Friday, September 21, 2007

Nepal's Maoists under Fire



Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Date: 21 Sep 2007


Nepal's Maoists under fire from key donors
by Sam Taylor
KATHMANDU, Sept 21, 2007 (AFP) - Nepal's key international donors have hit out at the country's former Maoist rebels for jeopardising a 10-month-old peace process by storming out of government and launching a strike campaign.
The ultra-leftists quit the government earlier this week and have threatened mass street protests and work stoppages to push for the immediate abolition of the Himalayan nation's monarchy.
Under the terms of last November's peace deal, that issue was supposed to be decided after a popular vote now scheduled for November 22 -- which the Maoists have also vowed to disrupt.
"Until now, the Maoists have been a full part of the political game," a senior Western diplomat in Kathmandu told AFP.
"If the situation changes and they do not take part in the elections, we will have to reconsider this conception."
When the Maoists signed up for peace, they were promptly greeted and engaged by most major donors -- with the exception of the United States which continues to list them as a "terrorist" organisation.
And nearly a year down the road, most donors have invested heavily in ensuring the elections will go ahead as planned.
"We've informed our capitals that we need bigger budgets" to help Nepal with the November polls, said another Western diplomat, who also asked not to be named.
"If they don't have elections then that extra budget could be lost and there is also a loss of credibility," the diplomat added.
On Thursday, top US State Department official Richard Boucher hammered the Maoists for attempting to "trash" the effort to close the book on a decade of civil war and revive democracy in one of the world's poorest countries.
"Trying to trash this election is trying to trash the whole process," he said in Washington. "Declaring yourselves an opponent to the democratic voting process, we can't abide that. So I hope they won't go that far."
Boucher said the US government would continue to treat the Maoists as extremist outcasts until the movement becomes a normal political party.
So far the Maoists have not threatened to renounce the ceasefire that ended their decade-long insurgency, and their soldiers remain confined to UN-monitored camps -- but Boucher said it was not enough.
"They need to give up the gun. They need to give up extortion. They need to give up the militant youth groups that have sort of extended their power and tried to intimidate people in the countryside," Boucher said.
On Thursday, the European Union also fumed that it would be a "betrayal" of the Nepalese people if the elections cannot go ahead on time, while Japan, another leading donor, also voiced concern for the polls.
Analysts and diplomats have said the Maoists' withdrawal from government is in part designed to appease hardliners within their party who are frustrated with the pace of the peace process, and also to pile pressure on the other parties in government to accede to their demands.
In addition, the Maoists fear they will do badly in any polls because their popularity has plummeted due to continued charges that they use violence and intimidation.
Diplomats in Kathmandu said they fear an election boycott by the Maoists could signal the ex-rebels are simply incapable of leaving their jungle insurgency behind to join the world of mainstream politics.
"If they do not take part in the elections it shows that they are not ready to face the voters. This is a negative sign," said one diplomat.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/LRON-779CVV?OpenDocumentCopyright (c) 2007 Agence France-PresseReceived by NewsEdge Insight: 09/21/2007 04:47:40

Violence 'escalating' in southern Nepal




Violence 'escalating' in southern Nepal

KATHMANDU (AFP) — Communal unrest in southern Nepal is worsening and authorities need to act quickly to prevent all-out violence in the ethnically tense region, police and rights activists said Friday.

The unrest in the Indian border district of Kapilvastu erupted after the murder this week of local Muslim politician Mohid Khan, who headed an anti-Maoist vigilante group during Nepal's civil war.

Police said the clashes in the impoverished Terai lowlands had left at least 22 people dead, while Maoists accused the country's embattled monarchy -- which they are trying to oust -- of stirring up the unrest.

"People are being terrorised. The attacks are taking the shape of communal violence," district police deputy superintendent Kuber Kadayat told AFP from the area, around 230 kilometres (145 miles) southwest of Kathmandu.

"The death toll could rise still further as police are yet to reach remote villages where there have been reports of violent clashes in the past few days," said another local official, Narendra Dahal.
News reports said the warring parties in the area had divided along political, religious and ethnic lines.

"There was a tussle between Khan's supporters and Maoists because of past antagonism," the Nepali Times wrote Friday.

It said violence had also broken out between Pahadis, or hill people who have settled in the Terai, and ethnic Mahadhesi natives of the lowlands. The paper said there was also "potential this would turn into a Hindu-Muslim riot."

The leader of Nepal's former rebel Maoists blamed "regressive elements" -- a term used to describe supporters of the embattled monarchy -- for provoking the bloodshed.

"Our party strongly condemns the deliberate conspiracy of regressive and reactionary forces," Prachanda said in a statement calling on "all people including Hindus, Muslims, Mahadhesi (natives) and Pahadis to unite together."

The ultra-leftists quit the government earlier this week and have threatened mass street protests and work stoppages to push for the immediate abolition of the Himalayan nation's monarchy.

Under the terms of last November's peace deal, that issue was supposed to be decided after a popular vote scheduled for November 22 -- which the Maoists have also vowed to disrupt.
"There is a danger that regressive forces are conspiring to mobilise the army by using the communal riots as as excuse," Prachanda claimed.

At least 100 people have been killed in the Terai region this year, clouding a peace deal reached late last year between the government and the Maoists.

Around a dozen armed ethnic groups have emerged who say they are fighting for greater autonomy for the Terai, home to around half of Nepal's 27 million people. They have long been sidelined by Nepal's Pahadi-dominated elite.

The head of a leading local rights group said the situation was a "serious human tragedy."
"The government has not been able to maintain law and order," said Kundan Aryal, general secretary of the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC).

"Both Muslim and Hindu community people have been affected and we think some criminal elements are taking advantage of the situation. There is a danger that communal disturbances could spread in other areas if the government doesn't take prompt action," said Aryal, who visited the area Thursday.

Five days after violence erupted in south Nepal following the murder of a local politician, sectarian clashes spread to two more districts, killing five more and taking the toll to at least 28.
A former municipal chairman and two others were killed on Thursday as a rally of protesters demanding security in Jagdishpur village in Kapilavastu district was attacked by a mob.

Two more people died on the way to hospital while the condition of nine was critical, media reports said on Friday.

The violence, smouldering for five days, was triggered Sunday after unidentified gunmen shot dead Abdul Moit Khan, an influential politician with strong links to the palace, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's Nepali Congress party and armed groups across the border in India.

In 2005, soon after King Gyanendra seized total power with the help of the army, Khan had led a vigilante group that was responsible for the death of at least 12 Maoists.

Khan's murder sent his supporters on a rampage and they began indiscriminate looting, arson and attacks, stoking retaliation.

The violence also spread to neighbouring Rupandehi and Dang districts, assuming sectarian colour with mobs attacking mosques.

On Thursday, two more mosques were vandalised in Lamhi while shops were set on fire in Tulsipur. The district administration clamped curfew and prohibited the assembly of more than five people.

Parts of Kapilavastu and neighbouring Rupandehi district have been under curfew since Sunday.
After a group of Muslim leaders led a delegation to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala Thursday and sought security and the formation of a high-level commission to punish the perpetrators of the violence, the government finally named a probe panel.

An emergency meeting of the cabinet named a three-member commission, headed by an appellate court judge, Lokendra Mallik, to look into the sectarian violence.

However, going by the Koirala government's poor track record, with the reports of all earlier commissions being either swept away under the carpet; it is unlikely that the Mallik Commission would be more than a face-saving device.

Villagers in Kapilavastu have been flaying the government, saying it made neither any move to beef up security after the clashes started nor reached relief to the survivors.

Over 400 houses have been torched, displacing thousands. Many villagers belonging to the Muslim community are said to have fled to India for safety.

This is probably the gravest sectarian flare-up in secular Nepal that had lived in religious harmony when it was a Hindu state.

The incessant violence in the Terai casts serious doubts on the government's ability to hold elections that are just 61 days away. The ruling alliance has to also grapple with another crisis as the Maoist guerrillas have quit the government and begun a campaign to disrupt the polls.

At least two more armed groups of former Maoists, who are active in the Terai, have also warned they would not allow the polls to be held.

One of them, the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha led by former Maoist leader Jay Krishna Goit, has also called a two-day shutdown in the Terai from Saturday to condemn Khan's murder.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print.aspx?Id=3eb17d8e-3f9e-425a-93c0-e40d93c70ff0
© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times

सन्युक्त राजिनामा चढायेको ।

श्रीनेपाली जनताहरू
नेपाल अधिराज्य,

मार्फत्,

नेपल सरकार, सिङ्दरबार,
काठ्मान्डौ, नेपाल

बिषय: सन्युक्त राजिनामा चढायेको ।

राजा को प्रत्यछ शासन बाट देशलाइ मुक्त गरी हामी आठैदलका नेताहरु ले सत्ता तथा सन्सद पुर्ण सम्हाल्दै आयेको कुरा यहाहरु लाई बिधितै छ । हाम्रा सरकारले देशमा राजनितिक स्थिरता बहाल गारी सम्पुर्ण रास्ट्रभरी शान्ती सुरक्छा प्रदानगर्ने प्रयासरत रहदा पनि नसकेको ले आफ्नो कार्यशैली तथा छम्ता प्रती नत्मस्तक हुदै हामी आठैदला का तर्फ्बाट छमा माग्न चाहन्छौ।

