Category Archives: nepali-politics

#IndiaBlockadesNepal: Appeal to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon from Nepali Students

Appeal Handed over by students to UN Resident Coordinator for Nepal, Jamie McGoldrick (Photo: Kanak Mani Dixit)

Nepal – 27 November 2015: On behalf of the more than hundred thousand high school and college students gathered peacefully today in various parts of Kathmandu Valley, we would like to draw the attention of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to the humanitarian crisis facing Nepal.
This humanitarian crisis is the result of the blockade against our country by India. The blockade has resulted in the loss of educational opportunities for millions of students like us in all parts – mountain, hill and plain. This humanitarian crisis adds to the difficulties already faced by schools and students as a result of the earthquakes of April-May 2015.
We believe we speak on behalf of young Nepalis everywhere when we ask you to ensure that this blockade ends. We students of Nepal must be allowed to get schooling and live like students everywhere else. This is why our slogan today has been ‘baanchna ra padhna deu’ – ‘give us a chance to live and receive education’.
Thank you!

Signed by:
Grishma Adhikari, Kaushal Adhikari, Pabitra Khatri, Kerina Maharjan, Prakash Neupane, Aaakash Pant, Alaukik N. Pant, Manish Sapkota, Shardul Sapkota and Rajshree Upadhyay.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai (and his Mustang Car)

Baburam Bhattarai in 1970
Baburam Bhattarai in 1970 when he topped the School Leaving Certificate exam.

The impression: Nepali people have rarely been so optimistic about the Prime Minister as they are with Baburam Bhattarai and it’s a rare sight when Nepalis across the political spectrum (especially those who are considered general population- students, youths, activists) express satisfaction, relief, even happiness, over the election of a person to the post of Prime Minister. It seems as if the whole country has put its faith and hope on Baburam Bhattarai. Going by the Facebook statues, tweets and tea-talks on the streets of Kathmandu, the election of Baburam Bhattarai yesterday as the 35th Prime Minister of Nepal seems to be the best thing to have happened in Nepal in a long long time. While putting enormous faith on his the nation seems to have forgotten that BRB is a Maoist who waged a 10-year-old bloody war that killed 15000 Nepalis.  BUT, and this is a big one, will he be able to live up to the sky-high expectation of Nepali people? Lets hope he does.

On a lighter note, Prime Minister BRB will be riding a locally assembled car called Mustang- nothing to do with Ford, I assume. (Mustang is a Himalayan district that borders China.) This car (see pic below) is cheap compared to what other Prime Ministers have used in the past. Continue reading Everything You Wanted to Know about Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai (and his Mustang Car)

Nepal banda: Bus burnt in Kathmandu

Bus burnt in Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu: A small group of criminals set a passenger bus on fire at the Manohara bridge early in the morning today (around 4:30 am). The bus was coming out from a garage in Balkot, Bhaktapur, to ply on the Nepal Yatayat route, according to my colleague Makar Shrestha who reached at the stop some 15 minutes after the incident. There are two Nepal Yatayat services- one begins from a planned settlement three kilometers away known locally as Town Planning near Old Sinamangal which itself is referred to as Pepsi Cola because the place hosts the factory of the cold drink major. The other begins from near Koteshwor. I am a daily passenger of the first Nepal Yatayat service. By the time I took this photo the bus had already been taken to Koteshwor traffic police post. Seemed to me that the engine hasn’t been destroyed.

I heard that some vandals attacked a van belonging to Kantipur TV. The attackers identified themselves as the activists of a fringe group called Chure Bhanwar Rastriya Ekata Party (presided by Himalayabhakta Pradhananga), according to a report in

This is the first instance of a bus being attacked in Kathmandu valley during banda (general strike) in many months. Today’s strike is called by a Hindu group that seeks to restore Nepal’s status as the world’s only Hindu country. But it seems they are not the only groups that have called banda today because Chure Bhanwar group has also claimed the ownership of the strike. Various outfits calling themselves Chhetri Samaj (a group of Chhetri communities) had also called for strike today only to take back that, according a TV network, yesterday.  –by DW

[This post has been revised.]


