The Talk of reconciliation…From Another Perspective

Note: UWB received this article in which the writer states, “Let us Reconcile and Transform the Movement into a New Height.” We at UWB strongly think that the peoples’ movement should intensify to give more pressure to the king. We are publishing this article here because we are demanding for democracy that ensures views from all quarters of a society.

By Raj Chettri

Reading the address of His Majesty King to the nation on 21st April 2006 one can palpably notice three points – transfer of executive power to the people, readiness to abide by Article 35 of the Constitution and invitation to Seven-party Alliance (SPA) for premiership. Article 35 of the Constitution is the fabric of the whole thread of constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy. A true respect and enforcement of Article 35 can run democracy on to its full vigor.

But the SAP, civil society leaders and Maoist have dismissed the address of the King as a ploy. They have reiterated movement as the address is too little. The question that arises is what is enough?

Krishna Bahadur Mahara has clearly said to BBC that since the address of the King did not declare ‘constitutional assembly’ that is why it is too little. SPA has still not given its clear reasoning why the address is too little but their answer can be inferred. Perhaps, for them, first the King did not restore the parliament and second King did not announce constitutional assembly.

Reading responses to the question put on BBC “Will the King’s announcement bring peace to Nepal?” gives an impression that the Nepalese diaspora has stood stanchion for a couple of things – monarchy still deserves for Nepal and it must not be uprooted, democracy must be restored, petty-feudalism of leaders must be given no more vent and the governance modality of the country should be defined by popular and effective participation of the people i. e. framing a constitution by constitutional assembly.
Let us examine, does the address impede to embark on any of the above mentioned points of the SPA, civil society, Maoist and the Nepalese Diaspora?

For me it is clear that the address is not enough but not too little to make a head-way. It can be supported by a number of fundamental reasons. Now it is not a time for loggerheads and bickering but to take a courageous decision with profound wisdom. Each movement has its own historic role. The movement of Nepalese people is an explicit testimony of the love of Nepalese people to democracy. It was not heightened at the behest of the political leaders but it has come off due to profound belief of Nepalese people in liberal democracy.

Against this background the address of the King is not adequate although sufficiently opens a window for making a head-way. The head-way can be realized stepping wisely towards the following:

i. Give a Prime Minister: It is now a real test for the SPA that whether they can unanimously give a Prime Minister to the country or not. If they fail to give a unanimous Prime Minister they will be culprit in the eyes of history and before the court of Nepalese people. SPA must not disengage to any suspicion but needs to be bold and dispassionate to bear the responsibility. But the SPA has declined to do so. It is very unfortunate.

ii. Declare Constitutional Assembly: If the SAP had declared its candidate for Prime Minister the Prime Minster would have formed a government and the government could take a historical step recommending constitutional assembly under Article 35 of the Constitution, which the King cannot deny in the present day situation. It is because there is an immense Nepalese dedication and commitment for constitutional assembly and Nepalese people are not going to be satiated with any thing less than constitutional assembly. Equally visible, on the other hand, there is a huge international pressure that the King cannot ignore. King is bound to accept the recommendation of a legitimate government for constitutional assembly and declare constitutional assembly. Still the SAP can review its decision. More importantly, SAP should review its decision, move forward for a unanimously Prime Minister and form a government.

iii. Mainstream the Maoist: After declaration of the constitutional assembly the government should negotiate with Maoist to bring it to realize constitutional assembly. It undoubtedly brings the Maoist into the democratic mainstream. Although, there are many complex and tricky things including settlement of arms issues. But no political process undergoes through arm chair flair. There is no choice to the Maoist except partnering in the political mainstream of the country. This work can only be carried out by a legitimate government, which further justifies for the formation of a government by SAP.

