Monthly Archives: July 2006

Army Gundagardi. Nepal Army Becoming Rascals Club

Papers Burnt:

We’ve learnt that some miscreants, suspected supporters and relatives of brat Captain Rabindra Bikram Rana, have burnt copies of Kantipur and Kathmandu Post, newspapers that extensively carry reports about the incident, in Chahabil. This again shows the schooling and mentality of army and their elite family.

Gundagardi by army personnel at Durbarmarg

Over 3 dozen soldiers capture police office, torture officers

BY Kosh Raj Koirala

KATHMANDU, July 29- In brazen display of indiscipline, some three dozen armed soldiers from the Nepal Army’s Bhairabnath Battalion seized the Durbarmmarg Ward Police Post at gun-point in the wee hours of Saturday and forcibly took away three police personnel to ‘punish’ them for ‘asking’ an army captain to follow traffic rules.
The soldiers then subjected Police Inspector Ram Bahadur KC, Assistant Sub Inspector Dharmendra Roy and Constable Dilli Ram Tamang to severe torture for two hours at the battalion barracks at Maharajgunj before releasing them.

Incident blow-by-blow

At 1 a.m. Saturday, army captain Rabindra Bikram Rana, who was in civvies came out of Go Go Bar at Thamel with his friend Bikendra Singh Bista after heavy drinking, according to Gorakh Bahadur Thapa, a security guard at Himalayan Bank. While emerging from the bar, they got into a quarrel with the bar bouncers. They thrashed one bouncer and got into Rana’s red Gypsy.

continue reading the article in the Kathmandu Post

This incident is yet another example of how our army has become violent and blood thirsty over the years. Army officers and soldiers are increasingly becoming killing machine and torturing equipment. Impunity is at its peak and insane soldiers like Captain Rana think that they can do whatever they want to do. Nepal Army needs serious reform to prevent it from turning into a club of mad people where no one is predictable and anyone will act indiscriminately for no good reason. There must be some problem with the schooling. The impression, which is quite true, is that soldiers are trained in such a way that they never think of good about democracy and human rights. [Captain Rana blamed democracy for traffic action against him when his vehicle was disturbing the flow on the road.) It seems that they are trained to behave against human dignity.

This is not an entirely new incident of army men beating policemen. Even before the army was mobilized against the Maoists, I used to hear numerous incidents in which soldiers would secretely come out of the barracks and beat ‘danthes’ (the one with lathis) and go back to the barracks escaping any action against them. And senior officers in the barracks would save their brat soldiers saying that they were inside the barracks in that particular time of the day (or night) to save themselves from embarrassment.

As reported in the newspapers, this particular incident has raised serious concerns about the effectieness of the chain of command in Nepal Army. Has that been collapsed completely? If not, how could an drunken officer who was on leave go back to the barrack and come out with three dozens of armed soldiers along with two vehicles and go on rampage in a police office? How can the army leadership assure us, the Nepali people, that no frustrated officer would revolt against the command and sabotage the peace process? This is not the first incident of serious failure in army chain of command by the way. We have already seen the worst consequence of failure in chain of command in the form of Nagarkot a few months ago.

By DW

Pyar Jung Thapa Ignores Commission

Just as the army gundagardi came to the knowledge of the public, Pyar Jung Thapa, the chief of Nepal Army, has blatantly ignored a summon by High Level Investigation Commission that is looking into the suppression of Jana Andolan II. Thapa was to appear to day in the judicial commission but he went to Pokhara today sending a letter to the commission on the last minute in which he has said that he is going to Pokhara in a pre-scheduled program.

Hell with that pre-scheduled program. This is an open challenge by the army chief, who was recommended to be suspended by the commission but the government didn’t, to the commission constituted by the government formed after the Peoples’ Movement. People of Nepal have gone through enough humiliation when they saw parliament, instead of suspending Thapa, administering oath to him. Now is the time the government should decide something concrete on Thapa. If Thapa has gut, he should go for a coup (and Nepali people will do whatever is needed to do) or obey the orders of the peoples’ government. The status quo can’t continue.

