No Farewell to Arms?

By Deepak Adhikari

Wednesday saw contradictory statements (aired by BBC Nepali Service) by top-notch negotiating leaders of ongoing dialogue (or is it over?). Though, the committees headed by Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Home Minister Krishna Sitaula looks irrelevant after summit level talks between Prachanda and the Prime Minister, they made two different statements that are likely to jeopardize the peace process.

guerilla_pointing_gun.JPG
When Will This End? Maoist guerillas with their guns in Kailali. Pic by Dinesh Wagle

Krishna Sitaula remarked that Maoists can not participate in interim government unless they allow UN body to monitor their arms. Krishna Bahadur Mahara said that they could not do so before the election of Constituent Assembly. This seems to be the crux of the problem.

Observers believed that April Uprising would sow the seeds of political reconciliation and would result in a peaceful dawn. But as the ongoing dialogues and close-door agreement appear hazy, the peace process has become stagnant. The issue of management of Maoist’s arms has become the intriguing aspect of dialogue now. Given that their power lies in the barrel of the guns, Maoists unwillingness to withdraw arms until the CA election may result in yet another stalemate.

April’s mass protest was hailed as exemplary and extra-ordinary from around the world. But, ironically, a rebel force joining the government is likely to turn out as another uniqueness Nepal is giving to the world. Nowhere in the world does a rebel force agree to participate in the government while their guerillas still carry guns. This way, Maoists have been both the part of problem-solving and the problem itself.

Is a government with parallel armed force possible? Furthermore, Maoists were wary about House of Representative declaring one after another groundbreaking changes. This was unbearable for a force that clams to be ultra radical.

Prachanda, dressed in grey trouser and shirt in June 16, invoked Lord Buddha in his first public rendezvous with media persons. But, he failed to realize that his cadres have not ceased gun-wielding, killings and exhortations. Prachanda and his cohorts are responsible for bizarre rule in remote villages. Coincidently, Prachanda’s neatly combed and gelled hair is targeted to appeal to urban middle class Nepali who have been distancing themselves from Maoists.

‘Govt can feed Maoists during UN monitoring’

BY KULCHANDRA NEUPANE & DINESH REGMI

POKHARA, June 21 – Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula said here Wednesday that the government can bear the expenses of the Maoist army during arms monitoring by the United Nations.
“We are preparing to send a request to the UN for arms monitoring,” said Sitaula, adding, “After that, government can consider feeding the Maoists in barracks.”

Sitaula also said that Nepali Congress is yet to decide on the future of monarchy and that monarchy is ceremonial at the moment.

Pointing out that political parties are yet to make public their agendas for constituent assembly elections, he said Nepali Congress would make public its agenda after dates for elections are announced.

When NC workers of Kaski expressed dissatisfaction over Prime Minister Koirala’s recent remarks on monarchy, Sitaula said Koirala was only mentioning the current status of the King, and that ceremonial monarchy is not NC’s agenda for constituent assembly elections.

“We are yet to discuss monarchy, restructuring of state, inclusive democracy as well as economic and social progress,” he said. “All these agendas will be clear by the time dates of constituent assembly elections are announced.”

On why Nepali Army personnel are still stationed at check posts, Sitaula said that the understanding is not to allow army to appear armed in public places. He added the matter would be sorted out through UN monitoring. When reminded that the sides to negotiation have agreed not to demonstrate arms in public, he said that is in the process of being implemented.

He also said that government would not spare Nepali Army personnel and officials found guilty by the High Level Commission, of suppressing the people’s movement.

When prodded whether action would be initiated against the King, Sitaula said, “We will take action against everyone based on the commission’s report.”

After the June 16 agreement, Prachanda disclosed that interim government with Maoist involvement will be formed within a month. UN has shown eagerness to monitor the weapons. But, the government’s delay to send letter to UN, UN’s lengthy process of decision making is not taken into account by both sides. Both SPA government and Maoists are working without adequate homework. A mere appearance in PM’s quarter doesn’t guarantee peace that the Nepalis are desperately longing for.

