Nepal: Third Phase of Protests Begins
Posted by Ka Frank on November 23, 2009
Himalayan Times, November 21, 2009
Maoist 3rd phase of protests begins
KATHMANDU: Agitating UCPN-Maoist has declared third phase of protest programmes demanding the establishment of ‘civilian supremacy’ by cancelling the President Ram Baran Yadav’s step to reinstate the then army chief Rookmangud Katawal.
The Maoists had given a week to the government to fulfill their demands at the end of second round of agitation on November 13 that expired on Friday.
The Central Committee meeting of the Maoists today decided to launch a month-long protest programme that begins on November 22 and ends on December 22. The itinerary includes the protest programmes by its sister organisations, boycotting the programmes of prime minister and ministers and a general strike from December 20-22. The Maoists have also threatened to launch an the indefinite general strike after December 22 if their demands were not addressed.
Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said, “Our movement is on till our demands are fulfilled.” However, CC meeting decided to let the parliament function for three days to pass the budget.
Prachanda said, “UCPN-Maoist is the biggest party in the Constituent Assembly so we have to be responsible towards people and the country. Our CC meeting has decided to let the parliament function for three days.”
Ruling parties have been urging the Maoists to let the parliament function. The Maoist decision has given some relief to the UML-led coalition government. However, coming days will not be easy for the government as the Maoists have announced an aggressive protest programme. Dahal added,”There is very slim chance of agreement so we have chosen to take the street.”
While returning from the Singapore after meeting Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, Prachanda stated that they would reach an agreement.
However, Prachanda said top leaders of the major parties will meet immediately after the arrival of NC president from Singapore on Sunday and delve on possible solution. I was optimistic about the consensus after talking to Koirala but some NC leaders are speaking against the Koirala’s spirit, so we are not sure about our agreement, Prachanda added. He said some NC leaders were against finding the middle path as stated by Koirala in Singapore.
Dahal added,” Ruling parties and the government are not serious about ending the political deadlock.”