Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nepal: The long march to democracy?

Nepal: The long march to democracy?

Nepal's Constituent Assembly elections were postponed for the second time on 22 November. This follows the withdrawal of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) from the government and has exposed the cracks in the arduous road to democracy in Nepal. The absence of governance carries implications for regional security, as shown in the concerns expressed by the US and India. From RSIS.

By Sujoyini Mandal for RSIS (20/12/07)

For the past few decades, Nepal has witnessed the tussle for political power between an autocratic monarchy, the Nepali Congress and its coalition parties, and a violent insurgent Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M).

For almost 10 years, the Nepali Maoists have been trying to establish a communist republic. In a decade long civil war between the Maoists and other government forces, close to 13,000 people have been killed. The situation has brought further poverty and hardship to a country that is one of the poorest in Asia.

In April 2006, a peace process was finally begun, culminating in the 8 November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the CPN-M. The management of rebel arms was solved when the Maoists agreed to lock up the weapons under United Nations supervision, and place their 35,000 fighters in temporary camps. However, the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections have been postponed twice already, demonstrating the lack of real political will by the SPA-CPN-M alliance.

The maneuvers of the Maoists

The rise to prominence of the CPN-M started with the "people's war" in 1996. At that time, the agenda was to control the countryside through guerilla warfare and ultimately surround and capture the capital Katmandu. However, three strategic weaknesses led to a revision of their means. These were the realization that no outright military victory against an internationally-backed Royal Nepalese Army was possible; the general shortcomings of communist models; and a hostile international environment.

Thus, in 2004, the Maoists attempted to establish a dialogue with the mainstream political parties. This received a boost with the royal coup in February 2005 as King Gyanendra dismissed the democratic government. Together, the Maoists and the SPA revolted against the king and in a series of street protests, succeeded in seizing power from the autocratic monarch.
Thus 10 years after they started their struggle, the Maoists have accepted multi-party democracy. However, on 18 September 2007, they withdrew from the government plunging the country yet again into political chaos in the absence of a united political front.

Why the pullout?

The decision of the CPN-M to quit the government chiefly stems from their relative lack of success in joining mainstream politics in Nepal. While, on one hand, it was a pragmatic decision, at the same time the Maoists have been criticized for ignoring the demands of the marginalized communities like the ethnic groups, Dalits and the landless people - the very groups that they are supposed to represent. The result has been the decrease of its support base. At the same time, much criticism has been directed to the Young Communist League, considered to be the youth militant wing of the CPN-M which has been engaged in violent activities in the Terai region.

Although distant from politics in Katmandu, Nepal's capital, activities of the Madhesis in the Terai region in southern Nepal are, nevertheless, increasingly getting worrisome for the government. In the past few weeks, a considerable number of civil servants have quit their jobs in the face of increasing extortion and kidnapping threats.

In the past six months, 82 people have been killed and 75 abducted by different groups operating in the central and eastern Terai region. The most prominent groups representing the Madhesis are the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) and the Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) whose demands include political representation and the mitigation of economic and linguistic discrimination.

What does it mean for regional security?

Located between the two rising, and potentially competitive powers, India and China, Nepal occupies a strategic position in South Asia. Nepal is important to India, strategically, economically and historically. During the British colonial period and even now, Nepal was one of the neighboring countries that formed the "inner ring of India's defense" against hostile external powers.

Also, from the point of view of internal security, about ten million Nepalis live and work in India, while about 80,000 Nepali soldiers are employed in the Indian armed forces. Any major unrest in Nepal would thus have a natural spillover effect into India.

More importantly, the political developments in Nepal have a direct bearing to two of India's most severe domestic security problems. The first are the Indian Maoists, particularly in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh who aim to establish a "red corridor" from Nepal in the north to Trivandram in the south.

Although the Communist Party of India (Maoist) or CPI-M remains allies of the Nepal Maoists, their relationship has both waxed and waned in recent times. The practical support given to Nepali Maoists by their Indian counterparts has been limited and the departure of the CPN-M from their original strategy of armed struggle has been criticized at times by the Indian Maoist leader Ganapathy. Nevertheless, in light of the active Maoist violence in India at present, any "back to the armed struggle" scenario by the CPN-M would cause security concerns within India.