By DW

More on atrocities committed inside Bhairabnath Battalion, captain Rans’s battalion:

1. Stories of Horror: From Nepal’s Abu Ghrahib-I

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

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A Doctor From Thulo Syabru, Andrew Hall Is British Ambassador To Nepal

Andrew Hall, the British Ambassador to Nepal
Andrew Hall, who did PHD study in Thulo Syabru village of Rasuwa district in the 70s, has come to Kathmandu two weeks ago as the British ambassador to Nepal. Pic by Wagle

By Dinesh Wagle (Saturday Blog)
Wagle Street Journal

Encouraged by his grandfather’s friend in the neighborhood, the teenager flew to the Nepali capital immediately after finishing the high school. The 18-year-old Briton was more than just a backpacker. He went to Kakani and stayed in the bungalow of the British Ambassador for a few days before heading for the trek in Annapurna circuit. That was in 1969. The same boy named Andrew Hall, now 56 years, has come to Kathmandu two weeks ago as the British ambassador to Nepal. Continue reading

Peace Process Politics: Questions

Cease fire extended but why aren’t Maoists allowing internally displaced people to go back to villages?…. Last Friday’s talks were cancelled because the SPA leaders realized that they hadn’t done enough homework…Excuse me…Peace talks is not your old school class room.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

There are so many questions arising in my mind regarding the most important political development in the country. What is latest on the peace process? Where exactly the process has reached at? What is happening with the Interim Constitution Draft Committee? What will happen now in political scenario? Two days ago, members of civil society, who jointly agitated with Seven Party Alliance against the royal autocracy, launched fresh rallies intending to warn the ruling SPA. What will be the impact of those rallies at a time when members of parliament (from SPA) have started condemning civil society members for being too quick to voice their protest? Where will this fresh division lead? Today’s Kantipur publishes a Reader’s Letter in which the writer details Maoist activities that are clearly against the code of conduct agreed by both the rebels and the government. The writer asks to the member of civil society why they aren’t protesting those Maoist activities. Yes, why?

Second round of high level talks scheduled for last Friday was abruptly cancelled because the SPA leaders realized that they hadn’t done enough homework on how to present themselves at the table. Excuse me, you didn’t find time to do homework? Peace talks is not your old school class room where you folks used to cheat teachers most of the times and get failed in the exams. This is about running a nation damn it. What is the status of homework by the SPA? What is the deadline for that homework to be finished? It can’t go on and on, can it? If it were like that, these leaders would extend the deadline forever because they want to rule the country forever. They are already acting like as if they will be continuing this government for the two decades. Why the government is taking so much time to move the peace process forward? Continue reading

Representation In The House of Representative

By Shree Shrestha
UWB received this article in email

At present there are 205 members in the House of Representative. Talks are going on in different circles on how to change the system of election so that every ethnic group will be represented in the new House. I read many articles regarding this issue. Most of the ideas presented are too complicated to understand and implement in the present context. I am trying to give simplistic solution to have proper representation in the House. Continue reading

Democracy and Development in Nepal: An Analysis

By Chattra Bahadur
UWB received this article in email

As opposed to the findings of the researches, the parliamentary system in Nepal has not been able to influence liberalization process significantly. It has failed to provide direction and initiate actions to alter structural policies.

There is always never-ending debate on the forms of governance and specific institutions and/or policies that enhance economic performance and promote economic growth, hence lead to economic development of a country. This debate usually evokes strong comments and equally sharp criticisms from proponents holding diverse schools of thoughts. Moreover, researches have failed to provide a single, but correct, conclusion. Continue reading

Maoists Quibble Over Returning Seized Property

Maoist control over general peoples house

Here are points to be noted, Mr Prachanda. We know you are readying yourself for the next round of high level peace talks (Friday, July 21). Before that will you please read this news published in today’s Kathmandu Post? Artwork by Dewen via TKP

By Yuvraj Acharya

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair, said Niccolo Machiavelli and warned his prince against seizing anyone’s property.
Maoist rebels take their lessons not from the Italian political philosopher but directly from the little red book of Mao Tse-Dong. They have captured the property of the “bourgeoisie” and chased them away from their villages to create a “safe” base for the revolution. Most of these “bourgeoisie” in the villages are however cadres of the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) with whom they jointly launched a crusade against the king. Continue reading

Nepal Peace Process: All Eyes On Friday High Level Meeting

Nepal is anxiously waiting for the next round of High level talks between the government and the rebels that is scheduled for coming Friday

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

Dari katera aayeko dekhda pharkelan jasto lagdaina” [Seeing them coming clean shaven, I feel that they will not return back to Jungle.] While I was talking about Nepali politics with bachelors level students in a Kathmandu college for Kantipur newspaper, a boy named Aasish threw those remarks which I remember every time I see clean shaved Maoist leaders Prachanda, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Krishna Bahadur Mahara. If you are optimistic, you will definitely see hopes of permanent peace in shining cheeks of the rebel leaders. [Though I don’t think I really like to be clean-shaven all the time (halka dari is better) I know some people really don’t like daaris at all which is a different matter altogether.] That is just a hope where as some of the behaviors of leaders from both sides make us feel very uneasy.

