Interests of Power Centers

Amidst growing maneuvers of International power centers to serve their interest, the political situation of Nepal is getting volatile. It seems there is hardly a meting point among those power centers.

Analysis by Tilak Pathak

The Seven Party Alliance (SPA) have declared four-day long general strike beginning April 6. And the government has made it clear that it would resort to harshest measures to foil such attempts of the agitating parties. What the agitating parties believe is that the strike will help them to garner public support and help give new height to the ongoing movement for peace and democracy in the country. The preparation of the agitating parties to make the movement a success and the measures adopted by the government to foil the peaceful demonstration makes one feel that a big political disaster is looming ahead in this conflict-torn Himalayan country.

Maoist rebels have supported the upcoming movement by withdrawing their programs in the capital city. This should be taken as an outcome of second edition of the understanding reached between SPA and the outlawed rebels. Based on this, the government has publicized the upcoming movement of SPA will have infiltration of Maoist rebels and has even vowed to treat SPA cadres on par with the outlawed rebels.

What is important to understand here is that SPA cooperation with Maoists is not their physical presence. Rather it’s their moral support such as requesting people to participate in the peaceful demonstration. Nevertheless, such a request from the Maoists could be a kind of terror tactics against people. Political parties should be able to utilize the participation of people in a systematic manner.

The point of beginning and ending of the roadmap of progressive way out conceived by the political parties seems to be contradictory with each other. They still believe the way out of the political crisis is reconciliation among political forces and restoration of House of Representative for paving way to a constituent assembly.

CPN-UML leader Shankar Pokharel believes that the beginning of this process is based on co-existence. He however asserts that political way out is ultimately based on struggle.

There are two voices in political parties. First types are those who devoted most of their lives for democracy. They may believe that the new struggle won’t bring in something new. They are also troubled by Maoists’ brutality and at the same time, are afraid with the king.

Political analyst Hari Sharma believes the high command of parties is afraid of Maoist rebels and doesn’t believe the king. Sharma also adds the new generation, who belongs to other school of thought, is baffled and hence, there are different view points for Maoists in the same party.

There is no possibility of activity co-operation between the Maoists and political parties unless the former give up the violence. Political parties can’t also be brutal on Maoists as they are the one who should try to bring the rebels to the mainstream politics thus ending the bloody conflict. Political parties are also haunted by their past as Girija Prasad Koirala at a time had taken gun for the political change and his party, Nepali Congress, didn’t only followed the path of violent revolt but also even attempted to finish the King with pelting bomb.

UML and other political parties were also involved in similar practice during the Panchayat era. Thus, they are not in a position to brand the Maoists as terrorists and the alliance between them seems natural.

Political parties and Maoists are closer and people now have started imagination of democracy without the King. Middle-class people of urban area are the foundation of any movement and since they are not been a hardcore part of the conflict, they are not yet ready to confront with the state right now.

No doubt, they support the parties positively but are not yet ready to sacrifice. The massive participation of people in open rally shows peoples’ moral support towards the movement but the lack of participation aggressive programs indicates the lack of active support. If the political parties become clear on their agenda, getting active support for the movement doesn’t look impossible.

The King and the Army: The king is practicing the authoritarian monarchy. Though he wants to show liberalism by talking about democracy, his hidden interest is traditional monopoly. The behavior is a kind of autocracy to which political scientist named the illiberal democracy. The King wants the multiparty Panchayat in the name of Nepali modal of democracy. When King Birendra came to an agreement with people in 1990, he was thinking on the same way. But later on, he was compelled to dismiss the Rastriya Panchyat and other Panchayat organs under popular pressure.

Military is the main foundation of monarchy. In the context of Nepal, security forces especially military’s loyalty is towards the King. Political scientists Dhurba Kumar and Hari Sharma co-authered a book entitled Security Sector Reform in Nepal in which they observed: “Security forces especially military is expanded as the weapon of the King.”

But, analysts say that the main foundation of monarchy is feudalism. Monarchy has used to representative of feudalism who mostly now lead the security bodies. They too have used the King for their benefit but have now shown interest in walking alone. The King is their patron.

Due to the evolution of people’s movement and international relation, military’s base will be fragile. First, Military can appear as political force in the support of international power center. Second, due to the popular people’s movement, there may be conflict within military.

This could be seen in what Para Jung Thapa, the chief of army staff, said on the occasion of military day: “The history of the country shows that every problem arisen has been solved by the king, army and people together and I still believe these powers can work together to solve the present crisis.”

Probably, this is the first time that a military chief used people their speech. It’s not false to assume that Thapa used the word people due to the massive pressure of international community and people’s movement. It is, nonetheless the political diplomacy of military.

Whenever the King senses people are going against him, he talks about dialogue to simmer the aggression. But he only talks with his near and dear ones, not with the struggling political parties. He is playing the politics of deception.

India: The role of external power center is important in the people’s movement in Nepal. We cannot ignore their role. It is natural that the role of India is more important because of neighborhood and social relations.

