Category Archives: Peace Process

A Maoist Comrade Shakes Hand With Kofi Annan (and Others)

Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, second in rank after Chairman Prachanda, meets…

…former UN boss Kofi Annan (right). The bespectacled tall guy is Ian Martin, chief of United Nations Mission to Nepal (UNMIN) Pic by Biwsodeep Pande. Continue reading A Maoist Comrade Shakes Hand With Kofi Annan (and Others)

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

Monarchy Can Be Abolished in Nepal, Constitutionally!

The Lead: Now parliament can remove the monarchy by a two third majority if it finds the 240 year old feudal institution meddling with the election of constitution assembly election. The parliament yesterday passed a bill that has amended the constitution and added the new provision on monarchy. The Maoist has been demanding that the republic be declared by the parliament before the CA election while Nepali Congress maintains that the first meeting of the CA should decide the fate of monarchy.

By Yuvraj Acharya in the Kathmandu Post

KATHMANDU, June 13 – The Interim Parliament effected the second amendment to the five-month-old Interim Constitution on Wednesday, empowering parliament to abolish the 240-year-old institution of the crown, and deferring the constituent assembly poll till Mangshir (mid-December). The parliament at its meeting added a separate sub-clause to Article 159 of the Constitution that authorizes the interim legislature to abolish monarchy by a two-third majority.

The government is to table a motion for the abolition of the monarchy if the cabinet concludes that the king is creating serious obstacle to constituent assembly polls. No authority except the cabinet will have the power to decide whether or not the king is creating such an obstacle. Continue reading Monarchy Can Be Abolished in Nepal, Constitutionally!

YCL Intimidation and IDP Voices

A relative came from village yesterday and he was watching TV bulletin in the evening while giving us latest about the village. There came the news about YCL, Young Communist League, the new sister organization of the Maoist party. “Yeh…yo YCL le ta manchhe kutchha hai,” the visitor promptly commented. “Dyam ka dyam thokchha. Naya Maobadi ho you YCL bhanne. Gaun ma sabailai thatauchan yiniharu le.” [This YCL beats up people. They beat indiscriminately. This YCL is the new Maoist. These folks beat all people in the village.” Then the man detailed some of the incidents of harassment and intimidation by the YCL cadres in the village. He also said that though the new avatars of the Maoists haven’t displayed guns they openly carry grenade. “They sometime go on fishing in the river with grenade.”

This is just an example of how the newly reactivate YCL of the Maoists (incorporating mostly those who would otherwise be disqualified to be in the cantonment) is spreading the terror without gun in the villages. Police raided an YCL shelter in Kathmandu recently and found nothing. Nepali Congress folks say that the Home Minister gave clean cheat to YCL illegal activities by staging a fake raid where as Maoists criticize the government for the “illegal” raid. Yes, everyone can feel the intense power struggle going on between the major three parties in the government but the way the Maoist has used it’s YCL in the process is very disturbing. No wonder why Ram Chandra Poudel, the Peace and Reconstruction Minister and NC General Secretary, demanded the dismantling of YCL recently. Widespread intimidation is going on around the country, be that in the city or in villages. YCL cadres are on the forefront in creating obstruction in IDP’s return to villages.

Here we publish two interviews of two Internally Displaced People from Ramechhap and Achham. They are both living in Tinkune, an open space, in Kathmandu along with many other IDP.

Bina Adhikari, 36
Gelu Village, Ramechhap

Why were you were displaced?

We are displaced because of the Maoists. They should know the reasons.

Have they given any reason?

They say we spied [against them]. They displace people even in small arguments. Moreover, our house was looted. My house was the first to be looted in Ramechhap district.

Who is in the house now?

Until two years ago, there was no one. But since then, some have returned and other members of the family are here. They said some can return but others can’t. Three brothers of the family are still here. Continue reading YCL Intimidation and IDP Voices

Mark These Numbers: 205 + 35 + 240 + 17= 497 in Constituent Assembly

497=Total number of seats in Constituent Assembly

Here is how it works:
205= Existing constituencies (for the Parliament)
35= To be added (recommended by the Election Constituency Delimitation Commission.) Of the 35, the commission has added 28 constituencies in the terai and 7 in the hill regions. But it hasn’t changed the number of constituencies in the 16 himalayan districts.
240 = seats for the proportional system of election
17 = seats to be nominated by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Cabinet

Region wise split of the CA seats: 116 in terai and 124 in hilly and himalayan districts. [In the last parliamentary polls, 88 in terai, 95 in the hilly region and 22 in himalayan regions.]

