Excerpts of an e-mail interview with US Ambassador to Nepal, James F Moriarty. Conducted by Suresh Nath Neupane for eKantipur. The interview was made available to UWB by Neupane.
Q. Why has the US Government not lifted the terrorist tag labeled on the Maoists despite their agreement to join the mainstream multi-party democracy?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: The US has not lifted the terrorist tag from the Maoists because they are still acting like terrorists. Until the Maoists stop using violence and intimidation, they will remain on the list. Once their behavior changes and that change is sustained, we will be happy to review that status. We encourage the Maoists to meet their peace process commitments and begin acting like a mainstream political party. We urge them, for the good of Nepal’s democracy and people, to give up violence once and for all.
Q. Your Excellency, every statement you make seems to trigger a spate of debates, apprehensions and calculations from different quarters. How do you personally assess such situations?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: I welcome public debate and discussion. This is central for any democratic process– whether it occurs in California or Kathmandu. Sometimes, people either intentionally distort what I say, or make up things I have never said, and there are personal attacks or criticism of me in the media. That can be uncomfortable, I must admit. But if people in Nepal honestly and fairly consider my statements and those of the US Embassy – which reflect US policy towards Nepal– then I believe we are contributing to the critical thinking and debate that is vital for Nepal as it seeks to become a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic nation.
Q. One of your recent statements had it that the Maoists bought plenty of worn-out and old weapons from India to lock them up. What proof is there that prompts you to make such claims?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: While I will not discuss sources or methods, I stand by my prior statement. The Maoists have an opportunity to prove their trustworthiness by turning in all of their combatants’ weapons and munitions to UN arms monitors. That process is currently ongoing. I hope they will seize that opportunity.
Q. There are allegations that the US is trying to save the king. Is it true? What future do you see for the monarchy in this country?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: These allegations are absolutely, positively, and comprehensively wrong. The US position– which I have repeated numerous times and do so again here– is straightforward: The future of the monarchy is for the Nepali people to decide. Period.
If the Nepali people want a ceremonial monarchy, they can make that decision; similarly, if they want to abolish the monarchy, they can make that decision. But, again, the decision is up to the people of Nepal.
Q. What will the US Mission in Nepal do once the Maoists– designated terrorists by the American government — enter an Interim Government and control ministries? In the case when the US still recognizes the Maoists as a terrorist group, what assurance do you give that your assistance will flow in the proper channel reaching the genuine target groups?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: The United States is committed to helping the Nepali people and the ongoing peace process. If the Maoists join the Interim Cabinet without abandoning violence, the US Mission to Nepal will work to ensure that it does not provide assistance that Maoist ministers can claim credit for.
Regarding ensuring that US assistance reaches its intended recipients, let me answer this way. First, US assistance is carefully monitored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State to ensure proper targeting and full realization of programme goals. Regular performance and financial audits of grantees and contractors are conducted. Second, a clause in all USAID-funded contracts and grants reminds USAID’s implementing partners that they are required to ensure compliance with US laws that prohibit transactions with, and providing support or resources to, individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. Finally, as a condition of receiving assistance, USAID’s grantees must certify in writing that they will take all reasonable steps to ensure that they do not provide material support or resources to individuals or entities that are involved in terrorist acts.
Q. What’s the size of the annual US development assistance to Nepal? What key areas does it focus on?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: The US provided nearly $50 million in development assistance to Nepal in fiscal year 2006, and this fiscal year that assistance is currently projected to approach $37 million.
The US provides assistance to the people of Nepal in the areas of conflict mitigation and peace building, democracy and governance, health, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention, rural road construction, agricultural services, and humanitarian aid.
Q. The US Treasury recently issued an OFAC License to enable the US to keep providing assistance to the Government of Nepal. What is this license and how does it work?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: An OFAC license is an authorization from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury to engage in a transaction that otherwise would be prohibited by US law.
The US Mission in Nepal has been authorized to continue providing economic and development assistance to the Government of Nepal and to the peace process, even after the Maoists take up positions in the government. The authorization comes in the form of a license granted to the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and US contractors and grantees of both agencies. The license was issued on February 5, 2007 and is valid until February 28, 2008.
To quote from the license itself, USAID, the Department of State and their US contractors and grantees “are authorized to engage in transactions with the Government of Nepal (GON), including any political subdivision, agency or instrumentality of the GON, notwithstanding the involvement of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) in the GON, provided the transactions are necessary for the entry into and execution of State and USAID grants or contracts for the provision of assistance or economic support in Nepal, or to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement entered into on November 21, 2006 by the GON and the CPN(M), as authorized by the grant or contract. This authorization includes working with or through public international organizations, as authorized by the grant or contract.”
