Nepal's Maoists to launch fresh protests
Nepal's Maoists prepared on Friday to launch a fresh round of protests in parliament and on the streets, accusing the new government of failing to address their demands.world Updated: Aug 07, 2009 12:13 IST
Nepal's Maoists prepared on Friday to launch a fresh round of protests in parliament and on the streets, accusing the new government of failing to address their demands.
The former rebels, who fought a decade-long civil war with the state before winning elections last year, said Nepal's leaders had failed to resolve a row over the army chief that led to the fall of the Maoist-led government.
"We gave the government a month to find a political solution, but it was not serious in addressing our demands," said Maoist party spokesman Dinanath Sharma.
"From Friday we will organise a series of nationwide protests against the government that will continue for two months. We have been left with no other option."
Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal -- who goes by the name Prachanda, or the fierce one -- resigned as prime minister on May 4 after just eight months in the job when the president overruled his decision to sack the head of the army.
A new coalition government has since been formed, but the Maoists -- the biggest single party in the house -- say the president's move was unconstitutional and must be reversed.
The former guerrillas have said they will disrupt parliament from Friday and launch a series of nationwide street protests from Sunday, casting a shadow over the already faltering peace process launched when the war ended in 2006.
The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), set up to oversee the peace process, expressed concern about the political stalemate.
"Political parties must get their act together to move the peace process forward at the earliest," said spokesman Kosmos Biswokarma.