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Nepal Timeline - 2009

January 1

One person, identified as Ashok Kumar Yadav of Motipur, died in a bomb blast at Belahath in the Dang District.

An Indian national, identified as Bimal Gupta of the State of Bihar, was injured in a bomb blast in front of the Kathmandu Mall at Sundhara in capital Kathmandu. A pamphlet of Ranabir Sena, an underground outfit, was found at the explosion site.

The Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) decided to withdraw its support to the Government. Hridayesh Tripathi, co-chairman of the TMLP, said, "We have withdrawn the support we extended to the Government due to its continued apathy toward Madhesh issues."

The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) and Nepali Congress agreed to set a three-month deadline for the return of lands and properties seized by Maoists to the rightful owners.

January 2

The Supreme Court issued a stay order asking the Government not to implement its decision to withdraw 349 cases. The apex court gave the order saying that cases not related to politics and those criminal cases related with law and order of society, too, were in the list of withdrawal.

January 3

Police arrested two persons on suspicion of carrying out a blast near the main entrance of the Tribhuvan International Airport in capital Kathmandu. In a telephone interview with Avenues TV from an unknown location, Ranabir Sena chief, Bhagirath Singh, said the blast was carried out as a warning to the Government and the CPN-Maoist as they have not responded seriously to his group's demands, which includes withdrawal of the constitutional provision to declare Nepal a secular state.

January 4

Cadres of the CPN-Maoist attacked the Bhandaris, the aides of the Pashupati priests, and other devotees in the Pashupatinath temple premises in Kathmandu injuring at least 10 persons.

January 5

The Young Communist League (YCL) cadres stationed at the Balaju Industrial Estate in Kathmandu begun to vacate their camps. Balaju Industrial Estate Management (BIEM) Ltd. Director General Giri Raj Bhandari said the YCL cadres have left nearly 80 percent area of the estate along with their livestock and fish farming.

January 6

The CPN-UML central committee condemned the YCL attack on party cadre Bibek Devkota from Jitpur VDC. The CPN-UML also prevented vehicular movement for an hour in the capital Kathmandu. Devkota was critically injured in the attack and doctors had to amputate his left leg.

A senior leader of the CPN-Maoist and Minister of Information and Communication, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, said, "the Nepal Army (NA) can fill vacant posts, but new recruitment cannot be carried out." He added that the issue of recruiting personnel in NA had been unnecessarily exaggerated in the recent days. A day earlier, Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa had said in Chitwan that the Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal had defied the Government's directive to stop recruitment in the NA.

The Cabinet decided to reconstitute the special committee on army integration and rehabilitation. Prime Minister Prachanda would now head the committee, which would have eight members, two each from three major coalition partners, the CPN-Maoist, CPN-UML and MJF and two from main opposition Nepali Congress (NC).

Prime Minister Prachanda dismissed speculation that the Government is preparing to dismiss the Nepal Army chief Rookmangud Katawal for not stopping new recruitments despite the Government order.

The Rupandehi chapter of the Nepal Teachers' Union alleged that the Maoists are putting pressure to appoint their party cadres in the vacant seats of school teachers in the Rupandehi District against the rules.

January 8

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that the peace process in Nepal "remains a fragile one," which will continue to need United Nations assistance. In a report he presented before the Security Council, the Secretary-General said that the "critical agreements" on the integration of former Maoist combatants with the Nepal Army still remains to be implemented and expressed his disappointment at having to "report so little progress" regarding the issues most relevant to the mandate of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the special political mission tasked with helping advance the peace process in Nepal.

The meeting of the central secretariat of the CPN-Maoist concluded that anarchy had set in among some of its cadres, which needed to be corrected. The meeting admitted mistakes in the Nuwakot incident where YCL cadres had severely injured cadres of the Youth Force, youth wing of the CPN-UML.

January 9

An unidentified group shot dead a security guard, identified as Bhawanath Pudasaini, working at Basudeva Industries Pvt. Ltd, at Banjhariya-7 in the Bara District. Pudasaini was abducted from his office before being killed. Tabaresh, the District in-charge of the JTMM-J, claimed responsibility for the killing.

January 10

The first round of talks between the Government and JTMM-Rajan held in Janakpur ended in a five-point understanding. Peace and Reconstruction Minister Janardan Sharma, who is the coordinator of the Government's talk team, and Rajib Jha, chief negotiator of the JTMM-Rajan, signed the agreement, which includes cessation of hostilities and the Government's pledge to treat the armed group as a political outfit. During the talks, the armed group proposed the cantoning of its fighters, like that of Maoist combatants, but the Government side refused to discuss this, leaving the matter for another round of talks, reports said. Jha claimed that JTMM-Rajn has 8000 fighters. Sharma informed that the Government has been trying to bring other insurgent groups also into the dialogue process and talks with the JTMM-J would begin very soon.

January 11

Uma Singh, a Janakpur-based journalist, was killed by a group of unidentified assailants. The attackers forcibly entered her apartment in Rajoula and killed her with sharp weapons. Three years ago, the victim?s father and elder brother were abducted from their homes at Mirchaiya in the Siraha District. Her family had then accused the CPN-Maoist of being involved in the abduction.

An unidentified group shot dead one person, identified as, Pachhu Hajara, at Raghunathpur-6 in the Rautahat District.

January 12

Cadres of the ATMM, formerly known as JTMM-G, shot dead Rajkumar Kamati, former chairman of Sirauwa Pachuware VDC in the Siraha District. Kamati was accused of being a spy and assisting the Police for establishing a Police station in the VDC. Biplov, District in-charge of the ATMM, claimed responsibility for the killing.

The Bethahani in-charge of YCL, Babar Khan, and other cadres allegedly abducted a 16-year-old girl, Bahida Khatoon, a CPN-UML supporter, from her residence. The abductors also robbed NR 25,000 and some valuables.

The CPN-Maoist and Communist Party of Nepal-Unity Centre (CPN-Unity Centre) decided to unify the two parties. A joint meeting of the central committees of the two parties decided to name the new party as Unified CPN-Maoist. The unified party also decided to drop Prachandapath as its guiding principle. The unification is to be formally announced in a public function on January 13.

January 13

Addressing a mass meeting, Prime Minister and chairman of CPN-Maoist Prachanda warned of a 'people's revolt' if the current Maoist-led Government is forced to quit. "This government is not a repetition of past ones. If it is overthrown our party will spearhead a people's revolt from the next day and capture power? Nothing in the world will stop us," he said. The meeting was organised in Kathmandu to make the formal announcement of unification between the CPN-Maoist and Communist Party of Nepal-Unity Centre (Masal). Prachanda heads the united party which has been named as Unified CPN-Maoist. The party will have a 175-member central committee that includes 38 members from the Unity Centre (Masal).

The Jay Krishna Goit led ATMM, formerly known as JTMM-G, Pawan Giri-led SJTMM and JTMM-J formally announced the unification of the three parties and decided to name the unified front as Terai Janatantrik Party (TJP). A meeting of the three fronts held at an undisclosed location in Siraha District took the decision to this effect. The unified party will be chaired by Jaya Krishna Goit and Pawan Giri will be the vice chairman, while Jwala Singh will be the general secretary. Likewise, Aajad has been appointed the chief of Terai Government of the newly formed alliance and Khudiram will be its organisational department chief, said a statement issued by Goit.

January 14

Jwala Singh, president of the JTMM-J, said that his party would sit for talks with the Government only if the latter met the four pre-conditions - release of its detained activists, withdrawal of 'fake cases' against its activists, declaration of a cease-fire and guarantee of security for its leaders. Commenting on the unification of his outfit with the outfits led by Jaya krishna Goit and Pawan Singh, he said only the process for unification had begun. "Goit's Morcha wants all armed groups to be unified. We have been talking with the two groups. The parties may unite in the future," he said.

The Madhesh Rastra Janatantrik Party-Revolutionary (MRJP-R), an armed outfit active in the Terai, shot dead two youths, identified as Ram Udgar Muchi and Ramesh, residents of Phulkaha Katti-5, in Siraha. The MRJP-R District Commander Arjun claimed responsibility for the killing.

January 15

Seven cadres affiliated to various Terai-based armed outfits surrendered to the Police in Rautahat District. Four of the surrendered cadres are from the JTMM-J, two from Terai Army and one from ATMM.

The SJTMM, one of the three major Terai-based armed outfits, denied reports of a merger with the ATMM and JTMM-J. Sources said the SJTMM leader Kautilya told a press conference in Janakpur that there had been no unification between the three largest and most important underground armed groups operating in Terai and said they have no plans to merge with other two groups either.

More than 150 cadres of the United CPN-Maoist and MJF deserted the parent parties and announced the formation of a new outfit named the Krantikari Rastriya Madheshi Mukti Morcha Nepal. Hira Kumar Nishad, a former member of the Abadh State Committee of the Maoists, reportedly heads the outfit. He was also the battalion commander of the Maoists' Krishnasen Smriti Brigade. Organising a press meet in Bhairahawa, the defectors accused the Maoists and MJF of not bothering to address issues facing Madhesh even after coming to power.

January 16

The Nepali Congress forwarded the names of Ram Sharan Mahat and Minendra Rijal as its representatives to Army Integration Special Committee. Other members of the committee include Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal as chairman and Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa representing the Unified CPN-Maoist, Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam and Bhim Rawal representing the CPN-UML and Agriculture Minister Jay Prakash Gupta and Mohammad Habibulla representing the MJF.

January 18

Police arrested a Unified CPN-Maoist cadre, Shrawan Yadav, from his house in the Rampurbirta area of Siraha District on the charge of murdering the Janakpur-based journalist Uma Singh. Yadav, the Maoist's regional committee member of Siraha-5, was arrested on the basis of a statement given by Nemlal Paswan, another accused, who was arrested from Saghar in the Dhanusha District a day before. According to Police, Paswan is an 'army commander' of the Terai Ekata Parishad and a notorious criminal. The Maoist Siraha in-charge, Dilip Sah, confirmed Yadav as their regional committee member.

Babban Singh, an independent Constituent Assembly member from Rautahat-1, who was arrested in Birgunj on January 17 on murder charges, was remanded to judicial custody for three days.

A dialogue held between the Government and the Kirat Janabadi Workers Party (KJWP), a Terai-based underground outfit, in Dharan ended with a five-point agreement. The Government agreed on releasing detained KJWP activists, treating their cadres as political activists, providing security to the outfit's dialogue team, implementing the ILO Convention No. 169 concerning indigenous people, among others. Likewise, the KJWP agreed to withdraw all protests and illegal activities. The Government also agreed on reconsidering some agenda of the 19-point demand forwarded by the KJWP and carrying out additional homework for their next dialogue.

A Police constable, Awadesh Kumar Jha, a resident of Rautahat, was injured when unidentified assailants of an armed gang attacked a temporary Police Post at Padampokhari VDC in the Makawanpur District.

January 20

The Police recovered over a dozen socket bombs reportedly left behind by cadres of the CPN-Maoist from the house of former Appellate Court judge, Yam Narayan Dhital, at Madhuvan under Dhodhari VDC-8 in the Baridya District.

The second general convention of the MJF concluded in Birgunj, the headquarters of Parsa District, re-electing Upendra Yadav as party chairman and appointing a 31-member central working committee.

Police confiscated 20 gun barrels which were being taken to Humla in a MI-17 helicopter of Shree Airlines from Surkhet. According to the Mid-Western Regional Police Office, Policemen deployed at Bholam airstrip in Humla seized the barrels. The initial investigations suggested that Lok Bahadur Eidi of Humla, who has been living near Surkhet Airport since some time, had sent the goods making a bill for water pipes.

January 21

24 persons, including some police personnel, were injured during clashes between cadres of the student wings of the CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML, ANNISU-R and ANNFSU respectively, at the Prithvi Narayan Campus in Pokhara. 12 motorbikes and two bicycles were allegedly vandalised by ANNFSU activists. They also set ablaze the ANNFSU office. Trouble reportedly broke out over the contract of the campus canteen.

Cadres of the ATMM, formerly known as JTMM-G, abducted two persons, identified as Bik Narayan Yadav and Shankar Yadav, residents of Lohojhara-2, from Bhardaha Chowk in Saptari District. One ATMM cadre, Ajit Singh, claimed responsibility for the abduction citing their affiliation with another Terai armed group Madheshi Virus Killers.

January 22

Jhala Nath Khanal, General Secretary of the CPN-UML, warned of retaliation if anyone attacked leaders and cadres of the student wing of his party. Speaking at a press meet organised by the Dang chapter of Press Chautari Nepal, Khanal said, "If there were any violent attacks on the students affiliated to our party, the students would be forced to retaliate." Khanal's remark came a day after a clash between ANNISU-R and ANNFSU, student wings of the CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML respectively at Prithvi Narayan Campus in Pokhara.

January 23

The UNSC decided unanimously to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) by six more months and endorsed its plans for further gradual drawdown of the operation. The UNMIN's tenure has been extended for third time. It was slated to expire on this day. Now it has been extended till July 23. The UNSC has asked the Nepal Government to take necessary decisions "to create conditions conducive to completion of UNMIN's activities by the end of the current mandate."

The central secretariat meeting of the Unified CPN-Maoist decided to hold a crucial meeting to discuss the Madheshi issues on January 29-30. All the Madheshi CA members, who have been elected on a CPN-Maoist ticket, in-charges of the Madheshi State councils like Mithila, Bhojpura, Awadh and Tharuhat, intellectuals and prominent central committee members are expected to attend the meeting.

The newly elected president of the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), Upendra Yadav, said the second general convention of the party held recently in Birgunj has adopted social democracy as the political ideology of the party.

January 25

Two persons, identified as Jayanarayan Mahato of Karkach Karmaiya-4 and Hari Raya of Harsatol, were killed and one woman was injured in a bomb blast at a marketplace in Rautahat's Katahariya VDC. While Mahato died on the spot, Hari succumbed to his injuries a day after. The central vice-president of Terai Army, Mister Shahansha, claimed responsibility for the blast.

A leader of the JTMM-Rajan threatened to kill Jitendra Khadga, a correspondent with Kantipur. Making a telephone call, its central committee member Manoj Mukti, who is also a member of the outfit's talks? team, issued the threat over a news report published in Kantipur on January 24. The daily reported about clashes between local businessmen and the group members which were prompted by the release of an arrested District leader of the group Niraj Mukti on January 23. Police had arrested him while he, along with others, had turned up at My Shop, a garment shop, at Rajbiraj a day before.

January 26

Three high-intensity bombs were detonated in a series at Rajbiraj, headquarters of Saptari District in the Terai. The first explosion occurred at Rajbiraj-1 around 6:25 pm. Three minutes later, another explosion occurred at the Shiva Shaktai electrical shop at Ward-3 and subsequently the third blast occurred at the backyard of the District court in Ward-7. One minor, identified as Pooja Das, was injured after being hit by splinters during the second explosion. Police estimated that property worth NR 400,000 might have been destroyed in the blast at the shop. The other two explosions did not cause any damage to properties, Police confirmed. One Parwan, who claimed to be the in-charge of a previously unheard group Mahan Madhesh Janakantri Party, claimed responsibility for the blasts.

January 28

10 persons were injured when community forest consumers affiliated to the Unified CPN-Maoist and the CPN-UML clashed at Gaduwa of Jutpani in the Chitwan District over the issue of election for the post of chairman of the Chaturmukhi Community Forest based at Jutpani and Shaktikhor VDC.

A meeting of major political parties finalised the Terms of Reference for the formation and operation of the local peace committees envisaged by the Comprehensive Peace Accord reached in November 2006. The local peace committees shall be automatically dissolved following the adoption of new constitution. The local-level peace committees will be established in all 75 Districts to promote lasting peace and communal harmony in society. Section officer-level officials, stationed in the District headquarters, will run the District-level peace committees. The 25-member local peace committees shall comprise up to 15 members from the political parties representing the Constituent Assembly, three from non-Governmental organisations and civil society, four from conflict-hit communities (Maoists as well as Maoist victims), two from minorities, ethnic and Muslim communities and one from Federation of Nepalese.

The cabinet meeting formed a task force headed by Minister for General Administration Pampha Bhusal to define the 'Madheshi' community. The task force, which includes Madhesh-based ministers, will prepare a list of Madheshi castes after a study within few days, said Dev Prasad Gurung, Minister for Law, Justice and Constituent Assembly Affairs. The castes included in the list will be specified as Madheshis in the Act on Inclusiveness, he informed. The groundwork to draft the Act is on, he said.

The Unified CPN-Maoist expelled four of its cadres from the party for their involvement in a highway robbery and for shooting on a vehicle carrying the Chief District Officers of Rolpa and Pyuthan Districts recently.

The Tharuhut Autonomous State Council, a Terai based ethnic group, mobilised its armed militants at Deukhori of Dang District to takeover the soil, water and forest resources.

January 30

Five persons, including two minors, were injured when a bomb planted at Maisthan in Birgunj exploded. Bhagat Singh, the Parsa District in charge of the Madheshi Mukti Tigers, claimed responsibility for the blast.

Four students were injured after students affiliated to the Nepal Student''s Union and All Nepal National Free Students'' Union clashed at Putalisadak in the capital Kathmandu.

Prime Minister Prachanda said the concept ''One Madhesh, One Autonomous Province'' goes against the Madheshi people and it does not fully represent the entire Madhesh. "We will announce programmes shortly that will advocate ''One Madhesh-Various States'' policy," a CPN-Maoist source quoted him as saying.

February 1 An unspecified number of the YCL cadres were arrested for allegedly assaulting a local youth at Teliya Village Development Committee-5.
February 2

Police arrested four cadres, including district in-charge Hariom Sharma of the ATMM, formerly known as the JTMM-G, in Nawalparasi. The arrestees included area commander Dan Bahadur Harijan, Pinku Kewat and Bhagawati Dhobi. Two sophisticated revolvers, two locally-made pistols and 15 rounds of ammunition were also recovered from their possession.

The Unified CPN-Maoist passed its new statute with an objective to reach communism all the way through socialism. A meeting of the party held at the parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar endorsed the new statute after the unification of party with the Communist Party of Nepal-Ekata Kendra Masal.

February 5

Prime Minister and Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda claimed that the party?s youth front YCL now does not have a paramilitary structure. "YCL is only a political group. It is now working on development works," he said replying to a query from a delegation of German Parliament.

Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ''Badal'' warned the Nepal Army of action if it does not stop recruitment immediately.

The Army Integration Special Committee decided to discharge Maoist combatants, who were disqualified by the United Nations Mission in Nepal during the verification process, from the cantonments and start their rehabilitation process at the earliest before the Army integration process begins.

February 6

An unidentified armed group attacked a Police Post at Syaulibang in the Pyuthan District killing one Policeman, identified as Suman G.C. The group also looted all 10 weapons including five 3-knot-3 rifles from the post. Police suspect the little known armed outfit Mongolian Mukti Morcha to have carried out the attack. Chief District Officer of Pyuthan K. S. Budhathoki said, "This group had been reported to be involved in sporadic violence in Rolpa but had so far not been known to be active in Pyuthan."

February 8

Police shot dead the Eastern ?area commander? of the ATMM, identified as Lalan Kumar Yadav alias Bikrant, in Saptari. Police also arrested three other cadres of the outfit along with some pistols and bullets. Bikrant had claimed responsibility for killing a worker with the Surya Nepal Private Limited in June 2008.

The Nepal Army (NA) published the final recruitment results and with this completed the recruitment procedures of over 2,800 personnel, including combatants and non-combatants.

February 9

Shakti Bahadur Basnet, the personal secretary of Prime Minister Prachanda, as well as a politburo member of the Unified CPN-Maoist, sustained bullet injuries at his left leg when an unidentified gang opened fire at him at Koteshwor in the capital Kathmandu.

Mongolian Mukti Morcha (MMM), a little known underground armed outfit, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Syaulibang Police Post in the Pyuthan District. A man, who identified himself as ?platoon commander? Sangharsha of the MMM, called Annapurna Post and claimed responsibility for the attack. Sangharsha also informed that four MMM cadres had been injured in the attack. The group is believed to have been formed by a breakaway faction of the CPN-Maoist.

A group of unidentified assailants attacked and injured three YCL cadres at the outfit?s office in the Okhaldhunga District. They also abducted an YCL cadre, Ramesh Shrestha, and vandalised the office. However, the Unified CPN-Maoist regional bureau member, Tilak Karki, alleged that the attackers were activists of the Youth Force, youth wing of the CPN-UML.

Matrika Prasad Yadav, a Politburo member of the Unified CPN-Maoist, said he would reconstitute the CPN-Maoist party as the Maoist leadership had sidelined revolutionaries and brought in ''opportunists'' into the party.

February 11

A Nepali Congress (NC) leader, Krishna Bahadur Balami of Okharpauwa, was injured in an attack by the YCL in Nuwakot. The NC claimed that YCL cadres Raj Kumar Balami, Sanu Kaji Balami and Kaila Kaji Balami were involved in the attack.

February 12

A high-level US Government official informed that the US was looking into removing the terrorist tag off the Unified CPN-Maoist. "The more they (Maoists) act within a political system and abandon past practice of terrorism and violence, the easier it will be for us to finish this review. That is what we are doing. We are trying to gather about what they are doing and what is going on. We will make the decision when we feel like it is time to pull them off (terrorist tag)," the visiting US Assistant Secretary for Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher said in a press conference in Kathmandu.

February 13

A bomb exploded at the office of the UNHCR in Nepalgunj. Though pamphlets of the Bhisan Himali Bag, a previously unheard group, were found at the incident site, security sources suspected the involvement of Hindu extremists in the blast. However, there was no report of any major loss.

An unidentified group detonated a ?pressure cooker bomb? at the District office of the Nepali Congress at Hasanpur in Dhangadhi. Walls of ground floor and stairs were destroyed in the blast.

Police said that the two suspects arrested in connection with the February 6 attack on a Police Post at Syaulibang village in the Pyuthan District had conceded their affiliation with the Mongolian Mukti Morcha (MMM), the group responsible for the attack. Bagbir Budha and Balbir Budha admitted they are members of the MMM led by Tekbir Budha. Police recovered important documents from the duo. Tekbir ran training camps at Garjabang and Libang villages which once served as training centers for the erstwhile CPN-Maoist cadres during the insurgency.

Clashes between the All Nepal National Independent Students'' Union- Revolutionary and All Nepal National Free Students'' Union, student wings of the Unified CPN-Maoist and the CPN-UML respectively, were reported from various campuses of the Chitwan District in the run-up to the Free Student Union elections.

The Sarita Giri-led Nepal Sadbhawana Party, a minor party in the Constituent Assembly, withdrew its support to the Maoist-led Government, accusing it of functioning in an undemocratic manner.

February 14

Prime Minister and Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda said the party would not always be engaged in the peace process. The party would move in a different manner in order to embrace change through revolt, he said at a programme organised in Lalitpur. "We should realise that current condition will not prevail for long and we also should prepare ourselves seriously for the next situation," he said.

