Nepal Today

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PARAS KHADKA OUT FOR ONLY FOUR RUNS IN ACC TWENTY20 UPDATE Kathmandu, Nepal’s cricket captain Paras Khadka was out for only four runs against Hong Kong in the ACC Twenty20 Wednesday. He won his 100th cap and took 100 wickets while playing against Maldives Tuesday. Nepal scored 65 runs for three wickets in 12 overs at 11 in the morning. nnnn MAOIST LEADER JUSTIFIES JUMBO CENTRAL COMMITTEE Kathmandu, 27 March: The jumbo Central Committee of Unified CPN-Maoist, which is the largest among all the political parties in the country, was formed to focus on the upcoming Constituent Assembly election, claimed the party leaders, The Himalayan Times writes.. Though the seventh national convention of the party held in Hetauda had mandated to form a ‘small but perfect’ central committee, it ultimately turned out to be a 399-strong jumbo committee due to the increasing resentment among the party leaders. According to Central Committee member Ram Kumar Sharma, the party decided to form a large Central Committee citing the increasing size of the party and the upcoming CA election. “All the larger parties have 150-200-member central committees. We are double their size so we have 399 members,” Sharma quipped. However, senior leaders claimed that the major reason behind the jumbo committee was the conflict among the top three leaders. The meeting of the office bearers of the party held yesterday had decided to form a 399-member Central Committee, with 151 members being full central members and remaining 248 alternative central members. Sharma added that it was a compulsion on the part of the leadership to make the committee a bit larger also because the party would now send them across the country for poll preparation. “It’s a need of the hour,” claimed another Central Committee member Anjana Bishankhe, adding that the number was essential to implement the party’s new political line in the changed political context. “Since there are a large number of aspirants with necessary talent and work experience, 399 is not large if we consider the increasing size of the party,” she said. During the party’s seventh national congress, 98 leaders from the congress organising committee were elected as Central Committee members and the CC strength was fixed at 151. During today’s meeting, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal read out the names of 364 members. Leaders questioned some of the names and also wanted some more to be included. Sharma said if the party could include 12-odd excluded leaders from Madhes, there wouldn’t be any resentment over the representation by the Madhes-based leaders in the party. Nnnn GOVT. FAILS TO PUT FOOT DOWN AGAINST ARMED GROUPS Kathmandu, 27 March: The government has held talks with 20 armed groups in the last three years and only six of them have so far surrendered arms to the Government, Ram Kumar Kamat writes in The Himalayan Times. . The tendency among the armed groups to disown their negotiators, lack of coordination among government agencies, government’s failure to adopt suitable approaches vis-à-vis armed groups and political patronage of the criminals are the main reasons behind the failure of the peace talks. “We have reduced violence in Madhes, but we have not been able to stop the formation of new groups there,” said Prem Sanjel, co-spokesperson for Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. He said some groups disowned their negotiators after getting concessions from the government. “We have no mechanism to ensure that the detached cadres no longer have nexus with the armed groups,” Sanjel added. He said his ministry had the policy to hold dialogue with all disgruntled groups but it cannot solely decide on the withdrawal of cases filed against the cadres of armed groups. Bibas Bidrohi, Vice-chairman of Madhes Rastriya Janatantrik Party- Krantikari, whose party merged recently with Sadbhawana Party, said the government had promised to withdraw cases against his party cadres but 59 cadres of his party were still languishing in jails and 81 were facing criminal cases. “If the government is concerned about criminals taking advantage of peace talks, it should do background checks,” Bidrohi said, claiming that many of his cadres had been falsely indicted in criminal cases. “The government said it would bear our expenses incurred in the process of talks. We have not got anything till now,” he added. Madhesi activist Tula Narayan Sah said armed violence in Madhes was a byproduct of Maoist insurgency, state’s aggressiveness, open border and radicalisation of the society, which can only be dealt with multi-pronged and unbiased approaches. “The state machinery, dominated by non-Madhesi groups, seems to have failed to understand the problems posed by armed groups,” he added. Subodh Pyakurel, Chairman of Informal Sector Service Centre, said an intermediary received up to Rs 2.5 million as remuneration for bringing an armed group to negotiating table and if this trend continued, such elements would be tempted to keep many armed groups out of peace talks for their own benefit. Pyakurel, however, said the problem posed by armed groups in Madhes was largely a law and order problem and should be dealt accordingly. Bidrohi said if government brought all the armed groups to negotiating table before elections, it could help the government hold free and fair elections. Pyakurel, however, said if the government appealed to the armed groups for talks before elections, many new outfits could emerge which could pose more challenges to elections. “The government should hold talks with them after the elections. Parties can, however, issue an appeal urging them to help in elections,” he added. Twenty armed groups are said to be still active in Madhes and eight in the hills. nnnn


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