In a Golf Resort, Nepal Plays Peace Balls

Everyone is happy but not without anxieties and fear of breakup

So they are not playing golf, it’s almost confirmed. But what exactly they are doing or talking about is everyone’s guess. What we know for sure is that six people with a group of their assistants are somewhere inside Kathmandu’s Gokarna Golf Resort talking about the peace talks. Two Krishna, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, the Home Minister, and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the Maoist spokesperson, are in charge of their respective groups comprising of other two members in each side. Talks began at around 4:15 this afternoon and it’s almost four hours now that they haven’t shown any sign of getting out of the luxurious hotel.

(story continues after the box)

GOVT-MAOIST TALKS: 25-pt code of conduct announced. Int’l monitoring, end to extortion, strikes agreed

By YUVRAJ ACHARYA
The Kathmandu Post (original story)

On the first day of their peace talks held after three years, the government and Maoists on Friday announced a 25-point Code of Conduct governing the cease-fire announcements so as to ensure a violence-free environment.

They have also agreed to invite credible national and international monitoring teams to oversee the ceasefire and compliance to the Code of Conduct. According to the Code of Conduct made available to the media after over five-hour long negotiations, both the sides have agreed to stop new recruitment in their armies and to refrain from strikes in industries and educational institutions. They have also committed themselves to allow development works without any obstruction.

The Code of Conduct has also put an end to donations and financial assistance against somebody’s will. The rebels have received scathing criticism for collecting donations forcefully from individuals and industries.

Both the sides have agreed not to organize or get involved in any activity that would provoke each other. Moreover, they will also make sure that their men won’t appear in combat uniform and with weapons in public and political programs. No party shall create obstruction when the other side is holding political rallies, expressing views and carrying out organizational activities in any part of the country.

“We don’t want to return to war again,” said Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the chief Maoist negotiator, coming out of the dialogue. “We want there to be no bloodshed and civil war.” A jovial Mahara who is also the Maoist spokesperson said they had decided to sit at the negotiating table with “deep sense of responsibility” toward the people.

Likewise, chief government negotiator and Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, told reporters that since both the teams “had already set their goals”, they concentrated on how to achieve it during today’s talks. “We have agreed that all the problems faced by the country can be settled through mutual understanding and dialogue among us,” he said.

Other members in the government team are Tourism Minister Pradip Gyawali and Minister of State for Labor Ramesh Lekhak; while

Dina Nath Sharma and Dev Gurung are members of the rebel team.

The government and Maoists had sat for dialogue the first time in August 2001 since the Maoists launched a violent rebellion in 1996. However, surprise and simultaneous attacks by the rebels on various government facilities in November ended the cease-fire that was in place for over four months with three rounds of negotiations.

Likewise, the government and the rebels inked a similar truce in January 2003, days after the rebels assassinated Krishna Mohan Shrestha, chief of the Armed Police Force, along with his wife and bodyguard in the capital. But, the truce met a deadlock after four rounds of negotiations in August after the then Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) gunned down 17 unarmed Maoists and two civilians in cold blood in Doramba of Ramechhap district.

The main stumbling block during the past negotiations was the issue of going for constituent assembly elections, which the then government flatly rejected.

However, the 12-point understanding reached between the ruling Seven-Party Alliance (SPA) and Maoist rebels in November last year, which has clearly stated constituent assembly elections as the only way out of the current crisis, has brought hope for making the fresh round of negotiations a success.

Maoist Supremo Prachanda has said he would eventually lead the rebel negotiating team after preparatory negotiations are held with the current teams.

At the end of today’s negotiations, both the negotiators said they are meeting again “soon” to settle the rest of the issues required for holding constituent assembly elections without any hindrance.

We all know that this is just the beginning of the talk process. Today’s talks will create favorable environment for official round of talks (that too preparatory for the summit between Prachanda and Girija Prasad Koirala) scheduled for sometime in the next week. The government is demanding that Maoists stopped extorting money and donation terrorism. The rebels are seeking guarantee of the election of constituent assembly from the government. Plus, they will also be finalizing the Code of Conduct for the peace talks.

Before entering inside the Resort, they expressed their optimism about the success of talks. But then everyone is optimistic because of the changed scenario but no one can say for sure if that optimism turns into reality. We have seen two failed ‘talk shows’ before. In the first instance, rebels backed off from the peace process and attacked, for the first time, an army barrack in Dang. That was in 2058. Then we saw army killing 18 people in Doramba (Ramechhap) there by derailing the second round of peace talks.– Wagle

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

44 thoughts on “In a Golf Resort, Nepal Plays Peace Balls

  1. This time people really hoping to have lasting peace in Nepal so that everybody can start his own work or job paeacefully. Studnets can continue their studies, professionals can resume their profession in more dignified manner. Commercial and tourism industry can again be restablished.

