HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Members of civil society, who were on a 72-hour hunger strike against the government decision to provide facilities to former government officials and political leaders through an ordinance, ended the strike garnering the support of 62 organisations, including political parties, and 9,500 individuals, who put their signature on the guest book kept for the visitors and expressed solidarity with the cause.
“Prime Minister’s decision to provide lifelong facilities to the VIPs on the basis of individual needs is baseless and has created confusion as the ordinance published in the gazette has stipulated providing allowances under the heads like house rent, vehicles, staffers and other expenses indiscreetly to former high officials,” Rishav Dev Ghimire, one of the strikers, told this daily today.
Civil society members involved in the strike took exception to PM Baburam Bhattarai’s statement that the strike is meaningless.
“I have tried to curb the indiscreet distribution of the facilities without legal provision,” press adviser Ram Rijhan Yadav quoted PM as saying.
NC president Sushil Koirala, who visited the protesters today, expressed support for the movement. The protesters have asked the leaders of NC to reject the state facilities.
The strike led by former home secretary Khila Nath Regmi remained in the limelight for three days, their move also pressed two former PMs Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal and former speaker and NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel to return the vehicles.
CPN-Maoist party leaders C P Gajurel, Pampha Bhusal, Rastriya Jana Shakti party leader Prakash Chandra Lohani, Rastriya Janamorcha Party leader Pari Thapa, NC leader Deep Kumar Upadhyaya had visited the strikers yesterday and expressed solidarity with their cause.
Human rights activists, journalists, academia, businessmen and civil society members have expressed support for the cause.
The civil society plans to collect signatures against the government move from all the districts on July 30, 31 and August 1 and hand them over to the PM on August 5.