Monthly Archives: May 2006

Spring Thunder in Nepal: Glorious but Inconclusive

By Govinda Neupane
An Analysis. UWB received this article in email.

The so-called national consensus on holding the election of the constituent assembly may not necessarily provide synergy only for forward movement. The situation is fluid and complex and it is natural that the Maoists will maintain their army and even they may expand and strengthen their fighting capacity….

Therefore, the polarization between the parliamentary forces and the Maoists sounds imminent. Hence, in all probability, the people have to live in a situation of civil war till the unjust upper class Khas rule becomes history……

Once, I was in Phalaicha village, near Chyangthapu in northern Panchthar district. I saw large plots of fertile land where paddy was ready to harvest. In a mountainous region, it was something special. During discussions with the villagers, I found out that most of the plots belonged to the Khas (the ruling nationality in Nepal) families, though they were a tiny minority there. Continue reading

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United Nations and India in Nepali Peace Process

Now that the peace process has started (the code of conduct is already out), people are talking about its successful completion. The possible role of the United Nations is being discussed at full length. The Nepal government and the Maoist party have agreed in principle to invite the UN for monitoring the peace process. Also there is the talk of the role of India in the process. The Indian role, unfortunately, comes along with the role of UN. Journalist Tilak Pokharel reports in today’s Kathmandu Post:

The government will “soon” send a formal letter to the United Nations inviting it to play a role in the peace process, following an agreement with the Maoists and India’s green signal on UN involvement in Nepal.

According to a highly placed source, the government, the Maoists and India have agreed on two key areas for UN involvement, but some differences remain in a third area.

The three areas for UN involvement are:

1) Cease-fire monitoring

2) Assisting in decommissioning of Maoist arms and demobilization of the Maoist militia prior to constituent assembly (CA) elections, and

3) “Witnessing” of the ongoing government-Maoist talks through the UN’s physical presence.

Continue reading

Slow Politics Adds Frustration in Nepali People

The Koirala cabinet shouldn’t take time to take pro-people decisions.

By Dinesh Wagle

There is a saying in Nepali, dhila hos tara chhoro hos, which I think translates somewhat like better late than never. It’s been more than a month that Nepalis won against autocracy in Nepal but we haven’t seen the real change yet. Not in action, at least, though we have been told, in papers, that we have gone for historic and revolutionary changes. Its been more than 10 days that Parliament declared itself a supreme body and took several apparently landmark decisions. But we have seen no implementation of those decisions except those cosmetic changes like the renaming of His Majesty’s Government to Nepal Government and Royal Nepal Army to Nepal Army. The government has become too slow to implement those parliamentary decisions. People are closely monitoring the situation and they are increasingly becoming frustrated by the loath cabinet. Continue reading

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UWB Note: In this concluding part of a series of articles written in Nepali language, Maya the blogger, a Nepali girl, describes her experience of growing up (early to late teen life) with expanding Maoist activities around her neighborhood. In previous articles (first, second and third), Maya wrote about how she felt when a Maoist guerilla fell in love with her. Maya also talked about her travel to the comrade’s village.

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??????? ????? ??????? ? ??????? ????? ??????? ????? ?????? ???, ‘????, ????? ???????? !!’ ? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ??????? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ??????? ????? ???? ??????? ???? ? ???? ???? ???? ???????? ??? ? ????????? ????????? ???? ???? ?? ???????? ? ????????? ??????? ??? ??????, ??????? ??? ????????? ?? ? ????? ??????? ? ?? ????????? ???? ?? ?? ???????? ????? ??????? ??? ?????????? ? ?????? ?????? ????????? ? ?????? ????????????? ?????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ??????? ???? ????????? ????? ????? ? ?????? ???????? ?????? ???? ???, ????? ???? ????, ????????? ??? ??? ??? ? ???????????? ?????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ????, ????? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ? Continue reading

मेरा मनका माओवादी-३

माया
शनिवासरीय ब्लग

UWB Note: In this concluding part of a series of articles written in Nepali language, Maya the blogger, a Nepali girl, describes her experience of growing up (early to late teen life) with expanding Maoist activities around her neighborhood. In previous articles (first, second and third), Maya wrote about how she felt when a Maoist guerilla fell in love with her. Maya also talked about her travel to the comrade’s village.

