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Restructuring Nepal

Issue 02, January 13, 2008

By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

After the third amendment to the Interim Constitution and declaration of Nepal a federal democratic nation that has only to be stamped by the to-be-elected Constituent Assembly (CA) by mid April 2008, Nepal is poised to embrace a federal system of governance. The CA is supposed to formulate and pass a people’s constitution for governance. The author wants to make his recommendations for a federal system of governance as follow to be considered for the inclusion in the to-be-formulated people’s constitution:

If everything goes smoothly and the seven-party alliance is sincere to hold an election for a CA in mid April 2008, Nepal will have a CA that will formulate a people’s constitution. Hopefully, a to-be-elected CA will have representation of all Nepalis in proportion to their population and gender. Then, they will formulate and pass a constitution that will meet the needs of all Nepalis living elsewhere in Nepal.

The author thinks that it will not be wise to delineate Nepal into ethnic, language and other communal lines for a federal system of governance, as unscrupulous politicians may exploit the communal feelings of innocent people and provoke enmity among Nepalis. If the communal fighting happening elsewhere in the world is a guide, then Nepalis need to be free from any communal feeling for peace and prosperity. First of all, every Nepalis need to think for the benefits of Nepalis as a whole and then only of his/her community so that all Nepalis can live in a friendly environment. However, it does not mean that the ethnic groups, other regional and gender groups will not have a say in the governance rather everybody will have an equal say in the governance. Every Nepalis should be responsible for defending the sovereignty of Nepal.

Physical Delineation

In order to meet this broad objective, Nepal needs to be physically divided for the administrative purpose into five regions similar to the development regions made in the past or simply keep them as they are: (1) Eastern Development Region, (2) Central Development Region, (3) Western Development Region, (4) Mid-western Development and (5) Far Western Development. Each development region needs to be divided into tentatively 10 districts, and then each district into village development areas and municipalities. Nepal becomes a federation of five development regions. Each development is the federation of 10 districts, and each district is the federation of village development areas and municipalities within it.

Districts may be delineated based on the ethnic groups, and communal groups without mentioning such groups. Probably, this will ease to implement development works. Each village development area maybe delineated in consideration of all citizens living within the area will have an easy access to the village administration.

Elected Bodies

The central federal assembly may be elected based on the national constituencies. It needs to have the proportional representation of the ethnic, regional and gender groups. It will form a national government. It will have an authority to amend the constitution, to approve or disapprove the international deals made by the national government, and approve or disapprove the proposal made by the national government to go to a war or hold peace with any country, to defend the national sovereignty and to pass the national budget.

Each development region will have its own autonomous assembly elected based on the regional constituencies. It will elect a regional government. It will have an authority to pass its own development budget for its region. It will approve or disapprove the deal made by the regional government with the national government or another regional government. It will have the control over the natural resources within its boundaries. However, it will not have rights to do anything that will lead Nepal to breakup.

Each district development area will have an elected assembly based on the district constituencies. Such a district area indirectly may meet the demands of some ethnic and communal groups fighting for their identity if it is delineated based on the majority of the people living in such an area. It will elect a district government. It will approve or disapprove a district budget.

Each village area and municipality will have village or municipal assembly elected based on the village or municipal constituencies. Each village area and municipality will elect a village or a municipal government. Each village or municipal assembly will approve or disapprove its budget.


The village or the municipal government will have an authority to issue citizenship certificates based on the registration of births of children. Such a local government will have the responsibility for registering the birth of children within its territory and issuing and delivering the certificate of birth of children to their parents at their home within a month of the birth of a child. This provision is required in the initial stage of development, as the citizens may not realize the need for reporting the birth of their children. Such a local government needs to have an authority to issue passports, too, based on the birth certificate. In addition, each local government needs to have its own security forces to hold law and order within its territory, enforce laws and ensure the security of its citizens. Each local government will implement the local development projects.

Each district government will have an authority to implement district-level development projects. Each district government will cooperate with other district governments on peacefully implementing district development projects. Such a district government may not need to have security forces, as the local government will keep law and order and ensure the security of the citizens. So, a district government will be entirely for implementing development projects. This district government is needed, as the communication and road infrastructures are not yet adequate to communicate between the local governments and the regional governments.

Each regional government will have an authority to implement regional-level development projects, and to negotiate with another regional government or district or local government about the development projects. It will have a police force to police the inter-local governmental areas, and enforce law and order in the region if necessary. However, it will not interfere in the business of the local governments.

The central or federal government is for preserving the sovereignty of the Nepalese people, defend the national border, and the country from the external aggressors, and deal with the foreign governments, international communities, and bilateral and multilateral agencies. So, it will run a central administration, hold a military force, and a central security force.


Certainly, all languages spoken within the sovereign territory of Nepal are Nepali language. Some Nepalese people like to call the current Nepalese language as “khas” language. However, it is currently a principal lingua franca in Nepal.

At the village-and-municipal-government level, local languages may use for the official purposes but the same text must be included in “Khas” language for the benefits of Nepalese people speaking different languages. This will increase the volume of paper and certainly the work too but for the benefits of all Nepalese people speaking various languages we need to take such troubles.

At the district level, the main text should be in “khas” and translated it into the language used at the village and municipalities for corresponding with the village and municipal governments but corresponding with the regional and central government it may do just in “khas” languages only.

At the regional level, the main text will be in “khas” and then include the same text in the language the village or municipal government uses for corresponding with the village and municipal government but corresponding with the district and central government writing in “khas” will be sufficient.

The central or federal government will also correspond with the village and municipal government in two languages but a single language in “khas” with the regional and district government.

At the federal, regional, district, village and municipal assemblies, any member of such assemblies may speak in any language spoken in Nepal, however, the speaker must ensure that somebody will translate it into “khas” for the benefits of others who do not understand it.

Primary schools may be run in the local languages. However, children should not be deprived of learning the lingua franca – “Khas.” So, all schools should start teaching even at the primary level of schooling at least in three languages such as local language, “khas” and English. Thus, all Nepalese children will not be deprived of learning in their own mother languages, and in “khas” and in English, too. So, all Nepalis will be fluent at least in three languages.

Religion and culture

Nepalis should have rights to practice whatever the faith they prefer. Converting from one faith to another should not be a taboo. All Nepalese people practicing one faith or another should respect each other. Killing in the name of sacrificing or of making blood offering to any deity should gradually be made thing of the past.

These are the basic recommendations the author wants to make to the CA for consideration while formulating and passing a people’s constitution of Nepal.

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