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Nepal begins New Year with strike

Less than 10 days after the country bore brunt of a three day general strike by opposition Maoists, Nepal started the New Year on Friday with yet another general strike called by indigenous ethnic groups.

world Updated: Jan 02, 2010 00:41 IST
Utpal Parashar

Less than 10 days after the country bore brunt of a three day general strike by opposition Maoists, Nepal started the New Year on Friday with yet another general strike called by indigenous ethnic groups.

The nationwide strike called by Adivasi Janajati Brihat Morcha, an umbrella organisation of tribal ethnic associations, seeking implementation of Convention 169 guidelines for indigenous people by International Labour Organisation (ILO), affected normal life across the Himalayan nation.

Adopted in 1989, Convention 169 recognises the aspirations of tribal and indigenous peoples to exercise control over their institutions, way of life and to maintain their identities, languages and religions

The strike affected residents in Kathmandu Valley and other parts of the country. Most shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed. Public transport remained off roads.

While the strike remained peaceful, two dozen people were arrested from various parts of Kathmandu for trying to close shops forcibly.

Although the organisers had staged a torch rally in the capital on Thursday evening and issued a release about the strike, inadequate information about it acted as a dampener for thousands planning New Year festivities and picnics with families.