Shortly after the Cabinet announced today the formation of a three-member team to hold negotiations with the Maoists, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, coordinator of the government talks team, said formal talks would start in a “day or two”.
Coordinator of the Maoist talks team and Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara, currently in the capital along with his other colleagues, said they were ready for formal talks which would be held tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
Other members of the government talks team are Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Pradip Gyawali and Minister of State for Labour and Transport Management Ramesh Lekhak.
“We will start formal talks with the Maoist team at the earliest,” said Home Minister Sitaula after holding the first meeting of the government talks team at the office of the Peace Secretariat this evening. He said the talks would be held after consultations with the Maoist talks team. Asked about the finalisation of the code of conduct, he said it would be finalised only after mutual agreement with the Maoist talks team.
Minister Gyawali said the formal talks would start “very soon” while State Minister Lekhak said the “process of official talks” would start tomorrow.
“The date and venue of the talks will be decided after consultation with the Maoist team and the Press will also be allowed to cover the first round of bilateral talks,” Gyawali said.
Mahara told this daily that the talks could be held “tomorrow or the day after tomorrow”.
He said the government’s decision to form the talks team and release of some of the Maoist detainees is a “positive development”. “We have found that the government has created positive environment for the talks but it still has to do a lot,” he said. Mahara urged the government to complete the job of releasing all the Maoist detainees and making public the status of the disappeared people within a month.
No mediation in talks: India
New Delhi: India said its mediation is necessary only for arms management and decommissioning of Nepal Army and Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army to make conducive environment for holding election to the constituent assembly. NC leaders said so after their regular consultative meeting with high-level Indan officials. “No mediation is necessary during the talks. Involvement of a third party will only complicate the matter,” Arjun Narsingh KC quoted the Indian official. — HNS