Friday, November 2, 2007

A Talk with Late Terrorist Leader

“Let’s have a roundtable”
Interview with Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who is a existing leader of Nepal Communist Party Nepal(Maoist) and Former Leader of Maoist Terrorists of Nepal)

Mulyankan: Why did you run away from elections?

Baburam Bhattarai: We didn’t run away, that is illogical and a lie. If the proper preparations aren’t made, a constituent assembly can be a tool for reactionaries and this could abort the revolution. That is why we wanted to end the monarchy before elections. Without taking into account Nepal’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic diversity a constituent assembly can’t be inclusive. That is why we want a full-proportional system.

Without these two things we can’t fulfil the aims of our people’s war.

So, who is to blame?

Instead of blaming anyone, it may be better to analyse the stance of the parties towards elections. We agreed in the past about elections in June. But as time went by we realized we couldn’t look at elections as something separate from the peace process. Their biggest mistake was to look at the constituent assembly election as a parliamentary election.

By delaying elections isn’t there a danger to the peace process?

As long as a military loyal to the monarchy is around there will be a danger of regression. To prolong the transition period while the king is still around can be disastrous. That is why we need to throw out the monarchy and shorten the transition.

Won’t it be dangerous if the alliance breaks up?

It can be very dangerous for the country if the parties keep confronting each other. That is why we called for a special session of parliament to keep the unity of the six parties and the Maoists. Our unity must be based on the minimum demand of a republic and full-proportional elections. Only that will stop reactionaries and regression.

What are the ways to do this?

Interim parliament agreeing to our two demands. That is the last chance to bring political stability through a political agreement in parliament. We have been talking to civil society and the ethnic groups about this and they all agree that the best way to resolve the issue would be through a roundtable conference. That way madhesi, janajati, dalits can also be a part of the struggle and we can take the country forward through unity and inclusion.

This roundtable conference coulnd’t materialize in the past. What are the chances of it happening?

If we want a real political resolution and progress there is no alternative to all the stakeholders sitting in one place to reach an agreement. It shouldn’t be about anyone losing or winning.

Is there a chance for you to compromise on your demands?

At first there was pressure on us to agree on June elections. That is why we agreed to the mixed-election proposal. But later, it was clear that was a mistake–we needed full-proportional. This is not just a demand, it is a realistic need.

So, how do we get to a solution?

By agreeing to a roundtable conference, let’s agree and decide on a solution. This would be the most democratic thing to do.

(This is copied from Mulyankan just for discusion purposes)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

सरकारले ढाट्यो

काठमाडौं, १४ कात्तिक
महगोमा पेट्रोल किनेर सस्तोमा बेच्न मिल्छ - मन्त्री र आयल निगमका अधिकारी सधैं यो प्रश्न सोध्छन् । भारतीय बजारमा ७४ रुपैया“ प्रतिलिटर छ, नेपालमा त्यसभन्दा सस्तोमा बेचेर आयल निगम डुब्यो भन्दै सरकारी अधिकारीले जनता आतंकित पारिरहेका छन् । तर, नया पत्रिकाले तथ्य पत्ता लगाएको छ- नेपाल आयल निगमले प्रतिलिटर पेट्रोलको ४० रुपैया १३ पैसा मात्र तिरिरहेको छ ।

What UNMIN Should Do to Manage Nepal Peace Process

The Maoists and the political parties are responsible for the glitch in the peace process. But the UN must also share some blame, says KRISHNA HARI PUSHKAR.

४० रुपैया“ १३ पैसामा किनेको पट्रोल नेपाल आयल निमगले ७३ रुपैया“ ५० पैसामा बिक्री गर्छ । सरकारले ढुवानी खर्च, प्रशासन भार र करबापत थोरै होइन, पूरै ३३ रुपैया ३७ पैसा उठाइरहेको छ । अकल्पनीय 'मार्जिन' राखेर पनि आयल निगम भनिरहेको छ, 'महगोमा किनेर सस्तोमा पेट्रोल बेच्न मिल्छ -'

सरकारी अधिकारीले भारतीय बजारमा पेट्रोलको खुद्रा मूल्य देखाएर जनता तर्सर्ााे गरेका छन् । उनीहरूले सीमापारि पेट्रोलको मूल्य जति छ, त्यही मूल्य देखाएर जनता आतंकित पार्छन् । तर, अरू कसैको होइन, आयल निगमको तथ्यांक नै भन्छ- किन्ने मूल्य ४० रुपैया“ १३ पैसा र बेच्ने मूल्य ७३ रुपैया“ ५० पैसा हो ।

पेट्रोलको मूल्य सुगम जिल्लामा मात्र प्रतिलिटर ७३ रुपैया ५० हो, विकट जिल्लाका उपभोक्ताबाट त ७६ रुपैया प्रतिलिटर असुलिन्छ । आयल निगमले किन्दा पेट्रोलभन्दा डिजेल अलिकति मह“गो पर्छ । डिजेल भारतबाट किन्दा प्रतिलिटर ४४ रुपैया ९० पैसा पर्छ भने बिक्री मूल्य न्यूनतम ५६ रुपैया“ २५ पैसा छ । तर, डिजेलमा पनि निगमलाई ११ रुपैया“ ३५ पैसा 'मार्जिन' छ ।

निगमले मट्टतिेल प्रतिलिटर ४५ रुपैया ६३ पैसामा किन्छ र ५१ रुपैया“ २५ पैसामा बिक्री गर्छ । यसमा निगमलाई प्रतिलिटर पा“च रुपैया“ ६२ पैसा मार्जिन छ । । सबैभन्दा कम मार्जिन मट्टतिेलमा छ, तर निमगले भनेजस्तो मह“गोमा किनेर सस्तोमा बेच्नुपर्ने होइन ।

