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Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal isn’t pleased with the media. Last night, he told BBC Nepali Service:

Having gone through the media reports today, I realised that they did not understand my speech yesterday. It was a sarcastic political comment on the political parties for not having their own stand and for waiting for directives from Delhi. It was purely a political satires. Secondly, Delhi also has its own problem. Therefore I pointed out the need for talks with Delhi.

If you look at the entire speech, you will see that its not against the spirit of dialogue with political parties but it is against Indian interference.

On Wednesday Maoist Spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma had said Prachanda had called for talks with Delhi in full consciousness. Maoist Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said Dahal’s statement was meant to poke fun at the Nepal government’s reliance on India.

That’s all the fuss about that. Moving on, the parliament finally resumed today after six months of obstruction. Maoist leaders said they made the decision in order to prove to the people that their party is not against the exercise of democracy. The Himalayan Times reports:

“But we have not given up our stand on President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s unconstitutional move to reinstate the sacked army chief Rookmandud Katawal,” Narayankaji Shrestha, deputy leader of the Maoist parliamentary party, said at the end of the meeting chaired by party chairman Prachanda. He said they decided to let the parliament function unilaterally after the parties in the coalition government refused to discuss the President’s unconstitutional move.

Now that the parliament is open for business, Constitutional Assembly Chairman Subash Nembang wants to move things along in the constitution front also. The CA had to amend it calendar for the eighth time on Wednesday as three of its committees failed to meet the deadline for the submission of their concept papers. On Wednesday he asked the three big parties to sort out their difference regarding the new constitution as soon as possible and they all said ok. The Himalayan Times reports:

“If we fail to resolve our difference by tomorrow, we will go for voting on the concept papers on Friday,” UCPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda told mediapersons after holding talks with Nembang.

The forms of governance, modality of restructuring the state on federal lines and preamble, flag, transitional provision and principles of the new constitution are the contentious issues the parties have not been able to settle.

Things are going well; do we still need UNMIN around then? The ten ruling parties think so, and have recommended that UNMIN be given a 4-month long extension. The Kathmandu Post writes:

“We have agreed to ask for extension of UNMIN’s tenure until the deadline for writing the new statute expires on May 28, 2010,” said [Sujata] Koirala. According to the agreement reached on Wednesday, the parties have agreed to settle the issue of integration and rehabilitation of former combatants before the deadline for drafting the constitution.

(Posted by Indu Nepal)

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