    So i hope negotiators of both sides are serious about the success of the talks. Otherwise Nepal would not be place to live. What can the poor people do ? other than to suffer more.

  2. Deuba! are you still in favor of King? Deuba! Please raise this issue with people while you go constitunal assembly election but in peace talks. Constitunal assembly should be unconditional, rest is up to you. You can win the election and make king ceremonial(you like ceremonial may be as there is cere(your first name) in it), or active or whatever. Best of luck.

  3. u mean.. ‘In a Golf Resort, Nepal Plays Peace Balls?’

    interesting article.

  4. hey it’s “golf” not “gulf”. they mean two two different things. please consult a dictionary before you post and if/or you’re confused….

    UWB: Thanks Twaak for becoming our live dictionary!

  5. i took it as gulf, as in the seperation of landmass by ocean, so with the “gulf” in every aspect of our society, there was a big pun in writing gulf instead of golf, I guess you cant be too literate when the truth is bitter.

  6. after parliament’s proclamation maoists are clearly on back foot–true loser. Girija has done well by steeling most of their agendas.

    it would be better if Girija let the maoists do some mistake to make govt position strong. talk should have delayed by few more weeks, so that we cat test their patient and if they are truely willing to go through peace deal.

    also king should not commit any silly mistakes when Girija is trying to win political battle against maoists. i thing this old guy know how to put commies at the bay.

  7. Well I see talks have taken place. I guess some body still would like to speak for me. Well the way I see It that fits me just fine because I am to tired of trying to make sence of all this any more there is way to much But what ever talks and agrrements are made fill me in this time in person so you don’t drive me “Crazy” It is much easier to understand In lamans terms damn Lets move on from what I have read and decoded I can see why It would make a person laugh I am having a fun time reading some of this But It makes me laugh funny stuff that drive me “CRAZY” but in all honesty the pain and time of suffering I had to Indure Is all well worth It If In the long run people can either relate to me or laugh with me or be uplifted in one way or another as long as It can be some sort of a positive experience In the end I can honestly say In the last two years no animals were injured while I was Rock-n-Out that “Crazy” Baby

  8. NOW OR NEVER
    This time there is favourable situation for both Govt and Maoists. This time Govt does not have to take permission from the king and Maoists will never find such favourable govt in future. There is no obstacle for constituent assembly which is the main demand of Maoists.

    If in case it does not happen this time then it is certainly not good for people, at the same time it wil not be good for Maoists also.Then without any good reason the killing of Neplase brother and sister will continue for ever .

  9. –daney daney pe likha hai khaney walla ka naam…..

    –rotey rotey zeena sikho…hastey hastey rona…

  10. Excuse us Gentlemen, may we play through? We have an important engagement at the 19th hole.

  11. “In the last two years no animals were injured while I was Rock-n-Out that “Crazy” Baby”

    Randy, you really need to cut back on the pegs a bit…

  12. “i thing this old guy know how to put commies at the bay.”

    I think he only knows how to sell us out to India but I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

  13. hey! I think the whole peace talk should be live! After all people has a right to know what they are negotiating about. Is there anything to hide? If not, why dont they have a live telecast of the talk like they do in the pairlament?

  14. Hey, smooth going, indeed, at Golf, balls for peace get rolling!!! And we wait…for peace to prevail, long live Nepal!

  15. Peace is the only thing people are expecting now…..hope for the best..

  16. Shenanigans and shysters- may the long march end with a real thing rather than a facade.

  17. What is the position of Makune ? Is he a super government now ? He is always out of position when nation asks him some responsibility.Is he sarbochha neta ? Recently he said that the govt. need to feed the Maoists. Is that fair ?

  18. So much for the maoist and their committments. So much for their fight for janjatis etc. The following incident has shown neither are they interested in peace and democracy nor are they really interested in the deprived classes. All they want is power for their criminal Brahmin leader Pushpa Dahal alias Prachanda. I say screw these talks, it’s a waste of time and a waste of our expectations:

    News flash:
    Abducted people found dead in Rautahat

    The dead bodies of two people, abducted by the Maoists six days ago, have been found at Inaruwa VDC, Rautahat Saturday morning.

    Bodies of Sambhu Sahani and Shyam Sundar Sahani, sons of Congress District Working Committee member Jyogindra Sahani, were found buried near a river.

    The Maoists, after bombing the house of Sahani had abducted the slain brothers from Basantapatti village development committee (VDC) of the district accusing them of trying to disrupt a Maoist meeting.

