02/13/2009, 00.00
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Nepali PM urges Maoist guerrillas to “be honest” in bringing about peace

by Kalpit Parajuli
PM Prachanda says his party is no longer in control of the People’s Liberation Army, urges its members to be “honest and sincere” in bringing about peace in the country. He confirms ultimate goal is their integration into the Nepali armed forces. But he also warns against the country’s reactionary forces.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s Prime Minister Prachanda said that the Nepali Communist Party-Maoist is no longer in charge of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which was once its armed wing. He urged its members, which he led in the struggle against the monarchy, to be “honest and sincere” in bringing about peace to the country.

“I call on all members of the People’s Liberation Army and its commanders to be honest and sincere in bringing peace to the country,” the prime minister said.

“The Unified Nepal Communist Party-Maoist no longer exercises authority over the PLA. The responsibility for PLA (guerrillas) integration and rehabilitation falls with the Nepal government,” he reiterated.

His statement came on the 14th anniversary of the start of the “people’s war” and the 8th anniversary of the founding of the revolutionary army, both of which were celebrated yesterday in Nawalparashi, a district in the western part of the country.

The prime minister also mentioned the efforts made to “integrate the Maoist army into the country’s armed forces.” He stressed his desire to “draft a constitution within the expected time-frame” and bring to fruition “the peace process.”

On that same occasion Prachanda told his fellow Maoists to get ready “to fight right-wing forces that want to evict Maoists from the government,” warning that “reactionary forces want to prevent us from achieving our goals.”

Likewise he said “we are ready to sacrifice our lives in Balautar (the seat of government) in the service of the people. We shall never bow.”

Yesterday US Assistant Secretary for Central and Southern Asian Affairs Richard Boucher ended a two-day visit to Nepal in which he pledged to have the terrorist tag dropped from the Maoist party. He did not specify how soon that will happened, but assured his Nepali hosts that Washington was closely following the issue.

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