खाना पकाउने एलपी ग्यासको प्रतिसिलिन्डर बिक्री मूल्य अहिले ११ सय तोकिएको छ । भारतबाट सात सय ७३ रुपैया“ ९१ पैसामा प्रतिसिलिन्डर ग्यास खरिद हुन्छ । ग्यासमा अहिले पनि घाटा भइरहेको निगमको भनाइ छ । तर, सोझै तीन सय २६ रुपैया नौ पैसा 'मार्जिन' रहन्छ ।

मह“गोमा किनेर सस्तोमा पेट्रोलियम बेचिरहेको बताउने आयल निगम र सरकारले अहिलेसम्म यो भन्न सकेका थिएनन्, आयल निगमले किन्ने र बेच्ने दर के हो - पेट्रोलमा प्रतिलिटर ३३ रुपैया“ ३७ पैसा र ग्यासमा तीन सय २६ रुपैया“ नौ पैसा 'मार्जिन' उठाइरहेको सरकारले जनतालाई राहत दि“दा आयल निगम डुबेको तर्क दिदै आएको थियो ।

पेट्रोलियममा सरकारले अस्वाभाविक मार्जिन' राखेको छ, ढुवानीमा हुने भ्रष्टाचार, प्रशासन खर्चमा हुने मनपरी र डिलर्सलाई दिने चर्को कमिसन धान्न नसकेर निगम घाटामा गएको आयल निगमकै तथ्यांकले देखाउ“छ

। तेलको राजनीति समाप्त गर्न भन्दै विगतमा विभिन्न आयोग गठन भएका हुन् । तर, आयोगका प्रतिवेदन जनताले देख्न पाएका थिएनन् । यसरी जनतालाई अन्धकारमा राखेर निगम र सरकारले शोषण गर्दै आएका छन् ।

डा. शंकर शर्मा, डा. युवराज खतिवडा र भानुप्रसाद आचार्यको आयोगले निगमको भ्रष्टाचार, चुहावट र कमिसनतन्त्र अन्त गर्न सरकारलाई धेरै सुझाव दिएको थियो । तर, सरकारले यो सुझाव कार्यान्वयन गरेन । 'मूल्यवृद्धि र चुहावट नियन्त्रण स“गस“गै गर्नुपर्ने सुझाव दिइए पनि मूल्यवृद्धिलाई मात्र हेरिएको छ, यसले उपभोक्तामाथि अन्याय भएको छ,' राष्ट्रिय योजना आयोगका पूवउपाध्यक्ष डा. शंकर शर्मा भन्छन् ।

निगमभित्र हरेकजसो शीषकमा भ्रष्टाचार भइरहेको छ । पेट्रोल आयात, भण्डारणदेखि थोक बिक्रीमा समेत अस्वाभाविक खर्च भइरहेको छ । पेट्रोल खुद्रा बिक्री गर्ने पम्पलाई निगमले तीन प्रतिशत कमिसन दिइरहेको छ, यस हिसाबले पम्पले एक लिटर पेट्रोलमा दुइ रुपैया २१ पैसा कमिसन पाइरहेका छन् । जब कि भारतमा पेट्रोल पम्पले एक लिटरमा जम्मा २४ पैसा कमिसन पाउछन् । नेपालका पेट्रोल पम्पले पाउने कमिसन दक्षिण एसियामै चर्को हो ।

'पेट्रोल पम्पले मात्र होइन, आयल निगमका ठूलाबडा र मन्त्रीले कमिसन खाइरहेका छन्, त्यो कमिसन मूल्य बढाएर जनताबाट उठारहेका छन्,' आयल निगमका पूवअध्यक्ष लोककृष्ण भट्टर्राईले नया पत्रिकालाई भने । पेट्रोलको कमिसन मन्त्री र दरबारले खाइरहेको छ भन्ने तथ्य र्सार्वजनिक गरेपछि उनलाई २०५१ मा सरकारले पदबाट हटाएको थियो । उनले मन्त्रीले कमिसन नखाए अहिले पनि मूल्यवृद्धि गर्नै नपर्ने दाबी गरे ।

निगमका प्रवक्ता इच्छाविक्रम थापाले पनि डिलर्सलाई निगमले दिनेे कमिसन बढी भएको स्विकार्छन् । त्यस्तै, निगमका महाप्रबन्धक दिगम्बर झा त कमिसन घटाउन छलफल भइरहेको बताउ“छन् । तर, नेपाल पेट्रोलियम डिलर्स एसोसिएसनका अध्यक्ष शिवप्रसाद घिमिरे भने तीन प्रतिशत कमिसन स्वाभाविक हो भन्छन् ।

भारतले लगाउ“दै आएका विभिन्न कर अहिले घटाएकोे निगमका महाप्रबन्धक झाले जानकारी दिए । तर पनि आयल निगमले पेट्रोलियमको मूल्य बढाएको छ ।

केही दिनअघि निगमले खाना पकाउने एलपी ग्यासको मूल्य प्रतिसिलिन्डर दुइ सय रुपैया बढाएर ११ सय बनाएको छ । पेट्रोलको मूल्य पनि प्रतिलिटर ६ रुपैया बढाएर ७३ रुपैया“ ५० पैसा बनाइएको छ । डिजेलको मूल्य प्रतिलिटर तीन रुपैया“ बढाएर ५६ रुपैया“ २५ पैसा बनाइएको छ । मट्टतिेलको मूल्य प्रतिलिटर तीन रुपैया“ बढाएर ५१ रुपैयँ“ ५० पैसा पुर्‍याइएको छ । यो मूल्यवृद्धि नगर्दा निगमको ऋण भारतीय आयल निगमलाई तिर्नुसमेत गरी साढे ११ अर्ब पुगेको थियो भने मासिक घाटा ३७ करोड रुपैया“ थियो । मूल्यवृद्धिपछि घाटा सात करोड रहेको निगमले जनाएको छ । घाटा कम गर्न भन्दै मूल्यवृद्धि गरिएको छ, तर भ्रष्टाचार, चुहावट र कमिसन घटाउन सरकारले कुनै कार्यक्रम ल्याएको छैन ।

