Following the Trails of Saran: Guessing Game

By deepak adhikari on December 13th, 2005 in Dashing Deep

Indian Diplomat Meets Nepal King. Everyone’s Guessing.

Aaaaa…Ab…Gale…Lagja: Before trying to downplay the Saran Visit (“everyone is trying to portray this visit as an earthquake. it’s not that. it’s just as usual visit.”) Cabinet vice-chair Kirti Nidhi Bista hugged him tightly yesterday. Pic, scanned from the paper, by Rabi Manandhar via Nepal Samacharpatra.

Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran’s three-day whirlwind tour ended without much accomplishment and lot of publicity. At least, it appears so as of now. The game of guessing has begun as to exactly what happened in the main leg of Saran’s Kathmandu Odyssey. What he talked with the king in Narayanhitti royal palace this afternoon? What he talked with Nepali leaders will definitely come out in the next few days. While Saran kept mum in most of the matters, Nepali leaders were left to fill the vacuum created by his silence.

He began his Kathmandu Odyssey on Sunday by meeting former Prime Minister and Rastriya Janashakti Party chief Surya Bahadur Thapa. Saran also met Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Pyar Jung Thapa that evening.

Reportedly, COAS hosted a dinner party for Saran. But this hasn’t be independently verified for strange reasons. This seems mysterious, for Thapa headed for Pakistan, supposedly to seek military aid with that autocratic regime, the next day. The second day (Monday), he mostly met royal appointees including Cabinet Vice Chairs Dr. Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi Bista. He also held meeting with Gopal Man Shrestha of NC (Democratic) in the Indian Embassy, Lainchaur.

Shyam Saran in UML HQ at Balkhu. Pic by Shaligram Tiwari via Kantipur

This scribe was present today at the Balkhu headquarters of CPN UML when the General Secretary of Nepal’s biggest communist party in the parliament was eagerly awaiting the foreign Secy of world’s largest democracy. Saran arrived with his team at around 10 am and held meeting for half an hour. Like the other post-meeting briefings, Saran avoided media and Madhav Nepal was there to answer the queries. Nepal said that he conveyed the alliance’s message to Saran.
Saran was saying “Ok, [Indian] ambassador [Shiv Mukharjee] will do” to Nepal as he was bidding goodbye. No one knew what ambassador Mukharjee was supposed to do.

Later in the delayed press meet, journos were allowed to ask only three questions to Saran and he conveyed his hurry to catch the flight to Delhi. The Indian diplomat, a former ambassador to Kathmandu, showed his reluctance to delve into the matter he discussed with the king. He asked: “I don’t think that it is necessary to tell everything I discussed with the king.”
Ahâ ¦but we think it is absolutely necessary. Nepali people need to know what Saran and King Gyanendra discussed in the royal palace. There are several guesses in the air. One says, Saran reminded king what Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told the monarch in Dhaka last month. The irony is that very little information is publicized that too unofficially about what Singh had told the king in the one-on-one meeting held in the sidelines of the SAARC Summit.

A statement issued by Saran this afternoon says that his “visit is a follow up to the cordial and friendly meeting between His Majesty the King of Nepal and our Prime Minister recently in Dhaka during the SAARC Summit. Both leaders have agreed that given the long standing as well as wide ranging relations that exist between our two friendly neighbouring countries, it was important for us to remain in touch regularly, at different levels, in order to consolidate and expand our relations”

Other version of the guess is that India is too worried about the king’s relationship with China. It’s not about democracy, damnit. It’s about arms deal. India wants to bring king back into its arms and it sent Saran to persuade king.

All guesses agree on one point that even though Saran greeted all political leaders, the real intention of this visit was to see the king.

Saran’s visit, though termed official and branded ‘usual’ by vice chair Bista, comes in the wake of 12-point agreement struck between the agitating seven party alliances and the CPN (Maoist). So, one guess is that Saran conveyed India’s message to the king that the monarch should respond to the agreement positively.