हामी ले आ-अफना गल्ती महसुस गरेका छौ र हामी अब उप्रान्त देश लाई नेतृत्व प्रदान गर्न सक्छम छैन भने कुरा अहिले को देशको परिस्थितिले पनि देखायेको छ र हामीले पनि अनुभब गरेकै बिसय हो तर केही बधयताले गर्दा हामी अहिले सम्म सरकार र देश को बाग्डोर सम्हलिरहे क छौ ।

यहाहरु सम्छ हामिले स्विकार्नु पर्ने कुरा के छ भने देश मा साम्प्रदायिक दङा फसाद्,राजनितिक गतिबिधी को नाम मा उदन्डता र ज्यादति,आतन्कबादी कृयाकलाप,लगातका सम्पुर्ण कुरा नियन्त्रन गर्न खोज्दा पनि सकेनौ,बिकृतिहरु पनि बढदै गयो ।यतिसम्म कि हामिले देश का नगरिकहरु लाई कतिपयठाउ र परिस्थितिमा राज्याको उप्स्थिती पनि देखाउन चाह्दा-चह्दै पनि नसकेको यहाहरुलाई बिधिबतै छ । अझ हाम्रो नेतृत्वमा देश झन अशान्तितिर गयेको मह्सुस बढन थालेको छ ।

यसर्थ, उप्रोक्त सबै कारन र परिस्थिती का साथसाथ हामी यो आठदलका सिरस्थनेताहरु शारिरिक र मानसिक रुपमा पनि कामजोर भयेको महुसुसगरि, देश को बिद्यमान सम्पुर्ण बिध्वन्सात्मक अबस्थाको नैतिक जिम्मेबारी लिदै, आज का मिती बाट आजिबन समपुर्ण राजनितिकपदहरु बाट यहाहरु सम्छ यो सन्युक्त राजिनामा चढायेका छौ । आशा छ, यहाहरु ले हाम्रो सम्पुर्ण त्रुटी र काम्जोरिहरु को छमागर्नु हुनेछ र आगमी नेतृत्वको लागी नया पुस्ता का आ-आफ्ना राज्नितिक निकाय को प्रतिनिधी छनौटगारी देश को शासन बेबस्था जिम्मा लगाउनेहुनेछ ।
धन्यबाद ।

तपाईहरुका एतिहासिक आज्ञाकारी राजनितिक सेवकहरु,,

गिरिजा प्रसद कोइरल, नेपाली काङ्रेस
माधव कुमार नेपाल , ने क पा(ए मा ले)
प्रचन्ड, ने क पा (माओबादि)
शेर बहादुर देउवा, नेपली काङ्रेस्, प्रजातान्त्रीक
अ्इक शेरचन, जनमोर्चा
आनन्दिदेवि सिङ्ह , सदभावना, आनन्दिदेवि
नारायन मान बिजुक्छे,मजदुर किसान पार्ट्री
सि पि मैनालि, बाममोर्चा
असोज ३ गते २०६४ साल

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Deadly clashes in southern Nepal


Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA)
Date: 20 Sep 2007
Death toll in southern Nepal rioting rises to २८

Kathmandu_(dpa) _ Nepalese police said Thursday that the scale of violence during three days of rioting in south-western Nepal was slowly coming to light with the discovery of at least 15 more bodies।

Police said the death toll in the violence, set off Saturday with the killing of a local politician who once headed a Maoist-retaliation committee, had now risen to at least 28। They said that figure could rise further because the whereabouts of many villagers in the area were unknown after they had fled the violence and their homes.

The 15 bodies were found in searches around Bisampur village Wednesday and Thursday morning, said police in the Kapilvastu district, about 200 kilometres south-west of Kathmandu। Eight of the bodies were charred beyond recognition, they added.

The majority of those killed were people from hill districts living in areas dominated by the Muslim community.
Rioting flared up Saturday when supporters of Mohit Khan, who was killed by unidentified gunman at his home, began protesting his death and looting and setting fire to buildings and cars। The rioting also spread to neighbouring towns and villages.

Khan headed an anti-Maoist vigilante group set up during King Gyanendra's direct rule two years ago.
Local people have accused the Maoists of carrying out Khan's killing, a charge denied by the former rebels who signed a peace agreement with the government last year after a decadelong conflict। They instead charged Khan with continuing anti-Maoist activities despite the retaliatory committee being disbanded.

Police said more than 350 people were injured in the rioting and 150 vehicles and more than 300 houses were set on fire।

Southern Nepal has seen frequent violence since the beginning of the year with rival political groups vying for control of supporters and territory। The violence has left at least 80 people dead.

The latest violence was the worst in Nepal in recent months, and the Nepalese Home Affairs Ministry said there were attempts to use it to fan communal hatred।

The situation was made worse by the inability of local security agencies to deal with the situation, and police were unable to send reinforcement to the affected areas.
Several towns in the Kailvastu district and surrounding areas remained under curfew for the sixth day Thursday। dpa kr ls Copyright (c) dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
kindly see the discussion, writings and openions on the Kapibastu crisis by using the link, however, you need to have a yahoo id or membership or subscription of the Nepal Officer ONline Group,
Kapilbastu Incident and Unending Shame
Re:Madhesh is burning
Re: Kapilbastu Incident and Unending Shame

Has Nepal's Peace Process Come to an End?


Has Nepal's Peace Process Come to an End?

Yesterday i।e. on 18 September 2007, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) quit the interim government headed by Prime Minister G P Koirala for not meeting their 22 points demands including declaration of Nepal as a republic. The Maoist supremo Prachanda was absent in the rally where the announcement to quit the government was made but he participated in the eight party discussions held today.

India's Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee described it as “internal issues of Nepal to be resolved by Nepal itself.” But, it also immediately increased its vigil across Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim.

The India-engineered Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Nepal appears to have come to an end. The withdrawal of the Maoists is a symptom of the failure to conduct reform in the security sector. The Comprehensive Peace Accord provided little mechanisms to make the Royal Nepal Army and the Maoists cadres accountable. The architect of the Royal coup, General Rookmangud Katwal, has been appointed as the Chief of Army Staff. The Maoists in their technical language never surrendered the arms. Their cadres virtually run Nepal as Prime Minister Koirala's writ runs only in the Kathmandu valley.

India can't shirk its responsibility as it opposes involvement of international community for resolution of the crisis in Nepal. There are uncanny similarities between the Memorandum of Understandings signed by International Committee of the Red Cross with the governments of India and Nepal. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has been reduced to conducting “documentation” – essentially doing the jobs of the NGOs with the imprimatur of the UN. The UN Political Mission in Nepal has also been virtually playing a technical role among others for "the management of arms and armed personnel".

It remains to be seen whether the Maoists can be persuaded to return to the Koirala led government. Irrespective of whether the Maoists return to the government or not and whether elections to the constituent assembly could be held or not, Nepal appears to be heading for war.

I. Nepal is not ready for elections

On 19 August 2007, the Election Commission of Nepal publicised the programme of Constituent Assembly elections to be held on 22 November 2007. The Election Code of Conduct, rejected by the Maoists, also came into force. As the eight political parties hold dialogue, the Election Commission of Nepal has been completely sidelined.

Nonetheless, according to the election programme, candidates must file their nominations on 5 October 2007 and the final list of the eligible candidates will be published on 10 October 2007. Election symbols will be allotted on 11 October 2007. On 6 September 2007, the Election Commission stated that it had completed appointment of the chief election officers and the election officers for all of the 240 constituencies.

But Nepal is simply not ready for elections. No political party has proper preparedness to face the mandate of the people. The Maoists went a step further and announced the following programmes to disrupt the elections: conduct door-to-door public awareness campaign from 19-21 September 2007; rallies and campaigns from 22-29 September 2007; expose the corrupt people and those named as guilty in the report by Rayamajhi Commission from 29 September-3 October 2007; gherao all the District Administration Offices on 30 September 2007; and launch nationwide general strike from 4-6 October 2007 to prevent filing of nominations by the candidates.

II. Why is Nepal not ready for elections?

The description of the key actors involved for the prevailing anarchy in Nepal might help to explain as to why Nepal is not ready for elections

a. Rule of the Maoists and absence of police

On 17 September 2007, the Chief Election Commissioner and the commissioners of the Election Commission met Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and urged him to ensure security for the elections.

The fact remains that the Maoists have not even allowed the government to restore or establish new police stations in the villages where the Maoists continued to run their writs. The Maoists are the law unto themselves and they continue to carry out abductions, extortion, torture, and intimidation. With the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) cadres registered in the UN managed camps, the Maoists have been carrying out atrocities through their youth wing, the Young Communist League (YCL). On 9 June 2007, Prachanda declared that the YCL activists would continue to take actions against the “corrupt” people. The YCL has reportedly prepared a list of “corrupt persons” and threatened to take action against them from 18 September 2007.

The Nepal police have been helpless while dealing with the Maoist cadres. The law enforcement agencies or the civil administration cannot take action against the Maoist cadres even if they commit crimes and disturb the law and order. On 29 August 2007, Young Communist League activists attacked the police team at Choharwa area in Siraha district, looted their arms and vandalised a police van in protest against the arrest of seven Maoist cadres including former chief of the Maoist ‘district people's government', Bishnu Bidhyadhar by the Armed Police Force. The APF personnel had reportedly seized three pistols and a homemade gun from the arrested Maoists. Earlier on 2 August 2007, Maoist cadres thrashed policemen including a Sub-Inspector at a police post in remote Piplang village of Humla district for arresting a Maoist cadre identified as Nanda in connection with the murder of Nepali Congress- Democratic leader Netra Bahadur Shahi. The Maoists released the policemen only after they signed a document stating that the arrested Maoist cadre would be released.

