Public pressure forces Nepal Maoists to end strike

Last Updated: Saturday, May 8, 2010 - 00:28

Kathmandu: Amid intense pressure from the
public, Nepal`s Maoists today called off their 6-day-old
anti-government general strike following a 48-hour ultimatum
to the former rebels by the people reeling under a virtual
siege.

In a fast moving development, an emergency meeting of
the UCPN (Maoist) Standing Committee in the evening called off
the indefinite strike that began on May 2 to force Prime
Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to quit.

The Maoist standing committee meeting has decided to
withdraw its indefinite strike, Maoist chairman Prachanda
announced.

Prachanda said the party decided to "put off" the
strike keeping in mind the hardships of the people. He
underlined that the decision had nothing to do with any
external pressures.

They have also decided to hold a mass meeting in the
heart of the capital tomorrow to inform the people the reason
for ending the strike, the party said.

The party decided to call off the strike to prevent
conflict among the people. Prachanda alleged that conspiracies
were being hatched to instigate confrontation and violence
between the people and the Maoists during the strike.

However, the party will continue their protest rallies
even after withdrawing the indefinite strike to press for a
national government through consensus among parties.
The Maoists will stage demonstrations across the
country and picket the main secretariat Singha Durbar and
district administration offices across tomorrow.

There was a sense of relief after the decision to
withdraw the strike by the Maoists.

Earlier today, in the largest protest against
the Maoists imposed indefinite strike, tens of thousands of
apolitical protesters poured onto the streets of Kathmandu,
handing out a 48-hour ultimate to them to end the crippling
strike amid growing shortages of essential food items.

Protesters ranging from business and professional
communities rallied in the heart of the capital to show their
disgust at the Maoists` strike that has paralysed the country
since May 2.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, May 8, 2010 - 00:28

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