Anyway, whichever guess may come true in future, one thing is for sure: Saran’s visit was like an Indian Tsunami. Will that swept away the autocracy in Nepal is, well, another guess for the time being.
(With contribution from D Wagle)

37 Responses to “Following the Trails of Saran: Guessing Game”

1. Shree Shrestha Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 8:18 pm

Is that the picture of Thapa kissing Indian Diplomat?
2. krishna Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 8:40 pm
But you dont mention the most obvious guess…
That talks are underway to sell karnali….
3. blogwatch Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 9:21 pm
Mr. Saran’s visit is media blown. But whether we like it or not Nepal is geographiclly bound to India. It means India is supposed to be our Freind no 1. But some time it sounds like India is enemy no 1. We must not forget that there is one theory which is still alive that in past MBs were supported this way or that way by both Darbar and our so called freind no 1. Mbs are now more ambitious to them. So far present visit also shows an act of balance of all stake holders of Nepal. Let us hope his visit will not be another story of Nadi Chhamne and ultimately benefitting to India.
God bless us if MBs have really u-turned we never know to whom we should give credit?
4. lavesh Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 9:33 pm
Are we under sikkimization or Victimization?
5. realTouch Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 10:33 pm
Yes, Blogwatch,
we like it or not we are bound to India demographically, culturally and geographically. Few guns from China or Pakistan can hardly change that hot and cold relation. Democracy too is not a slogan from China or Pakistan. If we were dependant with China or Pakistan as with India, our condition could have been no better than that of Tibet or so called free Kashmir. But royalist will like to be a Tibet or a free Kashmir than to see a democratic Nepal.
6. Tibetean Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 11:22 pm
for your kind information Tibet is far better than present Nepal…though there are some hue and cry from so-called western power who love Dalai lama.
7. manu Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 11:42 pm
Look at the quality of this blog site and the person who writes these reports. He says Indian Ambassador to Nepal is Deb Mukherji! ha! ha! ha! Where are you man? After Deb Mukherji it was Shyam Saran and after Saran it is Shiv Shankar Mukherji. If you don’t this much of truth, why do you scribble your nonsense on state diplomacy?
UWB: We first incorrectly mentioned Indian ambassador’s name as Dev Mukherjee. The correct name is Shiv Shankar Mukherjee.Thanks for pointing out our mistakes.
8. Pawan Says:
December 13th, 2005 at 11:53 pm
we like it or not but the truth is that nepal is india locked.And let me tell you that in this world and time THERE COULD BE NO in my opinion,we must treat india like sARPA PANI NA BHACHINE .LATHI PANI NA MARNE.solve the issue with india with cool mind with deep thought rather than aggresion.
9. Gantantra Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 1:09 am
Pawan is right…this anti indian mentalty in nepal was nurtured by royalists and ultra left communist…….India is a foreign country and serves its own interest first but there is no way out than taking support of Indian people to overthrough this king……….people in sikkim still have the right to elect their chief Minister but we will have Paras only because he is son of Gyanendra
10. Chandan Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 5:20 am
Every neighboring state has an interest in each other. So, its natural that India and China have interest in Nepal. They are so intent in sticking to the traditional tit-for-tat game, making Nepal a scapegoat, that they are going to any limits to upset each otherâ s actions. And, with it the despot is trying to draw Pakistan in the complex Nepalese international relationship. The US is using what ever it can to make sure that Pakistan will not follow the path of Chinese tacit support to the regime and the army. Since the Pakistani government is somewhat like a puppet government which largely relies on the US intelligence and economic aid, I don’t think they would do as the Chinese did. Letâ s hope that the tyrantâ s yes-man Mr. Pyara Jung Thapaâ s visit to Pakistan would garner no substantial support to further the oppressive regime. The despot needs to be alienated and ultimately kicked out.
Regarding the case with India, we cannot reject its interference given the economic and political interdependence that is continuing for such a long time. We only hope that the Indian interest will not turn into an obsession to direct the whole functioning and policies of Nepal. However, as far as supporting the democratic forces (to the limit of supporting only…not directing them with Indian policies) is concerned, I think their move should be welcomed cautiously. How long can dogmatic leaders argue that Nepalese can solve the problem themselves under their leadership? If the leaders were true then why are we seeing utter failure?
Thing are not improving in any frontâ ¦political situation is always bad, human rights violation is one of the most alarming in the world and the economy is in terrible shape with inflation reaching 8 percent at a time when growth rate hovering around 3 percent. Though undesirable, we need outside interference in restoring democracy and resolution of the Maoist crisis at present. And the bootlickers of the autocrat will not allow only for the sake of clinging to power and saving “their majestyâ s image”, which has been so rotten that even he hates smelling it. If the tyrant had attempted to smell his rotten regime then he would have realized by now that he has already become the most notorious figure among all the King that have ruled and reigned Nepal.
