Category Archives: Nepal in Transition

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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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

Tomorrow: Thoughts of a Nepali Student in New York

The real question is what will each of us give back to the country to which we owe our identity? Or will there be no members of our generations to shoulder the responsibility – will there just be a void?

By a Nepali student
This article titled was originally published in the Nov 1-15 issue of New York Nepali Samachar.

Still cannot get to sleep, I turn lazily to the other side of the bed. I open my eyes to glance at the alarm clock; the green digits read 2:00. Five more hours and it is going to come to life, force me out of bed to go to school, then work, and back home late at night. Time never stops, does it? Time passes away with each blink of an eye, and it is up to us to utilize it. The feeling of uneasiness grips me again; and the reason is suddenly clear. I have been thinking about my conversation with Dikshya di and Dipendra dai over tea this afternoon. I have been thinking about what next after graduation.

There are many Nepali students like me in the United States, and many more scattered in countries all over the globe, who have left Nepal in pursuit of higher education. The number is definitely substantial, as I myself have only a handful of friends back home. As students we make immense sacrifices to get that degree we came here for. We think of graduating as our salvation. We hope for an American dream, to get rich and have that perfect house and the perfect job. But what are the chances? And what about Nepal, the essence of who we are? So, when Dipendra dai and Dikshya di both voiced their decision to go back to Nepal after graduation, I had an array of emotions. Shock, admiration, confusion, respect.

Continue reading

After the Maoist Victory, Power Sharing a Tricky Issue

By Ameet Dhakal

As the largest party in the Constituent Assembly but without a majority, the CPN (Maoist) is certain to lead a coalition government. What is uncertain, however, is what sort of coalition it would be and how power will be shared among the major parties.

One thing is sure — negotiations on the formation of the coalition government are not going to be plain sailing. Continue reading

Jimmy Carter Came, Talked, Smiled and Went (Thanks Mr President!)

Here is the statement by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made on June 16, last of his four-day trip to Nepal

I’m happy to be back in Nepal and to be briefed by The Carter Center’s long-term observers, political leaders, marginalized groups, and election officials here. I admire deeply what’s been accomplished by the people of this great country over the past year. The Carter Center is here to support you in any way that we can, and to that end our long-term observers have been deployed since March visiting over 70 districts to learn about the electoral and political environment.

Constituent Assembly election

Nepal is in the midst of a historic transformation and this difficult process requires shared commitment from the government, civil society, marginalized groups, and most importantly the public. The country has set itself the essential goal of holding a constituent assembly election, and I support the significant progress toward that objective that has been made during my short time here. I urge the government to swiftly complete all necessary electoral preparations in order to hold an election in the month of Mangsir (November/December), including announcing a date and resolving any outstanding issues such as the electoral constituencies. Compromise will be necessary to avoid conflict during this period.

Carter in Press Conference (Saturday)

My opinion is the United States should establish some communication with the Maoists because it is obvious that the people of Nepal have accepted the Maoists as playing a role in the shaping of the future of this country. I think the United States’ beneficial influence here will be increased if they can talk freely to all the parties involved. Maoists have complied with UN requirements, disarmed to some degree and adopted the principle of multi-party democracy. I hope there will be a time in the future when the United States can have free communication with all the important political players who will shape the future of Nepal.

When asked whether he is going to take some initiative to make the US government lift the terrorist tag, Carter said he doesn’t have any authority at all but he would send a report to the White House and the State Department. He didn’t use the words “lifting”, “terrorists” or “tags” but emphasized more than once that the US government should establish contacts with all parties that have been in the political framework legally.

Carter refuted the claim made by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai the other day after meeting the former president that he told the Maoist leaders not to listen to the US ambassador in Nepal.

Additionally, I would like to highlight two areas which I believe deserve increased focus in order to allow for an honest and credible election and future progress towards peace and reconciliation: Continue reading

Monarchy Can Be Abolished in Nepal, Constitutionally!

The Lead: Now parliament can remove the monarchy by a two third majority if it finds the 240 year old feudal institution meddling with the election of constitution assembly election. The parliament yesterday passed a bill that has amended the constitution and added the new provision on monarchy. The Maoist has been demanding that the republic be declared by the parliament before the CA election while Nepali Congress maintains that the first meeting of the CA should decide the fate of monarchy.

