Nepal Peace Process: A Great Leap Forward

UWB endorses the following editorial in today’s edition of daily Kathmandu Post
[Inside: the plights of internally displaced people]

The formation of interim government is a leap forward in our peace process. This day will be marked in the annals of history also for another reason: We have a date for the Constituent Assembly election. Come June 20 and the Nepali people will give their historic verdict on many issues, including the monarchy. Despite a lot of criticism—not to mention the cynicism—political parties have shown maturity and sagacity to come this far—and to come united. Coalitions are precarious by nature, so bickering and bargaining is part of it. But we should commend our political parties for not losing sight of one thing: holding the constituent assembly elections on time. Congratulations for the achievement and good luck for the difficult task ahead!

The nation now has a clear goal—to hold the constituent assembly election on June 20 in a peaceful environment and in a free and fair manner. Let’s all stand united in this goal and show unity of purpose. Once the nation gets the mandate of the constituent assembly, we will enter into a new phase of democratic consolidation and social and economic progress. The period from now to June 20 will be a phase of critical transition. It needs caution and as Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said, “cooperation from all sides”. The eight-parties have already warned the royal palace not to conspire against the election. They have decided to amend the interim constitution to add a provision to give the interim legislature the power to abolish monarchy by two-third majority. A slight indication of conspiracy against the election from the royal palace means the immediate demise of monarchy. The most graceful thing for the king to do would be to wait for the people’s verdict.

American Statement:
U.S. Embassy Backs Peace Process, CA Elections As Soon As Possible

Upon formation of the Interim Government, the U.S. Embassy reaffirms its full support for the peace process in Nepal. The next step in this process should be the holding of Constituent Assembly elections as quickly as possible.

The government must create an atmosphere for free and fair elections by vigorously enforcing law and order throughout the country.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which to date has refused to abandon violence, must finally do so. As a partner in the Interim Government, the Maoists must now be held fully accountable for their actions. They must meet their commitments and at last join the mainstream as a non-violent political party.

The United States also urges the new government to initiate a comprehensive national dialogue with all ethnic groups to hear their grievances and to promote unity. If the peace process is to succeed, unity must be forged, law and order enforced, and security maintained. The Nepali people deserve nothing less from their servants – the new Interim Government.

Parties, too, have a share of their responsibility now. They should also change their behavior to create conducive atmosphere for the poll. Nepalis don’t deserve to be coerced or rigged when they go to the poll on June 20. The freedom to express their choice on that day will decide the quality of future freedom. The Maoists are now a part of the government. This means it’s also their responsibility to give people freedom from all types of fear. We want to tell the Maoists in unambiguous terms that a party in government can’t intimidate people; can’t carry guns; can’t extort from businesses or commoners; can’t seize or hold someone else’s private property. We have supported the entry of Maoists in the governments all the way since the April Movement in the hope that they will behave responsibly. Don’t let us down and, more importantly, don’t let the people down.

Many Displaced Still in a Lurch

By Kosh Raj Koirala

With the induction of Maoists in the interim government, and their agreement in the Common Minimum Program to return seized property, many have begun to hope once again that they might finally get their property back and return to their home villages. Thus far, it is only a hope though, like the hope that had kindled in their hearts when Maoists made similar commitments in the comprehensive peace agreement last November.

But for the likes of Sharan Bahadur Bhandari, 73, who was forced by Maoists to desert his ancestral home at Chattiwan VDC-7, Makwanpur, four years ago, agreements alone mean nothing. For him, living a miserable life with family members in the capital is too harsh a reality to forget even for a moment. Bhandari left his ancestral home after repeated threats and physical abuse by Maoists, who had asked Rs 100,000 ‘donation’ from his family. “After we failed to pay the amount, they first abducted and tortured my eldest son and then me, alleging that we had leaked information about their activities to the army. It was only good fortune that our lives were spared,” said Bhandari, recounting the horrors of March 2003.

