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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 11:21 GMT
Nepal parties reject rally ban
By Sushil Sharma
BBC News, Kathmandu

Nepal anti-king rally in Janakpur
The protestors are demanding that the king restore democracy
Nepal's opposition parties have said they will defy a new government ban on political rallies in the capital.

The government declared an indefinite ban on all rallies and imposed a night-time curfew in Kathmandu on Monday following recent rebel attacks.

The authorities had asked the seven party opposition alliance to call off a pro-democracy rally scheduled for Friday, citing security concerns.

The home ministry also called on the opposition to open talks with it.


Opposition spokesperson Krishna Sitaula said the seven party alliance would go ahead with Friday's rally. And he said there was no question of holding talks with what he called an unconstitutional government.

The political parties have also criticised the night-time curfew.

Policemen at the site of an attack by Maoist rebels in southern Kathmandu
The rebels killed 12 policemen in Kathmandu on Saturday

The opposition parties have been holding protests over King Gyanendra's seizure of executive powers in February last year.

They have also decided to boycott nation-wide municipal elections scheduled for next month and said they will protest peacefully against the elections.

The Maoist rebels have also vowed to disrupt the municipal polls and have warned that they will step up their attacks against government targets in the run up to the polls.

Earlier this month the rebels abandoned their four-month unilateral truce and since then there has been an upsurge in violence.

Twelve policemen were killed in Maoist attacks in Kathmandu over the weekend, prompting the government to impose a night-time curfew and a ban on all rallies.

More than 12,000 people have died in Nepal since the Maoists began their insurgency 10 years ago.


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