Tripartite meet fails to decide PLA’s fate

Kathmandu, June 16:

The trilateral meeting held today between the CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML could not thrash out long-standing differences over the adjustment and rehabilitation of Maoist fighters.

The issue of adjustment and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants has been one of the most contentious issues that has delayed the formation of the new government.

The NC and UML are sticking to the principle of national standard or individual qualification for the adjustment of the UNMIN-verified combatants while the Maoist side has been insisting on “group entry” to settle the adjustment issue. “We decided to hold another round of meeting tomorrow on the contentious issue,” NC spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC told mediapersons at the end of the inconclusive meeting held at PM’s official residence in Baluwatar. KC, however, said the Maoists had shown some flexibility to adjust the combatants on the basis of national standard, as suggested by the NC and the UML. “They are not that negative as they used to be,” NC leader KC said.

However, Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa “Badal” is said to have opposed the NC and UML proposal of adopting “individual qualification” as the standard norm for the adjustment in the Nepal Army. KC said a large number of combatants could be adjusted outside the Nepal Army creating separate security wings.

UML leader Bhim Rawal said they also explored possibility of having political representation in the existing special committee under the council of ministers, which has been supervising management of the combatants and the cantonments.

Rawal said the special committee with political representation could develop an “agreed process and modality” for the adjustment and rehabilitation of the combatants.