Jimmy Carter Came, Talked, Smiled and Went (Thanks Mr President!)

Here is the statement by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made on June 16, last of his four-day trip to Nepal

I’m happy to be back in Nepal and to be briefed by The Carter Center’s long-term observers, political leaders, marginalized groups, and election officials here. I admire deeply what’s been accomplished by the people of this great country over the past year. The Carter Center is here to support you in any way that we can, and to that end our long-term observers have been deployed since March visiting over 70 districts to learn about the electoral and political environment.

Constituent Assembly election

Nepal is in the midst of a historic transformation and this difficult process requires shared commitment from the government, civil society, marginalized groups, and most importantly the public. The country has set itself the essential goal of holding a constituent assembly election, and I support the significant progress toward that objective that has been made during my short time here. I urge the government to swiftly complete all necessary electoral preparations in order to hold an election in the month of Mangsir (November/December), including announcing a date and resolving any outstanding issues such as the electoral constituencies. Compromise will be necessary to avoid conflict during this period.

Carter in Press Conference (Saturday)

My opinion is the United States should establish some communication with the Maoists because it is obvious that the people of Nepal have accepted the Maoists as playing a role in the shaping of the future of this country. I think the United States’ beneficial influence here will be increased if they can talk freely to all the parties involved. Maoists have complied with UN requirements, disarmed to some degree and adopted the principle of multi-party democracy. I hope there will be a time in the future when the United States can have free communication with all the important political players who will shape the future of Nepal.

When asked whether he is going to take some initiative to make the US government lift the terrorist tag, Carter said he doesn’t have any authority at all but he would send a report to the White House and the State Department. He didn’t use the words “lifting”, “terrorists” or “tags” but emphasized more than once that the US government should establish contacts with all parties that have been in the political framework legally.

Carter refuted the claim made by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai the other day after meeting the former president that he told the Maoist leaders not to listen to the US ambassador in Nepal.

Additionally, I would like to highlight two areas which I believe deserve increased focus in order to allow for an honest and credible election and future progress towards peace and reconciliation:

Improved security environment

In the meetings that I have had over the past four days as well as in the reports I have received from The Carter Center’s long-term observers, everyone is concerned about the problems of insecurity and violence in Nepal. The present law and order situation is unacceptable. A safe and secure environment is a core requirement for progress in the transition process. I have spoken with Chairman Prachanda, leader of the Maoists, about the problems with the Young Communist League (YCL) and he has personally assured me that he takes this matter very seriously. He acknowledged that there have been some problems and said that he himself will take the responsibility to end this bad behavior. I welcome these assurances and my staff will be monitoring the YCL closely to ensure that their future behavior is in line with these promises. I have also been assured by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum leadership that their group is committed to nonviolence and peace, and I also intend to continue monitoring this commitment.

Additionally, every democratic country in the world has a strong police force as part of its civil administration. The role of the police is to protect the people and make them feel safe. The Nepal police do not appear to have adequate political support nor the confidence of the Nepali people and this is of critical concern to me. I hope the government and political parties at all levels will work closely together on this issue to ensure that the police have sufficient morale, capacity, and authority to carry out their important work in a fair manner that is respectful of human rights. Chief District Officers must also have the authority to act independently and quickly to deploy the police.

Need for inclusivity

For the first time in Nepal’s history, marginalized peoples are exercising their democratic right to be heard and to participate fully and equally in Nepali society. Their concerns are legitimate and I support them. When these rights are exercised in a peaceful way, it is an important and healthy part of the democratic process. I do not believe that the road of violence will ultimately lead to success.

It is important to realize that this election should be viewed as only an interim step in a much larger, longer, and more important process – the constituent assembly itself. It is there that the complex issues being raised, such as restructuring the state, should be vigorously debated. Continued dialogue and compromise are needed in order to ensure that a representative constituent assembly is able to take up these critical issues.

Serious divisions will recur unless competent and responsible people are chosen after the election to fill party quotas on the proportional representation list. Those selected should represent the interests of their own marginalized group.

