05/12/2009, 00.00
NEPAL
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Maoist war against President Yadav continues

by Kalpit Parajuli
Demonstrations take place in Kathmandu as violence breaks out in the villages. Supporters of former Prime Minister Prachanda are out to get the Nepali Congress and Nepal’s Marxist-Leninist Party which are now the government.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – It is open war between Maoists and President Rambaran Yadav. Supporters of former Prime Minister Prachanda have stormed parliament to prevent lawmakers from entering the house to meet and have taken to the countryside to bring their protest against the head of the state and the currently governing parties.

In haranguing demonstrators in front of parliament, Bahadur Rayamajhi, a member of the central secretariat of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist), urged his party’s supporters to take over villages after they expel supporters of the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party of Nepal/United Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML).

“Maoists,” he said, “will take people’s action against those who support the president’s move,” adding that “we shall chase them away from the villages if they do not support us.”

The call to arms follows weeks of tensions and tops a tug-of-war between Maoists and the rest of the country caused by a clash between the president and the prime minister of Nepal after the latter unilaterally fired Army Chief General Rookmangud Katawal for failing to integrate former Maoist rebels into the regular army. The president reversed the order, leading the prime minister to resign.

Now a national unity government is in place led by the Nepali Congress with the support of the CPN-UML, a former Maoist ally.

The hue and cry the Maoists launched against supporters of the governing party has not spared the population.

Yesterday in the district of Dolakha a number of Maoists stormed the Birendra Secondary School. Led by their local leader, Laxman Tamang, they went from classroom to classroom, harassing teachers.

Reports about similar clashes and threats in other parts of the country have reached the capital.

The United Nations and other human rights organisations have criticised the Maoists’ action.

However, former Prime Minister Prachanda said that protesters are not been incited by his party.

Instead he continues to claim that the president’s action was unconstitutional, insisting that “Nepal’s Maoists will not go back into the jungle or leave the villages.”

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