By Yuvraj Acharya in the Kathmandu Post

KATHMANDU, June 13 – The Interim Parliament effected the second amendment to the five-month-old Interim Constitution on Wednesday, empowering parliament to abolish the 240-year-old institution of the crown, and deferring the constituent assembly poll till Mangshir (mid-December). The parliament at its meeting added a separate sub-clause to Article 159 of the Constitution that authorizes the interim legislature to abolish monarchy by a two-third majority.

The government is to table a motion for the abolition of the monarchy if the cabinet concludes that the king is creating serious obstacle to constituent assembly polls. No authority except the cabinet will have the power to decide whether or not the king is creating such an obstacle. Continue reading

YCL, Sita Ram Prasain and Anger of Girija Koirala

The government of Girja Prasad Koirala is responsible to the YCL action against currupt and bank defaulter Sita Ram Prasain

sitaram_prasain.jpg
Sitaram Prasain in Tundikhel on Monday (4 June). Pic by Shaligram Tiwari via Kantipur

Many of us have been asking this question since the day before yesterday when we knew that the YCL “arrested” Sita Ram Prasain, corrupt and bank defaulter from his office in a dramatic manner: How do you react? Many people have been reacting in two ways:

1. That’s wrong but this guy should have been arrested by the state long time ago.
2. That’s right because this state is not representing the rule of law (which means arresting Sita Ram) and, in that case, anyone can take laws in their own hands.

The Maoist youth wing Young Communist League (YCL) Monday handed over “wanted” former chairman of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries Development Bank (NCSIDB) Sita Ram Prasain to Kathmandu Police during a press meeting yesterday afternoon. The YCL had taken Prasain – against whom the government had issued arrest warrant for involvement in financial irregularities — under its custody Sunday alleging the police of “showing no interest in making his arrest.”

“We handed Prasain, who has been involved in corruption and irregularities to the police to take action against him. We took this step to begin the process of building a corruption free new Nepal. Although Prasain admitted of committing financial irregularities, he maintained that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.”- Sagar, Valley Incharge of YCL.

“I did not do any wrong and I am ready to face any punishment if the court finds me guilty. I did not get any summon and I am not involved in activities to destroy the bank.”- Sita Ram Prasain

Continue reading

Wassup Gyanendra? Latest on Activities of “King”

So what is the king doing at a phase when constitutionally speaking, the monarchy is practically in a state of suspension?

By Tilak Pathak

Fate handed Gyanendra a windfall opportunity of becoming king of Nepal twice: In 1950 and yet again in 2001. The first time, he was enthroned for three months, a child-king without any grasp of royal ways.

Opportunity presented itself once again 51 years later in the wake of the palace massacre.
And yet, he could not hold on to his position. The six years following the palace massacre witnessed such massive upheavals that King Gyanendra’s lust for power ended up paving the way for a republic.

So what is the king doing at a phase when constitutionally speaking, the monarchy is practically in a state of suspension?

Is he waiting quietly for the axe to drop on monarchy?

“When the events in the nation disquiets even the likes of us, how can the king stay quiet?” The king’s ADC Bharat Kesar Singh says. “His highness is also concerned. That’s why he meets people.”

Like Singh says, the king’s major activity at present is meeting people- from pro-monarch leaders to intellectuals, journalists and civilians. But not openly, mostly such meetings are underground affairs. The most recent and significant one being the well publicised meeting with Rastriya Janashakti Party chairman Surya Bahdur Thapa in mid-June.

On his return to Nepal after a weeklong visit to India, Thapa “briefed” the king on what India has to say about the political situation in Nepal.

And it is not just Thapa among the former Prime Ministers. Dr Tulsi Giri, Kirtinidhi ista, Marich Man Singh, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, among others have been paying courtesy calls to the king.

Rabindra Nath Sharma, Bishwa Bandhu Thapa, Pashupati Shamshere Rana, among others, have also held talks with the king. Sources state that especially Giri, Surya Bahdur Thapa and Sharma have met the king on numerous occasions.

Aside from those with palace backgrounds, persons form Madhesi and indigenous communities maintaining a “low profile” at present have also been holding meetings with the king.

Nirnajan Thapa, Krishna Lal Thakali, Roop Jyoti and other royal ministers had also met the king in one group once.

A majority of royal ministers had reached the palace to receive tika during Dashain and on the king’s birthday last year. Continue reading

YCL Intimidation and IDP Voices

A relative came from village yesterday and he was watching TV bulletin in the evening while giving us latest about the village. There came the news about YCL, Young Communist League, the new sister organization of the Maoist party. “Yeh…yo YCL le ta manchhe kutchha hai,” the visitor promptly commented. “Dyam ka dyam thokchha. Naya Maobadi ho you YCL bhanne. Gaun ma sabailai thatauchan yiniharu le.” [This YCL beats up people. They beat indiscriminately. This YCL is the new Maoist. These folks beat all people in the village." Then the man detailed some of the incidents of harassment and intimidation by the YCL cadres in the village. He also said that though the new avatars of the Maoists haven't displayed guns they openly carry grenade. "They sometime go on fishing in the river with grenade."

This is just an example of how the newly reactivate YCL of the Maoists (incorporating mostly those who would otherwise be disqualified to be in the cantonment) is spreading the terror without gun in the villages. Police raided an YCL shelter in Kathmandu recently and found nothing. Nepali Congress folks say that the Home Minister gave clean cheat to YCL illegal activities by staging a fake raid where as Maoists criticize the government for the "illegal" raid. Yes, everyone can feel the intense power struggle going on between the major three parties in the government but the way the Maoist has used it's YCL in the process is very disturbing. No wonder why Ram Chandra Poudel, the Peace and Reconstruction Minister and NC General Secretary, demanded the dismantling of YCL recently. Widespread intimidation is going on around the country, be that in the city or in villages. YCL cadres are on the forefront in creating obstruction in IDP's return to villages.

Here we publish two interviews of two Internally Displaced People from Ramechhap and Achham. They are both living in Tinkune, an open space, in Kathmandu along with many other IDP.

Bina Adhikari, 36
Gelu Village, Ramechhap

Why were you were displaced?

We are displaced because of the Maoists. They should know the reasons.

Have they given any reason?

They say we spied [against them]. They displace people even in small arguments. Moreover, our house was looted. My house was the first to be looted in Ramechhap district.

Who is in the house now?

Until two years ago, there was no one. But since then, some have returned and other members of the family are here. They said some can return but others can’t. Three brothers of the family are still here. Continue reading

First Day of the Year 2064. But Jumla Shines!

The uncertainty over the CA elections and reactions to that decision of the Election Commission dominated the first day of the year in Nepal. Reaction from political parties are coming one after another regarding the Election Commissions expression of inability to hold election on stipulated time (June 20). Sher Bahadur ‘Royalist’ Deuba is one of the first to welcome it publicly though many others must have done so privately. Maoists are suspicious about the whole affair and but it has been understood that they knew it was coming. They see that the Eight Party Alliance is now useless. They want it to be formed again with republicanism as central theme. Anyway, Maoists are not shocked at the statement of EC. It seems CPN Maoist and CPN UML are competing with each other to blame Nepali Congress for pushing the election towards uncertainty. In terms of being harsh to NC, UML has won the game. Meanwhile Prime Minister and NC boss GP Koirala is like, well folks I am responsible yes but you folks also can’t escape. He is right; all of these folks can’t escape.

By the way, Gyanendra Shah, who issued a New Year statement today fulfilling his desire to issue such statement every now and then, has shown his phony appreciation of the peace process. I think its better not to give attention to his man.

Jumla Linked: But the best news comes from Jumla, one of the remotest districts in Nepal, where vehicle has reached. With the vehicle, hope of bright future has also touched in Jumla. People welcomed the car by garlanding the owner and worshipping the machine. They also sacrificed an animal on the occasion. People are happy that with the arrival of road, they don’t have to suffer from the scarcity of food in the region. Their Apple will get access to market and they will also be free from taking the expensive flights.