Tag Archives: prachanda

Did UN official accused of bias by Israel protect Maoist violence in Nepal ? (Book Excerpt)

– by NepalForeignAffairs.com team

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Former senior UN bureaucrat Kul Chandra Gautam’s book is already creating a lot of ripples.

Ian Martin was the head of Amnesty International before serving as UN special envoy to East Timor and Nepal. He acted as the inaugural head of UN Mission In Nepal (UNMIN) from 2006 to 2009. UNMIN was established to assist Nepal’s peace process following the peace agreement between Nepal government and Maoist rebels in 2006. Martin is a Cambridge educated Briton, whose controversial role in Nepal led the Nepal government to reduce UNMIN’s mandate, before finally ending the mission in 2011, on a rather bitter note.

Martin has been heavily criticized by Israel for a report prepared by his team in 2009. He led a UN committee of four to investigate incidents during the Gaza War. Israel was joined by the US in calling the report as biased. Israel’s criticism stated, “in both spirit and language, the report is tendentious, patently biased, and ignores the facts presented to the committee.”

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Ian Martin was the head of United Nations Mission In Nepal (UNMIN) and led a committee to investigate incidents in the Israel-Gaza conflict. (Picture: ictj.org)

For the first time after the time of UNMIN, some of their activities and unreported incidents have been brought to light in a book by a former senior UN bureaucrat. Kul Chandra Gautam, who served as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, has been involved with Nepali civil society and in the peace process. His book, “Lost in Transition: Rebuilding Nepal from the Maoist mayhem and mega earthquake” is out tomorrow. It has already created a lot of ripples in Nepal, including very approving reviews for its counter-narrative to the dominant view in Nepal that eulogizes violence and undemocratic means to grab power by destabilizing the state.

What follows is an exclusive excerpt from the book, detailing some role of UNMIN and its high officials in Nepal that very few people other than Gautam have been privy to.


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Kul Chandra Gautam, a former senior UN official details some of the unknowns regarding UNMIN’s role in Nepal. His book is out tomorrow (Picture: ipsnews.net).

… People began to see that UNMIN was unable to restrain the massive pre-election threats and violence by the Maoists against candidates of other political parties. Following the elections, and the installation of the Maoist-led government, people saw many illegal and criminal activities taking place in Maoist cantonments or by Maoist combatants outside the cantonments. UNMIN’s seeming inability to control or even monitor such activities began to erode the public’s faith in UNMIN.

A video-taped speech by Maoist Chairman Prachanda at a party training event in the Shaktikhor cantonment just prior to the 2008 CA election revealed how the Maoists had hoodwinked the UN into accepting much larger number of combatants than was actually the case, and how the party intended to use its cadres, including its ex-combatants, to influence the election. UNMIN’s credibility nosedived, when instead of protesting the Maoists’ cynical remarks disparaging it, UNMIN sought to defend itself and the Maoists by saying that Prachanda’s remarks “needed to be understood in a certain context”.

Some dramatic cases of criminal activities in the Maoist cantonments; the free access and use of the cantonments by Maoist leaders for political training and indoctrination; and the seeming inability of UNMIN to do anything about such actions, led to serious disappointment with its performance, especially given the Nepali public’s very high expectation of UNMIN. Increasingly a growing number of leaders of the non-Maoist political parties, civil society and the media became critical of UNMIN’s performance, many attributing a certain pro-Maoist bias on the part of UNMIN.

Worried about their poor judgment, in early 2010, I wrote a long memo entitled “Quo Vadis UNMIN?” and shared it with Karin Landgren, Ian Martin and Tamrat Samuel. I cautioned them about giving undue benefit of doubt to the Maoists and unfair criticism and pressure on NC/UML to be more flexible and compromising. I have retained copies of my long private exchanges with them – mostly by emails – in my files.

In essence, the UNMIN leadership listened to my views politely, but generally chose to ignore them.

UNMIN became so influenced by the circle of self-proclaimed “progressives” that it ignored and dismissed the views and advice of many Nepalis who had a much deeper understanding of and respect for the United Nations, including those who had served in senior positions in the UN system …

In September 2010, UNMIN had prepared a report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2010/453) on the status of Nepal’s peace process recommending further extension of UNMIN’s mandate. This report was so unbalanced and objectionable that four former Foreign Ministers of Nepal coming from different political parties – KP Sharma Oli, Chakra Bastola, Ram Sharan Mahat and Prakash Chandra Lohani – wrote a joint letter of protest to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

As former foreign ministers, and strong supporters of the United Nations, they registered their objection to the tone and content of the whole report and pointed out several specific paragraphs which were against the letter and spirit of Nepal’s Comprehensive Peace Accord and related agreements. They objected to the report’s treatment of Nepal’s national army on par with the former rebel force, whose members were in temporary cantonments awaiting integration and rehabilitation. They also objected to the report essentially treating the Government of Nepal on par with the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Indeed, neither the UN nor most Western diplomats insisted with the Maoists that if they wanted their cooperation, they had to unequivocally renounce violence, accept political pluralism (not just “multiparty competition”), and abandon their declared objective of “state capture” through either ballots or bullets.

