Maoists in Kathmandu
FROM ISSUE #138 (28 MARCH 2003 - 03 APRIL 2003) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Some 15-20,000 people attended the first-ever rally by the underground Maoists in Kathmandu Thursday afternoon. Members of the Maoist negotiating team, Baburam Bhattarai, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Krishna Bahadur Mahara addressed the rally which was composed mostly of supporters from outside Kathmandu. The gathering marked the climax of high-profile back-to-back meetings by the Maoist leaders after they surfaced in the capital this week to take part in peace talks. They have been giving interviews to media, meeting political leaders and diplomats and reiterating their three-point demand for a roundtable conference, constituent assembly and interim government. A \'goodwill meeting\' with government negotiators is planned for the weekend. The rally was followed by a cultural programme that lasted till evening. Victims of Maoists also held a black-flag demonstration near Tundikhel to coincide with the rally. "Stop terrorism once and for all, don\'t use talks to grab power," the organisers of that rally said.