We are for rule of law, human rights, says Maoist leader

Damaru Lal Bhandari
Kathmandu, May 23 :

The CPN-Maoist leadership sees nothing wrong in having the rule of law, multiparty competitive politics, respect for human rights and freedom of the press as pre-conditions to election to constituent assembly.
The assurance to this effect comes at a time when the section of the political parties, both in and out of power, have been demanding that the rebels should first subscribe to four basic tenets of democracy before going to election for constituent assembly.
“No one should doubt our commitment to multiparty competitive politics, freedom of the press, respect for human rights and rule of law,” CPN-M central leader Dinanath Sharma told this correspondent. Sharma, a member of the rebel talk team, is in the capital.
Asked to comment on the possibility of the monarchy continuing in a ceremonial garb after the constituent assembly election, he said, “We will have to be convinced why we should retain it even in a highly ceremonial form …. People will not accept the institution any longer.”
Pointing out at the 10-point road map issued by the Maoist supremo Prachanda, Sharma did not even concede that retaining the monarchy, in whatever form, could be on the talks agenda. He, however, said, “Reactionaries are trying to keep the monarchy alive.”
Sharma added, “While monarch himself might have been weakened, the system that he presided upon is still alive and kicking to a certain extent.”
He, meanwhile, expressed dissatisfaction at the Proclamation-2006, saying, “It was brought about without consulting us… The alliance is trying to block the path to election to constituent assembly.” He, however, conceded it had some positive points, as it clipped the wings of the monarch. Reacting to concerns that the Maoist demand for interim statute and interim regime is being seen as a nefarious design to plunge the nation into an uncharted course with no guarantor, Sharma said, “People will guarantee safe transition to a system which we are working for.”

Pitches for self-reliant economy
Kathmandu: Maoist leader Dinanath Sharma said the rebels are in favour of a “self-reliant and independent economy.” “We want an independent and self-reliant economy that upholds national interests,” he told THT. He claimed the reports of Maoists collecting money are being sensationalised. “Other parties have been doing that in their own way. Of course, in our case it is short-lived.” When it was pointed out that countries cannot be economically independent, he said, “It was all about upholding the interest of the country when dealing with multi-lateral agencies who often tend to dictate terms.” — HNS


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