Maoists Tuesday went ahead with blockades of Kathmandu and district headquarters ignoring a request by the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) to withdraw them.
The SPA asked Maoists to call off the blockades, an indefinite nation-wide strike from April and declare another ceasefire to help their anti-King and anti-government protests.
Negotiations are ongoing in New Delhi between the SPA and Maoists as leaders of the alliance this week rejected a front with the extreme communists until they renounce violence.
The NC (D) is not represented in the New Delhi talks after president Sher Bahadur Deuba called for changes in the 12-point understanding – a call denounced by Baburam Bhattarai.
The staggered extended two-week talks indicate the dialogue has hit a cul-de-sac as changes have been sought by the SPA in the understanding initialed in New Delhi five months ago.
“Are the seven parties afraid of Moriarty?,” Maoist central leader Deb Gurung asked party followers at a mass meeting in Rolpa this week.
Gurung called for a common slogan and front with the SPA, a parallel government, election for a constituent assembly by an interim government for a republican constitution.
The CPN (Maoist) presented their demands even as the CPN-UML has gone on a flip-flop to withdraw a call for a republic to save the SPA. A republic is not the immediate plan of the NC (D) and NC, two other major constituents of the alliance.
US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Donald Camp last week called on opposition parties to play a more constructive role in resolving the staggered political crisis. (see Camp Visit to Nepal Constructive)
“The parties need to play a more constructive role,” as he delivered to the King the message of President George W. Bush for a dialogue.
Bush said on New Delhi after meeting prime minister Manmohan Singh, “In Nepal, Maoists should abandon the path of violence. We agreed that the King should reach out to the political parties for the restoration of democracy.”
But the SPA has put conditions for such a dialogue such as the restoration of parliament and election for a constituent assembly.
“I cannot express optimism or pessimism; but we are hopeful that a breakthrough comes up and democracy is restored,” Camp said at the conclusion of his second Nepal visit in one year.
He called his visit “constructive.”
Camp defended US ambassador James F. Moriarty under attack from Maoists and some leaders of the SPA for his provocative statement denouncing the 12-point understanding between the alliance and Maoists.
Camp described Moriarty as the “local expert” said the envoy’s statement reflected US policy.
Moriarty called the New Delhi accord “the result of politics conducted by strange bedfellows.”