Nepalese protesters arrested during anti-election strike
KATHMANDU: Nepalese police arrested protesters for attacking a media vehicle and threatening people on Sunday as transportation across the country was blocked by groups opposing elections. The nationwide strike was called by a coalition of 33 political parties including a breakaway Maoist faction to oppose the current caretaker government, which is charged with holding polls.
“We have arrested 15 people for vandalising a television vehicle with rocks and threatening to harm people as they pass by demonstrations,” police spokesman Keshav Adhikari told AFP. Schools, businesses, and markets in the capital Kathmandu were closed because of the protest. “The agreement by the four parties that paved the way for this government was a coup d’etat,” Dev Gurung, a leader of the breakaway Maoist faction, told AFP. “The parties involved have done away with the multi-party system and introduced a party-less government,” he said.
Time to review 12-point agreement‚ says Chand
GORKHA: CPN-Maoist Secretary Netra Bikram Chand today called on the parties to review the 12-point agreement and Comprehensive Peace Accord signed between the CPN-Maoist and parliamentary parties. Speaking at a programme in Gorkha, Chand said, “The need of the hour is to review the 12-point accord and Comprehensive Peace Accord as well, and not holding fresh election to the Constituent Assembly.”
Saying that the last Constituent Assembly had failed to deliver the much needed constitution, the Maoist leader argued that it was meaningless to conduct the CA polls as it too would not be able to draft the statute. Coming down heavily on the Unified CPN-Maoist, the CPN-Maoist secretary accused its senior leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai of forgetting all the terms made in the Comprehensive Peace Accord and surrendering everything to the parliamentary parties after assuming the power.
“Comprehensive Peace Accord states that Maoist and parliamentary forces should have equal participation in all state organs. But, Bhattarai and Dahal surrendered everything to the traditional parties,” Chand added. On a different note, the Maoist leader stressed on the need of forging consensus between the traditional and revolutionary forces in drafting a new constitution to give a way out to the country.
No need of new CA for writing new statute: Chand
GORKHA, April 7: CPN-Maoist Secretary Netra Bikram Chand has said that it is not necessary to hold fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections for the sake of writing a new constitution. “If all the political parties arrive at consensus, there is no need of holding CA polls again,” said Chand while addressing a press conference organized in Gorkha on Sunday.
He maintained that the country arrived at the present sitaution of political and constitutional crises because UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML failed to implement the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), 2006. “Even UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal forgot the CPA, it must be implemented,” Chanda added. He maintained that the people should not lose hope because political parties have not yet failed.
“Only Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Baburam Bhattarai, Sushil Koirala and Jhalanath Khanal have failed but not all the political parties,” Chand said. He said the major political parties put Khil Raj Regmi to the post of prime minsiter in an attempt to hide their own failures. In a separate context, Chand stated that his party should be given key ministries including the home ministry, ministry of finance, defense ministry and ministry of forests and land reforms.
He also warned that his party would take up arms again if the state resorted to repression. “If cases filed against our leaders and cadres are not scrapped, we will reinstate people´s courts [operated by Maoist during insurgency],” Chanda maintained.
Baidya accuses big parties of becoming ‘new kings’
KATHMANDU, April 8: Chairman of the CPN-Maoist, Mohan Baidya, has accused the four leaders of the big four political parties of becoming ´new kings´ thereby creating problems in the national politics. Speaking at a programme organized to mark the sixth anniversary of the Radio Mirmire in the capital on Monday, Chairman Baidya said the big leaders were ridden with the mentality of new king as they began concentrating self and ignored people.
Similarly, he said the four major parties had no legitimate stand so his party would not talk to them. However, separate meetings could be held with the individual party, he added. “Four parties´ call is unacceptable; our struggle is on, so there is no meaning on holding talks to them,” he reiterated.
On the occasion, general secretary of the Federation Socialist Party Rajendra Shrestha said the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress were status quoist. He further said it was blunder on the part of the UCPN-Maoist to dissolve its army which fought for change. The restoration of the constituent assembly or the roundtable conference could frustrate the four-party monopoly, he argued.
Bandh brings normal life to a standstill
MAHENDRANAGAR: Life across the country came to a grinding halt today due to the Nepal bandh called by the joint alliance of 33 parties, including the CPN-Maoist, which have been protesting the formation of the incumbent interim election council. While vehicles remained off the road, educational institutions and local bazaars remained shut nationwide.
Although government offices remained open, but no service seekers were seen. In Birgunj, bandh enforcers were reported to have torched a truck and injured its helper. Truck helper Bholu Hawari, 24, of Shreepur Tole, Birgunj, was seriously injured in the incident, whereas the driver somehow could manage to escape the attack. “We were returning from Raxaul when I saw a stranger gesturing me to stop the vehicle.
At a time when I was trying to slow down, a burning bottle out of blue hit the windscreen,” recounted the driver Anawar Ahamad of Parsa, adding that he jumped off the mobile vehicle and saved himself from injury. The cabin of the truck was completely burnt.
The helper had sustained major burn injuries in different parts of his body and is undergoing treatment at the Raxaul-based Duncan Hospital. In Kanchanpur, bandh enforcers vandalised the Nepal Electricity Authority, Mahendranagar branch office, and a tuition centre for defying the bandh, in Kavre a commuter bus was torched.
Similarly, in Udayapur a truck was torched and four motorbikes were vandalised. Meanwhile in Jhapa, bandh enforcers thrashed Unified CPN-Maoist-aligned Young Communist League’s Jhapa district chairperson Karma Pulami. Today’s bandh also hit daily life in most of the other districts, including Sindhuli, Salyan, Ramechhap, Sarlahi, Dhanusha and Chitwan.