The Maoist rebels in Nepal are ready for peace talks with a new parliament. Citing this as a historic moment, rebel leader Prachanda said, “We are entering into a dialogue process, feeling deep responsibility for people’s aspirations towards democracy and peace.”

Nepal’s house of representatives met last Friday for the first time since 2002. Nepal’s new cabinet and prime minister announced today they would no longer call the rebels “terrorists.” A United Nations political official left for the Himalayan nation to review the situation and help build on the positive developments towards a negotiated solution. Talks with rebels and other parties will likely center on forming a constituent assembly, drafting a new constitution and deciding on the future role of the monarchy.

More than 13,000 deaths resulted in Nepal as rebels began fighting for a communist republic in 1996. The king blamed this threat of the Maoist rebellion for his decision to dissolve parliament, impose a state of emergency and suspended civil liberties in February 2005. (BBC News) . . .

The GN Network featured the unfolding of events in Nepal here, as the king was forced to resume the parliament, here, as the rebels called their own cease fire, and here, when the new parliament matched the cease fire, forgiving any charges of terrorism, and “in a dramatic reversal,” naturally assimilated the rebels into a 7-party political process.

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