We need more support from the international community to the civil society so that the movement for democracy is successful in restoring democracy and in either kicking the autocratic King out or in making him just a ceremonial figure..
11. Chandan Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 7:06 am
Oops…We need more suppor from the international community to the civil society so that the movement for democracy is successful in restoring democracy and in either kicking the autocratic King our or in making him just a ceremonial figure…
12. TOP of The World Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 7:44 am
It shows that India has failed diplomatically his supporting terrorist . Now India wants to land safely just like maoist wanted because of failed policies of RAW. It is funny that he is seeking China’ support to solve the problems Nepal facing now. All these mess is created by India and now he needs China’s help to clean the mess. Oh MR. Saran ‘paye anta napaye kancho bow ko janta?’.
13. krishna Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 12:58 pm
Learn from china…
Its foriegn policy are not focussed on saving the communist regime there… unlike the nepalese foriegn policy right now which has only one goal … to get support for KG… what will nepal get out of that?? nothing..
China has much mature foriegn policy than india… China has always upheld the core national interests. Plus in no single event chinas intelligence agencies are suspected… however it is hard to believe that a country having power of china will stay quite and its intelligence will not do anything in neighboring countries…
The thing to learn from china is mature foriegn policy that centers about national interest.
Present regime of KG is insecure… foriegners will obviously try to take advantage of this golden oppurtunity… the longer present regime continues the more dangerous it is for nepal… simply because if KG sells say karnali he has nothing to lose… because at worst he might have to leave nepal which is becoming more and more certain… today I read news that nepal gave permission to india to construct another dam near much publicised khurdlotan.. why nepal government gave such permission when people have been complaining about submersion?? Answer is simple KG doesnot have any land there and he has no sympathy for people there… if he can control kathmandu he can remain in power…
Any way lot of these problems will not happen if democracy with accountability is established in nepal… many times in past royalists have hijacked democracy… so I hope this time no royality will remain in nepal to hijak democracy again…
14. Asha Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 1:34 pm
I find it amusing that all the democrats and republicans of this site are all sad with the visit of Shyam Saran. Now they are talking about Sikkimization and Indian interests in Nepal. This chameleon attitude is not going to do good. Till yesterday, Indians were good people but today they have become bad people. For the royalists also, till yesterday they were out to destroy monarchy but today, India is a trusted brother. Why don’t all Nepalese come together and forget about India, China, Pakistan, U.S., etc.?
The monarchy si ours, it is needed to continue the nationhood of 300 years. The parties are also needed so are the Maoists. The Indians, Chinese, Americans and the Pakis are all outsiders.
15. Sparsha Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 3:08 pm
For me this whole visit episode is another bidambana, not so much why Mr. Saran is visiting but so much why every damn body is putting emphasis on Saran as if he would come out with a magic answer to Nepal.
As far as I am concerned, the real problem is KG. Can Saran help to get rid of this guy. I do not see that. I have a feeling that KG has some kind of secret deal with the Indians. The Karnali issue is slowly popping up. Unfortunately Indians are too shrewd and our leaders just dance with their tunes. Indians take advantage as monkey saga.
16. Koshi, Gandaki, Mahakali Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 3:52 pm
Kantipur had shown almost 7 minutes in their news about Indian Foreign Secretary. NC and UML leader was quite happy to meet him and asked for support. King and Vice president of Nepal met him. Look where are we? We are in the level of foreign secretary of India. OOOf can anybody have sense to make him hero?
17. Girija and Makune Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 4:40 pm
We are the top leaders of world without us the democracy in Nepal will not survive. Even we go to hell, our activists should bring us to Nepal to rule this country. We do not have to obey any rules and regulations in the democracy because we are the creator of democracy. King is our main enemy and coming in between our and only ours democracy. In democracy we have right to do anything if our activisists satisfied. People, if they are giving vote for us means they have to obey our rules because we are representing them in our democracy. India is our godfather to save us. Maoist are good people of Nepal and they are our friends.
They are doing good job for democracy and the people. Look our sovereignity, our status has still maintened upto indian foreign secretary level. Delhi is our democractic pilgrimage place for us. Students of Nepal our pillars to save us. We can use them whenever we like it. We have our branches in every sectors of Nepal. They will not go against us whatever we do mistakes. Those we trace our mistakes are the slave of the king. In democratice world and 21st century, people should not be slave of the king but they should be slave of us and grand slave of India. China and Pakistan are our great enemy. Sometimes India also do not trust us so we pressure them not to calculate our mistakes. King is autocratic, that is for sure. But we are not autocratic, look all caste and sectors are in our top level. In party, we do not only appoint our caste there are equal opportunities to all. Without us, democracy is impossible. Nobody in Nepal have guts to ask the democracy infront of king.
