The ‘misleading’ and wrong decision taken by the Special Committee comprising representatives of six political parties has clearly indicated that financial accountability is a far fetched dram for Nepali people.
By Siromani Dhungana
On 12 April, some members of the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants which was formed in October 2008 wanted to know how Rs 19.71 billion was spent on the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments over the last seven years. According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat proposed that the committee passed a proposal directing the government to conduct a special auditing of the expenses.
However, the committee, as many believe took a controversial decision. The Post writes:
The committee, comprising representatives of six political parties, adopted a resolution with a soft tone, committing that the Office of the Auditor General will conduct a detailed investigation to see whether the funds were spent legally. It also agreed that the financial discipline maintaining body would recommend the government to publicize its report.
Following the decision, different section of the society has questioned the ability and intention of the leaders who were party to the decision. According to analysts, the decision of the committee is quite misleading and deceptive. Kantipur daily news editor Hari Bahadur Thapa, who has written books on corruption and has extensively covered corruption-related issues in the paper, tweeted: Continue reading
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
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
Leaders agree on number of Maoist guerillas to be integrated
KATHMANDU, NOV 01 – The peace process that was started five years ago in 2006 is likely to witness its logical conclusion. The meeting of the top brass leaders of the major political parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha—on Tuesday agreed on contentious issues of the peace process.
UML leader Bhim Rawal announced the deal amid a press conference organised at the PM’s residence.
The leaders have agreed to integrate 6,500 former Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army in an individual basis, Rawal informed. Likewise, the rehabilitation package has been agreed upon Rs. 600,000 to Rs. 900,000 as per the rank of the combatants.
Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala, UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as SLMM’s representative signed on the “peace deal” at Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s official residence in Baluwatar.
Meanwhile, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a talk with his deputy Mohan Baidya—leader of the party’s hardliner faction—so as to take him into confidence.
The background: how they bargained
Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty, Reasons, 1.4 (b/d).
Summary and Introduction
¶1. (C) I believe we have a four-six month window to use our
assistance to consolidate recent gains in democracy in Nepal.
While some argue that development and governance should take
a back seat to peace, I disagree. We need to help the
government show it is making a difference in people’s lives
by delivering services so that its success is not solely
measured on its ability to bring peace. Peace will depend
largely on Maoist intentions, and no one wants the Maoists to
have a veto over the new government’s success. We have a
limited window of opportunity and believe we should take a
two-pronged approach: build the capacity of important
government institutions, including the Peace Secretariat, the
Election Commission, Parliament and the National Human Rights
Commission, and deliver services on the ground, including by
focusing on rural infrastructure and providing employment.
We have e-mailed details on the suggestions discussed below.
This assistance, at a cost of twenty million USD plus, could
make a major difference in helping build a democratic,
well-governed state in Nepal. A significant increase in USG
assistance would also signal strong support to the new
government during this fragile transitional stage. Continue reading
Standing Committee meet ends; Baidya demands Central Committee meet
SEP 03 – The UCPN (Maoist) Standing Committee meeting held at the party headquarters in Paris Dada, Kathmandu concluded on Saturday (today) after party Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya demanded the party Central Committee meeting. The meeting was said to iron out the internal differences surfaced after the party handed over the keys to the arms containers to the Special Committee. The hard-line faction of the Maoists led by Baidya has been protesting against the keys handover. Yesterday, the Baidya camp had even boycotted the SC meeting to express their discontent over the key handover issue. The Maoists have handed over the keys to the containers at all the seven cantonments to the Special Committee on Thursday and Friday. Continue reading
A group of pro-Baidya Maoist cadres protesting in Kathmandu
Prachanda, Baidya men clash in Kavre. Is the Maoist party on the verge of split? If yes, when?
The intra-party rift in the UCPN (M) has widened further with the faction led by Senior Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya on Friday (today) announcing a nationwide campaign against the party decision to hand over the keys of arms containers to the Special Committee. Defying calls by the party leadership, the Baidya faction decided to launch a “national awareness campaign” starting Saturday (tomorrow). Leaders from the faction told Republica newspaper that they would paint walls and hold corner meetings to protest the party establishment´s decision to hand over the keys of the arms containers to the Special Committee. Baidya and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa on Friday (today) evening issued a statement demanding that the party chairman and the government scrap the decision.
