Category Archives: Democracy Wall 2

Nepal: Elections, Voters and the Economy

Nepalis Are Not Dumb. They Voted Parties with Best Economic Policies for Nepal

By Siromani Dhungana/UWB

“An empty stomach is not a good political adviser”- Albert Einstein

The Constituent Assembly election is over now but its impact will remain until the next election. People have expressed their aspirations and exercised their power during this election so as to set the progressive course for issues that matter them the most. After humiliating defeat of left-extremism, there is hue and cry among so-called progressive analysts who think the country still needs extremist agendas to dominate Nepali life and influence policies. Supporters of left-extremism (aka ethnic federalism) are trying their best to interpret the result as voters’ revenge against Maoists but not their approval of stands taken by the Nepali Congress and the UML on federalism (multiple identity). In this article, I am not going after the ethnic extremists’ lame argument. This is my attempt to analyze the election results in the light of economy. Continue reading

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Second Loktantra (Democracy) Day

Click here for a report in Nepali and photos of the second Loktantra day party hosted by the Prime Minister.
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From UWB archive: April Revolution
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For the record: The second anniversary of the historic Loktantra Day was observed throughout the country today to commemorate the victory of Nepali people over the direct rule of King Gyanendra. Exactly two years back on this very day (Nepali month Baishakh 11), democracy was restored following a nationwide mass uprising popularly known as April movement for the reinstatement of parliament dissolved by the King. Continue reading

While King Gyanendra Is Still Inside the Palace, Comrade Prachanda Says Monarchy Is Abolished

Maoist Supremo Prachanda today claimed that a new era has begun with the ‘legitimate end of the monarchy’. Referring to yesterday’s decision of the interim parliament, the Maoist Chairman added that now a new era had dawned with the end of the monarchy.

Third Amendment of Interim Constitution Clears Deck for Republic

The Interim Parliament yesterday passed a third amendment to the Interim Constitution, stating that Nepal would become a federal democratic republic after the Constituent Assembly poll. Parliament amended Article 159 of the constitution. The amendment reads: “Nepal will be a federal democratic republic.” The amendment also says the decision would be enforced by the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.” The amendment provides for parliament, through a two-third majority, to abolish the monarchy before the CA poll if the government is convinced that the king is conspiring against the poll. The amendment also formally transfers the position of head of state to the prime minister.

The constitution promulgated on January 16, 2007 was amended for the first time in March following a month-long Madhes movement, and for a second time on June 13 after the government’s failure to hold CA polls by mid-June.

Only three members — Pashupati Shumsher Rana and Krishna Pratap Malla of Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Pari Thapa of CPN (United) — voted against the proposal. Four members, two each from Rastriya Janashakti Party and Sadbhavana Party, boycotted the voting.

Amendment draws flak

“Constituent Assembly elected through fresh a mandate of the people is the only body that can exercise the people’s sovereign power,” said Rastriya Janashakti Party Chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa. “If this crucial decision is taken by the seven parties then where does sovereignty rest on?” He also warned of severe consequences because of SPA’s authoritarian attitude. (read here more about the amendment)

Down With Emergency Rule in Pakistan

UWB editorial: We angrily condemn the latest decision of the General Parvez Musharraf government in Pakistan to impose emergency, dismiss the Supreme Court chief justice and black out the private TV stations.

Parvez Musharraf of Pakistan

It’s not surprising that THE dictator has imposed marshal laws in Pakistan. What is really surprising is why the people of Pakistan are still inside their houses while the dictator is playing with their country every now and then? We vividly remember the brave lawyers’ struggle a few months ago that forced the dictator to bow in front of the Supreme Court and restore the Chief Justice whom he had dismissed for not acting as per his wishes. People of Pakistan must realize that it’s high time they fought the final fight against dictatorship in their country.

Pakistan is on the frontline against extremism and the world knows that a democratic government will be able to deal with that more effectively than any dictator. Supporters of Musharraf dictatorship might point out the fact that the country saw better economic growth in the past couple of years, during the Musharraf rule. Our view is that Pakistan could have done better under democracy. Continue reading

Remembering Old Days of Nepali Congress

For me the Nepali Congress office at Jamal was the center of the universe back in 80s…. Six months ago was the last time I went NC office (now in Sanepa) and found that NC have transformed into a club of different interest groups.