1. From the Constituent Assembly town (two pics)

2. From the Constituent Assembly town (two pics)

3. Kathmandu Valley Banda After a Long Time (Tweets, for the record)

4. Strings of strikes take toll on mid-west dweller

American Cablegate- NEPAL: Indian Ambassador Reports Advances In Bilateral Security Cooperation

Reference ID- 03KATHMANDU1870
Created- 2003-09-25 10:10
Released- 2011-03-15 00:12
Classification- SECRET//NOFORN
Origin- Embassy Kathmandu





E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/23/2013


——- SUMMARY ——–

¶1. (S/NF) According to Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran, bilateral consultations between Indian and Nepali security and intelligence officers in Kathmandu on Sept 22-23 proceeded “”exceptionally well”” as a first step in institutionalizing security assistance and information exchange between the two governments. The GOI believes it can provide most of Nepal’s requirements for conventional military equipment, according to Saran, and looks to the USG to provide “”high-tech”” equipment. New initiatives include regularizing contacts between the two countries’ respective border security units and GOI training on how to counter urban terrorism. While both Ambassadors agreed that their efforts to promote a reconciliation between the political parties and the Palace had not so far proven successful, Saran reported that the Government of Nepal (GON) is considering holding phased national and local elections in 2004. End summary.


¶2. (C) On September 24 Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran called on the Ambassador to brief him on progress achieved during bilateral consultations between Indian and Nepali security and intelligence officials in Kathmandu Sept. 22-23 (Ref A). The initial round of talks went “”exceptionally well,”” Saran reported, characterizing them as the “”most serious and cooperative”” discussions on security, military, and intelligence topics ever between the two neighbors. The next round is expected to be held in New Delhi in November.

¶3. (S/NF) Saran said the talks focused on three topics. First, the discussions helped clarify new Government of Nepal (GON) requests for equipment, which included among other items mine-protected vehicles (MPVs), jeeps, and INSAS rifles. Saran said the GOI would try to be responsive to the new GON requests and may attempt to transfer some MPVs currently in Jharkand to Nepal. (Those vehicles would have to undergo some kind of refurbishment.) Second, since recent Royal Nepal Army (RNA) successes in the field increase the danger of the Maoists modifying their tactics and diverting their attacks to urban environments, the GOI offered to provide training on how to counter urban terrorism, Saran reported. Third, the two governments have agreed to revitalize intelligence exchanges, especially regarding cross-border movement of suspected terrorists. The smooth exchange of information had been hampered in the past because the RNA, which is primarily responsible for border security in Nepal, had no institutional links with the IB, which is responsible for border security in India. The talks addressed how to institutionalize the relationship between the two forces, including setting up formal channels of communication (with secure “”hotlines””) at IB offices in Siliguri, Patna and Lucknow. Communications will be supplemented by regular meetings between representatives of the two security forces at additional local venues as well. Saran added that the GOI plans to increase the number of border security force units along the border with Nepal from 14 to 34.

¶4. (C) After Nepal’s Dashain-Tihar holidays in October, the two governments will pursue conclusion of extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties, Saran said. Talks on this subject over the past few days had gone well, he reported, with many earlier hurdles, including the sticky topic of how to treat third-country nationals, resolved, he reported. Extradition of one’s own nationals remains a sensitive topic, however. In the past, Saran explained, the GOI had regularly turned over suspected Maoists to the GON without a formal treaty–earning criticism from human rights groups and INGOs such as ICRC in the process. The wife of Maoist Central Committee member Bam Dev Chhetri, whom the GOI had handed over in September 2002 (and who was subsequently released by the GON during the ceasefire), has filed a case against the GOI, he noted. An extradition treaty with Nepal would give the GOI a firm legal basis for such transfers in the future.


¶5. (C) By having the GON prioritize its security needs, the GOI will be better able to provide assistance, Saran continued. While the GOI has no objection per se to the USG providing M-16 rifles to the RNA, the GOI believes that it is in a better position to provide conventional weapons like rifles to the Nepali military, and that the USG should offer “”high-tech”” equipment and assistance. Ambassador Malinowski replied that while final funding levels remain unknown, the USG is reviewing the possibility of providing refurbished Bell helicopters to the RNA. Saran noted that the GOI may provide a few Indian helicopters as well.