Q. Is it unusual for the US State Department and USAID to seek such a license to work with a coalition government?
AMBASSADOR MORIARTY: Yes, it is unusual. The situation we faced in Nepal is similar in some ways to the West Bank/Gaza case, where our Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assests Control (OFAC) also issued a license to the State Department and USAID for activities with the Palestinian Authority, despite the involvement of the Hamas organization in the government.
As in the West Bank/Gaza, our efforts in Nepal illustrate our ability to develop creative solutions to complex challenges to meet legitimate humanitarian and development needs while, at the same time, ensuring the continued isolation of those that would employ violence and terror to advance their goals.
17 responses to “America in Nepal: Act Like A Party, Moriarty Tells Maoists”
Qestion No. 2: Your Excellency, every statement you make seems to trigger a spate of debates, apprehensions and calculations from different quarters. How do you personally assess such situations?
Ambassador: Well, first and foremost I am an AMERICAN. You must know Suresh Nath what it means to be an America in the present day where George W and Dick C are in White House. I mean come on I am an American and I can speak so many things so easily that they are bound to generate debates and controversies. What can a small country like Nepal do to me when I speak whatever I like to speak? Diplomacy? What’s that? Yes, I have been making it clear that there must be ceremonial role for King in Nepal. Yes, I know majority of people in this country don’t want monarchy at all but you know you can’t just remove our loyal ally. No I am not a Hindu fundamentalist but king and elites in Kathmandu are our friends, you know. I play gulf with them, I invite them in parties and attend lavish parties that they organize for me. Can those poor and middle class Nepalese give me such great parties? No. You are taking about democracy. Come one, that’s our term. We are the contractor for that. And for us, Pakistan is a democracy. Iraq is the biggest example of democracy. Look, Nepal should really follow the path of Iraq, the great emerging democracy in the world. I said then, and even I stand by, that the second speech that His Majesty gave in April wasn’t necessary. The first was enough for a great democracy in Nepal. Yes, I want to be proved wrong again but you know what Maoists shouldn’t be included in the interim government. They are not political force. They were killing people just like we were in Iraq. So how can they be political party even if they are not killing now? Ufff… I am attacked personally in this country. I just don’t understand why, you know… Next question please…
“The US has not lifted the terrorist tag from the Maoists because they are still acting like terrorists. ”
Well said Mr. Moriarity! If the SPA weren’t such incompetant ball-less bastards that tag would/should be with the Maoists
I will never believe that U.S. has any genuine agenda for any country in this world (esp with Bush & his gang there). But sometimes people do good things as its the easiest thing to do. Anyways, whatever you did, it worked. Thanks a lot Moriarty. We appreciate all that you did.
This man has been saying truth from day one. He clearly saw menace that people are going to go through with maoists in parliament. He warned SPA not to sign pact with maoists.
And when he said maoists are buying second hand guns from Bihar, he was
right again. UN has just finished registering maoists weapons when country was going thought turmoil, and UN has no mechanism to verify the Bihar weapons against the weapons the use to carry. Prachanda has duped the countrymen again.
I really admire this man’s thought. Great job Moriarty.
I see nothing wrong in Moriarty’s statements above. I think he is honest in his opinions. It seems he wants to create some sort of pressure on Maoists so that they would submit all of their weapons to UN which is, I think, a must as we are heading towards the election. Given the influence of United States around the world, any American ambassador’s remarks in any country will generate a lot of interest and debates. Even so in smaller, less powerful and poor countries like Nepal.
I see ambassador Moriarty saying above that the “US provided nearly $50 million in development assistance to Nepal in fiscal year 2006.” Good. But it would be very nice to see that the United States matched the money with the level of interest its ambassador’s words create in Nepali society. I think the interest in American ambassadors in Nepal is valued at somewhere near US $ 500 million!
Well said. Proportionate aid to match America’s interest/interference in Nepal.
dont worry USA is losing control over the economy in the world gradually,
worldwide condemnation of US terrorism is increasing day by day, USA is being most unpopular country in the world. such a drunkard son of senior bush is presedent in white house. he will spoil not only his party but whole usa image and economy.
tell moriarty to shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BK, UK. I think you should remian quiet. The US is still the most powerful country militarily and eonomically. And as far as I see it they are not losing control.
Forget about the US though. Let’s just get things right in our own house.