96,000 Nepali= 1 constituency.

ECDC submitted its report to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala yesterday.

>>According to the last census, 48.43 percent of the population reside in the 20 terai districts and 51.57 percent live in the 55 hilly and himalayan districts.

>>With 28 constituencies added to the terai region, each district in the region will get at least one more constituency in the CA polls.

>>But 8 terai districts- Morang, Dhanusha, Rautahat, Bara, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kailali and Mahottari- will have two more constituencies in the CA polls compared to the last polls.

>>Among the hilly districts, Kathmandu will get 2 more constituencies, taking the total number to 9, whereas Udayapur, Makwanpur, Kavre and Kaski will get one more constituency each for the CA polls.

ECDC was coordinated by Arjun Prasad Singh. He said: “The report has included the suggestions given by political parties and civil society and other groups.” He would implemented it. The PM also said he would implement the recommendations of the commission.

India on Election: Nepal Could Set Its Own Example

At a time when certain embassies are casting doubts on the fate of CA elections, India has supported Nepali Prime Minister’s position that election must be held at any cost. This is important because elections must be held on time. To differ the election date means to give time to play dirty games to the royalists against democracy.

Indian Ambassador Shiv Shanker Mukherjee today said that Nepal could “set its own example” on the issue of holding timely elections to the Constituent Assembly (CA). The Indian Ambassador’s statement comes amidst comments from some diplomatic corps in the capital that holding of the CA elections by stipulated time was not possible, and that the election would lose its credibility in front of the world community, if held forcefully. Talking to reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala this morning, Mukherjee said, “Finalising election policies to meet international standards is not a priority issue” adding that Nepal could set its own examples in this regards as it had done during the peace process. Mukherjee further clarified that the Indian government would “support and assist” whatever election date the eight parties decide on.

The Indian envoy had called on PM Koirala to discuss border security issues. According to sources, during the 20-minute long discussion held this morning at the PM’s Baluwatar residence, the duo deliberated ways to strengthen security vigilance at the Indo-Nepal borders. The Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukharjee, during the recently concluded 14th SAARC Summit in New Delhi, had expressed commitment towards making stronger security arrangements to prevent criminal activities in the Terai region, where evidences have pointed towards involvement of Indian criminal elements in the recent string of unruly activities there. Indian Embassy spokesperson Gopal Bagle informed that the meeting had discussed the latest political developments in Nepal and the challenges that lay ahead.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary State Affairs Committee (PAC) was unable to finalise the bill regarding the number of seats for the Constituent Assembly even after three days of deliberations following a dispute between the Members of Parliament (MPs) today. (here is more)

Plus, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Bhoj Raj Pokhrel today said that the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) elections could be held even under “unusual” circumstances. Pokhrel’s comments come in the heels of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s statement in Biratnagar a few weeks ago that under “abnormal” circumstances, the elections could also be held in “abnormal” ways. (more here)

Here is a MS word file: DECLARATION ON CRITERIA FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS

Nepali Maoist: Ignorant or Arrogant?

Armed Maoist guerillas in a marketplace in Gaighat yesterday. Displaying arms in public like this is against the peace agreement they signed. Plus, the vehicle they were using didn’t have license plate. Pic by Rameshchandra Adhikari

Sometime these Maoists really make me wonder about them. It feels like they are a confused lot or ignorant about the area they are trying to venture into. Of course, there are many good things about them. They are the driving force behind the change Nepal is currently experiencing albeit the chaotic situation. The other day a Maoist “lawmaker”, who carried weapons in the parliament, challenged the speaker to take action against him. The next day, his boss in the party, apologized to the House for his brat cadre MPs remarks and behavior. They are trying to learn thing but at the same time doing foolish mistakes. Another example of their ignorance (or probably arrogance) comes from Udayapur on the front page of today’s Kantipur daily. The title of the news is: “Guerillas With Arms In Marketplace”. The photo, posted along with this article, shows guerillas on a pick up van without a license plate roaming around Udayapur Bazaar, Ghaighat district. -UWB

A report by Rameshchandra Adhikari:

Residents became fearful when a group of armed Maoist guerillas of the Bishalkumar Memorial Brigade under the second division of the Maoist Party came to the market area of Udayapur on Thursday (1 March). The guerillas, who came at around 8 AM, carried weapons like AK 47, SLR Insas and AMG, all registered to the UN according to a source. The guerillas went towards a place called Murkuchi in the evening. A district level leader, Deputy In-charge Deepak, said that the guerilla were there to provide security to the Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa (Badal). But Badal had gone to Sunsari a day before. “We brought the weapons with permission from the UN for the security of comrade Badal,” he said. “Don’t take it otherwise.” Political parties and the administration have criticized the Maoists for displaying the arms in public even after signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that bars them from doing so.

