Tag Archives: maoist

Did UN official accused of bias by Israel protect Maoist violence in Nepal ? (Book Excerpt)

– by NepalForeignAffairs.com team

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Former senior UN bureaucrat Kul Chandra Gautam’s book is already creating a lot of ripples.

Ian Martin was the head of Amnesty International before serving as UN special envoy to East Timor and Nepal. He acted as the inaugural head of UN Mission In Nepal (UNMIN) from 2006 to 2009. UNMIN was established to assist Nepal’s peace process following the peace agreement between Nepal government and Maoist rebels in 2006. Martin is a Cambridge educated Briton, whose controversial role in Nepal led the Nepal government to reduce UNMIN’s mandate, before finally ending the mission in 2011, on a rather bitter note.

Martin has been heavily criticized by Israel for a report prepared by his team in 2009. He led a UN committee of four to investigate incidents during the Gaza War. Israel was joined by the US in calling the report as biased. Israel’s criticism stated, “in both spirit and language, the report is tendentious, patently biased, and ignores the facts presented to the committee.”

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Ian Martin was the head of United Nations Mission In Nepal (UNMIN) and led a committee to investigate incidents in the Israel-Gaza conflict. (Picture: ictj.org)

For the first time after the time of UNMIN, some of their activities and unreported incidents have been brought to light in a book by a former senior UN bureaucrat. Kul Chandra Gautam, who served as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, has been involved with Nepali civil society and in the peace process. His book, “Lost in Transition: Rebuilding Nepal from the Maoist mayhem and mega earthquake” is out tomorrow. It has already created a lot of ripples in Nepal, including very approving reviews for its counter-narrative to the dominant view in Nepal that eulogizes violence and undemocratic means to grab power by destabilizing the state.

What follows is an exclusive excerpt from the book, detailing some role of UNMIN and its high officials in Nepal that very few people other than Gautam have been privy to.


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Kul Chandra Gautam, a former senior UN official details some of the unknowns regarding UNMIN’s role in Nepal. His book is out tomorrow (Picture: ipsnews.net).

… People began to see that UNMIN was unable to restrain the massive pre-election threats and violence by the Maoists against candidates of other political parties. Following the elections, and the installation of the Maoist-led government, people saw many illegal and criminal activities taking place in Maoist cantonments or by Maoist combatants outside the cantonments. UNMIN’s seeming inability to control or even monitor such activities began to erode the public’s faith in UNMIN.

A video-taped speech by Maoist Chairman Prachanda at a party training event in the Shaktikhor cantonment just prior to the 2008 CA election revealed how the Maoists had hoodwinked the UN into accepting much larger number of combatants than was actually the case, and how the party intended to use its cadres, including its ex-combatants, to influence the election. UNMIN’s credibility nosedived, when instead of protesting the Maoists’ cynical remarks disparaging it, UNMIN sought to defend itself and the Maoists by saying that Prachanda’s remarks “needed to be understood in a certain context”.

Some dramatic cases of criminal activities in the Maoist cantonments; the free access and use of the cantonments by Maoist leaders for political training and indoctrination; and the seeming inability of UNMIN to do anything about such actions, led to serious disappointment with its performance, especially given the Nepali public’s very high expectation of UNMIN. Increasingly a growing number of leaders of the non-Maoist political parties, civil society and the media became critical of UNMIN’s performance, many attributing a certain pro-Maoist bias on the part of UNMIN.

Worried about their poor judgment, in early 2010, I wrote a long memo entitled “Quo Vadis UNMIN?” and shared it with Karin Landgren, Ian Martin and Tamrat Samuel. I cautioned them about giving undue benefit of doubt to the Maoists and unfair criticism and pressure on NC/UML to be more flexible and compromising. I have retained copies of my long private exchanges with them – mostly by emails – in my files.

In essence, the UNMIN leadership listened to my views politely, but generally chose to ignore them.

