On the 8th day of Dashain festival, three incidents make headlines: Bibek Luintel is killed, the army says its soldiers and officers are free to not to receive tika from the king who is becoming redundant day by and our Prime Minister’s optimist on peace process
Bibek Lunitel Killed: Today morning’s horrific revelation about the gruesome murder of the eight-year-old boy Bibek Luintel has definitely overshadowed the joys of Dashain festival. Nepal Police’s suspicious handling of the case and the alleged involvement of the personal assistant of the Home Minister in saving the abductors and murderers of the boy are particularly disturbing. It has been revealed that the boy was murdered within days of abduction because he kept crying and the life in Kathmandu was severally affected because of the protest by the civil society of Koteshwor, the boy’s home town, against police authorities for not giving enough attention to the case.
Today, in the tempo, I heard a man passing this comment: “I partly blame those protests for the killing of the boy. Those protests might have forced the abductors to kill the innocent kid. The family didn’t even get a chance to bargain with the abductors.” I don’t know if he is true or not but like many Kathmanduits, I was deeply shocked. Political patronage to the criminals is even more dangerous and the fact that the personal assistant to the home minister is still roaming freely and celebrating the festival without being investigate makes me sick. The family has refused to receive the corpse of Bibek which must act as a pressure of the ineffective police network of our country. (read more about the incident here)
Soldiers, don’t go to Palace to receive Tika: The good news comes from the directorate of public relations of Nepali Army today in the form of a press release. While issuing the release, the army tries to refute a rumor that the Chief of the Army Staff had issue a written directive to all soldiers and officers of Nepali Army to receive tika from the king. This release is a welcome move from the army. There is no need for anyone to go the king and receive tika. This is the year Nepalis have started discarding and ignoring king and monarchy in Nepal.
The parliament has already cut links of Nepali Army with the king. Gyanendra didn’t attend a traditional Phulpati badhai (feu de joie) ceremony yesterday in Tundikhel, Kathmandu because there was simply no need to do so. The king is rightly being made redundant. But this king will not feel humility because he has no morality. He will stick to the throne even if he is a useless white elephant until Nepalis formally abolish the institution of monarchy. The tradition of receiving tika by government officers and ministers (including the Prime Minister) will be broken from this year. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala is already in his hometown Biratnagar to enjoy the holiday and celebrate the festival.
Maa Durga, Help Our PM: Talking about Prime Minister Koirala, reports from Biratnagar say he went to a temple, worshipped Goddess Durga and asked Her favor in the ongoing peace process. I respect his belief in Goddess but I don’t believe worshipping the Goddess will only help make the peace process a success. Maoists are emphasizing on the political solution first while Koirala-led government gives priority to the arms management. Both are crucial and must be handled with care. The Maoists nine-point secret proposal, made publicized by Yuvraj Acharya in today’s Kathmandu Post, is also discouraging.
The [Maoist’s] nine-point proposal has demanded that the interim legislature should incorporate 45 percent members of seven-party alliance, 35 percent Maoists and 20 percent members of civil society.
They have demanded that Maoist militia and Nepal Police should form a joint mechanism to hold CA elections and the monarchy should be suspended until constituent assembly election is held. The Maoists want referendum on monarchy along with constituent assembly polls and nationalization of royal assets.
About arms management, they have proposed a mutually agreed modality. Similarly, a high-level military commission has been proposed to control both armed forces. The rebels have also proposed retention of their courts at the village level.
The other issues include proportional representation system; dissolution of both the Houses of Parliament after formation of an interim legislature; dissolution of their regimes in the villages after setting up joint committees of the parties and drastic change in socio-economic policies of the state.
Some ruling alliance members share the rebels’ idea on holding referendum alongside the assembly polls, but Nepali Congress is against it. “It will unnecessarily reactivate the now-passive king and give him a pretext to seek a role in politics based on the votes cast in his favor,” the NC President and Prime Minister argued in an all-party meeting on September 25.
Let’s hope the Dashain holiday and great food in the festival will give some power and wisdom to both sides on the peace table and, like Koirala said, “summit talks to be held after Dashain will be positive.” -By DW