Peace meet asks Maoists, state to resolve conflict through talks

Nepalgunj, February 24:

Participants at the two-day Western Nepal Peace Convention, which began here today, called on all sides to seek solution to the conflict plaguing the country through talks. They also urged the Maoists to give up arms and called on the state to give up authoritarian policies.Speaking at the convention, joint secretary of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Khem Raj Pandit, said solution to the conflict plaguing the nation is possible only through dialogues and not through weapons. “No consensus can be reached without accepting the supremacy of the people,” he said, adding: “All factions must sit for talks.”

End of autocratic monarchy, the initiation of a new constitutional process and inclusive democracy are essential for resolving the present conflict permanently, leftist leader Shankar Pokharel said. Dialogues or agreements that ignore these points will be insignificant, he said.

Chairman of the INSEC, Subodh Pyakurel, said 10,000 persons, including families of security forces and political activists, had been displaced due to the Maoists. The United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) is making efforts to bring them back home, he said.

Democracy and constitutional assembly are the common demands of the Nepalis, senior leftist leader Shakti Lamsal said, adding the state must be restructured to meet these demands.

Janak Raj Giri of the Nepali Congress, Purushottam Dahal of the Human Rights and Peace Society and Surya Thapa of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists also addressed the convention.