The CPN-Maoists organised the biggest ever mass assembly in the capital today where over 200,000 people sat at the open theatre in Khulamanch to listen to the Maoist leaders speak. Krishna Bahadur Mahara was among the top ranking Maoist leader besides 12 other key leaders. Much to the dismay of many participants Chairman Prachanda, Baburam Bhattarai and Badal failed to come during the assembly.
"We are not yet tired of war," warned Mahara during his fiery speech which was predominated with his criticism of the seven parties and their 'negative' roadmap. He also criticised the government for violating the 25-point agreement reached during the first round of talks by mobilising the Nepal Army for security operation. "The army has to be totally reorganised if this government wants to further the peace process," said comrade Prabhakaran, deputy chief of the People's Liberation Army.
While most of the participants were from outside the capital, the Kathmandu residents expressed concerns over the Maoists trying to control the city by disrupting public transportation and controlling traffic. Even the police on the streets looked helpless as Maoist volunteers in red T-shirts took over the traffic work of the Nepal Police.
While the Maoist assembly was taking place in Kathmandu the annual Machindranath chariot festival also drew large crowds in Lalitpur. King Gyanendra and Queen Komal paid their traditional homage to the deities. This was the royal couple's first public appearance after giving up power in April.
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