`Nobody has right to interfere in Nepal`s internal affairs`
Last Updated: Sunday, December 20, 2009, 20:47
Kathmandu: A top Maoist leader has objected to reported reservations of Indian Army chief over the en masse integration of the former Maoists guerrillas into the military, saying nobody has the right to interfere in Nepal's internal affairs.

Baburam Bhattarai, the deputy leader of the Unified CPN-Maoist, objected to a reported comment of Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor in the Kathmandu Post newspaper that the former rebels should not be merged en masse into the army.

Nobody has the right to interfere in our internal affairs directly or indirectly and we don’t accept such interference, he told the private Kantipur Radio.

Our neighbours are trying to create instability instead of helping to maintain law and order and stability, he said.

Maoist supremo Prachanda has blamed the government for blocking the way for the integration of former rebels into the military as stipulated under the 2006 peace agreement.

Maoists supporters today disrupted normal life across the country as they blocked roads, attacked vehicles, forced shops to close and clashed with riot police in an effort to mount pressure on the government to rectify the "unconstitutional" decision of the President Ram Baran Yadav to reinstate General Rukmangad Katawal, the then Army Chief dismissed by Maoists Prime Minister Prachanda in May.

Riot police clashed with Maoists supporters who enforced a nationwide general strike as part of its three-day anti-government protests, resulting in injury to over 24 people and arrest of 62 former rebels today.

Political tensions have been high in Nepal since a government led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) resigned earlier this year amid the dispute with the president over the army chief's refusal to incorporate former Maoist rebels fighters into the military.

Bhattarai told the Kantipur Radio that if the 601-member Constituent Assembly is dissolved after May 28, 2010 due to the failure to promulgate a new constitution, there will be the rule of gun as no legitimate institution will survive.

The current political stalemate is unlikely to be resolved soon, he said, adding there will be no president in case the Assembly is dissolved he pointed out.

He blamed the ruling 22-party alliance for trying to impose presidential rule after dissolving the Assembly.

The deepening political crisis has put new stresses on Nepal's reconciliation efforts amid fears that the stalled peace process may be derailed if the Maoists step up their agitation to dislodge the government.

India has extended support to Nepal's CPN-UML-led government amid the Maoist-triggered political crisis here and expressed hope that the ruling coalition would take the peace process to its logical conclusion and draft a new Constitution.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during a meeting with his Nepalese counterpart Madhav Kumar Nepal on the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen on Friday, expressed his support to the embattled government, according to the National News Agency (RSS).


First Published: Sunday, December 20, 2009, 20:47

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