18. buddha Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 9:45 pm
why all the media are HIGHLIGHTNING the visit of shyamsharan,he is nothing and after his visit nothing is gonna to change ……………….cant we believe ourself…and our people
19. realTouch Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 10:18 pm
In an open society as India, there is transperency to every thing but in a closed communist system, every bad steps are covered up. Your next door neighbour whose door you have to pass by may look worse than the neighbour with unaccessable wall. Has China ever supported Nepali people’s agitation?
20. Dhekhasikena Sunthurey Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 10:57 pm
I’m really amazed that they are like homo…………..
wish don’t be the same,………..otherewise…….ppls……..
it’s upon you……..
Do you like such a reletion.,….like???????
21. sushma Says:
December 14th, 2005 at 11:57 pm
Now everybody suspects that King gave Karnali to Shyam Saran. WHat dod the political parties give to reach a 12 pt. agreement with the Maoists on Indian soil? It was very much done by New Delhi. Did the political parties agree with Shyam Saran to make Nepal another Sikkim or Bhutan? The sooner we get rid of these bunch of national disgrace like Nepal and Koirala the better for the country. These parties are a national shame. They garner foreign money to gather paid crowds at New Baneeswor. I hear most of them get Rs. 300 for receiving a lathi of the police or throwing bricks.
22. swaraj Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 12:01 am
Sushma says all the crowd that the political parties gather are paid. I think, they are not only paid but some of them at the front row are also known drug addicts. These drug addicts and punks have been paid as much as 1000 Rs. to participate in these rallies. That’s why even when the police beats them the pain is not felt by some of these people. When one sees them on t.v. it is of such bad taste and contempt to see college kids participating in these protests supposedly for the restoration of democracy. In actuality, it is only for the restoration of Koirala and Nepal’s privileges.
23. Arbiter Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 12:08 am
If it is only for the restoration of Koirala n Makune then what is the purpose of armed Mandales intimidating people. And, the irony is the cops remain indifferent when they see hordes of Mandales carrying weapons in front of them? What is this Maharaj Swaraj?
24. krishna Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 12:56 am
I am not saying China is great country and nepal should surrender itself to chinese…
I am just pointing out how shrewd they are… how they protect their national interest everywhere… particularly I have never seen some implication of china in any event in burma, bangladesh, nepal, india etc. except the open support that mao gave to naxalites in west bengal… I dont even know what is the name of intelligence agency of china… Is it possible that chinese intelligence will remain as spectator for more than 50 years??
By the way… I am pointing this because KG is having insecure rule… and national interest is not the theme of foriegn policy now … it is royal interest…
25. buduncadunk Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 3:51 am
i agree with swarg
many guys from tc has been paid to go to such rallies
26. buduncadunk Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 3:52 am
i mean swaraj
27. Iam4Democracy! Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 3:57 am
Nepal and India are like Canada and the USA – they have a differences
at times, but the commanality is so huge, sometime it’s hard to figure it out. India must always be careful and not to been seen as inconsiderate, specially when you are so big and your friend happen to be so small.
It must always look into the interest of Nepalis and Indians both when negotiating deals and they ought to be taken for a long term interest, rather than short term to entertain or perform better on the polls.
Nepal, in the mean time, must also treat India as its own big brother, the one you can count on always when you are in trouble.
India has been providing assistance to Nepal in various areas for a long time and for which it enjoys tremendous genorosity of goodwill from Nepal
in general.
Therefore, in future, whenever a new contract or an accord is formed, they must be always in the line to help each other rather than take advantage of one another. It’s good to have such good friends in both sides!
28. Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 4:19 am
“Tibet better than nepal”, give us a break !
I went around Mt. Kailash and to Lhasa 2 years ago and saw the poverty and oppression of the Tibetans by the Chinese.
China is no friend of Tibet or Nepal !
29. Pudke Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 7:46 am
In Panchyat time there used to be paid and Urdi or forced rally called PANCHA RALLY. So people who are used to those Panch Rally they always sees the rally for Democracy as paid rally. No wonder they like to see as a KANO GORU sees and they like to dance in the tune of PAISA KO KHAN KHAN only. For how long these blood suckers want to suck us and make us more Pudke?
30. REUTERS Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 11:19 am
how much did you get from the Indian embassy to call it a largest democracy. Wagle is so proud!
