Maoists free to quit govt: KP Oli

KATHMANDU: Standing committee member of CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli on Saturday said the UCPN-Maoist was free to quit the government at any time.

Speaking at an interaction organised here on Saturday, Oli argued that the present government was not an absolute civilian government. “This is not an absolute civilian government, as it is being led by the party which has its own armed combatants,” he added. He also said the Maoists had no authority to talk about civilian supremacy.

Oli lashed out at the former rebels saying that they were trying to capture the state power instead of writing a new constitution on time and take the peace process to a logical conclusion. He also alleged the Maoists of trying to impose autocratic regime in the name of safeguarding people’s supremacy.

Oli also said the Maoists had intensified their attack on all sectors. “They are targeting judiciary, free press, bureaucracy, civil servants and educational institutions one after the other,” Oli said, accusing the Maoists of breaching past agreements. He also said there was no possibility of reaching further agreements with the Maoists. “The UML is not in the government for the sake of the Maoists. We are in the government to serve the nation and the people,” he claimed. He also criticised Finance Minister Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai’s irresponsible remarks about President Dr Ram Baran Yadav.

On the eve of the World Press Freedom Day, Oli accused the Maoists of terrorising the press. “There is widespread fear among the mediapersons because the Maoists are repeatedly attacking and threatening them,” he added.

Speaking on the same occasion, senior journalists expressed their concerns over the degrading condition of press freedom. Former FNJ president, Tara Nath Dahal, urged the government to create a secure working environment for journalists. “We have recorded more than 235 incidents of press freedom violations last year.”Senior journalist Kanak Mani Dixit expressed grave concerns over the increasing culture of impunity.