India is trying to address its three interests at the same time with long term plan. India might assume that they can control the natural resources from the weak King. In the past, India has compelled to Mohan Samsher Rana to sign the 1950 treaty in the name of preservation to the traditional power. Delhi understands such agreement can’t be reached with the people’s government.
Secondly, India has strategy of making positive relations with the political parties. The hidden interest of Delhi is that the political parties shouldn’t go against them.

Thirdly, India wants to show that it was the key for democracy in Nepal. For India, neither the King nor political parties alone is beneficial.

One thing for sure, if India intervenes or not, they will be criticized for it. They will be criticized for not helping the neighbor country if they don’t intervene. India is also conscious not to give rise to anti-Indian sentiment, which India has already faced in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Delhi is confused: if they support to king, there will be rise in the anti-Indian sentiment and if support to people and political parties, it would be turn-around from its historical relationship with the King.

S D Muni, an Indian analyst, says that the image of India in Nepal is that of a helper of monarchy. He writes in the book entitled Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: “India should bring Maoist and political parties to reconciliation which would help to minimize the Maoist hard-liner and violence. This would make India a good neighbor.”

America
: Another external force, the superpower America, is not less interested in Nepal’s problem. They fear the popular movement of communist which is against their global strategy. In terms of political, economic and social ruler, its competitor and challenge is China, the neighbor of Nepal.
Nepal is a suitable place to play in the Tibetian issue so to try to dominate increasing Chinese dominance. America wants to increase its role in Nepal to check China.

America is more interested in military and elites. This is an old American policy. Colin Powell, the then foreign minister, visited royal palace and military headquarter in January 2002. This indicates their priority and their involvement in military would not be good.

King Gyanendra has seen American president George W Bush hugging Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf. The American attitude towards Pakistan shows the differences between rhetoric and reality. Though, American talks about democracy, the reality is different. Nepal could be the victim of same American policy.

Due to the different interest of different internal and external political centers, there is an indication that coming days will be more difficult for the country.

(edited for minor mistakes at 4:00pm NST, April 4)

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40 thoughts on “Interests of Power Centers”

  1. President Bush hugs Prevez Musharraf because Pakistan is a crucial ally in the war on terror. The US has a huge vested interest in Pakistan. Nepal is not on the same plane – there are no major vested interest here. The idea that the US wants to actively engage in Nepal to check China is about the most absurd and idiotic thing I have ever heard.
    It is not only India but the rest of the people would ideally like to see a coperation between the Monarchy and the political parties. Ideally the Monarchy is an important pillar in Nepal’s socio-political structure. So long as the Monarch is not intervening and stays above politics, the instituion of Monarchy has the potential of being a great stabalizing force.

    I don’t think there is any need to make these wild speculations about foregin powers intervening in Nepal. Of course India is an important player but to say things like India wants to control resources from a weak king is just pathetic. Besides what resources are you talking about??

    At the end of the day everything boils down to the fact that Nepali leaders – both the political parties and the King are unpatriotic, selfish and are playing a game to boost their own egos at the expense of the country and the people. If for one moment these people would think about the country we would not have to spend hours speculating wild conspiracy theories about foregin intervention.

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  3. It is true that the majority of speculation that goes on here about foreign intervention in Nepal is just paranoid conspiracy-mongering. To claim that the King, army, parties, or Maoists are pawns of some kind of international (or domestic) conspiracy is totally absurd and without evidence; like all conspiracy theories these kinds of theories are based on circumstantial evidence strung together because people cannot accept that each of these forces represents a genuine social force within Nepal. Instead people like to blame individuals, external actors, the supernatural or whatever. This is absurd.

    It is also true as you say that the US does not have the kinds of interests in Nepal that it has in many other countries. The main US interest in most countries around the world is the protection of the investments made by US companies, which fuel the US economy (factories, farms, banks, etc owned by US companies that send all profit back to the US). The US also has secondary interests which are geopolitical; it needs to make sure that in order to further its primary aim, i.e. protecting its investments, its tools to do so, such as military mobility and political influence, are not harmed. All of these interests are considerably weak in Nepal.

    However, this should not lead to the conclusion that the US has no interest in Nepal. Nepal is a very poor country with a long-standing corrupt power structure (I am including the 1990s here as it was essentially the same power structure except those at the very top). Most US interests are in countries with corrupt power structures that are willing to serve those interests. If Nepali people revolt and decide to do things differently, whether it be some kind of socialism, or simply a more equitable democracy, they will be setting an example for other countries. To the US that is an unacceptable scenario; they do not want rebellions in other countries where their interests are more acute, and a successful popular rebellion in Nepal would set a dangerous example to other countries.

    Do not underestimate the stretch of US influence. The CIA alone employs over 100,000 people worldwide, not including secondary contractors, mercenaries, and so on. The US State Department and Department of Defense have almost unlimited budgets. It would not take a great deal of money and effort to meddle with Nepali politics, and it is very important to them that they stop Nepal from inspiring other insurrections against corrupt regimes elsewhere that are favourable to their investments.

