THT 10 YEARS AGO: UN, US, UK concerned over arrests
Kathmandu, January 20, 2006
The United Nations, the US, the UK and international rights bodies have expressed their concern over the turn of events here. Expressing concern in a statement, spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, called on all sides here to return to the negotiating table and halt violence. The statement also mentioned that the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal, Ian Martin, had raised the matter with the government. UN human rights officers had also visited 97 of the more than 120 persons detained. “The Secretary-General appeals to all sides for calm, the suspension of fighting and the urgent initiation of an inclusive national dialogue,” the statement adds. A statement issued by Sean McCormack, spokesperson for the US department of State said: “These arrests and harassment of peaceful democratic forces is a violation of their civil and political rights. The US calls on the King to release these activists.” The UK also expressed its concern over the recent turn of events. “The UK is extremely concerned by the King’s actions, and we can see no grounds for these anti-democratic measures,” said a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Curfew thwarts alliance rally
Kathmandu, January 20, 2006
The daytime curfew enforced by the government today thwarted the bid of the sevenparty alliance to stage a rally in the capital. This has left them with no option but to stage the rally tomorrow afternoon following a meeting of the task force, a statement issued here today said. Over 200 party workers were today arrested from Gaushala where they were cooking food. Police broke in after axing the door of the building where the workers were stationed. Today saw far less resentment on the streets although there were isolated reports of demonstrators playing hide and seek with the police in some parts of the city. However, no sooner had the curfew ended at six in the evening, hundreds of demonstrators hit the streets at Baneshwore, Maitidevi, Chabahil, Maharajgunj, Kalimati, Gongabu and Patan. Police resorted to lathicharge at a number of places before the curfew was re-imposed at 8 pm while over 200 demonstrators were rounded up. However, Gongabu and Chabahil witnessed a number of flash demos with police arresting party activists from a demonstration led by Dr Kedar Narsingh KC. Kirtipur and Bhaktapur, however, witnessed day long flash demos and corner meetings. Meanwhile, the Nepali Congress today claimed the government “has gone down on its knees” even as it flayed the “misappropriation of resources of the state to suppress the mass movement.” Stating that the tendency demonstrated by the government is downright dictatorial, the party has condemned the act of enforcing a curfew.