Prepare to take up arms: CPN-M
BIRGUNJ: CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa today directed the party’s rank and file to be mentally prepared to even take up weapons, should the need arise, to disrupt the November 19 CA election. Speaking at his party’s programme in Birgunj, Thapa said, “The government and major political parties are planning to deploy Nepali Army personnel to hold Constituent Assembly poll. So, you have to be ready even to carry arms.”
He further said his party would supply weapons to its cadres in every village to foil the election at any cost. Recounting the past, Thapa said Maoists had entered the city from villages after former king Gyanendra Shah tried to suppress the ex-combatants with arms. On the current political deadlock, Thapa said his party was in favour of resolving the quagmire through talks. He also directed party cadres and leaders to initiate discussion on nationalism and democracy with the public and other political parties too. “The weapon of ideology is the strongest one in the world. So, make your ideology revolutionary,” Thapa added.
Offering a solution to the current crisis, the CPN-M general secretary held that dissolution of the interim government, formation of a consensus government and election under such a government alone would be able to extricate the country from the prevailing crisis. Flaying the current political system, Thapa argued that a dispensation dictated by the foreign forces could not be called democracy. “The ongoing planning for the November CA election is a foreign design.”
Coming down heavily on the UCPN-M, Thapa said the party would hand over the nation to a foreign power if it got two-third majority in the CA poll. Hinting at UCPN-Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Thapa said, “It is useless for the so-called great leader of a great party to shed crocodile tears.”
Govt inviting confrontation: Thapa
The talks between the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) and the 33-party alliance led by CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya foundered after the former refused to defer the polls and dissolve the Khil Raj Regmi led government. Following the development CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa had reached Birgunj on Sunday to attend the party´s anti-poll campaign. Republica correspondent Ritesh Tripathi caught up with Thapa.
The government is still willing to hold talks with your party. What plans does your party have for the days ahead?
First, we should understand that national integrity is under threat. We are trying to explain it to the people that our demands are for safeguarding national integrity. For this, we are holding various programs both at the national and district level. We came here to Birgunj today just to inform the people that our demands are aimed at safeguarding national integrity.
So your party aims to foil the election process?
First, let me clear that we are not an anti-poll force. We are just opposing the polls to be held under the present circumstances. The four political parties represented in the High Level Political Committee should be held responsible for failing to bring the dissident parties on board. We are ready to hold talks if our 18-point demands are fulfilled.
Your party claims to have exercised flexibility but you are still insisting on the 18-point demand?
We are adopting maximum flexibility. But HLPC and the Regmi-led government have been ignoring our demands. In fact, we are ready to make some changes in our 18-point demand as well. Being ready for talks is a sign of flexibility. We have received yet another invitation for talks and we have welcomed it. We are holding talks with the constituent parties of the alliance regarding the government´s invitation.
But your party is simultaneously directing the cadres to obstruct the poll process.
We are ready to hold talks to resolve the impasse. But if the talks fail we will take to the streets to foil the election process.
But people are in favor of peace and not yet another revolt?
Certainly people are in the favor of peace and they expect that every political dispute should be resolved peacefully. I can´t deny the fact that people are disappointed. At this point of time people are in a “wait and watch” mood. It is the government that is inviting confrontation by not addressing the concerns of the disgruntled parties.
Anti-reform protestors clash with police in Mexico
Protestors threw rocks and firebombs at police who responded with tear gas in Mexico City on Sunday during a demonstration against President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reform agenda, AFP reports. Scores of students teamed up with thousands of teachers who have led several protests in the capital in the past two weeks, challenging Pena Nieto’s shake-up of the education system. The student movement #YoSoy132 said at least six people were detained during a separate demonstration against the president’s controversial plan to open the state-controled energy sector to foreign investment. Masked protestors clashed with hundreds of riot police, with officers throwing punches at some demonstrators to beat them back, an AFP correspondent said.
Thousands protest in Romania against shale gas, gold mine
Thousands of people took to the streets of Romania on Sunday to protest against shale gas exploration and a controversial Canadian gold mine project using cyanide, AFP reports. Protesters also lashed out at the government and the president for supporting these controversial projects. In Bucharest, between 4,000, according to the police, and 7,000 people, according to organisers walked between the central University Square and the government building, shouting slogans against a a gold mine project planned by Canadian company Gabriel resources in the village of Rosia Montana, in the heart of Transylvania.