This is a significant progress in the peace process since the former rebels signed a peace agreement with the government in 2006. Tasks ahead: re-grouping the Maoist combatants, integrate some in a new agency under Nepal army and send the rest to home with some money.
Baidya unhappy, America happy (below)
Notwithstanding the reservations from the party’s hard-line faction, the UCPN (Maoist) has handed over the keys of at least two containers of weapons- in Chulachuli of Ilam and Shaktikhor of Chitwan- to the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants. The Special Committee then handed over the key to the monitoring committee under it. But the Maoist party is yet to hand over the keys of other weapons containers in, for example, Talband, Kailali. The guerrillas here reportedly said that they hadn’t received formal letter from their higher-ups regarding the handing over of the keys to the Special Committee. The Committee is a government agency that is chaired by the Prime Minister and has representatives from Maoist and other political parties. Continue reading
Today: On behalf of the international donor community, the United States Agency for International Development is releasing the following statement:
Statement of Concern by the Nepal Donor Community Regarding the Impact of the Continued Political Impasse
- The international donor community would like to communicate to Nepal’s political leaders our growing concern regarding the negative development impact stemming from the slow progress in forming a new government, implementing the peace process, and writing the new constitution.
- The donors recognize the difficult circumstances under which the budget was promulgated by Ordinance and are glad a crisis has been averted for now.
- Executive leadership at both the Prime Minister and ministry level along with a genuine commitment to the peace process, transparency, accountability and tackling corruption will significantly accelerate progress in nearly every development sector.
- Numerous key senior positions remain vacant, limiting the effectiveness of the Nepal Government and reducing donor confidence.
- The slow pace in implementing the peace process, combined with the continued care-taker status of the government, lack of development leadership, significantly reduces most donors’ ability to secure future resources for Nepal.
- The donor community remains committed to supporting Nepal through this challenging time and strengthening the ability of individual Nepalese to improve their living standards.
(emphasis by the USAID)
The international donor community would like to communicate to Nepal’s political leaders our growing concern regarding the negative development impact stemming from the slow progress in forming a new government, implementing the peace process, and writing the new constitution. The donors recognize the difficult circumstances under which the budget was promulgated by Ordinance and are glad a crisis has been averted for now. We further encourage leaders to renew their focus on the long-term critical issues affecting Nepal’s development and economy—particularly corruption, ownership and accountability; slow progress in filling key positions in important public offices; and the security environment. While development progress continues in certain sectors, the ongoing political impasse has stalled or slowed many development projects and may negatively impact or limit future donor assistance.
Executive leadership at both the Prime Minister and ministry level along with a genuine commitment to the peace process and to transparency and accountability will significantly accelerate progress in nearly every development sector. The most effective programs are designed in strong partnership with the Government. While senior civil servants provide substantial input and guidance, engagement at the political level is often necessary. In addition,numerous key senior positions remain vacant limiting the effectiveness of the Nepal Government and reducing donor confidence, including the Head of Supreme Audit Authority (Auditor General), Chief Election Commissioner, and Chief of the CIAA (Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority) as well as significant numbers of leadership positions at the Village Development Committees. Continue reading
UWB Note: The following is the International Crisis Group’s latest report on Nepali situation. ICG is one of the many (I)NGOs that flourish in crisis. Many of its recommendations are mechanical making readers think that those who prepared the report have deliberately overlooked the ground reality that is so complex and demands deep understanding among the political parties.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Failure to address the systematic crimes committed during Nepal’s ten-year civil war is threatening the peace process. There has been not a single prosecution in civilian courts for any abuses. The cultures of impunity that enabled the crimes in the first place have remained intact, further increasing public distrust and incentives to resort to violence. The immediate priorities should be prosecutions of the most serious crimes, investigation of disappearances and action to vet state and Maoist security force members.
There are tensions between the pursuit of justice and the pursuit of peace. An absolutist approach to accountability for past abuses is impossible in practice and could obstruct the compromises needed to bring formerly warring parties together to forge a stable political settlement. But tackling impunity and improving accountability has a direct and acute relevance to managing Nepal’s fractious transition. Unaccountable and heavy-handed security measures by a state with weak legitimacy have escalated conflict before and threaten to do so again. Continue reading