Friday, May 26, 2006

Peace talks begin in Nepal

After a decade of fighting, Maoist and Nepalese government leaders met on Friday to end the deadly insurgency.

More that 12,500 have died since the Maoists took up arms in 1996.

For joining the political process, the Maoists are demanding a new constitution, with particular emphasis on solving the role of the monarchy.

Already the king has been stripped of his powers as commander-in-chief of the military and of exemption from taxation. Nepal also has been formally declared a secular state rather than a Hindu kingdom, and succession to the throne is the hands of parliament.

Maoists however are pressing for a full abolition of the monarchy and that Nepal be declared a republic.

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