February 15

The Supreme Court upheld the detention of Govinda Bahadur Batala alias ?Jivit?, a commander of the People?s Liberation Army (PLA). Jivit is one of the prime accused in the murder of Ram Hari Shrestha, a Kathmandu-based businessman who was killed on May 10, 2008, allegedly by the PLA cadres, at Shaktikhor in Chitwan.

February 16

Narendra Khati, a supervisor at the Janakpur cigarette factory, was shot dead in Janakpur. An unidentified person claiming to be a cadre of the JTMM-J claimed responsibility of the killing.

An unidentified gang shot dead one person, Gambhir Saud, a resident of the Sripur Village Development Committee-4 area, and injured his son, Prem, at Dhangadi in the Kailali District.

An unidentified group vandalized and set ablaze the building of the Pahupatinagar VDC in the Bardiya District. All the documents and furniture were destroyed in the fire.

February 19

10 activists of the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML were injured in a clash between the two sides at Jingariya in the Rautahat District following a dispute over a public partnership forest.

A radio journalist, Gyanendra Raj Mishra, sustained bullet injury when an unidentified gang opened fire at him near his office at Ward Number 4 of Birgunj municipality.

February 20

The Raman Singh-led faction of the Madheshi Mukti Tigers (MMT), an underground outfit active in Terai, announced a four-member talks? team that would participate in the dialogue with the Government. Issuing a statement in Kathmandu, the MMT said that it has formed the team under the coordination of Bhola Prasad Mukhiya with Bishwonath Pandit, Dhani Mandal and Anil Kumar Jha as members. The statement signed by Raman Singh expressed hope that the Government would address the equitable demands of the Madheshis. Meanwhile, the MMT forwarded its preconditions that include security guarantee for the talks? team, release of its cadres from Police custody and withdrawal of the cases against them.

February 21

The Government reached a five-point agreement with an underground armed outfit, Liberation Tigers of Terai Ilam, at a dialogue held in Birgunj. As per the agreement, the Government will take the responsibility of the security of the talks? team of the outfit and will treat the outfit in a political manner. The outfit on its part will not carry out any armed activities during the period of dialogue. The agreement also includes that the outfit will provide the names of its detained cadres to the Government and the latter will release the cadres after investigation. The co-ordinator of the outfit Ram Lochan Thakur aka Swami along with four other members was present in the dialogue.

February 22

An unidentified gang detonated a bomb at Indu Shankar Sugar Mill at Hariaun in the Sarlahi District. The blast, however, caused no significant damage. General Manager of the mill, Bijay Kanta Jha, said that it could be the terror tactic of one of the underground outfits as the mill had not given in to their extortion demands.

The Supreme Court issued an interim order to the Defence Ministry and the Nepal Army to halt the process of inducting new personnel in the army till Feb 28.

February 24

The Eighth National Convention of the CPN-UML elected General Secretary Jhalanath Khanal as party Chairman by a margin of over 15 per cent. Khanal will lead the party for next five years. Likewise, Ishwar Pokhrel was elected General Secretary.

February 25

YCL, the youth wing of the erstwhile CPN-Maoist, merged with the All Nepal Janabadi Youth Association, youth wing of the erstwhile CPN-Ekata Kendra-Masal, following the unification of their mother parties to form the Unified CPN-Maoist. The name of the new organisation will remain YCL. However, it will adopt the flag of the All Nepal Janabadi Youth Association.

February 26

The Army and Police personnel, who left their jobs during the insurgency, warned of waging an armed struggle unless they were reinstated. Surya Bahadur Ghimire, the Central commander of the National Struggle Committee of the conflict-affected Army and Police personnel, claimed that some of the Security Force personnel who left the jobs during the conflict have joined different armed outfits in the Terai, adding, "The armed movement in Terai would end if the Government reinstated them. Our movement is for our rights."

February 27

Speaking at a programme at Sauraha in the Chitwan District, the Nepali Congress (NC) President Girija Prasad Koirala directed the party cadres to retaliate against the violent activities of the Unified CPN-Maoist cadres.

March 1

24 persons were injured when the YCL cadres attacked workers of other political parties at Musikot, the District headquarters of Rukum. The YCL attacked the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Janamorcha Nepal, and Rastriya Prajatantra Party activists taking part in a meeting organised to protest against the Maoist lawmakers'' indifference towards coordination in the public opinion collection drive for the constitution-to-be drafted.

The Tharu Kalyankari Sabha, an association that is demanding a separate Tharu state, announced a month-long protest, opposing the list of ethnic groups publicised recently by the Government in which the indigenous Tharus are recognised as a part of the Madheshi community. The central committee meeting of the Tharu organisation held in Chitwan decided to launch the agitation starting from March 2.

March 3

The Unified CPN-Maoist-affiliated People?s Liberation Army (PLA) began its recruitment drive in all the seven divisions. The enrolment guidelines were notified at Chulachuli, Ilam; Dudhauli, Sindhuli; Shaktikhor, Chitwan; Jhyaltungdanda, Nawalparasi; Dahagaon, Rolpa; Dasharathpur, Surkhet and Masuriya, Kailali.

The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which has been monitoring the peace process in Nepal, said the fresh recruitment in both the Nepal Army and the PLA would be against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The Supreme Court referred the hearing on the Nepal Army recruitment controversy to a larger bench after a two-member bench was split on whether to allow the Army continue recruitment of 3,010 personnel.

March 4

Four persons were injured in a bomb blast in Birgunj. Police said the bomb exploded in an eatery at Mina Bazaar. The Police later arrested one person on suspicion of his involvement in the blast.

A Cabinet meeting decided to finalise the list of Madhesis only after holding consultation with the concerned organisations of indigenous nationalities. However, indigenous groups agitating against the ordinance on reservation have decided to continue with their protests even after the Cabinet decided to revoke the "faulty" caste categorization dubbing it "insufficient".

March 5

The situation in Rajbiraj in the Saptari District was tense following a clash between cadres of the JTMM-Rajan Mukti and the local businessmen. The clash ensued after the local businessmen retaliated against the JTMM-Rajan Mukti cadres who were forcibly shutting down the market areas demanding the release of their fellow cadres, including Subhash Jha, who were arrested along with arms, a week ago.

March 6

One security personnel was hacked to death and another was seriously injured by irate Tharu demonstrators in Sauraha region in Chitwan District after two Tharu agitators died in police firing a day earlier. The Tharus are demanding revocation of the ordinance that recognises Tharu communities as Madheshis.

March 10

A group of the YCL cadres led by Phatta Bahadur Tamang assaulted a Nepali Congress activist, Binod Pathak, at Thansing in the Nuwakot District. The incident led to postponement of the opinion collection campaign in the District for the constitution in the making.

March 11

Despite the PLA decision for deferral of its fresh recruitment campaign, the 7th division at Taalbandh in the Kailali District announced to carry out fresh recruitment. Earlier, issuing a statement on March 9, the PLA Chief Nanda Kishore Pun had said the PLA headquarters postponed the recruitment drive from March 10 respecting the Supreme Court''s stay order and Army Integration Special Committee (AISC)''s directives to stop fresh intake in the PLA.

Talks between the Government and the agitating Tharu community ended inconclusively after the Government did not agree to the latter?s demand to assure them a constitutional guarantee of proportional reservation in all public services for ethnic groups on the basis of population. The Government agreed to eight out of nine demands put forward by the Tharus including making amendments in the interim constitution and a controversial ordinance as demanded by the indigenous Tharus. The word ?Madhes? included in the statutes will be changed to either ?Terai? or ?Terai-Madhes?. Another round of talks is expected to take place on March 12. The Tharu community has not withdrawn its strike even as the talks are ongoing.

March 13

At least four members of the Nepali Congress affiliated Nepal Students? Union (NSU) were injured when cadres of the YCL and ANNISU-R, student wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist, attacked them at Lamjung Agriculture Campus. The clash ensued after the NSU students padlocked the Campus Chief Office accusing the ANNISU-R of filing single candidacy.

The Darchula District headquarters Khalanga remained tensed since March 9 due to continuous clashes between the YCL and the Youth Force (YF), youth wing of the CPN-UML. The conflict started when YF activists assaulted two YCL cadres "for threatening a Free Students Union election candidate of CPN-UML aligned All Nepal National Free Students? Union (ANNFSU) and vandalising the party office" on March 9.

March 13

The PLA cadres from Jit Smriti Brigade indiscriminately attacked a rally organised by locals of the Kalyan VDC-3 in the Surkhet District protesting the ongoing PLA raids in the village. Following the attack on a Maoist soldier by some locals over a dispute during Holi (the festival of colours) on March 11, the PLA cadres from Jit Smriti Brigade have reportedly been raiding the houses at Kalyan VDC and assaulting villagers in acts of reprisal.

March 14

A ?pressure cooker bomb? exploded at the office of the Nepali Congress at Nepalgunj-13 in the Banke District damaging its walls and two doors, according to the District Police Office. Bhagat Singh, District in-charge of the JTMM-J, claimed responsibility for the blast and said it was carried out to protest the Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala''s recent statement against ''One Madhesh One Pradesh''.

The shutter of the office of the Unified CPN-Maoist at Surkhet Road in Nepalgunj was damaged when an unidentified gang detonated a bomb in the office.

March 16

The Kirat Janabadi Workers'' Party (KJWP), an armed group active in the eastern hilly Districts, dismissed its talks? team coordinator. In a press statement issued by the party Chairman Navin Kirati and Secretary Rabin Kirati, it was mentioned that Ananta Kranti has been dismissed as he failed to play an important role during the dialogue with the Government.

The Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) decided to form a technical committee for the integration and rehabilitation of the PLA combatants with the Nepal Army. The AISC meeting held at the Prime Minister''s Office in Singhadurbar decided to form the technical committee as important tasks for the integration could not be carried since the integration body was earlier formed as a political committee.

March 17

Police and cadres of the JJTMM-J clashed in the Betahani area of Banke District. Following the clash, Police arrested one Madhumohan Sarkar, reportedly an Indian citizen, staying in a rented apartment from the Puraina area of the District and seized a gun from the incident site.

Police arrested three suspected weapons peddlers in possession with a large number of automatic guns, their bullets and some illegal drugs in Kathmandu.

March 18

Seven persons were injured when a bomb exploded in front of the Maistahan Temple at Birgunj in the Parsa District. Police Inspector Bhuwanesor Prasad Shah said five persons, including Raj Bahadur Gosai, the Birgunj in-charge of Terai Mukti Morcha, were arrested in connection with the blast.

Eight activists of the ANNFSU and one of the ANNISU-R were injured during clashes in the capital Kathmandu on the eve of the Free Students Union polls.

A cabinet meeting approved the six-point agreement signed between the Government and various Tharu organisations on March 14. The Government and the Tharu community had agreed on various points, including amending the constitution and laws to replace the term ''Madhesh'' by ''Terai-Madhesh'' and guaranteeing a distinct identity to Tharus and other ethnic communities living in the southern plains.

Fearing for their life, over 90 percent of the locals of Kanchanpur in the Bara District fled their homes after a group of around 300 persons claiming to be cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist looted and vandalised over two dozen houses in the area. The victims said they chose to escape after the intruders stormed into their houses and began vandalising their TV sets, cupboards and other property before escaping with some cash and valuables.

March 19

An unidentified gang shot dead a CPN-UML cadre, Brija Mohan Yadav, and injured another at Jhatikaiya in the Dhanusha District. According to Police, cadres of the JTMM-J could have been involved in the murder. Police arrested one Satya Narayan Yadav, a JTMM-J cadre, in connection with the incident.

An unidentified gang bombed the Sukauli VDC office in the Nawalparasi District. Police said the gang detonated a powerful 'pressure cooker' bomb damaging the office building completely. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

March 20

The Government and the Madhesi Mukti Tigers (MMT), an armed outfit operating in the Terai, signed a four-point agreement during the first round of talks held between them at Kathmandu. As per the agreement, the Government will provide security to the MMT negotiators and take initiative for the release of detained MMT cadres following investigation while MMT will stop its armed activities during the dialogue process. Likewise, the Government has agreed to recognise the MMT as a political outfit.

March 21

A group of senior MJF leaders dissociated themselves from the parent party and formed a new group, the Madhesh-Terai Party. The new group formed an 11-member central committee headed by Amar Yadav. "We will formally launch our party next week," said Yadav, who had earlier defected to the MJF from the Nepali Congress.

March 22

Six persons, including a Policeman, were injured in Beni Bazaar, the headquarters of Myagdi District, as cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML clashed following a dispute during the District Council meeting. The District administration has clamped curfew in Beni Bazaar from 5 pm to bring the situation under control.

March 23

One person was killed and another sustained injuries when a bomb exploded at the Transport Management Office in Nepalgunj. A motorcycle, cycle and the rooms at the back of the office were destroyed in the explosion. Police said the person died while trying to detonate the bomb.

Over 10 students, including a former Free Students' Union (FSU) president, were injured in a clash between the ANNISU-R and other student unions in Ghodaghodi Multiple Campus of Sukhad. The clash occurred after ANNISU-R cadres entered the campus with weapons during nominations for the FSU polls scheduled to be held on March 31.

Keeping in view the forthcoming by-elections, the YCL is set to establish checkpoints to foil the arrival of "unwanted people" in Rolpa District. Speaking at a press conference at the District headquarters Liwang, the YCL District chairman Gobardhan Ghartimagar said they would establish checkpoints at the two bordering areas in the District soon.

The Rajan Mukti-led faction of the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Rajan), an armed Terai outfit, held discussions with Vice President Paramananda Jha in the capital Kathmandu. Rajiv Jha, talks' coordinator of the JTMM-Rajan, said that the outfit urged him to implement the six-point agreement signed with the Government. According to him, the outfit told the Jha that it would launch an agitation if the agreement is not implemented. "Second phase of talks has been uncertain, as the six-point agreement signed by the government on Dec. 21 during the first phase has not been implemented," he said.

Two persons, including a 12-year-old, were injured when cadres of the JTMM-Prithvi Singh detonated a bomb at the office building of Sahara Savings and Cooperatives in Malangawa, the District headquarters of Sarlahi. The explosion, however, caused no damage to the company building and materials. The underground armed outfit said the office was bombed as the owners did not pay the ?donation? of NR 500,000 as sought by them.

March 24

24 students were injured in a clash between ANNFSU, the student wing of CPN-UML and the ANNISU-R, the student wing of Unified CPN Maoist at the Kailali Multiple Campus. The clash ensued after the ANNISU-R students entered the campus premises with slogans for registering election nominations while the ANNFSU were organizing a welcome programme for the elections scheduled to be held on March 31.

March 25

Police shot dead two persons in Birgunj claiming the duo was involved in bomb blasts in various parts of the city, extortion and shooting incidents.

Four persons were injured while making a bomb in the same town.

The Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) formed an eight-member technical panel that would assist it in the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants. The newly appointed members of the technical panel included Indrajit Rai and Barsha Man Pun from the ruling Unified CPN Maoist, Shambhu Ram Simkhada and Balananda Sharma from the Nepali Congress (NC), Dipak Bhatta and Gopal Singh Bohara from the CPN-UML and Shadananda Kurmi and Ramananda Mishra from Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF).

March 26

An unidentified gunman shot dead one Sanjaya Kumar Gupta at Birgunj, the headquarters of Parsa District.

Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead Prachanda Thaiba, a cadre of the Youth Force (YF), the youth wing of CPN-UML when he was returning home at Butwal -9 Deepnagar in the Rupandehi District. The CPN-UML accused YCL of being involved in the killing. However, Rakesh Bidrohi, District in-charge of Jaya Krishna Goit led ATMM owned up the responsibility for the killing in a telephone call to the local media. Bidrohi said Thaiba was killed because the he was asking for donations from the local people posing as an ATMM cadre.

Announcing a nationwide agitation against the killing of its cadre, the CPN-UML decided to boycott the cabinet meeting till the Maoists rectify themselves. Further, CPN-UML warned of pulling out from the Government accusing the Maoist party of continuing violent activities and assaulting the CPN-UML cadres.

March 28

Five persons were injured when a powerful socket bomb exploded at the busy Garuda Bazaar of the Rautahat District. Barud Singh, commander of JTMM-J, claimed responsibility for the blast.

April 2

Anuj Thapa Magar, a seventh grade student at Bargachhi-based Gograha Secondary School as well as a cadre of Youth Force (YF), was killed and two others injured when a gang of five assailants stabbed them in front of Namuna Higher Secondary School in Biratnagar, the headquarters of Morang District. Eyewitnesses claim the assailants were associated with the YCL.

April 6

An election candidate of the Morang ? 7 representing Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party (CBREP) was assaulted by an unidentified group. The unidentified group also vandalised the party constituency office located at Chandni Chowk in Biratnagar and set ablaze the party flag. In protest, CBREP cadres obstructed transportation and shut down markets in Biratnagar and other towns of Morang in the morning of April 7.

Prime Minister Prachanda said the forces who protest the integration of the Maoist People?s Liberation Army (PLA) into the national army are criminals. "No one has the right to oppose the army integration. Hence, they should be gotten rid off," he said while addressing the people?s assembly organised by the Maoists in commemoration of the 1990 People?s Movement in the capital.

The Unified CPN Maoist cadres attacked and injured five Nepali Congress (NC) activists at Pukchowk in the Kaski District. According to the NC, the Maoists manhandled its activists who were on their way back after attending a programme at Lekhnath municipality.

April 7

The Unified CPN-Maoist women cadres assaulted one Nanda Bhandari, a Government lawyer pleading for a murder accused, on the premises of Surkhet District court.

April 8

A Nepali Congress cadre, Prem Bahadur Kandel, was killed by an unidentified group in the Thaparek VDC area in Nuwakot District.

Over a dozen people, including two Policemen, were injured in internecine clashes between cadres of the Unified CPN Maoist and CPN-Maoist led by Matrika Yadav in Biratnagar. The local administration imposed prohibitory orders in areas surrounding Sirauchiya of Biratnagar to control the situation. According to media reports, cadres of the Matrika Yadav led Maoists attacked cadres of the other group alleging them of violating the code of conduct of the by-elections. They also vandalised a van used by the Unified CPN Maoist.

The central secretariat of the ruling Unified CPN-Maoist expelled Sujit B. K., a leader of the YCL of Rupandehi District, from the party's general membership and other organisational responsibilities. The CPN-UML, one of the major partners of the Maoist-led Government, was insisting that Sujit is the prime accused in the murder of Prachanda Thaiba, a District leader of the CPN-UML's youth-wing Youth Force.

Cadres of the YCL assaulted Chhabi Lal Punjali, an activist of the CPN-UML, at Mijure VDC area in Kaski constituency-1. The YCL cadres were reportedly led by Suri Man Neupane.

April 9

Santosh Shah, the CPN-ML candidate for Dhanusha constituency-5, was abducted from Binahi on the eve of the Constituent Assembly by-election. The Terai Rastriya Mukti Sena, an underground armed outfit, claimed responsibility for the abduction.

The YCL cadres chased six election monitors deployed by the Nepali Congress from the Mauja VDC area. The YCL warned to take action against them if they did not leave the village.

An armed cadre of the JTMM-J, identified as Parasuram Kori, was killed in an encounter with Police at Shivapur village in the Banke District. Police sources said Kori was killed in retaliation after the JTMM-J cadres opened fired at a Police patrol team leading to an exchange of fire for about half- an- hour at Shivapur. A semi-automatic gun, one pistol, three socket bombs and dozens of rounds of ammunition were recovered from the bag of the deceased. The kin and relatives of the deceased, however, said that Kori was innocent and added that JTMM-J men had forcibly taken him under their control three days ago. "They abducted my son and two others three days ago. My innocent son was killed for nothing," said Buduni Kori, the victim''s mother.

April 11

Cadres of the Madhesh Rastra Janatantrik Revolutionary (RJR), an armed outfit active in southern Terai, shot dead Chatthu Yadav, a resident of Ayodhyanagar and the District in-charge of Madheshi Mukti Tigers (MMT), another armed outfit active in the Terai, at Mahanaur-3 VDC area in Siraha District. The central command in-charge of the RJR, Chandra Shekhar, while claiming responsibility for the incident said the RJR was compelled to take "physcial action" against Yadav as the latter was active in extortion in the region.

April 16

Three persons, including two members of a family, were killed by an unidentified gang in the Mabu VDC area of Ilam District. The dead bodies of Moti Bahadur Gurung of Mabu VDC-7, Gunj Bahadur Gurung and Purna Kumari Gurung were found at Moti Bahadur''s house in the morning of April 17.

The Government announced the formation of State Restructuring Commission under the leadership of Ganesh Man Gurung. According to Government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communication Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the Commission will include representatives from all parties in the Government. Sita Thebe was nominated as a representative of women in the Commission but other members are yet to be named.

The District Administration Office in Bardiya asked cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist to return the lands captured from various people during the insurgency to their rightful owners within 15 days failing which the administration will use force to vacate such lands.

April 17

The Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC) announced a fresh agitation criticising the Government for not being serious towards implementing past agreements done with it. Organizing a press conference in capital Kathmandu, the TJSC said it will hold phase-wise protests from April 21 to 29 to exert pressure on the Government to fulfill its various demands, including the scrapping of all decisions made against the ethnic Tharu community till now.

A senior leader of the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC), Ram Chandra Poudel, said in Bhaktapur that the Government committed a huge mistake by ''unilaterally'' constituting an important commission like the State Restructuring Commission. "The Government has formed the commission without consulting Nepali Congress. This is not acceptable," Poudel said.

April 18

Two children were killed in a forest of Gulmi District when a stray bomb exploded. Hom Bahadur B.K. and Bam Bahadur B.K., both 11-years-old, had gone to the forest to herd cattle. The children were playing with the bomb taking it as a toy, reports said.

April 19

The Government is set to hold the second round of talks with six armed outfits active in the Terai region by the end of April 2009. The Peace and Reconstruction Minister and coordinator of the Government's team, Janardan Sharma, said that the cabinet meeting held on April 16 decided to continue the second round of dialogue with the armed outfits that are currently engaged in negotiations with the Government. The second round of talks will be held by the end of April 2009. The Government team led by Sharma had held talks with the Madheshi Virus Killers, Sanyukta Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha, the Rajan Mukti faction of the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha, Liberation Tigers of Terai Ilam, Madheshi Mukti Tigers and Kirat Janabadi Workers Party during the first phase.

April 20

The Ministry of Defence issued Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal a letter with a 24-hour ultimatum to furnish clarification for "disobedience of the Government decisions". Sending the letter to Katawal, the Defence Ministry asked him for clarifications on the new enlistment in the Nepal Army (NA), NA?s stand on the retirement of eight brigadier generals and the NA staying out of some events in the recently concluded Fifth National Games among others. The letter was sent to the CoAS as per the April 19 cabinet meeting. The Ministry asked for a clarification from Katawal concluding that the NA has disobeyed the Government directives by not stopping the new enlistment, by ordering the eight NA generals whom the Government had given retirement to work and by boycotting six events in the National Games following the participation of the Maoist People?s Liberation Army (PLA).

