Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
"There is a lot still left to do"

Today we have reached a historic juncture in the peace process and I would like to remember all those who fought for democracy at this moment. Our peace process has always been an example to the world. Even in the midst of a severe conflict, we managed to come together for peace and democracy. We held meetings from Siliguri to Lucknow before drafting the historic 12 point agreement. With our joint effort, we were successful in thwarting the 240 year old autocratic royal regime in the country. Combatant friends, you too have contributed in bringing about this change. Till this day, you were the workers of the UCPN (Maoist), but from today you have come under the Special Committee under the provisions of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007. With this development, your role has changed too.

Those of you who will be rehabilitated are free to join politics, but those who will be integrated to different security agencies cannot be members of any political party. You will be a committed member of the non-political, professional and non-partisan security agency. I am confident that till the time you are in these camps, you will cooperate and follow the guidelines for combatant management and the directions given by the committee.

I would like to reiterate that the integration and rehabilitation of the combatants is not just the state's or a party's responsibility, it is the collective responsibility of all. I would also like to assure you that the state would do its best to rehabilitate the combatants according to their interests and abilities. We should try to forget our past differences and bring the peace process to its logical end at the earliest, congruent with the people's aspirations. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the body for finding the whereabouts of the missing people have not been set up yet.

The wounds of war have not healed and there is a lot left to do. But the recent agreement with Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and the decisions of the special committee will hopefully steer the peace process to its conclusion and I would like to thank Mr Dahal and all the leaders of the UCPN Maoist for making this possible.

We still have a long way to go. The road we travelled has been a precarious one and we would never want to go back that path. Our nation and its people can no longer endure violence of any kind. We want this country to be peaceful again. We want our country to prosper with stability and social justice for its people. If we all come together and combine our resources there is no reason why we can't make this happen.

We know we can do it
Prachanda trial by fire
The Himals as witness

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)