CPN-Maoist makes changes in 10-day strike
KATHMANDU, NOV 08 – The alliance of 33-political parties led by the CPN-Maoist has made some changes in the 10-day nationwide general strike aimed at disrupting the November 19 Constituent Assembly (CA) polls. Earlier, the alliance had announced to enforced general strike from Nov 11 to 20. According to CPN-Maoist sources, the strike will be called off for three days from Nov 13 to 15. The general strike will again continue from Nov 16 to Nov 19. The alliance has said that it will decide other programmes following the first and second day of the banda.
Wooden log, bomb planted to disrupt Dahal’s campaign
RAUTAHAT, NOV 08 – Cadres of CPN-Maoist placed a wooden log at Lamaha road stretch in Chandranigahpur along the East West highway on Friday to obstruct UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘s Mechi-Mahakali national election awareness campaign in the district. Dahal is due to address an electoral assembly at Chandranihapur in Rautahat district this afternoon. Meanwhile, Nepal Army bomb disposal team also defused a bomb planted near Chandranigahpur this morning. Locals were terrorised following the bomb scare.
Govt urges parties to withdraw bandh
KATHMANDU: While expressing grave concern about the general strike aimed to foil the upcoming CA elections, the government today formally asked the poll-opposing parties to call it off and warned of strong legal action if they do not listen. CPN-Maoist and its allies have announced a 10-day-bandh starting November 11 so as to disrupt the CA election slated for November 19. While issuing a public-call, the Council of Ministers today also urged all political parties, entrepreneurs, business community, civil society members and all Nepali people to cooperate from their places to make the election a grand success.
The public-call was issued on behalf of the Council of Ministers following its meeting presided over by Chairman of Interim Council Khil Raj Regmi. “The government of Nepal wholeheartedly calls upon all to contact or inform the local administration immediately, if anyone tries to take the law in their hands, attempts to breach people’s fundamental rights, attempts to take the life of people and is involved in vandalism of public property,” read the notice. In an effort to boost public confidence, it also assured that security presence was well arranged in each and every corner of the country so as to tackle any kind of violence and illegal activities and also to guarantee the people’s right to vote. “The government is committed to take strong action without any prejudice against anyone who involved in violence and tries to disrupt public life,” read the statement.
FNCCI condemns agitating parties’ strike
KATHMANDU: The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has condemned a 10 day long strike announced by an alliance of 33 political parties that begins on November 11. Issuing a statement on Thursday, FNCCI appealed to the concerned parties to call off the strike saying that such activities directly hit the country’s economy. Moreover, the federation said that such activities will take the country further back in terms of economic development, right when it is heading toward the CA elections. FNCCI has also urged the government to hold talks with the agitating parties and address their ‘deserving demands’.
CPN-M leaders divided over 10-day banda
KATHMANDU, NOV 08 – As pressure to call off a planned nationwide general strike mounts, the poll-opposing CPN-Maoist has seen serious differences of opinion on whether to suspend or shorten the 10-day banda aimed at disrupting the November 19 election. While party Chairman Mohan Baidya and Vice-chairman CP Gajurel want to either completely withdraw or shorten the strike that is scheduled to begin on November 11, secretary Netra Bikram Chand is dead against any changes to the original plan. Chand is visiting different parts of the country to make the general strike effective. Baidya and Gajurel are of the view that the party should withdraw the strike upon the request of the international community. However, according to a leader, Chand is piling pressure on Baidya to not backtrack on the plan.
On Wednesday, the international community, including two neighbours India and China, called on the poll-opposing parties to respect the universal principles of free election and the rights of others and not engage in any illegal acts such as general strikes. While internal deliberations are under way within the CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance, the Baidya party is trying to hush up the sharp division and show a united face to the public. CPN-M spokesperson Pampha Bhusal issued a press release on Thursday, clarifying that the party has no plans to ‘suspend’ the general strike. “The general strike called by the CPN-Maoist remains unchanged. There is increasing support for the boycott of the meaningless CA election,” Bhusal said in the statement.
Gajurel, meanwhile, objected to a statement issued on Wednesday by United Nations Resident Coordinator for Nepal Jamie McGoldrick on behalf of the international community in Nepal. The statement called on political parties opposing the election to respect the universal principles of free elections. Gajurel said the statement is against democratic norms and values. “The statement projects the parties contesting the polls as democratic, while it projects the poll-opposing ones as undemocratic. “To contest and to boycott elections are political rights of citizens. The statement itself looks undemocratic,” Gajurel said in a statement. The party also urged the UN not to interfere in Nepal’s internal affairs.
CPN-M withdraws Chitwan bandh
RATNANAGAR: The CPN-Maoist has withdrawn the district bandh it had called for Friday after police released its cadre held for torching a poll publicity vehicle. The party had called the general strike to protest the arrest of its cadre, Tanka Regmi, for his alleged involvement in torching the vehicle owned by Amik Sherchan, candidate of the UCPN-Maoist from Chitwan-5. An unidentified group had set Sherchan’s vehicle on fire on Wednesday. He was released last night after investigation, police said