Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
"We are waiting"

Himal Khabarpatrika: Why did the three big parties fail to reach a consensus after several rounds of talks?
Sushil Koirala:
The Maoist leaders appear positive while in talks but never keep their word. The party has yet to become a civilian party as they have a craving for combatants and weapons. We want the past agreements to be implemented. The Nepali Congress does not care about who their principal enemy is. It has been acting responsibly and wants peace to prevail in the country. For this, there is no alternative to talks, consensus, cooperation and unity, as Girijababu said. Therefore, the Maoists are responsible for the deadlock, and UML has part of the blame, too. We supported UML to form a government. After resigning from government, UML should have automatically supported NC in forming a new government.

But the Maoists hold NC responsible for the failure to reach a consensus.
Who can judge this? It doesn't mean it's true just because the Maoists say so. We are ready to reform if need be. We are serious about finding a way out and moving the country forward. It's unjust to blame NC for the mistakes of others.

Some say NC wasn't careful enough while signing the 12-point agreement with the Maoists, which has led to this situation. Is this what NC has realised?
This is not true. Incidents of murder, violence, terror, vandalism and atrocities prevailed before the agreement. At least this is not the situation now. As an effort to end the conflict, the Maoists were dragged to where they are today. Is this the mistake of NC? Trust is the biggest thing. All should adopt democratic values. The country can move forward only after the constitution is written, and go for a fresh mandate. The Maoists have always used intimidation as a bargaining tool. They obstruct the peace process and threaten to revolt. The management of PLA combatants is the important task in completing the peace process. The paramilitary structure of the YCL should be dismantled to convince people that the Maoists have changed. You cannot rule by suspending a sword above one's head.

The Maoists seem to feel cornered and have threatened to revolt. Is the country heading towards confrontation?
The Maoist threat to revolt is just muscle flexing. After enjoying the freedom of democracy and other facilities, I don't think they will go back to confrontation, it is impossible. World history has proven that those who flirt with democratic values and norms never succeed.

NC and the Maoists have come together demanding a new parliamentary session. Is there any agreement between them?
It is not good to have a caretaker government run the country. The prime minister too has been stressing the need to take a decision as early as possible. This is why we have called for a parliamentary session. It is just a coincidence that the Maoists are also demanding the same.

Can a session of parliament find a solution without parties reaching an agreement first?
The parliament is the place to discuss problems and find solutions. UML and the Maoists have been saying consensus can be reached only after the withdrawal of Paudel's candidacy for the prime minister. That's not true. The withdrawal of the candidacy will only create a further void. It will not help in constitution writing and the peace process. If we withdraw the candidacy, we hand over power to the Maoists. UML also has no alternatives. Either UML and the Maoists should join forces or UML should help NC. We are waiting.

UNMIN exit
Electric buses wait for permits

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)