A perpetual sense of insecurity forced Bhandari and his son Ganesh to desert the village. But things got worse. Local Maoist cadres threatened to kill Bhandari’s family members if the latter failed to call the two back to the village. “They would arrive at our house mostly at night and ask the whereabouts of my husband and father-in-law,” said Gyanu, Bhandari’s daughter-in-law. “Once, they came in the afternoon and took me and my three daughters to the courtyard. Then they poured kerosene on us, threatening to burn us alive. Luckily, one of the cadres was kind-hearted and we were left unharmed.”

In April the same year, Maoists hoisted their party flag atop the house and declared that the house along with the 7 bigha farm of the Bhandari family had been seized. They also took away cattle, poultry and a large amount of food grains. “We then had no option but to flee the house at the earliest,” said Gyanu. “Maoist cadres still continue to threaten us. They have also refused to return our seized property.”

The Bhandari family is just a case in point. According to Maoists’ Victims Association (MVA), as many as 15,000 of the total 27,000 Maoist-displaced families are still languishing in the capital city or district headquarters, out of fear of Maoists. However, the government estimates a much lesser number. Talking to ekanitpur, Prakash Kharel, under-secretary at the Home Ministry, said some 7,500 families have registered themselves with the government as displaced families. “We have formed a verification team in each district headquarters to identify genuine victims and help rehabilitate them to their former homes with some assistance. Displaced families have been returning to their homes these days,” he said.

Dharma Raj Neupane, president of MVA, said Maoists have not fully abided by the peace agreement of last November in that they have refused to return seized property. “The important thing is to build a sense of security among people,” he said. With the new agreement signed Sunday (1 April), it is to be seen how the former rebels fare this time in terms of remaining true to their promise.

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47 thoughts on “Nepal Peace Process: A Great Leap Forward”

  1. Congratulations to Maoists. I just saw this news:

    Maoists continue extortion spree, beat up villagers

    Kantipur Report

    KATHMANDU, April 2 – Even after their induction into the interim government, the Maoists have not given up their extortion spree and donation drive.

    A contractor of an under-construction school at Khajuri in eastern Dhanusha informed that some Maoist cadres Monday morning asked for donation and threatened him by the phone of exploding a bomb in the school and killing him if he defied their order. The school Is being constructed at Khajuri, Dhanusha with an aid support of Indian government.

    Similarly, on Saturday, Maoist cadres at Mann of Kalikot thrashed seven villagers there. The Maoist cadres used stick, khukuris and knives and assaulted the villagers. The villagers are said to be seriously injured. Among the injured is one 14-year-old.

    The kin of the injured have brought them to district headquarters Mann for treatment.

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  2. It is easy to be anti-government and become rebel and carry gun in the name of people’s war and rule people in fear but it is too hard to run as a government, maoist should realize that. Will they be responsible?

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  3. I’m not going to be too worried about Maoist bombs in the future. They’ve joined the mainstream. They still have crazy ideas, but I think they’ve realized they can’t implement them for a long time.

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  4. maoist got their final destination POWER. this is the biggest cause – they started terrorise the country. i hope and pray they will stay calm for the country sake.

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  5. I dont think Maoist cadres can change overnight, but I can only hope they do that soon. This passe before Constitutional Assembly is very sensitive, if we can establish good governance structure after the Assembly then only we can have sigh of relief. At present, lets keep our finger crossed.

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  6. When asked if his party will accept the outcome of the CA if it went against his party’s aspirations, Pushpa Kamal has always said “we do not expect the results of the CA to go against us”. He has never said that he will accept the results. So, how his party will react to adverse results of the elections if it was ever to take place is an answered question. Similarly, Maoists have never owned up to the recent extortions and kidnappings in the country saying that their party has stopped indulging in these petty crimes. So, if we see these activities carry on unabated, it will come as a no surprise. And finally, the Maoists have never categorically explained to the Nepalese public what their social and economic agenda look like… thus, the public has no idea what to expect if the terrorists were to come to power. Yesterday, Jhal Nath Khanal surprised me by saying on Image Channel that the elected Constituent Assembly will replace the current parliament and also act as a parliament in addition to writing up the constitution. I am not sure if my earlier understanding that the CA will only write the constitution while the current Tikey parliament will continue to function as it is until the new elections are done is right or if Jhal Nath Khanal is right.. may be this blog could do us all a service by explaining the course of actions that will be taken from here on…..

