Protest in Balaju
Photo by Chandra Shekhar Karki
Updates by Tilak Pathak and Deepak Adhikari
Thapa at NHRC
Home Minister Kamal Thapa reached National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at around 12:30 pm. His arrival was greeted with surprise even by the employees of NHRC. He remarked that he was there to maintain the relations.
Indian prime minister’s special envoy Dr. Karan Singh arrived at Kathmandu at 12. At the TIA, only foreign media were allowed. Singh said that he has brought the message of Indian government to His Majesty and political parties, not for the media. He met NC leader Girija Prasad Koirala at 4pm. He said: “I am here with positive attitude. I’m neither magician nor an astrologer. I am just a politician. I can’t say anything before meeting the king. But, we are pretty worried about the problems here.”
At 5 pm, he talked to Sher Bahadur Deuba. Deuba, quoting Singh, said the latter has a package program that will address the Maoist issue as well. In the evening, he was scheduled to meet UML general secretary Madhav Nepal who was released today.
Nepal said after his release: “Nepali people have come to streets to end the monarchy and establish total democracy (loktantra). Unless people’s sovereignty is established, the movement goes on. This release could be a ploy to weaken the movement.” He further remarked: “Only the election of Constituent Assembly (CA) would finalize the political outcome of the protest. All should respect the verdict of the people.”
NC leader Ramchandra Poudel, after he was set free, said: “The movement continues until people become sovereign.” He warned that only people can decide who stays in power and who doesn’t. This would be decided by CA.” Along with these two leaders, youth leaders of NC and UML were also released.
In Kalanki, around two thousand protesters attened a peaceful protest. Today Balaju set another example of peaceful protest. More than 5 thousand people gathered. They marched from Basundhara to Balaju chowk. In Gongabu, there was a protest going on as we left the venue. Peaceful protests took place in Chabahil, Kirtipur and many other areas around Ring Road.
On Thursday, Seven Party Alliance (SPA) have announced a program of massive protests. People will gather in many parts of Ring Road. They will defy the prohibatory orders of the authority. As we prepare this blog, slogans are heard from our office. Shutters are closed in fear and the milieu around Kantipur Complex is a bit tense.