Himalayan Sham: Nepal Election Drama

Issuing a statement defending autocratic king’s election roadmap and deploring international community’s criticism of municipal polls, Nepal government fights back

By D Wagle

“His Majesty’s Government of Nepal finds the statements made by a few countries on the municipal elections in Nepal as totally objectionable thus unacceptable and asks them to refrain from making such insolent comments on matters that fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a sovereign country.”

-Statement by the Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal.

Autocracy in today’s world is an abominable anachronism. But what is even more dangerous is the attempt of autocracy to don the garb of democracy. In a bid to deflect the mounting pressure to revive democracy in Nepal, King Gyanendra ordered municipal polls on February 8. But election without a semblance of democracy is nothing but a monumental farce.
-An editorial piece (titled Himalayan Sham) in the Asian Age, an Indian daily newspaper.

Just like the Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Information Minister was seeing his government’s victory as the American armies were marching inside Baghdad, Nepal’s foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey thinks that, the February 8 municipals in Nepal were “a clear popular victory against terror that has derailed democracy for years.” Pandey’s Foreign Ministry today issued a statement in the name of the spokesperson (we know the status of spokesperson in Pandey’s minister very well! Folks say that even files related to promotion of a junior level officer at the ministry has to go through Pandey’s table.) that essentially blasts off recent criticism made by some of the worlds leading countries like Japan, US, Britain and India. All of these countries have rejected the election branding it meaningless, hollow exercise with no popular support aimed at legitimizing the king’s autocratic ambitions. Continue reading Himalayan Sham: Nepal Election Drama

Advertisements

Postcards From Nepal: Violence and Suffering

An ox with a slogan I am Mayor Bhimsen Thapa on the body
I AM THE MAYOR THAPA: As newly elected officials of Pokhara Municipality were taking oaths in Dipendra Sabha Griha, people put posters with sarcastic slogans over an abandoned ox targeting Bhimsen Thapa, the Mayor [The message reads: I am Mayor Bhimsen Thapa]. The animal went around the Chowk for about one and a half-hour. After pro-election activists informed about the incident to, police removed the slogan. Pic by Dinesh Regmi Continue reading Postcards From Nepal: Violence and Suffering

Himalayan Sham: Nepal Election Drama

Issuing a statement defending autocratic king’s election roadmap and deploring international community’s criticism of municipal polls, Nepal government fights back

By D Wagle

“His Majesty’s Government of Nepal finds the statements made by a few countries on the municipal elections in Nepal as totally objectionable thus unacceptable and asks them to refrain from making such insolent comments on matters that fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a sovereign country.”

-Statement by the Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal.

Autocracy in today’s world is an abominable anachronism. But what is even more dangerous is the attempt of autocracy to don the garb of democracy. In a bid to deflect the mounting pressure to revive democracy in Nepal, King Gyanendra ordered municipal polls on February 8. But election without a semblance of democracy is nothing but a monumental farce.
-An editorial piece (titled Himalayan Sham) in the Asian Age, an Indian daily newspaper.

Just like the Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Information Minister was seeing his government’s victory as the American armies were marching inside Baghdad, Nepal’s foreign Minister Ramesh Nath Pandey thinks that, the February 8 municipals in Nepal were “a clear popular victory against terror that has derailed democracy for years.” Pandey’s Foreign Ministry today issued a statement in the name of the spokesperson (we know the status of spokesperson in Pandey’s minister very well! Folks say that even files related to promotion of a junior level officer at the ministry has to go through Pandey’s table.) that essentially blasts off recent criticism made by some of the worlds leading countries like Japan, US, Britain and India. All of these countries have rejected the election branding it meaningless, hollow exercise with no popular support aimed at legitimizing the king’s autocratic ambitions.

Poor Pandey! He just served his master by issuing a statement that is full of false claims and laughable reasons. “His Majesty’s Government would be grateful to be enlightened if there is a substitute for elections in a democracy,” the fifth last sentence of the statement states. Who will tell Pandey that there is no democracy in Nepal, there is simply the autocracy of his boss, the Chairman of the Cabinet. When Gyanendra Chairs the Cabinet, Pandey should know, there is no democracy in Nepal.

When people like Pandey believe that there is democracy in today’s’ Nepal, its no surprise to learn from Royal henchman like Keshav Raj Rajbhandari (Chief Election Commissioner is his formal identification) proudly declaring that Election Commission is ready to hold General Elections as and when the King directs the constitutional body as per the article 53 (1) of the national statue. Rajbhandari has become of the shameless royal psychopath over the weeks by blindly acting as per the autocratic wish of King Gyanendra.

