Nepal: Martin Says Many Minor Maoists in Cantonments

KATHMANDU, March 22 – Head of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Ian Martin on Thursday said that there were substantial numbers of minors registered as combatants at the different Maoist cantonments across the country. Martin also said that the UNMIN believed that the number of those who were recruited by the Maoists after they signed the Ceasefire Code of Conduct with the government on 25 May 2006 was also significant. He said that both the minors and those recruited after the signing of the ceasefire code of conduct will have to be discharged when UNMIN begins the second phase of verification of Maoist combatants.

“I have made clear to the Maoist leadership that UNMIN believes that there are substantial numbers of minors in the cantonments as well as persons who were recruited after 25 May 2006, and I have asked for their (Maoists’) cooperation regarding their discharge, as the agreement requires,” said Martin.

He made the remarks at a press conference organized at the UN House in Pulchowk Thursday afternoon. Expressing sorrow over Wednesday’s killings in Rautahat, Martin said the incident had shocked the international community as it had shocked Nepal.

“The confrontation (in Rautahat) could and should have been avoided. I hope the perpetrators of the killings will be identified and brought to justice,” said Martin expressing hope that leaders of all groups will stop putting the lives of their followers at risk.

He also informed that the Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly would today adopt a resolution giving UNMIN a budget of US $88.8 million, as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). He also informed that the total staffing of UNMIN will now grow to a little under 700 international personnel in all categories, including 186 arms monitors, 258 UN Volunteers, and little under 400 national staff.

Expressing regret that the government and the Maoists were yet to reach agreement regarding the arrangements for personal security of the Maoist leaders, Martin informed that the UNMIN had registered 96 weapons retained by the Maoists outside the cantonments.

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No More Corpse Politics, Maoists Stay Calm

Kathmandu will see tomorrow 28 corpses from Gaur killing lined up in Tundikhel (Open Air Theater), courtesy the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). They were killed by the armed cadres of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF or MPRF) yesterday. We can understand the Maoist situation. They have lost their cadres and they were all brutally murdered. Maoists have the right to pay respect to their fallen comrades whom they have declared ‘martyrs’. But CPN Maoist must not do the politics of corpse. We don’t need lash ko rajniti.

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Mother of 18-year-old Govinda Adhikari mourns the killing of her son. The corpse of Adhikari was brought to Hetauda hospital Wednesday night. Adhikari was killed in the Gaur clash. Pic by Pratap Bista

CPN UML, the second largest party in the ruling alliance, did the lash ko rajniti when Madan Bhandari, the then General Secretary of the party, was killed in a road accident. Continuous protest programs organized by the UML at that time only contributed in defaming the democratic system. No one gained, and the sufferer was democracy. It has become an undeniable fact that Maoists are using all sorts of measures to intimidate all branches of society. The best way Maoists can effectively counter any such attacks in future is by gaining confidence of the people. They must stop bullying.

Maoist cadres are announcing on loud speakers in the city that third phase of Janaandolan will be started from tomorrow. What do they mean? They have the right to organize peaceful protests but this is not the right time for them to exert unnecessary pressure on the government. Maoists have demanded that the MPRF be outlawed. It’s true that Maoists are the ones who can help government control the menace called MPRF but that should happen without declaring the outfit outlawed. We don’t want another fighting in whatever pretext.

The statement issued by Chairman Prachanda of Maoist Party has words like exercising restrain but in today’s public meeting organized in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, the Maoist cadres continuously talked about taking revenge. One of the slogans that cadres chanted after the meeting was over was this: Hatya ko badala linchhau, linchhau (We will take the revenge of murder). We know not all cadres are under Prachanda’s control but the party Headquarter must try to show that it’s doing the best to put the cadres under its tight leadership. Continue reading No More Corpse Politics, Maoists Stay Calm