Nepal`s peace minister asks Maoists to shun arms

Nepal`s peace minister used the occasion of `Gandhi Jayanti` to appeal to the Maoists combatants to give up arms and shun violence.

Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 18:29 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal`s peace minister used the
occasion of `Gandhi Jayanti` to appeal to the Maoists
combatants to give up arms and shun violence.

Minister for Peace and Reconstruction and CPN-UML
leader Rakam Chemjong has asked the Maoists to bring 19,000
Maoist combatants under the all party Special Committee in
order to move forward the stalled peace process.

Although the Maoists and the government had inked a
deal to bring the combatants under the control of the Special
Committee last month it has not yet been activated, he said.

He asked the Maoists to detach themselves from the
arms and armies to convert themselves into a truly civilian
party.

Speaking at an interaction programme on the theme the
"Relevance of Gandhi and Peace in Present Nepal" organised by
Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Academy in Kathmandu to mark the 141st
birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi Minister Chemjong asked
the Maoists to bring their combatants under the control of the
Special Committee in order to create an atmosphere of
confidence among the political parties.

He said that the future of Maoist combatants who are
confined in the UN monitored cantonment is uncertain unless
they are managed as per the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
signed between the Maoists and the government four years ago.

He asked the Maoists to help in taking the peace
process to its logical end and drafting the new constitution
by agreeing to modalities of integration and rehabilitation of
the combatants.

On the occasion guest speaker Girija Vyas,
chairperson of Indian Women`s Commission, said that Gandhi`s
principles of peace and non-violence has much more relevance
in present day Nepal which needs lasting peace after the
decade long insurgency. She praised Nepalese people for providing 33 per cent
seat reservation in the parliament for women, which is yet to
be endorse by India`s Lok Sabha.

Former premier Sher Badur Deuba said that spreading
the message of peace advocated by Gandhi will help in building
lasting peace in Nepal which is still in the process of
political transition.

Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood said that Gandhi`s
message of love, peace and harmony is timeless and universal
and they play significant role in today`s world which is under
threat of conflict and terrorism.

"We should understand the factors that lead to
violence in order to establish lasting peace, said Maoist
politburo member Barshaman Pun adding that the racial, class,
gender and regional discrimination are the root causes of
conflict and violence.

In a separate programme organised at Kendraiya
Vidyalaya in the premises of Indian Embassy, interschool
debate and painting competition was held with the
participation of students from 15 schools of Kathmandu.

Indian Ambassador Sood gave away prizes to the
winners on the occasion.

Similarly, at a function organized by Srijanatmak
Kala Guthi Gandhi and his disciple in Nepal Tulsi Meher were
felicitated amidst a function in the presence of Ambassador
Sood.

PTI