iv. Develop Modality for the Constitutional Assembly: Following the agreement between Maoist and the legitimate government a modality of constitutional assembly should be wrought dispassionately. It should be led by academics and expert but not by political leaders. A social process needs to be consumed before deciding or embarking on to any hasty modality and process of constitutional assembly. Starting to believe in Nepalese genius and expertise can produce a credible and widely acceptable modality of constitutional assembly. But the political leaders must no more assume a position of an expert, which was one of the egregious faults committed by the leaders in the past.

v. Promulgate a new Constitution: The constitutional assembly will prepare a constitution followed by promulgation by the Head of the State, which unfurls immense possibilities for settling future political spectrum of the country towards a desirable direction. It is because people are the legitimate source of state power and any system of governance. Unless they decide their system of governance they cannot own constitution and any institution in the country. It is a fundamental process for entering into a political legitimacy.

One important question may arise, why the King right now cannot declare constitutional assembly? For any theoretical and practical reasons, right now the King cannot declare constitutional assembly. It is because of the following reasons:

i. We must not forget the political geometry in the country. No doubt the country is against the absolutism of the King but still the King is the least necessary evil for the country. It is the only institution that has bad and good history and can act as a fallback measure if country needs. A constitutional monarchy has still been liked by the Nepalese diaspora, civil society, political parties and Nepalese people. Let us practically think about the possible future political chaos and unrest in the absence of monarchy. It is just enough for its justification in any rational mind of the Nepalese people. It is easy to be overexcited and damn the monarchy but it is not wise to the country. In practical terms it invites a total war in the country. Many innocent people will be killed and nothing more will be achieved. As a practical person I don’t see any strength and justification for overthrowing the monarchy. The issue is not to dismantle the monarchical institution but to make it a deserving one, which is possible by exercising sovereign political engagement of the Nepalese people through constitutional assembly, for which the door has now been opened if the political leaders rightly walk onto the path.

ii. Theoretically no social engineering and contract is consummated unless agreed on fundamental values – grund norms. For any logical political solution in Nepal, constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy are the two fundamental values. Without agreeing on these fundamental values any political stability is hardly imaginable in the country. These grund norms should not be ignored merely succumbed to short sight, over excitement and ambition to overshoot. Therefore, these need to be agreed among the existing political forces in the country i. e. the King, Political Parties and the Maoist. This work can be carried out only by a legitimate government and without working for that the King cannot declare constitutional assembly merely being yielded.

iii. Of course, constitutional assembly is one of the best means of legitimacy for settling a form of governance in the country but it is still not well worked. It needs to be politically devised, constitutionally validated and legitimated through a rules based process. The core of democracy is a rule following i. e. following a legitimate process. Violation of a legitimate process has often resulted into a crumble of democracy. We have a bitter past that we must not forget. We should learn from our own past. In this context, without a legitimate government the process of constitutional assembly cannot be initiated. Otherwise, it pushes the country towards uncertain political horizon, unrest and anarchy.

A democrat must withstand with patience and endurance. It is a time for dispassionate decision. It is a high time for reconciliation among the King, SPA and Maoist, which is possible through undergoing the above proposed steps. Let us not doubt. Let us create an environment of confidence but be vigilant that the past mistakes did not repeat.

We must not forget the three broader past mistakes – ideological determinism of Maoist, petty-feudalism of the leaders (not of the political parties) and deep rooted belief of the King in absolutism. All these three attitudes need to be overcome for any conceivable political stability in the country. This can be done only through active and informed engagement of the Nepalese people in constitution making process. The King address has opened the door, let us actuate it.

Therefore, let us not overshoot, let us not be overexcited and let us not take a position of intransigency. Let us reconcile and chalk out things. Let us not engage in any systemic oversight. Let us move towards a path of a political marriage at least for the sake of future generation. This only brings the movement to its success.