Martin’s implied assertion that Nepalis … could not think for themselves, reminded me of the former Singapore Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani’s book entitled “Can Asians Think?” Yes, I argued, Nepalis can think for themselves.

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Karin Landgren replaced Martin as UNMIN head in Nepal. UNMIN has been controversial and accused of protecting Maoist violence in Nepal (Picture: frontpageafricaonline.com).

Dear Comrade Prachanda….think before using the word ‘democracy’

Before calling Baburam a democrat, Prachanda should answer the following questions:

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Speaking at the seventh General Convention of the UCPN (Maoist) in Hetauda on February 2, comrade Prachanda, after encouraging his followers against main opposition Nepali Congress, posed a close-ended question to his cadres: “Is Baburamjee against peace and constitution? Is he an undemocratic leader?”


His cadres clapped and laughed but did not dare to answer because it was a close-ended question and Maoists cadres are not free enough to oppose their headquarters.

Dear comrade, yes you and your fellow incumbent Prime Minister (Baburamjee) both are indeed undemocratic leaders. Your deputy has dual character. He talks about uplifting lives of the poorest of poor but in practice he does nothing for them. In an interview with the Indian newspaper DNA, he says:

Q: Yet, Maoists in India are popular with the poorest and with many intellectuals, including the likes of Anuradha Ghandy, whose memorial lecture you will be delivering. So why did it not capitalise on this support?

A: (Smiles) I think this is for the Marxists and Maoists of India to asses as to why they failed to make an impact. But seeing this from a theoretical level, parliamentary democracy does not address the problems of the poor masses and people in backward countries like India and Nepal. There is too much disparity, with one section enjoying the fruits of democracy and the majority in the country — the dalits, the tribals, the women, the poor — are deprived of their genuine democratic rights. This contradiction is there. I think the radical communists are trying to champion the cause of the downtrodden.

Comrade Prachanda, your deputy thinks ‘parliamentary democracy does not address the problems of the poor masses and people in backward countries like India and Nepal’. So, which is the most suitable model of democracy for a country like Nepal? Continue reading Dear Comrade Prachanda….think before using the word ‘democracy’

Does Baburam Bhattarai Need Political Adversaries like Mohan Baidya When he has a Wife like Hisila Yami?

LEFT TO RIGHT: Sita Dahal, her husband Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his wife Hisila Yami pose for a photo before heading to what is now known as the historic Chunwang Baithak (meeting) in Chunwang, Rolpa in 2005. Pic via Dinesh Shrestha

‘Choosy’ Hisila Yami Cheapens Her PM Hubby’s Resolves  हिसिला यमी जस्ती भ्रष्ट श्रीमती भएपछि प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुरामलाई मोहन बैद्य जस्ता राजनीतिक शत्रु किन चाहियोस ?

By Bhadra Sharma

[प्रधानमन्त्रीकी भ्रष्ट पत्नी: १६ लाखको मुस्ताङ चढने प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमती हिसिला यमीलाई डेड करोडको प्राडो चाहियो ! जवकी प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमतीलाई गाडी दिने कानूनी प्रावधानै छैन । सस्तो गाडी दिँदा उनले मुख्य सचिवलाई भनिन्- ” त्यो गिरिजाले चढेको थोत्रो, मलाई नयाँ चाहियो ।” प्रधानमन्त्रीले बोलाएको भन्दै सचिवहरूलाई बालुवाटारस्थित प्रम निवासमा झुक्याएर बोलाउने यमीले आफै सचिवहरूलाई निर्देशन दिन्छिन् । स्रोत: काठमान्डू पोष्ट]

While Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has been meticulously following the austerity measures in a bid to create a better image of his government, his wife Hisila Yami, a prominent leader in the Maoist party, seems to be swimming against the current. Sources said many of her recent acts watered down her husband’s resolves.

In a clear breach of the PM’s recent directives, Yami demanded a Prado, a Toyota car that costs Rs 15 million, from the Prime Minister’s Office only last week. PM Bhattarai, in sharp contrast, rides a Nepal-assembled Mustang car, which costs Rs 1.6 million. Continue reading Does Baburam Bhattarai Need Political Adversaries like Mohan Baidya When he has a Wife like Hisila Yami?

