Home Minister to head Govt team for talks with rebels | india | Hindustan Times
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Home Minister to head Govt team for talks with rebels

The Maoist rebels have already announced a three-member team headed by their spokesman Krishna Mahara for the peace talks.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 12:20 IST

Nepal's Home Minister said on Saturday that he would head a three-member government delegation for peace talks with Maoist rebels.

Home Minister Krishna Sitaula told the agency that a decision hasn't yet been made on the two other delegation members.

"The other members in the team will be announced within the next two days. Our team will initiate dialogue with the Maoists," he said adding the government has also decided to form a committee that would guide the team during the peace talks.

The government has matched the rebels' unilateral three-month ceasefire, and dropped terrorism charges against the guerrillas following the ouster of King Gyanendra's government, which took a hard-line on the rebels.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's new government has already met a key rebel demand that crippled peace talks in 2001 and 2003 by agreeing to rewrite the Constitution.

The rebels have already announced a three-member team headed by their spokesman Krishna Mahara, who was a rebel negotiator during two previous attempts at finding peace in 2001 and 2003 that were unsuccessful.

Situala said the committee would have senior leaders from the alliance of seven ruling political parties.

No date has been set for the peace talks aimed at ending a decade of fighting that has killed more than 13,000 people.

The rebels, who supported opposition politicians in ousting the king last month, claim to be inspired by Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, began their violent campaign to replace the monarchy with a communist state in 1996.

Meanwhile, the rebels have announced plans to hold a mass rally in the capital Kathmandu on Friday, June 2.

Posters announcing the rally were put up in the capital city on Saturday saying the rally in the heart of Kathmandu would be addressed by top rebel leaders.