Saptari incident concerns UN, US

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 8, 2017-The United Nations and the United States have expressed their concerns about Monday’s incident in Rajbiraj in which three protesters were killed in police firing and the subsequent escalation of tensions in the run-up to the local elections.

Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the UN in Nepal said, “We are saddened by the loss of life and injuries which resulted from the recent violent clash in Saptari district between political party cadres and state security forces.”

Violence has no place in the freedom of expression and assembly, the UN said. “We call on security forces to comply with existing national and international standards on the use of force. At the same time, we urge the political parties to peacefully express their views in actions and statements.”

“The United States is deeply concerned at signs of rising volatility in some areas of Nepal, including the recent clash in Saptari that resulted in the deaths of several protesters,” the US Embassy in Kathmandu said in a statement. It added that the right to peacefully express one’s political views is a fundamental component of an inclusive democracy, but “violence should not be part of the political discourse”.

“The embassy calls on Nepali security forces to exercise maximum restraint as people express their democratic rights. It also encourages all protesters and parties to continue to engage in the democratic process through non-violent means.

“We are encouraged to see the people and government of Nepal prepare for historic local elections,” the embassy said. “This is an important step toward implementing the constitution and ensuring responsiveness and accountability in locales across the country.”

Three protesters died when police opened fire at them during the Rajbiraj programme of the CPN-UML’s Mechi-Mahakali campaign in Saptari on Monday. Several others were injured.

The UN said it encourages inclusive and meaningful dialogue to create and strengthen a conducive environment for the conduct of the historical local elections. “The United Nations is committed to working with all Nepalis to take the country towards a peaceful and prosperous future,” the statement read. 

The embassy stated that the United States remains committed to working with all Nepalis as they continue along their democratic path.

Published: 08-03-2017 08:11

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