Nepal rules out derailment of peace talks

Kathmandu, August 8:

The CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, who met CPN-Maoist supremo Prachanda and others earlier this morning, reassured the party that the peace process has not derailed altogether “given the normalisation in the relations very soon”.

A party source said that Nepal expressed satisfaction at the way the meetings with the Maoists leaders “are taking place at a quicker pace than a few days back, when it was becoming difficult to even talk to them.”

Nepal, however, also told the party during the Central Committee meeting that “Maoist side tends to go back on their words every time there is a follow up meeting”, something which is “a frustrating experience”.

This incidentally explains why it will take a bit too long before the sides agree on a common stance on arms management, a source told The Himalayan Times. The source, however, quoted Nepal as saying that the Maoist leadership has shown signs of softening their stance.

In a related development, leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC), Nepali Congress-Democratic and CPN-UML met to make consensus among them on basic issues related to the contents of the interim constitution before they go to the Maoists to offer a package deal.

But a source ruled out reaching any conclusion until tomorrow. Earlier in the day, central members of the CPN-UML stressed on the need to stick to the 8-point deal to take the peace process forward. Kashi Nath Adhikari, Trilochan Dhakal, Ramchandra Jha, Lal Babu Pandit, Gopal Shakya, inter alia, stressed the need to go by the spirit of the mass uprising.

“What Prime Minsiter (Girija Prasad) Koirala said on Sunday was against the spirit of the movement. People had taken to the streets demanding a republican order. But look what he is saying now,” UML leader Shakya told this daily while commenting on Koirala’s remarks that he was in favour of giving “space” to the king in the system.

Shakya also said that there was no need to suspect the rebels’ motive now and that “we must all go by the spirit of the 8-point deal.” He was of the view that the government must first take the Maoists into the interim government while the issue of arms management can be dealt with later.

This contradicts with the stand taken by the leadership which wants arms management first.