THT 10 YEARS AGO: Nepal urges King to be ready for polls to CA

Biratnagar, December 17, 2005

The general secretary of the CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal, has said the King should be ready for polls to a Constituent Assembly, which, according to him, alone will restore peace in the country. Addressing a mammoth meeting in Biratnagar today by the party’s Koshi Zonal Coordination Committee, he said it is high time the monarch realise what the people really want. Despite security personnel’s bid to bar people from taking part in the rally, thousands marched along the city streets before converging for the mass meeting. Security forcestried to stop people headed for the rally at the Duhabi-Inarwa road section. “The Maoists are ready to give up violence and surrender arms if the King is willing to hold elections to a Constituent Assembly, Nepal said, adding that the international community is also mounting pressure for the same. Claiming that the seven agitating parties are trying to create an atmosphere conducive for turning the unilateral ceasefire into a permanent one, the UML chief said a ‘tsunami’ is sure to come that will sweep away monarchy in case the King doesn’t listen to the people’s voices. Talking about the parties’ 12- point pact with the Maoists, Nepal said the agreement was made with a view to restoring peace in the country. Addressing the gathering, UML standing committee member Jhalnath Khanal said as the country has already welcomed a republican set-up to some extent, it can never be a land of monarchy.

HURON says RNA wiped out evidence

Kathmandu, December 17, 2005

Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON) today accused the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) of trying to “cover up” Wednesday’s midnight massacre at Nagarkot by “destroying evidence” and barring the police and civilian authorities from carrying out an investigation. A field study report made public to the media by the rights body, quoting eyewitnesses, locals and school students, said RNA personnel covered pools of blood and stains in and around the temple premises with sand and earth and collected all canisters strewn around the temple by 5 am. However, they could not remove a bullet that had lodged on a tree, it said. An eight-member fact finding team, led by HURON general secretary Baburam Giri, said circumstantial evidence showed that Basudev Thapa, stationed at the RNA School in Nagarkot and who opened indiscriminate fire at worshippers at the Kali Devi temple, was “shot dead by other army men” who had come along with him in plainclothes. “The bullet on Thapa’s chest proves that he did not kill himself as claimed by the army and the local administration,” Kapil Shrestha, a member of the team, said, adding that a self loading rifle (SLR) was recovered from the site. He said a person cannot pull the trigger of an SLR and shoot himself on the chest.