The constant wrangling from the key players of the peace process makes us wonder about the future of this fragile peace process. We know that this is a bargaining phase and both sides (SPA and the Maoists) are trying hard not to loose the game. There is no doubt that they know that reestablishing peace would be the win-win situation for both sides. To be able to reach to that situation, they know, they will have to loose things equally.

Because of this bargaining, we sometime see such a situation that makes us feel that the peace process would be derailed at any moment. Two instances of failed efforts in the past are enough to create such fear among us. Also the different views that come out from different constituents of the Seven Party Alliance day after day are creating confusion in general public. A few days ago the ‘revolt’ of Nepali Congress MPs against the 8-point Baluwataar agreement, it appeared, nearly derailed the whole process. Also the Maoist’s unwillingness in implementing one of the points from 12 point agreement (that rebels have to return the lands they captured to the original owners in villages) was considered an obstacle in the process. But to many peoples’ surprise, ruling politicians from Nepali Congress and CPN UML held 8 hours long meeting with top rebel leaders in Godavari last week. Continue reading

Spring Thunder In Nepal…Glorious But Inconclusive-II

By Govinda Neupane
Rejoinder to the previous article.

[UWB published an article by Neupane on May 30 (Spring Thunder in Nepal: Glorious but Inconclusive) which was equally appreciated and thrashed by fellow bloggers. Here in this esay, Neupane defends his article and responds to criticism. Govinda Neupane is one of the founding members of the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist). Neupaneg.com is his personal web site and he could be contacted at neupaneg1987@yahoo.com.]

Excerpt from previous article:

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…

Khas Domination:

In Nepal, there are five nationalities – Madheshi (31.53%), Khas (30.89%), MangolKirat (23.05%), Dalit (7.87%) and Newar (5.48%). Besides, there are some small unclassified groups (1.19%). The Khas has four sub-groups. They are Bahun, Chhetri, Thakuri and Sanyasi. The Khas-Hindu rulers used the caste system, cultural invasion and Hindu administrative as well as legal system as the basis for suppressing the cultures of other nationalities. The process of Khas domination had started long ago and the state provided the leadership. Continue reading

Nepal Budget: A Few Numbers and Maoist Disagreement

Maoist cadre listening to the budget speech

Keshav Pradhan aka COMRADE BISHWASH, a party worker of CPN (Maoist) listens to the live bradcast of the budget speech at Maoists Dialogue Secretariat at Baneshwar on Wednesday. Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat presented Rs. 143.91 billion for the annual budget for the fiscal year 2006/07 in the parliament in four years after the House was reinstated in April. In previous years, in the absence of a people’s representative body, various governments including the royal cabinet had announced the annual budget through ordinances. . Pic by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur

Total Budget: Rs 143.91 billion. (Rs 83.76 billion for regular expenditure, Rs 44.97 billion for capital investment and Rs 15.168 for payment of principal amounts of loans.)

Budget aims to raise Rs 85.37 billion from internal revenue, Rs 23.72 billion from foreign grants and Rs 16.90 billion from foreign loans. The deficit budget for the year 2006/07 stands at Rs 22.451 billion.

The government has also increased the annual budget granted to VDCs from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 1 million.

The Talk of CA

Rs. 1.25 billion to conduct the constituent assembly elections, scheduled to be held by mid-April next year.

Addressing the House, Minister Mahat said that the dialogue between government of Nepal and Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) has commenced to end all forms of conflict prevalent in the country. “The need of the hour is to make institutional arrangement for constitution, policy and structure through national consensus so that Nepali peoples’ rights are never compromised. Therefore, the present government, in accordance with the House of Representatives’ historic Declaration and the consensus reached with Nepal Communist Party (Maoist), is fully determined to expedite the process of formulating interim constitution, managing weapons and forming interim government through the election of Constituent Assembly in an atmosphere free of violence and fear.”

Continue reading

Nepal Economy: We Are Eating Better, Drinking Less

By Prem Khanal

Budget Day

KATHMANDU- Nepalis are consuming more meat and fish, smoking less, and have become more sober – per capita alcohol intake has dropped. According to the Economic Survey for the fiscal year 2005/06 released on Monday (July 10) by the Ministry of Finance, the total meat consumption went up by 2.95 percent to 264.85 thousand tons, which means that the average Nepali consumed 10.24 kg of meat during the period. This is one-fourth the global consumption rate. Continue reading