¶6. (C) Both Ambassadors agreed that their joint efforts, along with the British Ambassador, to promote a reconciliation between the political parties and the Palace (Ref B) had not so far proven fruitful. The fragile consensus between the political parties is already beginning to unravel, both noted, with the Nepali Congress hinting it will insist that revival of Parliament precede formation of an all-party government and the Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxist Leninist (UML) hinting it will insist on the exact opposite. Nonetheless, the Ambassadors concurred that the GON will have to reach out to the political parties. Saran reported that he understands that the King may decide to meet the parties to enlist their support and is also considering a possible Cabinet expansion. For now, the GON intends to concentrate on elections, including the possibility of holding staggered local elections next spring, followed by national elections, conducted in phases, beginning in November 2004.


American Cablegate: CRUNCH TIME IN NEPAL?

Reference ID: 06KATHMANDU2587
Created: 2006-09-22 11:11
Released: 2011-03-15 00:12
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Origin: Embassy Kathmandu




E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2017


Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).


¶1. (C) On June 15, Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee confirmed to the Ambassador that the Government of India had taken a tougher line on Maoist abuses. Mukherjee’s recent visit to New Delhi had coincided with the visit of Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxist Leninist General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal. According to Mukherjee, who sat in on a June 6 meeting between Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee and MK Nepal, the Foreign Minister had expressed concern that the law and order situation in Nepal continued to deteriorate and Maoist abuses had gone unpunished. Moreover, Foreign Minister Mukherjee had been categorical in his discussion with MK Nepal that the Maoists should not be integrated into the Nepal Army. Ambassador Mukherjee asserted that the GOI would not tolerate continued attempts by the Maoist splinter Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (“”People’s Terai Liberation Front””) (JTMM) to derail the Constituent Assembly election. He agreed that the Maoists had not showed a true commitment to joining the political mainstream.

Indian Foreign Minister Concerned About Maoist Intentions
——————————————— ————

¶2. (C) Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee told the Ambassador on June 15 that senior Indian officials had voiced concern about ongoing Maoist abuses during Mukherjee’s recent consultations in New Delhi. Similarly, in a meeting between Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Kumar Mukherjee and Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) General Secretary Madav Kumar Nepal on June 6, the Foreign Minister SIPDIS had confirmed that the leadership of the Government of India (GOI) was increasingly concerned with the deteriorating security situation in Nepal. Maoist abuses needed to be punished. Foreign Minister Mukherjee had told MK Nepal that the seven parties in the governing coalition needed to stay united and take clear steps to prepare for free and fair elections in November. This was the only way, FM Mukherjee had opined, to keep the Maoists in the political process. The Foreign Minister had also made it clear to MK Nepal that the GON should not – under any circumstances – integrate Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army.

Home Minister Will Stay On

¶3. (C) Foreign Minister Mukherjee had hinted to MK Nepal during their meeting, according to Ambassador Mukherjee, that Home Minister Sitaula needed to do more to address the country’s security situation. The Indian Ambassador speculated that Sitaula had dodged a bullet because the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF) had retracted its demand for his resignation. Mukherjee acknowledged to the Ambassador that Sitaula was a big part of the problem; unfortunately, he noted, Sitaula would probably stay on as Home Minister.

JTMM Activity Won’t Be Tolerated

¶4. (C) Mukherjee agreed with the Ambassador that the Government of Nepal had to take concrete steps to include marginalized groups in the political process. He also noted that the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (“”People’s Terai Liberation Front””) (JTMM) should be brought into discussions and convinced to declare a “”revolutionary cease-fire”” to save face. Mukherjee told the Ambassador that the GOI would do “”everything in its power”” to address the situation if the JTMM tried to derail the Constituent Assembly election. Mukherjee felt that Maoist acts of violence would be the single most destabilizing factor leading up to the election. He asserted that the U.S. should stand firm in its decision

KATHMANDU 00001197 002 OF 002

not to communicate with the Maoists, as doing so would only reward bad behavior.