    True that this is indeed a very welcome happening in the country that the Maoists are finally sharing the task of running the country.. but, how much they will be able to be responsible to make this a better place is for us to wait and see. We can only wish for best things to happen from here on.. so may luck be on our side.

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  7. guy: you do bring up a good point. The Maoists are very confident that the CA elections will be in their favor. I think that is a gross misjudgement on their part. They have recently squandered a major electoral constituency – Terai and it remains to be seen if the majority of the Nepal will actually vote for these goons given a free and fair opportunity. I also wonder what their reaction will be – oh wait of course they just say it was a Royalist conspiracy.

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  8. I think the Maoists are fully aware that they will perhaps become only the third largest party after the CA elections. The polls will keep getting deferred I am sure.

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  9. I don’t mind people saying that the maoists will take time to change. However, what i don’t like is not many are demanding prosecution against the culprit/s. We are talking about innocent nepalis, much like you and me, being beaten up, tortured, extorted or even murdered and we do not even demand to prosecute the culprit involved?

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  10. @guy

    Good points. I would also like to know the time-line of the current parliament.

    I had hoped earlier that Prachanda and the maoists will be more accountable then the lot of politicians we had earlier, but I now feel differently. They simply deny to look beyond their own views, any wrongdoings on their behalf, and try to blame everything to someone else.

    But the situation of the country looks like it is improving, and we can just hope that things will get better.

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  11. If the Maoists lose and refuse to accept, the SPA must show the balls to leverage all the power, army and international support they have to crush them for good. In such a case i dont think the international community should have any probs giving the NA bombs, guns and other conventional weapons to wipe these terrorists.

    Well if they accept the results and I hope they do, I can confidently say Nepal will be on the right track. Afterall we need a strong opposition to make these spineless SPA leaders toe the line. And only Maoists can do that.

    As far as monarchy is concerned I’d like to see it gone for good. Its really irrelevant for there will never be peace as long as monarchy is there.

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  12. But despite all this good feel, theres a huge chip missing somewhere. How will the govt handle genuine demands of Madhesis, Janjatis, Dalits and such oppressed groups will need to be seen. Else these parties would have only shared power among themselves thereby hijacking the will of the people. This will be the next big task to solve before venturing on anything else.

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  13. I like the way you think Patriot. The ball is in the Moaists hands. And I agree that we should abolish the Monarchy because if we don’t the SPA, Moaists will just continue to go on and on and use the Monarchy as an excuse for their failures.

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  14. When the monarchy is gone they will use indian or american conspiracies as their excuses. How can you turn a bunch of stupid, incompetent, unskilled and ill intentioned matured adults (almost all over40) into a more functioning and intellignet ones just by abolishing the monarchy. I agree that democracy takes time and eventually like a lotterry we will end up with a leader with considerable patriotism for this country but does this country have any time left? I have also felt that Nepalis living abroad support these old leaders of spaM more than we nepalis living in Nepal do as they see criticizing spa as being anti democratic and they probably don’t realize that this facade that they think is democarcy is not one at all. Look, people say as long as india exists, there will never be peace in Nepal. There are not any shortage of cospiracy theories in Nepal and as long as leaders of this country is incompetent and corrupt, there will always be conspiracies against this country with or without the king. And as far as SPAM leaders are concerned, i would like to see them draged out on the street and stoned to death by the people. I however, am not suggesting the abolishment of the SPA because i do believe that democracy is the best system in the world as of yet but we just need to get rid of these pathetic ill intentioned leaders.

