NEPAL MAOISTS’ STRIKE CONTINUES
An indefinite strike by Maoists in Nepal to force the government to resign has entered its third day, with many businesses still shut and roads empty.
The government and the Maoists are continuing talks to try to find a resolution to the crisis.
Maoists say the government has no popular support and that Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal should resign.
The BBC's Joanna Jolly in Kathmandu says protests have been largely peaceful barring a few scuffles.
The prime minister has asked the Maoists to resolve their issues through dialogue.
A number of Maoist supporters have returned to their farms outside the city to plant their maize crop. But they are being replaced by new supporters who say they have enough food and water supplies to stay for weeks.
Jhalak Khatiwada, a Maoist youth leader, told the BBC that his supporters are prepared to stay for as long as it takes.
“We have some stocks for 15 days. And we are providing the water and food from our stocks. And after finishing our stocks, we can bring them from outside the valley also,” he said.
The prime minister has said he will consider stepping down, but only if the Maoists pursue their demands through dialogue and meet certain conditions.
These include disbanding the integration of former Maoists fighters, who will lead a government of national unity, disbanding the Maoist paramilitary wing and returning property they seized during their 10-year conflict with the state.