Daschle meets RNA chief Thapa, NC-D acting president Shrestha

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, July 25:

Former US Senator Thomas A Daschle, who is in Kathmandu for a week, today met Chief of the Army Staff General Pyar Jung Thapa at the latter’s office and acquired information on the security situation in Nepal. Senior officers of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) apprised Daschle

about the ongoing operations against the Maoists. According to the Army, the officers also briefed the US visitor about RNA’s commitment to international humanitarian laws and efforts taken to protect human rights. US ambassador to Nepal, James F Moriarty, was also present at the meeting that lasted for about an hour. RNA officials, however, refused to disclose what Daschle had spoken during the meeting. Daschle is visiting Nepal on behalf of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). He has already met foreign minister and political party leaders and will meet representatives of civil society and international community to know their views on the country’s current situation. He is scheduled to meet the press on Wednesday.

Daschle also met acting president of the Nepali Congress (Democratic), Gopal Man Shrestha, at the latter’s office at Maharajgunj this afternoon. During the meeting, Shrestha put forth his party’s stance on peace, democracy, progressive reforms and constitutional monarchy. Shrestha told the visiting official that the seven-party alliance’s movement was gradually gaining support of the people, civil society and other professional organisations. A press statement issued by the party’s central office quoted Daschle as saying that he and the international community would always be supportive of peace, democracy, rule of law and human rights and said that their stance on those issues would remain unchanged. It is learnt that he will submit his report on the current political and conflict situation in Nepal to the Bush administration.