Fearing arrest, Prachanda cancels Australia visit


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Kathmandu: Nepal`s Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda has cancelled his visit to Australia, apparently due to fears he may be arrested for war crimes.Prachanda, who was to visit Australia at the invitation of his party`s overseas arm, axed the trip at the last moment on Thursday night, citing the political situations in Nepal. But an email circulated by the office of the New South Wales Premier told a different story.Australian human rights activists lodged complaints citing Prachanda`s poor human rights record during the 1996-2006 Maoist insurgency which left thousands dead and much more missing and displaced.Prachanda was scheduled to inaugurate a convention of the People`s Progressive Forum, the party`s foreign wing in Sydney, the capital of the New South Wales. Responding to complaints by rights defenders, the Premier`s office said the issue should be brought to the attention of the New South Wales Police.
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