Talks with Nepal rebels make no headweay

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Fri Oct 20 19:58:16 MDT 2000

20 October 2000

Talks with Nepal rebels make no headweay
KATHMANDU: Former Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, who has been assigned
to initiate a dialogue with Maoist insurgents said on Thursday that the
rebels were ready for peace talks but the government had failed to respond.
``I have submitted two letters from the top rebel leaders to Prime Minister
Girija Prasad Koirala but the government has failed to respond to the offer
for talks,'' said Deuba.
In March, the government formed a high level committee under Deuba to begin
a dialogue with the rebels to end the four and half years of insurgency that
has claimed over 1,450 lives.
Since the Maoist rebels began their violent campaign in 1996, they have
killed at least 231 policemen and lost 980 of their own fighters and
supporters, home ministry officials said.
During the insurgency, 249 civilians have either been killed by the rebels
or caught in the cross-fire between Guerrillas and the police.
The rebels have demanded that there should be a conducive environment before
sitting at the negotiating table, Deuba said.
``They want the government to cease violence, stop any offensive against the
rebels and make known the whereabouts of the rebels who have been detained
by the police,'' he said. Deuba and his committee are scheduled to hand over
a report in the next few weeks detailing the rebels' demands and setting the
conditions for the peace dialogue.
Earlier this month, the rebels launched their biggest offensive and attacked
a police station, government administration office and a jail at Dunai, the
headquarters of Dolpa district, 320 kilometers northwest of the national
capital, Kathmandu. At least 14 policemen were killed, another 36 injured
and nearly a dozen held prisoner by the rebels during the attack.
Two days later the rebels ambushed a police patrol at Ghoretar village,
about 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu killing eight policemen.
These attacks have led to severe criticism of the government, resignation of
the home minister Govind Raj Joshi and early retirement of police chief,
Achyut Krishna Kharel.
The rebels are demanding an end to Nepal's constitutional monarchy and
dismantling the feudal structure in parts of the country. They also allege
police repression.(AP)
 For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service

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