Prime Minister Prachanda informed President Ram Baran Yadav in the afternoon about the Defence Ministry?s decision to seek clarification from the CoAS on some serious issues. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai warned that the CoAS would be dismissed if he failed to furnish a clarification for defying a series of Government orders.

The main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) is reported to have boycotted the day?s parliamentary sitting, objecting to the Government''s order to Katawal to furnish a clarification within 24 hours. The NC vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel said the Government''s move was an attempt to demoralise the Army.

April 21

Rookmangud Katawal, the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), submitted his clarification in writing to the Cabinet Secretariat. Katawal stated that his actions in the capacity as Army Chief did not defied the Government's order as well as the norms and values of civilian supremacy. General Katawal defended the recruitment of 3,010 soldiers in the Army saying the army headquarters duly informed the Government, United Nations Mission in Nepal and Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee before initiating the recruitment process. On the second question regarding reinstatement of eight brigadier generals, the CoAS argued that he merely complied with the direction of the Supreme court by extending the tenure of the generals who were given retirement by the Government. He also defended the boycott of events in the Fifth National Games, in which the Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) had participated, by stating that the decision was taken after athletes refused to play citing last minute change in the game's tie set.

A meeting of 16 political parties, including a key partner in the Government coalition, the CPN-UML, concluded that the Maoist initiative to seek a clarification from the Army Chief was against the spirit of the peace process.

A bomb disposal unit of the Nepalese Army defused a bomb in the premises of the District Development Committee (DDC) of an unspecified District. The bomb, which some unidentified persons had hurled into the office in the night of April 20, did not explode.

President Yadav, reportedly, in a letter to the Prime Minister cautioned him against taking any decision to sack the CoAS whereby the nation would plunge into a political deadlock.

April 22

Prime Minister Prachanda conferred with President Ram Baran Yadav early in the morning regarding terminating Katawal from the post. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Prachanda said Yadav advised him to seek a consensus from the political parties on the issue. "The discussion was positive," Prachanda said. Returning from the meeting with the President, the Prime Minister called for an emergency meeting of the central secretariat of his party for further discussions on the issue.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's call for an all-party backing on his move to take action against the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Rookmangud Katawal, reportedly went largely unheard in the all-party meeting. Political leaders said a majority of the parties at the meeting urged the Prime Minister to defuse the present crisis through political dialogue, ensuring that the Army remains free from political interference. Key coalition partners like the CPN-UML and MJF remained "reserved" regarding whether action should be taken against the Army Chief. The other two ruling parties, Unified CPN Maoist and Nepal Sadhbhawana Party, asked the Prime Minister not to dismiss the Army chief. The main opposition party Nepali Congress warned the Prime Minister not to take action against the CoAS saying that the fragile peace process would be jeopardised with such a move. The Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party also urged the Government not to take action against Katawal. The Nepal Majdur Kishan Party, Rastriya Janamorcha, Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch and Dalit Janajati Party did not participate in the meeting.

April 23

Normal life in the various Districts of Terai region remained paralyzed for the second consecutive day due to the indefinite shutdown call given by the Tharuhut Joint Struggle Committee. Normal life has been crippled in Sunsari, Saptari, Udaypur, Siraha, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, Kanchanpur among other districts due to the shut down.

April 24

The Nepalese Army (NA) described the reports about a highly-charged discussion in the Principal Staff Officers (PSO) meeting at the Army headquarters on April 23 as being false and "fabricated as part of a conspiracy to create rift between the Army and the Government". Kantipur Daily and its sister publication The Kathmandu Post ran cover stories in their April 24 editions on two opposite conspiracies - one being a ''soft coup'' planned by Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal in response to the attempts to oust him and the other concerning NA second-in -command, Lt General Kul Bahadur Khadka, who would have replaced Katawal under the Maoist plan. The news reports cited information provided by insiders on the PSO meeting that was organised to discuss the situation in the wake of the government decision to seek clarification from Katawal, which set off huge political dispute.

Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel said the rumour about the "Coup" was spread by Maoists to demoralize Nepalese Army. Poudel said the Army cannot take such heedless action at this juncture. "It is just a misapprehension on the part of Maoists who still believe in ''gun culture," he said at a programme at Reporter''s Club. He urged Prime Minister Prachanda to substantiate the misgiving - which Prachanda reportedly made at the parliament the other day - about Nepal Army through the intelligence agencies at his disposal. Prachanda was speechless when lawmakers asked the latter to substantiate speculations about the Army, Poudel said.

Refuting media reports that he sent a letter directing Prime Minister Prachanda not to oust Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal, President Ram Baran Yadav said he had never sent any letter to the Prime Minister in this regard.

A new UN report said commitments from Prime Minister Prachanda to remove all disqualified children from the combatant cantonments by end February 2009 have not been implemented so far.

April 26

Agitating Tharu activists set ablaze seven Village Development Committee (VDC) offices in Kailali District. Police said offices of Sadhepani, Balia, Bhajani, Joshipur, Thapapur, Dododhara and Ramshikarjhala VDCs were set ablaze in between 11pm to 3am. Documents and furniture in the offices have been destroyed in the arson. However, the Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee has denied its involvement in the incidents. Accusing the Government of failing to put into effect the six-point agreement signed with the Tharu body in March 2009, the committee has called for an indefinite shutdown from April 22.

April 27

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal urged the chairman of the CPN-UML, Jhala Nath Khanal, to support the Government's plan to dismiss the CoAS, Rookmangad Katawal. Khanal had gone to the Prime Minister's residence in the morning to propose an option acceptable to both the Maoists and the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC). The CPN-UML's standing committee meeting on April 26 had decided that the Government should not take action against the CoAS without a political consensus. The CPN-UML has reportedly proposed making the third-in-line in the Nepalese Army, Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, as the new CoAS and have Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa resign from his post.

Prime Minister (PM) and Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda said that he would take action against the CoAS General Rookmangud Katawal by forging consensus with all major political parties. "There is no alternative to consensus and I am committed to sack him. Let's not say it now, what will happen if he defied," he said. Talking to journalists after the inauguration of the third phase of BP highway at Baradanda in Khurkot, Sindhuli District, PM Prachanda said the discussions are being held to forge consensus with the parties for action against the CoAS. He also expressed confidence that the parties would reach a common agreement.

The main opposition Nepali Congress and 15 other political parties turned down CPN-UML's "middle-path" approach to resolve the ongoing stand-off over the Maoist move to sack CoAS Rookmangud Katawal. CPN-UML had proposed to remove Katawal and the second-in-command Lt. General Kul Bahadur Khadka and settle for a third person to lead the Army, besides getting rid of Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa.

Minister for Culture and State Restructuring Gopal Kiranti said he was preparing to table a proposal to ban the Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal (RJM) at the Council of Ministers in his capacity as the minister responsible to oversee the restructuring of the state. Agitation against federalism is unconstitutional as federalism has already been mentioned in the interim constitution, Minister Kiranti said. So, the RJM should be banned, he added. The RJM has been agitating against federalism saying such system would divide the country, invite ethnic war, and jeopardize the national integrity. It is the only party represented in the Constituent Assembly against federalism.

April 28

The United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG), Ban Ki-moon, cautioned that differences among key political parties continue to impede the consolidation of peace though progress has been made in the peace process, including steps towards drafting a new Constitution. In his new report on Nepal?s peace process made public, Ban Ki-moon wrote that nation-wide public talks are under way and the Special Committee mandated to supervise, integrate and rehabilitate Maoist army personnel has kicked off consultations. He also said that the Government has taken steps towards discharging disqualified Maoist army personnel from the cantonment sites. The report said lack of cooperation among the four major political parties, the Maoist-led coalition government, remains ?fractious, marked by public acrimony and weak consultation over major decisions?.

Lieutenant General Kul Bahadur Khadka, second-in-command of the Nepalese Army, objected to the CPN-UML?s proposal of removing him from his position to end the ongoing stalemate. "What wrong have I done? There has to be a charge (against me) to remove me" Khadka is reported to have asked.

Police arrested the chairman of the Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee (TJSC), Laxman Tharu, from Baneshwar in Kathmandu. The TJSC has been leading an indefinite strike in the Terai since April 22.

April 29

The TJSC activists set ablaze eight Village Development Committee (VDC) offices in the Dang District?s Deukhuri valley, destroying all the furniture and documents. Offices of Gobardiha, Gangaparspur, Gadhawa, Lalmatiya, Sishaniya,Sonapur, Bela and Rajpur VDCs were destroyed. Meanwhile, Police released Laxman Tharu, the coordinator of the agitating Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee, from its custody.

Nepalese Army personnel defused a bomb (concealed in a pressure cooker) and two socket bombs inside the District Police Office council. A police patrol team had seized the bombs from Kanaiya Tiwari, a resident of Sujhampur of Kapilvastu municipality 11, at Maryadapur border point in Kapilvastu District along the India-Nepal border on April 24, the Police stated.

The Nepalese Army (NA) made it clear that there was no division in its rank and file. In a joint statement issued by the Chief of Army Staff Rukmangud Katawal, Lt. Gen Kul Bahadur Khadka and Lt. Gen Chhatraman Gurung, they also expressed doubts over a ploy to create a division in the NA. "We would like to request all the countrymen not to believe the rumours and we stand as one," the statement read. It also added that the NA is committed to follow the Government?s orders.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directed the Home Ministry to clarify as to why the latter had recommended the withdrawal of 238 court cases against the alleged perpetrators of the September 2007 Kapilavastu carnage and other acts of grave human rights violation. The Kapilvastu carnage is one of the gravest incidents of human rights violation after the 2006 peace deal, according to NHRC officials.

April 30

The Unified CPN-Maoist decided to go ahead with the plan to take action against the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Rookmangud Katawal, after a meeting of the party''s central secretariat. Talking to reporters after the meeting held at Prime Minister and party chairman Prachanda?s residence, the Maoist spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said the Government has been advised to show ''maximum flexibility'' while taking action against the CoAS. He added that ''maximum flexibility'' would mean an understanding with the ruling ally CPN-UML and the main opposition Nepali Congress on the action against Katawal.

During his meeting with President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, the Prime Minister reportedly informed the President, who is also the supreme commander of the Nepalese Army, about the decision to dismiss Katawal and tried to take him into confidence over the issue. Meanwhile, President Yadav is said to have rejected the idea of dismissing Katawal, warning that such a step may have serious consequences which may even derail the peace process.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is reported to have told civil society leaders and human rights activists that the Government is committed to dismiss the army chief to ?uphold civil supremacy?.

The CPN-UML has threatened to pull out of the Government if the Maoists dismissed Katawal by a unilateral decision. An emergency meeting of the CPN-UML''s standing committee held in the evening urged the CPN-Maoist not to dismiss Katawal in haste.

A joint demonstration was organised by the civil society, businessmen and students against the ongoing strike called by the JTSC. However, convener of the agitating JTSC, Laxman Tharu, said their agitation would continue until the Tharu community was recognised in the new constitution.

May 1

The senior Unified CPN-Maoist leader and Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai said his party is firm in its resolve to take action against the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal even if it has to quit the Government. Addressing a May Day function organised by the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF), Bhattarai said the Government would take action against the CoAS at any cost in order to safeguard civilian supremacy. He added, "If the President tries to veto the decision by misinterpreting the constitution he will face the fate of (former king) Gyanendra." He also warned of "another revolution" if attempts were made to curtail the peaceful political transformation.

Sushil Koirala, acting president of the Nepali Congress, during a meeting with a team of civil society leaders led by Sudip Pathak said, "Nepali Congress will also continue to obstruct the parliament until the Government withdraws its decision to take action against the Army chief."

May 3

The Maoist-led coalition Government removed the Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS), General Rookmangud Katawal. The major coalition partner, the CPN-UML, has consequently withdrawn support to the Government. Two weeks ago, the Government asked for a clarification from General Katawal saying he violated its orders on three issues - recruitment in the Nepalese Army, extension of eight Army brigadiers? tenure, and the Army?s withdrawal from six events in which it had to play against the People?s Liberation Army (the Maoists? Army) in the Fifth National Games. The Government felt that the Army Chief disregarded civilian supremacy and challenged the Maoist-led Government. The Defence Ministry gave General Katawal 24 hours to clarify. Two weeks later, the Government concluded that the clarification General Katawal submitted was not satisfactory and a Cabinet meeting decided to dismiss him.

Government spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara told reporters that "Until an arrangement is made, General Kul Bahadur Khadka will work as acting Army Chief." The Cabinet meeting was boycotted by several parties, including the CPN-UML, the MJF and the Sadbhavana Party-Nepal, supporters of the coalition Government that was formed in August 2008, saying it was the Maoists? decision alone. Later, the CPN-UML?s central committee meeting decided to pull out from the Government.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav sent a letter at 10.30pm to the army headquarters asking Katawal to continue in his position as CoAS. The President gave such orders in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nepalese Army. The President intervened in the issue following a memorandum submitted by 18 political parties, including Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML. A copy of the letter was sent to Prime Minister Prachanda. However, the Prime Minister reportedly refused to accept the letter and described the President?s intervention as unconstitutional.

The TJSC called off the shutdown it had been observing in 22 districts of the Terai saying it had changed the approach of agitation. The TJSC issued a press statement to announce the withdrawal of the strike, almost two weeks after it started. According to the statement, the strike was withdrawn keeping in view the latest political developments in the country and in response to the call by various human rights organisations. The agitation will continue until the demands are met, the statement added.

May 4

Nine months after he was elected the first Prime Minister (PM) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal announced his resignation which was subsequently accepted by President Ram Baran Yadav. In an address to the nation, the PM said, "To resolve this difficult situation and to create a positive environment to save democracy, nationalism, and peace process, I announce my resignation." The announcement came after the President, who is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, asked the CoAS, General Rookmangud Katawal, to continue in office. In a statement, the President said the Army Chief?s dismissal by the Cabinet on May 3 did not "meet the constitutional requirements and due process."

The Nepali Congress (NC), the CPN-UML and other parties welcomed the Prime Minister?s resignation. An all-party meeting is scheduled for May 5 to decide on forming a new Government.

The Unified CPN-Maoist decided to agitate in the Parliament and the street until their decision to dismiss Katawal is implemented. A meeting of the party secretariat held at Baluwatar following Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal?s resignation decided to launch the agitation in favour of democracy and civil supremacy.

May 5

An unidentified group shot dead Tekbir Budha, chairman of the armed outfit Mongolian Revenge Group (MRG), at Gam VDC area of Rolpa District. According to locals, six masked gunmen killed him in Khalbang Harja at around 7AM. Sources claimed the Police recovered some arms and ammunition that the group looted from Syaulibang Police Post of neighbouring Pyuthan District about four months ago.

President Ram Baran Yadav called on parties in the Constituent Assembly (CA) to form a Government by May 9 after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned on May 4.

An all-party meeting was called by the CPN-UML, the third largest party in the CA, but the Unified CPN-Maoist and the MJF did not take part. CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal told reporters that his party would request the Maoists also to join the Government. The Nepali Congress had already said it was ready to support the CPN-UML in Government formation. Khanal said some other parties had also requested them to lead the Government. "But we will try to forge consensus on forming a national Government," he said.

In a video telecast by Kathmandu-based Image Channel in the afternoon of May 3, the Maoist chairman Prachanda is seen telling Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) combatants in a meeting at Shaktikhor cantonment in Chitwan how the party swindled all into believing that the number of PLA was 35,000 when it was actually not more than 8,000, ultimately leading to the increase in PLA''s strength rather than its reduction as has been assumed. Prachanda is seen further justifying the inflated figure in the video which the channel claimed was from January 2, 2008 when the Maoists were an important constituent of the Girija Prasad Koirala led interim Government. He said that apart from the PLA, which he said is now already a "regular army", the party has also formed YCL comprising thousands of youths despite various difficulties and "who now add to our strength". The Maoist chairman also revealed that a significant share of the money that will go to "our martyrs" in villages throughout the country and the PLA in cantonments will be used by the party to prepare for revolt and ultimately capture the state. "You all know that if we have enough money in our hands we can prepare a good battle plan. So, the party needs a good amount of money for the revolt," he said. He further said that though the party may appear to have again reached a compromise (with the state and political parties), "but if you look deeply then you will know how seriously the party is preparing for the ultimate revolt". Claiming that PLA combatants are "politically aware", he said even a small number of their entry into the Nepalese Army is enough to establish a complete Maoist control over the Army. This was why Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal was against our soldiers' entry into the Army, he said. Prachanda said his party would clarify the contents of the video tape.

The Supreme Court, ruling on a case filed on May 4 by the INHURED, an NGO, issued a show cause notice demanding the office of President to submit reasons for asking General Rookmangud Katawal to stay in the same position though the Government had dismissed him.

The Maoist District committee in Ramechhap issued a warning to members of the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML to leave the District by May 9. The District leaders also threatened to take 'physical action' if anyone being warned did not abide by the circular in the said period. The village committees of the party have circulated the warning throughout the District and posted it in several public places. Maoists have alleged NC and CPN-UML of being pro-Indians.

The Unified CPN-Maoist cadres demonstrated in various parts of the nation against the President who directed the Army Chief to continue with the office despite the cabinet''s decision to terminate him. Further, CA members of the Unified CPN-Maoist decided not to allow any business in the Parliament until President Ram Baran Yadav apologises for his move to reinstate the army chief before the House.

Chief of United Nations Mission in Nepal, Karin Landgren, said the crisis sparked by the Prime Minister's resignation threatens the gains made so far in the peace process and urged all parties in Nepal to work urgently to rebuild trust and achieve consensus.

May 6

Organising a press conference over the videotape of his lecture to PLA commanders some 16 months ago, the outgoing Prime Minister and Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said his party had three tiers of armed forces - central and regional as regular armed forces and militia that numbered well over 100,000. Prachanda said what he mentioned in the tape that real strength of the PLA was 7,000 to 8,000 was only the number of the ''central regular armed force''. He argued that the broadcasting of the videotape, containing his speech in a different political situation, is a reactionary ploy to cover up the unconstitutional move of President Ram Baran Yadav and to jeopardise the peace process.

Prachanda also reiterated his commitment to the peace process and constitution-drafting which will transform the country into a federal republic. Claiming that some elements have been trying to push them again towards war, he said under no circumstances will they end the peace deal to start violence again. In his written statement, Prachanda said his party is ready to engage in forming the new Government if the President withdraws his move to reinstate Rookmangud Katawal as the Chief of Army Staff. He termed the President's move as 'rule of decree'.

Responding to journalists' queries regarding the threats issued to members of other political parties in Ramechhap, Prachanda said it was against the spirit and policy of his party and that concerned persons have been directed to withdraw it immediately and take action against anyone involved in issuance of such threats. However, Maoist cadres attacked the CPN-UML party office at Ramechhap. Shanti Prasad Poudel, District deputy secretary, CPN-UML, alleged that a group led by Rajan Dahal, Deputy District in-charge of the Maoists, vandalised the party's office and also manhandled many CPN-UML supporters.

Protesting supporters of Unified CPN-Maoist clashed with Police at Kathmandu. Police used tear gas and bamboo batons to break up a protest of about 500 Maoist supporters. No one was seriously injured. Authorities have imposed a ban on protests and rallies in key areas of Kathmandu this week.

Police arrested 10 underground leaders of Terai outfits, including Mahottari District leader of JTMM-Rajan and Dhanusha District in-charge from Mahottari District. The Deputy Superintendent of Police of the Armed Police Force, Ramesh Pandey, said that JTMM-Rajan's Mahottari, Dhanusha Districtin-charge Tufan Ansari and Ganesh Sah and others were arrested. They were arrested near Khair VDC of Mahottari while asking for donation.

May 7

In a notice issued by YCL chief of the Siraha District, those supporting President's move to reinstate Government-sacked army chief have been alleged to be Indian agents and warned of physical action. The YCL cadres also said this was to uphold the civilian supremacy and whoever goes against that will face punishment from the people.

The YCL organised rallies in Bhaktapur, Lagankhel of Lalitpur and Basantapur of Kathmandu against the President's move to reinstate the army chief.

The politburo meeting of Unified CPN-Maoist ended stressing that the party should organise more protest programmes to exert pressure on President Ram Baran Yadav to correct his ''unconstitutional'' move to reinstate the Army chief.

The Minister for Education Renu Kumari Yadav, who is a central leader of MJF, is said to have issued the death threats to a Journalist. Saptari District correspondent of Avenues Television Baidha Nath Yadav had filed a news report about teachers associated with MJF smearing soot over the district education officer's face protesting the latter's decisions.

The MJF agreed to support the CPN-UML to lead the next coalition Government. The deal was made at a late night meeting between Nepali Congress (NC) president Girija Prasad Koirala and MJF leaders Upendra Yadav and Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, who met at Koirala's residence in Maharajgunj.

May 9

The Politburo meeting of the Unified CPN Maoist held at Ravi Bhawan decided not to take any initiative to form the new Government until President Yadav corrects his "unconstitutional move" by reversing his step to reinstate the army chief.

May 10

With the May 9 midnight deadline for political parties to reach a consensus for a new unity Government already over, President Ram Baran Yadav wrote a letter to the Parliament to start procedures for the formation of a majority Government. As per the Article 38 (2) of the Interim Constitution, if attempts to form a Government of "national consensus" do not bear results then a call should be made to form a majority Government.

Leaders of the NC and CPN-UML, who met in the afternoon, decided to make joint efforts to form a CPN-UML-led coalition Government. The two parties have decided to hold an all-party meeting on May 12.

The NC demanded re-verification of the Maoist combatants saying the real number of the fighters were far less than they are today. During the parliamentary party meeting, the NC lawmakers asked the party leadership to take up the issue seriously since the fact was revealed by the recently leaked video featuring the Unified CPN-Maoist chief Prachanda.

May 11

The Unified CPN-Maoist decided to escalate the street agitation against the President's 'unconstitutional' step overturning the Government decision to dismiss the CoAS Rookmangud Katawal at a meeting of the Maoist politburo. Rallies and mass meetings would be organised across the country as part of the protest programme. The party arrived at the conclusion that a new "government with civilian supremacy" cannot be formed unless the current "constitutional crisis" is resolved. Earlier, during a meeting with representatives of donor agencies and the United Nations Mission in Nepal officials, the caretaker Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal reiterated that his party was not in a mood to relent unless the President's step is reserved.

A senior Maoist leader instructed party cadres to chase away activists of the NC and CPN-UML from villages by taking "people's action" against them. "Maoists will take people's action against those supporting the president's move and drive them out of the villages," said the Central Secretariat member of the Unified CPN-Maoist, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, while addressing a protest programme in Sandhikharka. He also said those supporting the President's move should resign from their parties within a week or face consequences. Terming the President's move to reinstate Katawal as "an initiation of war", he said the party won't hesitate to raise arms again and capture villages and the capital "if they are forced to take such a step."

Bardiya District, the former VDC chairman of Manau VDC, Gopal Siwakoti, and NC activists arrived at the District headquarters Gulariya to take refuge following threats from the Maoists.

