U.S. in Nepal: Moriarty Would Welcome Maoists to Democratic Mainstream

If the Maoists adhere to their commitments and finally renounce violence, Ambassador James F. Moriarty would enjoy welcoming their leader to the democratic mainstream, the U.S. envoy said in Kathmandu today. The comment came in response to a question after the Ambassador delivered a speech at a conference of five Rotary Clubs, where he said the Maoists must renounce violence, meet their commitments, and return to cantonments they abandoned this week. The Ambassador said: “Actually I would welcome Mr. Prachanda coming into the political mainstream. He hasn’t done it yet. He has made some moves that are encouraging; his movement as a whole has done lots of moves that made me worry. “But the single capping achievement of my tour here would be for me to be able to leave this country shaking Mr. Prachanda’s hand and say, ‘Welcome to the democratic mainstream.’ That would be the best possible future for Nepal that I could see.” The audience of approximately 200 applauded the envoy’s response.

Here is the text of Moriarty’s address, delivered at the “Rotary Conference on Peace and Development– Post Conflict: Challenges and Opportunities.”

It is a pleasure to be here, especially because you mark today as both World Understanding and Peace Day and as the 102nd birthday of the Rotary organization. My father-in-law, an active Rotarian in Hawaii, will be pleased to hear that I helped celebrate this special day.

The conference organizers have assigned me a broad theme – Peace and Development – as the focus for my remarks. In tackling this challenging task, I will start by outlining some of the ways that the American people, through their USAID assistance agency, are seeking to help the Nepali people help themselves.

The United States wrestled with the link between peace and development in the immediate post-World War II period in Europe. After the defeat of Nazi Germany and its Axis allies, it seemed the West was destined to lose the peace. In those gloomy days, war-ravaged economies stalled, millions faced hunger, and a totalitarian ideology seemed to some the only path out of Europe’s crisis. In response, the United States, working with partner European states, developed the European Recovery Program, better known as the Marshall Plan. From 1947-51, some $12 billion in economic and technical assistance supported the recovery of participating European countries. The Marshall Plan, named after then-Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who first proposed it, has long been viewed as vital to reviving Europe’s economies and promoting peaceful European integration.

Since that era, my country has sought the most effective ways to help nations in need. In 1961, for instance, we created the U.S. Agency for International Development, better known as USAID. This was the first U.S. foreign assistance organization whose primary emphasis was on long-range economic and social development assistance. More recently, the U.S. launched the Millennium Challenge Account and the President’s Emergency Relief Plan for AIDS, both large assistance initiatives. In fact, as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has noted: “Under President Bush’s leadership, the United States has embarked on the most ambitious development agenda since the Marshall Plan.”

The Secretary herself has focused on the peace and development nexus. “To better align our foreign assistance programs with our foreign policy goals,” as she put it, Secretary Rice last year created the job of Director of Foreign Assistance, a new leadership position in the State Department. The Administrator of USAID occupies this post, ensuring closer assistance and policy coordination between State and USAID.

Nepal, where USAID/Nepal and its forerunners have been active for some 56 years, has already benefited from this improved coordination. Just recently, as you may have seen in the news, the State Department and USAID successfully petitioned the U.S. Treasury Department for permission to continue our development assistance to the Government of Nepal, even after Maoists – designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. – join an interim government. I was most pleased when we received the required license, which enables us to continue both long-term development assistance and more immediate initiatives to support the ongoing peace process and democracy in Nepal.

In a visit last week to Chitwan, I was reminded of the effectiveness of our long-term assistance by several Nepalis. They recalled how U.S. efforts to check malaria in their district and elsewhere helped open the Terai. In the 1950s, malaria was the country’s most serious health problem, affecting almost one quarter of the population. With U.S. support, the Insect-Borne Disease Control Bureau began working to control the disease, and by 1968 annual malaria cases had plunged from more than two million to under 2,500. This was one of our most successful health programs in Nepal. The now-populous Terai, of course, produces more than 65 percent of Nepal’s foodgrains. Similar long-term assistance continues, particularly in Nepal’s health sector, where USAID/Nepal is the largest donor.

After the King relinquished power last Spring and reinstated Parliament, the United States moved quickly to support the unfolding peace process and strengthen the transition to democracy. USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) set up shop here last July and expects to spend $4 million this year in this effort. Some funded projects include:

· Purchasing critically-needed equipment for Nepal’s Election Commission to register voters;

· Translating, publishing, and widely distributing in local languages key documents, such as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Arms Management Agreement, and the Interim Constitution;

· Mounting a live, national, toll-free, call-in radio show, linking Nepali listeners to their elected representatives and other influential leaders who are helping determine Nepal’s future.

By the way, if any of you drove past Ratna Park last Saturday, you could not have missed hearing a loud and vibrant rock concert. It featured a Grammy-award winning U.S. group, Ozomatli, which entertained some 12,000-15,000 enthusiastic young Nepalis. Ozomatli is a multi-ethnic, Latin hip-hop group with a socially-conscious focus. The group performed under the slogan, “Different instruments but one rhythm, together we can make a prosperous Nepal.” USAID/OTI and our American Center teamed to make this performance possible. Whether you enjoy rock music or not, the band’s message seemed especially relevant for Nepal.

