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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KATHMANDU895 2006-04-04 12:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

MAOIST CALL KATHMANDU VALLEY-ONLY CEASE-FIRE

Tags:   PTER PGOV MOPS NP 
pdf how-to read a cable
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DE RUEHKT #0895/01 0941246
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 041246Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0991
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 4140
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 4410
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 9494
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 2387
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3793
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 9485
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0743
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 000895 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/INS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/04/2016
TAGS: PTER PGOV MOPS NP
SUBJECT: MAOIST CALL KATHMANDU VALLEY-ONLY CEASE-FIRE

REF: KATHMANDU 883

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).

Summary
-------



1. (C) On April 3, before the April 6-9 general strike and
rallies planned by the seven-party alliance focused on the
capital, the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoists announced a
unilateral cease-fire for the Kathmandu Valley until further
notice. Seven-party alliance leaders welcomed the "positive"
news, but had hoped that the Maoists would call a nationwide
cease-fire. The Maoists' claimed that the cease-fire would
enable the Parties to gather peacefully and "expose"
government plans to crackdown on peaceful protest using the
pretext that the Maoists would infiltrate the Parties'
peaceful protests. The Parties, however, worried that the
government might still arrest Party activists and call a
curfew. The government labeled the cease-fire a ploy, given
continuing Maoist violence outside the capital, banned
public gatherings inside the ring road in Kathmandu, and
announced the renewal and enhancement of anti-terrorist
legislation. End Summary.

Maoists Announce Cease-fire in Valley


--------------------------





2. (U) On April 3, the Maoists issued a statement announcing
a unilateral cease-fire in the Kathmandu Valley effective
immediately. In the statement, Maoist leader Prachanda
explained that the cease-fire was needed to support the seven
party alliance movement in a peaceful manner, as requested by
the Parties. He maintained that the move was taken to foil
the government's efforts to thwart the capital-centered
movement announced by the seven parties. "We announce the
cessation of all military action in Kathmandu Valley
effective from Monday (April 3) until further notice," stated
Prachanda. The statement added that the announcement aimed
to "expose an autocratic, feudal group that is conspiring to
unleash military terror on peaceful demonstrations in the
capital under the pretext of countering Maoist infiltration."

Parties Welcome Cease-fire


--------------------------





3. (C) The seven-party alliance welcomed the Maoist
declaration suspending armed hostilities in Kathmandu.
Minendra Rijal, NC (D), told Emboff it was a "positive
move," but noted that it was only in effect in the Kathmandu
Valley, despite the Parties urging the Maoists to call a
cease-fire nationwide to create a conducive atmosphere for
pushing the ongoing peaceful movement to a further height.
He noted that the cease-fire might force the government to
hesitate arresting party leaders, though it was impossible to
rule out the possibility that the government would still
arrest leaders and call a curfew, and stop people from
entering the Valley. K.P. Oli (UML) agreed that the Maoists
should have called a nationwide cease-fire.

Government Doubts Maoist Intentions,
Clamps Down on Demonstrations


--------------------------





4. (C) Minister of State for Information and Communication
Shrish Shumsher Rana stated that a Maoist cease-fire was only
"strategy on the part of the Maoists8 and was not to be
believed. "The Maoists made an agreement with the seven
parties who announced their agitation in Kathmandu prior to
their cease-fire,8 noted Rana. &We will watch the
alliance's agitation in agreement with the terrorists with
equal suspicion as we have watched the seven parties,
agreement with the terrorists in New Delhi.8 The District
Administrative Offices in Kathmandu and Lalitpur issued
separate statements on April 4 banning public gatherings,
rallies and sit-ins within the areas inside Kathmandu's ring
road beginning April 5 and lasting until further notice. On
April 2, Assistant Home Minister Sone Lal Yadav warned that
the government would leave "no stone unturned" to suppress
disturbances in the capital, including issuing shoot to kill
orders if needed.

Maoist Violence Outside Capital Continues


--------------------------





5. (U) On April 3, the Maoists abducted the president and
vice president of the District Development Committee (DDC) of
Panchthar District, in the hills of eastern Nepal. The
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) appealed for their
immediate release. Also on April 3, in the central terai
Nawalparasi District, Maoists seized about 15 vehicles,
including trucks, buses and a government-owned van that was
returning from delivering medicine to district health posts.

Planning for April 6-9 Strike


--------------------------





6. (U) Party politicos continued to plan for their April 8
demonstrations to take place during the April 6-9 general
strike. Oli told Emboff that the government was closely
following him and all Party leaders, and so he could not rule
out that the government would arrest politicians. He opined
that the government might call a nighttime curfew, but
doubted they would call a daytime curfew. Arjun Narsingh
K.C. (NC) explained that the trade unions and others would
join in the Parties' small demonstrations around the capital
on April 8, stressing that the movement was "completely
committed to peace." However, he added that if the
government acted repressively it would be hard to control the
anger and actions of Nepali youth. (Note: On April 3, eight
student unions organized demonstrations in campuses in the
capital, burning tires and shouting slogans against monarchy.
Police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the students;
sixteen students and a dozen police personnel were injured in
the clash. Student demonstrations continued April 4. Also
on April 4, police arrested at least 30 political party
members of the seven-party alliance from a protest rally in
Kathmandu organized by the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi
Devi) to gain support of the seven-parties' general strike
set for April 6-9. End note.) The Parties announced that
they would allow free movement of ambulances and diplomatic
mission, media and human rights vehicles during the general
strike.

Government Renews Anti-Terrorist Ordinance


--------------------------





7. (C) On April 3, the government published the amended
Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Punishment and Control)
Ordinance (TADO), reportedly adding new provisions that
categorize activities of Maoist accomplices as "crime related
to terrorism and disruption." (Note: We have not yet seen a
copy of the revised ordinance. As no parliament is in
session, all Ordinances must be renewed every six months.
End note.) The anti-terrorism law now is said to make
dissemination of Maoist-related information a punishable
offense. The renewed TADO reportedly defined accomplices as
those who remain in contact with the Maoists and help the
rebels. The media speculated that people who supply
information to the Maoists and/or disseminate Maoist
information would be subject to arrest as accomplices. It
was not clear whether political parties and the media fell
within the new provisions of TADO, as some Ministers had
publicly called the Parties "accomplices of the Maoists" for
entering into the 12-point understanding with the Maoists in
November 2005. The Representative of the UN Office of the
High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, Ian
Martin, expressed serious concern over TADO. "OHCHR has many
concerns about the use of the Public Security Act, as well as
of TADO." "I regret," Martin was quoted as saying, "though
we asked to be consulted on how TADO ought to be in line with
human right standards, we have not had the opportunity." The
Swiss donor mission privately expressed concern about the
potential impact of the enhanced TADO ordinance on their
ability to do development work in the countryside, given what
they cited as the necessity of maintaining contacts with the
Maoists in order to carry out projects.
Comment


--------------------------





8. (C) The Maoists decision to respond to repeated calls from
the Parties for a nationwide cease-fire with a cease-fire
only inside the Kathmandu Valley looks to be a clear attempt
to pressure the government and the Parties. The move
undercuts the justification on the part of the government for
cracking down on the demonstrators, while at the same time
makes it considerably more difficult for the Parties to blame
poor performance during the upcoming strike and
demonstrations on the Maoists. That said, the Maoists have
continued to keep open for themselves the option of
large-scale attacks outside the Kathmandu Valley.
MORIARTY