Maoists Not Invited to New Delhi

¶5. (S/NF) When asked by the Ambassador whether the Maoists had been invited back to New Delhi for consultations, Ambassador Mukherjee said that officials in New Delhi had refused the informal requests for a visit they had received from Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda). According to Mukherjee, Dahal’s go-betweens were told by the Indian Embassy that it was not the time for a visit to New Delhi because the Maoists had continued to break their commitments to the peace process. The Maoists had reportedly lamented the fact that they had “”lost their former channels”” of communication to New Delhi. In response, GOI officials had made it clear that, since the Maoists had entered into the Interim Government, the intelligence community was no longer their conduit. “”We are the conduit now,”” Ambassador Mukherjee noted, referring to his embassy.


¶6. (C) The Indian Ambassador continues privately to express much more pessimism about Maoist actions and intentions than in the past (reftel). Mukherjee shared our analysis that the Maoists continue to seek total state power — even if he is not prepared to say so publicly. Foreign Minister Mukherjee’s recent push for CPN-UML leader MK Nepal to maintain seven-party unity and enforce law and order was useful and timely. According to the Indian political counselor, Prime Minister Monmohan Singh was even blunter with MK Nepal, warning him to be wary of the Maoists and urging him to work with Prime Minister Koirala. We hope that a two-pronged message from India and the U.S. could help push the GON to address the current security situation and move quickly toward a November Constituent Assembly election while maintaining guard against Maoist machinations.




On Wikileaks

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Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Alleged Maoist-‘Chinese’ Phone Conversation

Writing on the front pages of Kantipur and The  Kathmandu Post, the editors of the papers today say that a high-ranking official from a foreign diplomatic mission (Indian mission) in Kathmandu had called them on Friday night to inquire if they were interested in publishing the alleged Mahara conversation with a man with Chinese accent. Kantipur editor writes that they, along with about a dozen other Nepali editors, were having regular informal discussions with the Chinese ambassador in Baluwatar when the call from the diplomat came to the Post editor. “We have a recorded telephone conversation, can you publish it?” said the diplomat.

“What’s that about?”
“You will know once you listen to it,” was the reply to Upadhyay.

Later we learned from other sources that the conversation was between Maoist leader KB Mahara and a man alleged to be Chinese. But it was not clear who that “Chinese” was and the telephone numbers on which the conversation took place. It was also not clear how that was recorded. The caller only wanted to know if we could publish that conversation today. (continue reading Kantipur editor’s account in Nepali below)

By Akhilesh Upadhyay
Editor, The Kathmandu Post (on the front page, today)

Not everyday do newspapers feel the need to explain to their readers why they did what they did. Many of you may have wondered—some have aloud to our ears—why the Kathmandu Post on Saturday did not carry a news item which has otherwise received great prominence in some papers. This demands an explanation. The issues at hand are of utmost gravity. The story in question is about the allegation that China was all set to make a huge cash infusion to the Maoist party to influence the outcome of the sixth round of prime ministerial election slated for Sunday.

According to the news carried in some newspapers and TV networks on Friday night and Saturday morning, China had assured the Maoist leadership of Rs. 500 million. The money, the news suggests, would be enough to garner support of 50 non-Maoist lawmakers whose backing in turn would be enough to elect UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal as the prime minister. The story obviously implicates China in high-stake horse trading. Naturally then, some ran the story with a caveat: Authenticity of the leaked audio tape of the conversation between Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara and “a Chinese official”, on which the story rests, could not be independently established. Continue reading Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Alleged Maoist-‘Chinese’ Phone Conversation

Prime Minister Prachanda Resigns

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ announced his resignation in a nationally broadcast TV address a while ago. With this the eight-month old Maoist rule has ended. This decision comes as a surprise to many while some have appreciated Dahal’s act as democratic. The Maoist party is the single largest in the Constituent Assembly that was elected in April 2008. The Maoist leader’s resignation comes in the wake of the controversy regarding the sacking of the chief of the army staff by his split cabinet yesterday. The cabinet meeting was boycotted by the alliance parter CPN UML who promptly took back its support to the government pushing it to the minority in the 600-seat constituent assembly. The cabinet decision was unilaterally taken by the Maoists. The decision was later declared unconstitutional by the President who reinstated the army chief. The Maoists have termed the President’s action as ‘constitutional coup.’ Finance Minister and senior Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that his party would hit the streets now demanding resignation of the President.