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

70 thoughts on “The Talk of reconciliation…From Another Perspective

  1. Seshyan, you idiot I am here in Nepal and since I own a company I don’t need to kiss no ass. And FYI it’s Rai saheb.

  2. SPA has no guts to decide anything. i wonder what happened to their 24-hour ultimatum. now what i feel is either they dont know how to fight a political battle or they are scared of king or maoists. i wonder what they think of those millions of people on the street of kathmandu and beyond, seems like they dont believe them. with this kind of support and all major international power’s backing they must have shown guts to kiss goodbye to the articles of present constitution and the 12 point pact, but no they are wasting their brain on it. are they some sort of bugger or what? as in my previous posts they should have accepted the offer and show guts to recommend the constituient assembly or whatever they like. instead they are wasting time by asking others to do their jobs. its really hagh time to take political responsibilities.

  3. Kirat,
    I will try to explain to you why SPA did not accept the King’s offer of Govt. under Article 35 of the Constitution.There are basically three reasons:

    1. Our robot deuba was appionted PM under the same Article 35 by the King and sacked under the article 127. They fear that King can sack the new PM also saying that this PM also could not deliver for whatever reasons when thinks that people outrage has subsided.

    2.Because they have already signed the 12 point agreement with the Maoists and Maoists do not want SPA to go to the Govt. under Article 35. If they go, Maoists will start killing Girirja, Makune et al one by one.

    3. If I can guess, the people who came to the street are not only from SPA and Maoists, but also from all walks of life like me.I neither belong to SPA as such nor to Maoists.I beleive in democracy.I think majority are such people who are now in difficulty of buying Tarakari and Gas. So these people also do not want SPA to go to Govt under Article 35.

    Other bonus point I want to make is that if we had wanted to get Status Quo Ante to go back to 1990 Constitution, why there is a necessity of this revolution in 2006.You can see pepole who are being killed or who became Shahid are in their early 20s.The new generation I mean.

    I hope you understand my humble points.

  4. Hey Layman I understand where you are coming from. I don’t think you understand where I am coming from…Do you think we should squabble about the technicalities of article 35 and 127 and 128 of the 1990 constitution when it has been abused so much by everyone…while the country burns and the lives of the common people get worse day by day? I say stuff it. Whatever constitution you come up with as long as Gyane has the RNA and as long as the Maoist’s have the PLA the government will not be able to enforce it. So experts can squabble all year long about article this and article that but it won’t matter. So i suggest the SPA take a bold move, take the executive power that Gyane has offered, take advantage of the support of the international community and the majority of the Nepali people and call for a UN sponsored/observed ceasefire and the formation of a committee or what you will for talks with the Maoists and disarming them with the aim of ultimately calling elections of a CA. Once the international community via the UN is directly involved what can Gyane and the Maoists do?

  5. well whats the point talking about Article 35 and 127 if SPA has millions of people and international communities backing them.

    now according to Nepal One channel, there is a fight going between army and maoists on Sindupalchowk. do know what it has to do with present movement.

  6. Pawan,
    You have contradictory points in your previous postings. You say that SPA has millions of supporters and international community behind them and at the same time ask to take over the Govt. under Article 35.What a silly idea ? Do you want to put the SPA in a trap ?

  7. well you dont understand the point. with millions of people behind you, do you care for these dead Articles. with that many mass you can write hundred more Articles of your own. dont use word ‘silly’ keep it for yourself.

    you said you have work for UN, i still wonder what kind of person you are?

  8. strange but I agree with Pawan for the very
    first time. Why SPA is talking about Articles of the contstitution right now? We know it very well neither King nor the parties actually care about constitution. And talking about the precaution as king might fck it up again, it is pure crap.

    The only reasons Parties are reluctant to accept the king’s offer is, they just don’t want to piss Maoists off. Neither Maoists nor Parties can demand the election for constituent assembly when Maoists haven’t shown any signs in laying down their weapons.

