Maoists Leadership Wants To Halt Forced Donations. Will Cadres Follow?

Maoist Donation...Batsyayana Cartoon

Box: DONATION
Guerilla: Don’t worry, he is giving it voluntarily.

Cartoon by Batsyayana. To buy his book – collection of cartoons- please click on the Paypal logo on left bar. Read about the book here.

Finally, under pressure from the parliamentary forces, Maoist supremo Prachanda and his party’s central committee have decided to halt running their Peoples’ Government in villages and taking forced donations. But the Chairman has made it clear that the party will keep accepting voluntary donations to feed the People’s Liberation Army. Well, party and comrades never said before that they were taking forceful donations. They always talked about voluntary donations. So we wonder what kind of donations the party will stop ‘accepting’.

“The party central committee calls for all the cadres to obliterate the use of force in taking donations, to shutdown all Maoist customs offices and scrap the “people’s court” for now to facilitate the ongoing peace process,” eKantipur quotes the Maoist supreme as saying in a statement issued today. Chairman Prachanda, acknowledging that the country was in a crucial political change, added that it was every democratic individual’s responsibility to ensure peaceful constituent assembly elections, and reiterated his party’s commitment for peace through the 12-point understanding and 8-point deals.

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43 thoughts on “Maoists Leadership Wants To Halt Forced Donations. Will Cadres Follow?”

  1. UWB:
    Here is an idea: Why don’t you do a piece about what the average Nepali businessman (particularly small business) are feeling right now. If their situation has improved etc. Maybe do some on site interviews etc.

    I think the Maoists have become way too cocky. The political leaders have to put their foot down and demand they stop their extortions etc.

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  2. And what will be the consequence of ignoring the “down-put foot” of the powerless political “leaders”. What do the Maoists have to fear from them? They have no guns. The Maoists have a united army.

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  3. No so fast Bedeshi. By the way I am convinced that you are not a Bedeshi.
    Anyway the point is that the Moaist particularly the top leadership does not want to go back to the jungles. They have got a taste for being a legitimate political figure. The

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  4. Shree jee,i will call your prediction a wishful thinking.Do you believe Girija will pass away so easily.He just has COPD (smoker’s lung),its a condition being carried by most of our nepali oldies as most of our nepalese smoke.Secondly arent there any other leaders to take his place,you can say if he dies then there may be infighting between the parties.Prachanda hasnt cleaned up his image that much so that he can lead a democratic country.To be true the scars on his face can never be cleaned up.Remember how his ppl burnt a girl inside a bus,how they bombed 38 people to death in a passenger bus in badermuda.Do you think we are ready to let him lead our nation.

    By the way till one week back prachanda was saying they dont force people to give donations.How can you stop something that is not happening? Oh! you mean u lied the last time.Oh!! u mean it was just the continuation of ur lies,nothing new…alright….Ok….u mean u have a right to lie!! So true….so true sir,just put down ur guns and see how nepalese people are going to kick ur/and ur gorilla’s butt!!

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  5. As of now our so called leaders are just happy to be in the same room with Prachanda. Prachanda has clear agenda. Whereas other leaders have no plan what so ever. They may make noise against on going Maoist activities in different forums where Maoists are not present. Look at all the points of understanding between Maoists and SPAs: these are the same demand Maoists put forward during Deuba Government. Simply put SPAs are giving in to the Maoists’ demand. On recent interview with Indian TV Prachanda has already demanded 50 per cent of cabinet position in the interim government. For him there are only two parties in Nepal: SPA and Maoist.
    Be ready for Prachanda government.

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  6. it is sensible that prachanda has budge to the circumstances. he must have done this long time back. how can parallel government run with all people’s court and government courts?

    after jan andolan part 2, if maoist run parallel government then every single party should also run parallel government.

    voluntary donations ????
    well,it doesnot sound good as it seems.
    hope prachanda ( if he has self respect ) can get his cadres undergo vocational training to earn their livelihood instead of begging ? forced donations to survive.

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  7. There is compulsion on the part of Maoist to seek donation, I do not think which way is any concern to them. SPA can cry foul and echo the halls of Assembly but that is that. So I do not think this extortion is going to stop and also the lower ranks in maoist outfit have already rebuffed high command directives- just ask a guy coming from West Nepal.

    If Girija is incapacitated then- I believe we will see things that we have never even envisaged.

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  8. Well Maoists claim that donations are voluntary. Just imagine how it can be voluntary if they force general public to give. In remote villages Maoist cadres are forcing villagers to cook food for them. If they refuse cadres beat villagers to death. I wonder when this type of atrocity to villagers will be over. Villagers in remote villages are really suffering and villagers are becoming more poor then they were 10 years ago. Villagers have to feed Maoist cadres by hook or by crook. Villagers’ children are starving but they are forced to feed Maoist cadres. I do not think it is fare to poor villagers. I don’t suppose anything is going to be done by SPA in this regard.

    On the issue of who will be Priminister when Girija dies, does it matter for Nepal who becomes priminister? Whoever becomes all politicians are in the same boat. Nothing will be changed even Prachanda will not do anything. Politicians’ common goal is to drain National resources and make their bank account fat.

