Nepali Times: Strike Ends, Struggle Continues
Posted by Mike E on May 7, 2010
Friday, May 7th, 2010 (Nepali Times)
The Maoists have withdrawn their indefinite strike following intense international pressure, on the evening that Nepal’s professional organisations and businesses staged a mammoth peace rally in Kathmandu and as resistance spread across the country.
The announcement was made after the party’s standing committee meeting on Friday at 9:15, and was announced as breaking news on all TV channels. Cheers were heard going up in neighbourhoods around the capital.
The Maoists have said they have only “postponed” the Tesro Jana Andolan and thanked the “janata” for their support and solidarity.
“Our protest will now take a different nature and we reserve the right to resume the indefinite strike at a later date,” Pushpa Kamal Dahal told the media. He announced demonstrations on Saturday noon in metros around the country. On Sunday there is a program to encircle Singha Darbar “until the current puppet government steps down”.
It is not yet clear what was the final straw that made the Maoists withdraw the strike, but reports on television of Maoist YCL attacking peace rallies across the country probably convinced the leadership that the strike may be going out of control. There were also indications that the anti-strike citizen’s demonstrations were to spread across the country.
The flurry of diplomatic meetings between Dahal and the diplomatic community on Thursday and Friday may have also contributed. The standing committee met soon after Dahal met ambassadors from Denmark, Switzerland, the United States and India. The Norwegian ambassador had initiated a mediation effort of his own in his residence in Bhaisepati on Thursday evening.
It is also not yet clear what the Maoists will get in return, although there are reports that a “package deal” on integration, constitution and power sharing will be announced Sunday.