The second is the link between the Nepali Maoists and the insurgent groups operating in northeast India. On 24 March 2004, a senior Nepalese Maoist leader, Vaidya, was arrested in West Bengal. Subsequent interrogation of Vaidya revealed the connection between the Nepali Maoists and groups like the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and the KLO (Kamtapur Liberation Organisation). Taking advantage of the porous border between India and Nepal that provides a safe communication route, these groups were involved in sharing training, finances and arms supply.

The road ahead?

At present each political entity in Nepal - the SPA, the CPN-M and the Terai groups - are watchful of each other's moves and trying to play out the stalemate to the best of their advantage. The two main issues of concern are the abolition of the monarchy and implementation of the proportional system of representation.

It seems as if all the groups are hedging and playing out alliances. For instance, while the SPA and the CPN-M continue to try and come to a compromise, the Maoists are in talks with the Communist Party of Nepal (united Marxist Leninist) in order to pressurize the SPA led by GP Koirala.

However, as long as the Constituent Assembly elections are postponed, violence and unrest will continue to thrive in the absence of a strong central authority. Although it is unlikely that the Maoists will take up arms once again, the security situation will continue to worsen until political compromises that best suit all parties can come into play.

Sujoyini Mandal is a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
Source:ISN

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Pros and Cons of Prachanda’s Call

The Pros and Cons of Prachanda’s Call


By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

‘When the monarch is gone then the monarchists become the nationalists’ probably this is what the CPN-Maoist chairman has in mind when calling for the coalition of all three forces such as the democratic forces, the Maoists and the royalist nationalists to fight against the external interferences in the national affairs and against the ongoing violence in different parts of the country. Different politicians and leaders have interpreted the Prachanda’s call to suit to their self-interest and to their respective parties.

The unity of all forces including the ethnic and Madheshi communities would be possible only when all the Nepalis would have an equal role in building the nation. The unbalanced development caused by the Shah dynastic rule for about two and a half centuries was the main reason for ongoing violence in terai and the peaceful movement of the ethnic, Madheshi, and other underprivileged communities for their rights to have a say in the nation-building. When all Nepalis would have an equal opportunity of making Nepal a prosperous country, no external forces could interfere in the national affairs of Nepalis, as all Nepalis would have a feeling of belonging to the same family.

On Wednesday, December 05, 2007, a day after CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda called for forging a tripartite coalition among the royalist nationalists, the Maoists and other democratic forces, interim legislators of NC, CPN-UML and People's Front Nepal (PFN) raised serous objections at the winter session of the Interim Legislature against the statement and warned that such overtures could impede the peace process. They also demanded Prachanda to furnish clarifications on what they described as a controversial statement. They claimed that the Maoist Chairman's statement could result in a new political polarization, which could adversely affect the peace process. However, Legislator Nanda Kumar Prasain of the CPN-Maoist defended the Prachanda's statement and criticized other legislators for distorting the essence of the statement. He said, “If anyone attacks our sovereignty, we may have to defend such attacks by forging alliance with a citizen king." [1]

“The appeal for an alliance with the force opposed to Loktantra (rule of the people) by the force that had fought for Loktantra cannot be taken normally no matter what logic is put forward to defend it,” said influential CPN-UML leader Amrit Kumar Bohara. “This kind of remark, which is apparently triggered by the Maoists’ consumerist ideology, only weakens the seven-party unity and our collective efforts to institutionalize democracy in the country.” [2]

“This statement coming from the top leader of a party which claims to be the most revolutionary and most genuine republican is definitely surprising,” said NC spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC. “This (statement) has come at a time when the CA polls have been postponed and that too purely because of the Maoists. It’s known to everyone that both the Maoists and the king do not want the elections.” “It’s been a strategy of the Maoists to create division in different forces and take advantage. Prachanda’s latest remarks appear to be quite in line with this strategy,” KC added. “I remember that Sharad Chandra Shah and Panchayati Prime Minister Marichman Singh—we all know both of them are hardcore royalists—once said that you could either be a royalist or a Maoist. There’s no third option,” he further said, “And now what Prachanda has said has made many worried.” [3]

Talking to reporters in Chitwan district on Thursday (December 06), Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula said that the royalists could never be nationalists as they were the “mentors of dictatorship”. Reacting to the Maoist Chairman Prachanda’s statement that the parties should forge unity with the “nationalist royalists”, he said that it was a dangerous mistake to consider the royalists as nationalists. [4]

Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun ‘Ananta’, however, said that such a unity was needed to protect the national unity, which was being endangered due to the “unprecedented violence in Terai and the growing foreign interventions.” He also revealed that the Maoists have in fact already started approaching the “nationalist royalists” in the political circle, bureaucracy and security wings to forge such an alliance. “With the King sidelined, where will the genuine nationalist forces go?” he said. “We need to give them a space. Asked why the king himself could not be taken on board if the national unity was under such a grave threat, Ananta ruled out the possibility “because the monarchy itself is a threat.” [5]

Co-chairman of the Rastriya Janshakti Party, Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani cautiously welcomed the Prachanda’s statement. “If it (the statement) is about political tolerance then it is welcome,” he said. “But we still have to wait and see. The Maoists have made similar statements in the past only to forget them later.” He nevertheless said, “mudslinging is not going to help bail the country out of the current quagmire and that an alliance of the democrats and the forces in favor of national unity, including the Maoists, is the need of the hour”. He went on to claim that if such an alliance could be forged then no foreign elements would be able to interfere in the Nepal’s internal matters. [6]

On Saturday, December 08, 2007, speaking at a program in Kathmandu, Vice-president of NC and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel said that Maoist chairman Prachanda's statement on the need for forging an alliance with the "nationalist royalists" could just be the part of a conspiracy against the allies. He said the Maoists have been cultivating ties with the royalists in their attempt to scuttle the constituent assembly polls. "It is not clear if Maoists really want to side with the King. Nepali Congress will raise this issue in the next seven-party meeting," he said. He also said that the Maoists had always served the interest of the royalists than the democratic forces. [7]

On December 06, 2007, talking to the reporter of “The Rising Nepal”, Senior Maoist Leader Mohan Baidhya 'Kiran' said that his party was willing to forge a broad nationalist front with the royalist nationalists turned into the republic nationalists and not with the royalist nationalists as such. He clarified that in the context of institutionalizing republic in the country there was no possibility of forging any front with those parties, which still uphold the idea that the monarchy was the pivotal of national unity, sovereignty and integrity. “We have for a long time been focusing on making a broader alliance of the nationalist force among the nationalists, Lokatantrik and leftist forces," he said, adding, “Our present focus is on the nationalist force that roamed around the monarchy (wrongly) believing it the savior of the nation." He claimed that his party chairman Prachanda's expression in this line was distorted by some media that went on to say that the Maoist party was even interested in forging alliance with the force which is struggling for keeping the monarchy and put the clock back. He noted that nationalism was in crisis with foreign powers dictating the course of national politics at a time when the nation was undergoing a period of political transition. “The country has witnessed attempts of foreign powers to impose their vested interest in the name of boosting democracy in the country," he said. He added, “Two negative political tendencies of thinking the monarchy as a symbol of nationality and ignoring the national interest that have bowed before international interference in the name of democracy must end now." The alliance of the nationalists would form a new political equation but it will not undermine the unity of the seven parties, he said. Such an alliance is needed to bring into the republican fold the huge mass that is still around the monarch, he pointed out. [8]

On Saturday, December 08, 2007, speaking at a press conference held by the Banke Chapter of Press Chautari Nepal, Standing Committee Member of CPN-UML Bam Dev Gautam said, "I consider the statement of Prachanda the right one. He might have meant that those nationalists outside of the seven parties should be included. If those persons, who were followers of the king, come to join hands with the seven parties by abandoning him, we can move ahead by including them." [9]

Addressing an interaction held by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) in Kathmandu in the first week of December 2007, CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda had said that with the king pushed to the periphery, there was no alternative to a unity among the parliamentary parties, Maoists and the nationalist royalist forces to resolve the lingering political problem. A few leaders of Nepali Congress (NC) have viewed the Prachanda's statement to be serious and sensitive. The leaders of other political parties and civil society representatives were of the opinions that it was pragmatic to give a due place to everybody under the republican setup; however, NC leaders twisted the Prachanda's statement. [10]

Senior CPN-Maoist leader C P Gajurel said that the Prachanda's statement was for bringing the army, security personnel, bureaucrats and politicians close to the king under the fold of republicanism, as the country virtually transformed into a republic; therefore, it should not be taken otherwise. “However, those wishing to retain the monarchy are the enemies of the country and its people and there is no chance of an alliance with them." [11]