If police personnel are not secure, can the voters be?

b. The Madhesi armed groups

The Terai region inhabited by the Madhesis has been considered crucial to keep the Maoists at bay. The Nepal Police have declared eight districts of the Terai region - Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Siraha and Saptari as “highly sensitive” and 13 other districts of Terai - Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilbastu, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts as “sensitive” areas.

In recent days, many violent incidents took place to disturb peace ahead of the elections. On 16 September 2007, one person was killed when a crude bomb was lobbed at a passenger bus near Parwanipur in Bara district. On the same day, a bomb also went off near the Gandak region police post in Birgunj. Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (Jwala Singh faction) has reportedly claimed responsibility for the blasts. Earlier, on 15 September 2007, an explosion took place at Town hall in Birgunj.

On 7 September 2007, Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (Jwala Singh) allegedly exploded a bomb in front of Suresh Oil, a petrol pump, in Shripur area in Birgunj.

On the night of 30 August 2007, two children identified as Upendra (8) and Madhav Yadav (7) were killed when unidentified persons hurled a bomb at their house in Ramnagar Mirchaiya Ward number 4 of Siraha district.

Both the Goit faction and the Jwala Singh faction of the Jantantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) have vowed not to allow the Constituent Assembly elections to take place in Terai. On 12 September 2007, the Jantantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (Goit faction)'s Chairman Jaya Krishna Goit issued a public statement saying, “the Nepali rulers have no right to hold constituent assembly election in Terai”. On 14 September 2007, the Jwala Singh faction warned that it would take “physical action” against those taking part in the election campaigning in Terai.

In many of the areas inhabited by the Madhesis, the Maoists themselves cannot visit. Yet, the Nepal Police claimed to have arranged special security around the voting centres of these “highly sensitive” districts for the Constituent Assembly elections!

It is another cruel joke on the people of Nepal.

c. The Royal Nepal Army and cry for a republic

No reform has taken place to bring the RNA under civilian control. The RNA is presently headed by the architect of the Royal coup, General Rookmangud Katwal.

The RNA is not neutral and it will not remain neutral during the elections either. The Palace is infamous for its dirty role to create instability and it will continue to use RNA for its benefits. None of the RNA personnel has been held accountable for human rights violations.

The Maoists' strategy is simple: abolish the monarchy to abolish loyalty of the RNA to the Palace.

III. Koirala's game plan

If the Maoists are apprehensive about the role of the RNA, the political parties too remain fearful of the Maoists and therefore, unwillingness to give in to the demands of the Maoists. It is not that the Maoists have public support but with its armed cadres acting as law unto themselves they can easily threaten other political party activists or rig the elections. Therefore, the Maoists seek to abolish the monarchy to bring the RNA under its (read as government) control. In essence there can no free and fair elections in Nepal unless the armed groups – both the RNA and Maoists cadres are fully disarmed.

This in essence suits Koirala's game plan to cling on to power. Koirala is not known for giving up power and caused the split in the Nepali Congress. With no other acceptable alternative from the Seven Party Alliance to head the government, international community and in particular India will continue to support Koirala. But at the age of 82, Koirala cannot be the long term solution.

If talks with seven parties fail, the Maoists would like Prime Minister Koirala to use the army to break their forthcoming protests. This would allow them to make a call for total revolution, and Nepal will be caught in an unending civil war. But this time, there is more than the Maoists.

There is indeed no peace in sight in Nepal. However, international community still has the time to intervene to redefine the terms of the peace process and ensure at least the following for peace in Nepal: (1) undertake security sector reforms with the agreement of the parties to establish accountability over the RNA, the Maoist cadres and other armed opposition groups; (2) deployment of adequate international security forces and election observers (given the lack of capacity, independence and credibility of Election Commission of Nepal) for holding constituent assembly elections by broadening the mandate of the UN Political Mission in Nepal; and (3) hold phase-wise (instead of country-wide) elections in Nepal to facilitate the movement of the security forces which is indispensable for providing adequate security to the voters.

These measures will still be cheaper than managing conflicts (by other international actors) through a government whose writ runs only in the Kathmandu valley and managing borders (by India)।

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nepal's poll panel determined to hold polls




Kathmandu, Sept. 19 (PTI): Nepal's election commission has expressed its determination to hold a free and fair constituent assembly polls on November 22 despite the Maoists' plan to disrupt the key exercise after the former rebels walked out from the government yesterday.

Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokharel said the Election Commission (EC) was committed to holding the Constituent Assembly polls on November 22. He said Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has assured him of adequate security arrangements for the key polls aimed at forming a body to frame a constitution and decide the fate of the 238-year old monarchy.


"As the Maoists themselves are saying that their protests are aimed at ensuring a conducive election environment, I don't think it will affect the polls," Pokharel told mediapersons about the possible impact of the Maoists' decision to quit the government and launch an agitation against the polls.


Pokharel ruled out the possibility of adopting a fully propionate voting system as demanded by the Maoists. He said the EC cannot think beyond the provisions mentioned in the interim constitution. "You can imagine whether it is possible to change the electoral system after the code of conduct is enforced," the Commissioner said.


The Maoists today launched a campaign against the elections as Koirala began fresh dialogue to persuade the former rebels to rejoin the government after their walkout yesterday sparked a political crisis.


The leaders of the seven-party alliance met with the Maoists today in an emergency meeting to try to convince them to return to the government so as to end the crisis that threatens to derail the peace process in Nepal. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200709191966.htm

Laato Ka Bhoot Baato Se Nahi Manta




Laato Ka Bhoot Baato Se Nahi Manta

Anonymous observation,
19th September 2007
The nasty decision of Maoist to quit government's framework and open declaration of interrupting forthcoming CA election reflects the ill and corrupt intentions of Maoist. The decision raised lots of question on the honesty and identity of Maoist. A series of demands (22) being the major founding part of the persisting Interim parliament and government is nothing more different to a stubborn child nagging to buy a toy rolling himself in dust to create pressure on parents or could even be analogized to the heavy dowry asked for coward and mentally retarded boy sniffing the energylessness of the girl's family.

I don't know, what they are hungry of? Since April revolution and talks, they are exploiting all the state resources, who used to be hated as rebels occupied seats in parliament, Shared a ratio of dignified government posts with their extreme qualification of holding triggers. It’s as “Jis thali me khata hai, Usi me Chhed karta hai”.

Were they virtually pressurized by glamour of walking in to parliament or fed up of most comfortable jungle life with Rolex chronometers while signing the peace agreement to discover new unfulfilled wishes today? The wishes which were agreed to drill under the mechanism of an inclusive Constitutional Assembly. The 8 parties including Maoist have been talking about the regressive forces that they are trying to disrupt the CA election. However, who is now in front of disruption Palace or Maoist? Who expressed anti CA speech and commitment in open-air gathering on 18th September 2007? This is good time for Nepalese people and international community to know about the true regressive forces.

Peace agreement in UN supervision is not being looked up by Maoist. Will UN remain still or Security Council will try to enforce the agreement by using power tools? Moreover, the 2 powers north block and south block are observing horribly and the super power US has its own interest, so in case arm insurgency is reiterated, international intervention would be undeniable? Doesn’t it mean that Maoist want to push our country to next Afghanistan or Iraq?
The Maoist should realize that they are responsible for apx 15000 lives along with huge set of infrastructures under the tag of so called people’s war which would always be considered as humanitarian crime in world history also a possible case for in international court of justice in future.

Since the beginning, the coalition of PM G.P. Koirala has been fulfilling all the good and worst wishes and demands of Maoist like sacrifice offered to the furious God. The state gave them normal life by removing tag of terrorist, recognized them as political power, accepted UN involvement in negotiation and agreement and provided all the sophisticated facilities for the dialogue process they asked. Moreover, State accepted them in parliament and in Government like”Kahi Na Bhayeko Jatra Haadi Gaau Ma”. Further, Maoist guerrilla got physical facilities and salary, allowances from public tax collection against which normally doesn’t apply anywhere in cantonment. They got political quota in the all constitutional and state mechanism. They got privileged with all national internationally criticized privileges’ e.g. privilege to have arms body guards and more to their so called leaders. Finally, in 22 points demand PM Koirala cabinet accepted 20 demands but ultimately what are the outcomes of the all efforts?

Maoists with no faith to keep up in polls are trying to create an answer for decades long of extreme turbulence. They are possibly searching weapon to confront triviality of their jungle life. Hence, the Maoist proved that “Laato Ka Bhoot Baato Se Nahi Manta”. They proved them “They are good for nothing and only able to understand the language of muscle”. They just want be in status quo situation that they had learned since last 12 years in the jungle.

Be aware Maoist populace, the day will certainly come when Nepalese people will ask for the slaughter bloods, cost and compensation with Maoist leaders and their few thousands of so called guerrillas who are famous for stealing, looting, killing, murdering and terrorizing without considering any humanitarian emotions, people's need, national interest and state priority.

Therefore, in public observation, Nepal Government should get strict to control all kinds of illegal and violent activities if they go beyond the political ethics or dare to disrupt CA election. In that situation state should not wait or beg to prove its weakness or to recognize or legitimate such group as political parties because there is no way to deal with such parties, group or people who irresponsibly do not seek to understand the language of peace and negotiation.