भारतीय आयल निगमस“ग मात्रै नेपालले तेल खरिद गर्ने गरेको छ । कच्चा पदार्थ (क्रुड आयल) अन्तर्रााट्रय बजारबाट किनेर दिन सकिने व्यवस्था सम्झौतामा भए पनि निगमले त्यसो गर्न सकेको छैन । निगमले रकमको अभावमा क्रुड आयल खरिद गर्न नसकेको उल्लेख गर्दै प्रवक्ता थापाले भने, 'एकैपटक बाहिरबाट किन्न हामीस“ग पैसा छैन, त्यसैले भारतसग प्रशोधित पेट्रोलियम पदार्थ खरिद गर्ने गरिएको छ ।'

नेपालमा निजीक्षेत्रलाई पेट्रोलियम पदार्थको कारोबारमा समावेश गराए उसले भारतीय आयल निगमबाहेकसग अझ सस्तो मूल्यमा तेल खरिद गर्न सक्ने उल्लेख गर्दै उनले भने, 'अहिले भारतले सबै खर्च जोडेर मूल्य तोक्ने गरेको छ ।'

पेट्रोलियमको बिक्रीमा निगमको एकाधिकार तोड्न निजीक्षेत्रलाई सहभागी गराउने नीति सरकारले एक दशक अगाडि नै लिएको हो । तर निजीक्षेत्रलाई प्रवेश गराउने कानुन अहिलेसम्म बनेको छैन । अहिलेको अन्तरिम संसद्मा पेट्रोलियम पदार्थको कारोबारमा निजीक्षेत्र प्रवेश गराउने कानुनको विधेयक पुगेको छ । कहिले आउछ भन्ने ठेगान नभएको पेट्रोलियम डिलर्स एसोसिएसनका अध्यक्ष घिमिरे बताउ“छन् ।

पेट्रोलियम पदार्थको ढुवानी निजी ट्यांकरले गरिरहेका छन्, वितरण निजी पेट्रोल पम्पले गरिरहेका छन् । तर पनि निगमस“ग चार सय ९० कर्मचारी छन् । यी कर्मचारी र निगमको सञ्चालन खर्च प्रतिलिटर पेट्रोलियम पदार्थ ४४ पैसा छ । यसलाई कम पार्न कर्मचारीको संख्या नै घटाउनुपर्ने सुझाव राष्ट्रिय योजना आयोगका पूवउपाध्यक्ष डा. शर्माको छ । तर यसतर्फपनि सरकारले ध्यान दिएको छैन ।

निगमले प्रतिलिटर पेट्रोलियम पदार्थको आयातमा एक रुपैया“ ४६ पैसा ढुवानी खर्च व्यहार्ने गरेको छ । यो ढुवानी खर्च निगमभित्रकै कर्मचारीका अधिकांश पुराना र थोत्रा ट्यांकरलाई काम दिएर व्यहोर्ने गरिएको छ । थोत्रा ट्यांकरमा तेल ल्याउ“दा चुहावट बढी हुने गरेको छ ।

निगमका प्रवक्ता थापाका अनुसार अहिले एक हजार एक सय ट्यांकर तेल बोक्ने काममा संलग्न छन् । ती सबै निजीक्षेत्रका हुन् । उनी आफैं भन्छन्, 'अहिले केही ट्यांकर पुराना भएका छन् । यिनीहरूको परिवर्तन हुन्छ ।' प्रतिवेदनमा नया ट्यांकर प्रयोग गर्न सुझाव दिएको पूवउपाध्यक्ष डा. शर्मा बताउछन् । तर निगमले यसमा पनि कुनै काम गरेको छैन ।

आयल निगमको तथ्यांक पेट्रोल बिक्री मूल्य प्रतिलिटर ७३ रुपैया ५० पैसा
भारतमा खरिद मूल्य ४० रुपैया १३ पैसा
सरकारलाई बुझाइने कर २५ रुपैया १३ पैसा (केही बढी हुनसक्ने)
ढुवानी खर्च एक रुपैया ४६ पैसा
निगमको कर्मचारी र प्रशासनिक खर्च ४४ पैसा
बैंकको ऋणका लागि ब्याज ६० पैसा
तापक्रम लस (चुहावट) ५३ पैसा
बिमाका लागि ८० पैसा
परल मूल्य ६८ रुपैया १५ पैसा
पेट्रोलमा नाफा हरेक महिना एक करोड ६ लाख

डिजेल बिक्री मूल्य प्रतिलिटर ५६ रुपैया २५ पैसा
भारतमा खरिद मूल्य प्रतिलिटर ४४ रुपैया ९० पैसा
सरकारलाई बुझाउने कर १० रुपैया ४४ पैसा (केही बढी हुनसक्ने)
निगमको कर्मचारी तथा प्रशासकीय खर्च ४४ पैसा
ढुवानी खर्च एक रुपैया ४६ पैसा
तापक्रम लस ४५ पैसा
बिमा ५१ पैसा
बैंक ऋण ब्याज खर्च ६० पैसा
परल मूल्य ५८ रुपैया ३८ पैसा
डिलरलाई बिक्री मूल्य ५३ रुपैया ५० पैसा
अहिलेको घाटा प्रतिलिटर चार रुपैया ३३ पैसा
कुल घाटा हरेक महिना १२ करोड रुपैया