The open-cast mine would be the biggest in Europe, according to the company. The project has triggered fierce opposition as the mine would use an average of 12,000 tonnes of cyanide a year in a leaching process and threaten to partially damage Roman mining galleries. The company says European environment regulations will be respected. “We don’t want cyanide”, protesters, mainly young people and families, shouted. In the evening, they organised a sit-in on one of Bucharest’s main avenues, partially blocking traffic.
“We hope we can save Rosia Montana”, Irina Enea, a jewellery designer who came to protest with her husband and two children, told AFP. “We are angry because the right to a safe environment is violated and because the government adopted a draft law saying the mine is of national interest”, she added. Romania’s government on Tuesday approved a draft law granting national interest status to the Canadian gold mine project. The draft law will have to get approval from Parliament to be valid. Protests also took place in several other Romanian cities. In Barlad (north-east), more than 3,500 people gathered to protest shale gas drilling plans by US giant Chevron.
Greek Tax Agents Meet Hostile Crowds
Restaurant and tavern owners and customers are increasingly harassing tax inspectors at a time when Greece has intensified a long-overdue crackdown on tax evasion, but officials are determined to enforce the tax laws. Residents in a village in Peloponnese barred SDOE Financial Crimes Squad inspectors from leaving an establishment after they issued a citation from an audit this month. Similarly, in a village in Crete, tax inspectors faced a near-violent crowd that forced the team to leave before they could issue a one-month closure order against a tavern.
A nightclub in the city of Chalkidiki continued operating despite inspectors ordering it shut for tax evasion and arresting the owner for failure to comply. “That is the mentality in Greece, nobody respects the laws. If you try to make them pay, they get angry,” Andreas Kanakareas, 53, a video store manager, told Southeast European Times. Many businesses do not issue receipts, which prompted the government’s drive to enforce the tax laws to bring in critically-needed revenues. The government passed a law stipulating customers do not have to pay for goods or services if they do not receive a receipt, but the law has been ignored by many. Citizen resistance began last year on the island of Hydra, where riot police from the mainland were called in to rescue tax agents for citing a restaurant owner. However, no charges have been brought against anyone interfering with the agents.
5 injured in clashes near Ramallah
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Five Palestinians were injured Sunday in clashes with Israeli forces near Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah. Clashes erupted when young men and teenagers tried to stop Israeli settlers from Beit El settlement throwing stones at Palestinian cars near the camp, a Ma’an reporter said. Israeli forces arrived and fired rubber-coated steel bullets at the Palestinians, the reporter said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said around 20 Palestinians and 20 Israeli civilians hurled rocks at Israeli security forces. She said forces used riot dispersal means but these did not include rubber bullets. It is the third consecutive day of clashes in the area.
Fiery protest as police kill Beetham resident
Police were forced to keep a presence at Beetham Gardens, Laventille, last night, to quell further possible protests from residents over the shooting death of Christopher Greaves. Greaves, 25, died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital last evening after he was shot by police earlier in the day. In response to his death, residents staged fiery protests along the Eastern Main Road and Beetham Highway, claiming the police could have saved his life if they had allowed residents to assist him immediately after he was shot. At one stage yesterday, police and the residents were involved in a cat-and-mouse game.
Soon after police cleared debris from the roadway, residents returned to pile more, creating a traffic jam in the process. The police eventually diverted traffic to the Priority Bus Route to ensure the safety of motorists. As is often the case with such shooting incidents, there are two sides to yesterday’s story. The residents claimed that Greaves, of Fifth Street, had gone to a parlour on Third Street around 4.45 pm to buy a snack for one of his children.
However, while on his way there, residents claimed officers on patrol in the community allegedly opened fire on him. Greaves reportedly ran a short distance before collapsing in a nearby alley. Residents claimed, however, that the police did not allow them to give any assistance to Greaves, as he lay bleeding on the ground and crying for help for almost half an hour. Eventually, the police picked Greaves up and took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Residents last night demanded justice, saying Greaves had no criminal record.