Defraud Maoists; Misfortune Of Nepalese Innocent Souls

Defraud Maoists; Misfortune Of Nepalese Innocent Souls


Arjun Bishta

Likelihoods of derailing the ongoing Peace process have been heightened with the defraud Maoists' recent unpredicted calls for capital punishments and announcement of their program for periodic agitations across the Nation. Maoists' these filthy moves are solely against the commitments of 8 party alliance, interests of Nepalese souls and international peace stakeholders. Especially the time, the Maoists choose to publicize their program raise serious concerns to the Nepalese Patriots. What a consequence? Maoists have called for the agitations, promptly after the Election Commission announced and publicized the detailed schedule of CA Polls. What a grand strategy? Comrades!

It proves that Maoists have great fears of CA Polls, because they have foreseen their sure defeats, so they now wish to disrupt it. I think, Nepalese Maoists are intoxicated with the hangovers of POLPOT, CHEGUEVERA and GUZMEN Style of rule in the country. Are they disoriented? Why are they dwelling in 21st centaury in quests of such out dated regimes? Don't they know that absolute communism in a democratic era will only have a transient survival? Traditional Communism will be a total failure in these sophisticated global villages, Comrades. If Maoists think of bringing turmoil in Nepal again, it is evident that the Nepalese innocent souls will spit over their corpses and curse their offspring also. So, Maoists are advised to learn the lessons from the past insurgencies in the World and behave accordingly, especially if they wish their shadows in Nepal. If not, for sure, their mere survival will be endangered here and they soon will be abolished.

Maoists' plight for CA polls deferral can not be excused at this sensitive and crucial period when all the instruments of national power are exposing functional solidarity for attaining long lasting peace in Nepal. How can the Maoists interpret the need of CA Polls in terms of a favorable or unfavorable situation for their party? Maoists should clearly understand that until they learn to respect the democratic norms and values and have respect for law of the country, CA Polls will always remain unfavorable to their Party. CA Polls are not only under dilemma, but are also under catastrophe. Maoists themselves had tabled 18 and 22 Points of their consents during 8 Party meetings on CA Polls. So, now how can they sideline and escape from it? CA Polls were the Maoists' main agenda. Now how can they proclaim that the CA Polls are not the serious issues? Miracle!

What ever rationales the Comrade Prachanda has been exposing to the Civil Societies regarding CA Polls, it is clear that those rationales are just the out come of Maoists defeated mentality. Why were the Maoists so eager to participate in CA Polls which were planned to be held in May, 2007 then? What is obstructing them for future CA Polls? May be the Maoists visualized that they now don't have national and international support, their combatants are in Cantonments under UN supervisions and Maoists will have difficulty in utilizing them, their intellectual sister organizations are weak at the moment and Maoists intent of making fusion of urban insurgency and people's war may not achieve desired success now.

So, I think the Maoists now fear to face the CA Polls. They may also have perceived that they can not harness more than 10% of the votes in CA Polls of any modalities, which will be a disaster for their existence in Nepal. Is this the reason, why the Maoists are so nervous now? It is evident that because of these reasons, Maoists are only exploring the face saving exits from the CA Polls. Maoists have self indicated their weaknesses by proposing functional, Policy making and Party mobilizing solidarity with NCP (UML) also. But Maoists' misfortune! They could not achieve it. In fact their day dreams of alienating with NCP (UML) to save their prestige during CA Polls have simply blown now, thus they are totally confused. These setbacks might compel Maoists to quit the Government also. Panicky Maoists are now searching for the suitable options for regenerating their struggles only. Maoists might have thought about announcing the capital punishments and program of future agitations under these delusions.

But, Comrade PRACHANDA! How can a governing political party, ruling under the constitution can seize laws of the land? Isn't it an undemocratic and inhumane attitude? Is this how the Maoists preserve human rights? What kind of rules of the land the Maoists' wish? These are the sheer violations of peoples' human rights and simply, are the Maoists' ghostly attacks over the innocent public's sentiment and grievances. If Maoists claim themselves of a legitimate party, then they have no rights at all to take any actions against living creatures of this Nation. Only the cruel and tyrants will accept these acts. Why does Nepal need legitimate and authoritative instruments of national power, if the country is ruled by hooligans? Scholars like Dr Babu Ram might disagree with my words and may voice for their freedom of expressions and human rights for calling of such program.

Literate Comrades! You surely can't expose attitudes of the illicit armed bands, because you are now a legitimate Political party. Are you dubious about your Party legitimacy? What happens if the Government treats Maoists with the parallel mechanism being used against the illicit armed groups across the Nation? Will they accept it? With what dignity the Maoists urged the Government to crush the TERAI movement which is the replica of the Maoists tactics? Now, I surly don't see any differences between the Maoists and criminals. Maoist Leaders! If you still have wisdoms, please better get rid of the past hangovers of PolPot's (Brother Number One) murderous, deranged, xenophobic, pseudo-revolutionary regime that abolished money over night, emptied the capital Phnom Penh in a day, sent the people to work as slave labor and carried out a wave of ethnic cleansing and genocide against the ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia. You must understand that the tyrant Polpot received support from China and both Thailand and the USA turned a blind eye to his atrocities, because the Soviet Union, and its regional ally Vietnam, were seen as the bigger enemy in those days. But, this is not the situation in Nepal now. Copycat of mid-60s Cuban inspired insurrections by Che Guevara or Peru's Abimael Guzman's unpopular style of rebellions will not foster in Nepal. Those heydays have gone now.

Maoists also should forget the radical experiments to create an agrarian utopia inspired in part by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution the "Great Leap Forward" economic program which included forced evacuations of Chinese cities and the purging of "class enemies." and Pol Pot's "Super Great Leap Forward" in Cambodia. Comrades!! Do not dream of the mere destruction of the existing government and replacing it with your totalitarian socialist utopia in Nepal, because the Circumstances are strange here. If you try, you will be astonished. Also remember the scenario of 1792 AD in France where the SANSCULOTES, identical to your YCL brought turmoil in the country in the name of communism and defamed themselves. Are these the Maoist motives in Nepal, also? Maoists, think again, you are merely surviving in Nepal now.

Nepalese people have clearly understood Maoists' grand ploys and are also aware of their report presented by their delegation at the meeting of CCOMPOSA, held in last week of June2007. Basing on the findings of their report, Nepalese are now alert to respond against Maoist hegemony. Similarly, Maoists must realize that National, regional and international circumstances are also not favoring for their planned struggle. So, If Maoists wish respects from Nepalese people they should now apply the wisdoms, leave self interests, step down, find middle path and accept the National reconciliation to protect Nepal's National interests. This is the only remedy for their existence in Nepal.

Maoists should better learn the lessons from Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Mozambique and other insurgency hit countries in the world where the leadership taught their cadres to go hand in hand with the common people to generate public trust and gain sympathy and support. Maoists; apply the same rules here. By this approach you will have easy access to the societies during future elections. Not the terror and intimidations, only wisdom and thoughts can transform a human of 21st centaury. Mind it. Dear Comrades! A Political Party which does not intimidate the society, keeps no proud and does not apply terror is always treated as ornaments. So the Maoists should respect the democratic norms and behaviors, leave the party interests now and call back the program of the agitations, if they think of strengthening the democracy and generate public Confidence. Comrades! Democracy does not accept the concept of me, mine, you and yours. It is the "we" system, where all the rich and poor have rights to survive under the same umbrella. Maoists should better understand that, if CA polls are disrupted now, this nation will definitely face a Democratic Intervention, very soon. Nepalese patriots will no more accept the Hitler, Polpot, Saddam Hussein or Idia Amin. So it is advised that Maoists should prove their re-commitments to the peace process and behave accordingly; or be ready to bear dire consequences.

Dear Comrades! Nepalese innocent people have lost their patience now. For the sake of destiny and the future of the Nation, all democratic people and parties will rise against Maoist hegemony and will sideline your Party. Just wait and watch. Mind it you are entangled by NAAG PAS (Cobras' Web). If the Maoists ignore the National Interests, very soon, the innocent ailing Nepalese souls will spit over their dead bodies and curse their offspring, forever. Comrades! These are just the feelings of an innocent Nepalese soul. You may take or discard these advices. Choice is always yours'. Any way! If you still think of further struggles , then I wish you Good Luck Comrades.

http://www.losangeleschronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=36257
(This is old article, which is published on August 28 2007; however, it is still relevance in present context, so we decided to put here for group discussion purposes.)

Nepal Maoists could derail peace process

Nepal’s internal matter: Pranab
Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: India has adopted a hands-off policy relating to developments in Nepal where Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) has quit the interim government over rejection of their demand for abolition of monarchy.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday described the developments as “internal issues of Nepal to be resolved by Nepal itself.”

Transition

He expressed the hope that all concerned would implement previous understandings that underpin Nepal’s peaceful transition and that differences would be resolved democratically.

The Union Home Ministry has asked all the five States bordering Nepal and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) which guards the India-Nepal border to take all preventive steps and remain alert in view of the political developments in the Himalayan nation.
Nepal Maoists could derail peace process: analysts

18 hours ago

KATHMANDU (AFP) — A dramatic move by Nepal's Maoists to storm out of the government and take their campaign to oust the Himalayan monarchy to the streets could derail the impoverished country's peace process, analysts have warned.

Although Nepal is in no immediate danger of being plunged back into all-out civil war, observers are warning that the former rebels' move could paralyse Nepal by killing off the chance of crucial elections being held in November.

"Their strong faith in absolute communism is threatening the constituent assembly elections, and it also looks like they plan to boycott the polls," said politics professor and analyst Krishna Khanal.

Under a peace accord signed 10 months ago, the future of the unpopular King Gyanendra and the 238-year-old monarchy as a whole was to have been decided after the elections for a body that would rewrite the constitution.

