Madam Rocca is a Bit Happy, a Bit So So
“We remain concerned about the reports of continuing repression of civil liberties and additional arrests. We continue to urge the government of Nepal to release all political detainees, restore civil liberties, and reach out in a pro-active manner to the political parties. At the same time, we urge the political parties to work together and with the government. Their recent announcement of a untied front is an encouraging first step in this process.” Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State, USA
Here is the speech of Rocca: It has been a year since my last visit to Nepal. Much has changed, but the fundamental crisis confronting Nepal remains the same. I am meeting with many government officials, politicians, media, and members of civil society during my short visit to discuss both these changes, and how Nepal can best cope with its political and developmental problems.
The United States has considered itself a close friend of Nepal since diplomatic relations were first established in 1947. In 1951, our economic assistance and Fulbright programs began here. Our total development assistance over the years amounts to 400 million dollars. Our security assistance over the past four years, including a one-time appropriation of 12 million dollars in 2002, amounts to 22 million dollars overall. In 1952, the first American library was opened by the then U.S. Information Service. In 1962, the Peace Corps program was established in Nepal. I am very happy to say that all programs continue to flourish- with the exception of Peace Corps, which had to suspend operations last October due to security concerns. And I hope that the Peace Corps will be able to resume operations as soon as that is feasible.
American development assistance to Nepal has increased dramatically over the past two years, jumping from $24 million to $42 million annually. Over half of this increased amount-$23 million- is earmarked for basic
health programs- from the Vitamin A program that saves the lives of 25,000 children each year to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Other projects involve support for democratic institution building, such as
judicial reform programs, anit-trafficking, generation employment and income opportunities in rural areas to promote peace, facilitation agricultural market development, and last but not least, hydropower
However, our assistance activities, together with the efforts of other international donors, are now at risk from a brutal Maoist insurgency. The Maoists have made clear their intention to impose a one-party “people’s republic,” collectivize agriculture, “reeducate” so-called class enemies, and export their revolution to neighboring states. We feel that such a regime would almost certainly threaten stability in the region. Much if not all of the progress that the United States and others have helped Nepal accomplish in terms of both development and democratization would be negated.
In my visits to Nepal I have taken the opportunity to make sure that the government was aware of our support for their efforts to counter the Maoists. The United States has a strong interest in helping the people of Nepal overcome this threat and deal with the country’s serious developmental problems. Our goals for Nepal can be put quite simply: we want Nepal to be peaceful, prosperous and democratic country where civil liberties and human rights are protected.
The United States and other friends of Nepal have long believed it is essential for Nepal’s legitimate political leaders to resolve the longstanding political impasse that has prevented a united effort to confront the two dangers facing Nepal- the Maoist insurgency and underdevelopment. The key to accomplishing this is for the legitimate political parties and the King to untie in a multi-party democratic framework in order to confront the Maoists and address the country’s serious developmental problems. Over the past several years we have encouraged political party leaders and the King to follow this course. We will continue to stress this message to the King and to all political forces.
While we welcome the steps taken by His Majesty’s Government to lift the Sate of Emergency and release political leaders, we remain concerned about the reports of continuing repression of civil liberties and additional arrests. We continue to urge the government of Nepal to release all political detainees, restore civil liberties, and reach out in a pro-active manner to the political parties. At the same time, we urge the political parties to work together and with the government. Their recent announcement of a untied front is an encouraging first step in this process. But the need of the hour is reconciliation: to develop and follow a joint roadmap to deal with the Maoists and work for a peaceful and prosperous Nepal.
We remain concerned about the widespread suffering of the Nepali people as a result of the Maoist insurgency, from abuses and atrocities by Maoists and also through human rights abuses by government security forces. The recent Government agreement to allow a UN Human Rights Office to begin operations in Nepal is a good first step, and we expect there will be full cooperation with the Office. An important focus of our engagement with the government of Nepal and its security services will remain the critical need for increased respect for human rights. We continue to check on military unites to ensure that none implicated in
human rights violations receives U.S. assistance. We have made it clear to the Government that we expect to see appropriate, timely and transparent investigations of any credible allegations of abuse and that failure to do so could jeopardize our ability to continue assistance.
The United States intends to continue our close relationship with Nepal and build trade, investments, and tourism. We will gladly work with all legitimate forces to make this a reality. The American people and their representatives in Congress take Nepal’s best interests to heart and watch developments closely. We in the Executive Branch have to be able to tell them there is political will among all the legitimate political elements to make progress toward peace and the resolution of a true multi-party democracy, including elections at the earliest possible time.
2 Comments »
Good flow of thoughts, perfect grammar, perfect sentence structure.
Words used are easy and understandable, while clearly explains the authors’ thought about the topic.
A perfect speech indeed!!!
I am sure she spoke well too
Comment by Critic — 5/10/2005 @ 10:51 pm
If I remember correctly it was Ms. Rocca who visited the camps of the Bhutanese Refugees about a decade ago. That visit had brought a lot of hope to the Bhutanese refugees. It had compelled India to take notice of poor Nepali refugees.
Hope you have not forgotten them.
BELATED THANKS FOR THAT VISIT !!!!
Comment by Bir Ghale — 5/11/2005 @ 2:49 am