Nepal begs for the vote, holds peace vigils, maoist ask for invite in writing
Nepal is waiting for the UN session to be over until the manslaughter starts from US intervention. In the meantime a fake peace offer has been extended by the governement, the papers beg for the house of representatives to be reinstated through popular vote, people hold peace vigils.
House reinstatement could be a 'magic formula': Dixit
At a time when four opposition parties have launched their fresh agitation programme against the royal move of October 2002 terming it as 'regression,' increasing number of professional groups and independent commentators have been emphasizing on the need of reinstating the dissolved House of Representatives.
Writing in Thursday's Kantipur daily, a senior journalist and civil society activist, Kanak Mani Dixit, has said there could be three possible way out to the present impasse in the country.
First-- direct rule by the King, which could only lead towards the downfall of monarchy. Second-- to continue the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government, which would continue to weaken democratic norms of the country. And, the third and final option would be to hold fresh elections-the issue nobody in the country is ready even to discuss now.
As such, a `magic formula' to break the on going political deadlock could be the reinstatement of the dissolved House of Representatives, said Dixit. The reinstated third parliament would not only take initiative to resolve the Maoist problem, it would also initiate the process of parliamentary elections.
The parliament will also start debate on a number of national social and political issues that have surfaced over the past few years. It will, thus, not only help correct most of the distortions that are manifest today, the reinstated parliament will also take up concerns being expressed by media, civil society and intelligentsia regarding the shrinking 'democratic space,' he said.
Dixit further argued that as King Gyanendra reinstated premier Sher Bahadur Deuba to his post, Deuba too could have an opportunity to add to his political capital by reinstating the House (that he had recommended for dissolution more than two years ago). And, there is also a practical aspect behind it.
"The reinstated House of Representatives could elect Deuba as the new premier by its majority," he added. nepalnews.com by Sep 23 04
Candles for peace: Nepalis mourn their dead
Hundreds of concerned citizens from various walks of life lit thousands of candles at Mandala of the Maitighar - Thapathali cross-section in the capital, Kathmandu, Monday evening in memory of nearly eleven thousand Nepalis killed in the nine-year-old conflict.
They also observed silence in memory of departed souls.
People from various walks of life lighting candles at Maitighar... (More)
The programme was organized under the banner "Campaign against violence." Hundreds of people prayed for peace at the same venue early Tuesday - the International Day for Peace.
"Violence no more is an incident in our country. It is gradually becoming a culture. Hence, to protest against the culture and exhibit our commitment towards peace we have organised this solemn ceremony," Kedar Sharma, a journalist and one of the organizers of the event, told Nepalnews.
According to various estimates, over 11,000 Nepalis have lost their lives in the deadly conflict after the CPN (Maoist) launched 'people's war' in February 1996. Of them, more than 6,500 were killed over the last one year alone, after the second round of peace talks broke off in August 2003.
"We don't have parliament now. Political structure has been dismantled and every sector of the society has been affected as the political process remains disrupted," said Krishna Pahadi, a leading human rights activist and chairman of Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES).
"There is a situation of lawlessness and there is no presence of the government in nearly 8o percent territory of the country. Worse, successive governments themselves are promoting the culture of violence," said Pahadi, at a programme organised in the capital Sunday.
Thousands of people have been displaced, thousands others have left their villages to work as cheap laborers across the border in India while hundreds of others have left their motherland to work in dangerous zones like Iraq.
"It is all because of violence back home that people are risking their own lives abroad," said Surendra Mali, a Kathmandu resident, who hasn't been able to come to terms with the violent behaviour of otherwise peaceful Nepalis on September 1.
Thousands of youths took to the streets, targeted mosques, media houses, manpower agencies and international airlines in the name of protesting against the killing of 12 Nepalis in Iraq.
"Violence begets violence. The only answer to violence is love and peace," said Chintamani Yogi, a peace activist and principal of Hindu Vidyapeeth Nepal. But as both the government and rebels prepare for even more fierce battle by augmenting their weapons and manpower, the country seems to be heading towards even more destruction and senseless violence.
Campaign against violence: People from various walks of life displaying... (More)
"There is the need for people to actively intervene in the present state of affairs and pressurize both the parties in conflict to put aside guns and sit for negotiations," said Sushil Pyakuryal, member of National Human Rights Commission. "There is a need to maintain and build on the pressure being generated by students, teachers, guardians and trade union activists," he added.
As the violence has started affecting every aspect of socio-economic life, the people of Kathmandu-otherwise considered passive on political issues-have started coming out on the streets pledging for peace. As the Nepalis mourn for their thousands of fellow countrymen, their conviction for restoration of peace and people's democratic rights seems to be getting stronger by the day. nepalnews.com Bhagirath Yogi Sep 21 04
Rebels waiting for govt. letter: Tuladhar
As the government formally called the Maoist rebels for peace negotiations Wednesday, a leading human rights activist has said the rebels are waiting for formal letter from the authorities.
Speaking at a programme organised by a group of civil society in mid-western town of Nepalgunj Wednesday, Tuladhar said the rebels could agree to hold talks with the government if the latter extended them a formal invitation.
A former facilitator between the government and rebels during the failed peace talks last year, Tuladhar said he had received a phone call from Maoist chairman, Prachanda, saying that his party was not against holding talks with the present government.
He even alleged the government of spreading rumour that the Maoists were not serious towards talks.
He also emphasized the need for UN mediation for peace talks, reports said.
On Wednesday, the high-level peace talks committee comprising leaders of four parties in the ruling coalition and Minister for Information and Communications, Dr. Mohammed Mohsin, considered to a royal representative, had formally called the rebels to come to the table of negotiations.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba-- who heads the committee-- however, told reporters that the process of the proposed negotiations would be kept secret.
Earlier, the rebels had said they would hold negotiations only with the
'master' (the King), not with the `servant' (the royal-appointed government). nepalnews.com by Sep 23 04
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