Dhulikhel, August 13:

The government talks team, led by Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel, today held the first round of talks with representatives of the Federal Democratic National Forum (FDNF) about the demands put forth by the latter. However, the talks ended inconclusively.

FDNF is an umbrella body of Khumbuwan Rajya Parishad, Tamsaling Rajya Parishad and Limbuwan Rajya Parishad, who have been agitating demanding autonomous ethnic republic. Khumbuwan and Limbuwan Rajya Parishads had called a general strike in eastern Nepal to press their demands some days ago.

CPN-UML standing committee member J N Khanal, Minister of State for General Administration Ram Chandra Raya Yadav and Minister of State for Water Resources Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, who are members of the government talks team were also present during the meeting that took place at Dhulikhel Resort.

Emerging from the meeting, Minister Poudel told mediapersons that the FDNF representatives demanded the declaration of ethnic autonomous republic by the interim constitution and an end to the monarchy, along with the declaration of federal system of governance.

FDNF talks team members said constituent assembly polls could be held after the state is restructured on ethnic federal lines and abolishing monarchy. Poudel said five-hour talks ended inconclusively. Next round of talks would be held in Dharan but no date has been fixed.

Kumar Lingden, Rabindra Thing, Fabohang Banem, Rajan Bantawa, D K Buddhist, Janak Chemjong, Bishnu Tumbahamphe, Uttarman Khimbung and Suryaman Makhim represented the FDNF. While the talks were on, cadres belonging to the three parishads staged a brief sit-in in front of the talks venue.