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

102 thoughts on “No Farewell to Arms?

  1. The contradictions and more contradictions is the name of the game. Confuse and then blindsight all Nepali- this is the ploy. Frankly, maoist are media savy, they know how to tweek this and that. And SPA takes hook,line and sinker. Most of us think we can walk the water just on Maoist assurances of Democracy. Just be aware you have been forewarned.

  2. I pray to gad that there must not be misunderstanding beween SPA and Maoists. Otherwise SPA Govt has to fight again against the Maoists. There is a rumour recently that Ram bahadur Badal had differences with prachanda and Baburam regarding the 8 point agreement.If that is the case, maoists campaign will again go for 3/4 years before they are completely wiped out from the scene like in Peru.

  3. Prachanda wants to reduce Nepal Army to 10 000 while keeeping his 15 000 strong militias. Sounds foul play!

  4. Laxman
    Dont dream of wiping out the Maoist like the Peru’s shining path. If was possible, operation Romio, sera kilo 2, state of emergency and army mobilisation might have done way back. We better look for comprised settlement with the Maosit who are in the process making New Nepal called “democratic”. SPA could not evenfight in the streets agaist the king untill the Maoist joined them under the 12 point understanding – they all want deputy PM and ministerail posts – have they learned lessons? Lasting peace is only possible through negotiation which will bring the Maoist into the maintream leberal politics.

  5. Guess why the Maoists are so cocky? Because the (R)NA is a fools army that’s why. Idiots like KG, Gen Thapa and that Gen Rana guy before him have completely ruined the army, so much so that the Maoist PLA look upon them as jokers. Soldiers…these guys don’t deserve that word. Incompetent idiots.

  6. I think its a bargaining ploy. By claiming they won’t disarm, they want something else.

    Because, how can they not disarm if they want to be seen as peacemakers? Unless they want the (R)NA to disarm simultaneously as well, which is not possible.

    And it can’t be that they want to go on fighting again. If they go back to the jungles, I think even the Maoist cadre will have had it with their leaders.

  7. “Because the (R)NA is a fools army that’s why.”

    Maybe so, do you think we can get the Israelis or South Koreans to come in on our side instead? Otherwise, I think we need to support the army that we have, no matter how flawed!

  8. I don’t have many nice things to say about the NA either, but at this moment, I don’t think we should be bashing them.

    However, I was very happy to hear that that crook Bharat Keshar had been manhandled. Its people like him who made the army what it is today. He got away lightly, in my opinion. A few stitches, his car destroyed; c’mon, with all the commissions he got during the 15 months, that wouldn’t matter a whit.

    I liked the fact that his sons were taken away handcuffed.

  9. The Maoists will NEVER give up arms. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. They know that they have come till this stage only with the barrel of the gun. Without the gun they are like Janmorcha Nepal or CPN(Mashal). Mashal has been demanding all the things that the Maoists have been demanding for the last 2 decades. But only because Mohan Bikram Singh didn’t have the guns, he was not able to reach thus far. They know this well. The only way to tackle this problem is NOT negotiations in the way it was conducted last Friday. If the state has to surrender everything, then why not give them everything including a people’s republic like in Cuba? If not, then hard bargaining should be the rule of the game.

    LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPONS AND THEN WE WILL BRING YOU INTO THE INTERIM GOVT. GIVE YOUR ARMS TO THE NEPAL ARMY AND ARMED POLICE AND NEPAL POLICE BACK; AND THEN WE WILL SET THE DATE OF CA ELECTIONS. SHUN VIOLENCE AND THEN WE WILL WITHDRAW YOUR CASES OF MURDER AND GENOCIDE IN THE COURTS. This should be the proper way of conducting dialogue with them. If they don’t like it, let them go back to the jungle.

  10. The whole country should have one voice now: MAOISTS GIVE UP YOUR ARMS ! MAOISTIS GIVE UP YOUR ARMS! MAOISTS GIVE UP YOUR ARMS !

