Nepal Peace Process: MP Blame Maoists, Prachanda Directs His Cadres

Members of Parliament have accused Maoists of not being serious about the upcoming elections of the constituent assembly (CA).

Speaking during the special session of the House of Parliament, the MPs Wednesday said that the frequent Maoist muscle-flexing and obstruction to the reinstatement of village secretaries and displaced police posts had shown that they were still not serous regarding the upcoming elections to the constituent assembly.

MP from CPN-UML Pradeep Nepal pointed out the necessity of setting up an interim government immediately so as to make the Maoists more responsible towards the CA.

Expressing concerns over the continued extortions and donation drives, Nepal urged the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist to be responsible towards the CA polls.

Romi Gauchan Thakali urged the Maoists to immediately correct their ways stating that their recent activities would have a negative impact on the planned CA elections.

Warning that barring the reinstatement of displaced police stations and VDC secretaries would only delay the distribution of citizenship certificates, Thakali urged the Maoists to reconsider in this regards.

Chetan Rai accused the government of remaining indifferent towards controlling the Maoist excesses.

Claiming that the recent unrest in Nepalgunj and Birtamode were examples of “attempts by royalists to disrupt the CA elections,” Rai sought the government’s attention in this regard.

Likewise, MP Ratna Prasad Sharma Neupane said that Maoists – under their parallel government — were threatening people in the rural areas. He urged the government to incorporate the Maoists in the interim government to bring back a sense of security.

Prachanda directs his cadres to assist rebuilding police posts

Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) Prachanda Thursday directed all his party cadres to assist the government in rebuilding the police stations in hills and Terai belts that were displaced during the decade-long insurgency.

Issuing a press statement today, Maoist Chairman Prachanda said that the directive was issued in a bid to expedite the issuance of interim constitution and setting up of interim legislature as well as to hold the election to the constituent assembly by mid-June.

Prachanda also gave special directives to the party cadres, asking them to “assist VDC secretaries in the electoral process and leaders of political parties in the election campaign.”

”Failing to hold the Constituent Assembly elections by mid-June and to issue the interim constitution and legislature in time will effectively render these decisions meaningless,” said Prachanda.

He also clarified that the government’s unilateral directives for the reinstatement of police stations and VDC officials had created a “difficult situation.”

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Save Rhino: Let This Animal Live

WHAT WAS THIS ANIMAL’S CRIME???

a rhino. murdered in chitwan, nepal
This rhino was found dead in a jungle in Chitwan. Pics by Narayan Sharma

a rhino. murdered
Poachers cut it’s horn and legs

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log (A blog for an animal)

What’s your relationship with a rhino in a jungle in Chitwan, Nepal? Nothing personal? You might be true but if there is something called humanity that must be extended to the animals of this world as well. You can see double standard in me because I am a non vegetarian. I eat meat just like vegetables but that doesn’t mean non vegetarians shouldn’t take part in campaigns to save Rhino (I don’t eat Rhino meat though). I was in Chitwan last week to report about International Elephant Race. A speaker in the prize distribution ceremony said, “When I was child, I used to hear the slogan “Save Tiger”. Now we don’t have tigers [in big numbers] anymore. Now we are saying “Save Rhino”. If we just talk and do nothing we won’t be able to save rhinos and we will start saying “Save Chicken”.” The speaker received clapping from the crowd as everyone in the ground (where elephants raced) seemed to be agreeing with him. Barely a week after that, we were told yesterday forest officials in Chitwan found a dead poached two weeks ago in the jungle not far from the ground. (see box news)

As I have mentioned in this article, the elephant race was overshadowed by the peoples’ concern about the safety of rare rhinos of Nepal. Everyone talked about the need to save rhino. (Tourists come to see rhino by riding elephants, they said, and we must the animal.) Hoteliers in Sauraha, tourist district in Chitwan, are seriously concerned about the recent increase in rhino killing because they feel their business will be jeopardized if tourists stopped coming to Chitwan. People are killing rhino for meager Rs. five thousands, some said, and those killers don’t know that what they sell for that amount will be sold in for thousands of dollars in international market. “We should find the poachers and provide them alternative jobs so,” another opined.

rhino in nepal
One horn rhino of Nepal like this one is being killed every week or so as Nepalis quietly watch.

I heard all sorts of conspiracy theories related to rhino poaching. One man said, “Have you given a thought why rhinos are being killed one after another after democracy was restored in Nepal in April?” He suspected that some regressive and royalist elements and smugglers having old connections with THE “murti chor” and “khag taskar” [idol thief and rhino horn smuggler] are doing all this in a coordinated manner to make it appear that the democratic government is unable to save rhinos. Some blamed Maoists for creating unnecessary obstruction to National Park security and compromising security of rhinos. Some blamed Nepali Army for not doing enough patrol in the national park and nab the poachers. “Those people who are creating hue and cry are behind rhino killings,” said one skeptic.

Whatever the conspiracy theories are, one thing is clear that political will power to save rhino is clearly lacking. It feels strange to talk about political will power in an article about rhino but this is true, if all local political players are united in their crusade to save this animal, we won’t have to turn the pages of books to show our children a rhino.

Amnestied rhino poachers at it again

By Pragati Shahi

Rhino poached yet again: Chitwan forest officials informed Tuesday (Jan 2) that they found a dead rhino two weeks ago at Saktikhor VDC. “The rhino was killed by poachers and its horn and hooves were missing,” said Babu Ram Bhandari, district forest officer. The spot where the poaching took place is nearby the Maoist cantonment at Saktikhor. “It’s about 100 metres from the main camp,” said Bhandari. Similarly, CNP officials have found an injured female rhino with a calf. The rhino has injury to its horn. How it was injured is not yet known. Rhino poaching has become rampant in recent months. Twelve rhinos have already been killed during the last five months alone.

In another development, two of the nine poachers released from jail on September 19 under a general amnesty by the cabinet were nabbed by security forces at Chitwan National Park (CPN) a few days ago, along with poaching equipment and guns. The duo, whose names are mysteriously being kept secret by the Park officials, have been detained at CNP head office at Kasara, Chitwan.

“It’s true that the duo are under our detention,” said Tikaram Adhikari, Project Manager at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC). But Adhikari said he didn’t have the names of the poachers and referred to Laxmi Manandhar, spokesperson at DNPWC. When contacted Manandhar said, “The files have been misplaced. I have to find them first to tell you the names.”

The cabinet’s decision to release the notorious poachers on the occasion of “Democracy Day” drew widespread flak from conservationists and the like. This is not the first time that a poacher released un der amnesty has been found poaching again. District Forest Office (DFO) guards had arrested four other poachers a week ago. “Among the arrested is Sukaram Bote, who was also released from jail a few years ago without completing his term,” said a DFO source. (source)

Related blogs:
1. The talks of rhino in an elephant race (in Nepali language)

2. Nepal International Elephant Race