By Puskar Magar
Magar is a NC supporter and now lives in United Arab Emirate

It was in the mid 80’s, when I started I.A. program in Ranta Rajya Campus, Kathmandu. We had a group of students of about 5 from Chitwan, Nawal Parasi and Tanhaun. Because of our close friendship and same political orientation, we decided to get rooms in the same building in Bag Bazaar behind the old bus park, Ratna Park. Political climate in the campus was always amazingly hot. There was either welcome party for new comers or Nepal Student Union Unit meetings or frequent verbal/physical fights with communist students. And it was our daily routine to go to Nepali Congress (NC) Party Office in Jamal. By the time we were back in our room, it was already 7:30pm. Then, we had to prepare for next day morning class. In a way, our life was busy but exciting. Continue reading

“Maoists Killed Journalist Birendra Sah”: Source to Kathmandu Post

[Update: Nepali journalists are organizing a protest rally in Kathmandu now (10:30 AM) to raise the issue of Biredra Sah abduction.]

family of journalist birendra sah

Umarawati Devi Sah, wife of missing journalist Birendra Sah, with son Bibek and daughter Bidhya wears a weary look at a meeting with a Kantipur journalist at a guest house in Kathmandu on Monday. Umarawati arrived in Kathmandu seeking help to trace the whereabouts of her husband who was abducted nearly a month ago. Pic by Narendra Shrestha via the Kathmandu Post.

According to a news report published in today’s edition of the Kathmandu Post, the Maoists have already killed journalist Birendra Sah. “The Maoists shot Sah dead the day after he was abducted,” told an unidentified source to the Post. The source, whose identity withheld by the Post “for obvious reason” said Maoist cadres Ram Ekwal Sahani and Kundan Faujdar approached Sah and his journalist colleague Ram Dev Das, who is the FNJ district member in Pipraha market of Bara on October 4. Continue reading

Kantipur and Maoist Agreement

The management of Kantipur Publications and the leadership of Maoist’s trade union today morning reached an agreement to end the current impasse and solve the problem via talks on Monday. In a meeting that was attended by Maoist Chairman Prachanda, senior Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and senior Kantipur/Kathmandu Post editors, Kantipur Managing Director Kailash Sirohiya and Chairman of the Maoist’s All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) Shalik Ram Jamkattel signed on an agreement paper. The Kantipur management agreed to withdraw case against those who were involved in vandalizing office and the printing press and take back the decision to expel those staffs. The Maoists agreed to take back all the protest programs against Kantipur Publications and disruption of circulation of Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post. Both sides agreed to hold talks on Monday to sort out internal conflict between the Management and the workers. Agitating workers were seen gathering in the Kantipur Complex and putting the banner (demanding release of their colleagues) back on the main gate. Meanwhile, the delivery boys didn’t take the papers to many of the subscribers’ homes this morning.

Free Press Vs Maoists: Updates on Kantipur Struggle

Press rally against Maoist

Journalists and members of civil society in New Baneshwor before starting a protest rally against Maoist intimidation.
Kantipur, TKP publication obstructed in Bharatpur again: Today’s (3 Oct) western regional editions of Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post dailies couldn’t be published on the second consecutive day. read here
Govt vows to punish those involved in attack on Kantipur Publications: read here

Update (17:00 PM): Journalists, members of Nepali civil society and political activists took out a rally this afternoon that began from New Baneshwor and ended in Maitighar Mandala as a corner meeting. Addressing the mass Prateek Pradhan, editor of the Kathmandu Post, said that Kantipur Publications, publisher of the Post and Kantipur daily, will not be intimidated by the Maoist threat. He thanked all people for participating and demonstrating solidarity to Kantipur. He also said that Kantipur Publications will continue fighting against the autocratic attitude of the Maoist party. The voice of freedom and the voice of Kantipur will prevail, he said. He also informed the mass that Maoist activists were picketing the Kantipur Complex to bar the journalists and other staffs from participating in the rally. Other prominent personalities including former Nepal Bar Association president Shambhu Thapa, chief of SAFMA Nepal Gopal Thapaliya, Federation of Nepali Journalists president Bishnu Nishturi, prominent actor Sunil Pokharel expressed their solidarity with the Kantipur’s struggle against Maoist.