    Look what is happening in our mother land. In 1990 when democracy was restored Mr. Chandra Shekhar of India was advocating to our great politicians. This time round after ANDOLAN II Mr. Yachuri of India is advocating to our great politicians. This clearly shows our great politicians are not capable of settling anything within our mother land. Some one from outside has to lead our politicians. This may sound negative but it is the truth. When leaders of the country are not confident how to go about internal matters then what nepal can hope for now. Our great politicians are decieving our ownest general public again and again!!!

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  9. I think donation is very essential for them in this period. The maoist seems very clever in this game and already succefully won the game. They got the success with the peaceful movement by making hosrse to SPA. But, anyway people are concerned rather peace than political changes. If even the maoist rule the country sololy, I don’t think people will like to interfer them. SPA has two burdens now, neither they can go against the maoist nor against the peace which are co-related to each other. The solution for them is to surrender maoist with taking some role in politics for the sake of their dignity and the peace. They are already trapped in their own strategies if they will not get full support from India. Otherwise, October revolution can be 100% successful for the maoist if they are able to handle the international community specially India. Eventhough, their demand of (50% to maoist) in interim government and otherwise (1/3rd equally to maoist,SPA and civil society-maoist well wishers) seems very dexterous idea.

    It is pity to hear that Krishna Situals is being blamed for transportation minister of Prachanda by their own collegue in the so-called one of the powerful parliament of the earth. It potrays clearly that how strong is our parliament in front of the maoist??

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  10. What do you people think of 1750 rupees i am paying every month for the six and half years as the income tax to this rotten institution called “government”??

    Well i very well believe it is too a forced donation. Those who oppose the maoists’ collecting donation should think of this aswell. What have i got in return ??

    As a middle class working person i have never been asked by the maoists for donation till date. The only money i paid to their party indirectly was while buying the ticket for a cultural programme they organised a few weeks back in Kathmandu.

    I really find it hard to believe the gravity of allegations as projected in the media.

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  11. Mr 95.1MHz
    Go outside the valley and you will feel the real taste of Tax. In Kathmandu you are paying tax and in return you have a job. If you don’t pay tax you will face mere legal action. Outside the valley if you don’t pay donation you will get life penalty. Try to understand.

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  12. ” By the way I am convinced that you are not a Bedeshi.”

    Thank you, you have given me a great compliment!

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  13. Bedeshi:
    It wasn’t excatly meant to be a compliment. Out of curiosity are you living in Nepal or do you live somewhere else and lived in Nepal at some point? Because you are so suspicious to the Maoist and you keep advocating military solutions. I just find it suprising that a westerner with all his neo-liberal education and upbringing would say stuff like this.

    Anyway the government has finally asked the UN to mediate in the decomissioning of arms. The major we have is that there is no record of the Maoists arms. Who knows what and how much they have? So when they lay down their arms we actually have no way of verifying that it is accurate.
    Right now I really don’t think Baburam and Prachanda want to go back to the jungle. They also want this peace process to continue and be successful. Our spineless political leaders must have some confidence in themslves and use this to leverage some concessions!

    And finally Shanti: I assume you are the same Shanti who is a stunch royalist. Well what can we say. Even the King’s birthday celebrations has been scrapped. And he bought all this on himslef. What an idiot.

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  14. Hey Bhudai, isn’t great that the UN has been formally invited now? Both the reactionary forces and the Maoist forces will now have a focus light shone on them. Hopefully it will stop them from doing what they shouldn’t.

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  15. Yes I am very glad that the UN has been invited. I was very doubtful because I thought India would somehow interfer with UN mediation. As you know they have long opposed any UN involvement in Nepal.
    I guess we can only wait and see what happens. I really get confused sometimes because if the Moaists aren’t serious about a peaceful solution why are they so keeen on getting the UN involved? If this whole monitoring thing was just a ploy they could very well demand just some useless domestic monitoring program.

    Anyway you are in Nepal so you probably have a better prespective.

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  16. 95.1 Mhz is correct about paying taxes to some “government” that is really just a collection of crooks.

    In the USA where I live, the government taxes working people but lets the big corporations off with hardly a dime. Many of the very richest people pay almost no taxes. It’s criminal.

    I wish we had another government collecting revenue that actually served the people. Instead, we American citizens are forced to pay for the Bush administration’s criminal wars for oil and power.

    The issue with the complaints is that the Nepalese middle classes are being whipped up to pretend that most the country isn’t already governed by the Communit Party of Nepal-Maoist, and not their corrupt goons.

    A people’s democracy is coming, there will be one government… and guess who will be the head of state… Three guesses and the first two don’t count!

    The same people who weep for the end of feudalism and the corrupt state will cry about persecution when they have to wash their own laundry.

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  17. To Bhudai Pundit: To be a foreigner does not necessarily mean a Westerner. To be a Westerner does not necessarily mean a liberal education. To have invited the UN does not necessarily mean that they will respond. I think they will not. The Maoists do not have to return to the jungle because they won the military struggle when the Nepal people turned on their own army.

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  18. Nepalese people are not against Nepal Army. SPAs are talking trash to Nepal Army to please Maoists. SPAs going to regret this in big way.

