Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nepal braces for protests by Maoists

Nepal braces for protests by Maoists, key ethnic group

Shirish B Pradhan 
Kathmandu, May 31 (PTI) The new Communist-led government in Nepal will face its first test with the Maoists threatening to launch a nationwide agitation next week and the dominant ethnic group of Kathmandu valley calling a shutdown tomorrow to demand autonomy for the capital region.

The Maoists' Central Secretariat has decided to stage protests on June 3 and 4 and to continue disrupting Parliament proceedings to press for acceptance of their motion against President Ram Baran Yadav's move to block the sacking of Army chief by former premier Prachanda, an issue that had led to the eventual ouster of the Maoist government.

The Newars have called a general strike in central Nepal tomorrow to press for their demand to declare the Kathmandu valley -- where they are in majority -- an autonomous region.

The shutdown has been called by eight organisations of Newars affiliated to the major political parties like CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and the Maoists.

The joint struggle committee of the eight groups has demanded halting of construction of an outer ring road here as it would reduce fertile land, not to include Kathmandu valley under Central government territory and to stop uncontrolled migration of people from other parts of Nepal to here in order to protect environment, culture,natural resources and maintain peace and security in the valley. PTI


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