As we consider Nepal’s development potential after the insurgency, the hydropower sector looms large. It is really not a question of whether Nepal develops this resource, but rather, when? With a potential estimated at more than 83,000 Megawatts, Nepal could become the Kuwait of hydropower, fueling economic advances throughout the country and the region. To do this, Nepal will need to focus on the export market, which in turn should attract substantial investment for hydropower development. In short, with the right investment, technical assistance, and leadership, Nepal could tap this clean, renewable resource to the benefit of its 28 million people and millions more throughout South and Central Asia.

A big question in this potential development, at least for an outsider like me, is: How effectively will Nepal manage the vast sums when it chooses to develop its hydropower? If this undertaking is managed transparently so that Nepalis understand their government’s plans and decisions, then the money will benefit all Nepalis. On the other hand, care must be taken to avoid corruption or the launching of vast “prestige projects” that might look good in a brochure but fall far short of maximizing the hydropower potential. As many of you are businessmen, I know you appreciate this potential. If developed wisely, the promise of hydropower for Nepal is high as the Himalayas.

Such a hopeful prospect of large foreign investment, of course, will also depend on the peace process here, and the successful establishment of a solid – and peaceful – democracy. Nepal has the opportunity to lay the foundation for a peaceful and democratic future that will spare your children the miseries that you and your families suffered during the past 11 years. But large challenges remain. Recent disturbances in the Terai, for instance, suggest the need for greater transparency and inclusiveness to address ethnic groups with long-time grievances who feel excluded from Nepal’s democratic transition.

On another central issue, arms management, we are informed this process is about to conclude. I am hopeful this exercise will succeed, and the Maoists’ usable weapons will be locked up and registered by the UN. If this proves to be the case, it will go far to assure the people of Nepal that a peaceful future really does beckon. Such an effective process also would pave the way for the Maoists – unarmed at last – to enter an Interim Government of Nepal. Permitting them in otherwise, in my government’s view, would be the height of folly.

If Nepal is to carry out free and fair elections to the Constituent Assembly later this year, it is central – I repeat, absolutely central – that Nepalis go to the polls without fear of intimidation or reprisal from armed Maoists or, indeed, from any other group. Competing political parties also must be free to campaign for votes anywhere, in all districts and villages, without interference.

Nepalis have lived with fear for more than a decade. It is time to wipe away this fear, and the Maoists have the ability to play a big role in this. As I have said on many occasions, this means they must finally match actions with words. The Maoists say they support democracy, and that they are for the people. Fine. Now it is time they prove it. The formula is simple: Stop intimidation. Stop extortion. Stop violence. Once and for all.

I cannot help but notice that Maoist leaders have stepped up their criticism of me and of my government. They charge that the United States is doing everything from supporting the King to fomenting unrest in the Terai, all in an attempt to derail Nepal’s peace process. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I have noted above, the United States is doing everything possible to ensure the success of the peace process. And let me note here, as I have said on numerous occasions, the future of the monarchy is for the people of Nepal to decide. But let us be clear: for the peace process to succeed, the Maoists must abandon their weapons and genuinely come into the political mainstream. We will not be dissuaded or distracted from this goal by baseless allegations from the Maoists.

Instead, we will call upon the Maoists to undo their continuing, cynical violations of their peace commitments. Just three days ago, Nepali newspapers reported that thousands of Maoist combatants left their compound in Chitwan, and yesterday Maoist combatants left their camps and reportedly returned in Kailali. No matter what the excuse for these actions, they constitute a flagrant and intentional violation of the most solemn agreement made by the Maoists: to keep their combatants in cantonments in the run-up to the constitutional assembly election. The United Nations has rightly noted that this is a clear breach of Maoist commitments and has called upon the Maoist combatants to return to the cantonment immediately. If the Maoists do not respond by doing just as the UN has asked, they will be putting Nepal’s peace process at risk.

U.S. policy toward Nepal is straightforward. We support a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Nepal. We are working hard to help the people of Nepal reach these goals. In the end, of course, as this group knows well, Nepalis themselves must make the hard choices and decisions about their future. In these historic times, with the right leadership and commitment, and with the active involvement of all Nepalis, your country has the opportunity to secure a bright, democratic future for all of the Nepali people.

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14 thoughts on “U.S. in Nepal: Moriarty Would Welcome Maoists to Democratic Mainstream”

  1. Some bloggers like the above two would rather see our country burn in hell then see Nepal succeed without the disgraceful royals of this country. Speaks a lot for the royals and their monkey supporters. Sad.

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  2. Haha. People who are born Killers … murderers of Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis, rapers of thousands, kidnappers, extortionists, and the people who have committed all kinds of heinous crimes are now talking about Peace. Yeah, right! When you see death and nemesis coming to you, you want to take up the peace agenda. Kirat (21:40:32) is just one such kind of arse. It’s SPAM (and particularly M’s) strategy to try and nullify the public outrage over their crimes by trying to downgrade others. You have done enough of fooling killers. Nepalis are wide awake and now it’s time for you to repent.

