Nepal Maoists and Democracy: From A Protest Venue

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal All pics and videos by Wagle

Protest Outside Maoist Office

Irony! You might think this policeman is attentively reading the poster with the photo of Prachanda but if you ask me I would say, NO, he is not. He is waiting for one of his friends to come out of the toilet so that he could go inside. This is also the part of the IRONICAL scene that I saw today. Policemen using the toilet facility in a Maoist office!

In this video, viewers will see Maoist cadres coming into the office in queue and suddenly starting to attack and chasing away the protestors. Within a few seconds, the scenes at Kupandole become chaotic like in a war zone. A sound of siren might give the impression that a police vehicle has started taking action. That’s not correct. That’s ambulance that happens to be coming from the Patan side and moving toward Kathmandu. The Maoists are shouting and screaming at the protestors.

Two major press conferences made first two lead on the evening news today. Koirala addressed his party men at the presence of reporters to tell them to have patience and vigil on possible efforts by reactionary forces to foil yesterday’s historic agreement where as Prachanda was so much willing to answer queries filed by reporters in a press meet organized by his party in the Yak and Yeti Hotel, not very far from Gyanendra’s Narayanhitti Palace, that his deputy had to intervene and tell reporters that the show was over for the day! I missed both of these events but that was intended. Continue reading Nepal Maoists and Democracy: From A Protest Venue

In Nepal, A Historic Agreement Is Signed By Maoist and Ruling Alliance

For the record: This is probably the best year in centuries for our country Nepal where we are seeing series of ground breaking decisions and agreements that will have long lasting impact on the future of Nepalis. After the historic success of the April uprising that upheld our political rights and civil liberties, today we have seen yet another historic agreement between the Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists rebels. [The summit talks held between the top SPA and Maoist leaders at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s official residence at Baluwatar on Monday Tuesday reached the agreement. Leaders were engaged in talks for as long as 21 hours continuously.] This is indeed a moment of reflection and celebration. God, we suffered so much in the past. Yahoo! we have bright days ahead! There is a notion that democracy doesn’t function in non-Christian society or that people can’t do anything in a backward country like Nepal. But the recent events in Nepal have shown the world that there is something others can learn from us: what people can do when they are united! Tyrants fall and even armed rebels are forced to opt for the peace.

While celebrating, we must realize that this is not the end. We have a long way to go. The talk process is still fragile and both SPA and Maoists will have to deal on small but important details. We the people must be vigil, constantly, over what’s going on around us. To make the election of CA a success is our responsibility as well. To use the election for the benefit of peace and democracy is our responsibility. There needs continuous pressure over our leaders as well. The pressure must be exerted on both sides: Seven Party Alliance and the CPN Maoist.

Key Points of The Agreement

– Comprehensive peace accord by Nov 16

– Interim Constitution by Nov 21

– Interim Parliament (330 members) by Nov 26

– Interim government by Dec 1

– Parliament will announce the Interim Constitution and Interim Parliament will endorse

– Constituent Assembly with 425 members [205 members will be elected from current 205 constituencies as per the rule of ‘person with majority of votes will win’, other 204 will be nominated by the parties as per the nationwide popular vote they get in the election. The interim cabinet will nominate the rest 16 seats]

-Voting age: 18 years at the time of the promulgation of interim constitution. Mixed voting system will be applied.

– First meeting of the CA will decide the fate of monarchy by simple majority

– Maoist will set up cantonments in Kailali, Surkhet, Rolpa, Palpa, Kavre, Sindhuli and Ilam, separate their arms from their combatants, and lock them in storage by Nov 24. Only the arms necessary to guard the cantonments will be outside the cantonment. The key of the lock will be with the Maoist. Three additional small cantonments will be around the main one.UN will observe the process and install record and siren equipment. UN will inspect the storage at the presence of the concerned party (NA). A detailed technical procedure of the camera monitoring will be prepared by the UN, Nepal government and the Maoist.

-Nepali Army will be confined into barracks as per the commitment expressed in a letter sent to the UN. It will be ensured that their arms will not be used for or against anyone. Nepali Army will store amount of arms and ammunitions that is equal to the amount stored by the Maoist army and locked up. The key will be with the Nepali Army. [UN related provisions are same as mentioned in previous point]

– The security of Maoist leaders will be managed as per the understanding with the government.

– 2046 BS (mid April 1990 is the cut off date for citizenship eligibility

-SPA and Maoist will form committees on mutual understanding in local district, city and village development committees

– Truth and reconciliation commission will be formed to find truth about those who are involved in crime against humanity and violation of human rights at the time of armed conflict, and to create harmony in society.

– A high level commission will be formed to make public the whereabouts of situation of those said to be disappeared by the Nepal government and the Maoist in the past.

– The process of returning the houses and lands captured will be intensified. Ensure the atmosphere in which internally displaced citizens could return back. A committee represented by both sides (SPA and the Maoist) will be formed. All these things will be done within a month

– Maoist and the state will publicly announce that they have taken back all charges and allegations slapped against political leaders and cadres and political prisoners on both sides will be released immediately

– The king will have no right whatsoever in governing the country.

– All properties of the late king Birendra, late queen Aishwarya and their families will be brought under the government of Nepal and a trust will be formed to use the property.

-All palaces at different places, forests and national parks, historical and archeological heritage sites etc that belong to Gyanendra as the King will be nationalized

– The parliament will be dissolved after the interim parliament is set up.

– Peoples’ government, peoples’ court functioning under the Maoist and all other Maoist machineries related to regime will be dissolved on the day interim parliament is formed.

– Interim parliament will be run on the basis of political consensus.

– Interim parliament will not include people who were against the Peoples’ Movement [of April]. Bam Morcha, a member of the SPA, will be given some seats as per the mutual agreement as they don’t have representation in the current parliament.

– Interim cabinet will be formed on the basis of mutual understanding.

– The concept and values of independent judiciary will be followed.

– Judiciary will be made committed to the interim constitution, democracy and the spirit of the Peoples’ Movement.

– Constitutional Court will be established to look into remedies of disputes related to Constituent Assembly

– A high level joint committee will monitor the implementation of agreements and understandings

– The government will take action against anyone who violates the law, code of conduct, agreements and understandings and brings them under the law.

– All parties are free to present themselves in the election of the constituent assembly with the issues like republic, economic-social transformation, referendum, election systems in which no common agreement could be reached.

– A high level commission will be formed to advice for the state reconstruction.

– The constituent assembly will decide on the national restructuring.

– Common minimum programs for economic-social transformation to end all forms of feudalism will be implemented on the basis of mutual agreement.

– Policies to implement scientific land reform programs to end the feudal landownership will be formulated.

Different opinion of UML (At the end of the agreement, after the signatures of all top 8 leaders of 8 parties, is a note of disagreement by UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal)

Our party has following differences of opinion even as we have agreed to implement all above decisions because all other parties have agreed to do so.

1. There must be referendum, along with the election of Constituent Assembly, to decide whether to keep monarchy or not.

2. Proportionate voting method will be the most democratic form of voting to be opted in the election of Constituent Assembly.