I want to close by repeating how impressive a path the Nepali people have chosen. I urge you to stand up to your growing reputation in the world and unite around the long-term goals of sustainable peace, prosperity and participation in a representative democracy for all Nepalis. I offer you my best wishes and continued support and express my respect for what is being accomplished here in Nepal.

Thank you.

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70 thoughts on “Jimmy Carter Came, Talked, Smiled and Went (Thanks Mr President!)”

  1. I dont understand why most of us bloggers refuse to base our discussions on this premise. Discussions on issues that happen on the outside, though critical is at best superficial – be it monarchy, maoists, girija. As long as we dont look at our problem from this viewpoint, we all end up coming up with top-down explanations, instead of bottom-up.

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  2. Having said I agree 100% that Maoists have forcefully recruited many, including child soldiers. The lenghts these leaders have gone is unbelievable but is all that relevant now that the cat’s out of the bag?

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  3. “The Maoist army never used innocent villagers as human shields!”
    -It’s relative comarade. Royal-American Army used civilians as human shield more often during the war.
    “Maoists have forcefully recruited many, including child soldiers.”
    –Again, relative. Royal-American Army ‘recruit’ poor peasants children with the promise of giving them a job and use them as cooks, cleaners, messengers and informers. In absolute numbers, probably RAA uses more children than PLA.
    Child sodliers? Go into countryside in Nepal and see for yourself the kind of life children are forced to lead due to Rana-Shah misrule of over two centuries.

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  4. scope, if you are well educated and english literate maoist comrade, then come out and say so. Scope for people like you, and just for people like you that exist I do not wish democracy. Ignorant and illiterate fools are better herded by dictators.
    Thank You Bhudai for the potent sarcasm.
    FYI scope, poor peasants have joined so called people’s army because they would be killed if they did not. Maybe your mother or sister is warming up the bed for prachanda and many of your goons that you have the audacity to disclaim that. I know and I have seen it for a fact what your “army” (yeah right) does.

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  5. Patriot it is relevant becasue someone has to be accountable for deaths. Why should even one person’s death go unaccounted ? why? If Paras kills one or Prachanda kills four why should there be a difference ? Both had the choice of renouncing violence for the sake of the people, and both chose to KILL. It was a choice to KILL. So why the difference?

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  6. There is a good song which is against the US policy toward Iraq. Which can be linked to Nepal also.

    Living With War

    I’m LIVING WITH WAR everyday
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR in my heart everyday
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR right now…..

    And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man …
    And on the flat-screen we kill and we’re killed again…
    and when the night falls, I pray for PEACE…
    Try to remember PEACE (visualize)…
    I join the multitudes…
    I raise my hand in PEACE
    I never bow to the laws of the thought police
    I take a holy vow…
    To never to kill again..
    To never kill again…
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR in my heart
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR in my heart and my mind…
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR right now…

    Don’t take no tidal wave…
    Dont take no mass grave…
    Don’t take no smokin’ gun….
    To show how the west was won….
    But when the curtain falls,
    I pray for PEACE….
    Try to remember PEACE (visualize)…….

    In the crowded streets
    In the big hotels
    In the mosques and the doors of the old museum…
    I take a holy vow….. To never kill again
    Try to remember PEACE …………….

    The rocket’s red glare, Bombs bursting in air…
    Give proof through the night,
    That our flag is still there …

    I’m LIVING WITH WAR everyday …
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR in my heart everyday …
    I’m LIVING WITH WAR right now.

    The people of Nepal had given benefit of doubt to eight parties for bringing true peace and democracy. Looking at the present situation, the country is ruining more and more day by day by fraction among each other. But, eight parties still think they are the supreme of the supremo and their all strategies are in the right direction…. which is totally wrong and bring more disaster in coming days..

    …we are still living with war everyday although people are praying for the peace.

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  7. Thanks so much for articulating what I instantly knew to be misquotations in the Nepali dailies. Carter was widely reported as having said the “terrorist tag” should be removed. He never said such a thing, nor did or would he ever tell someone “not to listen to the US Ambassador.” The fact that such tripe was so widely reported in reputable dailies is a bad sign for both the accuracy of Nepali press and perhaps the English comprehension of the reporters involved.
    Thanks for clarifying (as below) after the press tried to put words in Carter’s esteemed mouth.

