The game of Nepali politics: Listen to Prachanda and you can see the Indian influence in Nepali Maoists
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log
It’s the season of Football and the World Cup is getting all the attention from fans around the world. I am also following the game putting aside my sweet sleep: Favorites Brazil shockingly lost to Zinedine Zidane’s France folks last night disheartening me but making my brother very happy. The clash between England and Portugal was even more interesting (my favorites Portuguese won!). But the game of Nepali politics is no less interesting at all. Nepal can’t play the game but it has amazingly turned into the playground where the England, India and the United States are playing the Peaceball.
Last week English representative in the Nepali playground [Ambassador] Keith Bloomfield kicked off the game saying that it would be unfortunate if Maoists along with their arms joined the government. American [Ambassador] James F. Moriarty turned out to be a striker. He took up the issue both to the Prime Minister of Nepal and the Nepali public. Wiseman Moriarty yesterday suggested that the Maoists should change their attitude and abandon violence before joining the interim government with the political parties. In the typical American style, he issued a threat of stopping aid money to Nepal if armed Maoists join the government. Yes Moriarty cited his country’s law for that threat.
Now about the Indian team in the Peaceball Nepali Cup. They are not alone but are in Nepal in a size that can easily counter a real Football (soccer) team. India have never been qualified for the World Cup Finals and are at the end of the FIFA ranking but when it comes to the Nepali playground, they are on the frontline and at the top in the list. Look at the players: [Ambassador] Shiv Shankar Mukharjee, Communist leader Sitaram Yachuri and former ambassador K V Rajan. They quietly play the game of turning and twisting the Nepali peace process and love making speeches at the Reporters’ Club in Putalisadak.
A few days ago I saw a Nepali footballer in Kantipur TV. He was talking about how Nepali players can learn the game of Football watching world class players in action on TV. This evening I spent nearly 30 minutes walking around the town where I live (Pepsicola) and reflected what our political players might be learning from the International players. Compared to the footballers, they are in easier position: Matches are being played in home ground.
Look at Prachanda, the Maoist Chairman. Man, the Indian influence is so much in him that every time he tries to make a point, he refers to India and their interests. Amazing! Maoists agreed in the Baluwataar High Level Talks on inviting UN to manage arms. Now Prachanda is talking that the arms can be managed even without UN help. India never supported the UN arrival in Nepal. Never. Why? Because the arrival and involvement of UN in Nepal means no space for India to play the game. That is why they were against the UN observation of the ongoing Government-Maoist peace talks. For some reasons they couldn’t openly oppose the possible UN role in arms management but they are trying their best to keep the UN away from Nepal internal meddling.
It seems that Maoists and India have reached an agreement: Folks you don’t talk about the UN involvement and we will support you to join the government. Forget about what Moriarty says about you guys we will defend you but don’t let the UN come to Nepal. Start talking about how capable the Nepalis are and talk that Nepalis are capable of managing their arms internally. That is why Prachanda threw the card: let’s put the both armies under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
Here is the replay of the Nepal Cup: Who kicked the Peaceball and how:
US envoy meets PM; urges Maoists to abandon violence
KATHMANDU, July 1 – US Ambassador to Nepal, James F Moriarty said Saturday that the Maoists should change their attitude and abandon violence before joining the interim government with the political parties. “If the Maoists take part in the government without management of their arms, then the US aid will have to be discontinued,” Moriarty said after meeting with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at the latter’s residence in the capital today morning.
“We can’t supply assistance to those who support a terrorist group. We have to consider them (Maoists) a terrorist group until they give up violence.” Moriarty also reiterated that the management of the Maoist arms is crucial before joining the interim government. The US envoy, who is leaving for his country later today, added that the US laws did not allow US assistance to anyone involved in “violence and terrorism.”
He said that he would not hold any talks with the Maoists despite their recent round of talks with various foreign diplomats and envoys. “It is important that the Maoists renounce violence than just go on meeting with various diplomats and envoys.”
On Wednesday, Moriarty told a rotary function in the capital that he was concerned by the continued gap between Maoist commitments and actions. He said, “Kidnapping, extortion, intimidation and murder are not tools for mainstream democratic political parties—which the Maoists claim they are becoming.”
Moriarty, however, said that the new Nepal government had shown its good faith by trying to be responsible to the will of the people, and accordingly has invested heavily in efforts to bring peace to Nepal by entering into agreements and negotiations with the Maoists.