Badal the Cloud

Meanwhile Badal, who reached the headquarter of Gaighat on Tuesday evening, warned media persons not to publish the photos of armed guerillas. When I tried to take a photo of the armed guerilla, Badal came forward, blocked the camera and warned me not to publish the photo. The weapons had the UN sticker and the guerilla who was carrying the weapon had agreed to pose for a photo. But Badal (a Nepali word for cloud) hurriedly came in between, tried to cover the weapon with his hand. And he said: “Don’t do mediabazi (publicize) with this photo. That might be challenging to you as well.”

It's Time To Burn Weapons in Nepal

Two photos, one very positive message:

time to burn weapons in nepal

Gun, gun burning bright, in the peace of the day: Weapons belonging to the now dissolved retaliation group that was formed to fight Maoists in southern Nawalparasi were burnt and destroyed on Friday in public. The group, on the initiation of National Human Rights Commission, announced its dissolution Friday saying the since the war was over in Nepal, there was no need to maintain the group. The group was active in Nawalparasi for the past three years. Pics by Chetan Adhikari Continue reading It's Time To Burn Weapons in Nepal

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Government of Nepal and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

Full text of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement held between Government of Nepal and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

Preamble

Respecting popular mandate of Nepali people expressed in favor of democracy, peace and progression through the historical struggles and people’s movements, time and again, from 2007 BS and even before till now;

Reaffirming the full commitment towards the twelve-point agreement reached between seven political parties, CPN (Maoist), eight- point consensus, twenty-five point code of conduct held between Government of Nepal and CPN (Maoist), decision made in the meeting held between apex leaders of seven political parties and CPN (Maoist) held on Nov. 8 2006 including all agreement, consensus, code of conduct reached between Government of Nepal and CPN (Maoist), and letters of similar viewpoints sent to United Nations;

Expressing determination for progressive restructuring of the state to resolve existing problems in the country, based on class, cast, region, sex;

Reiterating the full commitment towards democratic value and acceptance including competitive multiparty democratic system of governance, civil liberty, fundamental rights, human rights, full press freedom and concept of rule of law;

Remaining committed towards Universal Declaration of Human rights, 2048, international humanitarian laws and basic principles and acceptance relating to human rights;

Keeping democracy, peace, prosperity, progressive economic and social change and independence, indivisibility, sovereignty, and self respect of the country at centre;

Expressing commitment to hold election to constituent assembly in free and fair manner till the end of the month of Jeth 2064 BS;

Declaring the beginning of a new chapter of peaceful collaboration by ending armed struggle continued in the country from 2052 BS through political consensus between the two parties to ensure sovereignty of Nepali People through constituent assembly, forward looking political resolution, democratic restructuring of the state and economic-social and cultural transformation;

This comprehensive peace agreement has been reached between Government of Nepal and CPN (Maoist) with commitment to transform ceasefire between Government of Nepal and CPN (Maoist) into sustainable peace. Continue reading The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Government of Nepal and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

THE WAR IS OVER, NEPAL DECLARES!

How it feels to see the end of the bloody war An emotional blog

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log

Less than a minute ago, amidst a grand and historic ceremony, Nepali leaders agreed to end the war that killed more than 13 thousand people in the last 10 years. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and CPN Maoist Chairman Prachanda put their respective signatures in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that formally ended the bloodshed in Nepal. The signature ceremony is being telecast live and it has been reported that people have started celebrating the historic achievement. Honestly, my hands are trembling as I am typing these lines. I mean it’s kind of unbelievable. Who would have though about this day when Beni was attacked, when Madi was bombed, when operation Kilo Sera 2 was launched, when Holery incident happened, when Dang barrack was attacked? Continue reading THE WAR IS OVER, NEPAL DECLARES!