Nepal Maoists Call Off Protest Programme
Posted by Ka Frank on January 25, 2010
This article was published on eKantipur on January 22, 2010
Maoists call off agitation
KATHMANDU: Hours after the High Level Political Mechanism (HLPM) asked the UCPN (Maoist) on Friday to withdraw its protests, the main opposition announced it had called off the entire protest programme, including the indefinite strike scheduled to begin from Sunday.
A meeting of Maoist party office bearers on Friday decided to put off its indefinite general strike for now, Maoist Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said. “We decided to suspend the agitation as efforts are being made to forge consensus,” he said.
Earlier, at the HLPM meeting, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML leaders had urged Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to call off the planned general strike to prepare a conducive environment to address Maoist demands. The meeting also agreed to give top priority to the current political deadlock. It also accorded priority to constitution drafting and the peace process.
“The HLPM has made the current political deadlock its prime agenda, so the party hopes that the current political deadlock will end soon. In this regard we have decided to call off the planned protest,” Dahal’s statement said. However, other nationwide programmes with national sovereignty and civilian supremacy as agendas will remain intact, said Dahal.
He also warned that if efforts to reach consensus fail due to conspiracies against the peace and constitution drafting processes and national sovereignty is endangered, his party would be compelled to go for protest again.
“Friday’s HLPM meeting finalised the Terms of Reference, working procedures and code of conduct of the mechanism to fulfill its objective of addressing the current political deadlock created by the president’s move,” Dahal said.
The ToR states that top leaders of other political parties will be included. Sources said that more than eight political parties in the Constituent Assembly, including Madhes-based ones, will be included in the mechanism. The mechanism will review all the processes from the 12-point understanding onward to improve the political atmosphere.
Meeting will be held every week to try to push for formation of commissions that were committed in past accords, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Disappearance Commission, and attempt to return seized properties.
The code of conduct says that cadre of political parties should be cautious when they speak or write so that they do not blame other political parties. “Parties will control all kinds of physical assaults and activities targeted against cadre of other parties,” the ToR further says.