The President: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav issued a press statement just ahead of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation in which he said his yesterday’s decision to ask Army chief General Rookmangud Katawal to continue with post despite his dismissal by the cabinet constitutional. The President said his decision didn’t violate the constitutional provisions instead the Maoists sacked Katawal without consulting all its coalition partners in the government.

Aftermath of Nepal’s CA: By Hook or Crook

By The Conflict Study Center
[More credit at the end]

The unexpected results of historic Constituent Assembly (CA) elections have invigorated the CPN (Maoist), now the largest political party, on the one hand, and have enervated the former power holders, the NC in particular. Moreover, the results gave a mandate for transformation of the government from conformist-cum-centrist bourgeois democracy to socio-cultural democracy. Nepal has set a noble example of inclusion in terms of ethnicity, clan, gender, cultural and regional identities but excluding class. A full one-third (33%) of seats, between the first-past-the-post (FPTP) and the party’s close list proportional representation (PR), are held by women. Similarly, 34 percent belongs to Madhesi representatives, 33 percent to Janajatis, 8 to Dalits and34 percent to others out of 575 representatives. The ongoing discussion of the major political parties shall nominate 26 representatives from various walks of life – civil society, ethnicity, regional and cultural groups. Although the former insurgent CPN (Maoist) emerged as the largest party in the CA elections, it will be faced by a number of challenges: Continue reading Aftermath of Nepal’s CA: By Hook or Crook

Background Info for Shall UNMIN Succeed in Nepal?

UWB at is back
Background information for the post: Shall UNMIN Succeed in Nepal?

By Conflict Study Center

The conflict of Uganda, Angola, Namibia, Sudan, Congo, etc. has been the bloodiest in the history post-World War II where about 5 million people died, resulting in a situation where estimates towards 1000 people a day are still dying due to causes and consequence of those conflict forming a “make or break point” for the continuing humanitarian crisis [1].

The most violent conflicts of the twentieth century during ‘cold-war’ era were waged between the states, but in post-cold war, almost all the major conflicts around the world were fought within the states. Among these internal conflicts, only one-fifth of these are internationalized outside states. However, the frequency and intensity of the volatile internal conflicts are significantly intensifying in number around the world [2]. Between 1989 and 1996, 95 of the 101 armed conflicts identified around the world were such internal confrontations [3]. Describing the intensity of the violent conflicts around the world, Bishnu Raj Upreti writes: “In 1999 there were 40 armed conflicts being fought within the territories of 36 countries, up from 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998, and 37 in 32 countries in 1997” [4]. Professor Peter Wallensteen of Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University stated that in 2004, there were 30 active armed conflicts, up by one from 2003. While seven of the conflicts from 2003 are no longer active, seven conflicts broke out – three with action taken by new rebel groups and four by earlier recorded actors. However, most of the government and armed groups often receive support from neighboring states rather than other rebel groups. Continue reading Background Info for Shall UNMIN Succeed in Nepal?

Nationalism Tirade of the Maoist Comrade

The question why it is important to forge unity with “royalist nationalists” at this juncture is even more puzzling.

By Ameet Dhakal

Last week, Prachanda launched his nationalism tirade. God knows why. But common wisdom tells us that autocrats of all hues and colors use the nationalism card to trump democracy. The Maoists never had democratic credentials; now that their commitment to it is in serious doubt, it’s quite natural for them to take refuge in nationalism (I am resisting from quoting Samuel Johnson who famously said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels).

Prachanda has called for a new unity among “royalist nationalists”, mainstream parties and the Maoists. His remarks raise two key questions:

1. Who are these “royalist nationalists”?
2. Why is it important at this point to forge a new unity with them?

Prachanda answered none of these questions. He wouldn’t.

His deputy commander Barsha Man Pun offered an explanation to the Kathmandu Post: The new nationalists are people in the military, police and bureaucracy. Huh, does that make any sense? Continue reading Nationalism Tirade of the Maoist Comrade