Tag Archives: army

General Rana’s Political and Undiplomatic Statement

Update: The Nepali Army today issued a press statement claiming that comments attributed to him are false and that he didn’t give any formal interview to any news outlets during his trip to India last week.

“The news reports published in a few media outlets in the past few days that Chief of the Army Mr Rana gave interview commenting upon the security of Nepal and neighboring countries and issues related to that are inaccurate and misleading. As Chief of the Army Mr Rana, during the week-long visit, didn’t give any types of formal interview to the media those comments, it seems, those comments have been disseminated out of context.

“Nepali Army is a professional and apolitical organization that, while remaining within constitutional authority, respects civil supremacy. There is no possibility of Nepali Army or the leadership of the Nepali Army passing comments of such irresponsible nature. It is to let all know that the military leadership hasn’t made such comments.”

UWB note: The Nepal Army statement, worded in Nepali, is a very badly written note with confusing sentence structure- as if it were a work of a liar who unexpectedly found himself/herself in a police interrogation room. If Mr Rana didn’t give any formal interview, were his comments published in the Times of India informally provided to the reporter? The Nepali Army statement seems to be implying that as it states Rana didn’t give any FORMAL interview to any news outlet and that news reports and commentaries seem to have come out of context (so what was the context?). Nepali Army may still be apolitical, professional and under civilian control as claimed in the Army statement but we refused to believe that the same can be said to the army leadership- namely Gaurav Rana. He should come clean.

Was it merely a slip of the tongue or our Army chief actually wanted to show how childish he can be when it comes to dealing with international issues? Was he intending to appease the Indians (if yes, he failed to do so) and hurt our relationship with the Chinese? If he fancies working as a political/strategic commentator for Indian newspapers, he should first resign from the post of the Chief of the Army Staff and cross over to India. Also, you can’t be a spokesperson (a bad one) of the Indian Army while still holding the top position at the Nepali Army.

Continue reading General Rana’s Political and Undiplomatic Statement

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Could This be Baburam’s Katwal Moment? Nepal Army Against Bulk Recruitment of Madhesis

The Nepal Army is dissatisfied with Tuesday’s (20 Dec) Cabinet decision (see below) to recruit 3,000 youths from the Madhesi and other minority communities. It plans to register its reservations with the government after receiving a formal order from the Ministry of Defence. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai invited Chief of Army Staff General Chhatra Man Singh Gurung at his residence on Wednesday (yesterday) morning. The PM, however, did not clearly instruct the CoAS on the Cabinet decision, an Army source said. Gurung is meeting President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Thursday (today) to discuss the decision.

“If the government’s decision contradicts with the Interim Constitution and the Army Act, the Army will officially request the government to revise it,” the source said. The Army argues that recruitment is purely a ‘voluntary process’ and it cannot restrict ‘the right to equality’ guaranteed by the Interim Constitution by opening vacancies for any particular group. Under the existing recruitment process, 55 percent of the seats are filled through free competition, while 45 percent are recruited under the reservation quotas.

“If the government wants to make the Army more inclusive, it should amend the Army Act and offer more seats in the reservation quota,” the source said.

Army chief meets the Prez Continue reading Could This be Baburam’s Katwal Moment? Nepal Army Against Bulk Recruitment of Madhesis

So the Magical Number for Nepal’s Peace Process is 6,500 (?)

Leaders agree on number of Maoist guerillas to be integrated

KATHMANDU, NOV 01 – The peace process that was started five years ago in 2006 is likely to witness its logical conclusion. The meeting of the top brass leaders of the major political parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha—on Tuesday agreed on contentious issues of the peace process.

UML leader Bhim Rawal announced the deal amid a press conference organised at the PM’s residence.

The leaders have agreed to integrate 6,500 former Maoist combatants into the Nepal Army in an individual basis, Rawal informed. Likewise, the rehabilitation package has been agreed upon Rs. 600,000 to Rs. 900,000 as per the rank of the combatants.

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala, UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar as SLMM’s representative signed on the “peace deal” at Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s official residence in Baluwatar.

Meanwhile, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal held a talk with his deputy Mohan Baidya—leader of the party’s hardliner faction—so as to take him into confidence.

The background: how they bargained

Continue reading So the Magical Number for Nepal’s Peace Process is 6,500 (?)

American Diplomatic Cable: A Meeting with Nepal Army Chief Pyar Jung Thapa

C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 001504

SIPDIS

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E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/2016
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PTER MASS NP
SUBJECT: CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF ON HUMAN RIGHTS; MAOISTS

REF: KATHMANDU 1376

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Larry Schwartz, Reasons, 1.4 (b/d).

