King Gyanendra's proposal to Nepal's parties to hold talks to resolve the current political impasse produces sharply differing reactions in the country's newspapers. While some view the king's offer as a sign of flexibility, others believe the move lacks substance.
Commentary by Deepak Raj Subedi in The Kathmandu Post
The New Year message by the king is nothing but a hollow message. The king seems to be very indifferent to the ongoing violence and bloodshed and the people fighting for their sovereignty.
Editorial in The Rising Nepal
The 'unholy alliance' with the Maoist terrorists proves that they [the political parties] do not believe in either democracy or the ushering in of peace in the interest of the people and the country... Yet, the state has been flexible enough to urge the political parties to participate in the democratic process.
Editorial in The Kathmandu Post
A few people had anticipated that the king's message on Nepali New Year's Day would address the ongoing political imbroglio. That exactly happened. The king's oblivious attitude towards the recently escalated political conflict is a clear message to the protestors that whatever they have been doing is not sufficient to draw his attention ... Now with so many people coming up in arms against the absolute monarchy, the king has to come out of the door himself seeking reconciliation.
Editorial in Nepal Samacharpatra
At a time when the seven political parties have been maintaining that their agitation will continue until democracy is restored, the King has given the message that there is no alternative to multiparty democracy in the 21st Century and that people's mandate expressed through the ballot box is the truth... it is time for the political parties to show interest in dialogue... There is no possibility of dialogue if one side continues to take a prejudiced view of the other.
Editorial in Kantipur
The political parties cannot talk with the king until he hands over sovereignty. This agitation is a battle for sovereignty. On that basis, the political parties are trying to discharge the duty of bringing the Maoists to the mainstream. As the king's New Year's message has not addressed that aspect, there is no alternative to the people's movement.
Editorial in Dibya Darshan
By deciding to extend indefinitely their general strike scheduled to end on 9 April, the leaders of the seven political parties have made another grave mistake. The series of general strikes called by the seven parties has added insult to the injury of the Nepalese people, who were already reeling under a violent conflict, blockades, attacks on government offices and public property, and similar destructive activities.
Commentary by Pradip Nepal, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) in Nepal Samacharpatra
The king's one-way travel has given a new message for the year 2063 [Nepalese New Year beginning 14 April]- that now no force will say that the king and the political parties should reconcile. This is the first victory in the struggle against autocracy. Truth is on the side of the people; it is on the side of the political parties... the political parties cannot go for dialogue.
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