Defence Minister faults UNMIN on supervision

KAVRE: Defence Minister Bidhyadevi Bhandari today said that the role of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) regarding the supervision of Maoist combatants was faulty. Minister Bhandari was picnicking with the members of All Nepal Women's Union, Kavre aligned to CPN-UML, to mark the 100th International Women Workers' Day.

Claiming that the UNMIN refused to provide the data of the Maoist combatants in the cantonments to the government, Bhandari said, "The UNMIN accused that the government asked for secret information,'' adding, "The UN body should give the data.''

The minister also claimed that the Unified CPN-Maoist increased the number of combatants to 25,000 during the CPA though there were about 3,000 to 4,000 of them. She refuted the claims of the Maoists that there are 19,550 combatants in the cantonment. The number is half at present, she said, adding, "Only few combatants are seen in the cantonments nowadays.''

She also accused the UCPN-M of taking the allowances of the absentee combatants and being reluctant to rehabilitate them. She demanded that the cantonments be vacated before the promulgation of the new statue. "Maoists should be ready for this," she said.

Arguing that the UCPN-M is a military organisation, she said, “A democratic party can not have its own army". Are there any militants in the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress?'' She asked.

She further claimed that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement has mentioned 'rehabilitation and management of combatants' not integration and thus the combatants will be rehabilitated in the society, not integrated.

Accusing the Maoists of nothing but a bunch of power-mongers, she said, "The Maoist want to lead the government to realise their dream of capturing the state." She also warned that the other parties will not remain mute spectators to their unruly activities. She added, "All leaders of the political parties are aware of the statute drafting process and we are committed to draft the statute on time.''