  9. Yeah my reply to Layman was in the same vein as Pawan’s but UWB likes to moderate me a lot these days.

  10. Mr. Raj chettri, I do not agree with your 5 points solution for the current situation of the country. As you suggested SPA to accept Kings offer by selecting a Prime Minister, forming a government and then recommending election for constitutional assembly. By the rules of the current constitution(2047), I think, it does not allow to conduct any move against itself (conducting constitutional assembly election). On the other hand, the King did not spoke anything about c-assembly and it looks like the goal of his latest proclaim is to create a new “bali ko bakra” and a new election that he anounced earlier(so that he won’t be unable, as he used to say) so that he can have new playground. The only solution I see as a general nepali is the election of constiutional assembly which would be announced by an interim government. The interim government itself should be offered by the king(provided the king gives up all his power including head of military and head of the nation) and let the constitutional assembly to decide for his future.

  11. How can you think that Articles are dead? when your beloved King is quoting it. How can SPA go there when there is a trap.When you are already in the Govt. under that Article, you cannot do anything neither you can announce the elections to the CA or you can say that there are so many people or international community is behind me. You need to study the law a little bit and try to understand that each and every country is run under certain thing called Constitution. And the Head of State has certain rights and duties which can not be used by PM. You understand guys ?

  12. Uh, Layman, I think you are lost in constitution/legalese land. You must be a bureaucrat or worse a lawyer. Try and think out of the box my friend.

    Yeah as if Nepal has been run under a ‘certain thing called a constitution’. Give us all a break, puhlease! GPK, Deuba, Gyane have interpreted the constitution whichever way it has suited them -for once can’t the SPA interpret it in a manner that is good for the people? Don’t tell me no because of Article 101010101!

  13. WHO CAN TRUST THIS KING?

    The fears expressed here are just showing the amount of missing selftrust, typical for people subjected to dictatorship.

    Just remember the death of Birendra and then think of Paras….

    Kingdom is finishing now after having been morally over for some time already….

    Trust yourself and go ahead now. It is more important to start reconciliation with the Maoist’s mostly simple, mislead Nepali brothers and sisters than with this criminal palace gang. Monarchy is and has been blocking Nepal’s progress intentionally….

    Ahimsa knows: Kings are history!

  14. UWB, please dont block it.

    it is disgusting to quote articles of a constitution when the makers of the same constitution call it dead and want a new one. cant we not care about the constitution and form a government that calls for an immediate ceasefire, the army back to the barrack, hold talks with maoists to find out ways to go to the elections to CA? the parties have a great advantage now. they’ve the whole world backing them up, the Nepalese people are tired and want a breakthrough. we can deal with the king after. come on parties, use your brains.

    unfortunately, the parties dont know what exactly is the end of this movement. they dont know what will stop it. because they are following maoists, who will never stop fighting.

  15. Agreeing with the Constitution of 1990 and going to the government is risky and there is always chances of King coming back again.That was my point.

  16. Layman are you m in disguise? You can stuff that rotten 1990 constitution up your you know where.

  17. sparsha and m,
    i like your points.
    and kirant and rest who believe SPA should reconcile…
    gyanendra ma timiharuko biswaas kina?
    ki u guys are blinded by american capitalism ki to suppress communism u get blind towards any autocracy?
    sher bdr lai pani yahi dhara 35 bata karyakarini adhikar diyeko haina…wat happened to that…why don’t believe in the power of people.
    aile nepali janata utheko cha
    ‘falaam tatteko belama hanne’ vanya jastai u have to utilise this moment.
    aile janata utheko belama reconcile huncha ani janata ghar farke pachi feri rajale faldincha , ani nepali janatako sentiments ra energy yati sasto cha ghari ghari uthna lai..
    gyane lai china!
    stop telling leaders to dance at gyane’s steps but to walk with the speed of people.