UNMIN became so influenced by the circle of self-proclaimed “progressives” that it ignored and dismissed the views and advice of many Nepalis who had a much deeper understanding of and respect for the United Nations, including those who had served in senior positions in the UN system …

In September 2010, UNMIN had prepared a report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2010/453) on the status of Nepal’s peace process recommending further extension of UNMIN’s mandate. This report was so unbalanced and objectionable that four former Foreign Ministers of Nepal coming from different political parties – KP Sharma Oli, Chakra Bastola, Ram Sharan Mahat and Prakash Chandra Lohani – wrote a joint letter of protest to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

As former foreign ministers, and strong supporters of the United Nations, they registered their objection to the tone and content of the whole report and pointed out several specific paragraphs which were against the letter and spirit of Nepal’s Comprehensive Peace Accord and related agreements. They objected to the report’s treatment of Nepal’s national army on par with the former rebel force, whose members were in temporary cantonments awaiting integration and rehabilitation. They also objected to the report essentially treating the Government of Nepal on par with the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Indeed, neither the UN nor most Western diplomats insisted with the Maoists that if they wanted their cooperation, they had to unequivocally renounce violence, accept political pluralism (not just “multiparty competition”), and abandon their declared objective of “state capture” through either ballots or bullets.

Martin’s implied assertion that Nepalis … could not think for themselves, reminded me of the former Singapore Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani’s book entitled “Can Asians Think?” Yes, I argued, Nepalis can think for themselves.

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Karin Landgren replaced Martin as UNMIN head in Nepal. UNMIN has been controversial and accused of protecting Maoist violence in Nepal (Picture: frontpageafricaonline.com).
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Privileged Maoist Kids and the Unfortunate Lot Who Were Forced Out of Schools by Maoists

Pen and book for your own daughter while gun for the daughters of poor ethnic people.
Pen and books for your own daughter while guns for the daughters of poor ethnic people.

A Facebook page named “CPN UML Youth Campaign” posted a combo photo (above) recently with touchy captions: “Pen and books for your own daughter. Gun for daughter of ethnic people.” [See details about the first photo below.]

Madhav Nepal Offering Daam to King Gyanendra on Coronation Day
Madhav Nepal Offering Daam to King Gyanendra on Coronation Day

The context: Election season has started (voting is slated for 19the November). Remember the ‘famous’ Madhav Nepal photo (right)– in which the UML leader is seen offering daam to King Gyanenndra on the latter’s Coronation Day- that the Maoists circulated massively during the 2008 CA elections?

But this is not merely an election gimmick of a rival political party. The fact that a UML campaign circulated these pictures doesn’t mean it undermines the credibility of the poignant message that these photos convey.

The truth is Baburam Bhattarai actually sent his daughter to the safety and quality education of schools in India (and, most recently, to China to learn the Chinese language!) while he forced many young people out of schools in Nepali villages arguing that they should reject the bourgeois education and join the revolution. Baburam’s boss, Pushpa Kamal Dahal kept his son with himself as personal assistant while he sent many sons and daughters of poor Nepalis to front lines to be killed or injured. Baburam Bhattarai himself attended the same bourgeois education system and excelled at it. He attended a missionary high school in his home district Gorkha, went to college in Kathmandu and attended an Indian university (for which he seems to be very proud of). He should be. He should also have let thousands of poor Nepali youths to be proud of their education. But he and his party deprived a whole generation of Nepali youth of education. Ironically, most people who the Maoist party forced out of schools are from the same communities Prachanda and Baburam promised to emancipate from poverty and backwardness. Continue reading Privileged Maoist Kids and the Unfortunate Lot Who Were Forced Out of Schools by Maoists

Deconstructing Baburam Bhattarai: Conflicts and Contradictions

Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur
Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur

On Friday (9 August), Kathmandu Post published a piece by Suman Khadka (a PhD candidate at Monash University, Australia) that critically analyzed Baburam Bhattarai’s contradictory personality with focus on his bourgeois education that the Maoist leader stopped many Nepali youths from pursuing. (His party forced many students in rural Nepal out of schools to join the Maoist ‘militia’ reasoning that they shouldn’t waste time pursuing bourgeois education. At the same time, Bhattarai sent his daughter Manushi Yami Bhattarai to prestigious schools in India.)

