Democratic republic only way out: Youth leaders

Kathmandu, January 25:

Youth leaders of various political parties said today that the country was moving towards a “democratic republic” as the Maoists have also expressed their commitment to the competitive politics. They also said that the municipal elections would not give any legitimacy to the King’s February 1 takeover.

Addressing a programme at the Reporters’ Club, central working committee member of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) Man Mohan Bhattarai said it was the best moment for all to move ahead towards a democratic republic as the Maoists had also accepted competitive politics.

He said that the monarchy had ceased to exist as a “legitimate institution” as it had violated the 1990 constitution. Bhattarai also expressed his apprehension about new phase of conflict between the well-off urban centres and rural areas, where presence of the state is almost non-existent, if the state failed to address the problem of conflict. “A tendency of disintegration from the centre has developed with the state controlling only the urban centres and district headquarters,” he said.

Youth leader of the Nepali Congress Chandra Bhandari accused the government of depriving the Nepali people of basic need of communication. He said that new government to be formed by the agitating parties would take action against those misusing the state machinery and funds to suppress the people’s movement.

General secretary of Democratic National Youth Association Rabindra Adhikari said that revival of the dissolved House of Representatives, talks with the Maoists, formation of an interim government along with the Maoists and election to a constituent assembly were the only ways to resolve the conflict. He said party leaders had made it clear that they would not call off the movement on a compromise with the King.

Former general secretary of Nepal Students’ Union Gagan Thapa alleged that the government was trying to foil an alliance between the NC and the leftist forces. “Some of the NC leaders are still trying to break NC’s ties with the alliance and hold talks with the King. But the party will not break its relation with the alliance and it will fulfil its historical responsibility,” Thapa said.

Bharat Chand, chairman of the RPP-Rana affiliated National Democratic Youth Organisation, said that his party had been in favour of dialogue between the constitutional forces to resolve the crisis. “The King should cancel the municipal polls and invite the political parties for dialogue as they are the only force that can resolve the problem,” he said.

President of All Nepal National Free Students Union Khimlal Bhattarai said that the government had mainly targeted students who had been arrested in a large scale and tortured in detention centres. He said the civic polls had already been a failure with nobody willing to file nominations for the purpose.

Charan Prasain, president of Nepal Human Rights Organisation, said human rights situation had been deteriorating after the government arrested political leaders, students, rights defenders and journalists. He said the entire nation had been converted into a big prison as no one was safe in the country.