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Nepal Maoists quit Govt, starts new protest movement
18 September 2007
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Life in Kathmandu come to a grinding halt, pople out in the street demanding republican government
More than a lakh vowed to rewrite Nepal’s political hope.

Nepal’s fragile polity plunged into yet another major crisis on Tuesday as four Maoists ministers resigned from the interim Girija Prasad Koirala government. The four Maoist ministers—Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dev Gurung, Hisila Yami and Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma—tendered their resignations as Koirala failed to meet their 22-point demands.
The major Maoists demands included immediately declaring Nepal a “republic” and a proportional representation-based election system. After waging ’Janayuddha (Peoples’ War)’ for 11 years, the Maoists had joined the government on April 1.

The Maoist ministers submitted their resignation to Koirala as soon as the meeting of top leaders of four major ruling allies ended in deadlock. Koirala’s “closed-door meeting” with Maoist Chairman Prachanda on Tuesday morning also failed to stop the ministers from resigning. Leaders of Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (UML), Nepali Congress (Democratic) failed to convince the former rebels not to quit the government.The Maoist ministers have cited that the failure to lead the government according to the eight-party common minimum programme (CMP) and lack of a credible environment for Constituent Assembly polls on November 22 as the reason for quitting the government.

Interestingly, all the Maoist ministers on Tuesday released the official vehicles provided to them by the government and headed towards the open-air theatre to address the a public meeting in private vehicles.

The Maoist leaders formally announced their decision to launch a country-wide agitation to declare Nepal as a republic. More than one lakh Maoist supporters assembled at Tudikhel ground in downtown Kathmandu and vowed to rewrite Nepal’s political hope.

Normal life in downtown Kathmandu came to a grinding halt as Maoist supporters marched through the streets shouting slogan against monarchy and demanding a republican government. However, Koirala was not available for comments as he was busy attending a series of meetings with senior leaders of his ruling coalition to avert any major political crisis in Nepal.

Nepal Maoists quit Govt in blow to peace deal

The long meeting between Koirala and Maoist supremo Prachanda, accompanied by his deputy Baburam Bhattarai, failed to break the deadlock, with the rebels sticking to their demand for the abolition of monarchy before the Nov 22 election.

At the end of the meeting, Prachanda strode away towards his waiting car without pausing to speak to the waiting journalists, an indication that the negotiations had not gone his way. “The talks ended without any results,” Bhattarai said. “If our demand is not met, we see no point in staying in the government.”

Bhattarai repeated his party’s stand that the existence of monarchy was a threat to free and fair polls and so it should be scrapped before through parliament.Nepal’s new constitution has a provision, inserted under pressure from the Maoists, that if two-thirds of the MPs agree, parliament can remove the king.

“We will go directly to the people,” Bhattarai said, referring to his party’s announcement that it would start a new protest programme from Tuesday that would culminate in an indefinite closure.

Koirala, who is under tremendous pressure from the international community not to defer the polls or let parliament decide King Gyanendra’s fate, reportedly urged the Maoists not to quit the cabinet when the country was passing through a critical time.

INDIA ALART

Home Ministry alert all the five states along Indo-Nepal border
An alert was sounded on Tuesday in states along the Indo-Nepal border by the Union Home Ministry, which also asked the para-military forces to step up vigilance on the 1,751-km boundary in the wake of sudden political developments in the neighbouring country.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on Tuesday morning with the Maoists pulling out of the coalition government, dealing a blow to the fragile peace process after their demand for immediate abolition of monarchy was rejected.

A senior Home Ministry official said that security alert was issued to all the five states along the highly porous border to check movement of criminals and flow of arms, particularly ahead of the forthcoming Constituent Assembly elections in the Himalayan nation.

The Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB), the para-military force of the MHA which guards the border, has been asked to keep maximum vigil along the international boundary skirting Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim, the official said.

(Based on latest news from Indian sources)


More from Nepal source :

http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2007/sep/sep18/news09.php

Nationwide protests and general strikes announced!

Leaders and intermediaries were engaged in bilateral and multilateral discussions since last couple of days
in their attempt to convince the Maoist leaders not to announce departure from the coalition government.

PM Koirala has rejected two key Maoist demands: announcement of republic before the polls and
proportional representation-based election system.

Meanwhile, the Maoists have announced nationwide protest movement from Tuesday.

Addressing the mass meeting at the Open Air Theatre, Maoist second-in-command Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said
his party had decided to quit the government “Our efforts to declare republic from the parliament has failed. Now we will declare republic from the streets. Therefore, we have decided to come in the midst of the people,” said Dr. Bhattarai.

He also said that the code of ethics and election schedule by the Election Commission was no longer
acceptable to them. “We will struggle for the purpose of having real election not this hypocritical drama,”
he said.

