THT 10 YEARS AGO: Session extended Anti-climax or bathos?

Kathmandu, November 2, 2007

The meeting of the special session of the parliament was extended to Sunday in order to seek a consensus among the political parties.

This happened when everybody was expecting a vote. Even after the distribution of the printed working schedule to go for voting, the sesion was extended by two days. In the second meeting which was convened just for two minutes at 8.20pm, Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang put off the scheduled programmes till 2 PM on Sunday.

Nembang said Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula will on Sunday answer the questions raised by the MPs on the two proposals of the Maoists to declare the country a republic and adopt an all- out proportional representation system in the Constituent Assembly elections.

After the special session was extended cancelling the voting, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala told reporters that they will definitely seek a consensus among the parties before the next meeting of the House. “Today’s programmes have been suspended in order to seek a consensus,” Koirala added. CPN Maoist Chairman Prachanda said that they will still try to seek a consensus. “We have been continually busy trying to reach a consensus. We leftist parties have also been holding meetings. He added that they will meet the Prime Minister tomorrow.

The PM was to address the House in the second meeting before the voting on the proposals. After Koirala reached the parliament building at 7.15 PM, the top leaders met and decided that they should meet again tomorrow to reach a consensus.

Top LTTE leader killed in Lanka air strike

Associated Press

Colombo, November 2, 2007

A Sri Lankan air strike pounded a meeting of top rebel leaders early today, killing the head of the Tamil Tigers’ political wing and five others in an attack seen as a major victory for the government in its long fight with the guerrillas.

The killing of SP Tamilselvan, assumed by many to be the secretive group’s second in command, was certain to badly damage the rebels’ morale nearly two weeks after they stunned the government with a devastating attack on an air base. “This is a message that we know their leaders’ location,” Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. “This confirms that our information is very accurate.”

Another five rebel leaders were killed in the bombing, according to a statement from the rebel group that was e-mailed to reporters and confirmed Tamilselvan’s death. Rebel spokesmen did not answer phone calls seeking further comment.

In a separate attack, Sri Lankan jets pounded a camp belonging to the Black Tigers, the rebel group’s suicide fighters, in Iranamadu in the rebel-held Kilinochchi district, air force spokesman Group Capt Ajantha Silva said. The suicide unit has been the target of repeated air strikes since its attack on the Anuradhapura air base last week killed 14 soldiers.