    But US interference does not take the form of some vast conspiracy controlling social forces in Nepal. It takes the form of a few operatives, bribing Nepalis who do not even know they are working for the CIA, planting false information in the press, setting off bombs as provocations, infiltrating political groups using Nepali operators, channelling money and weapons to the RNA secretly, and so on. Anyone familiar with the history of the CIA around the world and US foreign policy will know this is cookbook stuff, and can be done at a minimal cost to the US, particularly for a country as small as Nepal.

    To think that the US has not been meddling would be as absurd and naive as to believe the conspiracy theories that say the US (or India) is in total control of any of Nepal’s political actors. The answer lies somewhere in between.

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  4. Oh I am not going to argue that the US has not been meddling at some level. However, as of this moment I could not careless. Nepal has a major political crisis at the very highest level. At this level I don’t think it is American intervention that is destabilizing Nepal. Besides using your logic wouldn’t it be possible to argue that if the Maoists were successful that would provide encouragement to other extream political factions around the world? Besides I seriously doubt the US is actively seeking to undermine a more equitable democratic system in Nepal. I mean it might too far fetched to think that other countries will look at Nepal and try to just emulate our example – if we ever achieve an equitable democracy.

    Besides more then the US if there was meddling I would say it comes from India.

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  5. ok i agree that strategically US may have a lesser interest in Nepal than India has. But it has shown that it cares about Nepal. Not just Nepal but entire south-asia comes into the american interest now. Recently the US has shown its interest in joining the SAARC as an observer as did China in the previous summit. There is a paradigm shift in the US policy in the region. Previously India was an enemy as they sided the soviets, but before that india had tried to go into the american fold. The americans had rejected. Now situation is different. For the americans a peaceful Nepal can offer them a lot. The geographical location provides them with a lot of interests Nepal’s landlockedness is not all bad for the US. Here what i mean to say, most of you might have understood.
    Therefore, in the changing global politics we cannot just say that Nepal doesnot come into the american interst. But what about India? How will they react? Can US go against india in the region?- are the major questions.
    In the global politics India may turn out to be an ally to the US but in the region still india feels superior. India did not liked the Chinese interest in the SAARC. But now india is pretending that the American entrance into the SAARC may help balance chinese interest here.
    India always beleived that Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal- all three countries in the region may give them a cover against the chinese aggression. Bhutan and Sikkim are in the Indian fold, Nepal is still not. This is a post independmce strategy that the indian leaders had devised. They are still working on it. Thinking that this would help balance the agreesive china in the past but now economically prosperous. Now the Chinse have build a railway line connecting beijing with Lahsa, thus easing the transer of goods and human resources. They have a plan to connect Lahsa to Nepal. The present government in Nepal is also working on it. India doesnot want this. Before it was a military agression now it is the influx of chinese goods in the region that india has to compete. This is a good headache and the present government in Nepal by distancing with the indian regime is just doing that. India is concerned. And india will continue to unrest Nepal by corrupting the maoists, politicans, newspapers and all others in influential position. This is the indian interest in Nepal. they are compelled to do this as they want to avoide competing China in the region. Americans are seeing this happenning but they are unable to do anything here.

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  6. I do not understand how people view Nepal’s position as being optimal for US to deal with China. Dude, unless US is well aligned with India, it cannot check China. And, Nepal is negligible in this scenario.

    This is just a fuss about nothing. While US has been practicing its domineering nature around the world, I do not think it wants to anger China with issues like Tibet when it cannot even go against Taiwan issue. US has better things to worry about than Tibet. So, leave this myopic analysis.

    There are many other areas of high importance.The new China is not a political power but an economic power. It is no more a communist country in strict sense but rather has transformed (gradually though) itself into a capitalist society. I do not know what our blogger wanted to say with his arguments which are rarely supported by evidences.

    hari sharma
    http://unitelibertarians.blogspot.com

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  7. I wonder what the Indians did to coke?

    Anyway if any Nepali is feeling really confused think about who we have the most influence on, influence meaning control, no matter how bad they are. The King? The Maoists? Or the Political Parties?

    I know they are all equally bad but at least we can vote one them out if we don’t like them!

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  8. i agree that US has interest in nepal. it is good for us if we play it properly. i think US has interest on us–on nepal’s geopolitical location–not because it can check both india and china from here but because her huge amount of business with both china and india. US dont want any trouble between their border along with buffer states like nepal. in the past–and still they are–these two asian power has been competing for regional and now economic superiority and historically their relation has been very frigile. US has been investing huge amount of dollar on both counties. so any trouble mean trouble to their business.

    the second reason that US interested on us is they see maoists as big threat to the stability. initially maoists started war taking advantage of same geopolitical situation. both china and india see each other suspiciously on the maoists issues.

    it is my believe that sooner or later both india and china will realize that it is on their best interest that they together put an end to maoists and US will work on it to make thing fast. i dont see any future for baburam and prachanda.

