Student leaders want King given no space

Kathmandu, October 13:

Student leaders today cautioned that the talks between the top leaders of the seven-party alliance and the CPN-Maoist would fail to yeild positive outcome if the leaders did the mistake by providing “space” to monarchy, including the provision of a ceremonial monarchy.

“Since the relevance of monarchy has come to an end, no space should be given to it now in any form,” said Thakur Gaire, president of All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), a pro-UML student wing, said at an interaction organised by Media Group here today.

Gaire reiterated the UML’s stance of holding referendum to decide the fate of the monarchy.

Criticising prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala for advocating ceremonial monarchy, Gaire, however, raised serious doubts that the talks between the top leaders might be diverted. He also conceded that while some leaders, who took part in the high-level talks tell media that the talks are positive, but they change their stance when they talk to him personally. “I have heard them say that the talks are not going towards positive direction.”

Lekhnath Neupane, president of All Nepal Independent Free Students Union (Revolutionary), warned they would be compelled to launch a street agitation if the summit talks gave a place to the king. “Merely announcing dates for elections to constitution assembly will not work,” Neupane said. Maoists central leader and former student leader Devendra Poudel came down heavily on PM Koirala for advocating ceremonial monarchy.

President of Nepal Students’ Union, Mahendra Sharma said all issues, including the fate of

the monarchy should be decided by constituent assembly.