Government, agitating Federal Alliance engaged in blaming each other

Kathmandu, June 11

The government and Federal Alliance leaders continue to blame each other for non-resumption of dialogue on constitutional issues.

Laxman Lal Karna, co-chair of Sadbhawana Party, a constituent of the FA, said the agitating forces were ready for talks provided the government addressed their four major concerns to prepare an environment conducive for holding talks.

According to Karna, the government should provide compensation to families of those killed during protests, withdraw false cases against leaders and cadres of agitating forces, bear expenses for treatment of the injured and form a probe commission to investigate allegations of use of excessive force by security personnel.

Karna said the agitating forces’ Kathmandu-centric movement was sensitising people about the demands of Madhesis, Janajatis and other marginalised communities. Karna said the agitation would intensify after the phase of relay hunger strikes got over.

Ashok Kumar Rai,   parliamentary party leader of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal said the government’s claim that it had sent a formal invite to the FA was wrong. “I told the government that if it really wanted dialogue, it should first send its representatives for informal talks to prepare the environment for dialogue,” he said, adding that angry exchange of views through media would not help at all.

The prime minister’s political adviser Bishnu Rimal said the government had sent several invites to the FA for talks, but the latter was not responding. Rimal said some of the conditions set by the agitating forces had already been met and if there were other issues, they could raise them at the negotiating table. He said the government was informally talking to the agitating forces.

“Agitating leaders should not sit for relay hunger strike. The PM has time and again said he is ready to address the genuine demands of the agitating forces. What is genuine and what is not can be decided only when both sides sit for talks,” he added.

Rimal, however, said senior leaders of the agitating forces were themselves spoiling the environment for talks by falsely accusing the PM of breaking off negotiation.

“The government had sent a written invite on the request of agitating leaders but they later misled the public saying that the government sent them invites 10 days after it made a  public offer for the same,” Rimal added.

He said the PM was ready to hold bilateral, trilateral or multilateral talks with the agitating forces.

He also said the government was still awaiting a written response from the Untied Democratic Madhesi Front on the its talks offer.

Rimal said the agitating forces should realise that the first amendment to the constitution was made to address their concerns.

“If the government did not favour a negotiated settlement, it would not have agreed to move the proposal to amend the constitution,” he added.

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said his party was in favour of facilitating talks between the government and the agitating forces.

Shrestha said his party leaders would talk to the agitating forces to know how flexible they could be before talking to the government on constitutional issues.

“We hear that the agitating forces want to continue their agitation in one way or the other till the next general elections.

We will try to understand their real intention and  try our best to find a negotiated settlement to constitutional issues,” Shrestha said.