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  15. “I have also felt that Nepalis living abroad support these old leaders of spaM more than we nepalis living in Nepal do as they see criticizing spa as being anti democratic”

    Well Mr. B don’t count me as being among these idiots. I think the spa is the alliance of the worst, most imcompenant, currupt, worthless people on this planet. But look at our sad situation – that’s the only viable alternative.

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  16. Maoist !!!!

    We nepalese can’t wait longer. Implement those 40 Points immediately. Do not forget where you came from and why you raised weapons against fellow nepalese. These 40 points are genuine and implement them now.

    Prachanda/Baburam abrogate 1950 Nepal-India Treaty immediately. Can you?

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  17. ??? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????????| ??????? ??????? ?????? ???? ??????? ????? ???? ?????????? ????? ?????? ?????? ????? ? ?????-

    “?????? ????? ????? ?????????????? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ??.??.?. ?? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? | ????????? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ????? ??????? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ?????? | ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ?????? ???? ????? ? | ????? ????? ??????? ????? ???? ??????? ????? ? ?????? ?????????? ????? ?????? ????? ?|”

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  18. Give dog a bone.

    I sure wish tranquilty and peace prevail in this land of ours. Days of ruthlessness and mayhem give away to discipline and excercise of responsibility with responsibility begin and once again their be tolerance and reconcilation amongst all with guarantee of freedom and pursuit of happiness without any threat or extortion or under duress to explore each and every citizens full potentaility under a basis tenet of Individual rights with freedom of speech, association and religion.

    Days ahead will define the end or the begining but at least now cannibals are fed, salaried, and given status quo. Wish I could get the same but I cannot being a lowly government worker without any strings to pull. So in the end its proven going against the establishment in form of insurgency pays whereas law abiding, 9/5, an paying taxes does not. Have mercy on me if I get the idea to walk the wild side.

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  19. yeah, thanks Ganule for bringing it up here… aba marera ra dhamkayera khairekheka haruley kursi ma basera officially hamro tax ko paisa thagera khaney bhaye… ek barsa ma sab mota mota sungur jasto bayera auney chan…. ani kahan janajati, kahan madesh, kahan inclusive democracy.. ani ta sab khalti baroun andolan bahek kehi hundaina….

    hijo KTV ko Firesidema Rabindra Shrestha ley bhaneka kura harulai chain hamro committed Wagleji ley kahiley blog ma halney hun kuni.. aru bela ta hagey pani padey pani lekhi halthey….historic bhanera…

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  20. The warlords are doing well in the Human Rights front. A comparison is a must in between how many terrorists did King Gyanendra managed to kill and how many civilians are being killed by SPAM warlords. Don’t miss on these stories because Indians don’t want to spread it, the EU and UN don’t want to hear it and the sold old media doesn’t want to tell it.

    NHRC records 640 cases of human rights abuses in four months

    The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recorded 640 cases of human rights violations including murder, abduction and disappearance within a period of four months – from October 31, 2006 to February 5 this year.

    A NHRC report publicised today says that out of the total 640 recorded cases, 123 people were killed – 86 by the security forces, 30 by the Maoists and 7 people by others including the two factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Murcha (JTMM). Most of the murder cases occurred in Terai districts like Bara, Sarlahi, Morang, Sunsari and Dhanusha.

    Similarly, 65 people were abducted by the Maoists during the four months period while the security forces were responsible for disappearance of 65 people. 20 people were abducted, or involuntarily disappeared, by other groups.

    According to the NHRC report, 66 people underwent torture – 32 by security persons, 27 by Maoists and six by others. Likewise, 57 people were displaced due to Maoist threats. The Maoists seized properties of 41 people during this period.

    Other cases of human rights violation include threats, mistreatment and exploitation of children and others.

    Speaking at the programme organised to publicise the report, NHRC secretary Dhruba Nepal said human rights violations continued despite the signing of comprehensive peace accord.

