American Diplomatic Cable: Moriarty Meets Girija Prasad Koirala, Complains Against Home Minister Sitaula

2006-06-05 12:02

S E C R E T KATHMANDU 001432

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER IN NP
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER BRIEFS AMBASSADOR ON UPCOMING NEW
DELHI VISIT

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JAMES F. MORIARTY, REASONS 1.4 (B/D).

Summary
——-

¶1. (S/NF) Ambassador Moriarty, accompanied by A/DCM Schwartz
met June 5 with Prime Minister G.P Koirala and Senior Foreign
Policy Adviser Chalise on the eve of the Prime Minister,s
upcoming visit to New Delhi. Although press accounts have
speculated that the trip will focus on economic and trade
matters, the Prime Minister immediately volunteered that he
had only one goal for his visit ) to obtain Government of
India (GoI) consent to participation of a “witness” in the
Nepal peace process. Gaunt and repeatedly coughing, the Prime
Minister asked the Ambassador to inform Washington of his
desire to firmly draw the Maoists into the peace process,
while foreclosing Maoist military threats and containing
potentially recalcitrant Nepal Army (NA) elements by engaging
a credible and independent group of foreign witnesses,
preferably including India and the United Nations. End
Summary.

Traveling With a “Heavy Heart”
——————————

¶2. (S/NF) Ambassador Moriarty opened the meeting by
delivering the signed original of President Bush,s letter of
congratulations to Prime Minister Koirala, which the latter
received with gratitude. The Prime Minister immediately
opened with his planned June 6 ) 9 travel to New Delhi )
travel he is undertaking with a “heavy heart,” because of his
very strong desire to travel to Bangkok for medical
treatment. His health, he said, was “terrible.”
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister revealed that he is going to
New Delhi with a sense of urgency to press the case for India
to agree to having a credible “witness” in Nepal,s peace
process. Prime Minister Singh, he believes, is a “reasonable
and sensible” man who will see the value of India supporting
this important role ) not as a mediator or facilitator. If
the GoI were reluctant, he warned, he would up the ante by
asking the Maoists to issue a public statement in favor of
having the talks “witnessed.”

Negotiations Underway
———————

¶3. (S/NF) The Ambassador warned the Prime Minister of the
fears shared by many in Nepal and in the USG that the Maoists
were taking advantage of the GoN,s restraint in responding
to Maoist abuses by pushing to legitimize their “parallel
government.” Pressing demands for the dissolution of
Parliament and declining a military agreement were tactics
designed to press their advantage. The Prime Minister
acknowledged that in an effort to build good will and
confidence his government had moved rapidly ) perhaps too
rapidly — to meet what they saw as legitimate Maoist
demands, including the restriction of the King’s powers and
the declaration that Nepal had become a secular state. As a
result, the Maoist negotiators had little more that was
legitimate to ask of the GoN and their negotiators had little
for which to claim credit.

¶4. (S/NF) Turning to the unstable law and order situation in
the country, the Ambassador urged the Prime Minister to use
the police to press the Maoists when they committed common
crimes or violated the code of conduct for the ceasefire.
The Ambassador also questioned whether the Home Affairs
Minister, Krishna Sitaula, who was the GON’s point man
managing the police and enforcing law and order, was an
appropriate figure to lead the GoN negotiations. The Home
Minister’s need to assure the people that the government
would protect their lives and security appeared at odds with
the lead negotiator’s need to cajole the Maoists into
cooperating. The Prime Minister took the point, and also
allowed as how he had personally reprimanded Sitaula for
being somewhat soft on the Maoists.

PM,s Bottom Lines Remain
————————

¶5. (S/NF) The Prime Minister reaffirmed his bottom line
views: there was a need for a military agreement to assure
that weapons were decommissioned and the current cease fire
was made permanent; and there would be no dissolution of
Parliament until after the Maoists took such steps.
Returning to the theme of international “witnesses,” the
Prime Minister told the Ambassador that he and his government
were prepared to take “stern action” against the Maoists, but
before doing so, they needed to do everything possible to
make talks with the Maoists succeed. If there were a
respected witness in the talks, particularly one under some
sort of UN umbrella, the GON could push the Maoists hard on
ceasefire violations. If the Maoists did not respond
appropriately, their intransigence would be revealed to the
entire world, and the Maoists would be isolated if they
continued to violate agreements.

Comment
——-

¶6. (S/NF) The Prime Minister made clear his concerns about
Maoist intentions, as revealed by their flagrant violations
of the ceasefire code of conduct. He also seems to have a
sensible plan with respect to the way forward: get the
Maoists trapped in peace talks where their actions will come
under continuous international scrutiny, and where they will
thus be forced to reveal their true intentions.

MORIARTY

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