Charge Presses On Human Rights Improvements
——————————————–

¶1. (C) On June 12, the Charge d’Affaires, accompanied by
A/DCM and ODC Chief, met with Chief of Army Staff General
Pyar Jung Thapa to inform him of the USG decision to return
Captain Indiver Rana to Nepal from U.S-based training due to
our concerns that he was serving in a unit currently facing
serious human right abuse allegations. The Charge urged that
the Nepalese Army (NA) cooperate fully with the investigation
by the UN’s Nepal Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR) into the ill-treatment and disappearance of
detainees from the Maharajgunj barracks during
September-December 2003. The Charge stressed that the
decision to return Captain Rana signaled the seriousness with
which we viewed allegations of human rights abuses. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: A Meeting with Nepal Army Chief Pyar Jung Thapa

American Diplomatic Cable: On General Rukmangat Katawal

2006-01-26 10:11

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INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 3857
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3524
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 9096
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RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
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C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 000255

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DEPT FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2016
TAGS: PTER PGOV PREL NP
SUBJECT: RNA WORRIED THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO CONSENSUS ON HOW
TO TACKLE INSURGENCY

REF: A. KATHMANDU 172

¶B. KATHMANDU 199

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

Civilian Leadership Should Explain Counter-Insurgency Plan
———————————-

¶1. (C) On January 20, Lt. General Katawal, Royal Nepalese
Army (RNA) Chief of General Staff, told the Ambassador he
was worried that the government did not have a unified
strategy for tackling the Maoist insurgency. Katawal
reiterated that there was no purely military solution to the
insurgency; the RNA could only work to create space for a
negotiated political solution. He noted that the civilian
government should lead the effort to inform its citizens
about Nepal’s overall plan to tackle the insurgency. Katawal
stressed that a civilian government needed to explain to the
people what the military was doing and why, especially why
the government needed to restrict civil liberties. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: On General Rukmangat Katawal

US Diplomatic Cable: Nepal Army Chiefs Discuss Role of the Army and Countering the Insurgency

Created: 2002-03-11 13:23

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 KATHMANDU 000510

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/10/2012
TAGS: MCAP NP PGOV MASS
SUBJECT: NEPAL ARMY CHIEFS DISCUSS ROLE OF THE ARMY AND
COUNTERING THE INSURGENCY

REF: KATHMANDU 379

Classified By: A/DCM HOZA. REASON: 1.5 (B, D).

– – – – – – – – –
SUMMARY:
– – – – – – – – – –

¶1. (C) RNA Chief General Rana and his deputy, Lt. General
Thapa, went out of their way to underline their support for
democracy at a February 28 dinner with emboffs. Rana stated
unequivocally that a coup by the RNA was “out of the
question.” According to Rana, the RNA’s role is to quell
the Maoist insurgencuy, to restore public confidence in the
GON’s ability to provide security to its people, and to give
the GON an opportunity to address widespread poverty and
promote development. His deputy, Lt. General Thapa, was
surprisingly optimistic in the wake of the debacle at
Mangalsen (Reftel A). Thapa stated that the transition from
a “ceremonial and peacekeeping” military to a
counter-insurgency force would take time and that hard
lessons would be learned. He noted that the RNA had enjoyed
several significant successes in the immediate aftermath of
the Mangalsen attack, particularly through the use of
helicopters. Thapa stated that the RNA believes there is a
growing split between the political and military leadership
of the Maoists, and that the symptoms of that split include
greater violence and intimidation of civilians. While
optimistic, Thapa made it clear that significant assistance
from “Nepal’s friends” would be necessary. Continue reading US Diplomatic Cable: Nepal Army Chiefs Discuss Role of the Army and Countering the Insurgency

Maoist PLA Integration: Latest Updates

1. The Party decides to end dual security to its leaders (removing Maoist PLA guerillas from some Maoist leaders’ security details. These leaders will continue to receive security from the government police/army)

2. Party hardliners are not happy with the Party decision. They table note of dissent.

3. The Party convenes a meeting where PLA guerillas/commanders are present. PLA men tell leaders to get unified- endorsing the Party’s decision and giving a blow to the hardline faction led by Mohan Baidya.

