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Maoists hindering move to democracy

Maoists hindering move to democracy

Author: Varghese K George New Delhi
Publication: Indian Express
Dated: February 15, 2007
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/23315.html

Introduction: They have not kept promise to surrender arms: Koirala's daughter

Sujata Koirala, a working committee member of the Nepali Congress, has said Maoists have gone "out of control" and become an impediment to the Himalayan country's transition to a full-fledged democracy.

Sujata, daughter of former prime minister G P Koirala, minced no words while expressing her feelings about Maoists, who are allies of her party in the present Nepal government. "The Maoists are still threatening people, police and even foreign diplomats. They must end this and join the mainstream completely," she told The Indian Express.

"They have not completed their promise. They have not returned the land seized by them... the arm surrender process too is not satisfactory. The UN, which is overseeing the surrender, is optimistic, but not completely satisfied," Koirala said.

She said law and order has become the biggest problem in her country and this needs to be sorted out. She said home minister and party colleague Krishna Prasad Sitaula is seen as too friendly to the Maoists and therefore unable to act tough with them. She said her demand for Sitaula's resignation was not personal. "Under him the law and order is getting weaker. I speak for the people and it is better if he resigns," she said.

Attributing the Terai flare-up to "Maoist provocation", she said: "The people of the Terai are under-represented in all walks of life. A federal system is necessary to improve their lot." But she added that it was too premature to talk about what form the Nepali federation would take.

Koirala reiterated that Nepal's stability was crucial for India too. "If there is fire in the neighbourhood, it will only be a matter of time before it spreads to your house. Therefore, India should look at the situation in Nepal seriously and do whatever necessary to manage it."

The leader however evaded a direct answer on her future political role. "I am not so ambitious as to be the successor of my father. But I will continue to work for what we call New Nepal, along with the people who have suffered and struggled." She is planning to call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other political leaders during her visit.


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