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Maoists urge Gyanendra to take part in talks

Kathmandu, July 24: Ten days after the government invited the Maoists for a third round of talks, the latter responded by saying that either the king himself take part in the talks or provide the negotiating team with full authority to seek a way out of the impasse.

The Maoists also insisted that the government stand by the agreement reached between the two sides in their second round of talks in early May.

The rebels said that by not implementing their demands stated in the agreement, the government was giving the impression that it is not sincere about the talks.

The Maoists said that the Nepali army was trying to emulate the US army and was working to establish a foreign puppet military regime.

They demanded that the the army should cease activities that could damage the peace process and called for the expulsion of all foreign military advisers in the country.

A cabinet meeting of the Surya Bahadur Thapa government this morning called to examine the Maoist proposal ended without being able to reach a decision.

Earlier, the government had sent assurances that it would honour all the commitments and would also take up political issues in the next round of talks.

The response from the Maoist leadership came three days after the rebels closed down their Kathmandu liaison office citing the government’s inability to guarantee their security accoding to the terms of the ceasefire worked out in January earlier this year.

The Maoist team had already gone underground by then.

The closure of the contact office had sent alarm bells ringing and the possibility of a fresh outbreak of fighting seemed imminent.

Government troops are on high alert and army and police personnel on leave have been recalled.

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