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Koirala shrugs as Terai stir takes new turn

Nepal’s PM Girija Prasad Koirala says that , it is the responsibility of the Maoists to solve the problems still facing the country, specially the unrest in the Terai, reports Anirban Roy.
By Anirban Roy | Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON JUL 11, 2008 11:45 PM IST

Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said on Friday that since he had already resigned and the Maoists were forming the government, it was their responsibility to solve the problems still facing the country, specially the unrest in the Terai.

“I have given my resignation. Now the Maoists will have to bail the country out of the political crisis,” Koirala said, speaking at a celebration of the 49th anniversary of Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.

Normal life across the Terai region remained crippled for the second consecutive day on Friday following a general strike called by several indigenous groups.

Even as the Madhesis have been demanding greater autonomy in this region, this strike was called by other indigenous groups like the Tharus to oppose any attempt by the government to recognise the southern belt as a single autonomous Madhesi state.

The Maoists have still not been able to form the government despite Koirala’s resignation on June 26, as the functioning of the Constituent Assembly has been crippled for the last two weeks due to the boycott of the proceedings by the three political parties of the Terai region, all representing the dominant Madhesi community there.

But contrary to his public posture, Koirala did in fact hold separate meetings with leaders of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, Sadhnawana Party and Terai Madhes Loktantric Party on Friday to find ways to resolve the political deadlock .

Meanwhile, Maoist chief Prachanda said at a programme in a hotel in Kathmandu that he was hopeful of forming the new coalition government soon. “We are hopeful that we will be able to give final shape to the new government by next week,” Prachanda said.

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