THT 10 YEARS AGO: Koirala govt rebuffs Martin

Kathmandu, November 14, 2007

In what is widely interpreted as a rebuff to Ian Martin, head of the United Nations Mission in Nepal and UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon’s special representative to Nepal, the government today ruled out giving additional responsibility to it.

UNMIN, which was tasked with monitoring the Nepali army and the Maoist army and observing the Constituent Assembly polls, has been lobbying for a wider role here. Today’s cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, discussed the issue and decided not to widen the mandate of UNMIN.

After today’s cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Sahana Pradhan told the media that the government decided not to give additional responsibilities to UNMIN. UNMIN has been working in Nepal since January. However, Pradhan said the government is willing to extend the tenure of UNMIN with the same old responsibilities for another six months, IANS reported. But the government will make its final decision only after holding consultations with the Maoists.

Earlier this month, Martin had indicated that his organisation was interested in offering further assistance. UNMIN had wanted a role for itself in implementing the agreements the government and the Maoists had signed.

It had also proposed that it be involved in helping find a durable solution to the issues related to the combatants of the Maoists’ army and the Nepal Army, both of whom have been confined to barracks till the CA polls.

Prachanda talks of change of guard in govt

Dang, November 14, 2007

CPN (Maoist) chairman Prachanda has warned of proposing a change of gurard in the government if the Nepali Congress ignores the directives issued by the parliament.

He issued this warning today at a press meet organised by the revolutionary journalists’ association, Dang. “However, at this time, we are just working for a new political understanding,” he said. “The change of guard will be proposed at the seven- party meeting if the NC refuses to implement the directives issued by the parliament.” He said a new poll date could be fixed only after a political understanding.

Referring to the possibility of polls being held without the Maoists, as several leaders have hinted at, he said: “It means they are indicating that polls should not be held at all.” He claimed that holding the CA polls in Nepal might never be possible unless it became a republic and a fully proportional election system was adopted.

On journalist Birendra Shah’s murder, he said: “The incident happened not on the party’s direction. Some of the party members were behind the incident”. Kathmandu: The Central committee of the Maoists will organise an interaction on Friday to discuss the two key issues of a republic and fully proportional electoral system.