Sunday, October 12, 2008

Poudel rejects integration

TANAHUN, Oct 13 - Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel has rejected outright the option of integrating Maoist combatants into the national army. "None of the Maoist cadres can be defenders of the nation and the security of all the people is not possible from them," Poudel said during a tea party hosted in his home district where he arrived for the first time since his party quit the government.

Poudel also criticized the Maoists for ignoring the option of rehabilitating their conbatants and continuing with only their rhetoric of integration. "The Maoists are talking only about integration and forget to talk about rehabilitation as mentioned in the peace agreements," he said, "The Maoist combatants should be rehabilitated in society, not in government jobs."

He also urged the Maoists not to politicize the national army for their own petty interests. He claimed that the Maoists were determined to impose a single-party authoritarianism on the country in the name of their "so-called people's republic".

Poudel was greeted with black flags by some members of the ethnic Darai community for the NC's failure to recommend a Darai person for Constituent Assembly membership. The Nepali Congress was supposed to chose one member from the Darai community, according to Dik Bahadur Darai, chairman of Tanahun Darai Society. The society, in a statement, said it would continue protesting against Poudel. Poudel, however, claimed that members of the humble Darai community were being incited by some people with ill intention. "I tried my best to ensure the Darai community's representation but failed," he said.

Source: Ekantipur

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