Efforts on to break ice with fired-up agitators

Kathmandu, September 3

The Unified CPN-Maoist’s bid to bring the government and the agitating forces to the negotiating table failed to yield any result today.

A meeting of the Special Committee of CPDCC discussed the grounds on which talks with protesting parties could be held but it could make no headway. CPDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai said the UCPN-M told the leaders that while it was imperative to promulgate the constitution without further delay, it was also important to address basic demands of the protesting parties, but the CPN-UML refused budge from its stance.

Bhattarai told this daily that two provinces in Madhes — one from Tharu- and Madhesi-dominated areas of Morang and Sunsari up to Parsa and the other from Parasi to Tharu-dominated areas of Kailali — would be the best solution, but the UML opposed the idea.

The senior UCPN-M leader said he told the leaders of ruling parties that there was no need to mobilise army but they were non-committal. “We will try our best to bring both sides to the negotiating table tomorrow as well,” he said.

The UCPN-M leaders also held talks with United Democratic Madhesi Front leaders Mahantha Thakur and Upendra Yadav today.

UML Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal said the meeting of the Special Committee concluded that the constitution-making process would not be paused and bid to prepare grounds for talks with the protesting parties would continue tomorrow.

Chudamani Khadka, personal secretary of UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, said Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was positive about addressing the demands of agitators but UML was not being flexible.

Chairman of Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar said NC and UML were positive about addressing the appropriate demands of the agitating forces. He told THT that the draft constitution should be amended through amendment proposals. He said his party and the Federal Democratic Alliance would quit the constitution-making process if the parties went ahead with the seven-province model. He urged the major parties to make a conducive environment for talks by Friday.

Ban Ki-moon’s plea

KATHMANDU: The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all stakeholders in Nepal to refrain from the use of force, denounce violence in all forms and engage in talk. During a press briefing in UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said Ban was following the situation in Nepal closely and was concerned about reports of violence in recent weeks.