But the Maoists have jumped the gun, and after failing to convince their coalition partners to ditch the monarchy right away have now threatened a campaign of strikes, protests and general disruption.

"We will violate the election commission's code of conduct and disrupt all their plans for elections in November," Maoist number two Baburam Bhattarai told a public rally on Tuesday.

Khanal said the Maoists appeared to be in a "destructive" mood - a sign of their difficulties in transforming themselves from jungle insurgents into mainstream officials willing to accept compromise as part and parcel of political life.

"The Maoists have made a strong contribution to make the constituent assembly elections possible, but it now seems that they are destroying their own achievements," he said.

Ex-rebel commanders had been extremely critical of the Maoist ministers in the government, accusing them of swanning around in limousines and forgetting their duties to the people.

Even after the peace deal ended a civil war that claimed some 13,000 lives, the Maoists continue to be accused of beatings, kidnappings and extortion. They also still feature on the United States' terror list.
Tribhuvan University political science professor Lak Raj Baral called the Maoists' latest move "a very unfortunate political development" that "will encourage regressive forces to bounce back."
"The Maoists have realised that their power is diminishing and they are under tremendous pressure from their military cadres," Baral said, alluding to the widely-held view that they may not fare so well in democratic elections.

But Kunda Dixit, editor of the weekly Nepali Times, struck a more optimistic note -- highlighting the difficulties Nepalis were having in digesting and interpreting the Maoists' resignation from the government.

The Maoists "have stressed again and again it's going to be peaceful street agitation -- they are not going back to the jungle to fight," he said, underlining that the ceasefire was still intact.
"This is just a way for them to start their election campaign with a bang, they feel it will be easier in opposition to blame everything on the government," Dixit said.

The Maoists may be posturing, he said, as "it is a foregone conclusion that Nepal will dump the monarchy, the question just is when, so their slogan has been diluted -- they are just trying to show now that they are different."

The coalition government has already stripped Gyanendra, who now lives as a virtual recluse in the palace, of all political power and control of the army.

Gyanendra was vaulted to the throne in 2001 after an apparently drink-and-drug fuelled Crown Prince Dipendra killed most of his family, including the former king, and then himself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MHA sounds alert along Indo-Nepal border

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, September 18, 2007

An alert was sounded on Tuesday in states along the Indo-Nepal border by the Union Home Ministry, which also asked the para-military forces to step up vigilance on the 1,751-km boundary in the wake of sudden political developments in the neighbouring country.

माओबादिहरु को भागाभाग

माओबादिहरु को भागाभाग
सम्बिधानसभा को चुनबा मा न जितने मओबादिहरु को अनुसन्धान बटा पक्का पक्की देखिये पछि, उनिहरु ले आगामी सम्बिधान सभा लाई बिथोल्ने रननिती मा लागेको छ । आज शान्ती सम्झौता बिपरित को मागहरु पुरा नभये पछी सर्बजनिक राजिनाम दियेर सरकार बाट हटेर कायर्ता देखायेको मात्र होइन जन्ताप्रती उनिहरु कती को गैर्जिम्मेबार छन त्यो पनि प्रमानित गरेको छ ।

माओबादिहरु ले आज राजधानी मा खुल्ला कर्यकरम गरी अर्धभुमिगत रुप्मा फेरी बिध्वन्स मचाउने पक्का पक्की देखियेको छ भने, कतिपय कारयकर्ताहरु बिभिना ठाउमा भागभाग गरी रहेको प्रत्यछ दर्सी ले बतायेको छ ।तर माओबादी का कमान्डर प्रचन्ड लगायतका ले उनिहरु सरकार बाट हटे पनि आन्दोलन शान्तिपुर्ण हुने बताये का छन । यहा उल्लेख्निय कुरा के छ भने माओबादी का क्रान्तिकारिजाथहरु अब नेतृत्व को नियन्त्रनमा नरहेको कुरा स्पस्ट देखियेको छ ।
Maoists quit government, plunge Nepal into uncertainty

By Sudeshna Sarkar, Kathmandu, Sep 18: After 170 days in government, Nepal's Maoists Tuesday walked out of the ruling coalition, accusing Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and his Nepali Congress of trying to save unpopular King Gyanendra. They also pledged to start a new "people's revolt" for the abolition of monarchy.

"We have left the current government but we will form the government soon," Barsha Man Pun, known by his nom de guerre Ananta, deputy commander of the Maoist guerrilla army, told IANS minutes before the rebels' promised mass meeting in the capital, where they would announce plans for their new protests on the streets of Nepal's towns.
"We have given our resignation," Maoist spokesman and Information and Communications Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara told the media after walking out of a meeting at Koirala's residence Tuesday noon. "We have quit because there was no positive response to our 22 demands... It is going to create a crisis in Nepal's politics.
"However, Mahara said his party was not breaking off the ceasefire it had signed with the government.
The Maoist leader blamed foreign governments for the crisis, saying their interference in Nepal's internal matters had increased. The upcoming election, he said, would degenerate into a farce.
All four Maoist ministers in the government have submitted their resignations. Besides Mahara, they include Physical Planning and Works Minister Hisila Yami, Local Development Minister Dev Gurung, and Women, Children and Social Welfare Minister Khadga Bahadur B.K.
Though Maoist supremo Prachanda held hectic parleys with Koirala and leaders of two other major parties in the ruling alliance Tuesday in a last-ditch attempt to reach a compromise, the effort failed as Koirala, backed by the international community, refused to abolish monarchy before the election.
Koirala also refused to change the mixed electoral system chosen for the November election.
The Maoists last month came up with 22 demands, including scrapping Nepal's 238-year-old monarchy through a parliamentary decree and adopting a fully representational electoral system.
These are Maoists' major demands. They are also asking for the integration of their People's Liberation Army with the Nepal Army, a proposal regarded with wariness by the army, their traditional foe.
The Koirala government was also asked to disclose the whereabouts of over 1,000 people missing in the course of the 10-year-old "People's War", pay compensation to their families, and provide support to the people who became disabled while taking part in the pro-democracy movement that ousted King Gyanendra's 15-month regime.
It was apparent Monday that the talks would break down after Koirala ruled out abolishing monarchy ahead o election through parliament, pleading that the international community would not accept it as the current parliament is not elected.
Hundreds of Maoists began marching from different parts of the Nepalese capital, shouting slogans for the abolition of monarchy and waving red flags.
A wave of fear, tension and uncertainty swept through the city, the people fearing fresh violence and strikes.
The pullout is likely to have a severe impact on the November election that is regarded critical for restoring peace and stability in the conflict-torn Nepal.
Janadesh, the mouthpiece of the Maoists, Tuesday indicated that if the government failed to declare Nepal a republic, the election would not be held.
--- IANS
http://www.newkerala.com/oct.php?action=fullnews&id=1939

Ex-rebels quit Nepal government

Ex-rebels quit Nepal government

Associated Press
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 (Kathmandu)

Nepal's former rebels quit the government on Tuesday and threatened widespread protests, sparking a political crisis that threatens to undermine this Himalayan nation's peace process.The one-time rebels, known as the Maoists, say they have no plans to renew their armed revolt. They were planning a mass gathering in central Katmandu later on Tuesday where they were expected to detail their plans for protests against the government, which they say has been too slow to declare Nepal a republic and meet their other demands.The withdrawal from the government was confirmed by senior minister Ram Chandra Poudel, who is a member of the Nepali Congress, the largest party in the administration.
Nepal polls no sure thing


