Prachanda warns of split in 7-party tie-up

Dipayal, October 9, 2007

Maoist chairman Prachanda today warned of a split in the seven party alliance if the special session of the interim parliament did not resolve the prevailing political crisis in the country.

Speaking at a press meet organised in Dipayal, he said, “If the special session did not resolve the crisis in the country, we will detach from the seven party alliance and launch agitation going to the people. However, we will not abandon the peace process.”

Stating that the special session of the parliament has to search possible alternatives, he said, “I, however, don’t want to talk about the alternatives.” When asked if the referendum was one of the alternatives, he said, “Alternatives may be several.” Saying that the Maoists could give up one of the demands to reach an agreement, he said, “If an agreement was reached on fully proportional representation system of elections, the House can pass a resolution on announcing the republic.

However, if an agreement was reached on announcing a republic, an alternative can be found to fully proportional representation system of election.” Asked about whether the Maoists would return to the government, he said, “If a new agreement was formed, we may return.

If we don’t return to the government, there will be a constitutional crisis.” Pointing to the recent statement of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he said, “They are Hindu extremists who are aggravating the crisis.” Maoists are of the view that polls should be held within 2064 after reaching an agreement on date, he said. He said, “If there is disagreement on several issues, the Maoists will launch an agitation and the government may have to be changed.”

How Nepali traders lost out in Lhasa

Lhasa, October 9, 2007

Once a bustling chowk for Nepali businessmen, Jokhan temple area, a major tourist hub of Lhasa city, today has only two Nepali businessmen.

“Nepali businessmen had 60 per cent share of the local market till 20 years ago. The Nepalis, most of them Newars, had a satisfactory hold of the bazaar till 12 years ago,” said Ratna Kumar Tuladhar, a Nepali businessman and vice president of the Nepali Dukhi Nibaran Kalyan Kosh.

Tuladhar is one of the two Nepali businessmen doing business in the Jokhan temple business square now. “Nepalis couldn’t compete with the huge investment of Chinese businessmen and had to shift their business,” Tuladhar, who has been running a business for 20 years at Lhasa, said.

The trend of Nepalis quitting their business picked up after the Cultural Revolution in China. The then Nepal Government’s decision to waive visa fee for Tibetans entering Nepal became one of the major reasons for the present situation,” Tuladhar complained.

Former King Birendra, while on a visit to Tibet, had waived the visa fee for the Tibetans entering Nepal, according to him.