C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000768
Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINOWSKI. REASON: 1.5 (B,D).
¶1. (C) Ongoing attempts by former Prime Minister and Nepali
Congress Party President Girija Prasad Koirala to topple the
current Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, appear to be on
hold for the time being. According to the Indian Ambassador,
PM Vajpayee, Minister for External Affairs Singh, Home
Minister Advani, Defense Minister Fernandes and the BJP
President had each discouraged Koirala during his current
visit from pursuing a no-confidence motion. In an April 17
meeting with Nepali Congress Party General Secretary (and
Koirala cousin) Sushil Koirala, the Ambassador stressed the
importance of a united political front to face down the
threat from the Maoist insurgency. Sushil Koirala seemed to
take the message on board–albeit somewhat grudgingly–and
did not raise the subject of a change in government.
Although G.P. Koirala may be dissuaded for now, he can be
counted on to resume his machinations against Deuba the next
opportunity he sees. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: How Indian Pressure on Girija Prasad Koirala Saved the Sher Bahadur Deuba Government in 2002→
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/30/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR IN NP SN CH
SUBJECT: NEPAL: PRACHANDA MEETS KOIRALA, INDIANS, CHINESE
REF: KATHMANDU 1090
Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Randy W. Berry. Reasons 1.4 (b/
¶1. (S/NF) During his November 16-18 trip to Singapore, Maoist
Chairman Pusha Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” met Nepali Congress
leader G.P. Koirala, Indian diplomats, and Chinese officials.
Maoist head of international affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara
and Nepali businessman Dinesh Manandhar accompanied
Prachanda. Manandhar (strictly protect) told Emboff November
30 that the Singapore-based telecommunications company Smart
Telecom paid for airfare (business class), vehicle rental
(BMW), and hotels (Four Seasons) for the Maoist delegation.
Manandhar — who is personally close to Mahara but says he is
not a member of the Maoist party — is the local Nepali
partner of Smart Telecom, and handled logistics for the
delegation. He did not participate in the meetings. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: Girija Prasad Koirala and Prachanda Meet in Singapore→
Bimal Prasad, in a way, is the first ‘official’ Indian to observe very closely the transformation of Girija Prasad Koirala from a leader on the street to the prime minister of a majority government. Professor Prasad was India’s ambassador in Kathmandu when Koirala became premier for the first time on 26 May 1991. “I had known Giirjababu long before that,” recalled 85-year-old Prasad a few days after Koirala’s demise. “We used to go to see BP Koirala while he was in Delhi (in the 70s). Girijababu wouldn’t talk much during those days.”
By the time he became the PM, Koirala was no more under the shadow of BP as ‘shy’ brother of ‘few words’. He had almost established himself as the most important leader in the Nepali Congress. “He was an able Prime Minister,” said Prasad. “There were problems within the party. His relationships with Kishunji and Ganeshmanji deteriorated.” Had Koirala solved the intraparty feud and mended his relationship with communists like he did during the last years of his life Nepal wouldn’t have suffered as much. “He was a strong leader but not without shortcomings,” Prasad said. Continue reading An Indian ambassador remembers GP Koirala→
The demise of GPK will undoubtedly lead to a political realignment in Nepali politics. Girija Prasad Koirala was without a doubt the most influential politician in Nepal. What was truly unique about Koirala’s political strategy was his ability to fuse his belief in democracy and his Koirala legacy to further his political goals. Koirala operated as a democratic monopoly – he succeeded in portraying himself as the sole democratic crusader at the detriment of his own party and to those within and outside the party too. The most cogent portrayal of Koirala can be attributed to former Prime Minister Thapa’s observation. In 2004, I had asked Thapa why he persistently sought to ally with Koirala at the expense of UML and NC-D, and Thapa’s reply was telling of Koirala’s political capability – “no one in Nepali politics has the ability to embark on a political adventure”.
Koirala’s political resurrection came into being when King Gyanendra formally took over in 2005. His premiership much through the 90’s had been marred with corruption, nepotism and political interference in the bureaucracy and Nepal Police. A testament to Koirala’s unpopularity could be seen during the funeral of King Birendra – protestors not only chanted slogans against the prime minister but stoned the bulletproof Mercedes which Koirala was riding in – his aide de camp had to place a helmet on Koirala’s scalp to save the prime minister from incurring any injury. In a way, Koirala in his death emerged as this democratic messiah but whether or not his policies will be carried forward by his own party will determine his legacy.