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  9. So according to Pawan we, Nepal, exert a lot of influence on what happens in China and India or the trade between them and the US! Wow! Mind blowing logic! Check please! Reality check!

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  10. okay, atlast an interesting debate is going on here for a change. I agree fully with bhudai pundit about the American interest in Pakistan and how it is completely different when it comes to Nepal. Interfering with Nepali politics to keep an eye on Tibet is completely absurbd. Pakistan as being a nuclear powered country with a political situation always being on a fence is a big interest for US.
    Better is Mussarf than some Mullah coming to power supporting the so called holy war and turning pakistan into a safe heaven for terrorist is America’s main interest there. Gone are the old coldwar days when US was compelled to meddle in any countries with Soviet interests. Good examples are Chilie, Argentina where US had supported shamelessly the dictators. That scenario is very unlikely in these times.

    India loves to butt in our business as for it’s own safety. Maosists are also a pain in backside for India. Actually sometimes India’s stand is very unclear. It gives the impression that it actually has difficulties in chosing between Maoists and King. If there weren’t any international pressure India would be more than happy to stand alongside King. This also makes us to realise that, only one mistake King had made was that he underestimated the role of foreignpower regarding the democracy. He played his card thinking that everyone should be behind him as he was fighting Maoists and doing so he is fighting another war on terror.

    No matter what it is time for us to realise that Nepal is alone in it’s own mess. The chance of getting support from US or India is very low as long as our political parties are dragging Maoists along. I don’t know how you guys feel, but for me political parties have once again managed to put them in a big mess. It is like a fight to throw king away to place Maoists in that throne. You do the maths. Maybe it was what maoists had meant abnout stepping in shoulder to hit the head.

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  11. Hahaha:
    I have also long wandered what the Indians did to this Coke guy.
    Basically Pawn and Coke need to come out of their respective caves and catch up with what has been happening in the world.

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  12. I was just wondering, what do you do “bhudai pundit?”
    I see you writing comments here and there all the time. How do you manage your time ? May be I am being personal here but just curious. May be you can help us all be more time-efficient.
    Don’t write back if you deem this as being too personal.

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  13. I don’t think americans wants to see the uprising of communism. If you think americans don’t have interest in Nepal, then I think you are just naive. In one of the CNN tv talks it was told that within 10 yrs Naxalites (Indian maoists) shall control 30% of india. here

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  14. No I can understand your curiosity. Of course I am not going to revel more information then needed. But I can tell you that I am a student with alot of time on my hand and a very keen interest for what goes on in Nepal.
    Besides as you can see I have to answer people like Coke and Pawan which requires little time and thinking. Just joking – the responses in general require very little time so every time I check my email I just pop in to have my say.

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  15. Dear Author of this article.

    What do you mean when you say
    “Girija Prasad Koirala at a time had taken gun for the political change and his party, Nepal Congress, didn’t only followed the path of violent revolt but also tried to bomb the King.”

    When did Mr. Koirala try to bomb the king? Please elaborate and clear our confusion.

    -Reader

    Dear Reader,

    Nepali Congress, under chairmanship of B P Koirala, initated an armed revolt in 1969 that ended in 1976. Girija Prasad Koirala was a commander of Mukti Morcha (Liberation Army).

    In 1969, a group of Nepali Congress cadres hurled a bomb at the jeep of King Mahendra. The jeep still be observed at National Museum.

    Read Bhola Chatergee’s Palace in Politics, Hrishikesh Shah’s Modern Nepalese Politics and B P Koirala’s Attmabritanta for further detail.

    ==Tilak Pathak=

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  16. Nepali guy,

    Well it was late king Tribhuwan himself who had along with political activists then sabotaged to detonate a powerful bomb and kill most of Ranas during Natyashala . The plan was never carried out due to an insider leaking out information. Since then Most Political parties have resorted to Violent activities during Mahendra’s panchayat . And when in power during 1990s GPK has resorted to arms retalliation to supress leftist political activites in West using violent method such as police led Romea and Kiro Siera operation . The police and army have reverted to the way during panchayat era because they have no other framework of experience.

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  17. If you think americans don’t have interest in Nepal, then I think you are just naive.

    Well there are priorities for everything. Nobody is denying the fact that US’ view in the rise of communism in Nepal. But taking action against it directly is very unlikely. Yes being a creature of a habit sometime it does come out with remarks and comments but it doesn’t mean that US has a clear strategy against Maoists involvment in Nepal. All it can do is wait and see. And incase India decides to jump on the board, then support India. America’s meddling in Vietnam, Laos, Angola or Mozambique are things of the past. The world is not same now, the agenda are different. Yes ofcourse US has recently managed to pull strings in Bolivia and doing the same now in Peru but these are the countries where lies US interests.

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  18. ” Middle-class people of urban area are the foundation of any movement and since they are not been a hardcore part of the conflict, they are not yet ready to confront with the state right now.”
    dear author,
    What percentage of Nepalese live in cities? And how many of them belong to the middle class? And how can you claim urban middle class is the foundation of any movement? Is it just because you think it is? So, you might(please note:might) want to revise your analysis with facts.

