Monday, January 23, 2006

Professionals' body gives ultimatum to govt

Kathmandu, January 23- The Professional Alliance for Peace and Democracy (PAPAD) on sunday issued a seven-day ultimatum and urged the King to form an all-party government. The professional body threatened to hit the streets if their demands are not met.A meeting of the Professionals' Association for Peace and Democracy (PAPAD) has decided to hold a symbolic protest programme at Naya Baneshwor against the recent government crackdown on human rights activists, journalists and legal practitioners.

Following today’s emergency meeting organised to discuss the current political developments, the PAPAD has decided to hit the streets from January 30 if their demands are not fulfilled.

“It is our compulsion to come out on the streets after the government’s detention of party leaders, human rights activists and civil society members,” president of Nepal Bar Association, Shambhu Thapa, said after the meeting."All professionals should participate in the protest to protect their professions." he said

“Our roles cannot be limited to our professions only,” he added. The PAPAD is made up of different associations of lawyers, journalists, doctors, engineers, and university and school teachers.

“Our job is to plead in courts, but that will not help restore democracy,” Thapa said. He also urged all the law professionals to take part in the rally to be organised by PAPAD on January 30. Otherwise the lawyers will face NBA’s disciplinary actions, he warned.

“We must oppose the unconstitutional move of the government to detain party and civil society leaders,” Thapa said. Dr Sudha Sharma, president of Nepal Medical Doctors’ Association, also urged professionals from all walks of life to attend the protest rally to put pressure on the government. “The government should call on the political parties and the Maoists to try to resolve the ongoing crisis. War is intolerable and should be stopped immediately,” she said.

President of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Bishnu Nisthuri, said that the rally would provide an opportunity for the people to identify themselves either with the people’s movement or with the autocracy. “If you want to see the people strengthened, come forward with clear views,” Nisthuri said.Rameshwor Uppadhya of Teachers Union, Saroj Devkota of Nepal Engineers' Association, also spoke during the programme which was participated in by representatives from other professional groups also.

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