Nepal PM fails to revive paralysed parliament
May 16, 2007 - 4:59:49 PM

Kathmandu, May 16 - Nepal's parliament was Wednesday adjourned till May 24 as dissenting MPs continued to disrupt its proceedings, disobeying party orders.

As pandemonium prevailed in the house after legislators from the Terai plains in southern Nepal stormed the rostrum and raised slogans against the government, Speaker Subhash Chandra Nembang adjourned the house.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who had single-handedly fought a four-year battle to revive parliament, has failed to end the stalemate over the Terai issue that has paralysed the house for a month.

Koirala, who had led a protest movement since 2002 when then premier Sher Bahadur Deuba had dissolved the house and last year forced King Gyanendra to reinstate it, failed to repeat the miracle despite consultations with the speaker and deputy speaker Chitralekha Yadav.

The house has remained paralysed for over a month now, first with the Maoist MPs preventing proceedings and then Terai MPs cutting across party lines adding their voices.

Though the Maoists, who had been demanding an apology from the government for a raid on their party offices in search of illegal arms, have been persuaded to call off the protest, legislators from the plains have refused to be deflected.

They want the government to scrap a commission formed to delineate new constituencies for the future elections and a high-level investigation into the violence dogging the plains since earlier this year, in which nearly 70 people have died.

The Koirala government has come under heavy fire from its own allies for failing to address the movement building up in the Terai plains for an autonomous state.It has also failed to announce fresh election dates after the Election Commission ruled out the June 20 date.

The security situation in the Himalayan nation continues to deteriorate despite the Maoist guerrillas having signed a peace pact. Nor has the ruling alliance been able to make the rebels shun violence.

There are reports every day about the Young Communist League, the now dreaded youth wing of the Maoists, going on the rampage, attacking government offices and officials.

They have also started a campaign to destroy statues of Nepal's royals, pulling down at least eight statues, including those of the current king's father, Mahendra, and assassinated elder brother Birendra, who was once regarded as the most popular royal in Nepal.

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