De-schooling doctor Baburam

Baburam Bhattarai’s rise in politics has much to do with this perception of him being a ‘learned’ man. This reverence largely stems from the degrees he has earned, rather than wisdom per se. His wisdom is difficult to ascertain because his writings are abstract. Neither have many of us have read his PhD thesis or his books, which I find far too incomprehensible, even though I don’t consider myself stupid. Even CK Lal has noted the difficulty of deciphering Bhattarai’s writings. But it is precisely such writing and rhetoric that succeed in creating a feeling of intellectual inferiority among others, so successful that even the opposition parties once wanted Bhattarai to be prime minister. Although Bhattarai’s popularity has nosedived recently, many accept that he is the most knowledgeable politician, not because they understand him but rather, because they don’t. When Bhattarai defended Dekendra Thapa’s accused murderers, a question people had was “how can such a learned man do so?” Interestingly, this group forgot that Bhattarai is the Maoist ideologue based on whose scholarly arguments many people like Thapa were killed in the first place. This article continues here

Yesterday, the Post carried a rebuke to the Suman Khadka’s piece, a hagiographic defense of Bhattarai by two men (one of them a fulltime Maoist cadre who also writes articles idealizing Bhattarai on Maoist publications including a pro-Bhattarai website that is promoted by Bhattarai.) The article, by Resham Thapa, who teaches in TU, and Dhruba Raj Adhikari, states setting up of a complaint box, branded ‘Hello Sarkar’, in Singhabarbar during the tenure of PM Bhattarai as one of his biggest achievements. The piece was so adulatory that it prompted a well-known pro-Maoist (pro-Prachanda, to be specific) journalist, Kishore Nepal, to tweet this: “Glorification of Comrade BRB in TKP: “Bhajan-Kirtan” of politician in this season of Bird flu! It is highly infectious. Beware Dr Saheb!” Continue reading Deconstructing Baburam Bhattarai: Conflicts and Contradictions

The 20 Billion Rupees Scam in the Name of Peace Process in Nepal

The ‘misleading’ and wrong decision taken by the Special Committee comprising representatives of six political parties has clearly indicated that financial accountability is a far fetched dram for Nepali people.
 
By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

On 12 April, some members of the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants which was formed in October 2008 wanted to know how Rs 19.71 billion was spent on the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments over the last seven years. According to the Kathmandu Post, Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat proposed that the committee passed a proposal directing the government to conduct a special auditing of the expenses.

However, the committee, as many believe took a controversial decision. The Post writes:

The committee, comprising representatives of six political parties, adopted a resolution with a soft tone, committing that the Office of the Auditor General will conduct a detailed investigation to see whether the funds were spent legally. It also agreed that the financial discipline maintaining body would recommend the government to publicize its report.

Following the decision, different section of the society has questioned the ability and intention of the leaders who were party to the decision. According to analysts, the decision of the committee is quite misleading and deceptive. Kantipur daily news editor Hari Bahadur Thapa, who has written books on corruption and has extensively covered corruption-related issues in the paper, tweeted: Continue reading The 20 Billion Rupees Scam in the Name of Peace Process in Nepal

Five Reasons Why Nepal is No More a Democracy

Existing political events strongly suggest that Nepal is on its way to being ruled by an autocratic political system. Leader of this new system, Mustang-rider Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (or Dr-sab as some people call him) has accelerated speed of his vehicle to lead the country into an autocratic system where the Maoist party will have its say on all important issues including those that are to be handled by an independent judiciary.

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

Democracy in Nepal is on the verge of collapse. Most of the indicators of democracy are either dismantled or dead. The basic notion of democracy- ‘check and balance’- has been destroyed and now there is only the check of the communist-led government.

Why Nepal is not a democratic country? Because: Continue reading Five Reasons Why Nepal is No More a Democracy

Press Council Nepal: From a Watchdog to the Maoist Lapdog

Awadesh Kumar Yadav
Awadesh Kumar Yadav

By Siromani Dhungana
UWB

The present Press Council Act in Nepal need to be revisited, restructured and reformed to ensure the independence of the council and to establish it as a true ‘watchdog mechanism’.