The Maoists attacked NC's Basanta Raj Bhatt, former VDC chairman and UML member Gopal Silwal, NC District member Krishna Paudel and an NC-affiliated teacher Keshav Paudel in Banke District. According to Bhatt, some 60 knife wielding Maoists attacked him at 11:30 p.m. and looted NR 27,000. Further, the Maoists also vandalised the house of Anantaram Tharu alleging him of allowing his house to be used as an NC village unit office.

The YCL cadres distributed pamphlets stating that they would continue their action in the Banke and Bardiya Districts.

May 12

Unidentified assailants shot at and wounded Jiva Nath Chaudhary, a junior clerk at the District Development Committee (DDC) in Dhanusha District, while he was on his way to office in the morning. Another DDC official Mitthu Chaudhary and a local woman also sustained bullet injuries in the attack. Police suspect the role one of the many Madhesh-based armed outfits in the incident.

The NHRC urged chiefs of security agencies to step up security after receiving "information" that cadres of opposing political parties in more than 13 Districts had been displaced due to Maoist attacks. "With the unfolding political situation, the excesses and unruly activities of the leaders and cadres of Unified CPN-Maoist and its political wings have increased," it said. The NHRC expressed serious concern about organised attacks on leaders and cadres of opposing political parties in Districts, including Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Jhapa, Saptari, Panchthar, Morang, Dhankuta, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Kailali, Bardiya, Khotang and Taplejung.

The NC-UML alliance reached closer on forming a new Government under the leadership of CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. After several rounds of bilateral and multilateral talks till late evening, the coalition garnered verbal support from at least 15 fringe political parties in the Constituent Assembly. Two of the three members in the Madheshi coalition had reportedly sent their memos to support his candidacy.

May 13

The MJF, a key player in the formation of a new Government, failed to reach a final decision regarding its support to the new coalition during its parliamentary party meeting. Though most lawmakers demanded voting to decide the party?s position, president Upendra Yadav and vice president Jay Prakash Prasad Gupta, who have been opposing the idea of supporting any possible CPN-UML-led Government, postponed the meeting until May 15.

Mohan Baidya ?Kiran?, a senior leader of the Unified CPN-Maoist, said his party did not trust the Supreme Court (SC). Speaking in Kathmandu, Baidya said, "The SC is not the people?s court." Expressing dissatisfaction over the judiciary, he said, "Feudalist and reactionary forces are still active in the judiciary." The party would rather carry on with the street protests to press President Ram Baran Yadav to correct his ?unconstitutional? move, he added. Baidya also ruled out his party?s participation in the Government led by the CPN-UML. "We will not join the government led by another party," he said.

The JTMM-Rajan called for an indefinite shutdown in Mahottari District demanding the release of its 10 cadres who are serving jail sentences at the District Police Office. Educational institutions and markets remained closed in Mahottari since the morning.

The Madheshi Mukti Tigers (MMT), an underground Terai outfit, warned of ending the truce that it called following the reconciliatory talks with the Government on March 20. Accusing the Government of arresting its cadre in violation of the Agreement, the MMT threatened that it would take up arms once again.

May 14

Two persons sustained bullet injuries when unidentified gunmen opened fired on them at Lahan in the Siraha District. The injured were identified as Suresh Singh of Tenuwapatti-9 and Ram Narayan Singh of Sitapur of Siraha. The Madhesh Rastra Janatantrik -Revolutionary called the local media and claimed responsibility for the attack.

May 15

The MJF took a decision in the morning that they would join the next Government only if it is formed under their leadership with the backing of other parties. They also decided that they would give outside support to the other parties or coalition forming the Government, provided an agreement is made in writing to implement the eight-point agreement signed by the Government with United Democratic Madhesi Front in February 2008, should they fail to garner support in forming the next government under their leadership.

May 17

One person, identified as Yam Bahadur Roka was killed, while his son Ramesh Roka was seriously injured when a stray bomb exploded at Bhingri-VDC in Pyuthan District.

30 persons were injured when a cylinder bomb exploded in a train heading to Janakpur from Jayanagar. According to the railway administration, the five-litre capacity cylinder placed in the first class section exploded soon after the train neared Parabaha station in Dhanusha District. Meanwhile, Prithvi, coordinator of the Terai Rastriya Mukti Sena, claimed responsibility for the incident. However, Akash Tyagi, former army bureau in-charge of the armed outfit, condemned the incident and added that Prithvi would be punished.

The Unified CPN-Maoist cadres clashed with Nepali Congress activists at Bariyaarpur-4 of Bara District, leaving more than a dozen from both parties injured. Reports quoted Police as saying that eight among the injured are in a critical condition. They had clashed over a land dispute. Most of the seriously injured are local members of the NC while only two belonged to the Maoists.

Maoists pelted stones at the vehicle of the CPN-UML leaders, including general secretary Ishwar Pokhrel, at Tipling of Ramechhap. Police escorting Pokhrel opened fire in the air to disperse the attackers. Meanwhile, the Government started providing additional security to some UML and Nepali Congress leaders after threats from the Maoists started increasing in various Districts.

May 17

The CPN-UML -led coalition submitted 350 signatures of lawmakers to Speaker Subas Nemwang for formation of a majority Government under the leadership of senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. Altogether 22 political parties including Nepali Congress, MJF, Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP), Nepal Sadbhawana Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and CPN-United extended their support to UML to form the new Government. Only two others, Unified CPN-Maoist and Nepal Workers and Peasants' Party (NWPP), did not sign in favour of Nepal.

Caretaker Prime Minister and Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda accused the UML-led new coalition of trying to derail the peace process, insisting that the parties are being ''remote-controlled'' as they engage in homework to form the new Government. "On the surface it looks like an attempt to bring down the Maoist-led government, but their intention is to disrupt the peace process. They want to push the country into disarray," Prachanda said while addressing a mass meeting organised by his party at Kathmandu's Khula Manch. The mass meeting preceded by protest rallies across the town was part of the protest against the President's order to reinstate the army chief dismissed by the Government. However, Prachanda said the Maoist party would not backtrack from the peace process despite being provoked to do so. "We will fight peacefully to make sure that the new constitution is drafted and peace process concluded," he said.

May 18

Ignoring its earlier commitment not to obstruct the parliamentary proceedings once opposition parties show majority for formation of new Government, the Unified CPN-Maoist decided it will continue to obstruct the House. The central secretariat meeting of the party held at Baluwatar in the morning concluded that party will continue rallying at the House until their demand to nullify President?s move is met.

The Unified CPN-Maoist lawmakers obstructed the proceedings of the Parliament. Speaker Subas Nemwang had to announce the adjournment of the sitting as the Maoist lawmakers started chanting slogans against the President's move to reinstate the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS). The Maoist lawmakers picketed the rostrum demanding withdrawal of President's move.

A Constituent Assembly subcommittee under the National Interest Preservation Committee is reported to have proposed compulsory military training to all adult Nepali citizens. The subcommittee headed by the CPN-UML lawmaker Rabindra Adhikari finalised a concept paper on National Security and Nepal Army with a provision of compulsory military training and service for two years to all citizens above 18 years of age.

May 19

The UNMIN said it was not responsible for the erroneous registration of more Maoist combatants than their actual strength as revealed in the recent controversial video featuring the Maoist chief Prachanda. The UNMIN issuing statement said it was not requested to verify whether the registered Maoist army personnel were eligible for integration into the Security Forces.

May 20

The Unified CPN-Maoist decided to table a 'commitment proposal' against the President's move to block the Government's decision to dismiss the Army Chief at the Parliament and allow the normal proceedings of the House. A secretariat meeting of the party held at the Prime Minister's residence in Baluwatar in the morning decided to try for a conducive environment for resuming the House after tabling the proposal.

Normal life in the Nawalparasi District was affected as the Janatantrik Madheshi Mukti Tigers (JMMT) declared a two-day shutdown in the District. Issuing a press statement signed by Pratap, the military chief, it had called a two-day general shutdown across the District including transport services, factories and markets to protest the killing of its two cadres in Rupandehi. However, they have asked educational institutions in the Districts to remain open. On the eve of the shutdown, the JMMT detonated bombs at different places in the District. No damage was reported from these blasts.

May 21

The advisory committee on parliamentary procedures decided to hold the election for a new Prime Minister at 3pm on May 23. The committee also handed over the authority to Speaker Subas Nembang to decide the issue of the resolution by the Unified CPN-Maoist against the President's decision to block the Government decision to dismiss the Army chief.

The MJF decided to send representatives to the proposed Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Government. Its central committee decided to join the Government after a debate but failed to finalise who would lead the party in the new coalition.

Police seized 35 kilograms of explosive substance from a Delhi-Kathmandu bus from Kathmandu. Chief of Kathmandu Police Navaraj Silwal said a substance called liquid mercury, used to make bombs, was seized from the bus at Kamalpokhari.

May 22

A Nepali Congress (NC) activist, identified as Uma Kant Hamal, was killed in Jumla, the headquarters of Jumla District, in the night.. NC claimed that Hamal was killed by the YCL cadres. Hamal was abducted from his house at midnight by a gang of about 25 persons and his body was later found in a jungle in the morning of May 23.

May 23

Two persons were killed and 13 others wounded when a bomb exploded at a Catholic church in Dhobighat in the Lalitpur District in the morning.The deceased were identified as Alicy Joshi, an Indian national, and Deepa Paitri. The bomb was detonated inside the church from a ladies bag at around 9.30am, an eyewitness said. According to Police, a leaflet of Defence Army was found at the incident site.

The Parliament elected CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the new Prime Minister. He was elected unopposed as no other candidates filed nomination for the post. The Unified CPN-Maoist lawmakers walked out of the parliament hall, boycotting the election process and the Nepali Janata Dal also stayed away from the election process.

May 24

Former Prime Minister and Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' urged his cadres to stay ready for a revolution as the 'war' is not over yet.

May 25

Prime Minister-elect Madhav Kumar Nepal was sworn in as Prime Minister. President Ram Baran Yadav administered him the oath of office and secrecy during a special ceremony at the President's office, Shital Niwas. Nepal formed a three-member cabinet, inducting CPN-UML leaders Bidhya Bhandari and Surendra Pandey as defence and finance ministers respectively.

Speaking to the media after assuming office, the newly elected Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said bringing the peace process to its logical conclusion and drafting a new constitution on time would be top priorities of the new Government. Nepal also mentioned that addressing the immediate needs of the people, maintaining good governance, law and order and creating employment would be other priorities of his cabinet. He said a political consensus is necessary for addressing the pressing problems, adding that the Government would implement the agreements reached with various groups in the past.

Senior leader of the Unified CPN-Maoist and former finance minister Baburam Bhattarai said his party would unilaterally form local bodies if the present Government fails to do so. Bhattarai said in Kathmandu that his party would assemble people in the villages and form local bodies to give continuity to developmental programmes initiated by the previous Government.

May 26

Cadres of the Prithvi Singh faction of the JTMM-Prithvi abducted and subsequently shot dead a teacher, Menuka Kumari Sah, near Itiyahi at Bhulahibharwaliya Village Development Committee (VDC) of Bara District. District military commander of the group, Dewa, claimed responsibility for the killing.

Addressing the nation, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said, "We have the responsibility to write a new constitution which people will not only feel it to be good but also as their own." He acknowledged that the Constitution writing process has been sidelined due to political upheavals. In his 18-minute long address, Nepal called on the parties to cooperate to achieve the mission set out while signing the 12-point agreement - ending the conflict, writing a new constitution and building a peaceful, prosperous and stable Nepal. He warned that increasing hostilities among political forces could likely distract all from the mission. He also said civilian supremacy cannot be established under a totalitarian authority and asked the Maoist leadership not to define the term just for political interest.

The Unified CPN Maoist has reportedly refused Prime Minister Nepal's call to join the Government. Talking to the media after the Prime Minister's address, Maoist spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said there is no possibility of joining the Government or working together until 'civil supremacy' is maintained.

The MJF put forward four conditions to be included in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) for joining the new Government. The party demanded implementation of the eight-point understanding signed between United Madhesi Democratic Front and Government, Terai centered multi-dimensional development projects, inclusive bill and the review of all commissions formed by the then Unified CPN-Maoist-led Government. The party also demanded a clear stance from big parties in the coalition on 'One Madhes One Province' and possible number of states to be created.

A meeting of the 16 out of 22 parties in the CPN-UML-led coalition held at the Prime Minister's office in Singh Durbar decided to scrap the Ministry of State Restructure created by the former Unified CPN-Maoist-led Government, and form a commission for State restructures. Similarly, the Constituent Assembly (CA) affairs ministry was renamed as parliamentary affairs ministry. Similarly, the parties urged Speaker Subash Nembang not to table the resolution registered by the Maoists at the parliament secretariat before the Parliament for discussion. The parties also suggested Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to revert the decision of the Maoist Government to terminate Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal and appoint Kul Bahadur Khadka as the acting chief.

Over a dozen students were injured in a clash between All Nepal National Free Students' Union (ANNFSU) and All Nepal National Independent Students' Union -Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), student wings of the CPN-UML and Unified CPN-Maoist respectively, at Sano Thimi Campus in Bhaktapur District. The clash ensued on the issue of scholarship.

May 28

The YCL is planning to launch a nationwide protest against President Ram Baran Yadav's move to reinstate the CoAS Rookmangud Katawal. Speaking at an interaction programme, the YCL president Ganesh Man Pun Sagar said they were busy briefing the District level party cadres on the latest political developments. According to him, "Initially, we will be focused on the awareness campaign about the President's move, foreign intervention in state affairs and formation of the new government, which has overlooked the popular mandate." The YCL, he stated, would mobilise the youth across Nepal to protest against the President's move, adding that they would fight to maintain civilian supremacy as they had fought for republicanism, putting an end to two and a half century-old monarchy.

May 29

Maoists affiliated to the All Nepal Peasants' Organisation-Revolutionary (ANPO-R) have seized property belonging to the former minister and RPP leader, late Rabindra Nath Sharma, on May 29. The Maoists seized 36 Bigahas (24.372 hectare) of land and an ancestral house located in the Bhathaudiya area of Ramnagar Village Development Committee in Nawalparasi District. A cadre of the ANPO-R, Ramdhani Kewat, said the seized land would be distributed to the landless people. Kewat also claimed he acted in line with the party's policy to capture land and property of feudal landlords.

The CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda has said that his party would now spearhead city-centred protest programmes to pressure the new ruling coalition to nullify the President's decision to reinstate the dismissed Army chief. Speaking in Lalitpur, Prachanda claimed that conspiracies were being hatched for restoring monarchy, under the disguise of 'baby king', and pointed at the Government's decision to relocate a republic monument from Narayanhity Museum to Ratna Park as a step in that direction.

Modernising the Police and armed Police forces and setting up an Industrial Security Force are among the top programmes of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the next fiscal year. The ministry has prepared a draft proposal placing high priority on modernising security organs under it so as to improve the law and order situation in the country. The ministry has recommended the Government set up additional Police units to increase the number of vehicles, buy modern equipment and logistic support for security and increase police patrolling on highways and in urban areas in a bid to ensure security in society. It has also proposed an increase in the number of Security Personnel stating that the present manpower of the Police forces was not enough. There are around 56500 Nepal Police and around 25000 armed Police personnel, the report added. Further, as per the demand of Police headquarters, the ministry had begun the process of creating 10,001 new positions in the Police and 7000 in the armed Police. Officials at the ministry said the current security situation would be improved significantly in the country if the recommendations were implemented.

May 31

One more person, identified as Buddha Laxmi Joseph (45), died at the hospital, taking the death toll in the Church bomb blast in Lalitpur District to three. As reported earlier, two persons were killed and 13 others wounded when a bomb exploded at a Catholic church at Dhobighat in the Lalitpur District on May 23.

Maoists assaulted the Nepali Congress District president, Mukti Prasad Nyaupane, in Kalikot. Local cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist and the YCL attacked Nyaupane as he was going to the District headquarters Manma from his home in Badalkot.

The Police arrested two YCL cadres, identified as Raj Kumar Singh and Kamal Pahari, for showing black flags to the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal in Chandranigahpur. Later, the CPN-UML cadres assaulted the duo. The Unified CPN-Maoist cadres had also showed black flags to Nepal at the District headquarters in Gaur.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal urged the Unified CPN-Maoist to join the coalition Government and help take the peace process to a logical conclusion. Addressing a civic felicitation programme in Rautahat District, Nepal said the task of writing the new statute and taking the peace process to a logical end would be easier if all parties remained united.

June 2

A 10-year-old boy, identified as Rajan Bohora, was killed and two others, Mohan Bohora and Amar Bohora, were injured when a bomb exploded in the premises of Mahadev Higher Secondary School at Kapalseri VDC area in Bajhang District. The kids accidentally picked up the stray bomb from the debris of a house near the school, which was damaged by the Maoists during the insurgency period.

A woman was arrested from New Baneshwor for the bomb blast at the Assumption Church in Lalitpur on May 23. Speaking at a press conference in Nepal Police Club, the Deputy Inspector General Kuber Rana said 27-year old Sita Shrestha Thapa, a resident of Gyaneshowr in capital Kathmandu, was arrested for her involvement in the blast. According to Rana, the injured Catholics have identified Thapa as the culprit in the incident. "Thapa admitted that she left a bag with a pressure cooker bomb in the Church premises while the morning prayers were underway," Police sources said.

Cadres of the YCL attacked two CPN-UML cadres at Chandrnigahapur in the Rautahat District. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal?s former personal assistant Bhupendra Khadka and the CPN-UML District committee member Dip Kumar Regmi were injured in the attack. Following the incident, the CPN-UML-affiliated Youth Force cadres ?arrested? some YCL cadres and took them to the CPN-UML party office for necessary ?investigation?.

The Maoist-affiliated trade unions reportedly continue to occupy buildings and land belonging to the Industrial Estate Management Limited (IEML) in Pokhara, Dharan and Patan although they have been warned to move out many times. The IEML is contemplating starting legal proceedings against the trade unionists to regain its properties.

A Special Court issued clean chits to the Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ?Prachanda?, senior leader Baburam Bhattarai and over a dozen Maoists on a charge of treason. A three-member bench of Justice Gauri Bahadur Karki, Bhola Prasad Kharel and Om Prakash Mishra acquitted the accused in the case of Bandipur Police Post attack, on January 26, 2001 saying the Government could not provide enough evidence to support its claim. The erstwhile Government had filed a case against Prachanda, Bhattarai and almost a dozen Maoists on February 16, 2001 seeking a 10-year jail term each on charges of involvement in the attacks. Two Maoists, Padam Rana and Keshav Raj Sigh, were arrested in connection with the attacks, but the Special Court released them later.

The Unified CPN-Maoist demanded that the Indian Government end encroachment of Nepali land on the border and immediately return seized land to create an environment of peace and to maintain security along the border. The Maoists also appealed to the Constituent Assembly to take up the issue of peace and security on the border, return of seized land and an end to encroachment. Maoist Spokesman Dinanath Sharma claimed in a press release that there were reports of encroachment by the Indian Border Security Force in Patauli, Koilabas, Siriya, Sukouli, Gurung, Bhousahi on the border with Dang and instances of rape and torching of houses in 20 other places such as Jhitkaiya, Badki, Fubriya,and Basantapur had caused people to flee their homes.

June 3

The Unified CPN-Maoist launched a nationwide protest against President Ram Baran Yadav''s decision to reinstate the Army Chief General Rookmangud Katawal, who was dismissed by the then Maoist-led Government. Maoist cadres staged a sit-in protest and surrounded the District Administration Offices (DAOs) across the country for two hours. In Kathmandu valley, hundreds of Maoists demonstrated in front of the DAOs of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, chanting slogans against the President''s ''unconstitutional move'' and demanding its immediate withdrawal.

The Unified CPN-Maoist is to stage similar demonstrations at the Village Development Committee offices across the country and organise other protest programmes in the following days to restore civilian supremacy. The party has said it would launch a stronger protest movement if the President move is not retracted.

June 4

The Unified CPN-Maoist staged rallies in capital Kathmandu protesting the alleged encroachment of Nepali territory by India and harassment of Nepalis living in bordering villages. After rallies at different parts of Kathmandu, hundreds of Maoists staged a sit-in protest in front of the Indian embassy at Lainchaur. They also submitted a memorandum at the embassy calling for an immediate end of the border encroachment.

The Unified CPN-Maoist called an all-party meeting to discuss the border encroachment and evacuation of Nepali settlers from several border villages in Dang. At the meeting the parties agreed to send a joint delegation to Dang district to assess the situation there. The Madheshi parties, including the MJF, Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party and Sadbhawana Party, didn''t attend the meeting.

June 5

A Maoist, identified as Ladai Shah of the Pataura VDC area, who was assaulted by the CPN-UML cadres in Rautahat District on June 1, died of injuries in capital Kathmandu. Shah was injured after the CPN-UML cadres assaulted him following the arrest of two YCL cadres for showing black flag to the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal during his visit to Rautahat on June 1.

The Unified CPN-Maoist organised a general strike in the five Districts of western Terai region - Banke, Bardiya, Dang, Kailali and Kanchanpur. The general strike called at the initiation of the Maoist-affiliated Tharu Mukti Morcha to protest the President''s move against the erstwhile Government''s decision to dismiss the Army chief Rookmangud Katwal brought life in these Districts to a complete halt.

The MJF is all set to withdraw its support to the CPN-UML-led Government, after the party expelled seven senior leaders, including its parliamentary party leader Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, from the party. In a press conference, the MJF chairman Upendra Yadav announced that the central committee meeting of the party held in the morning decided to expel parliamentary party leader Gachchhadar, who was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister on June 4, Sarad Singh Bhandari, party spokesperson Jitendra Dev, Rameshowr Raya and Upendra Jha, among others. Yadav also announced the withdrawal of support to the CPN-UML-led coalition Government and a one-day general strike in all Terai Districts on June 8. He blamed Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and the Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala for plotting to divide the party.

June 8

Normal life in the Terai region and eight Districts of the Gandaki and Dhaulagiri zones has been paralysed due to a shut-down call given by the MJF and the Unified CPN-Maoist-affiliated Tamuwan Swayatta Rajya Samiti (TSWR) respectively. The MJF has called for a shutdown in the Terai Districts protesting against the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal?s decision to appoint Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar as the Deputy Prime Minister without the party?s recommendation, while the TSWR has called the shutdown in eight Districts of Gandaki and Dhaulagiri zones as part of the on going protests by the Unified CPN-Maoist and its sister outfits against the President?s move to block the Maoist-led Government?s decision to dismiss the Army Chief. Shut down organisers have obstructed traffic on the east-west highway, Prithvi highway and other supporting highways and forced markets, shops and educational institutions to shut.

The curfew imposed by the District administration of Kavre in and around Banepa after violent clashes between the locals and activists of the Maoist-affiliated Tamsaling Rastriya Mukti Morcha (TRMM) in the course of the shutdown enforced by the latter in ten Districts on June 7 was lifted from the morning.

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist who were protesting the attack on their party office on June 7 vandalised the Banepa-based office of the Kavre District committee of the CPN-UML in the afternoon. A clash erupted between Maoists and CPN-UML cadres. About three Policemen and two CPN-UML cadres were injured when the Police tried to control the situation.

