News / Asia

Nepal's Maoists Begin Nationwide General Strike

A Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) supporter dances during an indefinite nationwide general strike by Maoist in Kathmandu on 2 May 2010
A Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) supporter dances during an indefinite nationwide general strike by Maoist in Kathmandu on 2 May 2010

Multimedia

Audio

Nepal on Monday faces a third consecutive day of disruption of civic life as a nationwide strike called by the Maoists continues. The former rebels have tens of thousands of members and supporters on the streets of the capital to enforce the crippling forced shutdown of commerce.

Talks among Nepal's three major parties resumed for 90 minutes Sunday evening in an attempt to break a deadlock in the deepening political crisis.

The latest round of the negotiations, which ended inconclusively, are being brokered by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries. Its president, Kush Kumar Joshi, told VOA News he is optimistic of a breakthrough because dialogue is continuing.  "And most probably they are also doing bilateral discussions by tomorrow with each party. And then afterwards, most probably, by tomorrow evening they'll come into the consensus for this," he said.

After Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal refused to resign Saturday evening, the Maoists began enforcing a national strike.

Former PM of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Maoist Party chairman Prachanda, addresses a May Day rally in Kathmandu
Former PM of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Maoist Party chairman Prachanda, addresses a May Day rally in Kathmandu

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, chairman of Nepal's Maoists, emerging from Sunday evening's negotiations confirmed the parties are still apart on some key issues and that is preventing a consensus. The Maoist leader warns that his followers may have to intensify their street activities in the days to come if an agreement is not quickly reached.

The Maoists, who won the 2008 election, pulled out of the government last year amid a power struggle involving leadership of the army and how to integrate the former guerrillas into the military.

Nearly 20,000 Maoist fighters, and their weapons, remain quarantined in camps under United Nations supervision.

Nepal faces a May 28th deadline to finalize what was agreed in the peace accord, including drafting a new constitution.

All parties acknowledge the remote chance of accomplishing that in the next few weeks.

Unless the major political parties agree to extend the deadline or call for new elections, Nepal would be plunged into an even more uncertain future with some analysts warning of the possibility of a return to civil war.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs