Feels Tuesday’s historic pact addresses its concerns
By Phanindra Dahal
The Nepal Army (NA) has expressed its readiness to fully support the landmark deal signed by parties on Tuesday night on concluding the peace process, stating that its concerns have been addressed in the agreement that will see former Maoist combatants integrated into its ranks.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha leader Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar signed the deal expressing commitment to setting up a general directorate under the NA to integrate up to 6,500 Maoist fighters. The general directorate, according to the deal, will be deployed for infrastructure development, rescue and relief operations as well as forest and industrial security.
“We feel fortunate that the parties forged an agreement on integration modality that we had suggested,” said a two-star general, commenting on Tuesday’s seven-point agreement. “We are ready to extend our full support to the implementation of this decision.” Continue reading
UWB note: The issue resulted in the resignation of the first democratically elected (and Maoist) Prime Minister of the Republic of Nepal after his split cabinet fired the Army chief only to be rejected by the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Nepal. The country is now into a constitutional crisis with the Supreme Court issuing a show-cause notice to the President’s secretariat as to why he ordered the army chief, who was sacked by the cabinet, to stay on. Maoists and some members of the civil society are hitting the streets saying the Presidential letter to the ‘sacked’ army chief was unconstitutional where as opposition parties representing more than 50 percent in the 601 seat constituent assembly feel the Maoist’s unilateral decision to fire the army chief was unconstitutional and improperly executed. Here is a research article, written before the resignation of PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, that explains the issue that has almost threatened to put the fragile peace process in peril.
By Bishnu Pathak, PhD
The confrontation between the United CPN (Maoist) and the then Royal Nepal Army began when the former first attacked the Army barracks in Ghorahi, Dang on November 24, 2001 and continued up to the initiation of the Popular Movement (Jana Andolan II) in April 2006. When the present Prime Minister (PM), Puspa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, first appeared in the media two years ago, along with Dr. Baburam Bhattarai at Baluwatar, he harshly criticized the Nepal Army (NA). Even his retraction soon after did not untie the knot that had developed in the relationship. The result of Constituent Assembly (CA) widened the gap. This gap intensified more due to the Maoists having their own army, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The anti-Maoists generals felt abandoned, and the national and international forces who were against the Maoists-led government were (are) able to exploit their feelings to serve their interests. Their traumatized psyche aligned them towards politics. They knocked on doors of their near and dear ones, forgetting their structured and disciplined duties and responsibilities. The NA generals, particularly the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal, started to deliver political lectures as if they were political leaders, against the Interim Constitution, elected government, peace process (integration or formation of a new national army), and so forth. The vested interests of a few generals fomented distrust with the civilian government. Continue reading
UWB Note: The Nepal Army today issued a statement strongly refuting the following report (and the one appeared in today’s Kantipur) as “imaginary and illusionary.” “We would like to let the general public know through this statement that the unified and disciplined Nepali Army is working according to laws and the chain of the command and will remain so. The Army that is in continuous service for the freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of the motherland remains committed to democratic norms as always. We appeal the public and the international community not to believe on the news report that is published with ill intention of brining division between the government of Nepal and Nepali Army.”
Generals of Nepal Army had made plans of ‘soft coup’ to tackle Maoist’s plan to dismiss the Chief of the Army Staff General Rookmangud Katwal.
By Akhilesh Upadhyay
It sounds surreal, reads like a page from a nail-biting thriller.
On Thursday (23rd April), 25 generals were present at the meeting of Principal Staff Officers at the Army Headquarters. The agenda was a serious one: Maoists are in a larger mission than to eliminate Nepal Army. They were out to derail the peace process and destroy Nepali democracy. And something had to be done to stop that.
It was PSOs and Valley commanders first meeting after the Maoist-led government issued a clarification letter to Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katwal.
The meeting started with DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) Gaurav Rana, saying that this was a historical moment and therefore it called for a frank discussion. “We are facing a tsunami and we must stop it,” he said. “The virus which is trying to destroy the Army is in this room.”
Himalaya Thapa, who heads the No. 1 Brigade added, “The root of the trouble is here. We must look for it and get rid of it.” A number of other generals also spoke at the meeting. Continue reading
For the record: Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments have started recruiting new soldiers apparently in response to the ongoing recruitment in Nepal Army (NA). Though the Maoist party itself has yet to officially comment on the recruitment, key political parties have come out strongly against the drive saying it violates past pacts, most notably the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of November 2006. Maoists, who head the defense ministry, said the same when Army recruitment row broke out. The other political parties gave the nod to Army recruitment. Continue reading
For the record: Nepali Congress “will not let the integration happen if the Maoists continued their criminal activities.”
Nepali Congress (NC) President Girija Prasad Koirala today said he is not in favour of integration of the Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army (NA). He said that the NC, the opposition party in the Constituent Assembly, will prevent the army integration to save the NA from politicisation. “The NC is against the army integration now since the Maoists have continued violence,” he added. Addressing the National Awareness Campaign of the NC in Nepalgunj today, the former prime minister referred to the killing of two youths in Dhading by the Maoist youth wing Young Communist League (YCL), and said, “I will not let the integration happen if the Maoists continued their criminal activities.” He further claimed that the YCL will eventually put an end to the Maoists and party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Continue reading
Politics is a principal policy of state, but the state is in confusion since the CPN (Maoist) became the largest party in the CA election with 38% of 601 seats.
By Bishnu Pathak PhD
Incident IV: Against the low quality food, rampant ill-treatment and discrimination not by others, but by their own seniors, about 500 Nepal Police rank and file seized the Riot Control Battalion and the Mid-western Regional Company at Nepalgunj (about 650 km west from Kathmandu) on July 12, 2008. They took seven-senior officers including one SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police), 3 SP (Superintendent of Police) and others hostage. Continue reading
For the record: Govt to take legal measures to tame
An emergency cabinet meeting today evening decided to take every possible legal measure to bring the situation at the Nepalgunj based Riot Control Police Battalion under control. The cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar directed the Home Ministry to tame the situation at Nepalgunj police battalion where seven police personnel are being held hostage by junior police personnel since yesterday, said a minister who attended the meeting. The meeting also ordered the ministry to make necessary arrangements to maintain discipline in all the security bodies, remain alert to avert such incidents in the future and to take the incident under control at the earliest. Continue reading
This is a serious incident that took place yesterday in Nepalgunj
and hasn’t ended yet. This is a fact that juniors are treated by many seniors very lowly and without any dignity in all security organizations including Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force. They should learn that juniors are not their slaves. If this incident is instigated by the Maoists as has been suspected because of the pro-Maoist slogans heard in the barracks then that deserves condemnation. We can only hope that this revolt will be an eye-opening for those senior officers in the security organizations. We also hope that this incident will not lead anarchy in the security organizations that demand high level of discipline and command and control but to the reforms within the organizations. Read the following news reports, the first is the latest, to learn more about the incident: Continue reading
“We have always said that the CA election was a key moment in the peace process but it’s certainly not the end of it by any means. There are other issues to be addressed and it’s important that the parties’ together look now at what more has to be done to take forward the peace process towards a successful conclusion.” -Ian Martin, Chief, United Nations Mission in Nepal, talking to journalists after his meeting with the Prime Minister on Friday (18 April).
“We extended their work period by six months earlier. A new National Army will be formed by integrating the Nepal Army and the People’s Liberation Army and the UN will not be needed as the new government can carry out the integration.” -C.P. Gajurel, CPN Maoist leader and Foreign Affairs chief of the party.
We always knew that Maoists didn’t like the UNMIN, a bureaucratic monster that was needed as a referee for Nepali peace process, for various reasons. A Maoist leader was on record criticizing the UN mission for preposterous spending on logistics like choppers, plane(s) and fleet of cars. “We have 20 thousand PLA but not a single chopper,” the leader said. “Why to UNMIN who are here to monitor the PLA need choppers and that many cars?” Continue reading
Update: Nepal Army has expressed its commitment to work under the direction of an elected government, whoever comes to power, reports Nepalnews. The army representative in Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) Shiva Pradhan is learnt to have said so during the meeting of the JMCC held Tuesday in the capital.
“It is entirely up to the political leadership. All we are saying is that the army has special characteristics. It must not be politicized.”- A Nepali Army spokesman
By Jay Shankar
Nepali Army said it will refuse to accept former communist rebels into its ranks while they remain “politically motivated and indoctrinated,”‘ a move that may delay the Himalayan nation’s peace process. “They cannot be integrated into the army as of now,” Ramindra Chhetri, director of army public relations, said in an interview in the capital, Kathmandu. “They need to be disarmed, de-mobilized, rehabilitated and reintegrated.” Continue reading