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  3. noname : The difference bewteen me and you is that I want to see the Nepali people better off in terms of the quality of their life, economically, socially, educationally , politically and healh wise, whether it happens during the king’s rule, SPA’s rule, Maoist rule or whatever… all people like you want is royal rule no matter what the state of the country and it’s people are in. Why don’t you marry another Indian like all your royal idols and migrate there? It would be great riddance of bad rubbish.

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  4. By the way, what would be the Maoist reaction tomorrow?

    They for sure will baost that American IMperialism kneed down to them!”
    Ameriki bistaarbaad le haamro agaadi ghuda tekyo” bhanchan hola.

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  5. Nepal will be a republic. I can almost guarantee that will happen soon. Gyane will suffer more public humiliations like getting stoned and having his buddies getting beaten up ( remember the Bharat Keshar case?)

    Gyanendra, for the love of the country, leave. Nepal will get on fine without you.

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  6. Nepal would do excellent without the Indian suppoted Kantipur. Then atleast we would have a proper, ethical, unbiased, free road (as opposed to gutter) journalism.

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  7. Ambassador James F. Moriarty has always supported the democratic Nepal, it is publication like kantipur who always publish what they understand not what is said making propaganda on anything Moriarty said, the gutter journalism as said by ???????? ????. Of course no one wants to see 18th century theory of Maoist communism in Nepal. It is a failed ideology, If that happens one time will come when fascist theory will start fighting following Mussolini’s ideology. Following only one ideology is never good for the development of country. A true democracy is when all ideology have equal rights and freedom of speech. No one being killed for not following one’s ideology and don’t have to leave in fear.

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  8. manan: “Gyanendra, for the love of the country, leave. Nepal will get on fine without you.”

    Do you really think that’s going to happen. The SPAMMERS didn’t even let him attend Devyani Rana’s wedding in Delhi. Anyway, Nepal will be[come part of] a republic. King Gyanendra will probably settle down somewhere in Bangalore. We will join him in carrying Bharat Sarkar IDs. Jai Hind.

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  9. UWB and Kantipur are always far from the truth– they think they are good at putting a spin on the news and make it more suited to their special interest.. but, how much longer can they fool the people? The dwindling ciculation of The Kathmandu Post and the remarkably increasing reader base of other Nepali broad sheet is a testimony to the diminishing popularity of this very very biased publishing house. This news item is just another example of the spin doctors at their worst. What Moriarty said yesteday is NO different that what he has been saying. In fact, in all the inconsistencies that we have seen from all the corrupt thugs and terrorists that makes up the SPAM, Moriarty is the only consistent person in the stand that he has taken. His bottom line has always been– stop being a terrorist and only then can we recognize too. I wish he had also added, stop looting this country you all fatsos and we are with you.

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  10. In the present scenario of Nepal, only Moriarty has been consistent with his views, and his talk makes sense. What Nepal need now is a strong leader, who will “call a spade a spade”. The SPA is pampering the maoists too much, and to have a check & balance, Moriarty should be made the chief political advisor of the PM.
    This way some sense will return to the working of the Govt.

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  11. I really surprise with the New Nepal Idea. I can see the any Democracy process in Nepal.

    The SPA themself declear as the Member of Parlianment. I feel they are doing as the Jungal raj ( like Virappan in South India). The Public of Nepal has chosen the MPA for 5 years, which election was held in 1998 for up to 2003. untill unless the fress elcetion held and find out the public support, it is very difficult to draw the any conclusion.

    I feel very sorry about the SPA & Maiost Democracy, I am very much keen to focus about some issue.

    – There is no any base taht SPA & Maoist can clam that they are the not real people representive government. The current government & mamber of parlinment are fack.

    – It has proof that Prachanda & Baburam has misslead the nepali ( innocent public ), they have used them by … murderers of Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis, rapers of thousands, kidnappers, extortionists, ——- just for get the position.

    _What Nepal Maoist party & Prachanda & Baburam given to nepali -public, its only murderers of Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis & paralize the Nepa economic development.

    * Prachanda & Baburam who were strongly give the public agenda that India is major obstracle for nepal development………. but what is fact thet they have done the agreement with indian Goverment to give the Karnali region & Nepal hydropower resources.

    – Prachanda & Baburam they should clearfy with people of Nepal, what kind of agreement they have done with indian government?

    _ I find Prachanda is one of the most worse politician in the world. he doesn;t have the sense of respect the of others moral value. Prob. he is not fit in more then VDC – chairman.

    – it is what kind of democracy on Nepal, where the king Gynandra need to take the Government permisison to expresss his own view. has ever Prachanda & Baburam take the Governmernt permission before media expression.

    _ In democracy every citixzen has right to express their view, then why there is boundation.

    _ who it would be accetable to educated & motivated neapli, then they find the allmost all of immoral, people sit in government & member of Parliament.

    it is still further discussion.. when we are free …

    bye

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