    Reports quoted Superintendent of Police Keshav Adhikari as saying that the badly mutilated bodies were found buried at a local river bank.

    The Maoists however, have claimed the Sahani brothers of being dacoits and that the villagers themselves had beaten the brothers to death.

    Locals have strongly refuted the Maoists’ claim of villagers doing the killings, pointing out that it was the rebels who did the brothers in.

    Meanwhile, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal has begun an investigation into the incident.

    There has been no let up in the atrocities of the rebels despite ceasefire announced by them.

  19. Maoist are snake in the grass.

    It confounds me when people place so much hope on the very same people who have decimated Nepal, for what and by what? One party Rule and by killings.

    Lets get this straight- they do not believe in elections, they have their own definition of Democracy, their economic policy is centralized and outdated ( if they have one). So why so high expectation?

    I am kind of nauseated by people’s this and people’s that- it rings hallow. Be realistic and pragmatic, there is nothing for people. The shake up was just a shake up nothing more. It is like in the movies, in order to make good side bad, you just shamelessly beat up the hero for no fault of his, all in the script. Quite bewildering to see that all that pent up anger of 15 years towards inapt politicians and their outright corruptions, arms dealing by Deuba, Sujata’s 5 star hotel in Malaysia, and numerious scandals be placed on one man. How easy, get perspective right. Are we trying to escape from the reality? If that is the case than God help us.

    Do anyone genuinely think that Nepal will head for the better just because Maoist come for a tea at posh place. Do people genuinely believe Makune and Girija will walk the talk of real democracy where there is rule of law, equal opportunities not by quota system but on merit, and sense of security for all. I see none of this and I foresee none.

    Maoist are still on with their forced extortion and killing, Makune thinks he can unilaterally call the shot to feed murderous militia, and Girija speaks Maoist edicts without any shame. Tell me what there is to hope for. It is a case of Haathi ayo, fossha!!

  20. Saint,
    You have given us a total frustratung scenario. But there is still hope. But sometimes you will die waiting for your hero to come and rescue you from all this debris of problems. Maoists are like wolves. They can turn the events to anything. They can not be be fully trusted.

  21. Well Saint is a raja aau desh bachaau type. He/she doesn’t realise that chances for peace are infinitely better than when his master KG was in charge. The word fool was invented to describe people like Saint.

  22. Kirat has no depth or analytical resource. He is good at monologue and one line such “The word fool was invented to describe people like Saint.”

    Yes, truth hurts, some like Kirat cannot even stomach it, just for the fact he has tunnel vision- only sees things that he or his master wants him to see (aka Maoist). So Kirat, give it a rest unless you can come with rational and analytical rebuttal or comment.

    Peace at what COST is the only question I am going to ask Kirat. Are you willing to give up your right to free expression, compromise individual right, rule of law, and liberty for sake of Peace? Then go ahead make Maoist’s day.

  23. Saint, read your own posting on # 19. My analysis of how your little brain works is spot on. By the way I despise the Maoists as much as you Royalists.

  24. Any change is undertaken for ‘betterment’ but the actual outcome may not be ‘better’. We have two parties, the government and the Maoists, sitting on opposite sides of the table.

    Because of their past actions during democractic rule, the actors in the present government lacks much required credibility in the eyes of the people. At one time, they were not able to define whether the Maoists uprising is ‘political’ or ‘terrorist’ problem. To make matters worse, all of these actors possess different ideas regarding the ways to move forward and send conflicting signals pertaining to the same issue.

    On the other hand, the Maoists do not enjoy any credibility among larger population because of their brutality and violent past. After all, they have turned away from the negotiating table twice earlier when their demands were not met in totality. It gave an impression that negotiating in the Maoists term is accepting their proposal without any deviation or change. As of now, the instances of extortion and killings are continuing from the Maoists side even when the cease-fire was announced. And these measures do not exactly build confidence among people that they are committed to peace.

    Given this scenario without any predictability of outcome, apprehension is natural. Of course, nothing is predictable and risk is inherent. However, unless there is some real achievement from the government side [such as cessation of extortion or kidnapping], we cannot assume that the change is always for ‘better’.

  25. I think this SPA govt. has also become weak because of controversy regarding the claim of two DPM posts one by NC D and other by Jana Morcha.SPA if they fight like this they would not have moral authority to rule.Any way it is degrading day by day.

    Another point is that they could not take action on PJT and his colleagues who were involved in flagrant violation of human rights.So the people do not have faith in this government. The report of UN OCOHR in Kathmandu itself is a good proof.If you want to read about why it is abolutely necessary to take action on the military Chief, read the article by Dhruba Adhikari in today’s Kantipur.

