Carter’s schedule leak creates furor
|Published: Saturday, 16 June, 2007, 08:18 AM Doha Time|Former US President Jimmy Carter (left) shakes hands with Prachanda, leader of Nepal's Maoists during a meeting in Kathmandu, yesterday
The Naya Patrika, a newly published tabloid regarded as being close to the Maoists, splashed full details of scheduled meetings, the time allotted for them and even the mobile telephone numbers of the senior officials meeting Carter, creating consternation among agencies coordinating the security arrangements for the visit that began Wednesday.
The local media has reported the Nobel laureate’s meeting with Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, members of the Election Commission and the chief of the UN Mission in Nepal Ian Martin.
But the tabloid also reported meetings with Indian ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee and two leaders of a controversial Terai group, the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.
It said the former US president, who has come to pledge his Carter Center’s support for the crucial November election, would start Friday's consultations with the chief of the Nepal Army, General Rukmangad Katuwal.
It has also given details about the upcoming meeting between Carter and the Maoist leadership, an encounter that is expected to be the cynosure of all eyes.
The daily said Carter would meet Maoist chairperson Prachanda and his deputy Baburam Bhattarai at the Rara suite of Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, where the visiting dignitary is staying amid tight
The hour-long meeting, to be held from 2.30pm, would be the longest one during the 96-hour high-profile visit, the tabloid said.
It quoted Maoist leader Bhattarai as saying that the Maoist agenda would be to ask Carter to ensure that his government plays a positive role in the ongoing peace process.
However, though Washington regards the rebels as terrorists, the guerrillas have no plan to ask Carter to intercede to have the ban lifted, the daily said.
The detailed schedule it had published Thursday along with telephone numbers has caused an investigation to detect how the leak occurred, it reported. – IANS