does not contribute to strengthen the democratic norms and values rather it disturbs the process and procedure.

They believe that the ‘obduracy’ that the impunity, anarchy and the thinking that alternatives should be sought outside the law which spread in the past in the name of transition should be continued were not digestible after the constitution implementation.

Prof Dr Govinda KC of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital is on a fast-onto-death since the last 22 days. This is his 15th episode of the hunger strike that he launched in the name of reform in the medical sector.

However, according to the intelligentsia signs have surfaced that this hunger strike has assumed political dimension more than the topics related to the medical education.

The parliament alone is the place in a democracy to build opinion and take decisions. But any talks or agreements done elsewhere to sort out problems neglecting the parliament do not fall under the general characteristics of democracy.

According to analysts, although there is no room to doubt on Dr KC’s sincerity and intention, the developments that are taking place under his cover and the attitude of his supporters and backers give much room for questions.

That quality medical colleges should be set up in Nepal and that Nepali students should get the opportunity to study at an affordable fee have been mentioned in the ruling party’s election manifesto itself.

The government itself should invest in education and health sectors. This is also the desire of the general public. And it has been the government’s clear policy that issues should be addressed merely on the basis that someone has launched a hunger strike or from outside the parliament as in the past cannot be considered democratic.

The main opposition Nepali Congress obstructed a meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) on July 16 over the issues of Dr KC when the government was saying that it was trying to find a solution to it through the parliament. The lower house is scheduled to meet on coming July 24. The government has already formed a committee under the coordination of education secretary to hold talks with Dr KC and his team, who continue to refuse the government proposal for sitting in the talks table.

“A high-level commission is necessary to deal with the demands of Dr KC. The bill has incorporated the provision to this regard. But the move to prevent the bill to be entered the parliament is not democratic,” Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel reacted following the House obstruction. The decision to halt services in the government hospitals at time when incidents of natural disasters are taking place and the risk of infectious disease is high is against the spirit of the constitution and irrational in view of humanitarian sentiments and citizen’s fundamental rights , according to him.

As he said, the government brought the bill through a general process without the suspension of rule as per the demand of main opposition.

Talking to RSS on the matter, ruling party Communist Party of Nepal (CPN)’s parliamentary deputy leader Subash Nembang attempts to seek a way out to the disputes regarding the bill from outside the parliament were not acceptable. This would weaken the people’s elected body. “We want the solution through the parliament.”

Assuring that the government would respect Dr KC’s demands and address them in an honest manner, he said it was against law and procedure to announce that the parliament would be disrupted if the KC’s demands were not addressed fully.

He further argued that that the problems could be solved by the Medical Education Bill presented in the parliament, and obduracy could not work on it.

To this, analyst Bhim Bhurtel observed that Dr KC was on strike even during the NC’s governments. Efforts were made to solve problems but just for time being. There were no concern and interest coming in solid manner for the reform in medical education, he added.

Bhurtel further argued that Dr KC’s agitation now become a political issue. So, it can be settled politically.

“It is wrong mentality to seek solution from out of the parliament as done during the transitional period. The parliament is the place carrying people’s aspiration. In the parliamentary system, there is none above people’s representatives. Now, the Speaker should bring both the government and the opposition in consensus and begin discussion on this,” he mentioned.

He even suggests the broader approach of solving this pressing issue by garnering views in the parliament from all members of the Mathema commission, Gauri Bahadur Karki and the members of his commission, noted doctors, health professionals, educationists and medical education entrepreneurs.


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