CPN-M starts Bajhang anti-poll campaign
BAJHANG, AUG 05 – The CPN-Maoist has started mobilising its activists to run anti-election campaign in various parts of the district. Cadres of the Mohan Baidya-led party have been directed to dissuade local people from participating in the Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for November 19. A recent gathering of the party in Chainpur, the district headquarters, decided to carry out the anti-election drive.
Meanwhile, local people in the district have started doubting as to whether the CA polls will be held as the party is determined to foil it. Their worst fear, however, is a clash between activists of the CPN-Maoist and the UCPN (Maoist). The UCPN (Maoist) leaders and activists will be visiting various villages the district as part of the election campaign from this week. Should they cross path with the CPN-Maoist , villagers fear, there is a high chance of fights between the two sides.CPN-M starts Bajhang anti-poll campaign
“The situation is very dicey. We are worried that the things will turn out violent,” said Shankar Rasaili, a Chainpur local. CPN-Maoist cadres mobilised as the election-deterrent agents in the two constituencies of the district have been directed by the party leadership to employ whatever tactics necessary to discourage people from showing up at voting centres on the day of election. “We will retaliate if anyone tried stopping us,” said Laxman Khadka, CPN-Maoist district secretary.
“As part of our campaign, we will be conducting village-level gatherings to expand the party organisation and to villagers not to cast their votes.” CPN-Maoist has started its anti-election campaign in Rolpa district as well. Amar Jhakri Magar of the party said they will not accept the elections unless their demands were addressed. “We will not sit around quietly if other parties tried to hold the elections by force.”
33-party alliance to set agendas for talks
KATHMANDU: The CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance has finally decided to hold talks with the government and the four major parties, sending a positive message that elections might happen sooner or later. The alliance today convened its taskforce meeting at the CPN-M’s party headquarters in Buddhanagar and decided to set the agendas for the talks with the government and the four major parties’ High Level Political Committee (HLPC).
According to Dev Gurung, the taskforce will call another meeting to discuss the agendas for the upcoming talks. Pasang Sherpa, another taskforce member and a senior leader of Social Democratic Party, said all the 33 parties would draft their agendas and present them at the taskforce meeting scheduled for 10 am tomorrow and then present the common draft at the 33-party meeting at 3 pm on the same day.
The alliance had been demanding that the 11-point agreement signed between the four parties and the 25-point Presidential decree be annulled, Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi-led government be dissolved and a roundtable be held to discuss the contents of the constitution in which the parties still have differing views. Gurung said the November 19 polls must be postponed if the four parties want the agitating parties to join the government as the remaining timeframe will not be sufficient to create a conducive environment to include them in the election process. The meeting will also discuss and finalise the talks team on behalf of the 33-party alliance, Sherpa said. Gurung said anyone can go for dialogue if they determine the agendas clearly. Today’s meeting has welcomed the HLPC’s call for talks, claiming that they have recognised the existence of the alliance.
33 injured in Gazipur garment workers unrest
At least 33 people, including three members of the police, were injured in a clash between police and garment workers in the Masterbari area of Sadar Upazila in Gazipur on Monday. The clash erupted when police attempted to disperse the demonstration of the workers of Stylo Fashion Garments Ltd on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway around 10am. The workers gathered on the busy road to press home their demand for payment of wages and Eid bonuses.
The half-an-hour long blockade caused a huge traffic tailback. Police lobbed several rounds of tear-shells and also charged batons to disperse the workers from the street while the workers replied by throwing brickbats, leaving three policemen injured. The injured received treatment at nearby clinics and hospitals. Locals alleged that police also attacked the houses of the local people, and charged batons on innocent people. The agitated workers claimed that on Monday morning they still had not been paid wages for the month of July or their Eid bonuses, despite the factory’s Eid vacation being scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
They also claimed that factory authorities earlier promised them several times that they would be paid the wages and Eid bonuses before the beginning of the vacation. Prior to laying siege to the street, the workers smashed windows of the factory by throwing brick-chips. On information, police rushed to the spot and went to work to clear the road of the workers. Helaluzzaman, inspector of Gazipur industrial police, said although the demands of workers’ were rational, they had no right to cause suffering to the home-bound people by setting up blockades on the street. He also refuted the allegations regarding police actions against innocent people.
