Nepal Peace Process Update: Envoys, Maoists, And Interim Constitution

Meanwhile, we are eagerly waiting for the arrival of UN team for arms management

Ambassadors James F. Moriarty and Shiv Shankar Mukharjee of the United States and India respectively meet CPN UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, reports Kantipur TV. Why? Both envoys want to warn the second largest party in the governing alliance not to include the Maoists in the interim government before deciding about the rebel arms. These meetings occur on the same day when Nepal government and Maoists decide to receive the interim constitution crafted by the Interim Constitution Draft Committee on Friday. And there comes Prachanda who publicly complains about increasing collaboration between India and the US on blocking Maoists to join the interim government to be formed as per the interim constitution. In an interview to BBC Nepali Service’s Sushil Sharma (published in Nepalnews), Prachanda says, “We also suspect that the US and India have been collaborating to come here under a design. That has worried us even more… I would rather say that the Indian rulers have lately expanded collaboration with the US rulers. The American pressure and the vested interest of India’s hard-line faction have merged as a hurdle to Nepal’s independence and self-determination.” Continue reading Nepal Peace Process Update: Envoys, Maoists, And Interim Constitution

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Fuel Price Protest Lesson: Monarchy in Nepal Should Be Abolished

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

Those who missed the power of protest in April saw the same yesterday when the government formed after the April Revolution buckled down in front of the public wrath and revoked its earlier decision to hike the price of petroleum products. A colleague this afternoon asked, “What does this protest symbolizes?” I answered: “Anyone trying to save the monarchy in future will face the same kind of wrath and that force will be demolished by the people.” People are waiting, looking and analyzing the decisions made by the government. They are not protesting before decisions are made. They waited for the government to hike the price of fuel and they hit did what was necessary. Continue reading Fuel Price Protest Lesson: Monarchy in Nepal Should Be Abolished

Petroleum Price Hike Protest and Blame Game Politics

Update (Aug 20): The government has taken back the decidion to hike petroleum price.

Chinese tourist Clover

Lucky to be in Nepal? A Chinese tourist whose English name Clover means lucky poses for camera in Tinkune, Kathmandu as she was walking from Bhaktpur to Kathmandu today after traffic was abruptly halted because of sporadic protests against hike in petroleum prices. On the background could be seen tires set ablaze by protestors. A student of Media and communications in Xiamen University of Fujian, China, Clover came Nepal two weeks ago with her parents. She had been to Bhaktapur in the morning to see the Durbar Square when traffic in the city was normal. “When we tried to return after the sightseeing,” she said while walking on a hot day. “Cabs refused to take us back to Kathmandu.” The family is staying in a hotel in Thamel.

19-year-old Clover said they went to “the beautiful city of Pokhara” and Chitwan where she saw several rhinos. “But I couldn’t boat in Pokhara as it was raining,” she said. “It was an interesting day today,” she said about the protest and the experience of walking while crossing several blockades on the road. She also didn’t forget to share the stories of encountering Maoist cadres on way to Kathmandu from Tibet. “They wanted money from us,” she said. “But our driver said that we couldn’t pay. Then they left us.” Clover and her parents will return to mainland China via Tibet on Sunday. Pic by Wagle

By Dinesh Wagle

Today saw Nepali politics’ one of the naked games of blaming others for unfavorable decisions when Nepali Congress issued a statement saying the government’s decision to hike the price of petroleum products yesterday was against the people. Another member of the ruling Seven Party Alliance, Nepal Worker and Peasants Party has also expressed its unhappiness over the government’s decision to hike the price. CPN UML, second largest partner in the government, is also understood to have blamed the government for the hike. Even the minister who was directly responsible for raising the price, Nepal Sadbhavawana Party (Anandidevi)’s Hrideyesh Tripathi has also reportedly expressed his ignorance about the hike. College students affiliated with CPN UML are on the streets burning tires and vehicles and they are demanding that the must leave the government. Continue reading Petroleum Price Hike Protest and Blame Game Politics

Kathmandu Catwalk: Nepal Fashion Week

Designers in Nepal Fashion Week

Creative Smile: Young designers from Janakpur showcased their creations for the first time in Nepal Fashion Week. From left to right: Shephalika Kamal, Preeti Jalan, Rinku Sen and Hima Manandhar. All pics by Wagle

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal (Saturday Blog)

Last week saw Nepal’s one of the biggest fashion and lifestyle extravaganzas when nearly two dozens of models paraded in front of hundreds of trend conscious spectators wearing beautiful outfits crafted by 134 designers from around the country. Third edition of Nepal Fashion Week (August 10-14) showcased traditional, fusion, western, Indo-western and casual wears. Saris of different designs were major attraction of the show as majority of designers included the best wear of Nepali women in their list of creativity. Over the years, fashion industry in Nepal is growing along with the interest and awareness in general public about the designer clothes. That could be visible in the growing number of aspiring fashion designers who enroll themselves in various fashion designing institutes sprouting all over the major Nepalese cities. Continue reading Kathmandu Catwalk: Nepal Fashion Week

Nepal Peace Process Update: Maoist Atrocities Hit New High

Mithu Gyawali

After they killed her husband Shusil Gyawali, a displaced citizen, Maoists attacked Mithu by Khukuri (Nepali knife). She was taken to Bheri Zonal Hospital in Nepaljung. Pic by Janak Nepal via Kantipur

With the killing of Sushil Gyawali, a Nepali Congress activist, at his home in Bardia, and other atrocities committed by armed Maoist cadres in the past few days, we need to ask Prachanda, the rebel’s supreme commander, several questions: Comrade, are you really serious in bringing peace? Were these incidents of killing and atrocities happened on your order or these are just examples of the failure of chain of command in your party? Are you sure your cadres are following your orders? Or is this just a ploy to exert pressure on Girija Prasad Koirala for his remarks on space to the king?