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  19. “FROM THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE”

    I think that’s what summs up how the SPA must be feeling.Though king was crooked but he did not lie,you could put international pressure on him and he had to abide by the supreme court,now Prachanda thinks he is supreme,much more supreme than the court or anyone and if anyone in the international community speaks against him,he brands them as anti peace talks and anti…everything….how is that for an answer,HOW DO U TAME THIS GUY??

    Maoists now somehow feel they have won the war,they have defeated the nepal army.I can tell this to you with certainty that even if Nepali army was 10,000 and the maoist so called gorilla were 10,00000 they could never have won over them.That is why they used the parties.Now look at how Prachanda is bullshiting about the army.And how some foolish NETAS are supporting him.
    Do you think this is going to last.Arulai tokne kukkur le aafulai tokdaina? Tyo prachanda le ke hamro netaharulai chai chodcha? He had a dream to control Nepal and he is very close to it.He will lie,he will deceive,he will cry,he will smile,he will do anything now.The stake is too high for him.But the most important thing is the stake is higher for us.If our country is to remain.If we are to remain as Nepalese,with our unique culture and history,GET RID OF THIS MAN !! how?? Its easy just ask him to control his cadres before he can come to join the gov. LOOTERA KHANA PALKEKA APARADHI HARULAI KASLE TAHA LAGAUNE….TINIHARULE NAI PRACHANDA KO TAHA LAGAIDINCHA….khel khattam paisa hajam!!

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  20. WEAPONS MANAGEMENT:
    Prof. Dr. Indra Jit Rai, is presently nationwide known as Security/Conflict Expert. He is the only scholar in Nepal possessing doctorate in Strategic Studies.

    “War is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.”
    Clausewitz
    “War is a great affair of state, the realm of life and death, the road of safety or ruin, a thing to be studied with extreme diligence.”
    -Sun-Tzu

    Warfare is the use of force on the part of two or more nations or other organized groups for the purpose of deciding questions at issue that cannot be settled by diplomatic means. The overall plan devised to defeat an enemy is called strategy. The actual techniques carried out against the enemy are tactics, which consist of the procedures for winning on the battlefield, in naval battle, and in aerial combat. Once the overall strategic plan has been approved, planning cycles at lower echelons are implemented. The execution of plans, making possible the attainment of military objectives, involves functions carried out by a field commander whose tactical judgment and leadership are critical.
    Warfare is employed to bring about or to resist political, social, or economic changes. Warfare takes a variety of forms besides organized military confrontations—among them insurrections, revolutions, coups d’état, guerrilla warfare, and terrorism. A state of war can also exist without actual recourse to arms, such as the cold war.
    To win a war is needed weapons, any side that has an arsenal of modern weapons is considered a stronger side and inevitably the most dangerous. It is the possession of ultra-modern weapons that makes Nepal Communist Party (Maoists) so dangerous. The Maoists who triggered the People’s war approximately a decade ago at present are armed with Muzzle Loading Rifle, 303′ Rifle, 7.62 SLR, 7.62 LMG, 2″ Mortar, M-16 Rifle, Chinese Pistol, Ak-47 Rifle, GPMG, Socket bombs, Electronic Improvised Explosive Device, Cooker bomb, Bucket Bomb and Pazer bomb etc, majority of which were seized by the Maoists cadres during confrontation with the Nepal army at various places of Nepal. Disarming the well-equipped so-called People’s Army is what has made the members of the Government and the Maoists side so bellicose currently.

    Weapon Management is a burning issue at the moment. Many people are optimistic about reaching to a solution to end a decade long insurgency. But before reaching to a common solution it is important for the rebels to lay down the arms which they have voluntarily or involuntarily done. But that’s not the end, something much more important than laying down the arms is managing those arms and that’s where a big question stands, how do we manage the arms of the Maoist rebels? Some even claim that army too needs to cede their arms but since Nepal army is a legitimate body unlike the Maoists, it makes no logic to ask the Nepal Army to relinquish their munitions. Maoists had been claming that they had captured 80 per cent of the country’s territory. Their claims are based solely on the basis of the strength of weapons so it’s very crucial to ascertain what their true power is.
    Dr. Rai stressed that the government lacked proper homework before forming the interim constitution drafting committee as the core issue of weapon management turned out to be very controversial which in normal circumstances shouldn’t have been so contentious. He also said that adopting any helter-skelter way to resolve the arm issue may turn out to be very calamitous so it needs to be done in a very devised way under the supervision of the United Nations. An extensive role by the United Nations is now on the cards he said. Recently Seven-party alliance (SPA) government and Maoists signed a formal pact, agreeing to ask the UN to monitor the arms and armies of both sides.
    Now the UN is responsible for monitoring human rights violations and will probably provide technical advice on how to draft a ceasefire which would be key to sustainable peace. UN would be managing and riding herd on the arms and army of the Nepal Army and Armed Police and Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army. The broad principle is to have rebel forces corralled under a proper chain of command within a well- delimitated territory.
    According to Dr. Rai in order to monitor arms and army it is important to know exactly who they are, where they are and the two sides have to agree on providing authentic information on the fighters they’ve got, who they are, what their chain of command is. In case of ambiguous information on those issues, Dr. Rai warned that the situation could be very chaotic thus leading to more vehemence on both the sides. Laying down arms under the UN-supervised armory would be a major step of trust for the rebels as they wouldn’t be able take them up again even if the peace talks failed. The overall process should be configured in such a way that one party couldn’t take the arms back if they happen to walk out said Dr. Rai. However he remained optimistic about the peace talks meeting its objectives.
    Nepal has lots of otiose arms and many of the weapons are in the possession of the Maoists which were seized from the legitimate forces. Dr. Rai also emphasized a key role for the Nepali Army in managing this issue. According to Dr. Rai as most of the political parties do not have any direct experience of armistices, monitoring them or managing weapons, the role of Nepal army along with UN on this subject could prove to be very critical as they could rely on the knowledge and experience of the Nepal Army, whose officials have experience of monitoring ceasefires while serving with UN peacekeeping operations. There is a lot of practical experience and we hope this will be taken into account by the Nepal government said Dr. Rai.
    He also urged the participants not to view the involvement of UN skeptically. UN participation is indispensable and not at all threatening said Dr. Rai. Failure to come up with a comprehensive policy in terms of weapon management would once again trigger conflict. The reluctance shown by the Maoists about declaring the inventory of their arms just in case their demands were not met is quite disturbing. All the sides must show some flexibility so as to ensure indestructible peace in the country said Dr. Rai.

