Nepal Maoists refuse to disarm, slam new leaders
Maoist leader Prachanda said the new Cabinet was filled with 'old faces' that could provide no 'new vision' for the country.india Updated: May 03, 2006 12:19 IST
Nepal's rebel chief has ruled out disarming his rebel forces and launched a scathing attack on the nation's new political leadership, according to the Maoists' website on Wednesday.
Maoist leader Prachanda -- the fierce one -- said it would be "suicidal" for his fighters to disarm while Nepal's armed forces remained prepared for action.
In his first published comments since the recall of parliament last week, Prachanda said the new Cabinet appointed on Tuesday was filled with "old faces" that could provide no "new vision" for the country.
"If anybody is thinking of disarming the Maoists by keeping the "Royal" army as it is then they are having a suicidal dream," the article said.
But it went on: "It won't be any problem for the People's Liberation Army (the Maoist rebels) to merge into a new national army."
The first meeting of Nepal's newly appointed cabinet was expected later Wednesday to discuss formal peace talks with the Maoists, according to Nepalese newspaper reports.
The Maoists have fought a decade-long insurgency that has left at least 12,500 dead but called a three-month ceasefire last week to give politicians time to answer their demands for a new body to write a new Constitution.
The Maoists want a democratic republic with no role for the monarchy.
Parliament sat for the first time in four years last week after King Gyanendra buckled in the face of weeks of protests to end his 14-month direct rule of the impoverished Himalayan nation.
Prachanda's article also appeared on the website edition of the pro-Maoist weekly "People's Order", which was banned by the royally-appointed government in August 2003.