Asking the UCPN (Maoist) to forge consensus among political parties and withdraw the indefinite strike, a massive peace assembly was held in Kathmandu on Friday.
In a late development, the Maoists withdrew the indefinite general strike they called on Sunday. The withdrawal comes after the party faced immense pressure from all sectors.
Earlier, speakers at the peace assembly, attended by thousands of people, said they did not elect leaders to trouble the citizens, but to respect their feelings. The speakers asked political parties to come to an agreement in two days' time and ease the situation. The assembly was attended by doctors, engineers, celebrities, lawyers, teachers, students, engineers, journalists and the common people. Most people were dressed in white, carried the national flag and held placards with messages like “stop the bandh” and “we want peace.”
However, as the strike entered the sixth day, senior Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai said his party would rather change the nature of the protest now than withdraw it. On the other hand, the major coalition partner of the CPN (UML)-led government maintained that there can be no change in the government through the pressure created by the Maoists.
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners have expressed concern about the problems created by the prolonged strike in this donor-dependent country.