Polls widening King-parties rift: US Senator

Kathmandu, February 2:

Speaking once again on Nepal in Washington, US Senator Patrick Leahy has said that the upcoming elections are widening gap between the political parties and the King.

Recalling his previous statements on Nepal, which received little attention by the US Congress, Senator Leahy said: “It is a country struggling against a determined Maoist insurgency that has brought extortion, brutality and false promises of a better future to virtually every province. And it is a country in which an autocratic monarchy has sought to consolidate its grip on power and take the country backwards after a decade of fledgling democracy.”

Leahy blamed the King for ignoring appeals from the US, India and Great Britain, as well as the UN, to negotiate with the political parties to restore democracy.

“What we are witnessing in Nepal is, put simply, a struggle between the discredited, anachronistic past, and the possibility of a democratic future,” Leahy said.

Predicting a third possibility as “a Maoist government that imposes its will on whomever remains in Nepal after a mass exodus, and which further destabilises an already troubled region”, Leahy added. “As the situation continues to deteriorate, calls for a republic are growing louder,” he said in a statement.

“The only viable way forward is through dialogue, including the Maoists, under United Nations or other international auspices, with the clear purpose of developing a broadly accepted plan to restore and strengthen democracy,” he said.

Reconciliation must: Fallon

KATHMANDU: The commander of the US Pacific Command (PACOM), Admiral William J Fallon, on Thursday left after completing his 24-hour visit to Nepal. He expressed US concerns about the possible danger to be created due to the King’s February 1 takeover last year and the Maoists insurgency.

Releasing a press statement, Admiral Fallon urged all parties concerned to unite to reach a progressive agreement. He said that reconciliation between the political parties and the King is indispensable not only to restore democracy but also to resolve the Maoists insurgency effectively. Considering the series of violence, Maoists cannot be considered as legitimate political group, said Admiral Fallon in a statement released by the American Centre. — HNS