माओवादीसंग बढ्दै गएको मेरो संगतले आमा डराउन थाल्नुभएको थियो … किन किन मान्छे मार्ने कुरामा सहमत हन नसकेपनि उनीहरूले नै अब केही गर्छन कि जस्तो लाग्थ्यो । गाउँमा… उनीहरूले तास बन्द गराएपछि मेरी आमाले खानाको लागि अबेरसम्म बुवालाई कुर्न परेन । मलाई यो कुराले पनि प्रभाव पारेको थियो ।

माओवादी कस्ता हुन्छन् ? स्कुलमा एकदिन शर्मीला भन्ने साथीले भनी, ‘काला, अग्ला डरलाग्दा !!’ ऊ उमेरमा मभन्दा ठुली थिई त्यसैले उसलाई थाहा भएको कुरा साँचो हुनपर्छ भन्ने मेरो विश्वास थियो । मैले उसको कुरा पत्याएको थिए । चियापसलमा माओवादीका कुरा एकदम कम हुन्थ्यो । माओवादीले राजालाई पनि मार्छन, राजालाई पनि छाड्दैनन् रे । यस्तो सुनेपछि त झन शर्मीलाको कुरा हो झै लाग्थ्यो किनकी राजालाई पनि नछाड्नेहरू त साधारण मान्छे नहुनपर्ने । गाउँका बुद्धिजीवीहरू माओवाद भनेको के हो भन्दा पनि माओवादी नेता बाबुरामको चर्चा गर्थे । नारायण वाग्लेले लेखेका कुरा झैं, बोर्ड फस्ट भएको, इन्जिनियर अनि अरू पनि । माओवादीहरूको बारेमा जान्न खासै कोशिस गरीन मैले, किनकी भन्ने मान्छे नै कोही थिएन । Continue reading

Gallery

Removing Royal Message From Nepali Streets

UWB photo blog. Beholding the Board: A lady reads the message by late king Birendra that using the royal plural we (hami) reads: will not let people’s sentiment be ignored. Pic by Ghanashyam Khadka A Year ago, Department of Information … Continue reading

In a Golf Resort, Nepal Plays Peace Balls

Everyone is happy but not without anxieties and fear of breakup

So they are not playing golf, it’s almost confirmed. But what exactly they are doing or talking about is everyone’s guess. What we know for sure is that six people with a group of their assistants are somewhere inside Kathmandu’s Gokarna Golf Resort talking about the peace talks. Two Krishna, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, the Home Minister, and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the Maoist spokesperson, are in charge of their respective groups comprising of other two members in each side. Talks began at around 4:15 this afternoon and it’s almost four hours now that they haven’t shown any sign of getting out of the luxurious hotel. Continue reading

Stories of Horror: From Nepal's Abu Ghrahib-II

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nepal brings out shocking stories of torturer, killings and human rights abuses from Bhairabnath Batallion, [Royal] Nepal Army’s counterpart to Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghrahib.
(This is the second part. Here is the first part.

[UWB Warning: Hold your breath before actually starting to read this horrific detail of torture and abuse.]

“They would shove my head underwater maybe twenty or twenty-five times, asking me questions. Sometimes I would become unconscious. Sometimes they would punch me in the stomach when I was underwater or give me electric shocks when they pulled my up. I would feel the shock in my whole body and lose consciousness. One time I asked to urinate. They did not take me to the toilet. They took me to another spot and told me to piss. Below, I could see an electric heater coil.”

-A detainee tortured inside the army barrack

The following report focuses on conditions of detention and allegations of torture during the period from September to December 2003.