    Nepal said both the government and the Maoists must work seriously to end the culture of impunity. He also demanded that the government appoint senior officials at the NHRC as early as possible. nepalnews.com mk Apr 02 07

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  21. noname- I feel so sorry for you. You must cry yourself to sleep every night holding Gyane’s photo to your heart. I really admire your loyalty.

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  22. B – you are not wrong when you say SPAM will use Americans/Indians as excuse if monarchy is gone. But we’ve had enough of a war that revolved around throwing out Monarchy. Sure, if Indians/Americans were not there, our incompetent leaders will still find maybe Timbuktu to blame, but we cant resign just because of that. We need to move ahead judiciously and Monarchy is at the receiving end this time. Guess this is part of the process of balancing power in a new Nepal. And contrary to what you believe, I think majority of Nepalis residing abroad understand well how worthless these SPA are, but they are a necessary evil and we must keep them alive in the hope that someday we’ll have better leaders who truly love their country.

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  23. The mentality of Killers and their cadres is seen from the above two post. They would continue their faith in mass human genocide.

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  24. And they would completely ignore the crimes committed by them and take NO responsibility for it. As their Master Prachanda and Girija, so are they themselves.

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  25. And rascals, I do not admire your loyalties towards your warlords because I know that you will get the punishment for the terrorism you propagate.

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  26. noname – I think your blind loyalty toward monarchy has blurred your vision so badly that you constantly fail to see things around you as they appear in a new light. Sure nobody likes change and I know you’re desperate to save your beloved king, but come out of it and look around you for once. We are no fans of SPA or Maoists, but just trying to be watchful citizens. But of course you wouldnt understand that. You have too much to lose if monarchy is gone.

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  27. And guess what? Don”t even think that the Nepali people will accept you terrorists or your government lying down and getting raped. Get ready for hell.

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  28. Kirat and Patriot:
    Please kindly stop dignifying noname’s posts with responses. This man/women/shemale or whatever is far beyond rhyme and reason. It is pointless to try and reason out with him. Like a typical Rana/Shah his mindset is too autocratic to compromise and reason.

    But on the issue of the monarchy. This will have to be decided by the CA elections. Let’s see what the people want. If people vote in a free and fair elections and don’t wish to keep the monarchy then that’s it there is no reason for the Monarchy to exist. Fair enough noname?

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  29. I really admire your thoughts PATRIOT. We must have these worthless, incompetent and evil leaders so that we can have some one better than them tomorrow. My point mr. patriot is that there never was a democracy in Nepal, there is not one and neither will there ever be. In which country can a person be made pm six times. GPK – 6 times, SBT – 6 times, SBD-6 times. What is this a joke? how many time do the people need to reject these assholes? What right do they have to run this country? Where is the democracy? What makes you think these faces will ever change? who will change them? when this gpk is gone another will come along who will readily surrender the rights of the people to a superior being just so that someone else does not become a pm. Yes, people abroad may know how worthless and dangerous these unnecessay demons are but they do not have to live with them. We do. And it just burns me from the inside when i see these idiots committ crimes after crimes against the interest of the people. It is our future they are destroying and so, please do not tell me that these are the necessary evils. The home minister did not even say that the Lahan murder (by the maoist cadre) was wrong. What is this? tomorrow it can be me who is shot dead leaving behind my wife and a kid, where would they go? The home minister apologized to the maoist mp for making fuss about bringing a loaded gun into the parliament, where the fcuk else does this happen? No, mr. patriot, necessary evils are only necessary to others not me.

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  30. I believe that democracy can only be initiated by lining up all senior leaders and stoning them to death. Then i will support democracy, be it republic or otherwise. Untill that happens, these SPAM goons are not going to do or even think anything in our interest.

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  31. B – again everything you said is true. But then what is the alternative? If we submit the country to monarchy, one – we are back to the regressive panchayat days, two – Maoists will take up guns again. If we submit the country to Maoists, we will have a Cambodia like situation. So the best option I think is get rid of monarchy and keep SPA and Maoists and hope things will be better this time.