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  21. Peace-Building and Reconstruction of Nepal:
    Role of the United Nations and International Community

    Statement by Kul C. Gautam
    (Mr. Gautam is Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author in his personal capacity, and not necessarily those of the United Nations or UNICEF.)

    Political Forum: Transforming Nepal
    ANA Convention, 2 July 2006
    ———————————————–I just returned from a short visit to Nepal last week, where I could feel a sense of euphoria and excitement emanating from the jana andolan of April 2006.

    While the peace process is still fragile, already some extraordinary changes have taken place in Nepal’s body politic that are irreversible.

    It was so heartening and inspiring to see how the people of Nepal surprised the whole world by taking their destiny in their own hands.

    Let nobody ever again say that the people of Nepal are too poor, too ignorant, and too docile to take charge of their own destiny.

    The awesome burst of people power in the peaceful jana-andolan of 2006 is a warning to all – that the people of Nepal cannot be fooled by empty promises, and will not tolerate corrupt and oppressive behaviour from any quarters – whether it is the monarch, the Maoists or other political parties.

    The events of the last two months – the historic proclamations of the parliament, the daring decisions of the SPA government, the courageous commitment of CPN-Maoists to join the political mainstream, and the vigilance of civil society to safeguard the gains of the popular movement – continue to amaze and inspire us all.

    While we celebrate these exhilarating political developments, we should all be mindful that none of these have yet changed the material reality and deprivation of the Nepali people.

    All our political parties, including the Maoists, and civil society are full of ideas on politics but they rarely present well-thought out and coherent proposals on economic and development issues.

    Thus, neither the 12 point understanding, nor the 25 point code of conduct, nor the 8 point agreement, offer any specifics on improving the people’s livelihoods.

    The focus on security, political and constitutional issues so far is completely understandable, but it will soon need to be matched by an even greater focus on issues of reconstruction and development.

    Pretty soon the exhilaration of political revolution will wear off and people will be looking for the fruits of peace and democracy in terms of improved livelihoods and basic services.

    And if those fruits of peace and democracy do not materialize soon enough, people will be disenchanted and disillusioned.

    In the coming years, managing the revolution of people’s rising expectations might become an even bigger challenge for Nepal than perhaps managing the arms or the constitutional and political processes.

    In fact, these are all inter-related.

    Worldwide experience of countries in post-conflict transition suggests that consolidation of peace, political empowerment and reconstruction and development need to be planned and executed simultaneously or in close sequence.

    As in other post-conflict societies, two types of insecurity are likely to be the greatest challenge for peace and development in Nepal.

    First, the insecurity caused by remnants of armed groups, proliferation of small arms, and poorly managed disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process.

    Many countries revert back to conflict and a wave of criminality just a few years after successful peace settlement, when the DDR process is poorly handled.

    And 2nd, insecurity caused by human deprivation and lack of basic services, which needs to be tackled through carefully planned relief, reconstruction and development programmes to meet people’s basic needs.

    The international community can play a helpful role in both of these areas by bringing to bear lessons from experience of other countries, by providing technical support, mobilizing financial resources and in the case of the United Nations, assisting Nepal to better manage and coordinate international support.

    However, a word of caution and humility is warranted here.

    Unlike most conflicts in other parts of the world, Nepal’s conflict is completely home-grown, and its resolution is also likely to be home-grown.

    Efforts by the international community to help resolve the conflict in recent years were largely ineffective and unsuccessful.

    Indeed at the height of the people’s movement the international community, including the Kathmandu-based diplomatic missions, seriously misjudged the popular mood and people’s aspirations.

    Following the people’s movement, Nepalis have surprised the whole world by taking many dramatic and decisive steps to reconcile their differences to resolve the conflict, well beyond what conflict resolution experts could have imagined or recommended.

    Learning from this, it would be prudent for the international community to show much humility and offer to help a Nepali-designed reconstruction and development programme, and not to import or imitate programme packages that have been applied elsewhere.

