Govt set to send army to barracks: Oli

Pokhara, June 29 :

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, KP Sharma Oli, today said the government is making preparations to send the army to the barracks and dissolve the Unified Command.

Speaking to journalists after inaugurating the second conference of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) here, Oli said: “The government would make all decisions regarding the army as Nepal Army has already come under it.”

On the army’s response to Maoist chief Prachanda’s remarks, Oli said that it was not a strange thing to happen.

He said the process for forming an interim government could go ahead after the management of arms of the Nepal Army and the Maoists.

According to him, as no one knows exactly the number of weapons the two armies have, UN supervision in this regard

is a must.

Stating that Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s ill health has been stalling important decisions in the parliament, Oli said: “The parliament will urge the UN to get involved in arms management after holding a discussion on the issue in the presence of the prime minister in parliament.”

He further said that the parliament can be dissolved to make way for an interim government.

He also said budget for the royal family would be slashed in the next fiscal. “An interim government could present the budget for the next fiscal if it is formed in between,” he said. On the issue of retaining monarchy, he said the same would be decided by a constituent assembly.

Referring to the High Level Judicial Probe Commission, Oli said the government would work according to recommendations made by the panel.

On the murder of two Maoists by members of the retaliation committee in Kapilvastu, Oli said: “The government has been investigating the case and action would be taken against the guilty.” “The government is ready to take action against army men if they are found to be instigating the retaliation committee members to kill the rebels,” he added.

“The media played a vital role in establishing loktantra in the country and as such the government is always ready to help journalists in their good work,” he said, adding that journalists should work as per the desires of the people.

Addressing the programme, chairperson of the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee, Laxman Prasad Aryal, said the country currently needs a strong law related to communications.

Chairperson of SAFMA, Gopal Thapaliya, presided over the function. A total of 250 journalists from across the country will be attending the conference, SAFMA said.