The Nepal’s opposition Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) on Tuesday staged nationwide protests against the new Citizenship Bill claiming it to have targeted the minority groups of the nation.
The Opposition claimed that the new Citizenship Bill has been targeting LGBTQ+, foreign women married onto Nepalese men, and the ex-Gurkhas who want to get a Nepal Citizenship.
“The central government has shifted its focus from controlling the coronavirus situation to the Citizenship Amendment Bill. According to Clause 5.1 of the current Citizenship Act, foreign women are immediately eligible for citizenship upon marriage to a Nepalese man while there are no provisions for a foreign man who gets married to Nepalese women,” Hishila Yami Bhattarai, one of the leaders of JSP told ANI.
A meeting of Parliamentary Committee on June 21 had endorsed a new bill proposing a 7 year probation period for women marrying Nepalese men. The Nepal Congress and JSP had opposed provision calling it unconstitutional as “it goes against the provision of interim constitution 2006.”
“Provisions which had continued from a long time and endorsed on by themselves, today they are attempting to change it with 7-year probation. Are they trying on to show themselves as nationalists?” Bhattarai questioned.
Speaking on the LGBTQ+, she said, “If the sexual minorities are required to undergo medical tests (to acquire citizenship) then it also should be applicable for men and women too. What are they trying to show the world by making them undergo such tests?”
She said that the government has become hostile to the Gorkha Forces who have already acquired citizenship by serving the country. “We want that they and their family members be given citizenship.”
Nepal politics have remained undecided over the Citizenship Act for two years despite holding as many as 140 meetings over it by the same committee.