    Unlike other countries where peace is brokered by outsiders – and DDR and RRR come as part of a donor-supported package deal – Nepal’s conflict was made in Nepal, and its post-conflict reconstruction and development programme too should best be developed by Nepalis.

    Fortunately, there are enough Nepalis with the necessary talent, skills and competence to formulate and execute such plans. If necessary, Nepalis can also reach out to and access the expertise of a growing number of highly skilled expatriate, non-resident Nepalis who would be only too willing to offer their helping hand at this hour of special need and opportunity in their homeland.

    Also unlike most other donor-driven and expert-led reconstruction and development plans, Nepal needs to reflect the democratic and participatory aspirations of its people by involving them in designing reconstruction and development plans.

    Democracy means consulting ordinary people, letting them voice their views and vision, empowering them to articulate their priorities and shape their future.

    Experts – national as well as international – can propose ideas, offer options, stimulate debate, but we should create democratic forums for people’s input, especially for local and community development activities.

    Because to the ordinary people, the issues of livelihoods and basic services are of paramount importance, political parties, including the CPN-Maoist, should assign their most talented leaders to the task of formulating ambitious post-conflict reconstruction and development plans.

    It is not too early to begin to develop such plans, with options, so that these can be presented to the people soon after the country comes to a consensus on the political and constitutional issues.

    If we wait till the political processes are over to begin developing reconstruction and development plans, much precious time will be lost, people’s patience will run thin, popular disenchantment will set in, thus creating an inauspicious start for our new loktantrik democracy.

    So preparatory home-work needs to be started forthwith, but it would be best not to rush to implement new and untested programmes that have not been a subject of some national and even local debate.

    On the other hand, we should already begin scaling up certain development and relief activities that are non-controversial, that are proven to work, and that can be conducive to meeting people’s most urgent needs and consolidating peace.

    These would include, for example, certain basic health services, education, and child-specific demobilization, disarmament and reintegration activities.

    Without being overly prescriptive, it is possible to already outline what might be some of the key components of a post-conflict reconstruction and development plan for Nepal.

    I see key components of such a plan:

    1. massive expansion of basic social services
    2. disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
    3. local development activities through bloc grants
    4. targeted programmes for disparity reduction
    5. upgrading of physical infrastructure, and
    6. creating a conducive environment for investment by the private sector, NRNs, and FDI.

    Let me discuss each of these briefly.

    On the expansion of basic services, in spite of the conflict, certain primary health programmes, including childhood immunization, nutrition and water and sanitation activities have continued to be implemented throughout the country, and enjoy the support of all parties, including the Maoists.

    These programmes should be expanded, paying particular attention to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not neglected, but given special priority.

    But education programmes have suffered immensely in the past decade.

    According to the latest analysis of the Millennium Development Goals by the UN Country team, Nepal is unlikely to reach the goal of universal access to primary education even by 2015. That is a real shame.

    Education is the most enabling and empowering of all goals, and we must do everything possible to ensure that we do not fail to achieve this goal.

    Unfortunately, education programmes and educational institutions have been unduly politicized in Nepal.

    Governments in the past allowed education programmes to be used to glorify the King and the royal regime. And the Maoist school curriculum in their base areas glorifies violence and emphasizes political indoctrination and military training from the youngest ages.

    Frequent disruption of schools by student unions of all parties, but especially the Maoists, has deprived children of their right to education.

    We need to create a national consensus on depoliticizing education, especially at the primary level.

    As UNICEF and many NGOs have argued, the sanctity of schools as zones of peace should be honoured. We should make schools child-friendly, non-discriminatory and violence free. And expand such schools in massive scale.

    Turning now to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, DDR programmes are part of all post-conflict peace-building and reconstruction plans.

    To move away from a culture of violence to a culture peace, Nepal will need a strong DDR programme.

    Some elements of DDR, such as security sector reform, decommissioning of adult troops, and power sharing agreements among the conflicting parties may have to wait till the conclusion of the peace process.

    But a full-scale child DDR must be pursued as a matter of urgency even in the middle of a war.

    Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and statute of international criminal court, use of children in armed conflict does not only mean child soldiers carrying guns, but abduction of children from schools, homes, markets and streets; using children as cooks, messengers, porters, informers and performers in cultural activities aimed at harnessing support for armed conflict.

    Under such definition, Nepal is rife with the abuse of children in armed conflict. Working closely with organizations with expertise in child DDR, programmes should be initiated to prevent such abuse and to rehabilitate child victims of conflict.
    So many children die or are injured because of landmines, socket bombs and other explosive devices. Mine awareness education and a vigorous programme to stop the proliferation of small arms and light weapons must be made part of the DDR programme. Failure to do so will lead to increased criminality and gang violence as we are already witnessing in Nepal.

    A key issue of DDR in Nepal would be what to do with the Maoist combatants and the need to reform and possibly downsize the Nepal Army for peacetime needs of the country.

    Given Nepal’s geopolitical situation, resolution of any conflict with our mighty neighbours is only conceivable through peaceful diplomacy.