    I would be glad to see evidences in support of your arguments. Otherwise, cheap arguments do not make sense to readers who are more aware than ever.

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  19. Glade:

    It is incorrect to say that the basic mode of operating for the US has changed. People have the mistaken idea that past US ‘interventions’ were all about the cold war and battling the USSR, but this is incorrect.

    The US only ever cared about communism for one reason: because it threatened US investments. Communism appealed to people in countries that provide cheap labour and raw materials that allow the US to thrive. If you look at the history of US neocolonialism, which goes back more than 100 years, you will see that it is not about communism, or the cold war, but about ensuring the safety of US investment. It was true in the Spanish-American war (1898), the Philippine-American war (1899-1902), and so on ad infinitum. The US has directly overthrown more than 40 (that’s right, forty) governments in Latin America and the vast majority of those have not been communists, but simply nationalists or social democrats, ANYONE who threatened US investments and the profits of US companies which fund US political parties.

    This is not a thing of the past. This is standard operating procedure. The US government’s main foreign policy job is to act as a global security guard for American corporations. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run a US presidential campaign, the money almost entirely comes from these companies, and when their investments are threatened–by a country enacting labour laws, environmental legislation, nationalisation, or by something like Maoists in a nearby country–they call the White House. It’s a very clear system. It did not change in 1991, it is exactly the same today as it has always been.

    If you want evidence of this look at Latin America. 4 years ago they attempted to overthrow the Venezuelan government. Whenever there are any elections in Latin America, particularly recent ones in Nicaragua and El Salvador, they meddle heavily, channeling funds to their candidates via the National Endowment for Democracy or the CIA. If you think it is only Latin America where they have interests, you are wrong. The US has interests all over the world because it has investments all over the world, and while it does not have investments in Nepal, what happens in Nepal will directly affect what happens in other countries, either by setting an example or providing material support (e.g. in the case of a Maoist victory). The US cannot allow this to happen.

    Yes, there have to be priorities. But you must not underestimate the sheer size and capacity of the US government and its various agencies. Bear in mind that among other things, the US embassy in Nepal is dedicated to servicing just Nepal, and that standard CIA operating procedure is to have a number of operatives under ‘diplomatic cover’, that is working in disguise as embassy staff, in any country that is deemed to have any importance, which is to say almost every country in the world. These operatives then recruit a network of locals to do their work for them, which helps plausible deniability and gets past the language and race barrier. In a country like Nepal in its current situation, the CIA will undoubtedly have put some serious resources in. Remember that these people have a practically unlimited budget and the CIA alone have over 100,000 staff worldwide. They can concentrate on dozens of countries at once because they have highly decentralised operations.

    The same is true for the US State Department. As you know, they have a separate branch devoted to South Asia, as well as branches for other regions. Within that branch you can bet there will be teams of full time analysts devoted to each large country and at least one or two for small countries like Nepal. The same goes for the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency and so on.

    The capacity of the US intelligence community, State Department, and Defense Department is absolutely enormous–to put it in perspective, Nepal has a GDP of $39.5 billion, US Department of Defense budget is $419 billion, State Department budget is about $10 billion, CIA budget is at least $30 billion plus an unlimited amount of classified funds, and NSA budget is classified but known to be virtually unlimited. That’s a total of at least $459 billion per year plus probably several hundred billion more. In other words, at least 12 times the GDP of Nepal. And with a lot less than 23 million mouths to feed.

    Yes they have priorities. And you can bet Nepal is one of them. But even if Nepal is only priority number 63 instead of priority number 5, they will be devoting serious resources to it.

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  20. I can only agree with the author’s closing arguement when he stressed that the coming days will be more difficult for Nepal. Rest he is just unloading his self analysis based on cheap arguement. He managed to enlighten us by clarifying the relationship between SPA and Maoists. I don’t know who is more confused. Him or the political parties. Well according to him : “There is no possibility of activity co-operation between the Maoists and political parties unless the former give up the violence.” And at the same time he says that terror tactics maoists are bound to use should be systematically used by SPA. So please explain, as I have difficulties just to imagine this scenario. You do feel like there should be a party which can terrorize the citizen, so that people can participate in the revolution ???

    He also tries to compare (shamelessly) the opposition’s movement in Panchayat era with the revolution Maoists are talking about. Fighting for a right of democracy and figting for revolution are two complete issues. You can’t compare Biseshwor Prasad Koirala with Prachanda. Baburam Bhattarai and Puspa Lal Shrestha are two different people fighting for seperate causes. History is evidence, more than two times political parties had chosen to stay with the monarchy. Given any chance they will do the same again. Let’s hope not this time.

    Your analysis about King and RNA. I don’t want to touch that subject even. It is only specticulation. You have no idea who is controling whom, neither do I. So I will just shut up here. And hope so will you in the future.