Dr. Bhattarai also warned ’foreigners’ not to try to pressure or dictate Nepalis. "They should remember
their own history and how they fought for their freedom from colonialism," he said.

Making the schedule of protest programmes public, Dr. Bhattarai said :
- Maoists were carrying out ’funeral procession of monarchy’ throughout the country on September 18.

- As per their ’first phase’ agitation schedule, they plan to hold door-to-door public awareness campaign between September 19 and 21.
- from September 22 till 29, they will intensify rallies and campaigns. between September 29 and October 3, the Maoists have
- they will ’expose’ the corrupt people and those named as guilty in the report by Rayamajhi
Commission.
- On September 30, the Maoists have vowed to gherao all the District Administration Offices across
the country.
- They have also announced general strike from October 4 till 6. This strike coincides with EC’s
schedule whereby nominations of candidates will have to be filed on October 5.

The street agitations, according to Bhattarai, will be peaceful while the People’s Liberation Army will
remain in cantonments.

Saying that the eight-party unity is endangered, the Maoist leader however stated that the 12-point
agreement had not ended yet.

Maoist chairman Prachanda did not attend the mass meeting due to health problems. The Maoists had
brought truckloads of party workers and school students at the mass meeting.

Meanwhile, senior Maoist leader Dinanath Sharma told media that the Constituent Assembly election will not
take place. Although he stopped short of saying that his party would boycott the November 22 election, he
gave enough hints that the Maoists would try to foil the election plan terming it as a ’drama.’ Sharma said
that Maoists want to ensure real CA election by ushering in republic first.


Maoists quit govt; announce protest movement (Update)

The CPN (Maoist) has decided to quit the government as eight-party leaders failed to forge consensus on its demands.

Maoist ministers submitted their resignation letters to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as soon as the meeting of top leaders of four major ruling allies ended in a deadlock. The leaders had been engaged in hectic parleys from early morning today.

All four Maoist ministers – Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Dev Gurung, Hisila Yami and Khadga Bishwokarma - were at Baluwatar when the top leaders’ meeting was underway. They left Baluwatar at around 12:30 pm after announcing resignation.

Leaders and intermediaries were engaged in bilateral and multilateral discussions since last couple of days in their attempt to convince the Maoist leaders not to announce departure from the coalition government.

PM Koirala has rejected two key Maoist demands: announcement of republic before the polls and proportional representation-based election system.

Meanwhile, the Maoists have announced nationwide protest movement from Tuesday.

Addressing the mass meeting at the Open Air Theatre, Maoist second-in-command Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said his party had decided to quit the government as the parties failed to agree on 22 demands.

“Our efforts to declare republic from the parliament has failed. Now we will declare republic from the streets. Therefore, we have decided to come in the midst of the people,” said Dr. Bhattarai.

He also said that the code of ethics and election schedule by the Election Commission was no longer acceptable to them. “We will struggle for the purpose of having real election not this hypocritical drama,” he said.

Dr. Bhattarai also warned ’foreigners’ not to try to pressure or dictate Nepalis. “They should remember their own history and how they fought for their freedom from colonialism,” he said.

Making the schedule of protest programmes public, Dr. Bhattarai said Maoists were carrying out ’funeral procession of monarchy’ throughout the country on September 18.

As per their ’first phase’ agitation schedule, they plan to hold door-to-door public awareness campaign between September 19 and 21. From September 22 till 29, they will intensify rallies and campaigns. And between September 29 and October 3, the Maoists have stated that they will ’expose’ the corrupt people and those named as guilty in the report by Rayamajhi Commission. On September 30, the Maoists have vowed to gherao all the District Administration Offices across the country. They have also announced general strike from October 4 till 6. This strike coincides with EC’s schedule whereby nominations of candidates will have to be filed on October 5.

The street agitations, according to Bhattarai, will be peaceful while the People’s Liberation Army will remain in cantonments.

Saying that the eight-party unity is endangered, the Maoist leader however stated that the 12-point agreement had not ended yet.

Maoist chairman Prachanda did not attend the mass meeting due to health problems. The Maoists had brought truckloads of party workers and school students at the mass meeting.

Meanwhile, senior Maoist leader Dinanath Sharma told media that the Constituent Assembly election will not take place. Although he stopped short of saying that his party would boycott the November 22 election, he gave enough hints that the Maoists would try to foil the election plan terming it as a ’drama.’ Sharma said that Maoists want to ensure real CA election by ushering in republic first.

Sharma claimed that people were with his party. “Only the reactionaries and middle class people of urban areas have misunderstood us,” he said.

nepalnews.com mk/ia/sd Sep 18 07

* Circulated by Socialist Pakistan Network email list.

Online 19 September 2007
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