  11. Please re-read the 12-Point agreement hammered out in Nov, by the SPA and the Maoist in India.

    The Maoist agreed to, “bring their arms under UN control” as did the SPA.
    The Maoist have kept their word but it remains to be seen if the SPA will bring the NA, lead by those who attack and killed civilians, just two months ago, under the UN.

  12. In one of the Indain News Agencies report, it is reported that KG has been suffering from psychological problem and three doctors are attending him. He is said to have murmuring that “I was doing good for the people ” He is losing mental balance. Time will come when he will refuse to recognise his wife and successor.

  13. how about we send all the maoists leaders and their entire cohorts/entourage/comrades, and wanna be MAO/LENIN/STALIN/POL POTS/SHINING PATH etc etc to fidel castro’s cuba.

  14. Maoist and SPA, DO WAHT YOU AGREE AND AGREE WHAT YOU DO. It seems that you don’t like to do what you agree. SPA if you don’t agree why you signed in 8 points. Did you think that Maoist would kill you if you did not signed there?

  15. “The Maoist agreed to, “bring their arms under UN control” as did the SPA.
    The Maoist have kept their word but it remains to be seen if the SPA will bring the NA”

    Oh? So just exactly when did the Maoists hand over their arms to the UN? It appears they forget a few of them…

  16. Bideshi, so as per your logic all Germans should have supported the Nazi army because they were a German army? Try and understand the concept of good and bad, right and wrong?

    Manan, what a lame duck excuse for being unwilling to critize the RNA. Don’t you realize that unless the RNA is reformed into a professional and efficient fighting force, the Maoists will continue this bullying ? Why is it that when I call for a reform of the RNA you guys interpret as RNA bashing. To simply for simple minds :- a drug addict unless he reforms and kicks the habit cannot contribute positively to society. Think of the RNA as a drug addict-they are as bad at present.

  17. Maoists are trying to blackmail all at the gun point. For them, power flows from the barrel of the gun. They are tactfully playing with all parties. They do not want to enter multiparty democracy. Authoritarianism and violence is inherent of Maosits.

  18. NOTE: This post got nothing to do with the ongoing discussion and the printed article.

    This, is just to point out few anamolies of life. O! Great commenters and the readers of the comments of UWB, just take few seconds of your precious time to dispense some attention to some inconsequential stuff such as:

    just notice the comments #10, #11, #12 posted under this article, their usernames have ‘urls’ pointing to some obscure websites.

    How does it happen and why does it happen? Are the commenters deliberately doing this or are they unaware of this fact?

    This usually happens when some websites want to advertise, and they pay people to do just that. If their sites get hit hundreds of time, you might be able to buy a burger at McDonald.

    So, people who practice this, please do not trade your dignity over a burger and above all, please spare us of inconvenience of routing to some obscure sites, which you got nothing to do with you.

    If my analysis is wrong, then i sincerely apologize and take my words back, if not please send me your mailing address, I will send you a free burger.

  19. Some equate RNA with a drug addict and continues with comment such as “Don’t you realize that unless the RNA is reformed into a professional and efficient fighting force, the Maoists will continue this bullying ? ” – a case of an attempt to speak which he has no authority or knowledge of but speaks to be seen as peusdo expert. This is the curse of Nepal in all sector.

  20. Bharat keshar, Prajwalla, satchit, sharad chandra, Pyar Jung are all the same. They think that other Nepalese are like animals. So I think that Bharat keshar got only a little but he desrved a lot from the people. Do not be nice to them. These people are dacaoits in the society. They must be severely punished by the Govt if not by the people.

  21. Just heard that there is rebellion within Maoist camp and it is brewing, brewing fast. I think P is losing control fast and therefore he wants to ink the deal with SPA to hold on to his supposed leverage. Hey, after all they are Nepali as well- one gets the mileage and another of the same clan or group gets miffed- a true Nepali character, indeed.