Here are events detailed in chronological order: (today’s report at the end)

JUN 01 – The United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on Wednesday (1 June) unilaterally decided to end the two-layer security being provided to its leaders–a key demand of the main oppossition, Nepali Congress (NC)–amid opposition from the party’s hardliners. A meeting of the party’s office bearers also decided to bring vehicles being used by Maoist leaders–most of them stolen ones–within the legal ambit through proper registration. The NC had given the Maoists until Friday (3 June) to bring an end to the system where the former rebels get an inner layer of security from PLA men and the outter layer from the state security forces. Over 100 PLA combatants have been deployed for the security of Maoist leaders. There are 50 combatants for the security of Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alone. Continue reading Maoist PLA Integration: Latest Updates

A study of DDR and SSR in Nepal (ii)

Click here for the first part of this article.

By Bishnu Pathak and Devendra Uprety

7. Community-Police Relation (CPR)

When we talk about SSR in Nepal, it is essential to briefly introduce CPR, which is taken as the prime component of security institutions in post–conflict period. The organizational structure of Nepal Police was designed by an officer of the Indian police commission who had come to Nepal in 2009 BS as police advisor (Rai, 2008). The Nepal Police, in tern, inherently influenced by colonial structure of India39 that put the whole police structure under the grip of a small elites group, who do not bother about people’s need. Instead, instead try to maintain their power by whatever means possible. The grip of high-caste group is so strong that the police have failed to acquire faith and support from grass root and marginalized people. The marginalized and non-elite have always complained about the discrimination and based approach of the state towards them.

Nepal Police is established to maintain, law and order and security in the country. The first Rana prime minister Jung Bhadur Rana first set up the police structure to maintain social security and established law and order in society. He set up three polices stations in Birathnager, two in sapateri and one in Mohotarai and all of them headed by lieutenants [Nepal Praharaiko Itihas (The History of Nepal Police)]. After the downfall of Rana regimes in 1951, the police headquarter was established to be headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP). However, Nepal Police was instituted in 1952 primarily consisting of the Mukti Sena the than ex-combatants of Nepali congress with a basic motto of ‘truth, service and security’. For this reason, it was intended to strengthen community-police relation despite several deficiencies prevailing within the system. However, following the royal coup of 1960, Nepal Police began to serve the interests of zonal commissioners.40 With the enactment of the Police Act in 1955, the foundations for the modern civil police force were created. Continue reading A study of DDR and SSR in Nepal (ii)

A study of DDR and SSR in Nepal

Preliminary sociological observation of Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Nepal.

By Bishnu Pathak and Devendra Uprety

1. Setting

Security Sector Reform (SSR) is a continuous process to all countries and regions, including politically stable states, fragile states, and post-conflict countries. However, it is widely understood that there need to be urgent SSR priorities in countries emerging from large-scale violent conflict. Over the years, Nepalese society has undergone deep structural shift – a full decade of violent political upheaval abolished the 240 year Shah Dynasty and established a federal republic. Right now, Nepal is poised at a decisive crossroads in its transition from armed conflict to post-conflict recovery and democratic government2. Before the decade-long Maoists armed conflict, Nepal had not tolerated such an intense domestic violent crisis since the formation of the modern state. Nepal has long suffered from highly politicized security institutions. Politically, the state apparatus has been dominated by a few feudal elites who have been principally resistant to democratic reform. Particularly, the security sector has been much more complicated by nature of the long feudal-based autocratic political system.

In the long political history of Nepal, the military force was commanded by the dynastic monarchy or the hereditary Rana oligarchy. There has never been any precedent for aintaining civilian supremacy over the armed force.3 Highly use and misuse of national security agencies (army, police, and intelligence) by certain political parties for their specific ends creates further problems in the security sector. On the other side, it seems a more challenging situation in the security sector may occur in the coming days due to intense proliferation of hundreds of armed militant groups throughout the nation. The Maoists armies’ (re)integration into Nepal Army to form national army is again a major challenge to the nation. The demobilization and disarmament (DD) of the Maoists army4 under UNMIN supervision has already been completed. According to the agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies between the Nepal government and the Maoists on December 8, 2006, UNMIN has verified 19,602 Maoist combatants. These combatants ave been living in seven main and 21-satellite cantonments (see table) under the UNMIN’s supervision, after the completion of registration. Under Resolution 1740 (2007) UNMIN has been given the mandate to monitor the management of arms and armed personnel of the Nepal Army and the Maoist army, in line with the provisions of the Compressive Peace Agreement (CPA) and assist the parties through a Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) in implementing their agreement on the management of arms and armed personnel. Continue reading A study of DDR and SSR in Nepal