मट्टतिेल बिक्री मूल्य ५१ रुपैया २५ पैसा
भारतबाट खरिद प्रतिलिटर ४५ रुपैया“ ६३ पैसा
सरकारलाई बुझाइने कर दुइ रुपैया तीन पैसा
ढुवानी खर्च एक रुपैया ४६ पैसा
निगमको कर्मचारी तथा प्रशासनिक खर्च ४४ पैसा
बिमा ५९ पैसा
ब्याज ५१ पैसा
प्राविधिक चुहावट ३९ पैसा
कुल लागत प्रतिलिटर ५० रुपैया ५१ पैसा
कुल नोक्सानी तीन करोड ९९ लाख

ग्यास एलपी ग्यास प्रतिसिलिन्डर बिक्री मूल्य ११ सय
भारतबाट खरिद सात सय ७३ रुपैया ९१ पैसा
ग्यास कम्पनीलाई बिक्री मूल्य नौ सय एक रुपैया ३२ पैसा
सरकारलाई बुझाइने कर दुइ सय दुइ रुपैया
नोक्सानी प्रतिसिलिन्डर ६९ रुपैया“ ६८ पैसा
निगमले लिने ब्याज खर्च नौ रुपैया ५५ पैसा
निगमको प्रशासनिक खर्च ६ रुपैया“ २५ पैसा
ढुवानी खर्च ७५ रुपैया“ ७५ पैसा
मासिक नोक्सानी चार करोड १८ लाख
उद्योगले सबै खर्च गर्दासमेत एक सय ९९ नाफा

हवाई इन्धन
हवाई इन्धनमा प्रतिलिटर नाफा १५ रुपैया“ ७३ पैसा
कुल नाफा मासिक १० करोड ५३ लाख

अन्य आयल लाइट डिजेल आयल -एलडिओ), फर्नेस आयल (एफओ) र मिनरल र्टर्पेन्टाइन आयल (एमटिओ) मा निगमलाई नाफा छ ।

मैले कमिसन रोक्दा राजीनामा दिनुपर्‍यो
लोककृष्ण भट्टर्राई
पूवअध्यक्ष, नेपाल आयल निगम

पेट्रोलमा ठूलै भ्रष्टाचार छ भन्ने मैले पनि सुनेको थिए, तर तथ्य थाहा थिएन । २०५१ सालमा एमालेको सरकार बन्यो, म आयल निगमको अध्यक्ष बनें । अध्यक्ष भएपछि थाहा भयो- आयल निगमभित्र सामान्य भ्रष्टाचार होइन, भयंकर लुट हुदोरहेछ ।

निगमको अध्यक्षका नाताले मेरासामु दुइ विकल्प थिए । पहिलो- चुपचाप बस्ने । यसो गर्दा मलाई लाखौं होइन, करोडौं कमिसन आउ“थ्यो । दोस्रो- निगमभित्रको लुटबारे जनतालाई जानकारी दिने । यसो गर्नु परम्पराविपरीत हुन्थ्यो ।

मैले दोस्रो विकल्प रोजें । पत्रिकामा मैले अन्तर्वार्ता नै दिए“- आयल निमगभित्र लुट छ । कमिसन रानी ऐर्श्वर्यले पाउ“छिन् । मेरो अन्तर्वार्ता छापियो । त्यो अन्तर्वार्ता होइन, भूकम्प सावित भयो । आयल निगमको 'जिम्मेवार अध्यक्ष'ले त्यस्तो भन्नु अपराधजस्तै थियो । दरबार आक्रोशित भयो । तत्कालीन प्रधानमन्त्री मनमोहन अधिकारीले मलाई बोलाएरै भने, 'तपाईंले यो के भनेको - सारा बबाल भइसक्यो ।' मैले सत्य र्सार्वजनिक गरेको हु“ भन्दै आफ्नो भनाइमा थप अडान लिए ।

प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई मैले राष्ट्रिय योजना आयोगको निर्ण्र्ाापनि स्मरण गराए“ । २०४८ सालमा गिरिजाप्रसाद कोइराला प्रधानमन्त्री भएपछि डा. रामशरण महत (हाल अर्थमन्त्री) लाई राष्ट्रिय योजना आयोगको उपाध्यक्ष बनाएका थिए । उपाध्यक्ष भएपछि डा. महतले औपचारिक रूपमै निर्ण्र्ाागराएका थिए- कुनै पनि काम गराउने अधिकारीले १० प्रतिशत कमिसन स्वतः पाउनुपर्छ ।

'यसरी योजना आयोगबाटै निर्ण्र्ाागराएर कमिसन खानु ठीक होइन,' मेरो भनाइ थियो, 'त्यसमा पनि पेट्रोलियमजस्तो जनताको आधारभूत उपभोग्य वस्तुमाथि कमिसन खानु त अपराध नै हो ।'

त्यतिले पनि प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई चित्त बुझेन । मैले भनें, 'नेपाल आयल निमगले अहिले पनि दरबारलाई कमिसन दिइरहेको छ । रानी ऐर्श्वर्यले सामाजिक सेवा राष्ट्रिय समन्वय परिषद्का नाममा पैसा उठाइरहेकी छिन्, उनले यो पैसा आफ्ना सहयोगीमार्फ दुरुपयोग गरिरहेकी छिन्,' मैले प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई एक-एक विवरण दिए ।

यति कुरा सुनेपछि प्रधानमन्त्री 'कन्भिन्स' होलान् भन्ने मेरो आशा थियो । तर उनी त जंगिए । 'दरबारले कमिसन खान्छ भन्ने कुरा तपाईंले र्सार्वजनिक भन्नुपर्ने किन -,' उनको भनाइ थियो, 'तपाईंलाई थाहा छ - युवराज दीपेन्द्रको फोन आएको थियो, तपाईंलाई नहटाउने भए सरकारको भविष्य छैन भन्ने चेतावनी आएको छ ।' माफी मागेर चुप लाग्न मलाई प्रधानमन्त्रीले आदेश दिएका थिए । तर, म अडानबाट डेग चलिन“ । तीन दिनपछि प्रधानमन्त्रीले फेरि बोलाएर भने, 'तपाईंका कारणले सरकार नै अप्ठेरोमा पर्‍यो । त्यसैले तपाईं पदबाट हट्नुपर्‍यो ।' यसरी मलाई सत्य कुरा बोलेकै अपराधमा आयल निगमको अध्यक्षबाट हटाइयो ।

