Americans explain theirs boss’s words to Nepal’s king
Update (20:15 NST): “I am hopeful, but not optimistic,” said Donald Camp, visiting U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs in a news conference organized by the American Embassy in the Ambassador’s residence in Kathmandu. Camp was responding a question about how he felt after meeting king Gyanendra in Pokhara yesterday.
“I have brought the President [George W. Bush]’s message to the king. We are hopeful but no assurance were given [to us saying that] there will be a breakthrough. I wish I could say ‘I am optimistic’.”
“I would have liked very much to meet [CPN] UML leader [Madhav Kumar Nepal but the Nepal] government denied our request. We continue to hope that Mr. Nepal and all other political detainees will be released soon.”
Camp also said that the US would label Maoists terrorists as long as they continue doing what they have been doing in the past. We would support anything, he said, that would lower the level of violence.
“We are in no position to impose deadline [to the king on resotring democracy],” Camp said stressing that the American position is that the king should restore democracy.
We’ve all heard what Bush spoke about Nepal (yes, I am talking about those headline-making 25 words from the American President last week] and we’ve all seen how king Gyanendra’s has pretended not hearing those words. But he is king so no television news or blog posts will matter him much. Understanding this situation, it appears, Uncle Sam is sending his messengers to the City of Phewa Lake. Plus, in a video discussion, Elisabeth Millard of NSC explains those 25 words form DC to Nepali scribes.
Donald Camp, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs, is in Kathmandu today. Camp is in a mission so he was in Pokhara yesterday to deliver the message of his ultimate boss, resident of the White House, to the self-proclaimed boss of Nepal who is currently spending his days in the Ratna Mandir Palace. Camp, we’ve learned, basically explained those 25 words of US President Bush to king Gyanendra. Who will explain more on this? How about Elisabeth Millard, Senior Director for Central and South Asia at the National Security Council? Millar was Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Kathmandu until late January and was addressing a few journalists at the American Center in Kathmandu yesterday from Washington DC via a video link. “Camp’s visit is part of the pressure [that the US is extorting upon the king to reach out political parties],” she said.
Camp will speak to the press this afternoon but before that let’s listen to Millard. “We don’t see Nepal thorough Indian eyes,” she said and explained why and how her country and India agreed, according to Bush, “that the Maoists should abandon violence, and that the King should reach out to the political parties to restore democratic institutions.” Millard said: “In this instance our analysis was similar and conclusion was same.” On Maoists, she repeated what her former boss, James F. Moriarty has been saying: “What is critical is not the word but work. The world is looking at Maoists’ actions but now the words.” On political parties and the king, Millard said: “We are looking for leadership and statesmanship in Nepal.” She said that the king and political parties should talk and constrictively agree upon returning democracy and deal with insurgency.
Millard was talking with journalists on a video link and was willing to discuss more on President Bush’s recent South Asia trip. [The interaction was titled “U.S Engagement with South Asia”]. So I wanted to ask what we weren’t told by the President. He told he agreed with India on Nepal but he didn’t tell us what the US and India disagreed upon Nepal. Ms Millard, will you please tell us about that? Plus, tell us if Bush pressurized Prime Minister Man Monah Singh to curb Nepali Maoists’ activities in India? I though those were simple questions but Millard thought that answering those questions would send her out of job! She said that staffers wouldn’t remain staffers if they discussed about meetings of their bosses. Ah, I definitely didn’t want her to be ousted but wish her a successful career at the NSC. It’s just that journalists like me are always running after what’s NOT been revealed rather than what’s widely been publicized!
America didn’t talk with China this time but Millard thinks that the same will happen soon. “There were no discussion with Beijing [this time] but we have some upcoming engagement with Chinese and I can imagine Nepal will figure there.”