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From The Nepali Press
King wants to talk to Prachanda



There is information to suggest that the king has offered to talk with Prachanda. Sources close to the palace and Maoists say that the king has been using various channels to try to meet Prachanda this week. But it's certain that Prachanda shows no signs of agreeing to this, no matter how cold the Maoists' relationship with the seven parties may be turning. Meanwhile, although Prachanda wanted to meet Girija Prasad Koirala, the NC leader's advisers kept staving him off with excuses of no time.

These are the circumstances around the king's interest in political talks with Prachanda, and royalists have been using various channels trying to make this meeting happen. According to sources, they have approached Prachanda asking why he is not willing to meet the king if he wants to run the government with the support of thousands of supporters from the villages to the central level. "We have not sent any response as we are still in favour of sustaining our relationship with the seven parties," said one senior Maoist leader.

Sources say that king became interested in meeting the Maoist chairman after the UML, the NC and the NC (D) cut off his privileges and authority and began in earnest to treat him as just a ceremonial monarch. His current efforts are seriously puzzling party leaders. Their best-case scenario is that the king wants the Maoists to agree to the parties' proposal of a ceremonial monarch. Or, he could be trying to widen the gap between the parties and the Maoists.

It appears that during the second round of talks in 2003 (which failed), the Maoist leaders had proposed meeting the king to know his stand on the constituent assembly. The king showed no interest then. Ironically, now that he has no power, he wants to talk to them. Koirala, on the other hand, has been distancing himself from the Maoist leaders and even outright ignoring them. When he wasn't in government, Koirala would go running to New Delhi. For the Maoists, Koirala and the king behave in the same manner when they are in power, and they take Koirala's refusal to meet Prachanda seriously. People are slowly believing that the UML and the NC, which had promised successful talks with the Maoists, have failed to make the peace process decisive.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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