  26. Kirat, you one liner talkinghead, label me with anything you want. Do I care, nada. You are quasi-Maoist- sympathizer, you seem to thrive on pseudo analysis, castle in the sky, and believe in laquered assumption all that is for the good, and good only. Wake up, smell the coffee.

  27. Thuldai,

    I may be in minority but I think I can present my viewpoint.

    It is true that the Army brass must be held responsible for their human-rights violation during the insurgency (note: ‘insurgency’). However, at the same time, the Maoists must be held responsible as well.

    If, at the end of the day, the Maoists are granted amensty for all their human-rights violation, then why does not the Army qualify for the same? There cannot be two different yardsticks for the same violation.

  28. This blog also should give new and interesting subjects on the political situation of Nepal. It has become boring. You can see yourself, during the last 4/5 days there is no particiption at all. It has involved in a fictional issues like Maya’s love affairs with a Maobadi rather than the burning issues facing the country. So the regulars like Kirat, Sweet Weed, Bideshi who it seems, do not have any work, are 24 hours here. Give some intersting topics, UWB guys.

  29. Mr. Limbu

    You are absolutely right in your honest comment. No work actually allows you to show your expertise in this blog on any topic under the sun whether you qualify to comment on it or not. 🙂

  30. Sweet Weed,

    International community believes that although Maoists are some sort of terrorists or insurgency, they have some political,economic and social reasons to take up arms against the Government.

    To make this menace(Maoists) at the present form to peace in Nepal, all are responsible: King, political parties, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers etc. I do not want to go in details about who did what during the last 11 years on this isuue.In the final anlysis, that is the reality and the end- result.

    Now when the Maoists have already said that they want to lay down their arms and come to the mainstream politics, they should be given amnesty in exchange for future peace in the country.In every country, it has been happening. No rebel force will come to compromise, if they are going to be prosecuted.

    My only question remains, What is the unconditional(nisarta) elections to CA ? Does it mean to go for elections of CA without the managemant of weapons on both sides ? I hope SPA guys have clear understanding of this.

  31. Chief Justice saved his job when he had a secret deal with Sambhu Thapa. Otherwise CJ Poudel was threaetened impeachment thru parliament. You know the likes of Sambhu Thapa.

    Now PJT will save his job because he said yesterday that he will cooperate with the new Govt. Now where is the respect for “sentiment” of people during the Jana Andolan II ? What our Chief of the Investigation Commission Rayamajhi is doing ?Is he tired after five mice were captured ? He was boasting of taking action against the King. HA HA HA!!

  32. Thuldai,

    Please differentiate between state’s army and a rebel first. When rebel is in place to dictate terms, war is already lost. So you are right, Amnesty for all.

    I guess like minded people also start arm revolt based on grievances of any sort to get a equal rights, special privileges, and budget allocation for feeding a rag tag army that believes itself to be fighting for a true cause, may be not in your eyes but nonetheless.

    This only proves that MIGHT is RIGHT- welcome to Nepal.

  33. Overkill,

    Actually our army has already lost the war. There is no question about that. Because they asked for nine months of emergency, govt. at that time declared the emergency. They could not solve the problem and during 15 months of King’s direct rule, virtually it was a miltary govt. They could not do it during that time also.

    Now about the rag tag army, who is to blame, the then supreme commander in Chief who was spending lavishly in foreign jaunts and intertnally in the country distributing money to Mandales to control the Jana Andolan ?

    Incapability to control the terrorism in the country goes to the Army. According to international humanitarian law, the Army sould be blamed for all the atrocities of Maoists as well. Because they could not maintain law and order situation with the remmunerations from the tax payers’ money.On the other hand, Maoists are not using tax payers’ money.

  34. Thuladai,

    I think I went too far in saying “lost the war”- it should read as “lost the battle.” I will not equate Maoist with RNA- Maoist did not give a finger or notice for the abuses they did in the name of their cause. Army was held responsible and accounted for any misadventure ( Ian Martin was there– a taxi driver, a student, was shot by the Maoist but no alarm was raised by champion of Human rights, remember). If army was given full command rather than unified command, a mistake, it would have been dealt with. I am convinced of that.

    So you are ok that Maoist have a license to raise hell if they do not utilize taxpayers money- Are you condoning their tactics? Abuses, scandals, corruptions and nepotism of last 15 years compares with to 1 and half years rule of KG? There is a misperception here, big time, do not know if it is by design or ignorance. But you cannot swipe it under the carpet, these things have habit of coming back.