By Dhruba Adhilkary KATHMANDU - All things being equal, as many as 17.6 million Nepali voters could conceivably to go the polls on November 22 to elect a Constituent Assembly to draw up a new constitution. And prevailing indicators show that country's major political forces are in favor of abolishing the monarchy to pave the way for a republican federation.
Members of Nepal's Election Commission are busy making preparations so voters throughout the country can make educated decisions at the polls.
"So far our efforts have been concentrated on educating voters about the distinct differences between the upcoming polls and the [traditional] parliamentary elections," chief election commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel told Asia Times Online.
But whether voters, a good percentage of whom are illiterate, have been fully able to understand the importance and objectives of the pending polls isn't certain. One primary issue has been the decision to use a mixed system instead of a proportional system of election.
The education efforts could be moot if threats by the Maoist party are followed through. On Saturday, Maoist chairman Kamal Dahal (aka Prachanda) met with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and threatened to quit the government and boycott the polls if his party's 22-point charter of demands was not met on Monday.
Prachanda told Koirala that the Maoists would launch a national protest to press their demands, which include abolishing the monarchy and declaring Nepal a republic before the November 22 election and scrapping the mixed system in favor of a proportional election system.
However, two other major Nepali political forces, the centrist Nepali Congress and moderate leftist Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), have rejected the Maoists' demands, saying that a new amendment to the present interim constitution would be needed and there is not enough time to do so before the November elections. But Maoist leaders have said the interim coalition government is empowered to make constitutional changes, even this late in the game.
The Nepali Congress and UML leaders also charge that the Maoists are trying to find an excuse to stay away from polls because of their rapidly declining popularity. The Maoists' history of violence and intimidation, particularly in Nepal's rural areas, isn't likely to give them a sizable number of seats in the proposed assembly of about 500 members.
Their alternatives are then either to wait for the political situation to shift or go back to the mountains and try to revive the violent insurgency they carried on for 10 years. Since their prospects for immediately reviving the rebellion are not bright, Prachanda also has publicly called for rescheduling the election for next April or May.
India's interest in seeing the polls happen on time and without wrinkles is also muddying the waters. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee's remarks at an Indian Independence Day ceremony at his embassy on August 15 are being cited frequently in Nepali media.
Mukherjee's statement that "no excuse can be given for not holding the elections, except perhaps by an act of God", sounded to many Nepalis less like friendly advice and more like a royal command from the likes of the embattled Nepali King Gyanendra, who lost his status as head of state in April 2006.
A "secret" audience between Mukherjee and Gyanendra wherein the ambassador reportedly "offered [unknown] assurances" to the king also has drawn the ire and speculation of Nepali media.
Last Wednesday, a prominent editorial writer, Madan Mani Dixit, referred to Mukherjee as someone sounding like a "second king". In another article published a day before, in a pro-Maoist weekly, former Nepali Army general Kumar Fudong referred to reports that claim more than 1,600 persons in Nepal are on the payroll of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). How consistent, effective or relevant RAW can be is another matter.
That New Delhi, which enjoys a close relationship with Washington, is playing politics in unstable Nepal has been reported even in the Indian media. "New Delhi, of course, has little leverage in Pakistan and cannot hope to play the sort of role there that it did in Nepal's case," The Times of India wrote in the context of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif's second exile to Saudi Arabia.
Whether New Delhi stands to make any sustainable gains by getting too deeply involved in Nepal's affairs remains a matter of conjecture. It already has the Kashmir problem and there are separatist movements in the northeast. The movement to create independent Khalistan in Punjab led to tragic events, including assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi. In more recent times, India's own Maoist insurgency has spread like wildfire. Telangana, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu are some of the India's other trouble spots. If not stopped straight away, of all these challenges to New Delhi, Nepal's would inevitably be the biggest one.
In any case, how meaningful would Nepali elections be if Maoists indeed boycotted them? Not very, in the opinions of local analysts. "Holding polls without Maoist participation won't be an easy task," said Ameet Dhakal of the Kathmandu Post newspaper. Indeed, if Maoists cannot be included in the elections, the entire peace process based on pacts and agreements signed in the past would be meaningless.
As a consequence, issues Maoists took up on behalf of poor and deprived sections of the society would thus remain unattended, leaving room for more discontent and resentment. Another dimension of the problem is related to fear emanating from Maoist plan to "actively boycott" the polls - which many take as code words for disruptions that could endanger the safety of candidates, poll officials and voters alike.
However, Prime Minister Koirala says he is fully committed to the November 22 polls. He also keeps assuring Kathmandu-based ambassadors as well as visitors from the United Nations, Washington, London and Beijing that the existing transitional phase will not last for long.
But the immediate question is: What happens if the authorities fail to hold the polls on November 22? First, the legitimacy of both the coalition government and interim legislature would be questioned and the chief of the Nepali Army, General Rookmangud Katawal, has already broadly hinted that the armed forces might be the first national institution to raise the question.
One emerging scenario is a Bangladesh-style military coup with a civilian face.
A "neutral" government would be set up and requested to conduct elections to produce a legitimate government that, in turn, would complete the peace process that the present coalition began last year. Whether the army would leave any space for Maoists to compete in electoral politics in such an arrangement is unclear because of their history of combat between 1996 and 2006. In any case, if it is required to mount a "rescue mission", the Nepali Army is likely to delay, if not scuttle, the process to the abolish the monarchy.
The other possible alternative is for the United Nations to take a larger role, as it has done in a number of trouble-torn nations. The present UN mission in Nepal was established last year through a Security Council resolution and in the context of peace initiatives.
In a worst-case scenario, New Delhi could dispatch its "peacekeeping force" as it did in Sri Lanka in 1987 - though that proved a fiasco after India lost more than 1,100 soldiers.
Should New Delhi begin to take steps for direct action, it would be seen to have been done through tacit understanding with its "strategic partner" - the United States. The US administration would not discourage measures as long as these appeared aimed at encircling China. What would be Beijing's reaction to such a maneuver? It depends on its priorities, either further thawing of its relations with New Delhi or defending Nepal in exchange for safeguarding its interests in Tibet.
(Dhruba Adhikary, who has been a Dag Hammarskjold fellow, is a Kathmandu-based journalist.)
(
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/II18Df02.html)

This article is published here only with the motto of online group discussion. Thank you.

Nepal turmoil: Cong for Track-2 diplomacy

Nepal turmoil: Cong for Track-2 diplomacy

NEW DELHI: In a quiet move, Congress has engaged itself in interactions with major political players in Nepal to guide and influence the course of Constitution framing in the Himalayan neighbour. The party has, in fact, suggested that India intensify dialogue with political parties and civil society in Nepal through Track-2 activity. In a note to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi last week, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said that "India should not go slow on this historic opportunity to contribute" to the drafting of the neighbouring country's Constitution and setting the tone for its political conventions and economic activity. Recounting his wide-ranging talks with prominent Nepalese politicians during a recent visit, Singhvi said that "there could be no two views that India continues to have dominant cultural and historical influence over Nepal and that Indian models of governance are widely admired by all (there)." Singhvi recalled the apprehensions of Maoist leader Prachanda that the deposed king was making an attempt "through his agents in the government" to create violence and stage a comeback. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-2375226,prtpage-1.cms)

Indefinite strike called in Terai after Nepal leader's murder

Indo-Asian News Service
Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Sept. 17 -- The murder of a powerful local leader in southern Nepal, which triggered sectarian violence, arson and looting, kept Kapilavastu district still simmering with tension Monday as the victim's supporters called for an indefinite shutdown.
Shops, markets and educational institutions remained closed and roads were deserted a day after unidentified gunmen shot Abdul Moit Khan, the father-in-law of late controversial minister Mirza Dilshad Beg, who was alleged to be the front man in Nepal of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Soon after King Gyanendra seized power with the help of the army in 2005, the royal regime had armed Khan to form a vigilante group that began attacks on suspected Maoists.
Though the vigilantes killed at least 12 people and rights groups demanded action, no step was taken against Khan, who enjoyed the support of the palace, army and politicians.
According to Nepal's state media, Khan was a senior member of deposed premier Sher Bahadur Deuba's Nepali Congress (Democratic) party. Beg, who was gunned down in the capital in 1998, had been with the Nepal Sadbhavana Party - that is now a junior member in the coalition government - and the royalist Rastriya Prajatantra Party.

Khan's murder, for which his supporters are blaming the Maoists, caused the volatile plains to erupt in violence that soon started taking a sectarian colour.
Mobs set nearly 100 vehicles on fire, looted shops and attacked over three-dozen houses and hotels. They also attacked Maoist offices in Taulihawa, the district headquarters, and blocked a highway.
An Armed Police Force member, Hasan Puri, who was caught in the melee, was beaten to death.
The violence spread to Butwal town in neighbouring Rupendehi district where retaliatory attacks resulted in two mosques being torched.
There were indications that the attacks were developing into sectarian violence and the administration imposed curfew in the affected areas in Kapilavastu and Butwal.
Though curfew was lifted early Monday morning, the areas remained tense. Religious leaders and top political parties called for restraint and said they would lead a goodwill rally in Butwal to ease the situation.

The fresh violence comes with a critical election just 65 days away. Fifteen days ago, unidentified miscreants set off three bombs in the capital that killed three and injured 26 people.
The Terai plains in south Nepal have become a hotbed of violence, resulting in the death of nearly 150 people since this year.
A group of former Maoists, the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha led by Jwala Singh, has called a two-day Terai shutdown from Sunday to oppose the Nov 22 election and has threatened to start further disruptions.
An ultimatum given by the Maoist guerrillas to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala also ends Monday.

The rebels, who signed a peace pact and joined the ruling alliance, have warned they would walk out of the government and wage a new revolt if their new demands were not met by Monday.
The major demand of the guerrillas, who fought a 10-year civil war trying to overthrow Nepal's constitutional monarchy, is to have a special session of parliament abolish monarchy ahead of the election.

Though they had earlier agreed to let the election decide the fate of the king, now they have changed their stand, alleging that royalists were trying to sabotage the polls.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Indo-Asian News Service.
September 17, 2007(http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=574&topicId=100039278&docId=l:670853774&isSearch=true)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Transitional Justice in Nepal

Transitional Justice in Nepal:
A Look at the International Experience of Truth Commissions


By Karon Cochran-Budhathoki and Scott WordenSeptember 2007 Download PDF (127 KB)




Amid the run-up to the Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for November, Nepal's government has prepared a Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act, as required by the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is the most prominent of several commitments made during the peace process to promote transitional justice following Nepal's more than ten-year civil war—along with a committee to investigate disappeared persons and a commission to investigate abuses of the armed forces and police during democracy protests in 2006. But transitional justice—or the process of fairly confronting the legacy of past crimes committed during the armed conflict—is only beginning to be discussed in the general public in Nepal. Consequently, there is little understanding outside a small circle in the capital of what options there are to provide truth and accountability for atrocities and rights abuse that occurred during Nepal's conflict or what other countries have done to cope with similar issues.


In response to the need for more information on international practices and experiences about transitional justice, the United States Institute of Peace organized a series of roundtable sessions from July 10–17, 2007 to discuss transitional justice options pursued by other countries after conflict. Each roundtable included a presentation on various mechanisms to address past abuses, the showing of a new documentary, Confronting the Truth: Truth Commissions and Societies in Transition, produced by York Zimmerman Inc., in association with USIP and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), and a discussion on the prospects for transitional justice in Nepal. USIP Rule of Law Advisor Scott Worden, conflict resolution specialist Karon Cochran-Budhathoki, and consultant Shobakhar Budhathoki met with representative groups from civil society, victims of the ten-year armed conflict, the media, and government and political party representatives. These roundtable sessions took place in Nepal's capital of Kathmandu, as well as in Banke, Bardiya, and Dang Districts in the mid-western region, the most affected region during the conflict.


