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Nepal Prez declines to attend Maoist 'Army Day' function

world Updated: Feb 04, 2009 05:22 IST
Nepal Prez declines to attend Maoist 'Army Day' function

Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav has declined an invitation to attend a ceremony to mark the 14th anniversary of the "People's War" of the ruling Maoists, who had waged a decade-long insurgency in the country.

"We have already informed the Maoists that the President will not attend the function," Yadav's Press Advisor Rajendra Dahal told PTI without specifying any reason.

The Maoists had launched their movement, which they call the 'People's War', on February 1996. The Communist insurgency claimed over 14,000 lives before the rebels returned to the political mainstream in 2006 after signing a peace deal.

Now in power in the Himlayan nation, the party has announced that it would observe February 12, 2009 as the eighth anniversary of the establishment of their 'People's Liberation Army' and 14th anniversary of the 'People's War' in Jhyaltung Danda of Nawalparasi district in western Nepal where their fourth division headquarters is situated.

Chief of the PLA Nanda Kishor Pasang and Deputy Commander Chandra Prakash Khanal on Sunday went to the President's office to invite him to attend the function as a chief guest.

Prime Minister Prachanda, leaders of various political parties, Nepal Army officials and Nepal police personnel will also be invited at the ceremony.

The anniversary programme will feature a military parade, music band and cultural shows, Maoist sources said.