“Some workers entered the houses of locals for shelter so members of police ran through the houses,” he added. He said a discussion was being held between factory officials and representatives of the workers to settle the issue.
Libya works to end strikes as oil output rises
Libya’s government is working to end protests at oil facilities that have cut exports, and its oil production has risen to nearly half its normal rate, its top oil official said on Monday. Disruptions to the North African Opec producer’s oil sector risk crippling its economic lifeline and choking off state revenues. As part of the latest wave of unrest, security guards seeking more pay have shut down the major export terminals of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. Protests that involved demands by local people for more oil jobs had already closed the Zueitina terminal earlier in July. Oil Minister Abdelbari Al-Arusi said the three terminals were closed on Monday as strikes entered a second week.
Shipments have amounted to about 425,000 barrels per day (bpd), less than half normal levels, said oil traders. “We are meeting the families of the protesters today to reach a solution to the crisis. We have also appointed a new head of the oil security force,” Arusi told a press conference. “Production has improved greatly to around 700,000 barrels a day and will reach 800,000 barrels a day after the Eid holiday,” he said. Eid begins later this week. Arusi said last week that a new wave of unrest had cut output to 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 1.4 million.
New riots ‘only a matter of time’, author warns
It is ‘only a matter of time’ before riots witnessed two summers ago are repeated, an author has said. The warning comes after the two-year anniversary of the shooting of Mark Duggan by police in north London, which sparked social unrest in London and other cities lasting days. Writer Polly Courtney said fresh rioting and looting was inevitable with children’s services facing cuts and one-in-five young people out of work
‘Charities are doing an incredible job right now but, unless there is a significant shift in government priorities and spending, more riots can only be a matter of time,’ Ms Courtney said. ‘Since August 2011, the situation for many young people has got worse, not better. Unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds is still at close to 1million. That is 20 per cent of our young people out of work. More than half of councils have been forced to cut their spending on children’s services.’
Former investment banker Ms Courtney spoke to young people in areas affected by the riots as she researched her new novel Feral Youth. She said youngsters felt like they had nothing to lose. ‘Each one had an individual story, but the thing that everyone had in common was a sense that they had nothing to lose. They had nothing to lose by getting involved because they couldn’t see a path for themselves in the future,’ she said. ‘I think giving young people opportunities is the key thing that we need to focus on.’ Barbara Rayment, director of counselling service Youth Access, commented: ‘Given the right spark, the conditions exist for further eruptions of violence.
‘Benefit cuts, poor access to housing and job opportunities, coupled with ongoing difficulties in police relations and lack of investment in youth services, demonstrate the lack of any empathetic government policy that addresses young people’s concerns.’
Life remains paralysed in Darjeeling hills
Darjeeling: On the second day of the GJM-sponsored indefinite shutdown in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills, life remained paralysed Sunday with police arresting a few demonstrators. Shops, markets, educational institutions and offices remained shut in the wake of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s (GJM) call to press for a separate state of Gorkhaland. GJM supporters took out rallies and held protest marches across the region.
Police arrested six supporters, including three women, for picketing and putting up road blocks. The supporters laid siege to the Darjeeling Sadar Police Station where those arrested were taken to. GJM activists also torched a vehicle in Kalimpong sub-division.
Assam: Violent protest for more states continue
Guwahati: Protests for the creation of more states by dividing Assam on the lines of Telangana have got violent. Several government offices have been torched and rail tracks have been removed in Karbi Anglong district of Assam by the violent protesters.
Police said the office of the additional chief engineer of irrigation department and the Khadi Board office, equipment and machineries of public works department here besides a forest beat office at Amri, a land records office at Long-e-Kur, were set ablaze by agitators. A teak plantation of Congress MP from Autonomous Hill districts Biren Singh Engti and a rubber plantation of a Karbi Autonomous Council Executive Member D Uffing Maslai were also set on fire. Engti’s rubber estate was earlier torched by protesters on Friday last.