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Oli-led Government-17

Issue January 2016

Lessons To Be Learned

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


A mobile copy of Readout of Deputy Secretary Blinken's Call with Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli apparently posted by the U.S. Department of State on facebook said that Deputy Secretary Blinken spoke with Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli via phone this morning (January 22, 2016) to discuss the political crisis in Nepal.


According to the ‘readout’, “the Deputy Secretary urged Prime Minister Oli to represent the interests of all Nepalis and take concrete steps to resolve the political impasse, emphasizing the importance of all sides working toward a compromise and not taking unilateral steps.


Deputy Secretary Blinken called for Nepali authorities to exercise restraint in responding to protests.


The Deputy Secretary told Prime Minister Oli the United States stands ready to further partner with Nepal to ensure earthquake reconstruction efforts are efficient, transparent, and inclusive.”

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The readout contained the “stick and carrot” to the prime minister of Nepal and a rational advice to the Nepalese authorities to respond to the protestors rationally rather then emotionally.


The ‘stick’ had been that the Deputy Secretary of State wanted Prime Minister Oli to make the constitution inclusive not one sided constitution as of today leaving behind the ethnic and Madheshi people even denying their sovereignty; then only the political crisis would end in Nepal.


The ‘carrot’ had been the US was ready to be a partner in the reconstruction of the damages done by the earthquakes on condition that all efforts would be efficient and transparent, and all people concerned would be involved in those efforts in other word would be inclusive.


Prime Minister KP Oli might take it as the US government directly intervening in the Nepalese affairs but America is too far away from Nepal to do anything that India had done during the last four months delaying the supplies trucks bound to Nepal.


Currently, India had retreated from it finding it almost impossible to teach any lessons to the Nepalese politicians because the direct intervention of India aroused the intense patriotism in the minds of the Nepalese forgetting everything what had been happening in the country, and what hardship they had to endure.


India wanted to do the same thing as it did with Bhutan. Indian authorities gave way to the Bhutanese forcibly ejected by the Bhutanese monarch to go to Nepal in 1990s but they closed the way when the Bhutanese refuges wanted to return to their homeland to claim their fundamental rights to live peacefully and humanly.


The Bhutanese monarch awarded India handsomely giving the rights to harness the immense hydropower resources Bhutan has for the meager return to Bhutan but for the benefits of keeping the dissident Bhutanese out of Bhutan thus not threatening to the Bhutanese monarch. In addition, the Bhutanese monarch surrendered the sovereignty of defense and foreign affairs only to keep away the Bhutanese that had sought nothing but to live as humans with all the fundamental rights.


At that time, the US did not speak out or readout anything. If the US had done something Bhutan would have been a different democratic country rather than the current country of the monarch that had nothing but to keep the Bhutanese under his thumb rule living in the shadow of India.


Rather than giving support to the Bhutanese refugees that wanted to go back their homeland for their efforts on living as citizens than subjects, the US airlifted more than 80,000 Bhutanese refuges from Nepal to the US in 2010s. More than 20,000 Bhutanese refugees were airlifted to different other western countries and Australia. India did not take a single Bhutanese refugee for the obvious reasons. Nepal still has some Bhutanese refugees that wanted to go back to their home country rather than any other countries.


America would have been well off providing humanitarian assistance to the people that had been fighting for their sovereignty rather than attempting on directly intervening in the internal affairs of any sovereign country. Direct interventions had proved failures in the countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan recently. However, direct intervention in saving the hundreds of thousands of innocent people possibly massacred by the despotic rulers in Kosovo had been saved thanks to the then US President Bill Clinton.


Thanks to such direct intervention in saving the innocent people, the despotic ruler such as Slobodan Milosevic was caught and sent to the International Court to stand trial for homicide and misrule while in power.


This sort of intervention was necessary in Nepal, too. Prime Minister KP Oli and his predecessor Sushil Koirala had already taken more than 50 lives of innocent protestors that had been demanding nothing but the enforcement of the agreements they had reached with the previous government; they wanted to have the equal rights to live like any Nepalese; and they wanted their representation in the army, police and the administration proportional to their population.


Any rational person would hesitate to say those demands were not justifiable but the former Koirala-led government and the current Oli-led government had done nothing but denial to those demands. The government had killed three protestors in Rangeli on Thursday, January 21, 2016 provoking intense protests in the border areas. Thus, taking of the innocent lives continued indicating the current Nepalese rulers had not been much different from the Shah-Rana rulers that denied everything any human could have.


Despite the vigorous protest of those people that had been bypassed, the so-called two-thirds-majority-political-parties leaders had bullied the ethnic people, Madheshi, underprivileged people, and women, and adopted the exclusive constitution that would primarily benefit the current political parties and their leaders in power stating the adoption of a new constitution would lead to the ending of the political crisis in Nepal, then the country would have a better chance of engaging in development. The new constitution had effectively denied the sovereignty of the ethnic and Madheshi people. Their struggle for their rights to live as the sovereign would continue. The international community might help the people in their struggle rather than bullying the current one-sided government.