Press rally against Maoist

Filmmaker Samjhana Upriety Rauniar hold a copy of the eastern region edition of Kantipur that was printed in Biratnagar and was brought to Kathmandu by Kantipur Publications.

Meanwhile, Maoist activists surrounded the Kantipur complex and barred some journalists from getting out of the complex and participate in the rally.

Maoist cadres are holding a meeting in the middle of the street in front of Kantipur Complex creating havoc in the traffic.

Journalists looked fearful and anxious about what might happen next. Some reporters have returned from the rally and the chief reporter is telling them to start writing news. “Hurry up guys,” he said. “We must do our duty.”

Update 13:25 PM: Around 70 Maoist Young Communist League activists are surrounding the Eastern regional office of Kantipur Publications in Biratnagar. They are sloganeering against the papers. Eastern editions of both papers were printed (though Maoists disturbed the distribution) from Biratnagar while printing press in Bharatpur and Kathmandu remained closed.

Latest: Both Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post weren’t published from Kathmandu (National editions) today for the second consecutive day (and for the third time in the week). The printing press hasn’t been fixed yet. Maoists also prevented Western editions of both papers from being printed at the printing press in Bharatpur. The Maoist’s All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) threatened to bomb Kantipur Publications’ Bharatpur office. The Eastern editions of the papers were printed from Biratnagar but the Maoist cadres obstructed the circulation of both dailies. They confiscated copies of the papers taken for distribution in the region and burnt them.

Kantipur Press Vandalized

An employee at the printing press of the Kantipur Publications inspects the wires and control panel switches that were vandalized by the Maoist unionists. Because of this vandalism, both Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post, Nepal’s largest dailies, haven’t been published from Kathmandu. Continue reading

Update Burma: Momentous Movement in Myanmar

Our solidarity to the momentous freedom movement in Myanmar

While Nepal is going through disappointing uncertainties in the past couple of days, something extraordinary is happening in Burma that’s reminding me of our own April revolution of 2006. I feel like I want to be there hitting the streets of Sittwe, Pakokku, Rangoon and, of course, Mandalay along with those brave monks I am seeing on TV. With the posters of Lord Buddha in their hands and voice of freedom in their mouths, highly revered Bhuddhist monks are on the forefront of an unprecedented revolution that is silently taking place in the country that is suffering from one of the most repressive regimes of the world. Continue reading

Our Solidarity to Democracy Movements in Burma, Pakistan (and elsewhere in South Asia)

Update: We strongly condemn the Musharraf regime’ decision to deport the former Pakistani Prime Pinister Nawaz Sharif to Saudia Arabia. This forceful deportation only proves how terrified the tyrants are with unarmed people. By stopping Sharif from entering the country, the military dictatorship has also brazenly ignored the Supreme Court order of not block his arrival.
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We salute the people of Burma for taking out pro-democracy rallies. We also welcome the arrival of Nawaz Shariff in Pakistan. As a global citizen of a free world, we demand democracy in both countries.

We want democracy: Burmese activists march during a protest on the northern outskirts of the capital Yangon in August 2007. Defiant pro-democracy supporters staged a new protest Wednesday against Myanmar’s military government, despite a crackdown on dissent that has drawn sharp condemnation from US President George W. Bush. Pic by Khin Maung Win via AFP

Extraordinary images are coming out of Burma in the past couple of weeks that show defiant and courageous people hitting the streets demanding freedom and democracy that they rightly deserve. Though relatively small in terms of size and participation, these rallies have already gotten on the nerves of military despots in the country that’s also known as Myanmar. They have started blaming pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi ofr hte latest unrests. The fuel that propelled the latest rounds of protests, ironically, is the military regime’s decision to hike the price of the fuel itself. Burmese military is disgustingly running one of the most repressive regimes in the region that has been shamelessly ignoring the peoples’ verdict of 1990. Continue reading