The Unified CPN-Maoist threatened to return to war as its cadres called a general strike in the west and staged a show of might in central Nepal. Hundreds of Maoists poured in from adjacent villages in a show of strength at Banepa, a small town in the Kavre District east of capital Kathmandu, a day after their office there was vandalised by angry locals for enforcing a general shutdown and attacking public vehicles. Marching with red flags, the Maoists threatened they would start another "people?s war" and had the weapons to do it, a private television station reported.

Shutdown enforcers and businessmen clashed in Rautahat in the course of the Madhesh shutdown call given by the MJF. The shutdown was organised to protest the appointment of Bijay Kumar Gachhadar for the post of Deputy Prime Minister. Six persons were injured in the clash.

Two Maoists were injured when activists of the Youth Force (YF), Youth wing of the ruling CPN-UML, and the YCL clashed at Manma bazaar in Kalikot District. The clash reportedly ensued after a minor argument between the two groups.

The Nepali Army (NA) agreed in principle to initiate a court of inquiry against Lt Gen Kul Bahadur Khadka, the second-in-command in the NA, for his alleged association with the Unified CPN-Maoist. The NA has taken serious exception to his breaking the chain of command and violating the NA?s discipline. "We are determined to start the court of inquiry against him," a source at the NA?s Legal Department said.

June 9

A faction of the MJF led by Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar registered a new party, the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal, at the Election Commission (EC). Ram Janam Chaudhari, chief whip of the new faction, said they registered the new party with the support of a majority of the Constituent Assembly members of the MJF. According to the Interim Constitution, a new party can be registered by 40 per cent members of the parliamentary party of any political party. Gachhadar led the team of 29 CA members and 16 central committee members of the party to the EC in the afternoon, to protest his and six other leaders? expulsion from the party. "We will study the application and decide on the issue later," said Uddhav Prasad Baskota, the EC spokesperson.

The top leadership of the Unified CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML reportedly agreed to end the political deadlock and move ahead on the basis of a consensus. The parties made an understanding to find a middle-path to resolve the conflict and let the House function smoothly. In the meeting at a hotel in Lalitpur, the Maoist leaders agreed to stop disrupting the House proceedings if Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal satisfactorily addressed the Maoist- backed issues.

June 10

Police seized a small cache of bombs and guns hidden in a rice mill at Indrapur VDC area of Banke District. Acting on a tip-off provided by the locals that the Janatantrik Madhesh Mukti Tiger, a Terai outfit, has stored weapons there inside a pile of rice husk, Police recovered two pistols, two guns and a socket bomb.

June 11

Senior leaders of the ruling CPN-UML and the agitating main opposition Unified CPN-Maoist met in the morning, and discussed ways to end the parliamentary deadlock, but could not arrive at any understanding. The meeting ended inconclusively as the Maoists repeated their demand that the Government uphold the previous Government's decision to dismiss Army Chief Gen. Rookmangud Katawal and the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal deliver a speech in the parliament opposing the President's move against that decision. On the other hand, CPN-UML leaders proposed to give 'retirement' to Gen. Katawal few weeks before he retires officially, and appoint Lt. General Kul Bahadur Khadka as the Prime Minister's defence advisor. The Maoist leadership is reported to have rejected the CPN-UML?s proposal.

June 12

In an effort to form a counterforce against the YCL and Youth Force, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) formed a 151-member National Youth Front (NYF). Addressing a gathering of District-level party leaders, RPP-N leader Kamal Thapa said, "NYF will not follow in the footsteps of the YCL and Youth Force. The front is formed to protect national interests." He claimed that the number of NYF cadres would exceed 10,000 by 2010. Claiming that the republican system had failed to live up to popular expectations, Thapa stressed on the need to conduct a referendum to decide the fate of monarchy. He defended monarchy and warned of dire consequences if his advice was not well heeded to. Stating that only constitutional monarchy could protect nationalism, he said, "We are not advocating absolute monarchy, but constitutional monarchy is the need of the hour." Alleging that the "unholy alliance" of the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress had pushed the country towards further anarchy, he claimed that constitutional monarchy was the only remedy to the challenges faced by the country.

Normal life in nine Districts of the mid-western region falling under Magarat Autonomous Province, namely Palpa, Argakhachi, Baglung, Gulmi, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Rukum, Salyan and Myagdi, was affected due to the general strike called by the Magar Rastriya Mukti Morcha (MRMM), an ethnic wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist. Reports said that MRMM activists started staging protests in most of the affected Districts since early morning. This was the fourth day in a row in which the Maoist-affiliated ethnic outfits have imposed a shutdown in various parts of the country protesting against the President?s move to reinstate Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal.

June 14

The YCL cadres staged demonstrations in the capital Kathmandu demanding a probe into the mysterious death of Maoist?s Kathmandu District member Rajendra Phuyal. "We were informed about Phuyal?s death four days after his body was found," said Jwala, YCL Kathmandu District in-charge. Maharajgunj and Balaju remained tense after YCL cadres started hurling stones at the Police and blocked the traffic. Police had to fire tear gas shells to bring the situation under control. A few Police personnel were also hurt in the clash.

YCL cadres set ablaze the party office of the ruling CPN-UML and assaulted more than 25 of its cadres in Manma, the District headquarters of Kalikot, for defying the shutdown call given by the Bheri-Karnali Mukti Morcha.

Three Madheshi parties ? the Bijay Gachchhadar faction of MJF, Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP) and Sadbhawana Party - objected to the agreement between the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on allocation of ministerial portfolios. Leaders of the three parties met at the parliamentary party office of the TMLP in Singha Durbar in the afternoon to draw out a common strategy. They have complained that UML and NC didn't involve them in the power-sharing negotiations.

June 15

A man, identified as Prakash B.K, died in a landmine explosion at Lamahi in the Dang District. Prakash had sustained serious injuries when he accidentally stepped on a landmine planted by the Nepal Army (NA) near Arjunkhola. The NA base camp is situated nearby the area.

The Unified CPN-Maoist enforced a general strike in two far western zones, Seti and Mahakali to protest the President's move and rejection of their 'commitment proposal' at the Parliament. Due to the shutdown called by the Seti-Mahakali State Committee of the party, normal life in the region has been badly affected.

June 16

An Indian national, identified as Narendra Kumar Sharma, from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, was seriously injured when a 'socket bomb' he was carrying exploded at Radhakrishna Chowk of Gulariya in Baridya District. District Police officials suspect that Sharma may be working for one of the many armed outfits active in the area.

A group of journalists were attacked by cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist affiliated All Nepal National Independent Students' Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) in Nepalgunj. The group which comprised Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) general secretary Ramji Dahal, Kiran Nepal, editor of the Himal Khabar Patrika, managing editor Indra Shrestha and journalist Rameshwor Bohora were on their way from Nepalgunj airport to a programme organised by the FNJ in Nepalgunj, when they were attacked. While nobody was injured in the attack, the vehicle was damaged.

Cadres of the All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers´ Union, a trade union affiliated to the Unified CPN-Maoist, assaulted Jagdish Maskey, the owner of Gemini Departmental Store, at Bouddha in capital Kathmandu. Over a dozen cadres led by Ramesh Babu Panta, chairman of the trade union, attacked Maskey. Panta and other cadres attacked them after Maskey sought clarification from some of his employees who were absent for months without reporting and therefore declined to pay them.

June 17

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal expanded his cabinet for the third time, but failed to form a full-fledged cabinet as three Madheshi parties - the MJF, TMLP and Sadbhawana Party (SP) - didn't send their representatives. The Prime Minister inducted five new ministers and six ministers of state - four ministers and three state ministers from his party, CPN-UML, and one minister and three state ministers from Nepali Congress. The Madheshi leaders' absence is being construed as their displeasure over the distribution of ministerial berths.

June 18

The Cabinet in its meeting held at Singha Durbar, the Prime Minister's office, took a decision to reverse the previous Government's decision to dismiss the CoAS Rookmangud Katawal, and appoint Lt. General Kul Bahadur Khadka as acting CoAS.

June 21

The Unified CPN-Maoist cadres clashed with Police and vandalised Government offices in various Districts, including capital Kathmandu, in the course of sit-in demonstrations they staged in front of the offices across the country to prevent civil servants and service seekers from entering, as part of their protest against the President's decision on the COAS and the recent Government decision to overturn the Maoist-led Government's decision to dismiss the COAS. Clashes occurred in front of the Singha Durbar after demonstrators defied propitiatory orders and tried to breach the Police cordon. Some demonstrators, including a Maoist Constituent Assembly member, were injured in the incident. Some journalists were also injured and the cameras of some photojournalists were damaged. Violence also erupted in Kavre as demonstrators attempted to forcefully enter the District Development office. At least four persons were injured. Maoists and Police clashed in many other Districts, including Bardiya, Darchula, Mahottari, Ramechhap, Ilaam, Morang, Darchula and Baitadi, among others. At least 50 people were injured in these clashes. Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators in Baitadi and Baridya Districts. The situation in Dhading became tense after the Maoists assaulted the Local Development Officer. The local administration, consequently, imposed a curfew in the District headquarter and surrounding areas.

The Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said his party is preparing to launch a decisive third people's movement to uphold civilian supremacy. "The party would launch third people's movement by joining forces with nationalist forces," he said at a party ceremony organised at Daman in the Makwanpur District, adding that a revolution is necessary to uphold civilian supremacy to counter the growing military dominance in the country. The former prime minister also described the CPN-UML-led Government as a "puppet" installed by "foreign masters" and said it is worthless to expect anything from it. He also said the people's movement the party would launch will bring to an end "the opportunists, anti-nationalist, and reactionary forces".

June 22

A meeting of top leaders of the three major parties - the Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML - held in an effort to break the deadlock in the Parliament ended inconclusively. During the meeting held at the Maoist parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar, Maoist leaders insisted that the Government must in one way or the other address their demand for rectification of the ''unconstitutional step'' of President Ram Baran Yadav reinstating the army chief dismissed by the previous Maoist Government.

June 23

Cadres of a little-known armed Terai outfit, the Madhesh Rastra Janakranti Party (MRJP), shot dead a an activist of the ruling CPN-UML, identified as Ram Swagarath Kapadi, at his house in the Kharihani VDC-5 area of Dhanusha District. The MRJP District in-charge Ganesh claimed responsibility for the killing and said Kapadi was murdered for charging a high interest rate on loans to poor villagers. He was also accused of sexually exploiting women in the village.

June 24

The Unified CPN-Maoist called for a shutdown in Kailali protesting the Police intervention which injured at least 21 Maoists on June 23 at Tikapur in Kailali. The clash ensued when Maoists attacked the car of the State Minister of Power, Chandra Singh Bhattarai, after showing black flags at the inauguration of the Municipal Assembly of Tikapur Municipality.

The Government agreed, in principle, to extend the term of the UNMIN. The Communications Minister and Government spokesperson Shankar Pokharel told reporters after the cabinet meeting in the evening that the Government "decided, in principle, to extend UNMIN's term". But the period of extension is yet to be determined, he added. The term of the UNMIN, which was established in 2007 to monitor the management of arms and armies and facilitate the peace process, has already been extended thrice, by six months each time. Its term expires on July 22.

The newly-appointed Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong denied the possibility of the Government holding a dialogue with all armed Madheshi outfits active in the Terai, saying that most of them are not "political groups" as they are involved in criminal activities.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal expanded his cabinet for the fourth time by inducting five ministers. Sharat Singh Bhandari and Mrigendra Kumar Singh from the Gachhadhar faction of the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF-G) took the oath of office and secrecy for Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation and Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives respectively. Similarly, Ganesh Nepali and Ram Chandra Kuswaha from the TMLP took the oaths for Ministry of Youth & Sports and Ministry of Education respectively. Also, Deepak Bohara, who was proposed for the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation by Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), took his oath of office and secrecy. However, Mahendra Yadav of TMLP, who is proposed for the Ministry of Industries, refused to take the oath expressing his dissatisfaction over the ministerial portfolio assigned to him.

June 25

Police arrested Bhairav Yadav alias Mister Sahansa, vice-chairman of the Terai Army, and Birendra Yadav, the Sarlahi District in-charge of Prithvi Singh faction of the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Prithvi), from Chhatiwan in the Sarlahi District. Mister Sahansa had become the central commander of Terai Army after its commander Mister John was killed in Police action in May 2009. Police seized two guns, some bullets, two motorcycles, two mobile sets with SIM cards, gold and silver lockets and cash from the arrested. Police said the armed outfits were involved in extortion, kidnapping and murder in Rautahat and Sarlahi. They were also involved in bomb explosions in the capital.

12 people were injured in a clash between the people of a local Madhesi community and cadres of the YCL at Khairapur, Gulariya Municipality-2. The clash erupted when the Madhesi community attacked the local YCL office for assaulting Gopal Teli on the charge of stealing a bicycle.

Two new Ministers from the TMLP, who missed the swearing-in ceremony on June 24, were sworn in. However, the Sadbhawana Party refused to send its representatives to the Government after its demand for two cabinet ministers was rejected by the CPN-UML.

June 29

It was decided in the meeting of the politburo of the Unified CPN-Maoist to go for a Maoist-led ''national Government''. At the end of the meeting that ran for two weeks at Koteshwor, party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said the politburo has decided to push for a national Government in place of the "unethically and unconstitutionally established" Government of 22 parties.

June 30

Seven activists of the ruling CPN-UML were injured when they were attacked by the cadres of the YCL at Bhimad Bazaar in Tanahun District. Sources said that the YCL cadres suddenly attacked the CPN-UML cadres who had seen them taking a Youth Force member towards Khairenitar on the charge of being involved in a brawl 20 days ago. Two YCL cadres were also injured in the incident.

July 1

Cadres of the ANNISU-R, student wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist, smeared tar on the face of Jasa Bahadur Lungeli, chief of the Mahendra Multiple Campus, in Ilam.

July 3

Speaking at a press conference, Defence Minister Bidhya Devi Bhandari said the Army Integration Special Committee (AISC) is going to be reconstituted under the chairmanship of PM Madhav Kumar Nepal as per the tradition set by the previous Government. At present, the Unified CPN-Maoist chairman and former PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda is the chairman of AISC. The Maoists had proposed for the continuation of Prachanda as the Chairman of the AISC as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal expanded his cabinet for the fifth time by inducting Rajendra Mahato from the Sadbhawana Party and Prem Bahadur Singh from the Samajwadi Prajatantrik Janata Party as Commerce and Supplies minister, and Law and Justice Minister, respectively. However, the MJF, TMLP, Sadbhawana and some fringe parties are yet to recommend names of some ministers and state ministers from their parties.

July 6

The Unified CPN-Maoist and the ruling CPN-UML reached a four-point understanding to resume House proceedings, which had been halted for nearly two months due the Maoists' obstruction over the President's decision on the army chief issue. The understanding recognises the fact that the Unified CPN-Maoist obstructed regular business of the House over the "President's move on the army chief issue and civilian supremacy." "An initiative will be taken to forge a consensus on the issues raised by the Maoists within a month, after holding discussions among the parties," the pact states.

July 10

14 People's Liberation Army (PLA) combatants of the Ilam-based PLA First Division headquarters and satellite camps quit the PLA to join the Matrika Yadav-led CPN-Maoist. Speaking at a programme of the CPN-Maoist-aligned National Youth People's Protection Committee, the fighters said they decided to part ways with the military wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist as the party confined them as prisoners. Shiva, Platoon Commander of the Danabaari-based Biplav-Srijan Memorial Brigade of PLA, said they all have decided to quit the PLA and join the CPN-Maoist. "We''re leaving the PLA as the Unified CPN-Maoist is for dissolving its army," he claimed. However, the PLA First Division Commander Pratikshya refuted the report about the desertion.

Home Minister Bhim Rawal said political protection to criminals has created difficulty in maintaining law and order in the country. Speaking at the CPN-UML parliament party meeting in Singha Durbar, he said political parties and leaders must refrain from patronising criminal elements, and sought help from CPN-UML lawmakers in doing so. He also admitted that some CPN-UML cadres were involved in criminal activities, saying that the Government would take every measure to improve the security situation. According to Rawal, there are at least 107 armed groups in Terai that are involved in criminal activities including kidnapping, extortion and robbery and that no talks would be held with these groups.

July 15

Two persons were injured in a clash between activists of the Nepali Congress and MJF at Harpur in the Nawalparasi District. Cadres of the two parties clashed after MJF activists accused NC activist Paras Yadav of kidnapping a child.

July 16

Police arrested the District Chairman of the Tharuhat Autonomous State Council (TASC), Kanaihyalal Chaudhary, and four cadres of the Tharu organisation while they were indulging in extortion at Bhurigaun in the Bardiya District. The TASC has reportedly intensified "tax" collection in the Bardiya and adjoining Districts in recent days. Issuing a public notice some two weeks ago, the Tharu body warned people not to pay tax to the Government, declaring itself as the only authentic body to collect tax on the District's natural resources. TASC activists warned a contractor, Bishnu Rijal, not to pay tax to the Government and pay it to them instead. The cadres threatened to take physical action against Rijal if he did not obey their decree.

50 youths who joined the Matrika Yadav led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) were former Maoist combatants who had rebelled from various cantonments of PLA in the country, said Matrika Yadav.

July 17

The actual process of releasing disqualified Unified CPN-Maoist combatants from the cantonment and rehabilitating them into the society started although eight months ago the Maoist-led Government had expressed commitment to immediately discharge the disqualified combatants. The Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction started the discharge process from the cantonment at Hattikhor in Nawalparasi District with the help of the UNMIN and Unified CPN -Maoist. The UNMIN had disqualified 4008 combatants during the Maoist Army verification process it conducted in various phases. Among them, it identified 2975 as minors (below 18 years of age as of May 25, 2006).

The Tharuhat Struggle Committee in Nawalparasi started a campaign to form the Tharu Liberation Army. Ram Bahadur Chaudhari, the District Deputy Chairman of the Struggle Committee, said, "We have started to form our own army to pressurise the government to implement the agreement reached between the Struggle committee and the government earlier." He claimed that more than 2000 youths had joined their army in Dang and other Districts of the western region so far. He said," We will recruit 100,000 army personnel within the next six months." According to the Committee sources, they plan to recruit 50 army personnel from each District at the initial phase. Chaudhari said," 50 youths have already joined in our army in the district." The Struggle Committee informed that those fifty persons would be given different training including arms operation. Chaudhari informed that they were organising a national convention of the Tharu Liberation Army in Bhairahawa from July 22 to 23.

July 19

The Kapilvastu District Police arrested three cadres of the Samyukta Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (SJTMM) for possession of weapons from Mutajhutawa in the Bithuwa VDC area. They were identified as Kapilvastu-Dang in-charge and bureau secretary Anil Mahamad Khan, bureau secretariat member Chandrashekhar Sunar and bureau member Dharmendra Kumar Sahani. Police also confiscated two locally-made pistols with two rounds of bullets, and NR 11000 from the trio, said Inspector Kedar Khanal.

July 20

Police shot dead the Siraha District in-charge of the Madheshi Mukti Tiger (MMT), Prashuram Yadav, a resident of Gurudham of Chandralalpur, when he tried to escape from Police custody. He had earlier been arrested from the capital Kathmandu on an unspecified date. He reportedly attempted to flee while heading for Siraha in Police custody. Yadav had also fled from Siraha prison on September 14, 2008.

Locals of the Balaju area in capital Kathmandu assaulted the Unified CPN-Maoist Constituent Assembly (CA) member Prem Tamang and leader of the Nepal Tamang Ghedung, an autonomous and non-profit making Tamang People's national organisation, Kumar Blon, while they were allegedly trying to disrupt vehicular movement along the Pasang Lhamu Highway.

Following a debate over the appointment of a teacher, the Unified CPN-Maoist cadres led by Upendra Bohara assaulted four persons at Simar in the Rudreshwor VDC area in Baitadi District.

July 22

A ?military commander? of the Terai Madhesh Rastra Mukti Sena (TMRMS), an armed underground outfit active in the Terai region, was shot dead by the Police in Janakpur. The TMRMS ?military commander? Akash Tyagi was killed in an exchange of fire with the Police team patrolling near Bhrampura Police Station. However, three other cadres of the outfit managed to escape, the Police said. Some letter pads of the TMRMS, three sets of sutali bomb, two bullets, two SIM cards, a book against the Nepalis and other explosives were found from the possession of Tyagi.

July 25

An unidentified armed group shot dead the YCL central leader Laxman Yadav in the Bishrampur VDC area in Rautahat District. A little known underground outfit, the Terai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha-Arun, claimed responsibility for the murder.

July 26

The Election Commission (EC) gave its official recognition to the MJF faction led by Upendra Yadav. The EC asked the faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Gachhadar to register a new party. "We took the decision through a bench after discussing the argument," said EC spokesperson Nilkantha Uprety, adding, "The final decision was made after collecting the evidences."

Organisations associated with journalism in Panchthar protested the assaulting of two journalists by cadres of the YCL and threatened to take to the streets. As many as six organisations ? the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Press Union, Press Chautari, Indigenous Journalists? Association, Free Journalist Struggle Committee and Panchthar Publications Pvt Ltd - issued a press release and condemned the YCL for demonstrating ''criminal behaviour'' against the media.

July 29

The Police arrested a central member of the Unified CPN-Maoist Ram Kumar Poudel along with a Chinese pistol from the capital Kathmandu. He is also the ''division commander'' of the PLA stationed in Chitwan. The Police caught Poudel with a pistol and a bullet in course of checking from the south gate of Singhadurbar, said the Metropolitan Police Division Anamnagar. He was handed over to the UNMIN, which has been mandated to monitor the management of arms and armed personnel of the Nepal Army and the Maoist army, in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar registered a new party ? the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum - Loktantrik (MJFL) - at the Election Commission (EC). Gachhadar?s move came after the EC, on July 26, recognised the Upendra Yadav-led Madheshi Janadhikar Forum as the legitimate party and told the Gacchadar-led faction to register a new party if it so wished.

July 30

11 persons were injured when the YCL cadres attacked a signature campaign programme organised by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party- Nepal (RPP-N) at Chipledhunga in Kaski District for a Hindu nation, constitutional monarchy and federalism. Four Policeman, six RPP-N activists, including its District chairman Devijung Gurung, and YCL District chairman Sushil Devkota were injured in the incident.

Organising a joint press meet in Rajbiraj, leaders of four armed groups operating in the Terai region urged the Government to resume the talks which the Maoist-led Government had initiated during its term. The four armed groups ? the MMT, MVK, Terai Samyukta Janatantrik Party and JTMM-Rajan - with whom a first round of talks were held also warned the Government to intensify their armed struggle, if the Government did not resume the talks.

Following weeks of deliberations, the Unified CPN-Maoist Central Committee endorsed the political document tabled by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a. Prachanda some two weeks ago. With this endorsement, formation of national consensus Government for constitution drafting and the conclusion of peace process as mentioned by Prachanda in his document have been adopted by the Maoists as their immediate strategy.