After the appointment of new chairman at Press Council Nepal (PCN), the need of reforming the existing legal provision has further garnered its relevancy.

In what appears to be a controversial move of the Government of Nepal, it appointed former Supreme Court Justice Awadhesh Kumar Yadav as the Chairman of Press Council Nepal on January 25, 2013.

Reportedly, Yadav as the apex court Justice had issued an order to prevent the prosecution of a war-era criminal case against then Maoist lawmaker Keshab Rai. Continue reading Press Council Nepal: From a Watchdog to the Maoist Lapdog

Nepal Army to Execute Maoist Guerrilla Integration Plan

Feels Tuesday’s historic pact addresses its concerns

By Phanindra Dahal

The Nepal Army (NA) has expressed its readiness to fully support the landmark deal signed by parties on Tuesday night on concluding the peace process, stating that its concerns have been addressed in the agreement that will see former Maoist combatants integrated into its ranks.

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha leader Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar signed the deal expressing commitment to setting up a general directorate under the NA to integrate up to 6,500 Maoist fighters. The general directorate, according to the deal, will be deployed for infrastructure development, rescue and relief operations as well as forest and industrial security.

“We feel fortunate that the parties forged an agreement on integration modality that we had suggested,” said a two-star general, commenting on Tuesday’s seven-point agreement. “We are ready to extend our full support to the implementation of this decision.” Continue reading Nepal Army to Execute Maoist Guerrilla Integration Plan

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 (?)

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s India Trip

baburam bhattarai india trip

By Akhilesh Upadhyay
in the Kathmandu Post

OCT 20 – No visit by a Nepali Prime Minister to New Delhi has generated as much attention as that of Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s in September 2008. There was a good reason.

His party CPN (Maoist), underground only until two years ago, had thumped traditional powerhouses in their first open elections. Though Maoist leaders and India’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had worked closely to make the 12-point agreement between the Maoists and the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) possible, people in New Delhi were still not sure how the force that had historically regarded India as “expansionist” would respond in New Delhi. Continue reading Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s India Trip

American Diplomatic Cable: Nepal Army Took US Diplomats to Rolpa in 2002 to Show How it Was Fighting the Maoists

Details of that visit from the Americans

2002-04-22 11:22

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KATHMANDU 000787

SIPDIS

LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/21/2012
TAGS: PGOV PTER PREL PHUM ASEC NP
SUBJECT: INTO THE MAOIST HEARTLAND – COUNTERINSURGENCY BY
THE BOOK IN ROLPA DISTRICT

REF: KATHMANDU 377

Classified By: Amb. M.E. Malinowski, Reasons 1.5 (b), (d).

¶1. (S) Summary. Emboffs joined Royal Nepalese Army (RNA)
Western Division Commander on an inspection tour of newly
established garrisons in Rolpa district, considered the
Maoist heartland. The tour coincided with the deployment of
the PACOM assessment team to the Rolpa battalion
headquarters. Two RNA task forces have completed sweeps
through eastern and northern Rolpa, leaving joint Army, Armed
Police and civil police garrisons to restore security in the
major towns. This bold incursion, to be followed by similar
sweeps through adjacent Maoist districts represents the right
strategy, but operational and logistical challenges abound.
RNA operations suffer from a lack of good boots as well as a
shortage of manpower. Additional arms and ammunition would
not be effective without good boots, the RNA commander for
western Nepal insisted. Emboffs interviewed two captured
Maoist leaders who described the insurgents’ tactics. After
recent attacks in Dang, RNA efforts to respond were hindered
when the Maoists felled trees across the highways and set
fires to reduce visibility for helicopters. Although the
monsoon will have a negative effect on the RNA’s mobility,
the Maoists will face the same obstacles. Morale was high in
the garrisons, and the response from the citizenry positive. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: Nepal Army Took US Diplomats to Rolpa in 2002 to Show How it Was Fighting the Maoists