    SPA is necessary because it is the only mechanism through which we can practise democracy. Sure, we havent had that in a true sense so far, but atleast we can hold them accountable. And with a strong opposition like Maoists, they better buckle up.

    If you have a better alternative in mind, I’d love to hear it.

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  32. Also I understand its different having to live with these things everyday. But in many different unseen ways it affects all Nepalese even living abroad. We are all so sick of these leaders that if I come face to face with any of them, I might just puke. Saddest of all we just dont have a choice. But hopefully this will change if the CA goes smooth and Maoists accept results gracefully and KG too accepts his fate. Sounds too good to be true isnt it?

    Lets just hope things happen right this time.

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  33. maoist in the government is the saddest thing that has ever happened to/in Nepal.
    However, one thing was clearly proved by the recent happenings…………. Political power does for fact lie in the barrel of the gun.

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  34. How can the same people who have failed for the last 20 years bring us success? We are not going to see any new faces are we? It is going to be sujata koirala or ram chandra poudel from NC, or its going to be KP oli or bamdev gautam from UML after their top leaders are dead or if they resign (which they never will). I just want the king or the maoists to kill all the top leaders of the seven parties as a last gift to the people before they go. Or maybe the people would have to do it themselves. And as far as your “we have no choice” is concerned, we had no choice either. Everything this here is designed and prepared with someone else’s interest in mind. With interim constitution as undemocratic as this, i have very little hope for the ca elections. And to tell you honestly, ca election in june is a crime against all nepalis. You can not hold ca election in two months as if they were talking about buying a new car. Not even 15% of the people know what it is? even i dont? It is really a crime and very undemocratic.

    I believe even the maoists have sold out. Eventually even they will settle for the ceremonial monarchy. Nothing will change and all revolutions are held for the rights of leaders to earn money through gross and blatant corruption.

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  35. I think B is right as far as the Maoists are concerned. They will eventually sell themslves out – its only a matter of time.

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  36. I am not understanding why people are worried about maoist??They have two alternatives now:

    1. Either to become like UML
    2. Stick on dead maoism concept and throw the democratic forces

    Specially Prachanda already got what he wants and his target will only to become President in future. According to Rabindra Shrestha,”Prachanda was almost tired of rebellion war and looking for safe landing”. Which he already got it with big pride and success beyond the imagination. In future, the history will consider that the whole game of the maoist is just to make foolish to the general poor people (in tems of their real desire of survivings). The only tension toward Prachand now is to provide job opporutnity to their core acitvists. In the 21st century, they know that the dead ideology of communism can do nothing but just change the politics and fool the people. I don’t see big changes will going to happen in the present leadership for the benefit of the physical matter of the people excluding political. Many of the present leaders of spa are just spending their retired life because they have already sent their next generation and money to the foreign land (Examples of UML are; Bidhya bhandari, Bamdev, Bharat Mohan etc. etc.). So, they are ready to take every kind of risks and changes except their life for their survival. Once the Prachanda will get his destiny in the palace, many others might tries to copy the same thing. Tomorrow Madheshi Forum will also start to say that the cruel Gaur incident (although maoist and government are equally responsible to be blamed) was nothing but just part of their movement for their rights. The danger seems that many similar kinds of incidents are going to occured in future with thee name tag of “rights and movements”. For which people might fingered toward spaM for everything. Similarly, the division of the nation with concept of federalism can become trouble was never thought by spaM. Where it is too late to step backward. The whims and fancy are started in Nepali politics that those who talks about the rights of the individual’s community are considered as the popular hero. It shows that many new leaders are going to be born in individual communities which are going to be great threat to the spaM-government to handle the situation. Neither the SPA nor the Maoist can unite the nation if it continues like this. The vaccum in between spaM-government and ethnic groups are going to increase further.

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