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Nepal bans protests in Kathmandu

Written by: Staff

KATHMANDU, Apr 4: Nepal's royalist government toay indefinitely banned protests in Kathmandu, two days ahead of a general strike and a series of protests against King Gyanendra's seizure of power.

The ban would come into force from tomorrow in Kathmandu and the neighbouring temple-town of Lalitpur, a government statement said.

Nepal's main political parties have planned a four-day nationwide general strike from Thursday and a series of big protests in Kathmandu against King Gyanendra who seized power last year.

The ban was necessary to maintain law and order as Maoist rebels could infiltrate the demonstrations and incite violence, it said.

The government decision came a day after the rebels announced an indefinite ceasefire in Kathmandu and its surrounding valley to help make the protests successful.

But the government said it did not trust the rebels, who have been fighting to topple the monarchy and establish communist rule in the Himalayan kingdom.

''It is necessary to immediately control them because they could result in the loss of life and property,'' the government statement said.


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