Nepal Today

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Expected political breakthrough elusive

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 28 Dec: An expected breakthrough in a national political impasse was elusive Sunday when main opposition Nepali Congress again walked out of a CA session even though the body that also acts as a parliament met after more than a four-delay to enable political players to find an outlet.
Congress demanded a deadline – 15 days or even one month-- from Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda to meet nine demands, including dissolution of YCL and return of seized assets.
Congress leader Laxman Ghimere also demanded a personal statement from Prachanda.
Following a meeting with Nepali Congress leaders, an emergency session of the cabinet adopted the Congress demands as a government policy that would be implemented.
Prime Minister Prachanda was expected to announce the cabinet session at the CA session following the one-agenda meeting of the cabinet to discuss and adopt Congress demand.
Congress leaders consulted ailing party President Girija Prasad Koirala after a meeting with Maoists and decided to again boycott the CA session.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bandeb Gautam said Sunday he was ready to handover leadership of a proposed special integration committee on armies to Maoist Chairman and Prime Minister Prachanda.
The formation of the special committee didn’t figure in Maoist, Congress discussions Sunday.
Gautam also said implementing Congress demands was government responsibility.
Congress isn’t satisfied with government assurances the demands will be implemented by district committees or by the formation of a parliamentary committee to determine assets seized during a 10-year Maoist people’s war.
Firm Maoist critic and CPN-UML leader KP Sharma Oli held discussions with ailing Koirala Sunday evening and discussed integration of PLA in Nepal Army which has rejected a Prachanda directive to stop filling in vacancies in the army.
Army sources said filling in vacancies wasn’t tantamount to army expansion and won’t affect the peace process.
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10-point govt., journalist agreement

Kathmandu, 28 Dec: Agitating journalists and government reached a late night agreement Sunday to implement 10 agreements.
Journalists suspended their anti-government agitation following an agreement.
“Only agitation has been suspended. Agreement implementation will be observed,” said journalist Ramesh Bista after the agreement.
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Jwala Singh agrees to sit down for talks with govt.

Kathmandu, 28 Dec: Jwala Singh of Terai Janatantrik agreed to conditional talks with government Sunday evening demanding release of three jailed members at a prison in Morang.
Singh telephoned journalists in Saptari saying the three jailed activists are members of the group’s dialogue team with government, radio reports said.
Government has been conducting separate talks with groups in the south.
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