The US envoy is on a three-week-long trip to his homeland to discuss the current political development of Nepal with the US officials. In a historic eight-point deal, to put the country decisively on the road to a constituent assembly, the seven-party alliance government and the Maoists on June 16 had reached an agreement to draft an interim constitution; form interim govt containing the Maoists; dissolve the House, Maoist “local governments” and invite UN to manage, monitor arms of both the government and the rebels.’ (Source)
Now the Indian players:
Sitaram Yechury and Indian envoy Mukharjee meet Prime Minister Koirala
KATHMANDU, July 2 – Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukharjee met with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Sunday at the PM’s residence in Baluatar. The Indian envoy discussed over the remarks made by the US Ambassador to Nepal James F. Moriarty on the Maoists, sources said.
Influential politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Sitaram Yechury was also present during the meeting. The Indian envoy’s meeting has taken place only a day after the US ambassador met with the PM to discuss the recent political development in the country. Earlier, Moriarty had expressed suspicion that the Maoist activities were centred at the “October revolution” so they could not be trusted.
“If the Maoists take part in the government without management of their arms, then the US aid will have to be discontinued,” Moriarty had said after meeting the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Saturday. The US envoy, before leaving for his country later yesterday, added that the US laws did not allow US assistance to anyone involved in “violence and terrorism.”
India has been expressing its concern on Nepal over the “basic international norms” accepted by all countries and that it is up to the people of an independent country to decide on major issues. (Source)
Here is the Indian counter attack to the American strike:
Moriarty violated norms: Yechury
KATHMANDU, July 2 – Influential politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Sitaram Yechury, said here Friday that US Ambassador James Moriarty’s recent anti-Maoist remarks “grossly violated” international norms.
Speaking at Reporters’ Club Nepal, Yechury said the “basic international norms” accepted by all countries is that it is up to the people of an independent country to decide on major issues. “In independent countries, nobody can impose conditions from outside,” he said.
“This is gross violation of international norms,” he added, referring to Moriarty’s remarks. Doubting Maoist commitment to mainstream politics, Moriarty on Wednesday had said the US wouldn’t support any government participated by the Maoists unless they renounced violence.
“They (Maoist) have to change their actions before we can provide assistance to the Maoist in anyway or to the government which they are a part of,” he had said, warning that Nepal would lose US support if the Maoists are included in a government in the present situation.
Yechury, who played a key role from India in the run-up to and during the April Revolution, is currently in Nepal. On Friday, he met, among others, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala; Maoist leaders Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Likewise, on Saturday, he met CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, and former foreign minister Chakra Bastola.
After meeting the Maoist leaders, Yechury got the impression that the rebels wouldn’t go back to jungle. “They won’t go back to the old path,” he said. “They are committed to implementing it (the 8-point agreement between the government and the Maoist on June 16)… they believe in multiparty democracy and competitive politics.”
His meeting with the Maoist leaders had focused on four major issues – arms management, grassroots-level implementation of the 25-point code of conduct, modalities of the would-be interim constitution and formation of a Maoist-included interim government. Before returning to Delhi, Yechury is again meeting PM Koirala, besides Home Minister Krishna Sitaula, Sunday morning. He also expressed hope that the 8-point pact would be implemented “as soon as possible”.
On possible release of Nepali Maoist jailed in India, he said all the Maoist – arrested by India on the request of Nepal Government – would be released once Nepal officially requests India to do so. However, he said those jailed for violating laws of the land on Indian soil won’t be released. Maoist have claimed that there are at least 137 of their comrades, including three central leaders – C.P. Gajurel aka “Gaurav”, Mohan Baidhya a.k.a. “Kiran” and Kul Prasad K.C. – in various Indian jails. (Source)
Before coming to Nepal, Indian communist leader Yechuri got the blessing from this captain in New Delhi:
Yechury meets Indian PM Singh ahead of his Nepal tour
Sitaram Yechury, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), who played a key role in winning the support of the Indian ruling alliance for the successful people’s movement in Nepal, met with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh ahead of his tour to Kathmandu on Thursday.
Yechury discussed the latest political developments in Nepal with Dr Singh, Indian official news agency PTI said. During his two-day tour to Kathmandu likely from Friday, the CPI (M) politburo member will meet with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN (Maoist) chairman Prachanda and other leaders of the seven-party alliance (SPA).
He also held a meeting with Indian defence minister Pranab Mukherjee today, PTI said, adding that Yechury is likely to “press both sides to take the international community into confidence so that global legitimacy is granted to the future shape of democracy in Nepal”.
Yechury has been the most vocal of Indian leaders in favour of Nepal’s democratic movement and the ongoing peace process. He had visited Kathmandu before and after the successful April Movement.
India has welcomed the recent political developments in Nepal and has increased its economic assistance. The CPI (M) leader’s visit comes at a time when the Indian political establishment watches the imminent power sharing between the SPA and the Maoists with cautious nervousness. Yechury is considered to be in good terms with both the Maoists and the SPA leaders. (Source)