My comment is on that aid issue. I completely agreet with Pala and Patriot. There are so many sectors where the United States can provide assistance to Nepal. Strenthening democracy is one good example of such sectors. Why not help in development activities more? Why not hlep produce more skilled persons? Why not open up more scholarships to Nepalese students? Why not increase quota to Nepali garment? I don’t think America is hated in Nepal as much as India. Still there is significant amount of negativism towards America in Nepal. The only way to reduce that negativism is to provide more assistance and take Nepal as a business partner.
H.E Ambassdor is right.
For all the stooges of SPAM just read history, Maoist are doing exactly what Hitler and his storm troopers did to opposition. They used brown shorts and later day S.S to beat and murder all the opposition in name of people and justice. By the way Hitler came to power democratically and destroyed the very essence and structure of democracy and perpetrated the mass murder. At that time Germany was just like Nepal where parties were led by incompetent people and country was in CHAOS after First WW. The parallel is too much for comfort and it has dimension of Maoist beloved Khmer rough as well. PEOPLE OF NEPAL JUST LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO GERMANY DUE TO HITLER AND CAMBODIA DUE TO POLPOT AND OUR DEAR MAOIST IS USING SAME TACTICS AND STUPID SPAM AND PARTY IS DOING NOTHING. READ THE HISTORY EVERYONE AND FEEL THE DANGER AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT !!!
You are right mahila sahu. Maoists have done what they had to do and personally I appreciate their contribution in bringing this much needed revolution and change. But they have run their course and their staying will only lead Nepal the Cambodia, German way. We need to get rid of them.
mahila sahu hitler was actually savour of germany n its true german people. it made germany strong militiraly n economically, only evil thing he created was to take over the world n eliminate every single jews.
Mr. Bista: Over the past decade the Nepalese political leaders have acted like a bunch of mad monkeys. They have never bothered to sell Nepal has a partner with tremendous potential. They were/are so uneducated and ‘kaatai’ with their broken english (and they refuse to use translators) they just come across as being some desperate dirty currupt leader from a 3rd world country. How do you expect US, India or any other country to treat us? We come across as beggers and thats what people will treat us like.
The maoist are not to be trusted and they are just using SPA to build up their weapons as shown by the below article that was published in the Hindustan Times:
Army busts int’l arms racket in J&K
Tejinder Singh Sodhi, Baramulla, February 1, 2007
Army in Baramulla district of north Kashmir has busted an international racket of arms and ammunition, by arresting a Nepali resident who was acting as a conduit between Nepali Maoists rebels and Kashmiri terrorist outfits.
The transaction of such dealing was made using Hawala channels in which an advocate of Jammu and Kashmir High Court is also involved.
Hindustan Times has the exclusive information that a Nepali resident Pasang Lama Son of Late Lundip Lama a resident of Humla district near Nepali capital of Katmandu, was acting as a conduit between Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, Nepali Maoists rebels and the insurgents in northeastern states of India, and was purchasing arms and ammunition from Kashmiri terrorists at cheaper rates and selling the same to Nepali Maoists with a higher price tag.
Pasang Lama who is living in G-49, I Ford, Vikas Marg, Laxmi Nagar in New Delhi was a frequent visitor to Jammu and Kashmir and had lived in Srinagar for three months. He was regularly visiting far off villages of Jammu and Kashmir to undertake weapon sale in a disguise of a shawl and carpet dealer.
Pasang Lama was intouch with an Advocate of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Abdul Latif Wani Alias Vakil from his Delhi mobile number 09910467797. Latif acted as a mediator in all the Hawala transactions.
According to the information available with HT, a Nepali resident and a friend of Pasang Lama, Kunjup Tsering who is presently residing in Delhi appointed Pasang Lama to purchase a huge consignment of arms and ammunition from Kashmir and to deliver it to either Kathmandu or Delhi, from where he (Kunjup Tsering ) would send it to the Maoists in Nepal and sell rest of it to the insurgents in northeast.
For this a huge amount of money was deposited into two different accounts of Abdul Latif Wani in Rajouri Kadal branch of Jammu and Kashmir bank in Srinagar Account Number 14219 and the Court Road, Lal Chowk branch of Vijaya Bank in Srinagar account number 1591.
In December last year Pasang Lama was successful in purchasing a consignment of weapon for which he paid Rs 4,77000 in cash. The amount for purchase of the weapons was withdrawn from bank account of Abdul Latif wani from the Rajouri Kadal branch of Jammu and Kashmir bank account number 14219.
