Monday, November 19, 2007

World not yet ready for Maoist envoys

Kathmandu: Though Nepal's Maoists returned to parliament after waging an armed struggle for 10 years, the world is not yet ready to accept them as envoys. Four countries, to which the government appointed Maoist nominees as ambassadors, are still sitting on the 'agreemo' they have to send to indicate they have no objection to the appointees.

France, Denmark, Australia and Malaysia have demurred about the prospective Maoist ambassadors, saying they were uncertain about the status of the rebels.

Though the Nepal government sent the nominations when the Maoists were in the cabinet, in September, the rebels walked out of the ruling alliance thereafter, demanding King Gyanendra be dethroned immediately and a new electoral system be used for the upcoming polls. The polls are regarded as critical for the peace process.

When Koirala rejected their demands, the Maoists announced a series of protests with the intention of hindering the election, which forced Koirala to put off the polls indefinitely.
Now that the Maoists are still outside the government and still opposed to the polls till their demands are met.

The rebels nominated one of their top women leaders, central committee member Pampa Bhushal, as ambassador to France. A former journalist from the Terai plains, Vijay Kant Karna, was chosen for Denmark. Ajay Sharma, a member of the Maoists' bureau, was named envoy in Australia. Rishi Ashikari was the Maoists' nominee for Malaysia.

The hosts' baulking is ironic, considering that the rebels had called a shutdown last year and remained engaged in a dispute with Koirala for nearly six months over the appointment of ambassadors, alleging that the prime minister had kept the key countries for his own party.

Nearly 18 ambassadorial posts lay vacant for over a year after the fall of King Gyanendra's regime in 2006 when the royal appointees were recalled by the Koirala government.
Source: Sify

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