    The main role of the military in today’s Nepal is therefore to help keep internal law and order, to deal with internal rebellions, to help with international peace keeping operations and to assist in natural disasters.

    In light of this, there maybe some room for reducing military expenditure and downsizing the Nepalese army, basically for two key functions – one to offer support for international peacekeeping and the other to deal with rescue efforts in natural disasters.

    Internal law and order should normally be handled by a well trained and equipped police force, like in Costa Rica, a peaceful country without a military.

    But we must recognize that military service, both in Nepal and in the Gurkha troops abroad, is an important source of employment and income for many impoverished families in Nepal. Great care should be taken to ensure that any downsizing of the army does not lead to increased unemployment, impoverishment and discontent which can be very destabilizing.

    A major part of post conflict DDR in Nepal should therefore be to create new employment opportunities through skill training, loans and financing for starting small enterprises and businesses by former soldiers, including the Maoist ex-combatants, as part of long term demilitarization of Nepali society.

    A well-organized placement in foreign employment which is very popular among unemployed Nepali youth, could be part of the DDR package.
    This might be a unique programme that some international donors might be willing to support.

    In the short term, when peace returns, consideration should be given to transforming parts of both the Nepal Army and Maoist PLA into civilian development corps to help with Nepal’s post conflict reconstruction and development.

    Managing the Maoist PLA poses a particular challenge. The Maoist proposal to merge the PLA and NA would seem to be problematic on two counts.

    First, it would seem objectionable to have an ideologically indoctrinated contingent loyal to one political party becoming part of a national army.

    Second, at a time when we are trying to downsize the army, expanding it by adding additional contingents seems illogical.

    Nevertheless, since we have the reality of the existence of the Maoist PLA and there is a need to accommodate them as part of the peace process, creative solutions should be found, especially if the Maoists renounce armed conflict as a legitimate method for bringing political change in a democracy.

    For example, a part of the solution that might be a win-win proposition relates to the large number of women in the Maoist-PLA and militia.

    Special provision could be made to enlist some of the women in the PLA into the Nepal Army, provide them high quality professional training, and give them special assignments, for example, as part of the Nepalese contingents in UN peace keeping operations where there is a big demand for women troops and officers.

    Such an arrangement could also help bring about greater gender diversity in the Nepalese Army which is heavily male dominated.

    As Nepal is going to need several thousand additional primary school teachers in the coming years, and women teachers are in short supply, some of the Maoist women in the PLA or the militia could be recruited as teachers, provided special training and sent off to areas where there is teacher shortage.

    The above would only be feasible as part of a peace settlement accompanied by a solemn commitment by all parties not to use violence as an instrument for political change.

    The third component of a post-conflict reconstruction plan I suggest is local development activities through bloc grants.

    Poverty eradication and empowerment of people and communities are the declared aims of the government as well as the key demands of the Maoists.
    A focus on these objectives can provide the essential common ground for peace and reconciliation.

    The locus of our poverty eradication activities should be at the community level in Nepal’s far-flung villages. But all too often most development programmes are concentrated in the capital city and a few other major towns, either by design or by default.

    Among the on-going development activities whose investment funds go directly to local communities are those from the Poverty Alleviation Fund and the provision of direct grants to village development committees (VDCs) that was started in the mid-1990s as the “Let Us Build Our Own Village” programme.

    Because of the on-going conflict and dissolution of VDCs and DDCs, the “Build Our Own Village” programme has been disrupted. But its principles remain sound.

    Thanks to these bloc grants, VDCs implemented a variety of local development activities ranging from construction of schools, health posts, local roads and trails, drinking water supply schemes, to occasionally payment of teachers’ salaries.

    The total budget allocation for this programme for all of Nepal’s 4000 VDCs was a very modest NRs. 2 billion. It is doubtful that any other development expenditure reached so many villages and benefited so many people in Nepal.

    Even if there was some leakage and inefficient use of some of these funds, a much higher percentage of these funds reached and benefited ordinary people than almost any other comparable investment.

    When elected local governments are reestablished, Nepal should consider progressively increasing the VDC grant to double, triple or even quadruple the amount originally allocated per VDC. Let this be seen as one of our key peace dividends for the people.

    In proposing the quadrupling of such allocation, I would suggest some significant modification in the purposes and manner of utilizing these funds, including the introduction of a system of incentives for villages to upgrade their infrastructure and basic social services with measurable indicators.

    For example, we could institute a system of classification of all VDCs of Nepal into 3 or 4 categories based on some measurable indicators such as the percentage of girls enrolled in primary school or female literacy, access to clean drinking water, contraceptive prevalence, infant mortality rate, etc.

    Some of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), duly adapted to Nepal’s realities, would be ideal candidates for village development indicators for such a programme.

    The programme could be developed in ways that would promote a healthy competition among neighbouring villages, ilakas and districts to upgrade themselves from one category to the next using the agreed indicators of MDGs.

    A system of rewards and recognition could be built into the monitoring and evaluation scheme to encourage VDCs to accelerate their graduation from one level to the higher category.

    Funding allocations under this scheme would be fairly standardized and comparable across all VDCs. However, additional programmes could be developed to give particular priority to those regions and communities that are disproportionately disadvantaged, such as the mid- and far western development regions which are characterized by high levels of poverty, low human development, and deep gender disparities.

