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83 persons injured in clashes between Police and UCPN-M led 30 party alliance cadres: 42 people were injured when sporadic clashes erupted between the agitating activists of Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)-led 30-party opposition alliance and Police in different parts of the country on March 29. In Kavre District, 12 protestors and five Policemen were injured in clashes between Police and demonstrators.

41 people were injured in clashes between Police and demonstrators during a rally organized by the 30-party alliance-led across the country on March 30. In Pokhara District, 18 persons including three Policemen were injured when a clash erupted between Police and demonstrators at New Road. In Sindhuli District, seven protestors and one Policeman were injured when cadres of the alliance clashed with Police at Sindhulimadhi. In Chitwan District, six demonstrators were injured in a clash ensued when Police intervened against agitators who were protesting at Pulchowk. Republica; The Himalayan Times, March 29-30, 2015.

Government decides to provide remaining NPR 500,000 each to conflict victims: Government on March 28 decided to provide remaining NPR 500,000 each to conflict victims out of NPR 1 million each promised by the Baburam Bhattarai-led Government. Minister for Information and Communications Minendra Rijal said the Cabinet agreed to provide compensation due to the kin of those who died and disappeared during the conflict without exceeding Rs 500,000. The Himalayan Times, March 28, 2015.

Adopted maximum flexibility for consensus, says Prime Minister Sushil Koirala: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on March 26 claimed that maximum flexibility has been adopted to write a new Constitution based on consensus among all stakeholders. But he also did not rule out the situation in which a majority process would be used in the Constituent Assembly (CA) to settle the disputes concerning Constitution writing through voting. "It is everyone's wish that the Constitution should be framed through consensus, and we have adopted maximum flexibility for it. But then again, there is also no alternative to going to the CA process if there is no consensus," Koirala said while accepting a memorandum submitted by a delegation led by CA member Haricharan Shah, convenor of Sanghiya Samabesi Morcha. Kantipur Online, March 28, 2015.

'Expedite talks to keep March 25 deadline,' says CA Chairman Subas Nembang: Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Nembang on March 21 asked the leaders of major political parties to expedite negotiations on the disputed issues of constitution writing to keep the March 25 deadline. Nembang has already warned the leaders that he would initiate the majority process in the CA if there is no consensus by March 25. He is of the view that consensus is still possible if the parties sit for the talks and adopt flexibility. Addressing a programme in Kathmandu on March 21, the CA chairman said that it would be unjustifiable to prolong the CA meeting any longer. Kantipur Online, March 22, 2015.

No constitution without consensus, says UCPN-M vice-chair Narayan Kaji Shrestha: Talking to the media persons at Biratnagar Airport, Morang District on March 20, Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) vice-chair Narayan Kaji Shrestha said that the constitution drafting process would not be complete without consensus. Shrestha said the constitution drafting process would be incomplete if the major partner of the peace process and different movements was kept in isolation. He added that they could not neglect the spirit of the different peoples' movements in the name of consensus. Republica, March 21, 2015.

Parties review statute positions: The ruling and opposition parties on March 13 started fresh negotiations to seek consensus on the disputed issues with a view to wrapping up the prolonged constitution writing process by May 29, 2015, the Republic Day. Before sitting for formal negotiations on the disputes, mainly the names and borders of Federal States, the parties held discussions in two groups. Top leaders from both the fronts reviewed their previous positions and discussed possible ways to arrive at a conclusion. The ruling Nepali Congress (NC) met Madheshi-centric parties while coalition partner Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) had an interaction with the third largest party, Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), in a bid to seek consensus on federalism. eKantipur Online, March 14, 2015.

Major parties resume formal talks ending country's long standing political deadlock: Major parties resumed formal talks ending the country's long standing political deadlock at Prime Minister (PM) Sushil Koirala's official residence in Kathmandu on March 7. The disgruntled opposition parties decided to sit for talks following the PM Koirala's verbal commitment to draft the constitution through consensus. PM Koirala has invited senior leaders from the ruling coalition and the opposition bloc to his official residence for the meeting. The meeting will be centred on the works performed by Questionnaire Committee and the major issues of contention in constitution writing process. Kantipur Online, March 7, 2015.

30,000 protesters staged demonstration over constitution: On February 28, around 30,000 protesters staged a demonstration during a rally organized by the 30-party alliance of the opposition parties to demand that political parties reach a consensus on a new constitution. Police lobbed teargas shells and used cane batons to stop demonstrators from advancing to the parliament building, leaving more than a dozen people injured, witnesses said. Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda addressing the protestors said, "I am ready to die but will not give up the fight for the rights of the people."

On March 1, Dahal said the opposition parties were ready to sit for talks if the ruling parties ensured the environment to promulgate the new constitution on the basis of a political consensus Reuters, February 28, 2015; MyRepublica, March 1, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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