Kathmandu, July 29: The Nepal government today released three Maoist central committee members in response to an ultimatum issued by the rebel group.
The convener of the Maoist negotiating team, Baburam Bhattarai, had in a letter urged the “old regime” to prove its sincerity by fulfilling the group’s demands and “create an appropriate environment for talks by July 31.” He had warned that “if these conditions are not met, then we will be forced to conclude that the old regime had unilaterally ended the ceasefire.”
The Maoist demands include limiting the army’s movements to within 5 km of their barracks, releasing three central committee members and revealing the whereabouts of rebels in government custody. According to the Maoists, the demands were agreed to in the second round of talks in May this year.
The rebels have also demanded that either King Gyanendra should be directly involved in the talks or he should give an undertaking that he would abide by any resolution to the eight-year-old conflict that has killed 7000 people so far.
The rebels want the army to declare that it will follow a code of conduct and also honour any agreement arising from the talks.