In a rare gesture, Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists (UCPN-M) chairman Prachanda on Wednesday apologised for his recent remarks against mediapersons and intellectuals.
“We will settle scores with journalists, intellectuals and Kathmandu residents who insulted ordinary village people supporting the movement,” Prachanda had said at a public meeting earlier. Following his comments, UCPN-M cadres attacked and wounded six journalists.
Initiating an interaction with journalists, human rights groups and civil society activists on Wednesday, Prachanda apologised for his statement. He declared that the nationwide strike which began May 2 was wrong as it harmed the poor. The Maoists, who have been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Nepal, called off their protest on May 7 following a massive peace rally by ordinary citizens.
Prachanda, who had alleged that participants of the peace rally had been mobilised by the government, said, “I have high respect for this class, including for the people of Kathmandu. All I meant to say was that only one per cent of the locals were against the Maoist movement.”
In his address to the Constituent Assembly, however, Prachanda took on Nepal who according to him is “remote-controlled”. “No matter how much pressure we put, he will not quit without order coming from the masters,” he said, in a reference to India. He said that the Prime Minister’s decision not to quit was a direct outcome of his visit to Thimpu, where he had met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.