Civil society leaders watch the truth commission film Confronting the Truth in Nepalgunj, Nepal.
This USIPeace Briefing provides background on the Nepal conflict; an update on the ongoing process of transitional justice in Nepal; and an overview of the sessions, responses to the documentary and expressed needs and expectations of victims of the conflict. It also summarizes the initial commentary on the current draft of the TRC law.


Justice and Reconciliation Needed After a Ten-Year Armed Insurgency


For more than ten years Nepal underwent a violent conflict between national army and police forces and an insurgent Maoist political movement led by the CPN-M. Fought primarily in poor, rural districts away from the capital, the conflict claimed more than 13,000 lives and caused thousands of "disappeared"—those who were abducted or killed without a trace and whose fates are still unknown to their families. In fact, Nepal topped the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances list of countries with the most disappearances in 2003-2004. Torture has debilitated thousands more. Mass killings have been reported from the mid and far Western regions of the country, and international agencies such as the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported on illegal detentions and mass killings of detainees , as well as rapes and murders of female civilians.


This violent conflict stems from the Maoist insurgency that began in 1996 and grew out of accumulated resentment over Nepal's feudal system. For more than 300 years, Nepal was ruled as a Kingdom. A form of democracy emerged in 1990 after the "Jana Andolan" political movement was launched by an alliance of democratic political parties. This led King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah to allow the creation of a constitution that placed him in the position of a constitutional monarch who retained significant legislative and judicial power, as well as full command over the army. This nascent democracy, which lasted until King Birendra was murdered in his Royal Palace in 2001, saw more than one dozen prime ministers heading the government, with several serving more than once. Political infighting, corruption, and slow progress quickly led to dissatisfaction among the general public. Economic stagnation, high unemployment, poor education, impoverishment, continuing discrimination, and an ever-increasing gap between the elite in Kathmandu and the rest of the country provided fertile ground for discontent. In opposition to the government the CPN-M launched the "people's war" on February 13, 1996 with the main objectives of abolishing the monarchy and establishing a republic.


While the CPN-M combatants were initially few in number, historically disenfranchised groups began to join the CPN-M's People's Liberation Army (PLA) as the CPN-M promised gender equality, land reform, socio-economic progress, and elimination of the caste system. Others were compelled to join due to intimidation and forced conscription or to high unemployment and severe poverty. The CPN-M organized community programs to build roads and bridges, banned gambling and drinking with the intent of decreasing domestic violence, and provided opportunities to the disadvantaged. Simultaneously, they destroyed state infrastructure, targeted and killed civilian police, abducted individuals for ransom or large numbers of people in order to participate in their "information programs," violating international humanitarian laws, and extorted money from all levels of society.


The Nepal Police were initially charged with combating the insurgency, but in 2001 the Armed Police Force was formed and deployed for counter-insurgency operations. The conflict quickly escalated, with many civilians caught in the middle. After failed negotiations in 2001, the Royal Nepal Army was deployed as part of a "unified command" structure in which the army, with the King as supreme commander, was at the top of the chain of command over the police and armed forces. Again, the conflict escalated, resulting in reported disappearances, rape, torture, and extrajudicial killings. Army barracks were allegedly used as arbitrary detention centers where both Maoist combatants and suspected Maoist sympathizers were tortured. Those deemed "sympathizers" were in many cases civilians from the lower castes, from impoverished communities, or those who had been forced to provide food, shelter or money to PLA combatants.


In 2002, the Nepalese Parliament was dissolved and King Gyanendra sacked the elected prime minister, resulting in a succession of King-appointed governments. After a ceasefire in 2003, a new round of negotiations took place, but failed. After the talks dissolved, the country saw a rise in the brutality of the conflict, with state security forces using increased force in their anti-insurgency campaign, while the PLA gained control of an estimated 75% of the countryside. On February 1, 2005 the King declared a state of emergency, suspended Parliament, and deployed the Royal Nepal Army to take control of all state institutions, as well as private media houses and telecommunications outlets to silence possible voices of dissent. Even after the lifting of the state of emergency in 2006, the King's regime continued to suppress political and civil rights, including strict censorship and restrictions on the freedom of expression and information, movement, and assembly. Measures included the arbitrary detention and arrest of cadres of the main political parties as well as members of civil society.

Peace Agreement Calls for Truth and Reconciliation


As opposition to the King's rule increased, the CPN-M and an alliance of seven political parties began a series of talks that led to a "12-point understanding." They joined together in growing peaceful protest against the King's regime, eventually culminating in April 2006 in the King yielding to the seven party alliance and restoring the parliament. The new government and CPN-M continued to hold talks, leading to a ceasefire, code of conduct, and eventually the November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In January 2007, the interim constitution and parliament came into operation, and an interim government, which includes the CPN-M, was established in April 2007.


In addition to commitments for permanently ceasing hostilities, and moving former PLA into cantonments and the army into their barracks, the CPA calls for three bodies to address abuses that took place during the ten-year conflict:


Article 5.2.5 of the CPA specifically calls for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be established in order to "probe about those involved in serious violation of human rights and crime against humanity…and develop an atmosphere for reconciliation in society."
Article 5.2.4 of the CPA calls for a National Peace & Rehabilitation Commission to "carry out works...to normalize the adverse situation arising as a result of the armed conflict, maintain peace in the society and run relief and rehabilitation works for the people victimized and displaced as a result of the conflict."


Article 5.2.3 states "both sides also agree to make public within 60 days of signing of the agreement the real name, caste and address of the people made ‘disappeared' or killed during the conflict and inform the family members about it." Although this provision does not specifically call for a commission, in July 2007 the government announced the formation of a Commission on Disappearances, to make public the whereabouts or the circumstances of victims' deaths.


Beyond these broad mandates, however, the CPA contains no detailed guidance for how to form each of these investigative bodies or what should be their specific mandate. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is in many ways the most ambitious of the three commissions, and responsibility for conceiving and implementing it has been given to the Peace & Reconstruction Ministry.

USIP Consultations on Transitional Justice


Against this backdrop, USIP's consultations focused on general themes of transitional justice and on specific techniques employed by truth commissions in other countries emerging from war. The principal aim was to raise awareness among different stakeholders—including civil society organizations, victims groups, political parties, government representatives, and the media—about what the key issues are for establishing a credible and effective transitional justice process and to encourage informed discussion on the issues.


Civil society representatives and victims attending a consultation in Dang District.
In each session, USIP presented an overview of international practices and transitional justice options, and screened the documentary Confronting the Truth: Truth Commissions and Societies in Transition1, which showcases the workings of truth commissions in four countries: South Africa, Peru, East Timor, and Morocco. The presentation to participants included a brief look at victim-focused and perpetrator-focused transitional justice mechanisms, including trials, truth commissions, vetting mechanisms, reparations, and memorialization of a conflict. The hour-long documentary Confronting the Truth focused exclusively on truth commissions. It includes footage of victim and perpetrator testimony, as well as commentaries from members and staff of the commissions on the challenges and successes of the four countries profiled. Key themes relevant to Nepal were discussed, including how each country attempted to ensure diverse representation on the Commission, avoid political interference, and maintain transparency and openness in the commissions' work, as well as the vital role that civil society played in supporting the commissions' work. The film also focuses on the process for gathering victim testimony and conducting public hearings, with dramatic footage of victim testimony that was a feature of each commission's success.


Civil Society and Victims' Views -- Because the CPA calls specifically for a TRC, discussion after the viewing was focused on components of truth commissions, including the importance of the independence of such commissions, the number and profile of the commissions' members, the need for strong investigative powers, and possible links to and coordination with judicial proceedings.

While many participants had limited awareness of transitional justice, there was limited awareness on the role that each group could play in forming a commission, during the commission's work, and after the commission's report was published. Victims, the human rights community and the media were particularly concerned about being sidelined during the process of developing a TRC in Nepal. While the Peace & Reconstruction Ministry has held consultations in Kathmandu and plans one consultation in each of the five development regions of the country, most participants were unaware of this plan and felt alienated from the process.


Members of civil society were particularly encouraged by seeing the example of Peru in the documentary in which volunteers went to conflict-affected communities to gather testimony, and knowing that civil society in Nepal could have a key role in both civic education regarding the transitional justice process, as well as information gathering for the commission. Those participating in the media roundtable were especially interested in the way that the media reported on the commissions' work and were a link between the commission's hearings and the general public, as displayed in the South Africa, Peru and East Timor examples in the documentary. Civil society identified victim testimony during the commissions' work in the documentary as courageous, and further stated that the documentary should be shown to more communities in Nepal both to understand the workings of commissions, but also to illustrate the importance of victim testimony.


Concerns About Justice and Public Participation -- The amnesty component of the South African TRC—under which perpetrators could formally apply for amnesty in exchange for a full confession of their crimes—stimulated a good deal of discussion and concern, with some participants directly stating that amnesty for perpetrators of atrocities should not be an option in Nepal's context. Relating amnesty to the larger theme of achieving a balance between learning the truth about Nepal's conflict and achieving accountability for perpetrators, most participants agreed that truth was not a substitute for justice. That said, some victims expressed a higher desire for compensation—in the form of reparations payments as well as social services and regional development programs—while others thought that compensation would be hollow without first holding accountable those that had killed or caused disappearances.


