Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala resigned from the post of Prime Minister today only to be reappointed, this time by the parliament, to the same position within half an hour. [Historically, PMs in Nepal have been appointed by the king.] Prime Minister Koirala, who is also the acting Head of State of Nepal because the king is constitutionally in the state of suspension, is heading an interim government that has several other parties -most notably the Maoist, former rebel- in the cabinet. Koirala, appointed for the record 6th time as the Prime Minister, first took the oath in Parliament and administered the same to his ministers. Before all these developments, Nepali people saw intense meetings of parties to finalize the details of the coalition. Some unexpected problems emerged as parties saw some portfolios were removed (the disappearance of the post of Deputy PM hit the Amik Serchen’s Jana Morcha the most).
I am thrilled to see the Maoists MPs taking oath of the ministerial posts. The induction of the Maoists in the government has sent waves of hope to Nepali people who are desperately looking forward to the successful completion of the peace process. There are some people, most notably the royalists, who are firmly against the Maoist involvement in the government. Also the United States is against it. According to news reports, American ambassador James F Moriarty yesterday met Prime Minister Koirala in the latter’s official residence and suggested to drop the idea of inducting the Maoists in the government as it would be dangerous to until they surrender all their weapons. That might a point to be noted but weapons are not only the major problem right now. We believe that the Maoist presence in the government will help in making the peace process a success to that many people who suffered during the decade long insurgency would not have to suffer again.
[A personal note: I am the happiest man today! Lately I have been seeing some commentators branding me as Maoist mouthpiece or pro-Maoist which, I think, doesn’t deserve to be dignified by my response. I think I should be the one who is firmly against the Maoist induction in the government- but I am not and I have reasons for that- because just a day before yesterday my parents returned from the village after local Maoist cadres didn’t let them stay in home. Wagles had recently gone to Duragaun village of Ramechhap district to claim the property and home that always belonged to them but was captured by the Maoists for the last several years. The local Maoist cadres didn’t return them the lands, didn’t let them use their property and didn’t let them stay in the house. News reports that came from Manthali, the district headquarters, and appeared in several newspapers in Kathmandu three days ago suggested the local Maoist cadres came to my home and forced my mother to leave the home. The district leadership stated that they didn’t have the policy of not returning the properties and assured that they investigate the matter.
As a member of the family, how do I feel about that incident? Obviously, I am outraged and I feel this is a violation of the agreement that the Maoist signed with the government. At the same time I strongly want to believe that this is an isolated case and that Maoist will soon be able to solve this problem. I want to believe that Maoist leadership is fully committed to the peace process and competitive politics. I want to give them the benefit of doubt for the sake of the peace process. That’s what as an individual I can do and as a family we can do as a contribution to the peace process. I know how much difficulties my family has been facing because of the capturing of the land and property. Let me look it from the-glass-is-half-FULL angle. For me and my parents, to be able to go to home is itself an achievement and we are hopeful that we will see more improvements in coming days. I am sure there are many people out there who would be happy in sacrificing their personal interests for the broad national interest. I wish all the best to the interim government. We must be able to vote in the election of Constituent Assembly in 20 June, yes, without any fears.]