August 2

Chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said his party would resort to a fresh protest movement if the Prime Minister's commitment to address the issues raised by the party didn't materialise within the next four days. "We had given one month ultimatum to address the issues concerning the President's unconstitutional move. There will be protests in the streets as well as the parliament if those issues are not addressed within four days," Prachanda warned while speaking at the press conference in Koteshwor to publicise the decisions of the central committee meeting. Prachanda said the present Government would be responsible for the situation arising from the street movement. He said the protests would be peaceful. Mentioning that 'reactionaries' are creating rumours that the Maoists are preparing to return to armed movement again, Prachanda said such rumours are meant to defame the party.

Cadres of the YCL attacked a General Manager of the Industrial Area Management Limited (IAML), Giriraj Mani Bhandari, while addressing a press conference in Balaju. A group of YCL cadres led by Rohit, who is also the chairman of All Nepal Federation of Trade Unions (Balaju chapter) entered the press conference venue in Balaju, dragged out Bhandari, smeared black soot on his face and assaulted him. Some staff members of the IAML were injured while trying to protect Bhandari. YCL cadres are understood to have attacked Bhandari in revenge of the latter's proactive role in removing the YCL camp from the Balaju Industrial Estate (BIE). YCL cadres had illegally occupied space in BIE and set up a camp to house their cadres.

Further, a large amount of explosives was seized by the Armed Police Force from Gaddachauki Customs at Mahendranagar in the Kanchanpur District along the Nepal-India border. Two persons were arrested along with ammunition they were ferrying from India. 406 sets of gelatin, 584 detonators and 30 rolls of safety fuse which is used to manufacture bombs were seized from the accused.

August 3

The Standing Committee meeting of the Unified CPN-Maoist seconded party Chairman Prachanda's warning and decided to re-launch a struggle "from the street and the parliament" if the Government failed to come clear on the issues of civilian supremacy and the 'unconstitutional' move of the President on the Army chief episode within the next three days.

The Standing Committee also decided to boycott the public appearances of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and President Ram Baran Yadav if the 22-party coalition failed to address the issues raised by the party.

Prime Minister Nepal met President Yadav at the latter's office, Shital Niwas, and discussed the Maoist ultimatum to the Government to address the issue of civilian supremacy, among other things. According to the Prime Minister's political advisor Raghuji Panta, the Prime Minister and President concluded that no parliamentary debate can take place on the President's move, as demanded by the Maoists.

August 4

Organising a press conference at Damak, the Kochila State Committee of the Matrika Yadav-led CPN-Maoist said the PLA fighters of First Division Cantonment had abducted two of its District leaders, Santa Rai and Sharan Rai, from Damak in Jhapa District on August 3. Santa is the Jhapa chairman of the committee whereas Sharan is the assistant coordinator of the party''s security branch. Both of them are former PLA combatants who recently defected to the Yadav-led CPN-Maoist.

Police arrested two cadres, including an Indian national, of the JTMM-Rajan Mukti along with three grenades, two socket bombs and two hand grenades from Nagdhunga in the capital Kathmandu. According to an unnamed senior Police officer, the arrests have "prevented potentially heavy casualty inside the Valley". The arrestees were identified as Prakash Kumar Karna and Mithilesh Kumar Yadav. Karna is in-charge of JTMM-Rajan Mukti Saptari District, while Yadav is from India. Based on the duo's confession, Police said they had planned to plant the bombs in different public places inside Kathmandu.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal expressed disappointment over the current level of mistrust between his Government and the opposition Unified CPN-Maoist and accused its Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda of maintaining a dubious position on the issue of integration/rehabilitation of PLA combatants.

August 7

The Unified CPN-Maoist launched a protest movement as its ultimatum to the Government to address the issue of civilian supremacy vis-à-vis the President's move reinstating the dismissed Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), General Rookmangud Katawal, expired. As part of its protest movement, the Maoists obstructed the day's parliamentary proceedings saying the 22-party ruling coalition ignored the issues it has raised. Speaking at the start of the House sitting, Deputy Leader of the Unified CPN-Maoist in the Parliament, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, said his party was forced to declare a stir as the ruling coalition had failed to fulfill its commitment to address those issues within one month. He said the party would wage the protest movement in Parliament and the streets and that it could well turn into the 'third people's movement'

The Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman and former Prime Minster Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda warned that the new Constitution cannot be drafted if President Ram Baran Yadav's move to reinstate the CoAS was not discussed in the Parliament.

Lawmaker and joint general secretary of the Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party, Ram Kumar Sharma, reportedly joined the Unified CPN-Maoist.

August 9

The Government decided to appoint Lt. General Chhatraman Singh Gurung, second-in command of the Nepal Army, as the acting Army Chief. A meeting of the Council of Ministers in the capital Kathmandu made the decision as the current Chief of the Army Staff, General Rookmangud Katawal, is going on a customary month-long leave from August 10 before retirement. Gurung, 57, will officially be the Army Chief after Katawal''s three-year tenure expires on September 9.

An informal meeting between the Government and four armed groups operating in the Terai region was held in Kathmandu. The meeting was reportedly held to prepare the ground for a second round of dialogue to resolve the crisis facing the southern plains. Peace Minister Rakam Chemjong represented the Government side at the meeting in which representatives of the armed Terai groups - Madhesh Mukti Tigers, Madheshi Virus Killers, Terai Samyukta Jankranti Party Nepal and the Rajan Mukti faction of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha - were present.

August 10

The talks between the Government and four Terai-based armed outfits ended with both sides agreeing to resume deliberations on the morning of August 11. The former Maoist-led Government had held separate talks with the four outfits, namely Madhes Mukti Tigers (MMT), Madhesi Virus Killers (MVK), Terai Samyukta Krantikari Party (TSKP) and the Rajan Mukti-led Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-Rajan Mukti).

August 11

A bomb exploded at the Nepali Congress's (NC) central office at Sanepa in the capital Kathmandu. The office windows were damaged due to the explosion. The bomb was planted in the room of the underground meeting hall, according to NC sources. While Police found two bombs at the incident site, the NC, sources said, was already informed about the planned attack through some newspapers. Pamphlets of the Nepal Defence Army, an underground outfit, were found inside the office.

A bomb was found at the Transport Management Office in the Ekantakuna area of Kathmandu.

August 12

Cadres of the ANNISU-R, student wing of the Unified CPN-Maoist, set ablaze two Government vehicles at Butwal in the Rupandehi District. A vehicle each belonging to Nepal Drinking Water Corporation and Revenue Investigation Office were those set ablaze by the Maoist students. Chairman of ANNISU-R Rupandehi T. P. Rijal said, "We attacked the vehicles to protest the Government's decision of phasing out the Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL) from the Government colleges."

August 13

The Unified CPN-Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai said that "civilian supremacy" must be maintained, and the constitution drafting and peace process should be brought back on track in order to stop further bloodshed in the country. He accused the current CPN-UML-led Government of trying to push the country towards another conflict by reversing the achievements gained through the people's movement instead of institutionalising it. Speaking at a programme organised in the capital, Bhattarai, who is also one the three vice chairmen of the Unified CPN-Maoist, said that they will complete their political revolution through agitation as his party's revolution has yet to be completed.

August 14

Around 200 PLA combatants came out of their cantonment and assaulted locals in the Kailali District. The assailants, belonging to the Bahubiryodha Brigade in Sahajpur, attacked 36 locals at Shantipur in the Nigali Village Development Committee-1 area. The victims alleged that they could not complain immediately after the incident since the PLA personnel had threatened them with dire consequences if they informed the Police and media. Trouble reportedly broke out when locals questioned four PLA combatants who were consuming alcohol at a shop in Shantipur. "The PLA personnel took umbrage at the locals' questioning. Soon, around 200 PLA fighters arrived at the scene and started beating the villagers," alleged Hukum Saud, an eyewitness.

August 19

The Chairman of the Unified-CPN-Maoist, Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda, said the incumbent Government will not succeed in taking the peace process to a logical conclusion, nor will it be able to frame the Constitution. "Paradoxically, the Government that should have been working towards peace and constitution is trying to derail the peace process and thwart constitution writing," Prachanda said at the inaugural convention of the United National People''s Movement (UNPM). The UNPM was formed on August 3 under the leadership of the Maoist Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai to lead the series of protests announced by the party earlier in August. "The Government is unnecessarily prolonging the transitional phase," said Prachanda, adding that "We must form a comprehensive united front to tackle reactionary and regressive forces who are against the peace process and writing of the statute."

The ''comprehensive united front'' the Maoists aim to form, according to them, will incorporate all those who are in favour of ''civilian supremacy'', national sovereignty, peace and constitution. "It is not necessary to form the front only with those who believe in Maoist ideology. It can comprise all nationalists - especially from other parties - who want to see lasting peace and new constitution in the country," said Prachanda expressing hope that such a ''front'' led by the Maoists would garner support from different sections of the society.

The patrolling Police team arrested two cadres of the Terai Rastriya Mukti Sena (TRMS) along with weapons. The Police arrested Sunil Kumar of Rajawa Tole and another person whose identity has not been disclosed by the Police in the course of checking at Pidari Chowk. They were carrying a pistol. Sunil Yadav, a cadre of the TRMS, had been arrested earlier as well, the Police said.

August 21

Ramesh Kumar Rai alias Ananta, spokesperson of the Kirant Janawadi Workers Party (KJWP), an underground armed outfit active in the Terai region, and coordinator of its team formed to hold talks with the Government, was released on bail in the presence of human rights activists. He was arrested on charges of involvement in abduction and extortion from capital Kathmandu on July 17 and taken to Udayapur for trial. Speaking to the media after his release, Rai said the KJWP aims to ensure the equal rights of indigenous people through a dialogue. Accusing the Government of running away from the talks, Rai said the KJWP was ready to sit for talks honestly.

August 24

A cadre of the Unified CPN-Maoist was killed and one YCL cadre was injured when an unidentified gang opened fire at Goskhana Tole in Taplejung. The deceased has been identified as Liban Village Committee secretary Lal Dhoj Limbu. The injured YCL cadre has been identified as Lokesh Limbu.

Police detained 19 People's Liberation Army (PLA) combatants with sophisticated arms from Jitpur in Kapilvastu District. The PLA fighters, including an assistant brigade commander, were arrested while returning to the PLA fourth division cantonment at Jhyaltungdanda in the Nawalparasi District from Nepalgunj. Nine sophisticated weapons registered by UNMIN were seized from them, said Superintendent of Police Bikram Singh Thapa. The fourth division assistant brigade commander Shakti Rokaya, who is among those detained, said they had gone to Nepalgunj to provide security to party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. "But we were returning to the camp as per the directive of the party leadership," he said. He further claimed their action was not against the peace process. Later in the evening the detained PLA fighters were released in presence of Nepalgunj-based UNMIN representative, Claudia Feola. "It's a serious violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," Feola said, adding that the UNMIN would seriously look into the matter.

District Administration Office (DAO) in Dang banned all activities of the Tharuhat National Council (TNC) after it displayed its ''army'' in Dang. Some 500 activists clad in combat dresses from various 22 Terai Districts had gathered in Dang from August 23 for what they have called their ''First Military Convention'', reports Nepal News. The TNC has claimed it has a 100000- strong Army, including some of them armed. Dang administration cordoned off Bal Janata Higher Secondary School in Deukhuri, where the TNC cadres were holding their military convention and foiled a press conference organised at the end of the convention by not letting journalists enter the school. Meanwhile, the TNC military convention has declared the Terai Districts west of Dang as their ''base-area''. It has also formed a five-member ''General Staff'' under the leadership of its chairman Laxman Tharu.

The YCL cadres halted the main highway of Chitwan for five hours demanding immediate release of their four cadres. Police in the morning had arrested the four YCL activists on the charge of distributing illegally imported sugar. The District Police Office said the arrested were later released conditionally.

August 25

The UNMIN expressed its serious concern at Unified CPN-Maoist combatants' act of leaving their cantonment with arms and weapons in Kapilvastu on August 24 and said it violated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In a press release, the UNMIN said it was continuing its investigation as several provisions of the CPA were relevant, including 4.1.2 on the use of weapons for perimeter security of Maoist Army cantonments, 5.1.1 on holding and carrying arms, and 5.3.2 on unauthorised troop movements.

August 26

More than a dozen cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress (NC) were injured in a clash on the issue of land at Bishunpurba VDC in Maanpur of Rautahat District. The Police personnel fired three rounds of bullets in the air to contain the situation.

The Government decided to recommend to President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav the appointment of the acting Army chief Chhatra Man Singh Gurung to the Post of Chief of the Army Staff. The Cabinet decided to promote Lt. Gen. Gurung to the post of Army Chief effective from September 9, said Minister for Information and Communications Shankar Pokharel. The tenure of the incumbent Army chief Rookmangud Katawal, who is currently on customary leave before retirement, expires on the same day.

Two schoolteachers from Kharibot of Gorkha District were compelled to leave the village after the cadres of the YCL assaulted them.

August 27

The Unified CPN-Maoist said the party will be ready for army integration only after the Government assures drafting of new constitution. Speaking at an interaction programme organised by Nepal Institute for Policy Studies in Lalitpur, Maoists chief for political affairs Barsha Man Pun said the party is not ready for army integration at a time when the chances of constitution drafting seem null.

August 28

A socket bomb exploded outside the Vice President Paramananda Jha's residence at Gaurighat in capital Kathmandu in the evening, injuring one person. Parwati Khatiwada, a resident of a house near the Vice President's residence, received minor injury as the blast damaged the windowpanes of her room. However, the blast caused no damage to the Vice President's residence. An armed outfit called Kirat Janabadi Workers Party (KJWP) claimed responsibility for the blast, saying Jha was targeted for taking his oath of office in Hindi.

The UNMIN said it does not have any mandate to manage and supervise the Maoist army cantonments and movements of Maoist army personnel as portrayed by the media reports. Issuing a statement on its arms monitoring mandate, the UNMIN stated it was not charged with the responsibility to enforce and control the Maoist combatants. The UNMIN's role has always been understood as light monitoring presence and not an enforcement or control, it stated.

August 30

The Kirat Janabadi Workers Party (KJWP), an armed underground outfit in eastern hilly Districts, split into two factions after the intensification of internal squabble within the party. One of the splinter factions is led by group chairman Nabin Kirati while the other faction is led by the group's General Secretary Bidhrohi Bibash. However, both factions have blamed each other of being against the ethnic liberation and sowing the seed of conflict within the party. Bibash said the internal feud was created by elements who wanted to convert the party into a terrorist group. "Social criminals have been trying to defame the party," said Bibash. Meanwhile, Nabin Kirati said the clash was between the revolutionary section and status-quoits. He claimed that some central members, including the General Secretary, tried to neutralise the revolutionary faction.

With the split within the armed group, the ongoing talks between the Government and the group has been stalled as each of the factions has been claiming to be the official one.

August 31

The Unified CPN-Maoist agreed to join the defunct Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants led by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. An agreement to reactivate the special committee was reached in a telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Nepal and Maoist Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal. The committee is all set to resume operation from September 1. "The meeting of the special committee is scheduled for Tuesday (September 1) 9:30 a.m. (local time) at Singhadurbar," said the Prime Minister's Press Adviser Bishnu Rijal. He said, "The time was fixed as per the understanding between the prime minister and the Maoist chairman."

The Kirat Janawadi Workers Party (KJWP) clarified that the party had no policy and programmes of demonstrating weapons and terrorising people. Issuing a press release in Jhapa, the party in-charge, Sanken Kirati, maintained that elements who wanted to disrupt the Constitution drafting process had triggered a bomb blast near the residence of the Vice President Paramananda Jha. He also denied that the outfit was organising press conferences at gunpoint in several parts. The KJWP is reported to have demanded action against those brandishing weapons and creating terror.

August 31

The Unified CPN-Maoist affiliated All Nepal Farmers' Association seized about 80 hectares of land belonging to Bharat Gurung at Shrinathkot Village Development Committee area in Gorkha District. Gurung is a former aide of the royal family. A group of Maoist activists led by association's District chairman Krishna Dhaurali announced that they captured the land by fixing a party flag. Terming Gurung as "royalist" and "land mafia", he claimed the land was captured as per the party policy.

September 1

The Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants decided to complete the process of integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants within the next six months. "We have decided to extend the tenure of the technical committee under the special committee for the next three months effective from today," Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat told reporters in Singhadurbar after the meeting, adding, "Beginning Monday, the committee will complete its work within six months."

The Constitutional Committee (CC), under the Constituent Assembly (CA), resumed its normal business after three months of inactivity, following the election of its new chairperson. The first meeting of the committee held under the chairmanship of its new leader Nilambar Acharya at Singha Durbar decided to constitute a sub committee to draft the concept paper and preliminary draft of the constitution. The CC had remained almost defunct after its chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal was elected Prime Minister following resignation from the then Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

September 3

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist pelted stones at the convoy of the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar when he was heading to Basantapur Durbar Square to attend the Indra Jatra (a religious ceremony) in the evening. The Maoists waved black flags and pelted stones at the Prime Minister?s convoy when it arrived at New Road around 4:45pm (NST). They also chanted slogans against him and President Ram Baran Yadav. Police later resorted to baton-charging to disperse the protesters, arresting a few of them. Two Policemen and some protesters were injured in the incident.

The Maoist party said it will be boycott all programmes attended by the President and the Prime Minister as part of its protest against the President's move blocking the erstwhile Maoist-led Government's decision to dismiss then army chief Rookmangud Katawal.

The Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation carried out protest rallies in the capital against the President's move and demanding guarantee of the rights of workers.

September 4

Nearly 50 cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist assaulted the newly appointed priests, Girish Bhatta and Raghavendra Bhatta, at the Pashupati Temple premises in Kathmandu. "Both the Bhattas were dragged away from the Bhandar Ghar to the Shankaracharya temple a few hundred meters away and thrashed," Sushil Nahata, member-secretary of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) said. The two Indian priests were undergoing purification rites at the Bhandar Ghar (store room) since the evening of September 2 as they were to start worship from morning of September 5 (today). Police said that nearly 50 Maoists entered the temple in the guise of pilgrims, but later began protesting. The five Policemen deployed at the premises were assaulted by the mob. The Unified CPN-Maoist affiliated struggle committee has been protesting the appointment of Indian priests since last week and PADT administration has been padlocked since August 30. Their demands include appointment of Nepali priests and transparency in the offerings made at the temple.

A bomb went off at Sahidmaidan (Army ground) in Biratnagar. However, no untoward incident was reported following the explosion that was planted on the way to the District Administration Office. Police said the explosion was carried out by Ranabir Shena, an underground armed group. Documents and leaflets of the armed group were recovered from the explosion site. According to the police, the pamphlets mentioned slogans like: "Cows cannot be slaughtered; Downfall of Prachanda".

The Government cut off state facilities, including the VVIP security and salary, provided to Paramanda Jha, who has rejected to abide by the Supreme Court ruling to retake the oath in Nepali and preferred seeing his Vice Presidential post vacated.

September 5

A bomb disposal squad of the Nepal Army defused a bomb, which was apparently targeted at a regional assembly of the Unified CPN-Maoist, at a ground in Biratnagar. A separate team of the Nepal Army defused another thread-bomb, wrapped with a polythene bag, recovered at Bargachi on the Koshi road.

A team of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range in coordination with the Morang District Police Office arrested Ram Prasad Mainali, the chairman of the Nepal Defence Army (NDA), a religious extremist group, from Bhagidubba in Jhapa District in eastern Nepal. Further, the NDA ?commander? for the Morang District, Tribhuvan Yadav alias "Police", was also arrested from Motipur in Morang. The religious extremist group owned up the explosion at Assumption Church in Jawalakhel in May, in which four people were killed and 15 injured. The Home Ministry, in its secret report, has listed the NDA as a religious-criminal group. The Police seized a pistol along with 14 bullets, a revolver along with five bullets, mobile set, SIM cards issued from Nepal and India, pamphlets and threat notes.

September 6

Three persons were killed and five others injured in a bomb explosion at Malakheti VDC in the Kailali District. The bomb exploded Harka Bhadaur Mahata?s home, resident of Malakheti-8.

A report prepared by the Home Ministry is reported to said that only 12 out of 109 armed groups active in the country are political, while 70 of them are purely criminal groups. The report has categorised the armed groups as political, religious, political criminal, religious criminal and purely criminal. 12 groups, including Akhil Terai Mukti Morcha (Jaya Krishna Goit), Kirant Janbadi Workers Party and Tharuhat Swayatta Rajya Parishad, have been categorised as political groups. Four groups, including Cobra (Nagraj) and Nepal Defence Army, have been put in the religious criminal category, while 11 others have been categorized as political criminal groups. The nature of eight armed groups could not be established, the report added.

The Special Committee on Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants took the first steps to bring all 19,602 combatants under its command and control, effectively de-linking the ex-fighters? allegiance to the Unified CPN-Maoist. The Committee reviewed the technical committee?s proposal and instructed the panel of experts to develop a code of conduct and prepare manuals related to supervision, control and command for the former "People?s Liberation Army" living in the UN-monitored cantonments.

September 7

Police arrested two leaders of Ranvir Sena, identified as Binod Kumar Pandey, ?vice commander?, and Navin Pandey, from Biratnagar. Pandey was arrested on September 6, but the information was disclosed only in the evening of September 7. Police said that Pandey had converted his house at Biratnagar into the group?s headquarters, where he had been making bombs and explosives. The Police recovered a revolver, five rounds of bullet, 12 sets of pipe bomb, two sets of Sutali bomb, 13 sets of metal pipes and other explosives. Pandey (41), a civil engineer by profession, is a permanent resident of Rajbiraj in Saptari District.

Three Madhesi parties in the ruling coalition raised serious objection to the Cabinet's decision to scrap the perks given to Vice President Paramananda Jha.

The General Staff meeting of the Maoist combatants demanded that the Government should prepare a legal framework to ensure the integration and rehabilitation of combatants before bringing them under the control of a special committee.

September 8

Five cadres of the Unified CPN Maoist were injured when Police personnel charged batons at the Maoists who were chanting slogans and showing black flags to the Minister for Information and Communications Shankar Pokharel in the Syangja District. Later the Maoists obstructed vehicular movement from Kubinde to Syangja Bazaar demanding free medical treatment to those injured in the clash.

Speaking to the media in Nepalgunj, the Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said his party would not move an inch backward to end the deadlock in the Parliament unless the ruling coalition agrees to debate the President?s move.

September 10

After two months of deadlock, the Government and the Unified CPN-Maoist reached an agreement to resume the process of discharging the disqualified PLA combatants from the camps. Due to lack of co-operation from the combatants, the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction had to stop the process on the very day it reached the camps to release 4,008 disqualified PLA members on July 17. The Government had targeted to complete the process by early November 2009. However, the Maoists did not provide support to the Government mission. As per the agreement, the process of releasing the combatants could start shortly after the Dashain (religious) festival. The agreement was reached in the presence of representatives from the United Nations Mission in Nepal, the United Nations Development Fund, the Norwegian ambassador and political party representatives.

