Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"We will continue."

People may have the impression that the political parties of the dissolved parliament have slowed down their movement. We have not. We chose not publicise our protest program during the Dasai and Tihar festivals. We will finalise the future direction of our movement before Tihar. We will continue.

We toned down our protest because of several reasons: Maoist rebels returned to jungles and resumed violence just when our movement was gaining momentum. The government imposed curfews in many districts and prevented people from arriving in the capital. Since there were restrictions on travel, people could not participate in the movement. Despite that, tens of thousands of people turned up on the streets during our week-long protest. We did it peacefully and in a disciplined way.

Have the two governments directly formed by the king been able to solve problems in the country? They couldn't even establish their legitimacy. In the meantime, the security situation has deteriorated. There are no signs of peace anywhere. I see no positive results from this government.

As long as there is violence, murder and terrorism, we cannot imagine going to the ballot. How can the government say it can hold elections? One must understand that the government had to make nominations for leaders at local bodies because it could not hold elections, and furthermore, they won't be able to if the present situation persists. If that's the case with local elections, how can we think about general elections?

The arrest of our co-general secretary Govinda Raj Joshi by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has everything to do with political vendetta. The Supreme Court is going through the writ petition Joshi filed, challenging the commission's move and we are continuing our movement. Under such circumstances, the arrest of Joshi by the commission can be viewed in no other way.

We would like to hold talks with Maoist rebels but we know the situation is just not favourable. The rebels have been killing our activists mercilessly in different districts. They have abducted senior leader and former home minister Mahendra Ray Yadav and our political workers like Ram Mani Gyawali. We condemn their activities. If the rebels are real patriots, they must give up arms and sit down for talks.

If they carry on their campaign of terror with the help of guns, the people will suffer because the rebels will use them as shields. How can the people believe them when they have been killing on the scale of Hitler and the Nazis?

Under the present circumstances, the House of Representatives has to be restored so that all the parties will have a forum to initiate a dialogue process with the rebels. The Maoists have been seesawing on their demands. Sometimes they say they want a republican state, but we also hear of their support for a constituent assembly with the king. They need to be clear about their stand.

The present crisis in the country is already a threat to our existence. The more careless we become in handling this situation, the more foreign hands will be at play here. The only way out is the restoration of the House where we can discuss viable solutions.

Since its inception, the Nepali Congress has been committed to the monarchy. The regression will continue unabated as long as the king fails to understand that even parties who believe in the republican system have come under the democratic umbrella that subscribes to monarchy. Problems cannot be solved by suppressing the people.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)