    So do not place your high hopes yet- somethings gotta give.

  22. Diehard, since when do you need to be an expert to comment on this blog. Besides I fear for your level of intelligence if you think an expert is needed to realize that something is desperately wrong with the RNA.

  23. Diehard, by the way that drug addict comparison was for idiots to understand the need for reform of the RNA but then I think I overestimated the level of intelligence of people like you-more stupid then mere idiots I guess.

  24. Layman,

    Nobodies a fan of the likes of Bharat Kesar, but physically beating up a 70 year old man, no matter who he is, is deplorable and reflects the pathetic psyche of our youth today. It is a very bad sign and I am afraid with the youth as they are this country is headed for trouble.

  25. pl, I think the beating up of Mssrs. B. Keshar should not be looked at from the view point of youths beating up an old man. That would be very misleading.

  26. Report: Foreign exchange student missing

    By Rocky Mountain News
    June 22, 2006

    A foreign exchange student is believed to have gone missing Sunday in Estes Park, according to 9News.

    Estes Park police are asking for the public’s help in finding the 20-year-old girl.

    Pratistha Budhathoki, of Nepal, was last seen leaving for work at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, but she never showed up to her job, 9News reported.

    Budhathoki is about 5-foot-3 and weighs about 130 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Eric Rose at 970-577-3827. http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4794907,00.html

    Exchange Student From Nepal Missing In Estes Park
    20-Year-Old Student Leaves For Work, Never Returns
    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/9412863/detail.html#
    POSTED: 2:40 pm MDT June 22, 2006

    UPDATED: 5:30 pm MDT June 22, 2006

    Businesses in Estes Park have been asked to keep an eye out for a 20-year-old woman who disappeared on Sunday.

    Pratistha Budhathoki, an exchange student from Nepal, is 5 feet 3 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes and was last seen leaving for work around 9:30 a.m. She was declared missing when she never arrived.

    Witnesses said she was associated only with a small group of exchange students and the incident is very uncharacteristic.

    If you have any information regarding this subject please contact the Estes Park Police Department.

    Pratistha Budhathoki hasn’t been seen since Sunday.

    ESTES PARK – Authorities asked for the public’s help in finding a missing exchange student Thursday.

    Twenty-year-old Pratistha Budhathoki was last seen leaving for work on June 18 at around 9:30 a.m. However, she never arrived at work.

    “She was like, ‘Oh, I’m late for work, I better hurry,'” said Smriti Pande, Budhathoki’s roommate.

    She is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

    Budhathoki was last seen wearing a “Muchin’ House” shirt.

    She is an exchange student from Nepal. Estes Park Police say witnesses told them Budhathoki only associated with a small group of other exchange students. Witnesses say it is very uncharacteristic for her to disappear.

    “We’re really surprised,” said Commander Kes Kufeld with Estes Park Police. “It’s just totally unlike her. It’s uncharacteristic of her.”

    Her friend, Aswin Penday said, “It’s just hard on everybody.”

    “She’s the kind of person if she goes somewhere, she’ll call us,” said Penday.

    Anyone with information is urged to contact the Estes Park Police Department at 970-577-3827.

    Nepalese association in Denver is gathering up Nepalese to go look for her in the mountains. We are working on gathering about 300 Nepalese to start the search and rescue mission.

  27. Kirat,

    You seem to assume the role of expert when you loosely state “reform” and then nada. Do mean to say, RNA should just go belly up and let the vulture pick and choose- are you in between or a hangfire. You are quick to call idiots and talk about level of intelligence but when you state your comment it would be wise to base it in a credible source or opinion, not speak your mind like SPA does. Minutes its agrees then next it disagrees. Avoid being a paperthin.

  28. Diehard,

    You mean to say I should write a 100 page report on ‘why the need and how to reform the RNA’? That is for the experts. As a citizen of this country I can see how corrupt and inefficient the RNA is and have called for it’s reform. Unless and until it is reformed the RNA is of very little use to this country. So don’t talk about the time not being right. That’s idiotic. The right time is now.

