Monthly Archives: January 2013

Nepal and Impunity: The Lies of the Prime minister and the fear of Maoists

murder suspects: the man in the middle has admitted of burying journalist dekendra thapa alive during police interrogation

murder suspects: the man in the middle has admitted of burying journalist dekendra thapa alive during police interrogation

Since judicial proceedings of the criminal acts committed during the insurgency will not be stopped/halted by courts and these acts can not also be condoned by Truth and Reconciliation Commission (‘TRC’), the prestige of peace process will be saved by the uninterrupted investigation of Dailekh incident.

By Narayan Wagle in Himal Magazine via  NNLP  (see at the end for more. Pic Prakash Adhikari via Kantipur)
Tuesday, 2nd Magh, 2069 Bikram Sambat
15 Jan 2013

When the cadres of Maoist party accused in the killing of Dekendra Thapa – Dailekh based Journalist – confessed before investigating authorities that the killing of the journalist was as per the decision taken by the District Committee of the Maoist Party, Prime minister of Nepal, Baburam Bhattarai was badly hurt (worried).

The confession of Maoist cadres shook Baburam in such a way that he got involved in false interpretation of peace process with a motive of sticking to the chair of Prime ministership. He attributed the legal proceedings of initiating a criminal case against the accused as a trap against the peace process. The barking/roaring at Kathmandu by Bhattarai was meant to be a warning to Dailekh Police and Public Prosecutors to back out from the legal proceedings. When a team consisting of representatives from Nepal Press Council (Nepal Patrakar Mahasang) went to have a dialogue with the Prime minister, the team of journalists were subjected to a rather one-sided Baburam-monologue on interpretation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (‘CPA’) and Interim Constitution. In this process, PM Bhattarai even managed to provide intentionally falsified details and malicious interpretation to the national and international civil communities. Continue reading

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The Pain of Losing a Nation. Story of Lhendup Dorji and Sikkim

In his Op-Ed article published in today’s Kantipur (See below or here, former minister and RPP leader Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani compares Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai with Kazi Lhendup Dorji. For those who don’t know who Lhendup Dorji is, here is his obit written (title: The Pain of Losing a Nation) in 2007. [सिक्किम विलयबारे नेपालीमा यहाँ पढ्न पाइन्छ। अनि यो कान्तिपुर  लेख- माओवादी-भारत सम्बन्ध: पहिले विस्तारवाद, अहिले अवसरवाद]

By Sudheer Sharma

(September 2007) The last Prime Minister of the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim, Kazi Lhendup Dorji, met an ignominious Death.

On the northern corner of West Bengal state of India, there is a hill station – Kalimpong, which once hosted celebrities from all over the world. The hill town, where most of the settlers are of Nepali origin, no longer retains its old charm. But until a few weeks ago the last prime minister of a country – that has lost its independence – used to live here. Kazi Lhendup Dorji, who died on 28 July this year [2007] at the ripe old age of 103, had played a pivotal role in the merger of Sikkim into India.

Dorji is seen as a ‘traitor’ in the contemporary history. He lived, and died, with the same ignominy. “Everybody accuses me of selling the country. Even if it is true, should I alone be blamed?” he asked me, when I met him in Kalimpong in November 1996. But the allegation of ‘betrayal’ towards one’s own motherland was so powerful that Dorji could no more lead an active political life. He spent his solitary life at the ‘Chakung House’ in Kalimpong for several decades. Few people chose to remember Kazi when he passed away nor took pain to recall his life and times.

So much so that the Kazi was ignored even by Delhi. “I went out of my way to ensure the merger of Sikkim into India but after the work was done, the Indians just ignored me”, Kazi told me during an interview for Jana Astha weekly, nearly 11 years ago. “Earlier, I used to be given a ‘Red Carpet’ welcome. Now I have to wait for weeks even to meet second grade leaders.” Continue reading

Five Reasons Why Nepal is No More a Democracy

Existing political events strongly suggest that Nepal is on its way to being ruled by an autocratic political system. Leader of this new system, Mustang-rider Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (or Dr-sab as some people call him) has accelerated speed of his vehicle to lead the country into an autocratic system where the Maoist party will have its say on all important issues including those that are to be handled by an independent judiciary.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Democracy in Nepal is on the verge of collapse. Most of the indicators of democracy are either dismantled or dead. The basic notion of democracy- ‘check and balance’- has been destroyed and now there is only the check of the communist-led government.

