Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Three-party meeting fails to break Terai deadlock

A meeting of the key leaders of the three main parties - CPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) - which was expected to break the deadlock over the Terai parties' demands, has ended inconclusively Wednesday evening.

The three parties appeared nowhere close to resolving their differences over the Terai parties' demand for 'autonomous Terai province' and 'group entry' of Madhesis into the Nepal Army.

At the meeting, the Maoist side emphasised that there should be a "package solution" to the demands of Madhesis as well as others including Dalits and indigenous groups whereas the UML reiterated that 'one Madhes' demand cannot be met and that issues like this could only be decided by the Constituent Assembly.

Nepali Congress, on the other hand, remains undecided on the issues raised by the Terai parties.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Maoist chairman Prachanda said the major parties were now working to reach consensus on a package solution so that it left no room for groups other than Madhesis to come forward with their respective agendas.

"We need to further discuss on this. We will also hold a meeting with the Prime Minister before arriving at a conclusion," he said.

Saying that the demand for 'group entry' of Medhesis into the army needed to be defined clearly, the Maoist chairman said the real need is to make the army an inclusive institution.

The top leaders of the three parties are to meeting tomorrow, ahead of the Constituent Assembly sitting.

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