Public pressure forces Nepal Maoists to end strike
Last Updated: Saturday, May 08, 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.


First Published: Saturday, May 08, 2010, 00:28

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