Mamata Dawadi
12-year-old Mamta Dawadi of Birenchowk, Gorkha district, cries in front of journalists on Friday after she successfully escaped from Maoist captivity. Maoists had abducted her three weeks ago and severely tortured her in captivity. Pic by Damodar Neupane (see related report inside) Continue reading Nepal Peace Process Update: Maoist Atrocities Hit New High

Unification of Nepali Congress: Demand Democracy Within Party

This is the right time for Kangressies of both sides to raise the issue of internal democracy in the party. Will Koirala give SPACE to opposing voices in the organization?

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

No wonder Girija Prasad Koirala is a master politician even if he has some serious shortcomings. See how he is dealing with the Maoists and closely watch his recent moves related to the unification of two Nepali Congresses. He is all focused on unifying the parties. The president of Nepali Congress who is also the Prime Minister is talking about the party unification and the Maoist arms management (a critical development which will follow the CA election) side by side. As we all know, Nepal is heading for the election of constituent assembly and you don’t have to be an electoral expert to predict that the competition will be between communist and congress themselves. To survive the CA election, Nepali Congress and Nepali Congress (Democratic) need to be united. Sher Bahadur Deuba, president of NC (D) who split the party apparently as part of a grand royal conspiracy to weaken the country’s biggest democratic political force, has responded yesterday to the call made by Koirala enthusiastically. Continue reading Unification of Nepali Congress: Demand Democracy Within Party

Nepal Army Chief: Find a General With Clean Image

The government should appoint a new general for the top post of Neapal Army to make people feel that it is actually serious in reforming and democratizing the army that is traditionally considered the private force of the king.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

Poet Arjun Parajuli was reciting his creations in MaHa Gaijatra comedy show the other night. The following two lines were striking: “This government thinks the army is under its control,” the bearded poet, who is also popular as loktantrik kavi, said. “Yes, its very much under control. That is why when summoned at Patan, he goes to Pokhara!” Parajuli was referring to Chief of Nepali Army Pyar Jung Thapa’s blatant ignorance to the high level probe commission formed by the present government to look into atrocities committed by the autocratic royal regime. Those generals who ignored the commission include Rukmangad Katwal who has been promoted to the acting Chief of the Army Staff Monday by the present government. (Thapa has gone on leave Friday one month before retirement.) Katwal has been widely accused of suppressing the peoples’ movement in April. People have started protesting his promoting and nomination. A group of human rights organization yesterday issued a press release protesting the appointment of Katwal to the top post of Nepal Army. This nomination comes at a time when the whole country is eagerly waiting for reforms within the army and democratization of the armed force of Nepal. Continue reading Nepal Army Chief: Find a General With Clean Image

Nepal Peace Process and DDR Buzz : Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Maoist Guerillas

By Dinesh Wagle (back in Kathmandu)
Wagle’s Web Log

So the best thing about the month of August was the joint letter by the government and the Maoists to the United Nations on the contentious issue of, in the very much vague terms, Arms Management. Arms Management! The term has got so much attention and widespread publicity that it reminds me of some of the most widely used terminologies in Nepali politics: Tanakpur Kanda, Satta Samikaran (power equation), Pajero Sanskriti (Pajero culture), Trishanku Sansad (hung parliament), and Floor Cross etc. Then came words like conflict resolution, peace process, ceasefire, constructive king, magh 19 ko Shahi kadam (Feb 1’s royal takeover) and of course, the arms management. (By the way, there are many things to manage in Nepal. Kathmandu metropolitan city was recently criticized for its inability in Waste Management.) Some of these terms were quickly utilized by the mushrooming non government organizations (NGOs). Now, as we are talking about arms management, another term, primarily in English, has taken over the spaces in media: DDR. (No, it’s not the famous DPR or Detailed Project Report related the super famous Mahakali treaty.) DDR stands for, if you don’t know it already, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration. (DDR is becoming a buzzword in Nepali media and if you don’t know it, you must feel that you are lagging behind in the apparently fashionable, and let me use the term, lucrative, mission of conflict resolution and peace building.) Continue reading Nepal Peace Process and DDR Buzz : Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Maoist Guerillas

Tale of Two Movements

Future of Nepal has gone in the wrong hands

By Mahesh Poudyal

After the euphoria of the so called April Revolution, the nation and its citizens seem to be slowly getting back into the reality of the situation. Especially their belief (if they ever truly believed) that the same incompetent and corrupt politicians would take the country out of the quagmire towards a brighter future is being shattered—those they helped into power have started showing their true face. The leader of this pack of incompetent politicians—no matter what his supporter would like to believe him as—is undoubtedly Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. He has been the one who is trusted at every crucial period in the country’s political landscape post-1990, and he is without a doubt the one who has betrayed the peoples trust in him the most. Let us go through a few of his political sins— so to speak. Continue reading Tale of Two Movements

Space For Monarchy: Shut Up Mr. Koirala

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

So Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala wants to give space to monarchy (king Gyanendra). How do you interpret this ‘kindness’? This is a desperate effort by Koirala to inject the pro-monarchy and pro-feudalism and pro-slavery venom in Nepali peoples’ mind at a time when the whole country is preparing to go for the election of constituent assembly. Koirala should be rejected and discarded. A quick reality check: Until a few weeks ago, democratic political parties were completely sidelined by an autocrat king and people supported the movement initiated by the political forces for the shake of democracy. There was no space, not an inch, for the political parties in royal heydays and the mandate of April revolution was clear: No space whatsoever for the king. Continue reading Space For Monarchy: Shut Up Mr. Koirala