Who do you think was responsible for the communal clash in the tarai?
Since the signing of the 12-point understanding, the palace and its loyal foreign powers had been scheming together to jeopardise our peace efforts. The framing of a new interim constitution has made it possible to end the monarchy and pave the way for a republic. Royalists are panicking and were responsible for the rush to nominate ambassadors. They also provoked the riots in Nepalganj to cripple the peace process and delay the finalising of the interim constitution. The palace had a hand in all these incidents and was backed by reactionary powers within some political parties.
If regressive forces try to create anarchy following the management of the PLA's arms and army, how can the people defend themselves against vigilantism?
We are now certain that the level of awareness among the people is quite high. There is no need to panic. We've seen that though regressive forces might try to provoke similar incidents, the people unite to prevent it. In Pokhara and Kathmandu, when students reacted against royalists by stopping their meetings, it was misinterpreted as a violation of human rights. But such an allegation only implies support for the royalists. The people have to take many precautions until a democratic republic is formed, and they have the right to fight against regressive elements.
What should the role of the people be in the coming days?
There are still conspiracies to weaken the peace process, and prevent the implementation of the peace agreement and the passage of the interim constitution. All people, citizens' groups, and the media need to exert a lot of pressure to ensure that there is no delay and that the dates of the constituent assembly elections can be announced. Our people need to be constantly vigilant. The threat is still there.
How long will it take to finalise the interim constitution?
We'd agreed to finalise the interim constitution within a few days of drafting it. But the palace and royalist supporters, including pro-king loyalists within some of the parties, managed to delay the process through the appointment of ambassadors and the Nepalganj incident. We also feel that they were responsible for delaying the UN process to support arms management. But people's pressure has helped speed up the UN process of verification and an agreement on the interim constitution.