मैले त कमिसन सबै रोकेको थिए, तीन महिनामा एक अर्ब ६० करोड रुपैया आयल निगमको खातामा जम्मा गराएको थिए । त्यसमा पनि धेरैलाई रिस उठेको थियो । यो १२ वर्षघिको हिसाब हो, अहिले त पेट्रोलियम धेरै आउछ, कमिसन अर्बौं आउछ ।

तपाईं आफै विचार गर्नुस्, १० प्रतिशत कमिसन अधिकार हो भन्ने योजना आयोगका तत्कालीन उपाध्यक्ष डा. महत अहिले अर्थमन्त्री नै छन् । अनि आयल निगम डुब्दैन त ?
Source: Naya Patrika

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

War on king

Indo-Asian News Service

The war started by Nepal's government and the Maoists on King Gyanendra is now on the verge of boomeranging with the warriors facing a severe blow on Wednesday, when parliament resumes a critical debate.

For the third consecutive day on Wednesday, legislators are arguing over the Maoist demand for immediate abolition of monarchy after the rebels refused to heed Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's request to withdraw their demand and avert a confrontation.

The debate, begun last month, shows no sign of compromise with Maoist supremo Prachanda refusing to abandon the demands and Koirala's Nepali Congress party also saying that it had been as flexible as possible.

Now the countdown has begun to a vote that instead of resolving the dilemma is likely to plunge the country into another crisis.

If the debate is wrapped up on Wednesday and a vote held, the rebels are unlikely to garner a two-third majority, which is required to push their demands through.

Though they are the second largest party in parliament with 84 MPs, so far they have the committed support of only three more legislators from two minor left parties.

To get the required 218 votes in a house of 327 MPs, they must get the support of the Nepali Congress, the largest bloc with 132 legislators.

Since at the start of the debate, the Nepali Congress asked its members to vote against the Maoist proposal, the rebels are likely to face a defeat.

However, they have indicated that they would not accept a drubbing with grace.

The rebels, who gave up their 10-year-long guerrilla war last year and joined the government in April, have warned that if defeated, they would start a new "people's revolt" that, though peaceful, would have a crippling effect.

They have also cautioned that a defeat could snap their alliance with the ruling parties, which had ended the civil war.

If the guerrillas go on the warpath, it would be impossible for Koirala to hold the critical constituent assembly election.

Earlier scheduled for 2006, Koirala first postponed it to May 2007 and then to November, angering the rebels who left the cabinet in protest and began their own campaign against the election.

As a result, this month, Koirala once again called off the November election indefinitely, losing credibility both at home and abroad and triggering a demand for his ouster.

With the international community and the UN pressurising him to hold the stalled election at the earliest, the reluctant PM has now pledged to hold the exercise in March 2008. If he fails to do so, the very existence of the government would be jeopardised.

The continuing squabbling has come as a reprieve for the king, who would have faced an acute danger of being sacked if the election had been held last year, when his unpopularity ran high after trying to rule the country with the help of the army.

However, the delay in holding the polls has stoked fresh public resentment against the parties, who have a nearly two decade-old record of corruption and incompetence, and made people begin to forget the atrocities of the royal regime.

Source: Hindustan Times Report on War on king boomerangs on Nepal government, Maoists

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hi-Hi to UNMIN: Nepalese Need Peace Not Your Speech

Hi-Hi to UNMIN:

Nepalese Need Peace Not Your Speech

By Krishna Hari Pushkar

The peace process in Nepal is in the exodus and facing sever maladies. This is not expected situation by any peace lovers that such circumstances will take place in presence of such huge UN political mission...................

Weakness of UNMIN:

1. Except the conveyance routine jobs, UNMIN is totally failed to guard, convince, balance and coordinate effectively the peace accord among the stakeholders as per mandate provided by UN Security Council, accordingly, bargaining hazards, troubles, dishonouring and violations are frequently occurring by both Maoist and government side, hence, peace site is going away beyond the hope in presence of such huge UN political mission.

2. The second needy major point is to build appropriate atmosphere for the election of constitutional assembly, but sorry, it is not possible in current situation at all, until the dozens of warrior groups and ethnic panels either convince about the CA election or ready to participate in the political mainstreaming. Even though, UNMIN seems heavy-eyed in this matter, despites the frequent request of warier groups.

3. It is sad but hardcore decent to say that UNMIN also failed to use, coordinate and mobilize properly the synergetic and collective efforts of international communities and the power resources of Nepalese civic societies’ too through the missions’ platform.

4. UNMIN is also suffering with the imbalance and discriminative local team composition, the UNMIN recruitment process failed to balance the gender, socio- ethnic and geographical representation in their locals’ team which is crucial during any conflict resolution course of action. It might be also a cause of poor performances and low feat.

5. UNMIN has a very light multi spheres network that is not enough to fulfil the assigned responsibilities. In such situation UNMIN will not even able to gain effective understanding of situation and neither able to build inclusive dealing strategy properly in accordance with political psychologies of people of Nepal and intention of UN too.

In the above mentioned ground, I would like to request to UNMIN for the facilitation of the recently recommended and suggested path of International crisis group besides the routine jobs with following additional suggestive remarks:

A. UNMIN has to develop a special diplomatic level observer task force of local diplomats and envoys through central UN channels whose countries and authorities have been expressing and providing supports in ongoing the peace process. This task force will be highly effective for collective diplomatic pressure and actions.