Member of the Interim Legislature, Kumar Phudung said that the Prachanda's expression held the strategic importance, and it was meant to check the foreign interference in the Nepalese politics and usher the country to republicanism smoothly. He said that the Prachanda's statement was a big challenge to the forces wishing to interfere in the Nepalese politics as well as to the current government. He said the Maoist plan to forge an alliance with the republican oriented royalist forces was not at all anomalous. [12]

Professor Maniklal Shrestha said that Prachanda proposed for an alliance with the once royalist forces at the critical juncture to keep the national sovereignty intact. Professor Shrestha said that all the army personnel and those labeled as royalists were far from being the king's cronies and it was nothing wrong to forge an alliance with them. He said that it was pointless for the NC of B. P. Koirala who did not hesitate to say that his neck was conjoined with that of the king, and its leaders to criticize Prachanda for his candid statement. He also said that the latest reactions of NC leaders were attempts to defame Prachanda although everybody was aware of how Maoists treated the monarchy in the past and how they see it at present. [13]

Unity of all Nepalis is necessary to stop the foreign interferences in the national affairs, to curb political violence in any part of the country, to keep the country from the possible breakup into the ethnic and linguistic regions, and to ensure a lasting peace in the country. This sort of unity might be called alliance. However, the monarchy is not the institution of such a unity at all.


Footnotes:

[1] The Rising Nepal, December 06, 2007, “Prachanda's remarks on royalists draw criticism”

[2] Ekantipur.com, December 06, 2007, “SPA leaders smell a rat in Prachanda’s call for alliance with ‘nationalist royalists’”

[3] Ekantipur.com, December 06, 2007, “SPA leaders smell a rat in Prachanda’s call for alliance with ‘nationalist royalists’”

[4] Ekantipur.com, December 06, 2007, “SPA leaders smell a rat in Prachanda’s call for alliance with ‘nationalist royalists’”

[5] Ekantipur.com, December 06, 2007, “SPA leaders smell a rat in Prachanda’s call for alliance with ‘nationalist royalists’”

[6] Ekantipur.com, December 06, 2007, “SPA leaders smell a rat in Prachanda’s call for alliance with ‘nationalist royalists’”

[7] Nepalnews.com mk Dec 08 07 “Maoists cultivating ties with royalists to scuttle polls”

[8] The Rising Nepal, December 07, 2007, “Maoists for broad nationalist front, clarifies Baidhya”

[9] The Himalayan Times, December 09, 2007, “Bamdev Defends Prachanda on ‘Ties with Royalists’”

[10] The Rising Nepal, December 10, 2007, “Alliance with all nationalist forces imperative: Leaders”

[11] The Rising Nepal, December 10, 2007, “Alliance with all nationalist forces imperative: Leaders”

[12] The Rising Nepal, December 10, 2007, “Alliance with all nationalist forces imperative: Leaders”

[13] The Rising Nepal, December 10, 2007, “Alliance with all nationalist forces imperative: Leaders”

Source: Scoop

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dadas of Nepal Politics

Satish Chandra Lal:

The three dadas of Nepal politics are chanting the mantra of CA election within the chaitra 2064. However, I have doubts about this. Perhaps other Nepalese have also doubts about this. My doubts are based on following grounds:

1. As per Election Commission, they need minimum of 90 days for holding election. There are little more than 90 days left. There is no consensus among the three dadas. Maoists are insisting on inclusion of militants in the military and round table meeting. Will it be possible to do these things within the time left. I think no. Since Maoists stand is clear they will not let to hold election until militants are included in military force.

2. The proportionate voting system only recognizes national parties.Regional parties are not recognized. In such situation parties having regional base such as MJF, Sadbhawana, new party to be formed by Thakur will have negligible vote in hills whereas they will have substantial vote in Madhesh. These parties will be forced to nominate hill people in the proportion of population. Will they agree for this? Similarly Janajati parties will get substantial vote in hills whereas they may not get substantial vote in madhesh. They will also not agree for nominating Madheshis. Therefore, election laws requires modification to address regional parties. If it is not done there will be little acceptance of CA by these parties. There are number of examples in other countries that the parties who have not been represented properly have denounced CA. If the elections are held as the law is, CA of Nepal will have same fate. If such CA approves any constitution it will not receive confidence of people and the movement of Madhesh will gain more strength. This may not look important from the view point of present rulers. However, it is very important and if the CA is forced in as is situation, it may lead to separatist movement.


