43 Killed? Since April Truce? Sad But…

These numbers are definitely disappointing but the situation is not that bad and we are heading for bright days ahead

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reports in its Human “Rights situation in Nepal” today that as many as 43 people were killed by both the government and the Maoists during the six-months following the announcement of ceasefire in April. 11 were killed by the government’s security forces, 5 by the Maoists, another 5 by resistance groups, 7 by villagers or unidentified groups since April 26 when the truce was declared. 5 died in accidental explosions (of abandoned bombs etc.). According to the NHRC report, despite a significant decrease in the number of people killed in crossfire after the ceasefire, there have been no improvements in the incidences of abduction, disappearances, torture, beatings. The findings were based on the 1158 different complaints lodged at the NHRC.

People dying in peace in definitely bad but the situation is not that bad. It’s improving, constantly, after April. As Nepal government and Maoists are agreeing on one point after another, peace talks are heading towards a successful end. Yes, there are some problems and the NHRC numbers are the proof. Instead of the reports of Maoists forcefully recruiting minors and students, details of how guerillas are living difficult lives in new cantonment sites are coming from different parts of the country. Both sides are engaged into serious talks in finalizing the interim constitution. The UN is slowly starting to takeover the arms inspection duty. The containers where arms will be stored have arrived from India. But the public pressure is very much needed. Nepali civil society must keep constant vigil on the behaviors of leaders who are in power.

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Suspend Monarchy In Interim Constitution

As ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and Maoist leaders are on the verge of issuing a new Interim Constitution for Nepal, I feel compelled to say that monarchy must be suspended in the statue. Here is why.

By Prakash Bom in New York

Historical Peoples’ Movement II in April reinstated the dissolved Parliament and proved that sovereignty rests in Nepali people, not in the monarchy. The parliament since then has significantly put cap on traditional power enjoyed by the monarchy in Nepal. The interim constitution, without doubt, will be a document of political compromise between the Nepal government and the Maoists rebels. Whole Nepal is heading for the Constituent Assembly elections and the country has unanimously decided that the first meeting of the constituent assembly will decide the fate of monarchy. That is why it is absolutely necessary to suspend monarchy in the Interim Constitution. Only the suspension will ensure the free and fair election.

The interim Prime Minister whose main objective is to accomplish free and fair elections of constituent assembly should be the head of the state during interim period. Even the peace accord that was signed by the Prime Minister and the Maoist Chairman talks about the first meeting of CA deciding the fate of the monarchy. The failure in suspending monarchy in Interim Constitution means continuing king as the head of the state. Monarchy in present context is a guilty institution. How could a guilty institute or a person be given the opportunity to enjoy power? This is will against the general rules of justice. That is why the monarchy must be suspended.

The history has proved repeatedly that the monarchy is for absolute power. Only under the pressure of peoples’ movements the monarchy has accepted that the people of Nepal are sovereign. International community, including India, could not convince the feudal oligarchic monarchy to believe in people power. Kings tradition of governance is to rule from above the law. Kings can strike back any time. Democracy will be in danger always as long as there is king in the palace.

Nepali Congress party leadership, especially the Girija Prasad Koirala group, has constantly voiced its support in continuing monarchy in Nepal. Is that just for the shake of party’s political power? Will supporting continuity of monarchy in Nepal benefit the party? Young generation in and outside Nepal is demanding convincing answer. To continue with monarchy also means directly undermining the aspiration of people to guarantee their sovereignty from successful CA elections. Young leaders and cadres of political parties must raise their voice strongly. This is the time to do something important for people. To keep quiet on this issue means to push the country backward.