THT 10 YEARS AGO: Nationwide protests against Dhakal’s murder

Kathmandu, January 21, 2008

Civil servants throughout the nation today protested against the murder of an employee of the Banke district land reforms office Purna Prasad Dhakal yesterday. Civil servants closed all offices under the Ministry of Land Reforms today to protest against Dhakal’s murder. According to Uttam Kunwar, secretary of the Nepal Civil Service Employees’ Union, the civil servants of the Land Reforms Department organised a condolence meet today and announced that they will stage a pen-down from 10 am to 12 noon, but the office remained closed throughout the day. All land revenue offices, survey offices and district land reform offices across the country were closed today in protest. The civil servants have demanded that Dhakal be declared a martyr, appropriate compensation be paid to family members, free education and employment be given to family members, and security of all civil servants be guaranteed. “All civil servants will be forced to retaliate if these demands are not met,” he said.

All three organisations affiliated to the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist were involved in the protest programmes. Kunwar said the government had promised to provide special security to the civil servants, but this incident has proved that the government was lying.

Poll deferral will lead to civil war, say SPA leaders in Bhairahawa

Bhairahawa, January 21, 2008

Stating that most of the demands of the Madhesis have been met, second-generation leaders of the seven parties today urged armed outfits based in the Tarai to participate in the constituent assembly polls scheduled for April 10.

Addressing the mass meeting of the seven parties here, the leaders warned that a civil war will grip the nation if the polls are deferred again. They said the polls will be held anyway and warned that the people will retaliate against those who try to defer them. Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies and vice-president of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi) Shyam Sundar Gupta urged the warring factions in the Tarai to come to the negotiating table. He said the government is serious about addressing genuine demands.

Vice-chairman of the Nepali Congress Gopal Man Shrestha said the country will go for a republic after the polls. The nation needs lasting peace, he said, calling for the resolution of the Madhes problem through talks.

Standing committee member of the CPN (UML) Jhal Nath Khanal claimed that the genuine demands of the Madhesis have been met, adding it is illogical to put demands that are not legitimate. He claimed deferral of the polls will only make the monarchy stronger.