American Diplomatic Cable: Girija Prasad Koirala and Prachanda Meet in Singapore

Prachanda did not trust his son Prakash

2009-12-01 12:07

S E C R E T KATHMANDU 001094

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR IN NP SN CH
SUBJECT: NEPAL: PRACHANDA MEETS KOIRALA, INDIANS, CHINESE
IN SINGAPORE

REF: KATHMANDU 1090

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Randy W. Berry. Reasons 1.4 (b/
d).

¶1. (S/NF) During his November 16-18 trip to Singapore, Maoist
Chairman Pusha Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” met Nepali Congress
leader G.P. Koirala, Indian diplomats, and Chinese officials.
Maoist head of international affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara
and Nepali businessman Dinesh Manandhar accompanied
Prachanda. Manandhar (strictly protect) told Emboff November
30 that the Singapore-based telecommunications company Smart
Telecom paid for airfare (business class), vehicle rental
(BMW), and hotels (Four Seasons) for the Maoist delegation.
Manandhar — who is personally close to Mahara but says he is
not a member of the Maoist party — is the local Nepali
partner of Smart Telecom, and handled logistics for the
delegation. He did not participate in the meetings. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: Girija Prasad Koirala and Prachanda Meet in Singapore

A Day After Handing Over Arms Key, Maoist Hardliners Baidya and Badal Revolt Against Prachanda

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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.

Continue reading A Day After Handing Over Arms Key, Maoist Hardliners Baidya and Badal Revolt Against Prachanda

Equation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal & Baburam Bhattarai is the Most Important Equation

An analysis by Akhilesh Upadhyay in The Kathmandu Post

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal invited a select group of editors to his Nayabazaar residence last Wednesday. Expectations ran high, even though Dahal’s office had pitched the meeting as “a regular exchange on current affairs.”

The Maoist party, as it turned out, came up with a detailed proposal on integration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants the next day—the first such document since the peace process started in 2006.

Despite the perceptible decline in his stature in recent years, Dahal still remains the most important political figure in the current transition. His stated ideas and implied messages become subjects of heated debates and raging controversies across the country. Continue reading Equation of Pushpa Kamal Dahal & Baburam Bhattarai is the Most Important Equation

Baburam Bhattarai Elected the Prime Minister of Nepal

Baburam Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda"
Prime Minister-elect Baburam Bhattarai, right, and his party the UCPM Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" emerge out together after the former was declared the winner in the Prime Ministerial race in the Constituent Assembly today.
Baburam Bhattarai
Baburam Bhattarai

Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has been elected the new, 35th, Prime Minister of Nepal. The speaker of the Constituent Assembly, Subash Chandra Nembang, declared him the winner in an election that saw Ramchandra Poudel challenging Bhattarai. Dr. Bhattarai is the vice-chairman of the party and was the finance minister in the Maoist Chairman Prachanda-led government two years ago. He secured 340 votes vs Poudel’s 235 votes out of 594. Continue reading Baburam Bhattarai Elected the Prime Minister of Nepal

Maoist Shutdown in Nepal: Day I

Video Report

By Keshav P. Koirala

The normal life in the Kathmandu Valley [and across Nepal] has been hit hard on the first day of the indefinite general shutdown imposed by the Unified CPN (Maoist) on Sunday demanding resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Hundreds of Maoist cadres and supporters have gathered at the major thoroughfares and junctions in the Capital since early morning to enforce the shutdown, more popularly known as banda. Continue reading Maoist Shutdown in Nepal: Day I

Maoist 'Revolutionary' is the Prime Minister of Nepal

In what will go on the pages of the history books as one of the most important days of Nepal, Maoist revolutionary (and leader of an outfit that was branded terrorist until two years ago) Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) has been elected the Prime Minister of Nepal by a majority of votes in the Constituent Assembly this evening. Nepali Congress, second largest party in the assembly, was the opponent that filed separate candidacy. Sher Bahadur Dueba, senior Congress leader and three time prime minister, was defeated (he got 113 votes vs 464 of Dahal). Many other fringe parties supported the Maoist led alliance that included third largest CPN UML. Chairman of the CA in his capacity as the Speaker of the House of Representative announced the results a few seconds ago. Continue reading Maoist 'Revolutionary' is the Prime Minister of Nepal

A Small Revolt Within The Biggest Party of Nepal

Maoists burn down Chairman Pranchanda’s effigy in Rautahat: CPN-Maoist activists of Rautahat district today burnt down the effigy of party Chairman Prachanda and demanded for his resignation in protests of the inclusion of no nominees from the district by the party leadership in the closed list for proportional representation system. This is the first incident of open protests against Maoist Chairman Prachanda by activist from his own party. Continue reading A Small Revolt Within The Biggest Party of Nepal