Prachanda Meets Prime Minister: Hope Of Peace Gains Strength

Thank God, finally it happened. The meeting between Maoist supremo Prachanda and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala happens at a time when people were desperately looking for the second round to high level talks between the government and the rebels. The meeting also happens at a time when Maoists are intensifying their activities like extortion and kidnapping where as the government was casting doubt over the election of constituent assembly with its sluggishness in responding to issues like interim constitution. “The widening gulf between the SPA government and the Maoists in the past few weeks,” writes journalist Suresh Nath Neupane in eKantipur, “due to their failure to reach a consensus on the political issues to be included in the interim statute had created a deadlock in Nepali politics.”

The meeting has been described as being “instrumental in removing the climate of mistrust between the SPA and the Maoists” by Home Minister and chief government negotiator Krishna Prasad Sitaula. Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai expressed similar observation to BBC. Nepali Congress leader Dr Sekhar Koirala, who was also present at the meeting, said that the top leaders also agreed on giving the “incomplete” interim draft constitution full shape by the time of the summit talks, reports eKantipur. “Several issues including ways of moving towards constituent assembly elections, the position of the king in the interim constitution and arms management, among others, were the highlights of the meeting,” Koirala said.

Now that both top leaders have agreed that government and Maoists will finalize the interim constitution before the high level summit within two weeks (before dashain festival), the hope of peaceful resolution of conflict has become stronger.

Published by UWB

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11 thoughts on “Prachanda Meets Prime Minister: Hope Of Peace Gains Strength

  1. Here is an analysis from Gopal Sharma in Reuters titled:

    Mistrust, posturing slows Nepal’s peace process

    By Gopal Sharma

    KATHMANDU, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Hard bargaining and a lack of trust between Nepal’s Maoist rebels and the multi-party government have slowed a peace process aimed at ending the Himalayan nation’s long civil war.

    But both sides remain committed to peace talks and ironing out differences because they are reluctant to risk popular anger and fresh unrest in a country that has lurched from one crisis to another for years, officials and analysts said.

    “There is mistrust within the political parties on the one hand and between the political parties and Maoists on the other, which is delaying talks,” said Lok Raj Baral of the Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies, a private think-tank.

    “The Maoists suspect the government is trying to maintain status quo while the political parties fear the Maoist arms would dominate them,” he said. “They have to come out of this, change their mindset and follow their agreements.”

    The rebels and the interim government, made up of Nepal’s seven main political parties, agreed to a truce and held their first peace talks in three years in May after King Gyanendra — bowing to weeks of violent protests — gave up absolute power.

    Under a power-sharing deal struck in June, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala agreed to include the Maoists in an interim government. Both sides also agreed to confine their armies to barracks or camps under U.N. supervision.

    The government also curtailed most of the king’s powers and conceded a key Maoist demand — elections for a special assembly to draw up a new constitution and review the monarchy’s future.

    But three months on, the euphoria has evaporated. The two sides are still wrangling over the nuts and bolts of the peace process, and they have failed to announce a date for a meeting between Koirala and Maoist chief Prachanda to implement the deal.

    The Maoists have pledged to accept the outcome of the assembly vote even if it is against turning Nepal into the republic they have been fighting for since 1996, a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people.

    But the government says the rebels must disarm their 35,000-strong guerrilla force before they join the cabinet. The Maoists refuse, saying the government is setting new conditions.

    FRESH PROTESTS

    The rebels have threatened to launch fresh street protests crippling Kathmandu and other cities if the power-sharing deal is not honoured.

    Already, Kathmandu has begun to see small but regular protests by the Maoists and groups of ordinary Nepalis to pressure the government.

    “Unless there is an agreement on political matters, including the interim government, there will be no progress in settling the issue of our arms,” Maoist spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said.

    The main political matters, according to Mahara, are the drafting of an interim constitution which gives the king no role and subsequently forming an interim parliament and government.

    The government says it is committed to its pact with the Maoists, but political parties are yet to reach a consensus on the Maoist demand for the abolition of the monarchy in the interim constitution rather than wait for the national vote.

    Nevertheless, officials said the government and rebels — under pressure to end the conflict — were in touch informally, and analysts say much of the talk about a stalemate is posturing.

    “They are only showing their might to get maximum concessions in negotiations,” said Shiva Gaunle, an editor with the Nepali magazine Himal. “The talks have not reached a frustrating point yet.”

