Nepal Today

Friday, April 30, 2010

Military deployed, police empowered to shoot below knee; other details

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 30 April: Military was deployed Friday to protect vital installations, like dams and telecommunication centers, nation-wide after deploying police units, Home Minister Bhim Rawal said.
The decision to deploy troops was taken at a meeting of the national security council met for the second time in 11 months after embattled and beleaguered Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal assumed office.
Police said 15,000 personnel have been deployed in the Valley and have orders have been issued to shoot below the knee if the situation gets out of control.
Police continued to recover sticks and other materials for aggressive activities from Maoists traveling in vehicles heading towards the capital.
Amid fear and growing tension, few people traveled in the public transport system in the capital Friday.
Shops in the inner and urban areas closed down shutters as Maoists went on an extortion drive demanding money and goods.
Two rounds of talks between leaders of Maoists, Nepali Congress and UML was inconclusive to break a deadlock to call off a Maoist mass mobilization Saturday against the government and the 3rd Janaandolan to establish a people’s republic was inconclusive late Friday night.
The second round of talks that began at a hotel in Lazimpat at 8 PM didn’t bear results until 11 PM.
Nepali Congress central committee emergency meeting backed beleaguered Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal saying the government shouldn’t resign under threat and duress..
The prime minister’s UML politburo meeting asked him to address the nation on the brewing crisis as its Chairman Jhalanath Khanal set pre-conditions to be met Maoists to urge Nepal to resign.
Khanal doesn’t have the support of the entire party.
KP Oli, a leader opposed Khanal and Maoists, returned from New Delhi Friday after consultations with Indian leaders and officials.
What’s certain is a constitution to institutionalize a republic that has already been declared by an un-elected and self-appointed parliament won’t be promulgated by the 28 May deadline.
The party asked Nepal not to resign but negotiate with the Maoists.
A large section of the party had earlier demanded Nepal’s resignation to pave the way for a Maoist-led government.
US POSITION
US government calls on all parties Friday to exercise restraint during the upcoming demonstrations, work toward consensus, and find a way through the current political impasse, a statement issued by the US embassy said. “Such a consensus would avoid a constitutional crisis and ensure that the hard work already invested in the peace process is brought to a fruitful conclusion.
“ Nepal has come a long way since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2006 and these gains should not be lost.
“I spoke with Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal today [Friday] and urged that he and the Maoist leadership do everything possible to ensure that the May Day rallies are conducted peacefully,” the embassy said on behalf of Ambassador Scott Delisi.
“During the past week, I have also had the opportunity to speak with senior government officials and representatives from the security services to urge them to show restraint and good judgment in their response to the protests.
“The priority now is for the UML, the Nepali Congress, the Maoists, and the other parties to work toward a permanent peace and resolve the critical issues facing the country – the drafting of a constitution and the conclusion of the peace process,” the statement added.
USA along with India and EU member states supported political parties to topple monarchy, declare a republic and bring Maoists into the political mainstream.
The drive has run into rough weather after Maoists emerged victorious in the 10 April 2008 constituent assembly elections.
They are driving a communist agenda to the regret of the so-called international community.
Nepal is heading towards uncertainty and a political crisis.
A constitution to institutionalize a republic can’t be promulgated by the 28 May deadline.
PM Nepal Thursday proudly said he has the support of India and the international community after discussions with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in Bhutan as Maoists called him a puppet.
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