Torture and ill-treatment

Torture and ill-treatment of detainees during interrogation at Maharajgunj barracks was routine and systematic, with a special team carrying out the tasks of torture and interrogation. Witness testimony describes a pattern of severe torture during the early days and weeks of an individual’s detention, which extended as long as the RNA believed that the victim could provide useful information. Such torture was also applied later in 2004 in order to induce some detainees to renounce their allegiance to the CPN-M. In addition to this systematic and deliberate torture, former detainees describe how they were subjected to “informal” or “unofficial” torture consisting of regular beatings given either arbitrarily on a whim, sometimes under the influence of alcohol or hashish, or as punishment for disobedience. Continue reading

Stories of Horror: From Nepal’s Abu Ghrahib-II

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nepal brings out shocking stories of torturer, killings and human rights abuses from Bhairabnath Batallion, [Royal] Nepal Army’s counterpart to Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghrahib.
(This is the second part. Here is the first part.

[UWB Warning: Hold your breath before actually starting to read this horrific detail of torture and abuse.]

“They would shove my head underwater maybe twenty or twenty-five times, asking me questions. Sometimes I would become unconscious. Sometimes they would punch me in the stomach when I was underwater or give me electric shocks when they pulled my up. I would feel the shock in my whole body and lose consciousness. One time I asked to urinate. They did not take me to the toilet. They took me to another spot and told me to piss. Below, I could see an electric heater coil.”

-A detainee tortured inside the army barrack

The following report focuses on conditions of detention and allegations of torture during the period from September to December 2003.

Torture and ill-treatment

Torture and ill-treatment of detainees during interrogation at Maharajgunj barracks was routine and systematic, with a special team carrying out the tasks of torture and interrogation. Witness testimony describes a pattern of severe torture during the early days and weeks of an individual’s detention, which extended as long as the RNA believed that the victim could provide useful information. Such torture was also applied later in 2004 in order to induce some detainees to renounce their allegiance to the CPN-M. In addition to this systematic and deliberate torture, former detainees describe how they were subjected to “informal” or “unofficial” torture consisting of regular beatings given either arbitrarily on a whim, sometimes under the influence of alcohol or hashish, or as punishment for disobedience. Continue reading

Stories of Horror: From Nepal's Abu Ghrahib-I

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nepal brings out shocking stories of torturer, killings and human rights abuses from Bhairabnath Batallion, [Royal] Nepal Army’s counterpart to Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghrahib.
(This is the first part. The report continues in next blog)

[UWB Warning: Hold your breath before actually starting to read this horrific detail of torture and abuse.]

Introduction This is a report of OHCHR’s investigations into the arrest, detention, torture and continuing disappearance of individuals arrested by the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA, now the Nepalese Army) and held in Maharajgunj barracks in Kathmandu in 2003 on suspicion of being linked to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M). Most of the hundreds of individuals who were arrested by the RNA in 2003 and detained for varying periods in Maharajgunj barracks were subjected to severe and prolonged ill-treatment and torture, with a principal role played by the Bhairabnath battalion.

Witnesses describe several occasions between approximately February and April 2004 in which they were marched from the Hall and the Garage to what is described as a ‘bunker’, a fifteen or twenty-minute walk from the main detention area. …..Orders to remain absolutely silent were strictly enforced with severe beatings. Handcuffs and blindfolds were tightened. Food was scarce. The Bunker area was described as a low depression in the ground.

To date, OHCHR has confirmed the identity of 49 individuals who were in the custody of Bhairabnath battalion between September and December 2003 but who remain disappeared. OHCHR’s continuing investigation suggests that the actual number in this category is significantly higher. The Government of Nepal has denied any knowledge of their fate or whereabouts. Their names are among those currently listed as unresolved disappearance cases maintained by various agencies, including the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).

The Bhairabnath battalion acknowledges responsibility for the arrest and detention of 137 people during the period concerned and claims that these individuals were released or transferred after short periods of detention. However, absent from this list are at least forty-nine individuals known to OHCHR to have been held in the custody of the Bhairabnath or Yuddha Bhairab battalions. Continue reading