    Why do people also associate the word ‘reform’ with negative meanings?

  29. WOW, look at the image,

    In the MB’s gang also woman just stay empty hand while GUYS pose-off with ARMS LOOTED FROM Government ARMY.

    All Apple are ROTTEN

  30. Kirat,

    Youths beating up anybody is bad enough. What’s your view point? Ok for dozens of young guns to beat up a person no matter who he may be? What’s next? Beating up Ministers and maybe the Prime Minister as well if these goons feel pissed off?

  31. It seems the maoists and the palace were hand in hand. I would’nt trust these chaps. Politics makes strange bed fellows.
    Comrade Shrestha has admitted it that maoists were trying to get together with the royals and sideline the parties. Prachanda always wanted to talk with Gyanendra, but after Feb. 1 he just could’nt – if he did he would have been thrown out by the party. Comrade Shrestha’s words not mine.
    Makes sense then when GP had the maoist leaders surrounded, King Birendra refused to give the go ahead to use the armed forces to get them. “Nepalis killing Nepalis” and all that, or was the much loved King B up to something else with his fellow Nepalis – the maoists? Anyway, too late for all this. However, the truth has and will keep on unfolding, peel by peel, we will get to know all the players in the love triangle, mark my words.

  32. pl, I understand that Mssrs Keshar and co. starting beating up the other fellow first. Don’t get me wrong-i do not condone the beating. I am just saying that the situation was not so straightforward.

  33. Kirat, what I am saying is do not act doctor when you are a mid-wife. As for army being useless, just thank your lucky star that you not under maoist rule where your expressions and comments on reform will be called treacherous.

    And what justifies a mob beating a person, guilty or not guilty and how can you make reform statement such as “should not be looked at from the view point of youths beating up an old man. That would be very misleading.” You call yourself reformist with high caliber of intelligence- am I missing something, here? What about rule of law, due process and innocent until proven guilty. Lets not define law according to flavor of day and mood of a mob. Quite an affront to us who hold democracy to be dear.

  34. Diehard you idiot, I called for the reform of the Army and you wnat me to thank my lucky stars for not being under the Maoists? If things on as they are, you seem to be for the status quo, we will be under the Maoists.

  35. Why is Prachanda starting to talk as if he is the savior of this Country.Who the fck does he think he is? He has been going around killing people and raping girls for the last 15 years and now he is acting as if he is the only person who cares for this country.FCK OFF M’FCKER!!

  36. Kirat,
    Civility is missing. Get yourself hosed with civility and decorum before you go on with your “idiot and Idiot.” You have not understood a word of what I have written above but you scream. C’mon. Cool it. What I said is because of the Army, we are not under the rule of Maoist, do you get it, now? Reformimg man. As for being under maoist rule, talk to you when we get there.

  37. That’s what you heard Kirat. I hear that it was all pre planned and the bike hit the car purposely to instigate Bharat Kesar who must have sworn at the fellow at most, then all the anarchy followed. If the guy was beaten first, where is he? Why don’t we see him on TV with a bruise or something, why can’t he speak on TV? Besides, all this is besides the point and hear say, the facts we all got to see for ourselves from independent TV channels was an old man being beat up by young hoodlums. This is what we saw for ourselves. We did not see arguments, harmless pushing and shoving or even fisti cuffs, what we saw was a viscious crowd trying to beat the life out of this man, period. You seem to have enjoyed it. Many of us did not.

  38. I am with you PL. Nothing justifies mob’s action. If this goes then every action can be called justifiable- even a counter insurgency or action or group countering mob and then where are we headed?

    Its against the basic norm of decency, humanity and democratic principle.

