`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).

PTI



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

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