KATHMANDU: Ignoring condemnation for violating the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the UCPN-Maoist today decided to declare the autonomous states in the presence of top party leaders.

The Maoists had postponed the programme to declare autonomous states during their second phase of movement, citing lack of sufficient preparation. Maoist leaders had said the plan would be implemented in the third phase.

According to politburo member Devendra Poudel ‘Sunil’, who is also the in-charge of the Awadh Sub-State Committee of the party, the meeting of the in-charges of the state committees and the ethnic and regional fronts of the party held today at the party office in Paris Danda came out with a schedule to declare the autonomous states.

This act of the UCPN-Maoist not only breaches the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

but also encroaches upon

the jurisdiction of Constituent Assembly to carve out

federal states.

Maoist leaders claim that they were forced to declare the autonomous states in a symbolic manner to protest the conspiracy being hatched not to adopt the federal structure.

Hemanta Prakash Oli ‘Sudarshan’, in-charge of Magarat State Committee, said the declaration would not breach the CPA, as the whole process would be conducted within the rights enshrined in the interim constitution. “We just wanted to show how the autonomous states function in federal structure,” he said, claiming that they had to organise such a programme because the ‘puppet’ government could not write the new constitution. He added that the Maoists would also declare the chiefs of the respective autonomous regions as per the prerogative rights of the ethnic or regional communities.

In-charges of the Maoist state committees are: Narayan Prasad Sharma for Limbuwan, Gopal Kirati for Kirat, Haribol Gajurel for Kochila, Biswo Nath Sah for Mithila, Bhim Prasad Gautam for Bhojpura, Devendra Poudel ‘Sunil’ for Awadh, Agni Sapkota for Tamsaling, Hitman Shakya for Newa, Hitraj Pande “Uttam” for Tamuwan, Hemanta Prakash Oli ‘Sudarshan’ for Magarat, Khadga Bahadur BK ‘Prakanda’ for Bheri-Karnali, Dharmendra Bastola for Seti-Mahakali and Hari Bhakta Kandel ‘Pratik’ for Tharuwan.

In-charge for Kirat State Committee Gopal Kirati didn’t show up in today’s meeting, as he had already declared the Kirat Autonomous State citing ‘extreme pressure’ from the masses. The recent central committee meeting of the party had issued warning to Kirati for violating the party’s direction.

The meeting was attended by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, vice-chairmen Dr Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha ‘Prakash’ and General

Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’.

Commenting on the Maoist move, UML leader Pradip Gyawali said such activities certainly violated the CPA. He said the only CA was authorised to carve autonomous states. “The move also violates the politics of consensus,” he said, adding that the Maoist move was tantamount to a revolt against the state.

Declaration schedule

Dec 11 Limbuwan/Kochila

Dec 13 Seti-Mahakali/Tharuwan

Dec 14 Kirat/Sherpa

Dec 15 Bheri-Karnali/Bhote-Lama

Dec 16 Newa/Tamsaling (Chepang, Majhi, Rai-Danuwar, Thami, Hyolmo, Pahari etc)

Dec 17 Magarat/Tamuwan (Kumal, Thakali)

Dec 18 Madhesh (Awadh, Bhojpura, Mithila)

Strike on Dec 9, not 10

KATHMANDU: Thursday’s meeting of the UCPN-Maoist top brass with the in-charges of the state committees has decided to change date of the nationwide strike from December 10 to December 9, citing International Human Rights Day. “The strike will be observed on December 9 instead of 10,” said Narayan Prasad Sharma, in-charge of Limbuwan State Committee. HNS

NOC depots shut

KATHMANDU: Claiming that the petroleum dealers were not providing the minimum facilities to the workers in accordance with the law, the All Nepal Petroleum Workers’ Union affiliated to the All Nepal Trade Union Federation of the UCPN-Maoist on Thursday announced to indefinitely close the depots of the Nepal Oil Corporation from Friday. According to ANTUF general secretary Ganesh Regmi, the workers had been demanding appointment letters, life insurance, Dashain bonus, 40 per cent increment in their salaries and cent per cent increase in dearness allowance for the last two months. Regmi said the union had served an ultimatum till November 29 to fulfil their demands.

“Since the dealers have remained indifferent to their demands, the union decided to shut the NOC depots from Friday. All petrol pumps of the country will be shut from November 30,” Regmi added. — HNS