KATHMANDU, Feb 8: Nine agitating opposition parties, including Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, held demonstrations and protest meet in the capital on Friday, the last day of the first phase of their anti-government protest that started from Dailekh on January 19.
Protest rallies from various locations in Kathmandu were taken out at noon before the rallies converged into a mass meet at Khullamanch. A large number of security personnel were deployed at and around the program venue.
NC took out rally from Sundhara, UML from Bhrikutimandap, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Rastriya Janashakti Party from Naxal and the other five fringe parties from Bhadrakali. Several leaders including top leaders of all nine political parties are scheduled to address the meet.
Amnesty for wartime crimes unacceptable: Koirala
Addressing the meet, NC President Sushil Koirala annouced that the Bhattarai government´s days are numbered and said their protest will soon overthrow it. Giving an example of the downfall of Gaddafi in Libya, Koirala warned the Maoists that their existence will come to an end if they dare to play with people´s rights.
The NC chief also said the idea of giving amnesty to those involved in crimes committed during the Maoist insurgency is not acceptable. "You (Maoists) talk about giving general pardon to the perpetrators, but that is simply not possible," he asserted.
Sterner protest if no consensus: Khanal
UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal charged the government with promoting impunity in the country by protecting those involved in the journalist´s murder. He also threatened that the opposition parties will step up their protest in the days to come if the ruling Maoist party keeps showing unwillingness for political consensus to resolve the existing deadlock.
Bhattarai govt is overstaying: Oli
CPN-UML leader KP Oli said it is shameful that the Bhattarai government is staying on despite its caretaker status and thrives to continue in office still further. “No government can be more shameless than this one, which cannot meet election deadlines but wants to stay on for another 30 years,” Oli said.
State of affairs messy: Rana
Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Pashupati Shumsher Rana criticized the government for throwing the country into a mess. He said the lengthy load shedding hours and rising market prices are a few examples which show why the government is a failure.
Maoists are neo-feudals: Paudel
Nepali Congress (NC) Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel said the Maoists have shown double standards and described them as a masked ‘neo-feudals’. “Look at them (Maoists)! What they used to say in 1996 (when the insurgency began) and what they are saying now in Hetauda (the party’s ongoing general convention venue).”
Paudel added it will not be long before the people will get to know about the Maoists’ masked persona. He also claimed the public support is in the opposition’s favor and said the people now have made their intent clear that they wanted to end the ingrained political stalemate in the country from streets.
CJ-led govt not possible: KC
Addressing the meet, Rastriya Janamorcha Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC rejected the UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s proposal for formation of new government under the leadership of sitting chief justice.
KC held Maoists accountable for entry of ethnic issues into the country’s federalism debate and re-asserted that his party still holds firm that the county should not adopt federalism.
Nepal’s sovereignty suffered under Bhattarai govt: Lohani
Rastriya Janashakti Party leader Prakash Chandra Lohani criticized the prime minister for trying to shield culprits involved in the journalist’s murder and accused the PM and his favored people of misusing state resources.
He also said Nepal’s sovereignty is now at its lowest in whole of the country’s history. Likewise, he criticized the idea of settling border disputes through referendum, a proposition espoused in UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Dahal’s document presented during the party’s ongoing general convention.