Now is the time for international community to do something significant than just issuing statements. Now is the time for political parties to intensify the movement so as to force the tyrant king to kneel down in front of the real popular wish.

Postcards From Nepal: Violence and Suffering

An ox with a slogan I am Mayor Bhimsen Thapa on the body
I AM THE MAYOR THAPA: As newly elected officials of Pokhara Municipality were taking oaths in Dipendra Sabha Griha, people put posters with sarcastic slogans over an abandoned ox targeting Bhimsen Thapa, the Mayor [The message reads: I am Mayor Bhimsen Thapa]. The animal went around the Chowk for about one and a half-hour. After pro-election activists informed about the incident to, police removed the slogan. Pic by Dinesh Regmi

People are forced to walk after Maoists blocked Pokhara-Baglung Highway.

Rebels’ Road: People are forced to walk after Maoists blocked parts of the Pokhara-Baglung Highway. Rebels obstructed 2 kilometers distance of the highway from Bajung-2, Vaplye to Dimuwa Bazaar of Tilhaar VDC. They put logs, stones, and private vehicles and made walls on the road. Local people removed the materials at Pati Charu and Dimuwa Bazaar but the situation in Vyaple hasn’t changed yet. Chief District Officer (CDO) Hum Prasad Adhikari said that efforts were being made to open up the road as soon as possible. Pics by Lal Prasad Sharma

People are forced to walk after Maoists blocked Pokhara-Baglung Highway.

Army, Baton and Beating
Two cadres of Nepali Congress who were beaten up by the army on the day of municipal elections (Feb 8) are undergoing treatment.
The Army Beat ‘em: Two cadres of Nepali Congress who were beaten up by the army on the day of municipal elections (8th Feb.) are undergoing treatment. As they were demonstrating in front of the polling booth at Gaurigunj Lower Secondary School, Bharatpur, army suddenly appeared and started beating them with batons and rifles. Rajib Neupane (above), district secretary of the Chitwan barnch of Nepal Students’ Union is still unconscious (Friday, 10 Feb.). He is undergoing treatment in Medical College. He hasn’t been able to move his body, doctors said. He has suffered serious injuries in veins and, doctors said, it might take him a few weeks to get back to normalcy. Another photo shows NC cadre Ganga Dutta Kandel. Pic by Binod Tripathi
Two cadres of Nepali Congress who were beaten up by the army on the day of municipal elections (Feb 8) are undergoing treatment.

Nepali Maoists stopped the drinking water supply in Dailekh
Comrades, Can’t They Drink Water???: After candidacy were filed for the municipal polls in Dailekh’s Narayan Nagar Municipality ignoring calls from Maoists and the alliance of seven political parties, rebels stopped drinking water supply to the district headquarters of Dailekh. It’s been more than a week that people are facing difficulties in having drinking water as the supply hasn’t resumed. Natural drinking water sources near the headquarters have dried over the years because of lack of conversation of the green area and residents have been forced to drink dirty water. Pic by Harihar Singh Rathour

Victorious candidates of the municipal poll in the Narayan Nagar Municipality of Dailekh are being ferried to the District Court for taking oath
To Take Oath: Victorious candidates of the municipal poll in the Narayan Nagar Municipality of Dailekh are being ferried to the District Court in a local administration vehicle for the oath taking ceremony. Those who lost the election are dispersed around the bazaar fearing Maoist action against them. Pic by Harihari Singh Rathour

Students protest Dang Killing in Narayanghat Bazaar.
Protesting Dang Killing in Narayanghat Bazaar: Students took out a protest rally and burnt tires on the Shahid Chowk in the afternoon. Army killed CPN UML cadre Umesh Chandra Thapa on the election day (8th Feb).Pic by Binod Tripathi

Sunaul Clash: Aftermath

Images from the site where security personnel and the Maoist guerillas fought (Feb 10) killing 17 securitymen and 4 Maoists. Pics by Dipendra Baduwal

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Locals look for the corpses of soldiers in the field on Friday morning. This is where the fighting took place.

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Youths of Red Cross take part in relief operation after security personnel failed to reach the venue till late afternoon.

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Scattered belongings and the corpse of Ashmita Chapagain who was killed after a vehicle that belonged to Kantipur Publication was ambushed by the rebels.

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Bicycles used by Chapagain and her friends.

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Army vehicles destroyed and burnt by the Maoists.

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Army vehicles destroyed and burnt by the Maoists.

Sunaul army maoist clash aftermath
Back up force: After the firing with the Maoists started in Sunwal, Butwal and sorrounding areas, places, army bourght up back up forces and helicopters. Pic by Madhav Dhungana