  39. I agree with Kirat. Because Army is not competent and it is solely run by the King it has become more stubburn also. They are no less than Maoists in atrocities to the people. Can you imagine they shut 49 people in row in the Shivapuri Jungle ? I also say army need reform rather “drastic reform” because they even do not know how to deal and behave with civilians. Even that Motor bike driver had said that drive carefully, why these people had to come out of the car and start beating the innocent people. I do not think whole affair was set up to beat up Bharat Keshar. It was impossible.

    RNA was very proud because they have training and the gun. They remained all these years, Army of the King and for the King.That is why people do not have any respect of the Army.So they need to change and must be under a very good Defense Minister. Why those Congressis and EMALES, they don’t have any former armyman who can be a Defense Minister and reform the Army ?

  40. Maoists who set up their revolution with the help of sticks are now near to the power sharing with the government. So we should not forget that the (R)NA is making plot against the peace talks with the help of USA but SPA has feudalistic mentality-They don’t entertain revolution. But people like republic Nepal soon.

  41. Demilitarize Nepal now!

    The selfishness of the current boss of the ‘New’ Nepal is ashaming. But in fact he is true in his analysis, that Nepal cannot use a big army for anything but civil war.

    But the selfdeclared leader’s failure to bring his people in the villages back to reason and his cowardice to own responsibility for the atrocities committed by the PLA are disqualifying him to be the right leader for a peaceful future.

    For a true change of the situation Nepal should be completely demilitarizede now. A modern, powerful policeforce should be built and well empowered, but there is absolutely no use for an army any longer in Nepal, if all of you really want lasting peace.

    AHIMSA knows: Weapons are for war not for peace!

  42. The Army needs reforms. I’d be the last one to deny that. But does it need them now? At this point I would think the NA is the only thing that stands between the country and a Maoist takeover. Correct me if I’m wrong here.

    As for the Bharat Keshar episode, I agree it was wrong to beat up the fellow, but it only demonstrates how unpopular the royalists are at the moment. If the thing had been set up just to beat him and his sons, then that’s of course worse, but even then, it has to be taken into account that Keshar was the royal regime’s most rabid supporter. He was also the guy who tried to get those Hindu fundamentalists from India involved in Nepalese politics. This was no mere 70 year old walking the streets but a very dangerous guy who should be in a jail cell right now.

    And Prachanda’s statement was stupid. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  43. I get baffled why people think reforming the army will make it weak. It is already very weak, like a sick man, reforming it will revitalize it, like giving the proper medicene to the sick man. As things stand if the Maoists get a little support from a foreign country the Nepal Army would be easily overrun. I guess you guys think that will be the time to reform the army, huh?

  44. Okay, Kirat’s right to a certain extent. You really can’t expect much from an army in which someone like Bharat Keshar was a former “General”.

    But its still keeping us away from the Maoists, and I don’t think any country really wants a Maoist takeover of Nepal right now. Not the Indians, who’ve got Naxals to worry about, not the Chinese, who aren’t even communists anymore, certainly not the Yanks.

  45. pl, your theory seems much more far fetched then what I heard in the newspapers. Like I said I don’t condone the incident where Bharat Keshar got beaten up. But if that guy had any common sense he would have apologized to the motorcyclist and made a quick escape. I seemed to have enjoyed it? I see you can read my mind via the blogosphere!

  46. I am not against the Nepal Army-I just want to see it stronger and more professional, that’s all. To achieve this it needs reform-and reform does not have to paralyse or cripple it or make it weaker. It’s a question of putting proper practices, systems, procedures, training etc in place. What these exactly are, are for the experts to decide.

    Regarding my comment on a foreign power I was not saying that any foreign power was going to help the Maoists soon-but I was merely illustrating how fine the balance is between the Maoists and Nepal Army. That’s wrong, the Nepal Army with all the state funding it gets should be much more stronger. They get billions of rupees every year from the state coffers.

  47. Diehard-I am sorry for my incivility towards you, but really when people show as much stupidity as you I can’t help it. Try to be a bit more intelligent. I have never stated that I am an expert on anything or that I am more intelligent than most other bloggers. But compared to you I would say I am a genius.

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