    Might is Right- trend of the day.

  35. Overkill,
    You seem to be supporting what king and army were doing. What do you mean by full command or unified command ? It is the same thing. I do not see any difference.The leadership was taken by the Army of this unified command.

    The only difference between the killings of Maobadis, and the King and “his Army” was that King and “his Army” were killing their own citizens by the bullet purchased from the citizens money and as well as remmuneration from the coffers of the state. I don’t know whether this Army will become an Army of the Nepalese people or not with the mere change of the name.

  36. What is the use of army in where 50% are suffering with the poverty in the country. If peace continue then, it is better to abolish the army in Nepal. The present context also shows that there is no use to invest Rs. 17 billion per annum for this white elephent. If the SPA and maoist are confident to each other and trust on free and fair election then it is better to demolish both army immediately. Sale all the arms to another country and distribute the money to the poor or generete some employment opportunities.

    GO FOR THE PEACE, BELIEVE IN PEACE AND TRUST THE PEACE…THAT IS THE START AND THE END OF THE LIFE

  37. Thuladai,

    I guess glass half empty or full really does not really matter to you- simply it is just a water. You lamblast Army for using tax payers money in protecting citizens but have no issue with Maoist? Maoist were ultra rich, they fed on their own, did not loot the banks, did not forcefully confisticate property or blow up taxpayers telecom towers and bridges- no they really did not ( glass half full) do all this, if they did then they did in the name of a just cause- not at the expense of taxpayers, anyways. Growp up

    There is justification for every action, good or bad but to malign you need to prove-little tit bits does not fly. I see you as a Maoist sympathizer ( no harm in this) or a someone with axe to grind other than that your claim & tirade against RNA does not hold any water.

    As for “mere change of the name” – I hope you are right.

  38. Actually army is for foreign agression but they could not even control internal insurgency where as they are going in UN Mission to other countries; If the Maoists are looting the banks, extorting the money etc. Ultimately who is to blame ? it is is inability of the security forces to control such things. Army APF and Police are paid for that. Maoists has grown up to this stage because of failure of the security forces. before, 1996 was there any such things ? country was paeceful. So the Security froces did not have any strategy and tactical palns to contain the Maoists.Overkill, do not overkill ?

  39. I have certain questions of which I hope someone would answer.

    1. Was the Army only responsible side to control the Maoists insurgengy? Does this imply that the political parties had no responsibility at all?

    2. Should we understand, from the many comments posted above, that the Army should have had initiated political process so that the political parties could come and participate and do the favor to the population at large?

    3. Should we infer that the netas are there only to rule when everything is alright and run away from their constituencies when things go horribly wrong? Did they even try to fill the political vaccuum or mobilize population against the Maoist-terror ever?

    4. During the insurgency years, did the political parties ever took a definite stand whether it is a terrorism or political uprising? Do not repeat that hogwash that their (the Maoists) cause was good but the actions were not. This statement is the most ‘dahi-chuire’ statement ever made.

  40. Shaman,
    Your first question itself is flawed because eventhough it is the primary responsibility of the political parties to control any insurgency in the country but RNA was not de facto under the government. It was solely under the King. You must know about Holeri scandal in which RNA refused to move. That’s why GPK resigned.It was the King who did not give the final order, because he wanted to put the democracy and democratic leaders in peril. All other questions are linked with first one, so there is no need to answer them.

    In the final anlysis, all are responsible for making the Maoists more stronger and stronger: King, political parties, Civil society, Journalists and Lawyers etc. When there was a Holeri scandal, political leaders were submerged fully in corruption. So they did not have any moral authority to govern the country.

    But I blame RNA and its former Chief, King for this situation. It was their primary responsibility for maintaining peace in the country. I even think that there was no neccessity of declaring emergency (nine months) to fight with Maoists.

  41. Thuldai,

    One thing I like to pinpoint you although it is bitter…I blame political parties, so-called human right groups and civil society are the main player to make maoist stronger. The bitter question is; are we surrendering to the maoist or taking revenge only with the enemy-king???

  42. Thuldai,

    I thought somewhere above you had said the Army was supposed to fight external forces or foreign aggression, and not internal problems (I apologize in advance if I misinterpreted). Given that Army should have had controlled the problem, but were the political parties assisting in any manner? Once the political parties abandoned villages, then who would assist the Army in controlling the Maoists? I am not sure if the Army could have filled any political vaccuum created therein. And I would not know if the Army could even think of gathering any information regarding the insurgents or the extent of insurgency without the workers of the political parties.

    Therefore, solely blaming Army for the failure may be unrealistic.

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