THT 10 years ago: Maoists delaying constituent assembly polls: Sujata

Kathmandu, January 2, 2007

Nepali Congress leader Sujata Koirala today accused the Maoists of delaying the constituent assembly election. “It is clear that the Maoists are responsible in creating problems that will automatically hamper timely election of the constituent assembly.

If it happens, the Maoists will have to bear responsibility,” she said, talking at an interaction at Reporters’ Club. “It is a big question why the Maoists want to perish the democracy we have brought together and push back the country again into the same old pit,” she said.

She also said the “undemocratic forces” are again active in causing riots and destabilising democracy and the Maoists will have to own responsibility for it . “I don’t need to say whether it is the palace or not.

But the undemocratic forces, which had helped the king to rule autocratically in previous years, are seen doing ‘things’ in different parts of the country. The Maoists must be aware of it,” she said.

She claimed that the seven-party alliance has conceded all that the Maoists had demanded but at the same time added, “We still cannot give them all until they come to the interim government.” she also charged the civil society leaders of taking the side of one party, without indicating to which party the civil society is seen tilted.

Dozens of civil society representatives were arrested on Monday when they were holding a peaceful demonstration demanding that the interim constitution be tabled in Parliament.

‘Bank’ brings joy for child labourers

Fifteen-year-old Ishwore Dhimal found the best place to secure his hard-earned money that pays him interest too.

His last visit to his village in Sindhupalchok has been the most delightful one in the last three years, as he could take home Rs 7,000. The opening of the Child Development Bank (CDB) in Patan Daubahal has helped child labourers like Dhimal to save their savings everyday.

As a porter he earns Rs 200 a day on an average, but in the past he could hardly save because money used to be spent on unwanted expenses and sometimes robbed by junkies. Gita KC, facilitator of the CDB, said child labourers were motivated to work hard, save more and even plan their future activities.

The accounts can be opened with Rs 10, which can be deposited on the daily basis or any time when they have money at their convenience.

As an incentive, the bank distributes interest at 10 per cent rate every three months.

With a seven-member organising committee of the children themselves, the bank is divided into advance committee and management committee. Most members borrow money to meet their educational expenses.