Controversial Promotion of the Year: Toran Singh is No. 2 of Nepal Army

By Kamal Raj Sigdel and Phanindra Dahal

Toran Jung Bahadur SinghIn a controversial move that has angered many including some western donor countries and agencies, the government today (Thursday) promoted Maj. Gen. Toran Jung Bahadur Singh as Chief of the General Staff, the second-in-command of Nepal Army. The government had put the promotion on hold for six months in view of mounting pressure from the international community as well as local and international rights groups. The major donors—the US, the UK and other EU countries—and UN human rights agency OHCHR had demanded Singh’s suspension, pending investigation into allegations of involvement in the disappearance of 49 detainees from the Army’s Bhairavnath Battalion in 2003-04. The Cabinet move comes five days after Chief of the Army Staff Chhatra Man Singh Gurung returned from his official visit to India.

Americans unhappy: The international community, especially the US and OHCHR, have expressed serious concern over Gen. Toran’s promotion. The US Embassy in Nepal has cautioned the government over its decision, adding that it could have an impact on the US assistance to the Army. “It (Toran’s promotion) could have an impact on the US assistance to Nepal Army,” said Information Officer at the US Embassy Nicole Chulick. “We’ve seen local press reports on Toran’s promotion. We have repeatedly expressed our concern about the promotion to Nepali government. We also want to stress that our concern is not about one individual, rather all the human rights abuses that were committed by the Maoists and the Nepal Army during the decade-long conflict. These abuses need to be thoroughly investigated and those abusers held accountable.”

OHCHR is also unhappy: “OHCHR’s position since 2006 has been consistent — those implicated in human rights violations committed by members of the 10th Brigade in 2003 and in 2004, when General Singh was in command, should not be promoted pending completion of a full, transparent and impartial investigation,” said Representative of OHCHR-Nepal Richard Bennett.

But Defense minister is happy: “Singh’s promotion is part of the regular job. There is nothing to object,” Defence Minister Bidhya Bhandari told reporters in Biratnagar, following the Cabinet decision. “There is no case pending at the court against him and we can’t prevent anybody’s promotion just based on allegations.” Bhandari and Nepal Army had been constantly lobbying with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal for Toran’s promotion. According to a government source, the government took the decision despite warnings from some of the P-5 countries – permanent members of the UN Security Council. Envoys of the US and the UK had registered their differences during a meeting with Prime Minister Nepal on Wednesday, when they were informed of the government intention to promote Singh.

Army is happy too: Nepal Army, however, is upbeat about Singh’s promotion in that the decision paves the way for promotion of other senior officials whose promotions had been put on hold due to indecision over Singh’s promotion.

Then there is ‘Major controversy’

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken strong exception to Nepal Army’s decision to form a Military Court of Inquiry to deal with allegations of human rights violations by Maj. Niranjan Basnet. NHRC has said neither the Army court nor the so-called Maoist People’s Court has jurisdiction to hear cases of serious human rights violations such as those related to the murders of Maina Sunuwar and Ram Hari Shrestha.

While Maina, a 15-year-old girl from Kavre, was allegedly tortured to death in Army detention under the command responsibility of Maj. Basnet in February 2004, Shrestha was allegedly abducted and killed in May 2008 by PLA commander Kali Bahadur Kham. Neither the Army nor the Maoists have taken any action against the accused. Instead, the Maoists promoted Kham in the party heirarchy and the Army sent Basnet to a UN peacekeeping mission in Chad after giving him a clean chit. The UN, however, deported Basnet to Nepal earlier this month in view of the allegation.

“NHRC draws the government’s attention to the need to try the cases of Maina Sunuwar and Ram Hari Shrestha in civilian courts because they are related to serious human rights violations,” said an NHRC statement today (Thursday). NHRC maintains the government should respect the Supreme Court order and produce Basnet before the Kavre District Court, which has issued an arrest warrant in his name.

Meanwhile, Maina’s mother Devi Sunuwar has urged the government to hand over Basnet for trial. “I am deeply hurt by the dilly-dallying of authorities in handing over Basnet,” said Devi at a press conference at Nepal Bar Association today (Thursday).  She also appealed to civil society, the media and diplomatic missions to press the government to prosecute Army officials—Maj. Basnet, Col. Bobby Khatri, Captain duo Sunil Prasad Adhikari and Amit Pun, all allegedly involved in the murder of her daughter—in a civilian court. She claimed she had received threats asking her to withdraw the case. Devi said she has also been offered money and a house in Kathmandu.