    The rebels, who have vowed not to return to war that has wrecked the aid- and tourism-dependent economy, indicated as much when spokesman Mahara said they did not intend to desert peace talks like they did in 2001 and 2003.

    “I don’t think the talks will break,” he said. “They are only in a crisis.”

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/DEL130919.htm

  2. May god Let the PM remember the day when his head was bleeding by a big blow from some police constable’s baton of erst while royal regime and the Chairman ( CPM ) remember his days when he had to go to Mustang to buy riles on foot. This can bring them both to senses.

  3. Hope any body can but there is no hint of solution. What Prachand says is hardly obeyed by his cadres and what Girija does is never understood by his followers. Their physical meeting point is Baluwatar palace but political meeting point, if observed minutely, is visible nowhere.The only point of non-diversion between is of arming and disarming of their own forces (if Nepal Army obeys to Girija). People can hope and only hope of peace what else they can do?

  4. I am extremely hopeful about the peaceful solutions. And I have become more optimistic after this meeting. Maoists definitely want this problem to be solved peacefull but they are doing hard bargain. The government should seriously listen to thier demands but act on jointly (that is to say keeping SPA unity intact). The biggest hurdle is, I am feel, monarchy: to keep versus not to keep. This should be solved.

  5. Bitarak:
    I don’t know what delusional world you are living in! The Monarchy is the least of the concerns at the moment. You fool look at the way the Maoists are behaving. It seems, like Raj pointed out, Prachada is unable to contain his own Malitias. Despite the 8 point/12 point agreements the autocities continue unabated!
    Now much of rural Nepal is lawless with these Maoist goons roaming around and doing as they please. How will these uneducated, fanatic 20 year olds all of a sudden get back to a normal life?
    I am no big fan of the Monarchy but this is not the time to complain about that with more serious matters looming in the horizon.

  6. After such a glorious movement in which hundreds of thousand people took part risking their lives the future of the country depends on what two old foxes do or say. The history of Nepal has always been suffered by such misfortune. For more then a century the country’s history followed the path set by one foolhardy named Janga Bahadur Rana. People fought so long and so hard sacrificing so many lives and ultimately the history took another turn in 2007. But the mistake done by few of foolish politicians, again the future of the country rested upon another foolhardy called Mahendra. It took decades and so many precious lives sacrificed before Nepalese people succeeded in 2047 to change the course of history. Again the country suffered by few corrupt and unarticulated politicians which in one hand produced Comrade Prachanda and Co. and in other hand produced Mharaja Gyanandra. Both of them worked hand in hand to kill more than 15,000 Nepalese people including women, aged and children. Again millions of people came in the street against this enterprise of killing Nepalese. I don’t agree fully with the Maoists that the people who came to street in April were their supporters. They were against their killings as much as of Maharaj Gyanemdra. Ultimately the movement of hundreds of thousand people and many sacrifices of lives was able to bring the king to his size and the Maoists to the Capital. And again the meeting of two old **** becomes such a relief for the country that our Mr. Wagle writes ‘Thank God, finally it happened…..

  7. At the risk of repeating myself, it’s a ship of fools, rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic.

  8. What do i do about a fake doctor? why are my comments taken out? His name is Dr. P.P sharma, a psychiatrist. Ask him for all his certificates (including SLC and ISC) and you will the see the fake one yourself. I have even reported him to CIAA and NMC and nothing happened. What do i do please advise?

  9. Wagle,

    Why don’t you do something good for a change and hep this guy Vinit out. If his allegations are true don’t worry buddy Vinit I for one will make sure that this quack won’t be practicing again. I will inform everyone I know and all the organisations I know as well. If all the bloggers here help, it will be quite a riot. BUT we have to be certain that your allegations are true – let Wagle do the research I think we can atleast trust him on this. If your allegations are wrong then you better be ready to apologise as well.
    By the way Vinit, why are you after this chap?

  10. Vinit,

    One more thing. I know your comments did come through and it does seem like a public issue, but I think UWB is just doing their job by moderating you as it is somewhat off topic and semi personal. But since you did get through, Wagle should also help.

  11. I am ready. All that i ask from you is to ask him for all his certificates including slc and isc and if he produces all of them and all of them are real, i will readily make myself public and apologige to everyone. My email address is hanumanp@inbox.com

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