B. UNMIN has to also draw out tactfully the diplomatic counter treatment through UN centre and other International communities network in case any party daring to violet or dishonour the peace accord or concerns commitments.

C. UNMIN need immediately to constitute a broader helping hands civic volunteer taskforce in central, regional, district and rural level. These helping hands should be a group of peace lovers who can report, facilitate, monitor, observe and act locally in behalf of UNMIN based on assigned mended.

D. UNMIN could use, process or coordinate by adapting the diplomatic and international laws’ tools through central UN or local mechanism to bring the all warier groups into peace process or political mainstreaming. This is possible through the helping hands local mechanisms that makes easy access to consult with all leaders of warier groups. In addition, the helping hand could also develop civic pressure to the warier groups to bring into peace process. Hence, such mechanism would be very helpful to conduct the CA election in peaceful environment.

E. The socio-ethnic and gender balanced local staffs would be most essential for such mission, that should be corrected immediately and these staffs should assign to play leading coordinative role of those helping hands.

F. UNMIN should conduct an open peace performances evaluation program through multi party regular meeting in possible part of the country by mobilizing and utilizing the local wings, it could help UNMIN for grassroots updates and immediate grip over emerged crisis.

G. UNMIN should conduct a nation wide peace tutoring campaign in partnership of peace ministry and other donor agencies with the assistive help of education ministry, local development ministry and women ministry for school and community peace education because plenty of Nepalese are still ignorant of what’s going on in the nation in rural areas. The role of women and students are crucial to convince members of society about the peace process.

H. UNMIN should publish the weekly evaluation report of peace process performances.

(This is just a small piece from my own article. The original and complete analytical article/report has been already submitted to the all concerned authorities and especially to the UN Secretary General and UN Security Council too through UN channels for their immediate and serious consideration)

सिडिओको गाडी गोबर बोक्छ

रुद्रप्रसाद भट्ट/नयाँ पत्रिकापोखरा,

तस्बिरमा देखिएको गाडी कास्कीका सिडिओ सा'पको हो । गाडीभित्र सिडिओ होइन, गोबर छ । गाडीभित्र गोबरग्याँस प्लान्ट छैन, महिन्द्रा बोलेरो त पेट्रोलले नै चल्छ । तैपनि, सरकारी गाडीमा गोबर भरेर सिडिओ सा'प काठमाडौं पठाउँदै थिए ।
भोलाप्रसाद शिवाकोटी कास्कीका प्रमुख जिल्ला अधिकारी हुन् । उनको समस्या के भने काठमाडौंमा पनि घर छ, घरमा गमला छन्, गमलामा फूल छन् । फूलमा हाल्न दुइ/तीन सयको मल किन्ने झमेला गरेनन् उनले, सरकारी गाडी छँदै छ, त्यसैले पोखराबाटै मल ढुवानी गरे ।
शिवाकोटीले पोखरास्थित सरकारी निवासमा गाई पालेका छन्, गाईको रेखदेख गर्ने सरकारी कर्मचारी छन् । त्यसैले सरकारी खर्चमा उत्पादन भएको मल बोक्न उनले सरकारी गाडी नै प्रयोग गरेका हुन् ।
दसैंमा काठमाडौं आएका शिवाकोटी यतै छन् । उनले काज मिलाएका छन् । उनी काठमाडौं आएको बेला देखे- गमलाका फूल ओइलाएका छन्, त्यसैले उनले पोखरा फोन गरेर आदेश दिए, 'गाईको मल लिएर काठमाडौं आउनू ।
' तर, शिवाकोटीको चाहना पूरा हुन पाएन । गोबर बोकेको बा.१झ ७६६९ नम्बरको गाडी सोमबार पोखरा पृथ्वीचोक आइपुग्दा पक्राउ पर्‍यो । स्थानीय किसानले गाडी रोके, गोबर बोकेको प्रमाणित गरेर प्रहरीलाई बुझाए । अहिले गाडी वडा प्रहरी कार्यालय बैदामको नियन्त्रणमा छ, गोबरसहित ।
त्यसो त चालकले गाडी भगाउने प्रयास गरेका थिए, विमानस्थल हुँदै आएको गाडीलाई किसानले पहिले नै रोकेका थिए । तर, चालकले गाडी भगाएर उपमहानगरपालिकाको कार्यालयभित्र छिराए ।
त्यति झमेला भएपछि त गोबर फालेर फर्किएको भए पनि हुन्थ्यो, तर सिडिओ सा'पको आदेश थियो । त्यसैले एक घन्टापछि गाडी फर्कियो, त्यही बाटो । यसपालि भने किसानले गाडी उम्कन दिएनन् । सिडिओ निवास नजिकका बासिन्दाले खबर गरेपछि किसानले गाडीको पिछा गरेका हुन् ।

शिवाकोटी जनआन्दोलन दमन गरेको भनेर रायमाझी आयोगद्वारा दोषी ठहर्‍याइएका सिडिओ हुन् ।

Minors among Nepal Maoists

Lalit K Jha, NDTV Report:

A significant number of Maoist soldiers, who have been confined to cantonments for nearly 11 months now under a peace agreement, are minors, a top UN official in Nepal has revealed.
''There are significant numbers (of Maoist soldiers) who were (found to be) below 18 on the qualifying date,'' said Ian Martin, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Nepal, told in an exclusive interview.
After the peace agreement and the cease-fire arrived last year, Maoists soldiers were confined to cantonments.
Under the UN mandate the United Nations Mission in Nepal or UNMIN is currently under the process of verifying two things about these Maoist soldiers.
Firstly if these soldiers were above the age of 18 on the qualifying date in late 2006 and secondly they were recruited before the ceasefire code of conduct came into being in May 2006.
Martin said his analysis is based on UNMIN verification process completed in four of the seven cantonments.
However, he refused to give any further details or to the percentage of Maoists soldiers are minor. Verification in the rest of the cantonments is going on and would be completed soon.
''I am not going to give you numbers (percentage), because although we provided the numbers to the Government and to the Maoists, we have not made those public until the completion of the verification,'' said Martin, who gave a special briefing to the UN Security Council Friday on current situation in Nepal.
Situation very serious
The UNMIN chief expressed concern over the current situation in Nepal specially the peace process and terming it as very serious.
''It is very important moment for parties not just to reaffirm their commitment to holding the Constituent Assembly election and do what is necessary to create the right climate for that, but also to look at why there has been growing mistrust between them and why quite a significant number of the commitments, agreements that have been reached within the peace process have not been implemented,'' he said.
This applies not only to some of the regional peace process agreements but also to the agreements that the government negotiated with the madeshi representatives, he observed.
National elections
When asked about his observation on reasons of regular postponement of elections and differences among the political parties, the UN Special Representative said the immediate reason is very clear.
Two demands of the Maoists are still outstanding: demand for immediate declaration of a republic and demand for fully proportional representation.
''Both of those are reversals of positions which the Maoists as well as the other parties agreed in the interim constitution where the final decision on Monarchy was to be taken by the Constituent Assembly and where a mixed system of election was agreed upon. One also then has to go on to ask, what led the Maoist to put forward those demands,'' he said.
''Many analysts believe that it because that they felt themselves to be in a weak position to face an election, but also I think because there were significant pressure within the Maoist movement coming out of criticism how far the agreement reached did not meet the concerns of the Maoist,'' he added.
One of the issues of particular concern for UNMIN, he said, has been the condition in cantonment and the question of the future of those in the cantonments.
''Undoubtedly the dissatisfaction around that has become part of the dynamics within the Maoist movement. So I think, it is the moment when it is important to look at some of the underlying reasons as well as the immediate reasons,'' he observed.
He hoped that soon the political parties would reach an agreement on how to resolve all the contentious issues and go for a peaceful election to the Constituent Assembly as early possible - which could be soon after the end of the winter early next year.
Martin said the big question is what has to be done in terms of creating conducive climate in terms of public security and that is partly a question of policing and even more the question of how the political parties and civil society would work together at the local level because there is a serious vacuum in most part of the country at local level in government bodies.
The parties agreed in principal to constitute some interim local bodies on a multiparty basis, but it has not happened, he said.
Constituent assembly
Observing that the Constituent Assembly should be as inclusive as possible of different political tendencies, different communities and social groups, he said: ''That is what the argument is about how to have a Constitution Assembly that is inclusive of all groups in Nepal regard themselves as sufficiently representing in.''
Stating that political parties, naturally, tend to see elections as political power, he said: ''In principal the political parties have agreed to continue to be in alliance and share power in a coalition government until the elections are held and after the Constituent Assembly as well. If that is the case then they can also agree on the fundamentals of the new constitution. May be that can take some of the edge out of the political competition amongst them.
Tarai grievance
Expressing concerns over the increase in violence in Tarai, Martin argued that it is very important that the grievances in this part of Nepal are redressed.
''The Government did move to redress them in a number of ways firstly by allocating a number of additional constituencies to the Tarai and then by entering into an agreement with the leadership of the Madeshi Janadhikar Forum, although that agreement was not accepted by some within the MJF as well as other Madeshi representatives.''
Acknowledging that there is very long sense of grievance among the Tarai population related to their past exclusion, Martin said: ''Sometimes, I think the traditionally marginalized groups of Nepal are unrealistic in how rapidly that situation can be addressed.''
The demand for a federal State have to be addressed through the Constituent Assembly, he said.
''It is also important that the intention of the leadership of the existing political parties to address those issues is clear and that's being an important question I think of the delayed implementing some of the commitments that have been made,'' Martin said.
Advocating dialogue with the relevant parties to resolve the issues in Tarai, Martin said the dialogue that did take place between the Government and the MJF, but there are still other protesting groups.
''One of the difficulties is the absence of clear leadership with whom the dialogue should be take place and also this is not a cause that should not be advanced by violence,'' he said.
In fact armed groups are engaging in criminal conduct - killings and abductions - discredits the course that they are putting forward, he felt.
''It is not for an outsider to say what exactly how these issues should be addressed, but I think it is clear that there needs to be a kind of dialogue between the political parties and the Madeshi representatives satisfy everyone and the grievances are being seriously addressed,'' he said.
Cantonment issue
Martin felt it is important to seriously address the issue of Cantonments, where Maoist soldiers have been kept after the ceasefire and which was originally to be a short-term measure till the elections were held and the future would have been addressed thereafter.
''They have already been there for 11 months and there is no end in sight. It is very undesirable that the cantonment should exit through another monsoon,'' he said.
Though the situation inside cantonments has improved significantly, but a lot needs to be done.
''It is desirable the decisions are reached on it as soon as possible so that the Cantonment process is brought to an end,'' he said.
Communist League
The UNMIN chief also expressed concern over the conduct of the Young Communists League, which is involved in violence and intimidation and extra legal activities.
''They are certainly under the chain of command of the Maoist leadership. But, when UNMIN expresses concern to the Maoist leadership about the acts of violence or act of intimidation by the YCL, we are told that these are not intended by the Maoist leadership,'' he added.
''I am afraid that specially in the context of the political turmoil and protest such extra legal actions have continued,'' he added.
Human Rights
Martin, who was Secretary General of the Amnesty International from 1986 to 1992 felt that there has been improvement in human rights condition in Nepal in certain conditions.
''But the Office of High Commissioner for the Development of Human Rights on which I continue to rely on for the analysis of the Human Rights situation still has major concerns - the conflict in the Tarai, operation of the armed groups there and carrying out of killing and abductions is a new and very unfortunate element,'' he observed.
There has been agreement several times that there must be investigations into disappearances during the conflict, both those took place in the State custody as well as to the people who disappeared after being abducted by the Maoist. ''Despite that agreement it is yet to be implemented,'' he said.
India and China
Having first hand information of the situation in Nepal, Martin said both the Nepal's neighbours - India and China - are interested in having a stable, democratic Nepal.
''I do not think there is any conflict of interest between India and China on the issue of Nepal. The peace process is genuinely supported by China and India and the international community,'' he said.
He felt stability in Nepal is more an important issue for India because of the open border, which is very different from the border to the North. During the period of conflict, a large number of Nepalese took refuge in India, he said.
But they were not identified as refugees since because of the open border it is really difficult to distinguish between those who are migrant laborers who might have crossed the border in any event, and those who in effect, left because of the conflict.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Social Inclusion in Education: India and Nepal