    About Indian involvement yes ofcourse, it wants to come clean as a pro democracy lifter. People’s government with Maoist majority is not the equation it is willing to see. Well ofcourse to make your arguement more feasible, you threw in Srilanka and Bangladesh. And once again I have to say, anti Indian sentiment is high in Nepal with or without Indian involvement. And I am sure they know it very well. And by the way, there was a huge pressue from Indian Tamil majority for India to involve so much in Srilanka as President Jayewardene was massacaring their fellow Tamils. And in Bangladesh … duh in Bangladesh ? When ? when India was supporting them in independence war against Pakistan in 1971 ? Do you really believe that it might have caused anti India sentiment among independent Bangladeshis ?

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  21. m,

    American involvement in Latin America can’t be compared with it’s policies towards Nepal. Since the middle of 1850’s, US has regarded the region as its own backyard and has intervened by military force several times whenever US felt that its imperialistic interests were threatened, and in order to ensure the control of the Panama channel. This is not a news. Yes US meddles there. Yes it has it’s own interests no matter it is control against drug trafficking or illegal arm smuggling ( as in Colombia / Bolivia) or oil and natural gas ( like in Venezuela), US has one or more reasons. Or as in Haiti, Nicaragua, Chile, Panama, El-salvador etc the main American interest lies in the vast market of arms and ammunation.

    I just can’t place Nepal alongside with these countries where US actually had a history since 1821. Nepal has nothing to offer to US and given the fact that US is nothing but an imperialist superpower , I don’t think we should expect anything.

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  22. All right, consider US involvement in Africa and Asia instead then.

    Africa: Assassination and overthrow of Patrice Lumumba, elected president of Congo in 1961. Backing of UNITA right wing paramilitaries in Angola through the 1980s, as well as paramilitaries in Namibia. Backing up through bribery, covert operations etc of dictators and corrupt politicians in nearly every African country, from the Moi dictatorship in Kenya, to the Mobutu regime in Zaire, to Sadat in Egypt, etc etc. There is a long history of US imperialism in Africa as in Latin America, though admittedly the degree is less, primarily because Africa mainly consists of neocolonies of European countries, while the Americas mainly consist of neocolonies of the US. But the US still has interests there and defends them.

    Asia: Backed overthrow of Sukarno in Indonesia and subsequent Suharto regime. Philippine-American war during which the Philippines was a full American colony for several years; after this backed a number of puppet governments in the Philippines including Marcos dictatorship. The Vietnam war during which the US fought a war of aggression against the majority of the Vietnamese people and backed up the corrupt and undemocratic South Vietnamese government. Bombing of Cambodia and providing material support and funding to the Khmer Rouge guerrillas during the 1980s when they were fighting the government installed by the Vietnamese. Support of the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s, providing them with billions of dollars and Stinger missiles in order to fight the USSR and the Afghan socialist government. Intervention in Korea and backing of the South Korean dictatorial regimes until 1990s. Massive military support to Taiwan against China. And so on and so forth.

    Now, on the question of Nepal, the US has concerns like it does *everywhere* else in the world. It does not need much of a history–although actually it has one. Do you know who funded the construction of Nepal’s modern schools in the 1950s under the royal regime? The USA. They poured a very large amount of money into Nepal’s schooling system back then and do you know why? Because they saw Nepal as a country that was in serious danger of ‘communist infiltration’, and by funding the schools they could exert control over their structure and material in order to counter leftist ideas, as well as try to take away arguments for socialism by educating people. They thought Nepal was in danger of communist infiltration specifically because it was so poor. As you can now see, they were right.

    Have you ever heard of the ‘domino effect’? This is the American theory about communism that if it is allowed to take over in one country, this will have the effect of making other countries follow the lead, as each takes the example of the others. This is why they are so scared of Cuba even though it is such a tiny island: because Latin Americans know that Cuban living standards are high above average for a 3rd world country, and it therefore sets an example. An example that threatens US interests. While the US officially says ‘communism is dead’ it actually realises that this is not the case, and it fears a Maoist takeover in Nepal or anywhere else for that matter.

    If you want a historical parallel, take the case of Grenada. Grenada is a small island in the Caribbean where the US has no particular strategic or economic interests, no investment to speak of or anything like this. It has a tiny population, it is rather insignificant. But in the 1980s, a popular socialist government took power and started literacy campaigns, nationalisation, etc. The US promptly invaded the country and overthrew the government with full military force. Why? Because they did not want the ‘domino effect’ to take hold. They did not want Grenada to set an example. And they (especially Moriarty) are desperately scared that Nepal will do just that. The worst case for the US is that Nepal becomes a socialist country–e.g. if the CPNM and CPN-UML form a strong coalition in the constituent assembly, leading to a leftist constitution–because this would be the first new socialist country since the 1980s, and would damage US rhetoric about the death of alternatives to their way of doing things. But even without socialism they are scared of the scenario of successful popular revolutions against existing social structures. They are scared of the death of feudalism in Nepal because they rely on feudalism or semi-feudalism in other countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, and Nepal could set an example for ordinary people in those places.