Three bearer cheques were given to Pasang Lama drawn in favor of Sider Tamang, Cheque Number 5070189 dated 30-11-2006 worth 200000, Cheque Number 5070350 dated 15-12-2006 worth 40,000 and Cheque Number 5070190 dated 31-12-2006 worth rupees 237000.
The weapons comprising of AK 47 assault rifles, hand grenades, and rocket launchers and pistols were delivered in a fruit truck in the Delhi fruit market from where it was taken to Nepal by Kunjup Tsering.
According to the information Pasang Lama returned back to Jammu and Kashmir and was now looking for another consignment of the weapon, he was aided by one Younis Ahmad son of Abdul Aziz of Srinagar, and to book a new deal he was frequently visiting the north Kashmir.
An officer of the army’s 46 RR posted in Baramulla from his sources came to know about the movements of Pasang Lama and Younis and he with the help of his sources lured both of them to Baramulla, for a fake weapon deal.
The cost of weapons was fixed at Rs 60,000 for an AK 47 rifle Rs 30,000 for a pistol and a grenade at 2000. A deal for four grenades, one pistol and an AK 47 rifle was made.
The deal was that Pasang would see the weapon in Baramulla and pay half of the money in advance where as he would pay rest of the amount when he gets the consignment in New Delhi delivered in a fruit truck.
Pasang Lama came to see the weapon with a bearer Cheque of 20,000 of Court road Lal chowk branch of Vijaya bank Cheque Number 879867 dated 30-12-2006 drawn in favor of Ramesh. The whole transaction was recorded on video camera and Pasang Lama was arrested by the army. Pasang’s aide Younis Ahemd who was called at another place was also arrested with an amount of 50,000.
The interrogation of Pasang Lama by the army and the intelligence bureau reveled, some startling facts.
Pasang was in touch with Pakistani ISI, various terrorist outfits in Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal and northeastern states of India. He was in the business of arms trade for last four years.
Weapons were delivered to Pasang trough fruit truck in Delhi, Rajasthan and Gujarat from where his friend Kunjup Tsering would carry them to Nepal and supply the same to Maoists. His elder brother BCU Lama who is presently living in Lhasa, Tibet was in constant touch with him and BCU Lama was in touch with insurgents in northeast.
In Delhi Pasang used Delhi metro as his source of transportation so that no one could monitor his activities, he was also frequently visiting Manali, Delhi, Srinagar, Lhasa and Kathmandu. Younis Ahmed who was also arrested in the case is also working as an agent with advocate of J&K High Court Abdul Latif Wani.
Indian Army says Nepali Maoist arrested in Kashmir has links with Laskar -E
NEW DELHI, Feb 14 – Indian Army has claimed that a Nepali national, believed to be a Maoist leader, was arrested while purchasing weapons from the terrorist outfit Laskar-E-Toiba in the Indian state of Kashmir.
Indian Army spokesman colonel V.K. Mathur informed the Indian press that Pasang Lama, who the Indian Army claimed to be a Nepali Maoist leader, was arrested with Muhammad Yunus from one of the largest terrorist outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Laskar -E-Toiba.
Lama was purchasing weapons from Yunus worth Rs. 500,000 at Rafiyabad of Barmulla in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army claimed.
Mathur said, “Pasang Lama was at Barmulla district to deal with Laskar-E-Toiba. He was arrested from Binar village. According to our investigation, it has been revealed that Nepal’s Maoists have links with the terrorist group—Laskar-E.”
Mathur, however, had no concrete evidence whether Lama was a Nepali Maoist leader or not.
According to sources at the Indian police, Lama, currently under security detention, had a cheque worth Rs. 277,000 for the first phase of a weapon purchase.
“Preliminary investigations showed that Lama has come to Kashmir time and again in the past five years as a businessman dealing in Pashmina shawls. He has admitted that he has links with the terrorists.”
The police said Lama, hailing from Humla, was “involved in taking weapons back and forth between the ISI of Pakistan, Nepali Maoists and rebels in northeast India.”
Lama used to stay in Laxminagar in New Delhi and for the past three months was in Kashmir, Mathur said.
The above two report if correct, definetly points to some other direction the maoists are planning for Nepal. All these peace talk could be just to mislead the SPA and other international friends of nepal. looking at the Terai unrest that was started by them, they are determined to create problems all over the country and then they will use their gun power to take over the government and impose dictatorship. Moriarty is right and the SPA & UN monitors must be very careful and the people of nepal must know the types of weapons and their quantity that has been locked up in the containers.
Moriarty is the only man in Nepal who’s senses are still intact. Everything he has claimed about the Maoists has turned out to be true. At present he is better than any given politician in the country.