    When asked whether he is going to take some initiative to make the US government lift the terrorist tag, Carter said he doesn’t have any authority at all but he would send a report to the White House and the State Department. He didn’t use the words “lifting”, “terrorists” or “tags” but emphasized more than once that the US government should establish contacts with all parties that have been in the political framework legally.

    Carter refuted the claim made by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai the other day after meeting the former president that he told the Maoist leaders not to listen to the US ambassador in Nepal.

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  8. Patriot said:meeting Prachanda & Baburam and promising to remove terror tags, what is he doing?

    if you actually read the quotes, instead of reading the false summaries of the quotes, Carter never said such a thing, nor would he.

    Yatri:Or maybe have some boiled peanuts, grits and Bud Light with his family and friends in Good Ole Georgia watching the Fourth of July fireworks.

    Don’t you think this is just a bit racist…kind of like saying “you Neps go home and eat your churra” or perhaps, “You Chinks go eat your boiled dogs”? What a stereotype. Why is it okay to stereotype a white southerner?

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  9. “what do you say about madhesi Andolan ? Are they terrorist or freedom fighters ?”
    Many of them are freedom fighters. Sadly, they are being (mis)used by regressive forces.

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  10. Yes comrade Scope:
    all of Nepal’s problems lies with the regressive forces. I wish these regressive forces would show themslves so we can lynch them.
    Comarade you are missing the point. You say:

    “Royal-American Army ‘recruit’ poor peasants children with the promise of giving them a job and use them as cooks, cleaners, messengers and informers.”

    The regressive minds on this blog will argue that being a cook, cleaner, messanger etc. are legitimate jobs. Besides they might also argue that the RNA didn’t put a gun to people’s head and force them to join. Or they might even say that the RNA didn’t go around blowing up critical insfrastuture and shutting down schools and health services. Or they might even say the RNA didn’t use schools as hideouts and expose little children to harm. So on and so forth. Finally some might even bring up the fact that Nepal was actually (very gradually) improving in many human development indicators prior to the people’s movement. Why give them all this opportunity comrade?
    These Royal-American Army sympathizers will say any lie to bloster their point.

    The people’s movement gave the people so much more – power, freedom and a voice! Look at how much better off these same villagers are in the countryside. We should take these bloggers on a trip around Nepal and show them the result of the people’s movement.

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  11. And movement it is, moved hundreds and thousands away from their homes and displace them, and that is a true “Peoples Movement” I agree. Thank you for the “Peoples Movement” man are we moving.

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  12. scoop, you have raised perhaps one of the most important questions. Why have these idiots not signed the Rome treaty? Being a signatory would have a great beneficial effect for this country for years to come.

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  13. Kirat,

    I get astonished why the civil society group and the human rights people do not make this their top prority? This will definitely have long term benefits for us as you have pointed out. On the other hand, if we do not sign it – it would mean our common people having to run to the government influenced justice system to ask for justice against the highest offenders. This as everyone must know is pointless. I hope blogs like UWB besides the major media and citizens group make this an agenda to fight for.

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  14. Wagleji, If you have any influence within Kantipur Publications you should get them to do a media campaign for signing the Rome treaty.

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  15. matribhumi – by irrelevant i meant their future role, influence or any reason to exist, of course didnt mean they shudnt be tried for their crimes, they definitely shud.

    reg – carter’s supposed comments, if the old man didnt say all of those then i’m really appaled by our scribes competencies. i wonder how ppl can blatantly misconstrue to the extent of planting words …

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  16. Carter has done a remarkable work to restore democratic instutution in the world. His contribution to Nepal election will be in Nepali history. Carter how ever did not understood how relationship of powerful and power less works. I think that why he did a foreign policy blunder during his administration. After the election he said, “My opinion is the United States should establish some communication with the Maoists”. Is not it correct suggestion that the Maoist should establish communication? Do we really believe that only supper power in the world would come and knock the door of Prachand in Naya Banaswer? He should have given a address and phone # of foreign committee, and state Department official members and ask Maoist to call.

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