Attended by the entire cabinet, political leaders, foreign ambassadors, dignitaries and members of the international press, the historic moment came at the Birendra International Convention Center (BICC) hall in the capital at 8:25 this evening.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist supremo Prachanda signed the historic deal. Before the deal was signed, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula read out the full text of the CPA.
Main features of the CPA, which includes 10 main sections, are
- Formal end of the Maoists' People's War that began in 1996.
- No political rights to King; his property to be nationalized under public trusts.
- To strictly implement all previous agreements reached between the government and Maoists.
- Maoists' People's Liberation Army and Nepal Army and their arms to be managed as per the earlier agreement reached between the government and the Maoists.
- No attacks or any kind of violent and offensive activities from either side; no new recruitments in armed forces of both sides.
- OHCHR-Nepal to monitor human rights situation and UN Team to monitor and supervise PLA cantonments and Nepal Army barracks.
- Full commitment to uphold human rights, all international human rights laws, civil liberties.
- Maoists' parallel administration (People's governments, People's Courts) across the country to be scrapped.
- National Peace and Rehabilitation Commission, Truth Commission, and a high-level Commission for State Restructuring to be formed.
- Feudal land-ownership system to end, Scientific land distribution system to be adopted.
- Strong punitive policy against corruption.
- Property earned illegally by anybody through corruption to be confiscated.
- Possession, display and use of arms and weapons by anybody a punishable crime.
- Both government and Maoist sides to assist each other to maintain law peace, law and order.
- Respectful rehabilitation and social integration of the people displaced during the insurgency.
US, UN welcome peace accord
The UN and US on Tuesday evening welcomed the announcement of the comprehensive peace accord signed by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist Chairman Prachanda.
"We hope this step (signing of the peace accord) will place Nepal on the path of lasting peace and democracy," said a statement issued by the American Embassy this evening.
The US also said it wants the peace process to work and pledged full support. "We support an agreement that safeguards the aspirations of the Nepali people."
With the signing of the agreement, the US said violence, intimidation, and criminal acts -- such as forced recruitment of cadre and extortion -- must end.
"The Nepali people, who have lived in fear for 11 years, deserve a chance to live without fear and choose their form of government in fair elections," the US said.
America also said it is committed to help Nepal build a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future for its people.
Meanwhile, Ian Martin, the special representative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the peace agreement had marked a key step forward in the peace process.
Issuing a statement this evening, Martin said, "It is a privilege to have been present at the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, marking another key step forward in the peace process."
Martin called it a historic opportunity for the people of Nepal to end the armed conflict and to build sustainable peace within an inclusive and democratic state. "Now today?s Agreement promises to convert the ceasefire into long-term peace."
He added those involved on both sides were to be congratulated for their hard work in finalizing the agreement which is entirely a Nepali achievement.
"The Secretary-General has said that he intends to move promptly to respond to the request to the United Nations to help in key areas of the peace process. I am pleased to say that my office is working in an excellent spirit of collaboration with the Government and the CPN-M on these areas, and today we have completed agreement on the locations of seven divisional PLA cantonment sites."
With the Comprehensive Peace Agreement now signed, Martin said he
hope that a tripartite agreement will be reached on the full modalities for the management of arms and armies, clarifying essential details regarding confinement to cantonments and restriction to barracks, weapons storage, permitted and prohibited activities, and monitoring arrangements.
"I also look forward to discussing how the United Nations' role in the other areas requested, of human rights monitoring, assisting independent national monitoring, and
electoral assistance and monitoring, can help to create the climate of multi-party democracy and pluralism throughout the districts and villages of Nepal which is essential for the free and fair Constituent Assembly election to which the parties have committed themselves," Martin said.
Story source: www.kantipuronline.com
Read related news in The New York Times.
Were Maoist ever threat to tourists?
Maoist Insurgency had certainly disturbed ?s tourism and projected distorted picture of in security issues but they had been never been a direct threat to the tourists. In a 10 years insurgency, when more than 10,000 Nepalis lost their life, no single tourist were killed or injured.
Other Security Issues
A unit of Tourist Police has been established in in order to deal with the security issues of tourists in . The special unit has been designated the task of providing security to visitors. The team of Tourist Police consists of officers who can speak and understand English and Hindi. They register
complaints, investigate matters, and provide protection and safety to tourists. They also try to ensure hassle-free trip for visitors and assist tourists when necessary. There are three units of Tourist Police forces in Kathmandu . While the main office is at the Tourist Service Center in Bhrikuti Mandap (Phone: 4247041, 4247037), the other one at Basantapur (Phone: 4268969).
Here are some tips on how visitors can remain safe:
- Inform your whereabouts immediately upon arrival to the local police or concerned ebassy or consulate.
- Use the services of government registered travel and trekking agencies only.
- Do not trek alone in the remote areas. Solo female travelers do not travel with strangers or accept dinner invitation or free sightseeing ride from the strangers.
- While traveling by public transport, be careful with the people who advances being over-friendly. Do not eat or drink anything given by the strangers.
- Stay only at government registered hotels, resorts, guest houses and lodges. Most of the theft and burglary cases reported are from cheapest guesthouses and lodges.
- Use only those porters who are authorized by your travel agency or hotel.
- Exchange foreign currency only at authorized places.
- Carry certified copies of documents and leave the originals and other valuables in the safe deposit box of your hotel.
- Never leave these items unattended in your room.
- Do not carry large sums of cash.
- Carry travelers' cheques and limited amount of cash while on tour.
- Never leave your luggage and other valuables unattended at any time, any place.
- In case of theft or loss contact the nearest police station immediately.
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