Participants also consistently expressed concerns over the potential composition of the Nepal TRC, keeping in mind that a process for selection has not yet been determined. Reflecting on themes in the film, South Africa provided an example of a large, diverse commission that represented all aspects of South African society, while Peru's commission had much less diversity. Morocco's inclusion of a victim as the head of the commission began a discussion during several roundtables on concerns of ensuring a composition of commissioners that truly represented Nepal's people.


The documentary also briefly highlighted the importance of the commissions' reports and that these reports typically identify systemic, historical, and institutional patterns that led to conflict and human rights violations, and recommend specific reforms of the security, judicial, and education systems. A number of participants, including some government and political party representatives, responded that these goals of identifying causes and recommending reforms should be an objective of Nepal's TRC. Participants strongly suggested that the documentary be dubbed in Nepali (the version screened included Nepali subtitles), as well as Hindi to reach some of the Terai (plains) areas, for wider viewing and better understanding by policymakers and the public about commission proceedings in other countries. USIP, together with York Zimmerman and ICNC, will pursue the development of a Nepali language version of the film.

Applying Lessons Learned to the TRC Law


In the same week as the USIP consultations, the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation released a draft Truth and Reconciliation Act that attempted to fulfill the CPA mandate. The Peace Ministry has said that it will conduct a series of consultations with civil society on the draft law, and that it is open to comments. Prominent critics—including the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights2, Human Rights Watch3, and the International Center for Transitional Justice—have quickly responded that there are significant flaws in the current draft, including a controversial amnesty provision, that do not meet international standards for truth commissions. There is also concern that the commissioners will not be representative of all peoples and regions of the country, and that civil society groups, the public and victims will not have a meaningful say in how the law is revised or how the Commission performs its work.


Proposed TRC Mandate: The current draft law calls for a seven member commission—to be appointed on the recommendation of a panel of political party representatives—to execute the TRC's two year mandate to "create a conducive environment for reconciliation and seek truth about those persons involved in human rights violations and crimes against humanity during the period of armed conflict." In the draft, the TRC has the authority to investigate "human rights violations and crimes against humanity that occurred during the period of armed conflict" that are reported to it from any source— provided, however, that the case of abuse has not been "finalized in accordance with existing laws" or is not the subject of ongoing court proceedings. Thus it is unclear what authority the TRC would have over complaints that have been lodged with prosecutors but have not been effectively investigated. For new cases, the draft law gives the TRC full court powers to conduct its investigations, including subpoena authority and the ability to fine individuals or organizations that refuse to cooperate with an order of the Commission.


The draft law is also unclear about whether the TRC will explore the larger patterns of violence that perpetuated the conflict, or only individual cases that victims are bold enough to present. In fact, most successful truth commissions focus much more on the overall causes and conduct of violence at the higher levels rather than the individual acts of everyday fighters.


The TRC law focuses much of the Commission's powers on reconciliation. Based on its findings, the TRC may facilitate reconciliation between a perpetrator and victims and may order compensation to be paid by those responsible for abuses, as well as recommend that the government provide financial compensation or services to victims. The TRC is also authorized to hold a series of public events to encourage reconciliation among opposing groups and it must submit a report with recommendations for follow on reforms to the Parliament—although it is unclear whether this report must be public. The TRC may also recommend that the government prosecute individuals that the Commission has found responsible after its investigation, but only if there has been no formal reconciliation between the perpetrator and victim. This appears to underline the message that this is a reconciliation commission rather than a judicial accountability mechanism.


The most controversial provision in the draft law is its provision that the TRC is authorized to "recommend that the Government of Nepal give amnesty to those persons who are found responsible for human rights violation and crimes against humanity in the course of carrying out their duty and the achievement of political objectives." Amnesty does not apply to "inhumane killings," murders that occurred after a victim was in the perpetrator's "control," "inhumane and cruel torture," and rape. But it is up to the Commission to decide what criteria determine acceptable or unacceptable ‘inhumanity.' This provision has raised the most concern among analysts because while general amnesty for low-level soldiers, including killing in the course of battle, is generally allowed, providing amnesty for serious crimes—as they are defined by international law and not an individual commission—conflicts with generally accepted international standards of transitional justice.


More broadly, concerns have also been raised that the Commission members, as nominees of the political parties, will not fully represent the interests of the victims outside Kathmandu (although Commission members are to come from different fields and may not be political party members themselves). Critics note that this fits a familiar pattern in Nepal, where since 1990 the government has created several high level investigation commissions to look into politically motivated violence—including the Malik Commission that was charged with investigating brutality surrounding the 1990 Jana Andolan democracy movement. But in each of these cases the commission members have been politically influential, have failed to win victims' trust, and the findings have either not been implemented or have not been released. There is a fear therefore that the TRC will follow this pattern rather than the more public and independent models of truth commissions that were successful in countries like South Africa and East Timor.

Justice in Nepal


Apart from the operation of the TRC, it is important to consider the overall picture of transitional justice in Nepal, which goes beyond truth telling and includes judicial accountability and reparations. During roundtable sessions, particularly with victims of the conflict, much of the discussion focused on what justice for victims and families of victims would look like in the Nepalese context. Concern was expressed regarding the heavy focus on reconciliation without an equally important justice component. Because the parties to the conflict are the parties now in power, many felt that reconciliation was being stressed as an attempt to maintain impunity, and that justice and accountability for past abuses would not easily be achieved. Many victims and families of victims stated that the political parties and the government have not recognized the trauma of victims, their families, or communities, which has partially been demonstrated from their perspective by not consulting with victims prior to drafting the TRC legislation.
Victims of the conflict whose family members were killed or disappeared talk about their needs in Bardiya District.


Compensation and reparations programs were viewed as being of high priority, especially since the majority of victims are from the most disadvantaged groups in the country. According to victims and their families in Bardiya District, which saw one of the highest disappearance rates in the country, the first priority should be to disclose the whereabouts of disappeared persons. A judicial process that included prosecutions would be a sufficient second step, followed by compensation and reparations programs. However, compensation was generally agreed to be worthless without prosecutions. The recommended compensation and reparations programs included social recognition, economic support and development, employment opportunities, and memorials. Victims of the conflict in other communities stressed financial compensation programs in addition to skills training and education for victims and their families, as well as return of land and property confiscated during the conflict, and installation of health facilities in their communities.


While many participants emphasized the necessity for a public judicial process that pursued prosecutions in conjunction with a TRC, several concerns were raised. First, some victims did not believe that prosecutions or any form of justice was feasible due to the government being comprised of the parties to the conflict. This concern over the parties to the conflict being in power even extended to victims' hesitating to speak during the roundtable session. Another concern raised by roundtable participants was regarding the questionable independence and capacity of the national courts. This unease was reinforced by the inability of previous Nepalese commissions to function independently and the lack of implementation of their recommendations. While a few roundtable participants believed that a hybrid national-international special court (similar to those established in Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Cambodia) would best serve justice, they did not believe that the courts or the government would agree to any international judges. One participant raised the suggestion of forming a special court of national judges, but with international advisors and technical assistants. For many, reconciliation was not considered possible without prosecutions.

Conclusion: Participant Recommendations


As the process moves forward for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal, there are several requirements or needs that should be met to ensure its success, according to participants of these sessions.
Political will for an independent and victim-centered process must be increased.
The Disappearance Commission and TRC should be able to share information and provisions for coordination should be established.

These commissions should fit within a broader transitional justice process that would include a judicial aspect, possibly a special court to pursue prosecutions.

In the process of forming the TRC, victims and civil society should be widely consulted. Similarly, public awareness programs should be carried out to inform communities of the transitional justice process and the workings of the TRC and Disappearance Commission.
Social and economic support and development, including skills and employment, as well as memorials and other forms of recognition should be given to conflict-affected communities.
Truth seeking commissions, such as the TRC and the Disappearance Commission, should be comprised of commissioners that broadly represent Nepalese society and should maintain their independence.


These commissions should not only seek the truth, but also look at the root causes of the conflict, and make recommendations for needed reform.

Notes
1. Available for purchase at http://bookstore.usip.org/books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=171689.
2. See "OHCHR-Nepal raises concerns about Truth and Reconciliation Commission Bill," OHCHR Press Release, August 3, 2007; available at http://nepal.ohchr.org/en/pressrelease.html#030807.
3. See "Nepal: Truth Commission Bill Disregards Victims’ Rights," Human Rights Watch, August 22, 2007; available at http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2007/08/22/nepal16720.htm.

Of Related Interest
Rule of Law Program
Maoist Crisis in Nepal: Diplomatic Approaches for ResolutionSenior Fellow Project Report, June 26, 2007
Nepal in Transition: Developing Security and Rule of Law StrategiesUSIPeace Briefing, May 2007
Nepal in Transitional: Developing Security and Rule of Law StrategiesNews Release, February 24, 2007
Security Sector Reform in Nepal: The Role of Civil SocietyUSIPeace Briefing, December 2006
Combating Serious Crimes in Postconflict Societies Public Event/Book Launch, October 26, 2006
Democracy at the Crossroads: Opportunities and Challenges for Lasting Peace in NepalEvent, June 1, 2006 (Audio Available)

This USIPeace Briefing was written by Karon Cochran-Budhathoki, conflict resolution specialist, and Scott Worden, an advisor in the Rule of Law program at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Institute, which does not advocate specific policies.

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.

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