    Using direct development grants to all VDCs to encourage them to promote goal-oriented, indicator-based development planning and implementation could be a very special way for Nepal to pursue the Millennium Development Goals.

    This would also be a meaningful way in which relevant UN agencies and other donors could support Nepal’s efforts to promote community-based, results-oriented development outcomes.

    If properly designed and executed, such programme could attract considerable international support, as the donor community is fully supportive of the MDGs.

    I would suggest that such a programme of poverty alleviation, reaching out directly to local communities and empowering them, be made the cutting edge of a major post-conflict national reconstruction programme that becomes part of a new era of peace, reconciliation and dynamic development in the country.

    The 4th component of a post-conflict reconstruction plan involves targeted programmes for disparity reduction.

    It is widely felt that most development programmes have failed to adequately reach and uplift the most deprived communities of Nepal – the dalits, janajatis, madhesis, etc. And girls and women have not benefited from development efforts in equal measure with boys and men.

    Affirmative action is needed to reach and uplift these population groups. A series of programmes need to be developed that are specifically targeted to reduce disparities and promote inclusion, but avoid segregation, ethnocentrism, and dependency.

    Turning now to upgrading of physical infrastructure, if Nepal is to become a prosperous nation and develop to its full potential, heavy investment will need to be made in its basic physical infrastructure development.

    Four areas of priority would be – development of hydropower and local electrification; a transport grid that penetrates into all parts of Nepal; information and communication network that connects all people and communities; and development of tourism as a major income earner.

    While the state has the responsibility to invest in major infrastructure projects, the private sector and foreign direct investment can contribute much if the state helps create a conducive environment.

    Among potential investors we need to look to the growing number of non-resident Nepalis abroad whose remittances have become a key pillar of our national economy and whose potential for increased investment is bound to grow.

    It would be in Nepal’s interest to provide most-favoured facilities to attract investment by expatriate Nepalis, as is the case in many other countries.

    Nepal can count on generous support from the international community for its post-conflict reconstruction and development.

    But donors as well as private investors will look to Nepal to create an environment of good governance and investor-friendly policies.

    In this context, actions, not just words, of the CPN-Maoist will be carefully watched and monitored. A state where para-military groups can demand “donations” and impose parallel taxes from individuals, businesses and companies, is not going to generate investor confidence.

    A state where locally improvised “people’s courts” mete out summary justice does not meet the standards of rule of law and respect for human rights.

    The old ideological rhetoric denouncing imperialists, expansionists, reactionaries, bourgeois capitalists, feudal class enemies and the like maybe good for arousing revolutionary passion among one’s supporters, but it does not create an atmosphere of trust, tolerance and respect that are essential elements of a pluralistic democracy and investor-friendly economy.

    To the credit of CPN-Maoist, they seem to have undergone a deep soul-searching, recognized the mistakes and follies of previous Marxist-Leninist-Maoist communist governments and movements, and come to the conclusion that they need to adapt to the norms of competitive, multi-party democracy in the 21st century.

    A logical next step of this realization would be for the CPN-Maoist to completely renounce bullets in favour of ballots as the only legitimate method for effecting political change. That would greatly speed up the peace process in Nepal which looks very promising but still fragile at present.

    Nepal’s other political parties too proclaim that they have learned from their mistakes of the past, and will adhere to norms of good governance in the future.

    As action speaks louder than words, Nepalis as well as friends of Nepal will be looking for signs of genuine transformation in the behaviour of our political parties, including the Maoists.

    In the land of Lord Buddha, the Prince of Peace, we have had enough fighting, hatred, violence and destruction. The time has come now for all Nepalis to unite behind the common cause of peace and prosperity for our people.

    We all say, we love our country. We are proud to invoke janani janmabhumischa swargadapi gariyesi.

    If that is really the case, let the true test of our patriotism be not to try to prove that my ideas or my ideology is superior to yours, but to try to find common ground among the rich diversity of our ideas that can unite us all in the pursuit of a Nepal that we all want to see as sundara, shanta, bishal.

    Thank you.

    Like

  22. scoop:
    thanks a bunch man for posting these 2 long useless posts (that anyone of us could have very simply at another site) that has made this page very difficult to navigate.

    Like

  23. I agree with budai,its stupid to post such long posts.Who reads them? I dont!! Its a sort of egocentric attitude.If you want to see your post and smile about it,go ahead and do it in future but if you have written it (or copy pasted it) so that people could read it,then its a waste of time and energy.

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  24. Another thing pundit,

    I think you should pay close attention to both these articles if the present situation of the country is in the front of your mind. Especially the latter, as the person who gave the speech is a key player for Nepal on the role of the UN and arms management. If you rather read a lot of crap instead then do so. But if you are interested in the news makers then pay attention.

    If you are still not bothered, then don’t read it. It’s as simple as that.

    If UWB wants to scrap it they could do so as both have been in moderation before being posted. But, this is a blog site, and I believe the informnation is not “useless”, if you want easy reading, couple of liners and are not bothered about the hot topics of the day then go find yourself a stardust magazine instead.

