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Nepal’s warring parties turn deaf ear to Buddha’s message
KATHMANDU, MAY 27 (Agencies):
Published on 27 May. 2010 10:49 PM IST
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He was born in this country more than 2500 years ago, rejected a life of riches and worldly pleasure to seek enlightenment and became known as the Light of Asia. Yet on his 2554th birth anniversary, Gautama Buddha’s preaching of renunciation and reconciliation fell on deaf ears in his own homeland where warring politicians continued to drive the country towards chaos.
With just 24 hours left for the government and parliament to be dissolved, Nepal’s ruling communist party, its ally the Nepali Congress and the opposition Maoists rejected a last-ditch attempt by the President, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, to forge an agreement and avert the constitutional and political crisis that threaten to engulf Nepal from Friday midnight.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who paid lip service to the Buddha at Swayambhunath, one of the holiest Buddhist shrines in Nepal, refused to resign while the Maoists refused to bail the government out until the premier stepped down.
Now the stage is set for fresh battle on the floor of parliament on Friday. The ruling parties are seeking to extend the May 28 deadline, the time within which they were to have unveiled a new constitution but failed due to the interminable squabble for power. However, the move is likely to be blocked by the Maoists, who can ruin the government’s plan since they command over 40 percent of the seats in the 60-member house.
A vote without an agreement will lead to a lose-lose situation for both sides. The constitution says the house and the government will stand dissolved by Friday midnight. The government can force an extension for six months by declaring a state of emergency. However, it will trigger backlashes, including protests from the Maoists and other parties not in the government. The Maoists also stand to lose their status as the largest party in parliament.
Chaos and violence is on the cards with the Maoists saying they will enforce the red constitution drafted by them from the streets on Friday midnight. Royalists say they will oppose the government bid to extend the constitutional deadline and will agitate for fresh elections. And now, a minor party, Nepal Janata Party, has jumped into the fray, saying it will unveil its own constitution for a Hindu republic.

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