April 25, 2006
Nepal Maoists reject king’s offer, announce blockade of capital
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal's Maoist rebels on Tuesday
rejected the king's decision to reinstate parliament and said
his speech was a sham that failed to address the demands of
mass street protests.
"The proclamation is a sham and a conspiracy against the
Nepali people," Maoist leader Prachanda said in a statement in
the Nepali language. "Our party firmly rejects this."
King Gyanendra's decision to restore parliament, dissolved in
2002, and said they planned to turn a mass protest on Tuesday
into a "victory celebration."
Prachanda said the parties had committed "another historic
mistake" and encouraged the Nepali people to continue peaceful
protests until the parties declared elections for an assembly
to write a new constitution.
He called for a blockade of Kathmandu, a city of 1.5
million people, and district capitals, until demands for an
unconditional constituent assembly were met.
"Neither has this addressed the slogans being raised on the
street for a constituent assembly and a republic, nor the
12-point understanding with the seven political parties,"
Prachanda said of the proclamation.
"Our party makes a strong appeal to the people to continue
peaceful protests until elections for an unconditional
constituent assembly are announced," he said.
Maoists entered a loose alliance with the main political
parties last year to end royal rule and set out a rough roadmap
"When we talk about the people they are going one step
ahead of the constituent assembly and they are demanding a
republic," Comrade Sunil, a senior Maoist leader, told Reuters
by telephone. "Our party heartily respects this."
Maoists control vast swathes of the countryside and have
been waging a decade-long insurgency to end the monarchy and
establish a communist republic. More than 13,000 people have
died since 1996.