Govt, Tarai armed outfit sign five-point accord

Kathmandu, March 20:

The government and Madhes Liberation Tigers (MLT) today reached a five-point agreement, ending the latter’s armed, extremist and provocative activities in the Tarai. The talks were held in the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction in Singha Durbar.

“Respecting the national unity, national interest and country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, we have reached this agreement to adopt a new constitution on time and bring the ongoing peace process to a logical end,” said a joint statement issued at the end of the talks.

The agreement was signed by Janardan Sharma, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction, on behalf of the government, and Bhola Prasad Mukhiya on behalf of the MLT. The statement said that both the sides were confident that the new constitution would empower various classes, communities, regions and genders of the country.

According to the agreement, the government will ensure security of the MLT talks team until the talks are over and the MLT would suspend all violent, extremist and provocative activities and abide by the law of the county.

The MLT will hand over the government a list of its cadres arrested in the course of its agitation, and the government will gradually set them free with due process of law after making an inquiry.

Other additional demands put forth by the MLT would be discussed in the next round of talks, the date of which would be determined on mutual consultation.

MLT leaders, in their five-point charter of demands, had sought that the government provide allowances to its fighters until further talks. The MLT had also demanded that its cadres killed during the agitation be declared martyrs and compensation be provided to their next of kin.

At the end of the meeting, MLT coordinator Mukhiya claimed that they had an strength of 10,000 armed force and they should be treated like that of the personnel of the Maoist’s People’s Liberation Army who are enjoying the facilities provided by the state.

Minister Sharma said the government had already held first round of talks with seven different armed outfits active in the Tarai. The second rounds of talks would be held with them very soon so as to bring them to the mainstream politics.