American ambassador is visiting Nepali Army’s sensitive barracks one after another as if he is the defense minister.
By Sudheer Sharma
[Excerpt of an article in Nepali by the former editor of Nepal Magazine in Friday edition of Kantipur daily. Translated by UWB for the benefit of those who somehow know how to give lecture in Nepali but find it very difficult to read properly.]
Just as the Maoist stand of not managing the arms without political settlement makes parliamentarian circle skeptical about them, the rumor of government army importing weapons frightens the rebels. This is because the arms dispute is directly connected with the future of democracy (loktantra) in Nepal’s context. Perhaps the American ambassador James F. Moriarty has understood this well. On the same day (Wednesday) when the whole country was tense because of rumors of government’s arms import, he was in north western border district Darchula. He said- “I fear Nepal might leave the path of democracy.”
No one has seen the immediate possibility of coup at a time when the king has been sidelined. But the ‘prediction’ of His Excellency of the superpower America is definitely not like the street lecture of Laxman Khadka [The street man who claims himself the caretaker of Nepal country, wears apparel painted with different slogans, and hangs banners in New Baneshwor on various occasions]. He probably didn’t speak without understanding anything. Apart from that, he is in a country wide rush and is active more than the leaders of SPA or ministers. There is not separate defense minister in the country but Moriarty is moving around the army’s sensitive barracks like a defense minister and interacting with the field commanders. He is not alone; a special team of Washington is busy roaming in Nepal.
It is known to everyone that American’s have friendship with Nepali generals just like majority of Nepal’s leaders enjoy close relationship with Delhi. This is also a fact that Nepali Army is undergoing a historic transition after Jana Andolan- II. The king’s chain of command has somewhat broken in the army but this institution hasn’t come under the full control of government. Foreign powers have surely understood this reality.
It was in Chairtra 2058 [five years ago] that Girija Prasad Koirala had gone to Delhi directly from Beijing to initiate a solid effort for peace by meeting Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai. At that time, the then American ambassador Michael E. Malinowski was visiting one barrack after another and provoking for war. He said many times, “There is no difference between Maoists and Al Qaeda.” That is why, he argued, Maoists must be tamed by force.
The United States provided unprecedented military assistance the king’s army with to tame Maoists. And Girija Prasad’s effort for peace through the parliament was sabotaged. The parliament was dissolved via pro-American Sher Bahadur Deuba which opened doors for the king to state the coups of Asoj 18 [Oct. 2002] and Magh 19 [Feb 2005].
Washington had recalled Malinowski well before he expressed those remarks as he had scolded a special envoy of one of their allies. But the extremist American policy wasn’t changed. Moriarty, the new avatar of Malinowski, came. Whatever the idealistic talks he gives, every steps of Moriarty aimed at disrupting peace process and democracy. Immediately after the February royal coup, he put leaders in suspicion by saying that the king should be given a period of one hundred days. And he ran to Delhi to not to let happen the 12 point agreement at a time when Girija Prasad, along with Maoists, was trying to wage a decisive movement against royal regime.
Moriarty was trying hard to break the SPA-Maoists alliance even before the April revolution. Had leaders followed his moral lectures, the country would have been under dictatorial regime till now. When the parliament was restored, Moriarty again started saying that Maoists shouldn’t be included in the government until they surrender the weapons. That was the continuity of his campaign against the 12 point agreement.
Girija Prasad had repeated a crucial point in his interviews given to Kantipur twice (Chaitra 20 and Baishak 2) when the peoples’ movement [April Revolution] was ongoing: “I have told Americans, ‘don’t make Nepal part of your ‘global strategy’, let Nepal be open, independent, and prosperous’.” Koirala had said that when America was warning that the State of Nepal was collapsing. Now Moriarty is pointing out the danger of democracy being ended in Nepal. Is the same ‘global strategy’ that Koirala understood reemerging?
It is known to the world that America’s world strategy in our land directed toward the rising power of China. These kind of ‘dirty games’ that often repeat in international politics are easy in states that are chaotic and declared failed than in peaceful ones. Is it so that Nepal’s peace process has become obstructive for such games? Probably the Nepali Congress and CPN UML activists got the hint of this. And, as Moriarty came out of helicopter in Nepali Army’s Samsher Barrack, they handed him a memorandum: “Nepalis must decide the fate of Nepali politics, you don’t interfere.”
Is Prime Minister remembering that ‘global strategy’?
Sharma, former editor of Nepal Magazine, is one of the most trusted names in Nepali journalism.
‘Maoists could jeopardize peace’
By J Pandey
NEPALGUNJ, Sept 15 – US ambassador to Nepal James F Moriarty Thursday said that Maoist activities could jeopardize the peace process in Nepal. “I have seen rapid political changes in the country which is heading towards loktantra,” he said, talking to journalists upon his arrival in Nepalgunj during his three-day visit to mid- and far-western regions. “But the frequent remarks of the Maoist chairman Prachanda violate the spirit of the ongoing peace process.”
“Their (Maoists’) mistrust towards the UN, and their denial to keep their ‘army’ inside cantonments contradict with the peace process. Also, they are continuing extortion,” he said. He also reiterated the American stance of not accepting the Maoists as a political force until they lay down their arms.
While clarifying the purpose of his visit to the mid- and far-western regions, the envoy said, “Nepal outside Kathmandu is different and I came here to understand it.” During his visit, the US ambassador held discussions with political party leaders, businessmen, industrialists, lawyers and human rights activists.
“During the discussions, I have been reiterating the single point; everyone should have the democratic perspective,” he said. “I have advised all political parties to be united for democracy.” Moriarty also expressed his hope to meet Prachanda. “I hope we will meet after the Maoists come to mainstream politics after laying down their arms.” (source)