Why Nepal is not a democratic country? Because: Continue reading

Badhshala- A Bad Director Can Never Make a Good Film

Letter written by the Defence Ministry.

Letter written by the Defence Ministry. Click to enlarge

This is yet another example of former adversaries- the Nepali Army and the Maoists- coming together to cover their dirty secrets (conflict-era crimes).

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Habituated to the filthy political drama, the government imposed a ban on Nepali movie Badhshala (Slaughter House) in a clear sign that the government is going to be a butcher for the Freedom of Expression (FoE). In a letter (see pic above, and below by Ministry of Information and Communication to Nepal Film Development Board) sent to Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC), Ministry of Defense has asked to impose ban on the movie citing on the vague reason: ‘…some issues including use of Army regalia in the movie’. Republica, in an editorial, writes:

In a deplorable move, the Ministry of Defense, [currently led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai],  has requested a ban on Nepali movie Badhshala, citing a rarely invoked rule. Apparently, the filmmaker should have taken permission to use Army regalia in the movie. But many Nepali movies have previously depicted characters in Army uniforms without any interference from the government. Hence the Defense Ministry’s reasoning falls flat at the outset. All previous movie bans were conducted by censor board (for example, the movie ATM that was banned for vulgarity). This is the first time that the Defense Ministry has gotten involved in preventing a movie’s screening.

American judge Potter Stewart says: “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”

So, the question is has our government lost its confidence? And whether it is heading towards an authoritarian regime? Many say that is exactly what is happing. Continue reading

Populist Government’s Bumper Offer to Media Houses

Populist Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has now tried to lured media fraternity by offering, what media report suggests, ‘unnatural facilities’.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

If you can’t beat them, join them. Or, bribe them. If it turns out to be true, the Baburam Bhattarai-led government’s attempt to appease the media sector only exposes the real character of an ultra-leftist government. It will be a kind of bribe but with completing legal formalities.

Following sharp criticism for what it has been doing, the government has tried to appease media outlets by providing lucrative facilities. The government which, according to its own word, is committed to welfare of people has shifted its priority and started to appease different sectors which ruling UCPN (Maoist) used to brand as “agents of feudalism and expansionist forces.”

A 10-point incentive package has been forwarded to the Social Committee of the Cabinet and is likely to be okayed by the Cabinet this week, Prakash Acharya quotes an unnamed sources at the Office of Prime Minister as saying in The Himalayan Times. Continue reading

Press Council Nepal: From a Watchdog to the Maoist Lapdog

Awadesh Kumar Yadav

Awadesh Kumar Yadav

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

The present Press Council Act in Nepal need to be revisited, restructured and reformed to ensure the independence of the council and to establish it as a true ‘watchdog mechanism’.

After the appointment of new chairman at Press Council Nepal (PCN), the need of reforming the existing legal provision has further garnered its relevancy.

In what appears to be a controversial move of the Government of Nepal, it appointed former Supreme Court Justice Awadhesh Kumar Yadav as the Chairman of Press Council Nepal on January 25, 2013.

Reportedly, Yadav as the apex court Justice had issued an order to prevent the prosecution of a war-era criminal case against then Maoist lawmaker Keshab Rai. Continue reading

For an “Austere” Prime Minister, Far Too Many (and Costly) Helicopter Rides

But that’s the contradictory and hypocritical nature of Baburam Bhattarai. Can the Mustang-rider PM reveal the source of his party’s income to pay for his choppers fare?

By Siromani Dhungana

And the earth is round! Russian Mi-17 and French AS332 Super Puma helicopters were used by the then governments to fight against the decade-long Maoist insurgency (1996-2006) The story has taken a twist now and rebellion-turned-Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has been one of the frequent users of these flying machines.

Hiring these choppers cost from Rs 0.42 million to more than Rs 0.44 million for an hour, but that does not seem to deter our Mustang-rider Bhattarai from hiring helicopters for campaigning in favor of his party UCPN Maoist.

PM Bhattarai has spent Rs 19.09 million in chopper after assuming charge of the Prime Minister’s office in August 29‚ 2011, reports Kantipur Television.

He has chartered AS332 Super Puma and MI-17 helicopters of Nepal Army Air Wing for 23 times since August 2011. Dr Bhattarai, however, has cleared the chopper fair only once.

In September 2011, PM Bhattarai had said that his party would bear the cost of chartered flights that he takes to attend programs organized by the party. Speaking before the then State Affairs Committee of the parliament, the PM said the state would not have to bear the financial burden of his visits to party programs. Continue reading