    Like

  25. scoop,
    Gotta believe man,you got some guts.how can you bore everyone with ur long posts which of course arent yours and still comeout saying ur right.You’ve gone nuts man!!
    If you think u have a great idea,write an article and email it to UWB and ask them to post it as an article.But dont bore everyone with two ‘burrowed’ articles on top of the one already being discussed.

    Like

  26. human,
    People should be well informed. There is no such thing as limited information. More the information, more the knowledge and more power to the people bro!

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  27. hahaha…u sound like prachanda,I have liberated the women in the villages by giving guns to them…Bullshit!! u give books and creative skills to liberate people.
    Likewise,you give measured amount of relevant info to inform people,dont bombard with everything u can get ur hands on.If u still think ur doing the right thing,go ahead…..till the moderator cleans up ur mess,GOOD LUCK AND GOOD BYE!!

    Like

  28. Scoop
    I don’t know why you think you have an obligation to “inform” us. If you really feel there is an article that we should all read then why don’t you post a link? Wouldn’t that be much easier? I don’t mind reading more than one line but I don’t like reading a long “cut-n-pasted” article (s) in the middle of a blog while a discussion is in progress. It seems as you don’t really care for the preceding content.

    Like

  29. Change of direction here: The most important issue at present is the new constitution. Any ideas on how we can have input on the drafting? Who are the players and how can they be contacted?

    Like

  30. Pundit,

    Point taken. You’re right there’s no obligation on my part, but you’re not obliged to read it either – just skip my posts, it’s really that simple. A good way is to either press the Page Down or the End button.

    Like

  31. To Shree Shrestha: A new constitution is currently being composed. We cannot change that fact. We CAN perhaps have some little influence on what is written while it is still in progress. We have to play the cards actually in our hand, not the cards we wish we had drawn.

    Like

  32. Well now Nepal has formally requested to UN to mediate arms control. Just watch no UN other than Indian origins will be in Nepal. We must understand that United State and UN always requested for India’s mediation. Now Nepalis can think and see to what direction our country is going to!!

    On political front Girija is too old and he may not come back from hospital!! Sher bahadur Deuwa is negotiating with Indian leaders if I become next Prim Minister of Nepal so and so will be yours etc. Sher Bahadur Deuwa is extremely wrong person for Nepal. Nepali people have to understand. During his time Sher Bahadur Deuwa increased Royal spending form 11 crore to 75 crore. He may be a good ploitician but is can’t be leader of Nepal.

    All SPA leaders are more or less crooks. At this point of time all Nepalis have to be very vigiliant. If things don’t go in favour of Nepalis people once again the situation will invite everyone to the street. This has been quite sometime after restoration of desolved house so far no defaulters of former royal regime is charged or punished. By the look of it all SPA leaders are receiving bribes from past idiots. This is what exactly happened in 1990. In front of general public all politicians scolded Marichman Singh but he was consulted how to swindle government funds. As saying goes no one can trust summer weahter and politicians. Both of them are very hard to predict!!!

    About tax money, when government uses money collected from public telephone bills for election; of course all the money collected from tax will be spent on election. We pay tax but we get nothing back in Nepal. Becuase our system is so bad it needs overhaulling. Regrettably our goverment workers are not serious and they do not think for future. Only our government workers think about theirselves. Literally no one thinks, one day I will retire so I need to do something for our nation. So my future generation benefits from it. Normal attitude is to make money either from government or general public. If it continues very soon government officials will be challenged at public places and they might even get killed. Nepal now is at the peak of critical time anything can happen. To avoid this government must do something to clean the system. The government must think about employing new staffs in different offices basing on ethnic groups. Right now we have only couple of ethnic groups in every offices. This will create major problem and it is possible it may also lead to ethnic violence.

    There is no daubt that our country is the most beautiful country on this earth. But it is us who have to maintain it beautiful. To do that we all have to unite and correct all mistakes of the past.

    Like

  33. Mr.Patriot,how can you call yourself a patriot when u are only counting mistakes and not giving any solution.All u seem to be saying is these SPA people are crooks,dont believe them….side with the maoists?? what crap.
    how can you say they havent acted on the culprits of the royal regime.There is already a AAYOG to look into it and a very capable man to lead it.In democracy u cant have “Kangaroo court” like the maoists,every person whatever his crime has to be given a chance to prove his point,cant you see even saddam hussain is getting a free trial,that is democracy so that no innocent person gets victamised.If after they furnish the details and even then SPA leaders cannot act then you can say the things that u are saying right now.
    About ethinicity,I will tell you one intersting thing.In US what i saw was that Black people always claim of racial diff and all that but the fact is that they drop out of school and hence are not much into higher/technical education and hence they lack behind.Thats a fact that is bitter but is true.Its more or less the same in Nepal,all the leaders presently leading our country came to kathmandu like anyother people of diff ethinicity.They worked hard and hence are at the helm.Subhash Nembang worked hard so he is the speaker,some other Kirat who didnt study/work hard probably is not.Its the fact of life.Man bahadur biswokarma is a minister because he studied hard,is a college ass.prof,a hard worker and is a minister,some of his cousins who didnt study well most prob. are black smiths….who knows.
    Friend dont try to divide our country in ethnic lines.Its more often an excuse rather than the truth.

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