The vice-president of the Madheshi Rashtra Janvadi Krantikari Party, Ramnarayan Yadav, its spokesman Rambriksha Mahto and three other party supporters were arrested from Jainagar area in the Madhubani District of Indian State of Bihar. Arms and ammunition without valid documents were seized from them.

September 11

Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a. ?Prachanda?, the chairman of Unified CPN-Maoist, issued a threat to the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML to accept their 45-point demand or else brace for a new movement.

ANNISU-R, the student wing of the Maoists, announced an indefinite closure of private Higher Secondary Schools across the country from September 13 as the Higher Secondary Education Board did not pay heed to its demands.

September 13

Koutilya Sharma, coordinator of the SJTMM, an armed outfit operating in the Terai, said his party had no plans for an armed struggle. Speaking at a programme at Birgunj in the Parsa District, he said, "We?re attempting to walk in the path of peace. We?ve no plans of resuming the war again." He, however, warned of a bloody war if their demands were not met.

The Unified CPN-Maoist cadres assaulted Deep Bahadur K. C., Bakrang village committee chairman of CPN-UML, in Gorkha accusing him of taking Maoist supporters to a regional convention of CPN-UML.

September 14

At least 15 cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist and two Policemen were injured as the Maoists tried to disrupt the convocation ceremony of Purwanchal University, attended by the Prime Minister Madhav Nepal at Shahid Stadium in Biratnagar, headquarters of Morang District.

A couple of socket bombs were recovered nearby the defunct Vice President Paramananda Jha?s residence at Gaurighat in the capital Kathmandu. A bomb disposal squad of Nepal Army defused the explosives which were wrapped with a plastic bag and left unattended on the ground at 7-8 meter distance from Jha?s residence.

September 15

Six cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist were injured when they clashed with the Police in Janakpur. The incident took place after the demonstrators showed black flags to Minister for Labour and Transport Management Mohammad Aftab Alam. Dhanusha district committee member of the Unified CPN-Maoist Devsagar Das and YCL Dhanusha coordinator Shyam Yadav are among the injured.

The Maoist aligned Priest Appointment Joint Struggle Committee (PAJSC) unlocked the door of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) office taking into consideration the upcoming Dashain and Tihar festivals. PAJSC had padlocked the PADT office around two weeks ago protesting against the appointment of two new Indian priests at Pashupatinath Temple.

September 16

Continuing their protests, cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist waved black flags and pelted stones at Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal as he attended the 34th convocation ceremony of Tribhuvan University in Kirtipur in Kathmandu. A few Maoist cadres were injured when the Police used force to break the protest.

Seven activists of Youth Force (YF), the youth wing of CPN-UML, were injured in a clash with YCL cadres over the appointment of a teacher at the Dupchheshwori Lower Secondary School.

September 17

Two YCL cadres were injured in a retaliatory attack by the YF on YCL cadres. The clash had started over the appointment of a teacher at the Dupchheshwori Lower Secondary School.

JTMM-J announced a truce for 36 days considering the upcoming festivals. Issuing a press statement, the JTMM-J chief Nagendra Paswan alias Jwala Singh said the ceasefire has been declared in view the major festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhat and Ed. Jwala Singh said his group would stop armed activities during the cease-fire effective from September 19.

Addressing media persons on his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport following a four-day Hong Kong visit, chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist, Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda, said his party was ready to withdraw all the protest plans if the parties agree to amend the interim constitution changing the jurisdiction of the President to correct his 'unconstitutional step'.

A three-day meeting of the Unified CPN-Maoist held in Jajarkot decided to resurrect their people's Government in the District, arguing that the people have been facing difficulties due to the prolonged absence of representatives at the local bodies. Local leader of the Maoists said the decision was taken since the Government had shown apathy towards the peoples' problems. "We've decided to resurrect the local Governments to ease peoples' works,'' said Gagan Khadka 'Jeevan', the Unified CPN-Maoist District secretary, adding that Government officials at the local bodies would be asked to work as per the directives of their local Government.

September 21

The Armed Police Force (APF) arrested two cadres of the JTMM-G along with explosives from Parsa in the night. The duo was identified as Satyendra Pandey (21) of Ramnagari, Parsa and Ramprabesh Pandit (17) of Parwanipur-5. They were planning to detonate a bomb at the Apex Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd in Pathalaiya Corridor in Birgunj, the District headquarters. A Police constable was injured when a bomb exploded while trying to confiscate it from Pandey and Pandit.

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist showed black flags and pelted stones at the vehicle carrying the Minister for Irrigation Bal Krishna Khand in Tikapur of Kailali District, hours after he said that the Government will be compelled to react strongly if the Maoists continue with their violent ways in the name of carrying out agitation for civilian supremacy. The Police resorted to baton-charging to disperse the protesters, which resulted in a clash. Three Maoist cadres and two Policemen were injured in the scuffle.

September 22

The Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda claimed that some Madhesh-based parties are likely to withdraw support to the coalition Government shortly. Speaking to journalists in Pokhara, Dahal said the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress are adamant not to let the House debate the President's move seeing the possibilities of the Government not fetching majority.

September 23

The chairman of Unified CPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said that his party would table a no confidence motion in the Parliament against the CPN-UML-led Government if there's no agreement to 'rectify' the President's move. Speaking to reporters at Tansen in Palpa District, he said the Maoist party would try to reach an understanding with the UML and Nepali Congress till October 7, but it would go for no confidence motion if the talks failed.

September 25

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nepal (OHCHR-N) asked the Unified CPN-Maoist leadership to fully cooperate with ongoing investigations by authorities into alleged human rights abuses committed by its members. Issuing a statement, OHCHR-N said that it had sent a letter to the Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on July 24 expressing its concerns over lack of progress in investigations into killings of businessman Ram Hari Shrestha, journalist Birendra Sah, Arjun Lama and the June 2005 bus bombing in Madi, Chitwan. Maoist cadres were held responsible for the three killings and the Madi bus bombing in which 39 people were killed and more than 72 injured.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal rejected the Maoist proposal for a parliamentary debate on the President's move to reinstate Army Chief dismissed by then Maoist-led Government.

October 4

Matrika Yadav, who broke away from the Unified CPN-Maoist to form another party, which goes by the name CPN-Maoist, said his party is going to float its own army. Organising a press conference at Malangawa in Sarlahi, Yadav said no political force could complete the revolution without its own army and that his party was going to float its armed force soon. Yadav said his party would not possess weapons, but would be forced to capture State's arms and launch an armed revolt if the State tried to crush the movement.

The JTMM-J said that the group is ready to hold talks with the Government. Chairman of the outfit, Jwala Singh, said the JTMM-J was ready for the talks if the Government presented itself responsibly over the matter. He demanded that the Government implement the past agreements reached with the Madheshi parties and institutionalise the spirit of the Madhesh movement for the talks. Jwala Singh, however, said the recently introduced special security policy of the Government was against the Madheshi people.

October 5

A one-on-one meeting to find out ways to end the current political stalemate was held between Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and the Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda. "We discussed the country's overall political situation at the moment," Nepal told the media at his private residence at Koteshwor where the talks were held. A highly-placed source privy to the discussion said that Prachanda urged Nepal to address the President's May 3 move to reinstate the then Chief of Army Staff, Rookmangud Katawal, and the issue of civilian supremacy in the House. But the Prime Minister ruled out such a possibility, the source added.

October 6

The Armed Police Force arrested a central committee member of the JTMM-J, identified as Sakhichandra Yadav, from Ekdara VDC-8 area in the Mahottari District in the morning. Earlier, Yadav was arrested along with a set of pistol and bullets. However, he was freed a year later by the Government to make an environment for talks. Soon after being freed, Yadav went underground.

October 10

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist hurled stones at the vehicle of Industry Minister Mahendra Prasad Yadav when he was on board in Butwal. However, Minister Yadav was not wounded in the attack, confirmed the Police.

October 11

Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS), Chhatra Man Sing Gurung, said that the Nepal Army (NA) would accept the decision of the Government based on the recommendation made by the Special Committee for the Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Maoist combatants which is headed by the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. Briefing the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala during their inspection visit to the Army headquarters, the CoAS expressed hope that the decision (on the integration of combatants) will respect the neutral, professional and apolitical nature of the Nepal Army. The CoAS also said that the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants is clearly a political issue and that the NA will accept the decision of the Government. "But it shouldn''t breach the Army''s standard norms," he added.

October 13

At least 12 cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist were injured in a clash with the Police personnel in Pyuthan District. The clash broke out when the Police intervened in the Maoist demonstration against the visiting Minister for General Administration Rabindra Shrestha. Accusing the Police of using force to quell the party's peaceful demonstration, the Unified CPN-Maoist announced an indefinite transport strike in Pyuthan District.

21 Maoists from the Palpa District defected to the Matrika Yadav-led CPN-Maoist. They announced their desertion by issuing a statement. This is the third incident of Palpa-based Unified CPN-Maoist cadres leaving the party to join the splinter faction. However, the Palpa chapter of the Unified CPN-Maoist said in a statement that the deserters were expelled from the party for committing financial irregularities.

October 14

Political parties differed over the issue of whether to retain or change the national flag, national song and national emblem. While the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML were in favour of retaining the current national flag, the Unified CPN-Maoist and Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal, including few other small parties, wanted to change it. The Maoist leader Dev Gurung was quoted in the media as saying that the current national flag should be changed so as to reflect the nationalities in the country.

October 15

At the meeting of the Constitutional Committee (CC) of the Constituent Assembly, lawmakers unanimously demanded "easy and flexible provisions" to make amendments in the new constitution except those concerning its basic tenet and spirit. At the discussion on the constitutional amendment, lawmakers said flexible provisions would ease amendment procedure in the constitution except clauses pertaining to fundamental rights and press freedom. The lawmakers, representing a spectrum of political parties, said that a referendum can be held if any amendment needs to be made in the constitution regarding the two issues of fundamental rights and press freedom.

October 21

Defence Minister Bidhya Bhandari said the Government would resume recruitment in Nepal Army (NA) by the end of October 2009. She said fresh recruitment can be carried out so long as the number remains within the 95,753 ceiling. "The government is currently engaged in an exercise to resume recruitment. I have asked the Army to submit the number of personnel needed and the departments where positions are vacant," Bhandari said after meeting top Army officials at the Defence Ministry.

October 23

The Unified CPN-Maoist gave a 9-day ultimatum to the Government to address the demands raised by the party regarding the President's move. A meeting of the Maoist standing committee held at the party headquarters set November 1 deadline to the Government to come up with an understanding on issues raised by the party vis-à-vis the President's move against the erstwhile Government's decision to sack the then Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal.

More than 2,000 hectares of private land in Kailali District is still under the occupation of Unified CPN-Maoist according to District Administration Office statistics. The Maoists have distributed the seized land to party cadres and landless families. The landless are obliged to contribute 25 per cent of their produce to the Maoist party. "Some families donate cash to the party instead of crop produce," said a local, who has been cultivating the land the Maoists took over from Bijay Thapa at Pahalmanpur.

October 26

A cadre of Nepali Congress's sister organisation Tarun Dal, Chandra Prakash Hanggam was killed in Ilaam-Godak section of the Mechi Highway in Taplejung District. A group of about half-dozen persons attacked Hanggam and his pillion rider while he was going towards Jhapa from Taplejung on a motorcycle. Pillion rider Patanwa was seriously injured. Nepali Congress alleged that cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist are involved in the murder.

Minister for Irrigation Bal Krishna Khand warned that the Government would be compelled to use force against Maoists and their supporters if they continue their unruly activities that includes displaying black-flag to the President and Prime Minister and attacking ministers. "There will be no option left for the Government but to resort to using force if the Maoists continue with their atrocities like attacking the Prime minister and ministers," Minister Khand said at a press meet organized in Jhapa.

The two main ruling parties - Nepali Congress and CPN-UML - decided to make a 'final call' to the Maoists to come to a compromise to resolve the current political deadlock. The two parties also urged for more flexibility from the Maoist side on the President's move.

Speaking at a reception organised by the Maoist-affiliated Newa State Council in the capital Kathmandu, Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda said the Maoists are going to create a wave of protests which might well turn into the third Janaandolan (people's movement), and asked party cadres to stay prepared for that.

The Unified CPN-Maoist vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai said in an interview to World People's Resistance Movement of Britain that the ultimate plan of the Maoists is to "smash" the State into pieces in order to replace it with a "new state" that will be led by a proletarian party, or the Maoists.

October 28

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal met President Ram Baran Yadav at the latter's office Shital Niwas and discussed the latest political developments, especially the prolonged political deadlock. The Prime Minister briefed the President on the ongoing negotiations between the major parties on resolving the deadlock, according to Prime Minister's political advisor Raghuji Panta.

The Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subash Chandra Nemwang said that there is no alternative to the Parliament when it comes to endorsing the annual budget. After meeting Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal in the capital, the CA chairman said that the nation could fall into an economic crisis if the budget is not endorsed at the earliest.

November 1

After efforts for a consensus made no headway, the Unified CPN-Maoist launched the second phase of protests against the Government from the evening. The Maoists have decided to intensify the stir after the ruling parties objected to their proposal on discussing the President's move during the Army Chief row in the Legislature-Parliament. The Maoists had delivered an ultimatum, to the parties and Government to resolve the ongoing political crisis, which ended on November 1. As per the protest schedule, the Maoists staged torch rallies nationwide in the evening. Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a. Prachanda and other senior leaders took part in one of the rallies that was taken out from the New Buspark in the capital Kathmandu. Mohan Baidya, Ram Bahadur Thapa and Hit Man Shakya also were present in the rally. Similar rallies were staged in other places in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur Districts.

Speaking at a programme on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Prachanda warned of a revolt if the Government tried to suppress his party's planned protest.

Finance Minister Surendra Pandey warned that almost all the essential services related to health, security, education and jails will come into a complete halt if the budget for current fiscal year is not approved soon. Addressing a press conference, Pandey said most Government bodies will not be able pay their staff and meet their daily expenditure if the budget is not passed soon as they have already spent the 33 percent budget proposed for them. The Credit Bill passed by the Parliament to enable the Government to function till the budget is passed does not allow the use of more than 33 percent fund proposed for a heading.

November 2

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist 'captured' the Dhankuta Municipality, and 'appointed' the office-bearers of the municipality, including the mayor and the deputy mayor. The Maoists declared Ganesh Bista as the mayor and Kabita Rai as deputy mayor. They also appointed chairmen in nine wards in the municipality. The party declared that its team would look after the entire matters with the municipality.

Further, Maoists picketed the offices of municipalities, District Development Committees and Village Development Committees (VDCs) across the country, preventing work in these bodies during the protest, reports Nepal News.

The Information and Communications Minister Shanker Pokhrel warned that if the Maoist agitation violates the letter and spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the Government would be compelled to mobilise the Nepal Army to bring the situation under control. "If the agitation respects the CPA, we will tolerate it. However, if the situation goes beyond control and the Maoists break the spirit of the CPA, then we will have to seek more options. This means the deployment of all security agencies," he said. Announcement of a parallel Government or a blockade seriously violates the CPA and all effort to restore peace will be imperiled, he added.

November 3

The locals of Dhankuta demonstrated at Sindhuwa since early morning demanding security following the violent incident that took place the previous night. The locals demonstrated against the Unified CPN-Maoist who set ablaze a motorcycle and vandalised a van.

Admitting that exchanges exist between the Unified CPN-Maoist and the Indian Maoists, a senior Standing Committee member of the Unified CPN-Maoist, C. P. Gajurel, was quoted by Rajdhani as saying, "We have extended our full support and cooperation to the Indian Maoists, who are launching armed revolt." Talking to pro-Maoist journalists in the Bara District of southern Nepal on November 1, Gajurel, however, did not elaborate on what type of support they have extended to the Maoists in India. The statement came shortly after India?s Home Minister P Chidambaram mentioned about possible arms supply from the Nepalese Maoists to the Maoist insurgents in India.

The Unified CPN-Maoist, which had declared nationwide protests beginning from November 1, called off its proposed shutdown at the Tribhuvan International Airport in capital Kathmandu on November 10. They reportedly called off the shutdown at the request of foreign diplomats who met party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda earlier in the day.

The Unified CPN-Maoist Vice Chairman, Baburam Bhattarai, said that his party's plan to declare autonomous federal states would only be symbolic and a publicity stunt. Bhattarai said so in the wake of mounting criticism against the Maoists' protest programme, saying that the main opposition party tried to create parallel power centers.

November 4

The Unified CPN-Maoist recruited youths and began to impart military training to them in Sindhuli District. More than 100 youths have been acquiring military training at Madhutar in the District headquarters for the last one week. The Maoist source said that it had been providing training to the party activists of its youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL), who were selected from 13 areas of the District.

The Unified CPN-Maoist vice chairman, Babu Ram Bhattarai, clarified that his party is committed to peace and is not planning for any revolt.

November 5

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist staged sit-in in front of the District Administration Offices (DAOs) across the country for the second day. In Kathmandu Valley, hundreds of Maoists gathered in front of the DAOs of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur from early morning, carrying flags and banners emblazoned with slogans for restoration of 'civilian supremacy' and against the President's move. They also chanted slogans against the Prime Minister and the 22-party Government. Maoist central leaders and Constituent Assembly members led the sit-in programmes.

The Maoist cadres ordered six families in Sabhapokhari and Barhabise VDCs in Sankhuwasabha District to vacate their houses and immovable property at the earliest. All the victims owe their allegiance to the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML. The Maoists claimed that these families usurped the assets during the decade-long insurgency. The Maoists claimed that the victims did not seek their permission for the ?seizure?.

Teachers of Bhanu Secondary School at Dharampur in Jhapa District were forced to shut down the institution four days ago after Maoist cadres threatened to kill them. Representatives of the Nepal Teachers? Union (NTU), Jhapa, alleged that the Maoists issued death threat to Yam Nath Chimariya, headmaster, Bhanu Secondary School, and two of his colleagues Radha Krishna Khanal and Badri Bhattarai. Narayan Prasad Gautam, president, Jhapa, NTU, said that the threat was issued during a meeting with the school authorities on November 1.

The Government is all set to hold talks with the armed outfits in the Terai, Laxmanlal Karna, Minister without portfolio, said in Rajbiraj. "The talks will commence with the armed outfits of Terai in a week," he said, speaking at a press meet. He said that the Government had prepared a list of 102 armed outfits operating throughout the country. The talks he said is aimed at bringing the criminal groups under the law.

November 6

After calling off its shutdown strike at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Unified CPN-Maoist withdrew the party?s pre-announced programme to declare autonomous provinces in many parts of the country on November 9. The United National People?s Movement Central Committee of the party, which has been organizing nationwide agitation since November 1 to uphold what it calls "civilian supremacy", issued a press release on stating that the party?s aforementioned program has been called off for now.

November 8

Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda hinted his party could ease obstruction in the legislature parliament to let the budget for this fiscal year pass. Speaking to journalists at a programme organised by Parsa chapter of Reporters Club in Birgunj, in the morning, Prachanda said we have realised the difficulty faced by the nation as the budget is not passed, we will open the House soon only to let the budget pass. He also claimed that his party had no connection with Indian Maoists. Speaking at the press meet, Prachanda said, "Though we had political relations with the Indian Maoists earlier, we ceased to have any contact with them after we joined the peace process."

November 9

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist released 19 passenger buses belonging to Araniko Yatayat Sewa Samiti. The Maoists released the buses they had taken under control on November 7 and 8 after the Araniko Yatayat Sewa Samiti, agreed to provide NR 5,000 as ?donation? for each of the buses. The Maoists had demanded NR 50,000 in ?donation? for each of the buses operating from Kavre to Koshipari understandably for the support of their ongoing agitation. The Maoists forcefully seized the buses after the bus entrepreneurs declined to give donation to the party.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal urged the agitating Maoists to withdraw all their protests and sit for talks to solve the political deadlock stating that demonstrations and protests are not the proper means to find solution.

November 10

Vehicular movement to and from the Kathmandu valley through various entry points was blocked by cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist as they enforced valley blockade. According to the Traffic headquarters, no vehicles plied on the roads at main entry points, including Nagdhunga, Pharping, Sangha and Teenpitle, since early morning. The Maoists have been obstructing vehicular movement at these four entry points. However, the blockade has not affected normal life of the residents in the valley. Public and private vehicles are operating in the streets after the agitating Maoists clarified that they have not called a transport strike in the valley. The agitating Maoists blocked vehicles as part of its second phase of protests against the President?s move on the issue of Army Chief and to establish civilian supremacy in the country.

The agitating Unified CPN-Maoist, which had withdrawn its earlier plan to announce federal States, on November 9 declared the eastern Districts as Kirat federal state based on, what they describe, caste, language, culture, and historical background. The Maoists made the symbolic announcement amid a function organised at Diktel, the headquarters of Khotang District, as part of their protest against the Government. The Maoist Kirat state Committee in-charge and Maoist politburo member Gopal Kirati made the announcement. Saying that the state would be known as Kirati only to those people who are in favour of fighting against communal harmony and for equality, Kirati warned that the door of Kirati state would be closed for Indian imperialist, tyrants, and capitalists. However, office bearers of the state were not appointed. "It was only symbolic announcement for now," said leader Kirati, "We will appoint office bearers after some time. The headquarters of the Kirati state has yet to be searched though it was declared in Khotang district. He informed that Pandhare of Bhojpur District is likely to be made the capital of the state. Kirati said that federal state was declared only after taking consent from party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal though the central programmes were suspended earlier.

November 10

A meeting of the Unified CPN-Maoist central officer bearers concluded that the Government is not serious about seeking a consensus to defuse the current political imbroglio. The main opposition party which launched its second phase of protests against the President's "unconstitutional" move on November 1 has also decided to further intensify its stir. The meeting was held at the party headquarters in Parisdanda in the capital Kathmandu.

November 12

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist are picketing Singhadurbar which houses Government's main administrative offices for two days starting from as the last programme for the second phase of protest. Thousands of Maoists are reportedly staging a sit-in protest outside Singhadurbar area since early morning. Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda is participating at the programme from Bhadrakali, Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai from Maitighar Mandala, Narayan Kaji Shrestha from Padmodaya turning and leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara from District Administration Office. The Government has deployed some 10,000 Security Force personnel in and around Singhadurbar area, according to Jay Mukunda Khanal, spokesperson for the Home Ministry.

The Vice-chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist, Baburam Bhattarai, said that it is wrong to associate Nepali Maoists with the Indian Maoists. "The attempt to associate us with the Indian Maoists' movement is totally wrong," Bhattarai said. "It's their internal matter and we have no links whatsoever with them," he claimed.

November 15

The Unified CPN-Maoist vice chairman, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, said his party is planning for a no-confidence motion against the coalition Government to topple it and open doors for new national consensus Government. Speaking at the Reporters Club, Shrestha said his party now has no alternative to filing a no-confidence motion since Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had allegedly failed to take the initiative for forging a national consensus to end the ongoing deadlock. Claiming that leaders of the Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) have accepted the president's move as unconstitutional though of political nature, Shrestha said the parties have to accept it publicly that it hindered civilian supremacy.