Excerpted from Koirala’s address to a mass gathering organised by the Nepali Congress branch of Saptari on Dec. 27, 2002, collected in the book Simple Convictions
I am telling you something about the incumbent King [Gyanendra]. I am also sharing with you the nature of the four kings that I have experienced. I have been struggling with four generations of kings and have witnessed the vicissitudes over four generations. How does the person who has accumulated the experience of four generations perceive the King following the royal move on Oct. 4?
With the royal proclamation, the incumbent has robbed the people’s fundamental rights achieved through the historic Popular Movement of 1990. He has proclaimed to have acquired sovereignty and state authority, claiming he possesses divine power. He says he is the source of authority. We have called this King’s move regressive and we are agitating against it. From this mass gathering in Rajbiraj, I would like to tell the King – if you don’t correct the royal proclamation and immediately return the people’s rights to people; the result will be very grave, Your Majesty.
When Girija Prasad Koirala was born in 1925 Nepal was a closed society under autocratic oligarchy and secluded from rest of the world. There were no Twitterers and Facebookers in Nepal.
After 86 years, Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic with a vibrant and open society that is so much connected to the world that the news of deteriorating health and death of Koirala spread all over the world in an instant via the Internet on Saturday (20 March).
Messages like “Rest in Peace, Girija Prasad Koirala” or its shorter form “RIP GPK” and similar messages in Nepali spread like wildfire all over the web via numerous tweets and Facebook statuses. Some of those messages might have appeared slightly before the iconic leader’s death and certainly a couple of hours ahead of the official announcement by the Nepali Congress party in Kathmandu. That, in a way, reflected the aam janata (common man’s) concern and interest in Koirala’s health and life in general. Koirala died at 12:11 Nepal Standard Time Saturday. Here’s a sample of conversations that took place on Facebook walls (Sanjivan Gautam is a Nepali scholar who is now in Germany): Continue reading A death in Nepal in the age of Twitter and Facebook (RIP #GPK)→
Girija Pradad Koirala, one of the great democratic leaders of Nepal, has died. Minister for Irrigation Bal Krishna Khand told mediapersons after Nepali Congress Central Working Committee meeting that 86-year-old Koirala passed away at 12.10 p.m. Saturday. His body will be kept at the Dasharath Stadium, Tripureshwor between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, one of the CWC leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba said, Republicareports. Until then, the body will be kept at his daughter and Deputy Prime Minister Sujata’s residence at Mandikhatar where Koirala breathed his last. The last rites would be performed on Sunday, Khand added.
The four-time prime minister who has long suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had fallen unconscious since early morning today (at around 5), according to doctors attending Koirala. Koirala had suffered from diarrhea on yesterday night which furthermore deteriorated the health of the veteran leader. “He has been further weakened though his condition had improved after treatment [at Shahid Gangalal Hospital] last week,” Sitaula said about Koirala’s health on Friday (yesterday).
This man carries an envious history and record with him and he is sick these days. This time, it seems, seriously. Reports suggest Girija Prasad Koirala is fighting death and the main weapon this time is his willpower to live. A man with strong leadership and organizational skills, Koirala is not an immortal. Neither he is a flawless person. What he is, without any dispute, is the single most important personality in Nepali politics today who towers everyone else. He commands the moral and organizational authority that can make or break the politics. Call it a selfish demand but life of Girija Prasad Koirala is necessary for Neapli democracy today. Yes, we are no fans of Koirala but we believe so. He could be and is the strongest defender of democracy in Nepal. Continue reading Girija Prasad Koirala→
Preparations are going on regarding the first meeting of the CA and procedures there after. The first meeting, in addition to fulfilling some formalities, is expected to formalize Nepal a republic. Plus, discussions are also going on about the formation of the new government and the possible ways of power sharing among political parties. Namely about the portfolios of the Presidency, prime minister-ship and the chairmanship of the CA. Today the Maoist chairman Prachanda met with the Prime Minister and he is learned to have discussed all those issues. Here are some of the developments: Continue reading Preparations for the Assembly→
Displaying the height of immorality in Nepali politics, NC President Girija Prasad Koirala rejects the resignation of Sushil. On his part, greedy and immoral Sushil happily accepts Girija’s decision.
If you didn’t know already, get it now: Nepali Congress, the party of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, today staged an artless drama that is so dirty and stinky. Today is the day for all those NC supporters and those who voted for the party to bow their head with shame. Koirala, who is also the President of NC, today rejected Sushil Koirla’s resignation as the party’s acting president. Sushil Koirala declared his resignation from the party leadership immediately after his defeat in the April 10 Constituent Assembly (CA) polls. Continue reading Artless Drama in Nepali Congress→