While CA meets, CPN-M and allies to protest on streets
KATHMANDU, JAN 16 – While the government and major political parties seem to be clearing procedural hurdles to call the Constituent Assembly meeting, the CPN-Maoist-led alliance is preparing to take to the streets with demands against the CA process. Leaders said the alliance remains adamant on its erstwhile demand for an ‘all-party conference’ which they insist should work as a platform in the constitution drafting process and government formation.
The proposal to reject the CA was endorsed by a recent meeting of the alliance. During the meeting, the CPN-Maoist initially proposed that their target should be the dissolution of the CA while other parties stood for using softer terms. The meeting later agreed on ‘rejecting’ the Assembly. Pasang Sherpa, chairman of the Social Democratic Party Nepal, said there has been common understanding in the alliance to protest against the CA during its first meeting on January 22.
“We hope to enforce the protest as a symbol of our disagreement with the entire process. Discussions are going on,” said Sherpa, who had floated the idea of protest in the meeting. CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung said his party has been seeking fresh efforts from all sides to move ahead in broader national consensus. He claimed that the political parties cannot promulgate a constitution or guarantee peace and stability in the present circumstances. “Even the post-election fiasco among the political parties is proving that the CA is meaningless,” said Gurung. Some CPN-Maoist leaders have been saying that there is no need for protests since the people are frustrated with the “dirty politics” of major parties, making their stance ever stronger.
Spanish protesters riot in Madrid, 11 people hurt
(Reuters) – A Madrid demonstration in sympathy with protests in the northern Spanish city of Burgos against a local government plan to convert a street into a tree-lined boulevard turned violent on Wednesday, leading to 11 arrests and 11 injuries. Rioters tossed smoke bombs, threw chairs from street terraces and burned garbage containers in central Madrid after a march that began in the capital’s Puerta del Sol square and ended near the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) central headquarters. Police and emergency service sources said 11 protesters were arrested and 11 people, including five police officers, were injured during the riots. It was one of 46 protests across Spanish cities on Wednesday against the state-financed project in Burgos that has stoked public fury.
Workers protest tax hikes in Honduras
Hundreds of union members marched through the Honduran capital on Wednesday to protest an increase in taxes on goods and services. “We are protesting because the economic measures approved by the National Congress are lethally affecting the poorest,” Daniel Duron, secretary of the UGT union, told reporters.
Tanzania: Mayhem in Arusha As ‘Bodaboda’ Riders Stage Protest
Arusha — MORE than 200 bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) riders in Arusha caused pandemonium when they blocked two major roads here, protesting against what they described as police harassment. Their procession towards the Arusha District Commissioner’s Office inconvenienced motorists and other roads users because the haphazardly-driven motorcycles rendered both Makongoro Road and East Africa Boulevard totally impassable for two hours.
Gendarmerie cracks down on protest by relatives of Uludere massacre victims
Tension broke out on Jan. 15 in the southeastern province of Şırnak, as families of the Uludere/Roboski massacre victims protested the dismissal of the investigation into the military’s airstrike, which cost the lives of 34 civilians. The families decided to walk from the Ortasu (Roboski in Kurdish) village to the Turkish Iraqi border in protest at the ruling, after receiving the formal letter informing them about the military prosecutor’s Dec. 7 ruling.
The group was also protesting against the construction of a new safe road to the millitary post in the district. However, tension erupted between gendarmerie forces and the victims’ relatives after officers blocked their way, resorting to tear gas to disperse the villagers. One of the villagers, Serhat Encü, who lost 11 family members in the military airstrike, was seriously wounded after being hit by a gas canister on his ear. Several other protesters were also injured, Doğan News Agency reported.