funny isn’t it UWB’s bhakti to its Indian masters.
you traitor!
31. Girija and Makune Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 1:32 pm
Why not we asked money to RAW to support us for democracy?? They had provided us money to fight the democracy what’s wrong with it? We can even take money from hell if democracy comes. Don’t worry we do not bring the hell in Nepal just money. We do not know why India is supporting us maybe for Karnali. Don’t worry infront of people we show them some rally like in Tanakpur.India should understand that we are not the slave of them, infront of people they should not act like that.
Next time we will request them to send money in draft so that we donot have to be in Delhi. How many times we will tell the people that we are going their for treatment. Because of India we are now being in the process of popular leaders. After all we are for democracy and our own vested interest. King should leave the power if he really loves country. But our power should be added whatever it maybe either we use it properly or not. In 21st century leaders power is great because of the peoples mandate. We have right to use it.
All people are for real democracy but still we do not know what is the real democracy they are talking about. In our sense if our power increased that is the real democracy. The leaders should not be allowed to go Supreme court for their mistakes till the peoples mandadate will be there. Supreme court and constitution is not for the leaders, people mandates is for the leaders. That is the conclusing point in our democracy.
We change the constitutio whenever we like.
32. krishna Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 2:38 pm
I have written about chinese expertise in handling foriegn affairs.
Now let me talk about india v/s nepal.
India has provided open border. Then trade between india and nepal is also closing huge gaps.. on the other hand nepal is losing much more with china in trade… India is major exporter as well as importer of nepalese goods… whereas china is major exporter to nepal but imports very little…. Nepal loses more than 10 billion rupees each year with china…
Now coming to services sector… more than 6 million nepalese work in india… plus there are many pensioners of indian government in nepal.. There is not calculation how much nepalese people working in india contribute to nepal but it must be arround 50% of 70 billion rupees that nepal gets in remittance..
Coming to tourism also indians form one of the highest group..
In direct assistance japan is highest donor and india and china are almost equivalent in this field..
No doubt nepal has recieved much from india… but then neplese have died for india in wars… its not todays stastitics… even 100-200 years ago also nepal had lot to share with india… most important is the education of people in past which would not have been possible without assistance of russia and india… “kashi ma padheka haru lai count na garau..”
There are cultural similarity… films.. music… sunil dutt mala sinha etc worked in nepali films … manisha, udit worked in indian films… many nepali stuntmen and cameraman are in bollywood…
The question is why even after so many similarities and investment by india there is no body shouting “indian-nepali bhai bhai?”.
On the other hand nepal can not dare to do anything against the interests of china…
Now can any one tell me which has better diplomacy india or china?
33. sanobhai Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 3:42 pm
I would be interested in knowing how the political parties in Nepal are funded. Not just rumors, but some coherent set of facts.
34. Girija and Makune Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 5:28 pm
India Nepali bhai bhai…..lets turn it into more than that. Our GDP will also grow according to them once we go more than that. Their development will become ours. Our political carriers will increase to big areas..people will be directly benefited with their development.Let’s share the pie of Nepal and India together, what is the harm on that? After all we are “bhai.. bhai…they are taking so much care about us.
35. krishna Says:
December 15th, 2005 at 5:42 pm
Girija ji…
Do you read what ever is written? Can any one dare to speak in nepal in favor of tibet or taiwan?? Thats the point… chinese diplomacy is superior than any other in the region…
36. maddog Says:
December 16th, 2005 at 12:33 am
Am I the only one to believe that India doesn’t give a fuck about Nepal?
We are just trying to over emphasize our importance. India has moved on in last 10/12 years to a better things than to worry about the little petty things with Nepal. Peace in Nepal is what India wants, otherwise it will be forced to close the open boarders. Chaina may give you a rifle or two, believe me it will never open its boarders to Nepal. India is sort of a big brother to Nepal while china is a distant friend. It will never change. Both India and China they have better things to worry about than shitty situation in Nepal.

37. dr. peace Says:
December 18th, 2005 at 5:12 pm
role of king ceremonial and not absolute power is what democracy is about. Like we have parliament, as representation of the people, people will go to school and participate.
Women before men, to improve changes since they seem to be the boss anyway but busy to comment on it. For now what is the first thing to be done? Understand that this is a fascinating process, keep trying to understand, there are no foreign comparisons, Nepal is unique, but it is alright to try and understand history of democracies, even so called democracies, and their problems with including violence, and institutionalized oppression, human rights abuses.

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