  18. Dear All,
    Saw this movie ”Rang de Basanti”. It may sound funny but sincerely, after childhood days, for the first time I really got inspired by a movie. I really started to think about Nepal and the political crisis continuing. Lack of interest in country’s system and adequate patriotism prevails in Nepal too, I felt that. That doesn’t imply that the solution is to kill someone as shown in the movie. I tried to see within myself, what is my contribution? Found its ok, I am studying and becoming a manpower for the nation. But went through the news from Nepal and this time I could not satisfy myself. Going regular is not enough; felt that. It’s high time for each of us to try to do something more than the regular! On the process, what can I do at most now, I found I can share my understanding of the crisis to my friends and then forward it to maximum Nepalese as far as possible. There might be various view points on that between us. This is one amongst them. PLZ READ IT ONCE. GIVE A SECOND THOUGHT ON THAT. AND IF YOU DONT AGREE, IT’S YOUR RIGHT NOT TO . BUT I BELEIVE MANY OF YOU WHO’LL READ THIS MAIL WILL CERTAINLY GET CLEAR ABOUT MANY THINGS. And in due course, I’d be grateful to get your opinions as well. This way we can interact and start to think about the country more seriously. UNTIL AND UNLESS WE START A STEP, NO THING BIG WOULD BE ACHIEVABLE. Believing on this, I am sharing my opinion.

    “As we see the situation in Nepal, anyone would think that the problem lies between the King, seven Political parties, and Maoists. And why? What each of them wants? We’d find answers for that also. One may say political parties want full-fledged democracy. Similarly Maoists want the communism, and King wants to reestablish Panchayat or something like that in other form. It may sound weird to you at first, but I see this crisis in completely other way. This is not any kind of conflict between Nepalese themselves. This is something between India and Nepal. It’s a grand and interesting game. At the same time, highly challenging
    for both the states.

    Every one of us knows the Indian approach of trying to dominate others, especially the neighboring countries. Defense and foreign affairs related decisions of Bhutan are directly handled by India. Nothing new about it, right? Which country in the SAARC except Bhutan is happy with India? Forget SAARC, what about other neighbors? China? Burma? Mentioning these issues just to rethink on India’s foreign policies!
    Now let us go to what’s there between India and Nepal? Care to see it thru big brother’s side.

    India’s average economic growth rate has reached around 7.5% which is one of the best in world today. India is second largest market in the world in terms of population. Foreigners are seeing China and India as the new markets of this age and investing here rapidly. Bottom line is- India is developing. But how long people will invest in India if basic infrastructure is not there? How much investments would be there in Agricultural industry if outsiders don’t see basic irrigation facilities in the field? In other way, when other area is developing,
    what about large Indian farmer population? When they’ll prosper if irrigation is not there? And most importantly, energy is vital for all development- industries, technology and everything. India is not capable of producing the required amount. India has successfully taken control over Bhutan’s energy resources and already started to have the benefit. Bhutan is also getting something out of it but in cost of sovereignty.

    Now comes Nepal’s part. Nepal is second richest in water resource having potential of large amount of energy. Enough energy to cater India’s energy need for industrialization and irrigation and clean drinking water for eastern India (perhaps more than that). For that, India can have straight business deals with Nepal. Take it if u want, but please pay. But no! India wants all those in the way they got from Bhutan. They want to have total control in any hydro projects that’ll be build in Nepal. They want to give us something out of it- lot less
    value than what we deserve. Since history India has been trying for this and as it was obvious for them to get refusal. In the mean time, foreigners wanted to invest in Hydro projects in Nepal. But India always fumed and fretted for any manipulation in rivers will lead to flood in India. So, all the big projects were cancelled.

