Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
On the table

The following is an extract of the main demands made by the Maoist negotiation team during the first day of formal peace talks with the government on 27 April in Kathmandu. The preamble says the list is transitory and can be further revised and modified as the talks progress.

"The constitution that was promulgated following the 1990 People's Movement is totally defunct, and the country is without a functioning constitution. Therefore, the major agenda of the peace talks should be ways of forming a new constitution. The 12-year long experiment with the 1991 constitution showed it had serious faults like unchangeable clauses, contradictions between the sovereignty of people and the monarchy, and neglect for backward communities, ethnic groups, gender and region. Therefore, the new constitution needs to be more forward looking than the previous one in its foundations and the way it is drafted.

. A roundtable with participants from the rebel party, other major political parties and representatives of democracy should promulgate an interim legislature that guarantees the people's democratic rights achieved by the 1990 constitution and also reflects the new political balance. An all-party interim government should be created under the leadership of the rebel party.
. The interim government will constitute a constituent assembly within six months, which will be responsible for promulgating a new constitution.
. The Royal Nepali Army and the People's Army should be merged after vital structural changes to create a national army that will be brought under the elected institution.
. There should be a guarantee of self-determination along with ethnic and regional autonomy for all backward caste groups, janjatis, madhesis and other suppressed peoples. Human rights, democratic and civil rights must be guaranteed.
. The country should be declared a secular state.
. The 1950 Nepal-India Treaty along with other unequal treaties should be scrapped immediately and an independent foreign policy should be adopted on the basis of Panchasheel and non-alliance.
. The issues of monarchy and other political issues based on viewpoints and values of individual political parties should publicly deliberated and adjudication shall be the final.
. The international agreements, military aid and movement of foreign military that might adversely effect the peace process should immediately be stopped. The Gurkha recruitment , a source of national shame, will end.
. The open border with India should be regulated and administered. Encroachment will stop and work permit shall be made mandatory for all foreigners working within the boundary of Nepal. The movement of non-nationals in NGOs, INGOs will also be monitored.
. An independent probe should be carried out on incidents of human rights violation in the course of the civil war.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)