Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Ban bandhs



The bandh called by the Maoists in the capital and the tarai areas, and the incidents of vandalism leading up to the bandh, have had a negative impact on the conditions for peace talks. There's concern that the three-day bandh called by the Maoists [from 11-13 November] may even put an end to the environment created for talks.

There's a new political situation developing in the capital. The royal announcement of 4 October and the developments following it have not only further increased the instability in the state, they have also heightened the uncertainty about which direction the country is headed in. So far, the new government headed by Lokendra Bahadur Chand has been unable to win the acceptance of the political parties. As a result, the extension of the council of ministers has not been completed yet. Those who hoped that the political parties would join the government are gradually becoming disappointed, and the hope that was created by the royal announcement and felt in its wake, is being used to increase conflict, rather than as a reason to cooperate.

The number of violent activities is increasing in the run-up to the bandh [on Monday, 28 October]. The common people are not attracted to the Maoists, nor do they support the bandhs called by them. However, it appears that they accept them. This bandh, which the Maoists declared internally to their own party, hadn't even been publicised much. However, the tarai remained quiet Sunday, and the capital came to a standstill Monday. The five explosions that took place on the eve of the bandh were enough to create fear. On analysis, it's clear that the weakness was on part of those in charge of the state. If the state had been able to arrest those responsible for the explosions and taken action against them, the capital wouldn't have been reduced to such a state on Monday.

Even so, it would be wise of the Maoists to understand the seriousness of the situation rather than be encouraged by the thought that they pulled off a victory. No one will think it a weakness on the part of the Maoists if they withdraw the Nepal bandh [scheduled for 11-13 November] well in time. Instead, it would be seen as an example of their ensuring a positive environment for talks.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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