    Again, the full time job of Moriarty and all his staff is to analyse this situation, and I really think there should be no doubt that they are busy setting off a lot of alarm bells in Washington.

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  23. I am not sure excatly what the point of these previous arguments are supposed to be.
    It is not the CIA’s fault that we have selfish, dirty politians and an idiotic arrogant King. Of course the Americans might be invlolved at some level somewhere. They are involved everywhere – but there is logical reason for them to destabilize Nepal. The same really goes for India. India dominates us economically as it is – there is no strategic impreative to destabilize us.
    I wish we would stop looking outside and realize that our problems lie with our own leaders.

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  24. Bhudai pundit:

    I agree with you 100%. I am only arguing that foreign powers have a significant role to play in backing up certain already existing social and political forces in Nepal, *not* that they are responsible for their existence. Clearly all political actors in Nepal are doing what they are doing for their own reasons, not because of some global conspiracy. But it is also clear that the course of the war has been dramatically altered by US, British, and Indian military aid to the RNA, and it should be clear that in whatever happens in the days to come, while there are no grounds for conspiracy theories, Nepali people must be prepared to deal with more than just problems with their own leaders.

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  25. m,
    I can’t agree more with what you are saying. But you have missed to see my point. I am not argueing in support of US / CIA roles in uprooting governments or invading the countries. But still after the cold war active US involvement can only be seen in Haiti in year 94/95/2004 respectively and in Venezuela in year 2002.(not counting Iraq or Afghanistan). I personally believe that today when US is seriously searching for new allies and patching up the disaster in diplomatic relationship with it’s old allies and with the big mess on it’s hand as Iraq, it will consider something as drastic as interfering actively in Nepal’s business.

    It is a high time we should realise that the mess we have right now is the mess we have created ourselves. We should learn to take responsibilities instead of brushing things off and pretending us as victims of foreign influences. Well that is my view and I won’t be surprised if you don’t agree

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  26. glade:
    I don’t think m is saying that we can’t do anything about our mess.
    But you are right we need to clean up our own mess.

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  27. The American interest in Nepal is to have Nepal a fully democratic country plus prosperous Nepali people ( with constitutional Monarchy). Nothing less than that.

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  28. Mr glade attention!
    I would like to tell you something.
    When Bangladesh was liberated, Bhutto(father)was the prime minister of Pakistan. The bangladeshi freedom fighters(Indian version), terrorists(Pak Version)-seems similar in Kashmir right, they knews that withouth indian support it was impossible to be liberated. Pakistan was in a difficult situation as it was far and had to fly over india to go to the east-pakistan. Finally they surrenderd.
    Then bhutto in a press conference in pakistan accepting the defeat had said by creating bangladesh india has created another pakistan in the neighborhood.
    As time passed bangladesh really turned out to be another pakistan objecting india in each and very step. Now banglagesh is a big headache for India as Nepal is.

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  29. The U.S is a waning power. It knows that too. The folly of Iraq has amply demonstrated that. So the U.S policy with regard to North Korea. With Iran they’ll make a lot of hellraising talk, but back down. I mean, if they decide to strike Iran, they could start WW III. I don’t think even Bush is that stupid, but hey, you never know.

    Nepal is between India and China, yes. But its mostly in India’s orbit. ( The Himalayas, remember). The U.S, at this tumultous time in its history, couldn’t care less about what happens in Nepal. There really isn’t anything much it can do in Nepal. Look, its own neighborhood is rebelling. You’ve got Chavez nationalizing companies, you’ve got Morales coming to power in Bolivia, you’ve got Lula in Brazil (okay, he didn’t turn out to be so radically left wing), you’ve got left-winger Obrador likely to win in Mexico, Bachelet’s won in Chile, Kirchner’s ruling Argentina, you’ve got left-winger Humala (endorsed by Chavez) likely to win Peru. All of Latin America seems to be going left.

    Forget the backyard, look at the country itself. Illegal immigrants, that’s the biggest worry right now. Half a million Latinos marched in downtown L.A holding Mexican and Guatemalan and Honduran flags. Imagine having half a million Indians marching through Thamel with Indian flags! That’s the biggest problem for the U.S right now. Forget Nepal, we don’t even register.

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  30. US is waning power? simply a nonsense. only creature from amazon can think of it. for those remaining communist and terrorist contries, US is always ready to give a lesson.

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  31. Never seen smarter people than here to blame others for their own problems. It is always “them” or “him” or “that country” or “this country”: this is a feudal mentality.
    Feudalism pervades Nepali mentality.

    Here is an analogy of a feudal mind.

    My servant made a big mess on the carpet in the living room before he has gone on leave. I will just wait until he comes back. When he is back, he will clean it up. It was he who cooked the soup. He should have been careful not to serve bowlful of soup to children. So it is his mess, not mine.
    Thank you, feudal minds.

