Kathmandu, August 24:

The Industrial Security Group (ISG) and the European Union (EU) today condemned the recent Maoist attacks on business enterprises and denounced the rebels for threatening the business owners with violent reprisals. “The Maoist actions violate the rights of workers and cause great damage to the livelihood of thousands of innocent people, their families, and the overall economy of Nepal,” the ISG said in a press release today.

“The ISG believes that the Maoists’ claim that they represent workers’ interests is a pretext for extortion and an illegitimate means to achieve political ends,” said the communiqué issued by the US Embassy on behalf of the ISG. The release said that no legitimate political force or workers’ movement should resort to such violent tactics. The forced closures and threats of closure of firms, including foreign joint ventures, continue to hurt the commercial interests of foreign investors in Nepal, deterring future investment, it said. In order to promote peace and prosperity in Nepal, the Maoists should cease their violent tactics, withdraw their threat of violence, and allow businesses to operate without fear, it said.