3. It is said that the first deadline could not be met because of Madhesh movement. Has the situation of Madhesh movement changed? The government is not able to gain confidence of even those groups who are in peaceful movement. How does it think that the militants of Madhesh will be controlled?

4. The second deadline failed because Maoists disturbed it. Is the maoists ready for CA until their above mentioned poits are addressed.

Above points clearly show the dark future of CA Election. Does any one sees that the CA elections have bright future?

( To Participate in this discussion topic, please inter in Nepal Officers Online Discussion Forum)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Guerrilla’s Merger into Army? : Unfortunate!

Krishna Hari Pushkar
Berlin
, Germany


In Nepal, there is ongoing blackjack discussion about the “Integration of Maoist Rebellion Guerrillas into Nepal Army” and most probably it will be amalgamated, this situation emerged due to State is under the control of Insurgents. I have personally criticised the model and way of peace accord since beginning because of its poor feasibility, now it’s hindering to go forward on agreed peace road map. State is compelled to make one after other frequent amendments as per Maoist will and strategy. I would say, “State lost dignity” in the case. However, I am not against the peace process, my concern is only technical part of peace process that drastically failed and now state anguishes with severe crisis.

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The Nepalese peace accord, UN strategy over Nepal and role of international communities has been by now proved substandard. The prime minister of Nepal has repeatedly realised the ongoing “Insurgents’ Supremacy Over State”, it is a solid consequences of his & his teamsters’ blunder. Although, the existing cabinet, un-legitimated interim parliament, irresponsible political parties, UN and also International community’s ill strategies are being positive to go for another suicidal action that is “Merger of Maoist Guerrilla into Nepal Army”. If such decision is taken blindly, it would prove a milestone towards the invitation of another military revolt. It’s my research based presumption that such step goes in straight direction of another armed civil war. It could register as a most historical black step as “Crime Against Nepal and Nepalese.”


Why Maoist Guerrilla should not merge into Nepal Army?

  1. The existing Maoist guerrillas neither meet any professional standard and norms of “State Military” nor possible after merger due to some professional decisive factor is that practised and legitimated in International arena under the concept and motto of “State Army.”
  2. Maoist Guerrillas are political arm extremist, biased, infected with farthest Maoism and responsible towards specific political ideology and its party.
  3. There might be similar questions emerged in the cases of another existing insurgent groups. There are more than two dozens of another arm rebellions group who have been also fighting against State in various part of Nepal. The nature and composition of other insurgents groups are also similar like Maoist guerrillas or would say majorities are the splinter groups of Maoist.
  4. The existing performances and activities of Maoist guerrillas are still rebellious; they are neither even trying to tend to normality nor believing in peaceful political democratic philosophy even after entering in the peace process under the supervision of UN.

How to solve the Problem?


However, State and international communities have the responsibility to manage the issues in effective and efficient way but of’ course it is a matter of serious discussion to identify the appropriate model to resolve the crisis and integrate the Maoist guerrillas into State organs. As it is a prime responsibility of a State to provide enough employment opportunity, mobilise and use of their available human resources as per their quality and expertise. By considering the point, State could arrange all possible approaches and means without affecting the national security structures as per international national defence structural practices.

Besides, I salute and well aware about some specific political qualities, influential public diplomacy, geo-social grass-root level idea-knowledge-command and other developmental commitment and efficiencies of Maoist guerrilla. Therefore, the integration of Maoist Insurgents into State organs could be also possible through the following model:

Model one:

To establish an independent infrastructure development brigade/company model under any suitable organs of State and recruit them by developing some specific ad-hoc norms. It is believed that the existing Maoist guerrilla have better ideas and knowledge about how to do manage better infrastructural development in remote mountainous part of Nepal. It could be possible to use them for developmental perspective of road, irrigation, hydropower, buildings, electricity, transportation and other forms of developmental activities.

Model two:

To establish independent security battalions to provide special private security to the industrial companies, private entrepreneurs, events, and other who seeks paid security service from State.

In my conclusion, I must mention that State should not be forced or compelled to take any decision that would become a cause and reason of another civil war in Nepal.