November 16

Normal life in various eastern and central Terai Districts has been affected since early morning due to a bandh (shutdown) called by the CPN-Maoist faction led by Matrika Yadav. The party has announced an indefinite bandh starting today in the Terai Districts demanding release of their cadres arrested on charges of attacking the chief of Birgunj Custom Office Kewal Bhandari.

November 23

Police arrested Narendra Tamrakar, PLA ?commander? of Masuriya-based cantonment, on the charge of abducting a girl, Kalawati Tamrakar (18), in Dadeldhura District. Narendra was caught from Ajayameru VDC-7 on the same day. According to eyewitness accounts, seven men, including Narendra, had grabbed Kalawati and took her away in broad daylight. Deputy Superintendent of Police Chakra Bahadur Singh said that the other six men involved in the abduction are on the run and a Police team has been mobilized to search and arrest them. Kalawati has been handed over to her family.

December 2

Speaking at a programme organized in the capital on the occasion of Jyapu (indigenous peasants of Kathmandu) Day, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the plan of the Unified CPN-Maoist to declare autonomous federal states is against the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the Interim Constitution, accusing the Maoists of trying to end the significance of the Constituent Assembly (CA) with this move. He criticized the Maoists for their plan to declare federal states at a time when the political parties are holding discussion on state restructuring, adding that the Maoist move is objectionable.

The District Administration Office (DAO), Banke, ordered the Police to take Maoist People?s Liberation Army (PLA) fifth division brigade commander Deependra Shah aka Yuganta into custody for three months. The administration decided to hold Yuganta in detention for three months on charge of public offence.

December 3

The Unified CPN-Maoist concluded that it would demarcate the borders of its proposed autonomous states only after holding broader deliberations.

December 4

Upendra Yadav, the Chairman of MJF said that his party would launch peaceful protest, starting December 5, to press the Government to implement agreement signed with the party including the demand for 'One Madhesh One Province.' Talking to journalists in the Sunsari District, Yadav said the party has been compelled to resort to the strike as the Government remained indifferent to the Madhesh demands. He said the first-phase protest will include general assembly of cadres. Yadav said general strike has not been included in the first-phase protest as an ultimatum to the government. He said other agitation programmes will be launched if the demands were not met even after the peaceful protest.

As part of the third phase of protest programmes announced by the Unified CPN-Maoist, Maoist-affiliated Nepal National Dalit Mukti Morcha disrupted transport service in the capital Kathmandu in the morning. The ethnic front called strike in the valley for two hours from 10:30 am local time.

The Brigade Commander of the PLA, Dipendra Shahi 'Yuganta', who was handed down three-month detention by the District Administration Office of Banke on December 2, has been released after the Nepalgunj Appellate Court approved his habeas corpus petition.

December 6

JTMM, an armed outfit active in the Terai belts, split up after a mere seven months of its merger with the Madheshi Mukti Tigers (MMT) party. Both outfits had merged in April 2009 to form Janatantrik Madhesh Mukti Tigers Terai (JMMTT) with an aim to launch armed revolution. According to one of the underground party leaders, the party has expelled party chairman Jwala Singh for his failed leadership and individualistic activities. The two-day party meeting held at some unspecified location in the eastern borderland has formed a committee under the leadership of Rajan Pratap. Similarly, Surya Dev Singh is the new committee Vice President and the meeting has established eight-member politburo. The politburo members consist of activists who were previously associated with different organisations including Gajraj, Kranti Singh, Thufan Singh, Bidhrohi, Bhagat Singh, among others.

All Nepal Teachers Association (ANTA) affiliated to the Unified CPN-Maoist, and Republic Educational Forum (REF) called for a nationwide shut down of academic institutions on December 7.

The Unified CPN-Maoist-called nationwide general strike brought life to a standstill across the country. The Maoist party had enforced the strike protesting the death of three people in Police action against squatters in the Kailali-based Dudhejhadi forest on December 4.

December 7

Nepal Media Society (NMS), an alliance of publishers and broadcasters, requested the Unified CPN-Maoist-affiliated trade union to seriously internalise people?s freedom and their right to information and demanded that the union immediately withdraw the proposed shut down of the publication houses on December 9.

The Unified CPN-Maoist captured a house reportedly belonging to its lawmaker Binod Pahadi at Butwal in Rupandehi District. The Maoist cadres led by central committee member Bamdev Chhetri seized the two-storey house and set up a liaison office of its Abadh Madhesh State Committee. Chhetri inaugurated the party office amid a function. The party captured the house at a time when there is a rift between the party and lawmaker Pahadi over the ownership of the house. Stating that Pahadi went against of the party policy, the recently held meeting of the state committee had recommended central committee to take disciplinary action against him. The meeting also decided to set up its party office in the house.

The Unified CPN-Maoist vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai accused the Government of seeking to compel the Maoists to return to war by opening fire at unarmed landless squatters in Kailali District on December 5, killing four persons.

December 8

The CPN-UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal urged the opposition Unified CPN-Maoist to withdraw their plan to announce autonomous states. Speaking to media persons in Salyan in the morning Khanal alleged that Maoists are trying to bypass the mandate given to Constituent Assembly and make it useless. He said that Maoists must seek solution of all differences through the constituent assembly and that the announcement of states by a party does not give a good public message. "The job is mandated to CA, let it do that," Khanal said. In another context, Khanal repeated his statement that UML must make sacrifices to forge political consensus that would end the current deadlock.

President Ram Baran Yadav again called for consensus among the stakeholders to ensure that the country gets a new constitution within the stipulated time. President Yadav said it is very important that constitution is written within the next six months and that the constitution writing and concluding peace process must be the top priority for now.

December 10

The Unified CPN-Maoist expressed its dissatisfaction over a Cabinet decision on December 9 which mentioned that Maoists had breached the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). A meeting of the Maoist standing committee?s officials held in Naya Bazaar, in the morning, concluded such decision was against an agreement between its chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister (PM) Madhav Kumar Nepal at a meeting in the evening of December 8. Speaking to journalists after the meeting Maoist vice chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha said, his party would talk to the PM again and remind him of the agreement.

December 11

Notwithstanding the extensive national and international concerns, the Unified CPN-Maoist declared autonomous Kochila and Laimbuwan States. The Unified CPN-Maoist made the announcement as part of its third phase protest. The Maoists declared Kochila State at Birtamod in Jhapa District. The Kochila state includes Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari Districts. Likewise, it also declared Limbuwan autonomous State at Myaglung of Terhathum District. Leader Magar said border of the Limbuwan State, however, has not been delineated. He said the border of the State would be finalised later after border discussion within the party. He warned that the Maoists would declare parallel Government if the Government failed to address their demands by December 22.

Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda accused that the Government is bent on killing some Maoist leaders.

December 13

Despite the national and international concerns over its move, the Unified CPN Maoist declared Seti-Mahakali and Tharuwan autonomous States as part of the party's third round of protests. The Maoists declared five Districts in western Terai as Tharuwan autonomous State amidst a huge gathering of party cadres and supporters in Nepalgunj of Banke District. The Tharu ethnic community forms the majority in the region. Similarly, the Maoists also declared Seti-Mahakali autonomous State - which comprises hilly Districts of far-west - in Dhangadi of Kailali District. Maoist leader Lilamani Pokharel addressed the function attended by large number of Maoist activists and supporters.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had said the Maoist decision to declare federal States would invite political confrontation and urged the Maoists to withdraw the decision if they wanted timely drafting of constitution.

Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha (TKS), a semi-political organization working for the welfare of Tharu community, raised objection over declaration of federal states by the Unified CPN-Maoist. Issuing a statement, TKS general secretary Raj Kumar Lekhi said the Maoists undermined the Constituent Assembly by declaring States, and without considering the concerns of indigenous communities.

The Maoists had on November 25 unveiled its plan to declare 13 autonomous States based on ethnicity and region within December 11-18.

Ten political parties in the Government including Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and MJF-Loktantrik urged the agitating Unified CPN-Maoist to withdraw its agitation including the general strike on December 20- 22 and the declaration of federal States.

December 14

The Unified CPN-Maoist declared two more 'autonomous States' in the eastern Nepal. Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal announced Sherpa State in Solukhumbu, and politburo member Gopal Kirati declared Kirat State in Khotang. As part of their third-phase agitation against the Government, the Maoists have decided to go for a phase wise declaration of autonomous States.

Around 25 cadres of JTMM, an underground armed group active in Terai, including its central chairman Surya Bidhrohi joined en mass the reconstituted CPN-Maoist led by Matrika Yadav.

Enraged by acts of violence by Unified CPN-Maoist cadres in different parts of the country, including in Salyan, Rukum and Nuwakot Districts, the CPN-UML decided to launch a nationwide ?exposure campaign? against the main opposition party.

December 15

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal met the United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon at the sidelines of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in Copenhagen in Denmark and held discussion on the future of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). During the meeting that lasted for nearly 30 minutes, PM Nepal is learnt to have informed UN Secretary General Ban of the Government's intention to extend the tenure of the UNMIN for some more time. However, PM Nepal said he made it clear to Ban that UNMIN's term can be extended, but it can't be allowed to stay in the country indefinitely.

December 16

The Unified CPN-Maoist announced two more autonomous States - Newa and Tamsaling - defying calls from several quarters to withdraw the autonomous state declaration programme. Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda declared Newa autonomous State amid a function organized at Basantapur in the capital Kathmandu. The Maoist proposed Newa autonomous State comprises Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur Districts. Similarly, Maoist vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai declared Tamsaling State from Kakani of Nuwakot District. The Tamsaling autonomous State comprises Nuwakot, Dhading, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Ramechhap, Makwanpur and Dolakha Districts. With this, the number of Maoist-declared autonomous States has reached ten.

The Unified CPN-Maoist captured hundreds of acres of land belonging to various individuals across the country on December 15 using its sister organisations. Maoist cadres captured about 100 hectares of land in Tanahun, 15 hectares in Kavre, 6.3 hectares in Palpa, over 30.3 hectares in Bara and about 3.3 hectares in Nawalparasi, by hoisting their party flag. They issued threats to the landowners not to sell or use the land. They said the land will be distributed to landless persons. Large number of Maoist cadres affiliated to unions of farmers and squatters had flocked to hoist their party flags in the seized lands. Most of the captured land plots belong to leaders of other political parties including Nepali Congress and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP). The seized land in Nawalparasi belonged to late Surya Bhakta Adhikari, while that in Kavre belongs to RPP leader Pashupati Shumsher Rana and his relatives.

Nepali Congress has condemned the seizure saying it is a serious of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The discharge of disqualified Maoist combatants currently living in the UN-monitored cantonments will start from December 27 and completed within 40 days. The representatives of the Nepal Government, the Unified CPN-Maoist and the United Nations signed the action plan for the release of 4,008 disqualified combatants, most of them minors in Kathmandu.

December 17

Disregarding calls from various quarters including the political parties to refrain from declaring autonomous States, the Unified CPN-Maoist declared two more Autonomous States?Magarat and Tamuwan. The Unified CPN-Maoist declared the Magart State from Tansen-Tudikhel, the headquarters of Palpa District and the Tamuwan State from Pokhara in Kaski District. Likewise, Senior Maoists leader Dev Gurung declared the Tamuwan Autonomous State at a function in Pokhara amid cheering Maoist cadres. With the latest Maoist announcement, the Maoist-declared autonomous States have reached to 12. According to the Maoists, the Magrat State includes Palpa, Gumli, Arghakhachi, Salyan, Pyuthan, Rukum, Rolpa, Baglung and Myagdi Districts, while Tamuwan State includes Lamjung, Gorkha, Tanahun, Mustang, Kaski, Parbat and Syangja Districts.

Another outfit, Swatantra Madheshi Youth Force, Parsa, declared Madhesh autonomous State amid a function in Birgunj. Addressing the function, outfits central chairman Pradip Biswokarma said, "Only the Madheshis of this place have the right to declare provinces under the Madhesh state," adding," If the Maoists try to interfere in Madhesh by using traitor Madheshi, we will remind them of the Gaur incident." He said that the Madhesh from Mechi to Mahakali was ?one? and that it had become autonomous with the declaration.

Morang District administration mobilised Police and reclaimed the Sahid Stadium of Biratnagar. Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist-affiliated Kochila Autonomous State Council had seized the stadium on December 16 as a part of the Maoist-launched land seizure drive to settle the landless, freed bonded labourers and disaster victims.

December 18

The Unified CPN-Maoist wrapped up its autonomous state declaration programme by declaring Madhesh autonomous state, reports Nepal News. The Maoist vice-chairman Babu Ram Bhattarai announced the establishment of Madhesh autonomous state amid a programme organized at Barabigha Ranabhoomi Maidan in Janakpur District. The Madhesh state comprises 12 Terai Districts from Saptari in the east to Kapivastu in mid-west Nepal. With the announcement, the Maoists have finished declaration of 13 autonomous states based on ethnicity and region. Earlier, the Maoists had declared Limbuwan, Kochila, Kirat, Sherpa, Bher-Karnali, Tharuwan, Seti-Mahakali, Tamsaling, Newa, Bhote, Magarat and Tamuwan autonomous states.

The Maoists declared that they would go ahead with their pre-announced plan to impose nationwide general strike for three days starting December 20.

The Unified CPN-Maoist cadres pelted stones at Minister for Energy Prakash Sharan Mahat in Baglung in the morning while he was on the way to participate at one programme. He was also shown black flags. The situation in Baglung has been tensed following the assault.

December 20

The entire nation came to a grinding halt on the first day of the three-day general strike called by the Unified Unified CPN-Maoist and at least 50 protesters and two dozen security personnel were injured in clashes in Kathmandu. Protests in Kathmandu and some Districts were marked with sporadic violent clashes between security personnel and protesters. The situation in Kathmandu, which was relatively calm until one in the afternoon, suddenly became tense after the police fired water cannons at protesters in Naya Baneshwor square to clear the road for Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal?s motorcade from the airport.

Businessmen in Parasi picketed the District office of the Unified CPN-Maoist protesting the party?s decision to close down the Parasi bazaar.

Unified CPN-Maoist-affiliated students set ablaze campus chief?s office of Mahendra Bindeshowri Multiple campus in Rajbiraj for defying their general strike.

December 21

Normal life remained crippled on the second day of the three-day general strike called by the Unified CPN-Maoist. The general strike in the Capital remained relatively peaceful compared to December 20, while clashes took place in some parts of the country with over a dozen incidents of vandalism, arson and attack on Government employees. The Capital, which witnessed violent clashes on December 20, remained largely peaceful with Maoist demonstrators burning tyres, singing songs and chanting slogans against the government. However, protesters in Bhaktapur manhandled Haribol Khanal, Director of the Curriculum Development Centre. They had vandalised three vehicles near the centre before entering the office. The Home Ministry had beefed up security in the Capital to prevent untoward incidents. Over 5000 security personnel, including senior police officers were deployed.

Outside the Valley, Maoist cadre vandalised Government offices, attacked Government employees, journalists and resorted to arson. The agitators did not even spare an ambulance in Rupandehi. In Mugu, Maoist cadre attacked journalist Kabi Raj Karki with boots, sticks and stones while he was taking pictures of the demonstration. Over a dozen Maoist cadres were injured in a clash with security personnel in Panchthar. The clash ensued after protesters resorted to vandalism and tried to shut down the district Land Revenue Office. Maoist cadres vandalised two Government offices and a Government vehicle in Butwal. In Gorkha, a group of 25 YCL cadre attacked Bhola Shrestha, a CPN-UML District member at his home.

Security personnel held at least 17 strike enforcers on the charge of indulging in vandalism, arson and attacks in different parts of the Capital.

Baburam Bhattarai, chairman of the United National People?s Movement that launched the strike, said the strike would conclude in the afternoon of December 22 with rallies and assemblies. Further, he warned of more protests if the Government did not address their demand to restore civilian supremacy.

In a bid to end the protracted political deadlock with the agitating main opposition, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal called on Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal and asked him to shun violence.

Central Chairman of the MMT Raman Kumar Singh warned to launch its agitation starting from January 15, saying that the Government remained indifferent to dialogue procedure. He claimed that the agitation slated for January 15 will be peaceful.

December 23

At least 22 activists of Tarun Dal, youth wing of the Nepali Congress party, were injured when the Unified CPN-Maoist cadres attacked them at Harmatari Chowk in Gorkha District. The injured activists included Tarun Dal?s general secretary Krishna Parajuli. The Maoist cadres attacked the microbus in which the Tarun Dal activists were riding on the way for Gorkha from the capital at Harmatari Chowk. The vehicle was totally damaged. "Maoist cadres pelted stones and vandalised the microbus, the police rescued us when they tried to torch the vehicle keeping us inside ", Parajuli said. The Tarun Dal cadres were due to call District shut down on December 24 today protesting against the Maoists attack on Gorkha Tarun Dal secretary Dhruba Pant on December 22. The party was preparing to stage a sit-in at the District administration office for an hour and vehicular strike. The Maoists said that they attacked the Tarun Dal activists as they were coming to the District to create chaos.

A media mission team formed by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) concluded that Rukum-based journalist Tika Bista was attacked by the Maoist cadres. The mission team made public its findings in the capital after conducting field study on the case of Bista?s attack. Journalist Bista was seriously injured in an attack by an unidentified gang in Rukum District on December 8.

A meeting of 10 ruling parties gave a positive nod to extend the mandate of the UNMIN, which has been monitoring Nepal's peace process since January 23, 2007. The UNMIN's current mandate is due to expire on January 23, 2010.

December 24

After completing its third-phase protests for 'civilian supremacy, Unified CPN-Maoist commenced its publicity programmes for what the party called "national sovereignty". Emerging from a meeting of the party office bearers, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda informed that his party launched the publicity programmes as the 'civilian supremacy' cannot be established without national sovereignty. Issuing a press statement Dahal demanded that all the unequal treaties including the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty of peace and friendship be scrapped.

Jaya Prakash Yadav, central chairman of Madhesi Virus Killers (MVK), an armed outfit active in the Terai, joined Matrika Yadav-led CPN-Maoist. The armed group is still in negotiation with the Government. Issuing a press statement, Chairman Yadav stated that he relinquished the armed outfit and joined CPN-Maoist, reconstituted by Matrika Yadav who earlier walked out of the Unified CPN-Maoist. The statement says that the ongoing negotiations with the Government could not make any achievement on the behalf of Madhes and Madhesi people and that he had given up the armed struggle.

The Constitutional Committee (CC) rejected the Unified CPN-Maoist proposal for changing the national flag by voice majority. The CC also declined to take up the terminology ?People?s War? in the preamble of the constitution-in-the making, while endorsed the Terai-based parties? proposal to use "Madhes Andolan" in it.

December 27

Omkar Gosain, Baguada region ?commander? of Terai Janatantrik Mukti Tigers (TJMT), an armed underground outfit active in the Terai, was killed in an exchange of fire with the Security Force personnel in a forest between Nairanpur and Matahiya across the Rapti River in Banke District. Gosain was killed when the Armed Police Force (APF) men acting on a tip-off tried to catch the TJMT cadres and opened fire in the forest. According to APF, the TJMT cadres fired two shots while the Police fired three shots. Some of the TJMT cadres fled the scene after the brief exchange of fire. Police recovered a pistol from the deceased.

Matrika Yadav-led CPN-Maoist announced the formation of its military wing in the East under the name of Namsam Memorial Battalion. Organising a press meet at Dharan in Sunsari District, Kirant-Limbuwan-Khumbuwan-Kochila State coordinator of the group Amar said the battalion comprises combatants who recently defected from the Unified CPN-Maoist. "There are 650 combatants in our three companies--Kirat-Limbuwan A, Khumbuwan B and Kochila C," said Amar. He said the battalion would soon manage arms. "We have weapons at the UN-monitored cantonments and the Maoist PLA fighters will soon defect our battalion with these arms," he claimed. Twelve combatants in combat dress were presented at the press meet. Amar further said the battalion would not collect donation but ask for people?s support. He also warned the party would soon form parallel government across the country.

Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Parliament decided to scrap the membership of expelled Maoist leaders Matrika Yadav and Jagat Yadav. Both Matrika and Jagat Yadav were formerly members of the erstwhile CPN-Maoist. They announced, they would quit the party and reconstitute the original CPN-Maoist, after the erstwhile CPN-Maoist merged with CPN-Unity Centre-Masal to form the Unified CPN-Maoist, in February, 2009.

December 28

The Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda floated a new strategy to shore up support for his party?s fourth phase of protests. The political dossier, which Prachanda presented at the politburo meeting, says that the Maoist party will work in unison with all ?nationalist forces? to give the fourth phase of protests a boost. The fourth phase comprises a month long nationwide ?awakening and exposure campaign?. "The chairman?s report underscores the need for a national movement," said Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma.

The discharge of disqualified Maoist combatants, which was to start from December 27, was postponed to January 7.

December 29

Cadres of the Unified CPN-Maoist attacked Federalism, Constituent Assembly (CA) Affairs and Culture minister Minendra Rijal with bamboo sticks in Udaypur District. A statement issued by Nepal Congress (NC), Udaypur unit president Narayan Bahadur Karki informed that minister Rijal was attacked on head and shoulders with bamboo sticks as he was coming out of the party's District office in the afternoon.

The seventh interim constitution amendment bill was tabled at the legislature parliament. Minister for Law and Justice Prem Bahadur Singh said the bill was tabled with the intention to allow Vice President-elect Paramananda Jha to take oath in Hindi. Vice President-elect Paramananda, whose position was rendered defunct earlier after the Supreme Court vacated his oath in Hindi and directed him to re-take oath in Nepali, would be eligible to take oath in Hindi after the passage of the bill.

December 30

Nepal Tarun Dal, the youth wing of the Nepali Congress (NC), staged demonstrations in capital Kathmandu condemning attack on its cadres by the Unified CPN-Maoist. The protest demonstration that started from Maitighar Mandala parade marched through several places of the capital and finally converged into a corner meeting at New Baneshwor.

Major two constituents of the ruling coalition - the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML- decided to mobilise their cadres to retaliate what they have described as "Maoists' excesses" politically. They said that they will launch political campaigning for the drafting of new constitution. A meeting between the leaders of the two parties held at the NC parliamentary party office in Singhadurbar took the decision.

December 31

Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (Unified CPN-Maoist) activists in Dang District have started selling land the party had seized during the insurgency. It has been learnt that the Maoists in the District are forcing landowners to sell captured plots to the party?s chosen clients for commission. Maoist cadres, including some District leaders, are earning commission from land purchasers for arranging land at a cheap price. In some cases, the Maoists immediately buy back land from the first purchasers to sell it at a higher price. Maoist activists have plotted some 20 hectares land belonging to 16 people in various parts of Dang to profit from sales. "Maoist activists involved in such deals submit 20 to 25 percent of the income earned to the party, and land transaction has become the main source of income for the party and its activists in recent days," a highly placed Maoist source said. Maoists in the district have deprived owners of the right to sell their own land. Either sell the land to the party?s chosen client or pay a certain amount if you plan to sell the land on your own. This is the choice the landowners have.





Copyright © 2001 SATP. All rights reserved.

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