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  32. YES HANGING MAN OR DEAD MAN OR YOU FEEL LIKE A MAN OR YOU WILL DEAD MAN. THIS IS NEPALESE MENTALITY BECAUSE THEY ARE BORN TO BE A HINDU MIND SO THAT SINCE THEY WERE BORN IS MISTAKE,A HALF MIND CRACK, SO CAN’T HELP THEM.

    SO HINDU PROPLE IS LIKE “ROTTEN APPLES” CAN’T CLEAN IT UP TO MAKE EATABLE. MUST BE NEW SEED BLOOMING UP,AT THE SAME TIME HINDU AND THE MUSLIMS ARE VIRUS, SO WE NEED ANTI-VIRUS INJECTION OR LET THEM DISSAPEAR FROM THIS WORLD. FOR NEPAL IS THE LAST HOPE THAT THE HINDU CONCEPT BRAIN MUST BE WASHED,IT IS TOTALLY MENTALITY,INSANITY AND GOD CAN’T HELP-LUNATIC GOD UNIVERSAL.

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  33. Oh No!
    Is your full name: “Oh No! I am a lunatic/idiot and I don’t what I am talking about?”
    You should look into changing it – it would fit you so well.

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  34. Oh NO,
    you are showing your feudalism
    by calling all Hindus “rotten apples”
    + you are showing your Christian fanaticism
    by an appeal to Christian God, which is Dog from the reverse

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  35. Anyone who doesn’t realize that the U.S is a waning power is an idiot. Look at Iraq. That alone should tell you enough about the U.S. Furthermore, I live IN the U.S. I’ve seen what it can and can’t do.

    Trust me, there’s not that much they can do these days. If you follow American politics as closely as I do, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you won’t have a clue. Its got a $9 trillion deficit. Every year $500 billion is added to the deficit. China, Japan and Saudi Arabia give it credit. Trust me, things aren’t as rosy as they seem in America.

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  36. Holding a high-profile public opinion survey across the country which has not seen general elections for years due to conflict, is a laudable feat in a number of ways.

    It not only reflects views and aspirations of the silent majority, but most importantly becomes an eye-opener for all political forces that think what they are doing is absolutely correct. The latest nationwide public opinion survey carried out by Himalmedia and published in its latest issue deserves commendation no matter how anomalous it may appear.

    The survey, for sure, has come as surprise for those who believe Nepal is inching back to peace through the recent polarization of politics after the SPA-Maoist pact and its renewal.

    The people’s verdict is unambiguous: All political players (and not the King alone) are equally responsible for the current mess; they have to sort it out collectively. The verdict also identifies the king as the one who took up the task of setting the situation right, and it is he that they best expect to do the job.

    The March 6-17 public poll based on interviews of 5,066 people in 102 VDCs, 32 municipalities and 32 districts shows that 60.3 percent of respondents believe the King, parties and Maoists must get together to resolve the crisis.

    Only 3.2 percent of the people believe that SPA-Maoist alliance will solve the problem. This should be a revelation for them. (Hope they call off their April “showdown” to begin with).

    An equally important observation is that the SPA, which still believes it commands overwhelming popular support (based on general polls of 1999) will garner only 44 percent of the people’s mandate if the Maoists were to lay down their weapons and election were to be held. If this does not call for fresh polls, what on earth does?

    On the flip side, Maoists themselves will get 11.4 percent of the total votes and become the third largest party in parliament if they take part in the upcoming elections. Isn’t this the best opportunity for a safe landing (if they were looking for one), especially in light of their dismal performance in the last general elections that they participated in?

    People have clearly spoken against the decade-long conflict. Nor do they believe that the constituent assembly is the best way to bail the country out of the imbroglio. The present constitution through amendments would be more desirable than a new one. Only 19% feel that a new constitution is necessary.

    A closer look at the survey finding reveals that a majority of people who do not think that the environment is conducive for free and fair polls, still prefer general elections over constituent assembly. As opposed to 15.1 percent who opt for the general election, only10.9 percent of the people are in favor of constituent assembly, which both SPA and Maoists think is the most crucial and indispensable element of their road map to peace.

    Here, it may also be noted that a whopping 44.3 percent of the people have no clue about the pact between SPA and Maoists while 19.7 percent of the total respondents are still undecided about the best way out of the political stalemate.

    Another striking observation of the survey is that the overwhelming majority of people (71 percent) believe that the institution of monarchy is essential for Nepal’s wellbeing though many are not in favor of the King’s direct rule.

    As His Majesty himself has repeatedly stated that he is eager to hand over executive power (he took upon himself under ‘compulsions’), the only plausible message again is that no solution is possible by excluding the palace.

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  37. CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBE WITH CONDITION OR WITHOIUT CONDITION?

    In the present contest of Nepal, everyone says that constitutional assemble should be without any condition. Everyone seems that they have a fear about the constitutuional assembly that that may be with condition. But I want to say that the constitutional assembly with one condition is also acceptable for us. The condition is that the result of the constitutional assemble should be LOKTANTRIC REPUBLIC NEPAL. If anyone wnat to put that condition, that will be acceptable for most of the Nepalis.

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