--Author is peace and conflict management researcher

I was fully aware about the ongoing consequences that agreed model can not be applied effectively and efficiently into practice. Finally, my remarks became true as it was rationale and based on factual researches and studies. However, my arguments were ignored and not responded with needy any assessment.

No Peace And Justice For Maoist Victims In Nepal

No Peace And Justice For Maoist Victims In Nepal
Kamala Sarup

The Nepali Maoist victims want justice, human rights, peace, development and freedom. Above all they want economic development. But currently, law and order have broken down in Nepal.

When the Maoist Victims Association, an organization of people displaced by Maoist violence, organized a sit-in protest they were arrested by police. The victims were demanding rehabilitation, compensation, employment and free medical treatment for those who were injured during the 10-year Maoist war.

The social and political organizations is offering no support, and the socio political organizations are not doing enough to bring justice to these victims. They have asked only that the government provide enough financial support and protection for them to return safely to their homes.

It seems the concerned socio political organizations are not prepared to deal with Maoist victims and violence. Even though the Maoists' Communist Party of Nepal has declared peace, the violent killings, kidnappings and extortion continue. The victims of earlier violence want peace, democracy and development. But the various political entities have all resorted to violence to further their own causes.

"Nepalese today live in very uncertain times. After a decade of fighting, the war -- with its violence and killings -- has become institutionalized. The Maoists' victims and ordinary people are suffering on a daily basis. The hills are burning, the killing fields are spread all over Nepal, and now the Terai region is burning. The recent incident that took place in Gaur last month, where 27 Maoists and others were butchered during a political rally, is only a picture of what lies ahead for Nepal and the Nepali people. Violence will only breed more violence, more deaths and killings". A Nepali Scholar Dr. Kamal Panday said recently.

Ethnic and Maoist violence continues to endanger the lives of the population and hinder economic recovery; civil strife and violent conflict have become commonplace. More than 15,000 people have died, many more have been injured, and millions have been deprived of their basic human rights. Human life has lost its value. The once peaceful nation of Nepal has been turned into a war zone.

On one side, the United Nations is collecting arms -- on the other side the Maoists, Defence Army and Madhesi Tigers are fully armed and ready to do battle. Maoists are more organized today than they ever were before. Maoists could not care less what happens to the Nepali man, woman and child in the street.

"Police conducted raids on the offices of the Young Communist League to search for weapons, but gave them a clean bill. Who are we trying to fool? What worries me is that Nepal will become like some African countries, with no law and order, and marauding gangs roaming the countryside and even in the capital after some time. A traffic policeman can control hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians not because he is strong or armed. It is due to the legitimacy and respect people have for authority. That respect, for the first time, is steadily eroding in this country, as can be exemplified by so many motorcyclists without helmets". A local woman, Tanuja told me.

We need to find the root cause of the problem of the Nepali people's suffering. Yet, there is no soul searching, no self criticism, no accountability.

"Displaced women want education and employment for their children. For the past decade, the responsible institutions have failed miserably to provide quality education. Even though the literacy rate in Nepal has increased, in reality the standard of education has not improved. A whole generation of educated illiterates has been produced. Non-governmental organizations and various donor nations have poured in millions of dollars for education reform, but look at the village schools and the teachers. There is no proper infrastructure, books, trained teachers, or even nutritious food for the children. Rampant corruption has hurt educational development and planning". Dr. Panday further added.

"There was a time when I could see far ahead, very far, right up to the glorious Nepal. Now I can't see beyond my compound wall," a local teacher, Charan Adhikary, told me. "There is so much of a haze, a political haze brought here by the smoke of burning jungles, just like the haze in Singapore caused by the forest fires in Indonesia."

At least the new United Marxist-Leninist education minister, Pradip Nepal, has said that he would resign on May 9 if the key functionaries of all four universities are not appointed by May 8. But the Maoist forestry minister fights with the prime minister in the Cabinet over allegations that the army is destroying the Shivapuri forest, and walks out. The Maoists forcibly stop the functioning of the legislature due to the police raids on the Young Communist League offices.

Good governance is badly needed to mobilize the Nepali people to set local development priorities, coordinate and ensure effective implementation of development plans. It is very important that the nation understands the importance of the overall development of the people and provides them with training, education and employment. Nepali victims are looking for a good leader.

This article was originally published by UPI Asia Online. Nepalese Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor of peacejournalism.com. She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (Media research). Two Stories collections.

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