    India didn’t stop. They wanted to get the resources according to their desire. When Nepal refused, they came into games with long vision. What I interpret the game could possibly be as such-

    Change the non cooperative government of Nepal. Keep people in power that will be ready to sell the resources of the country fro some money. And if required, will be ready to sell the whole country. India knew that until and unless royal family is in power, it’s not possible. This is because for the royals, Nepal is the only place in the world where they will get highest degree of respects and they’d never sell the country. For that, India played the key role to instill democracy in 2046 and implant corrupted people in the government. According to the plan, some leaders of ours sold out rivers and lands during the 15 years. That we all
    know.
    Now India could not depend only on those dogs. For that, how to make Nepal completely helpless in shortest period? So that Nepal will come down on the ground with knees. There won’t be any other option remaining for Nepal and finally turn towards India and beg them to utilize our own resources, and give some riots two feed Nepalese twice a day. Attack on the source of economy was the simplest route towards Nepal’s bring down. And then something happened out of blues. Maoists were born in western Nepal which is the hub of ayurvedic medicine and one of Nepal’s major exports. The area is still under Maoists control
    and no one knows how much of yarshagumba is smuggled from there every
    year. Country’s revenue is going in vain. And let us recall, it was Girija’s tenure and whole Nepal knows how Maoists flourished in no time. Besides that, major objective of giving birth to Maoistswas to attack the spinal of Nepal’s economy- tourism. And things happened accordingly. Nepal broke and got trapped into the crisis we r seeing today.
    Now please don’t doubt on who gave birth to Maoists. India was the first to call Maoists as terrorists when Nepal government was still calling it as insurgents. After that, US hit listed Maoists of Nepal in top ten among the world terrorists. Nepal government never called them terrorists those days. And in many cases, we have seen Maoists leader making rounds to Delhi in the same fashion as Girija and his daughter. The recent meeting between the parties and Maoists leaders occurred in Delhi. How could India arrange the facility when Maoists are terrorists? Do they want to send a message that Lashkar-e-taiba should be entertained by governments of various nations? And surprisingly, nowadays Indian media do not right the word “terrorists” for Nepalese Maoists. The respected word given by them these days is ” Nepal rebel”. This is all happening because of the slavish mentality India possesses due to 200 years of British rule.

    Anyway, now let us come to the major issue. After knowing all these, I m not in a condition to agree that the dispute in Nepal is for democracy. What I believe is it is for nationality. It is for saving the nation. It is for raising the nation with what we have. It is for replying back to all those who try to play with us. Now, it’s up to your intellect to identify who is working for what. What King is doing, parties are doing, and Maoists are doing.
    It’ll be a very appreciable opinion if you say what those pancheys are doing again here? We should not forget that democracy is nature’s law. When you are born, you come along with your freedom. No force can stop u for that.

    Let’s see the cause and what’s happening around. Democracy within the boundary is so important? Or democracy in a country will be there when a country will b there? Let all Nepalese get together and stop the external force for some time when Nepal will try to lift up in a position from where no force would be able to bring it down. Democracy is always there. When Nepalese can change the government in 2046, same Nepalese can change the government again in 2066. And if required,
    forever free Nepalese could change the system around the world. We don’t have to doubt in our capability. But the current need is not “restore democracy” as India is saying. Current need for each and every Nepali is to “save and raise the nation”. When US envoy to India made one statement related to India’s internal politics last week, whole India shouted back to the ambassador. This is something good we need to learn from Indians. When India, and other far away nations are
    repeatedly trying to interfere our internal matter, our corrupted media (do I have to name the media which have bosses of Non Nepalese origins?
    Or u find it yourself) is not tired of singing their songs everyday.These Medias are responsible for creating a pessimistic environment in the nation. People are not protesting those external interferences which are vital in present. Restoring democracy is not the issue as far as I understand. What if democracy is restored tomorrow immediately? Same old faces who tried to help the neighbor more than own country itself will be back to power. And the process of losing the nation’s
    independency which has been stopped temporarily through king’s move will get momentum again.But if Nepal and Nepalese succeeds to pause that external force for some more time, its strength will be minimized. Many things can happen within few years. Zest is- country first! Now, If you don’t agree on this, I m open to have your opinion. If you feel that there is some logic in what I have said, please forward it to as many Nepalese as possible. There is nothing good happening to you within 24 hours or 3 days or 1 week or so forth. But only God knows, long term benefits could be there.

    Thank you.

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