Dalits are a particular caste group found in South Asia, largely in Nepal and India, where the manifestation of their social exclusion is very similar. For Dalits (the term meaning downtrodden or oppressed), their status as ‘untouchables’ puts them at the heart of an insidious formof discrimination and social unacceptability.

In both Nepal and India, suffer educational disadvantage. In Nepal, Dalits are poorer than most other social groups. In India, scheduled caste (SC) children remain disadvantaged across many social indicators.There has been a significant increase in overall literacy rates and school participation rates across the country since the early 1990s. Gender and social disparities have also declined with an overall increase in school attendance. However, disparities still exist. According to a UNICEF supported Baseline Survey in India, there are significant disparities inattendance rates and also learning achievements between children from scheduled caste and othercastes. Dalits lag behind other social groups in terms of educational attainment in Nepal also.

Reasons for the exclusion of Dalits include insufficient education facilities, poor teaching methods and discriminatory attitudes towards Dalits by teachers and children of other castegroups. Limited and inequitable distribution of budget affects the poor (and thus many Dalits)more, and their exclusion from savings and credit schemes has further increased their poverty.Additional factors in Nepal have been the effects of the conflict and the fragmentation of the Dalit movement.

Governments of both Nepal and India have anti-discriminatory laws, the main problem being thelack of enforcement. Targeted financial allocations to districts in India with high numbers of scheduled caste children, and scholarships to Dalit children in Nepal and India, have been implemented. However coverage is an issue. The problem analysis shows that while certain universal measures are useful and necessary for enabling Dalit children to enrol and complete primary education, they are by no means sufficient. Dalits are not only disadvantaged by poverty, but also by social exclusion from civil and political processes, and other forms of social interaction. It is therefore helpful to place this group very firmly in a social exclusion frameworkin order to articulate their very special needs and to develop policies to meet them.

Based on relevant global evidence and the notion of intentional action by certain groups to limit opportunities for others, the paper concludes that three layers of policy options are needed: universal policies which might improve the enrolment and completion of Dalits and others; special measures for disadvantaged children; and particular special measures for Dalits which address the relational aspect of deprivation. Finally, one of the lessons from India has been that piecemeal approaches, which only address one element of exclusion, have limited success. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive approach which addresses all the barriers to access simultaneously.Please see original detail report and more:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nepal Government Shoots At People's Back

By Mohan Nepali, Kathmandu

The Nepal government headed by the Nepali Congress has pleased the oil dealers of Nepal by increasing the petroleum oil and cooking gas prices once again. Economic experts claim that the government raises an annual tax of more than eight billion rupees (about US$12 billion) from the sale of oil to people. This is the amount that can adjust the irregularities in the oil market. Compared to the per capita income of Nepalis (currently US$250 p.a.), the market prices are 100-500 percent higher and they de-humanize people’s living standards though the ruling elites and a large number of domestic and foreign illegal money-amassers do not feel affected at all. So far oil dealers of Nepal have de facto been been running the government-owned Nepal Oil Corporation, one of the leading corrupt corporations from where many government officials and private blackmarkeeters hugely benefit.

Previously, when the oil prices were increased, the transport enterpreneurs proposed to the government for an exorbitant increase in transport fare and the government, without consideration of any scientific method of calculation, increased the transport costs as per the wishes of profiteers.

The Nepal government was indulged in stinky oil polititics for over a year by making thousands of vehicles queue up in the streets of Kathmandu to create in people a psychology tolerable for price hikes. As people had to queue up for the whole day and night, they rather began to believe that price hikes could do them better. This was exactly what the government wanted people to think before price hikes would be announed.
As Nepal is going throuh a vacillating peace process being affected by war business elements and political feudal-compradors, the Nepalis do not have an income status to manage properly along with the price hikes. Most of the poor masses live in rural parts and are downtrodden. They need more state help and income generation programs. But Nepal’s leaderships founded on feudalist mechanisms have not been able to demonstrate better alternatives for the people to develop their economic activities. Thus, most feel that the latest oil price hikes do not match with the democratic values.

The Nepal government has been pursuing an irresponsible path without standardizing the remuneration of Nepali workers. Most of the Nepali workers in the country draw a wage less than a dollar daily. Although the governemnt has been trying to justify its oil price hikes by the American and European makerts, most of the people in Nepal are not happy at this.

In response to the oil price hikes, thousands of Nepali students affiliated with different political parties on Thursday protested in the streets of Kathmandu. Similarly, transport enterprenuers have also criticized the hike.

The pricing system of oil in Nepal is nontransparent. Most of the people, including both political leaders and journalists, do not have any idea of how the petroleum products are priced. Out of this nontransparency, many doubt that there is some kind of secret compromise between the brokers of Indian Oil Corporation, Nepal Oil Corporation and oil dealers. It is usually said that even a single oil dealer can easily manipulate the state-owned oil corporation that is equipped with the authority to increase oil prices any time to any extent.

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