On January 23, 2016, those political parties holding the two-thirds majority in the parliament again forcibly amended the constitution not meeting the demands of the ethnic and Madheshi people that had been holding protest rallies in the border areas. The amendment provoked further intensification of the protest rallies.


That amendment had been entirely for saving the face of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that had unwisely tried to directly interfere in the Nepalese domestic affairs as his predecessor did for Bhutan. That did not work in Nepal as Nepal was not a Bhutan and Nepalese political leaders were not the Bhutanese monarch that Modi ignored to consider and caused the immense troubles to the common folks in Nepal, and Modi gave the great opportunity of making money to the unscrupulous Nepalese politicians and rulers closing the border entry points to the Nepal-bound supplies trucks. However, even belatedly Modi learned the lessons.


The Nepalese political leaders had been reluctant to learn lessons from the mistakes of the past rulers. In 1947, the then hereditary Rana Prime Minister Padma Shumsher was to adopt a constitution to give a little bit of civil rights to the common folks but his rivals did not allow him causing the termination of the Rana autocratic rule in 1951. The then king Mahendra killed democracy in 1960 and introduced a no-party system, and repressed the Nepalese for thirty years. The result was the end of the Shah dynastic rule in 2008.


The Malla monarchs had successfully run the country for about seven centuries, as they honored the sovereignty of the people and respected the people as sovereign rather than thinking they were the subjects to rule. Then the Malla monarchs deviated from this truth, and devout Hindu Jayasthiti Malla introduced the strict caste system, and he thought that the people were subjects rather than the sovereign.


By the time Prithvi Shah entered the Kathmandu Valley, none of the people except for the Kirtipurians wanted the Malla monarchs to continue. So, Prithvi had an easy victory over the Malla monarchs but he faced the tough resistance in Kirtipur. He lost his general called Kalu Pandey, and he was about to lose his life only the ethics of the Kirtipurian soldier saved his life. One of the soldiers stopped his fellow soldiers from killing Prithvi saying a soldier should not kill a king.


Prithvi had not shed off his barbarian mindset to save the lives of the very soldiers that had saved him from getting killed. He killed many Kirtipurians including women and children, and cut off the noses and ears of those he disliked. So, anybody could guess how the savage like Prithvi had run the country. He could do so certainly at the gunpoint depriving the people of everything they deserved to live as humans.


The current neo-rulers that had nothing yesterday before becoming lawmakers and then after taking the offices of ministers had grabbed everything possible to enrich themselves harassing the people as much as people. They had been not much different from those barbarian rulers of the Shah-Rana origins making money as much as possible from the service delivery they had to do as their duty. Their fateful day might not be very far, as the people had already realized that the current rulers had been parasites deserved hanging to death.


In the social media, some of the Nepalese intellectuals had been raising the voices of need for hanging the corrupt politicians to death. Everybody knew how the politicians had been making money; how much money the political leaders had; how they had been using the money for keeping their leadership. So, anybody could buy leadership of any political party, as clearly did KP Oli in his party.


Former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai abandoned the people that had supported his party and him in the people’s war, and formed a so-called-new-force party assembling the deadwoods such as former bureaucrats and policemen, politicians and so on. He did not fit in the group of the corrupt politicians but his colleague Prachanda cozily accommodated with the corrupt and neo-barbarian rulers to run the country at the gunpoint.


Concerning the relief of quake victims and reconstructions of the quake-damaged building, temples and other public structures, the government had been the barrier to the members of international community reaching the victims.


With the clear advice of former Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat that had recently proudly accepted the award of the outstanding finance minister of 2015 from the rarely known British magazine, the then Prime Minister Sushil Koirala ordered all the banks in Nepal to transfer all the amounts deposited in the accounts opened up for collecting donations for the quake victims, to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.


Instantly, everybody stopped collecting fund for the quake victims, and they found that their way to reach the needy people in the quake-hit areas had been closed. Members of the international community knew how corrupt the Nepalese prime ministers and their ministers had been in the past and even now. So, they did not want to put the money of the generous people in those corrupt hands. The results were the quake victims had been the victims of the corrupt prime minister and his ministers, too.


Through his personal secretary also called Mahat, former Finance Minister Dr Mahat tried to return back the tin sheets sent for the quake victims in Nuwakot. Everybody knew this shameful event but nobody knew how many similar unknown cases might have been for making the money for the Mahats.


Former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala denied the entry of three British Chinook helicopters the British government had sent to Nepal for the rescue operations and for providing relief supplies to the quake victims. Those three helicopters returned back to Britain after staying in India totally idle for about a month costing three million pound sterling to the British taxpayers, according to the Daily Mail: one of the British newspapers.


Prime Minister Koirala objected the entry of those Chinook helicopters on the advice of the army just to take a revenge on the British administration for taking Major Kumar Lama in custody while Lama was visiting his relatives in Britain, and sent him to the court to stand trail for the atrocities done to the then Maoists in Nepal, according to the Amnesty International: INGO quoted in the Daily Mail.


Prime Minister Koirala’s refusal to let fly in those helicopters was totally nothing but ‘maka phue’ means the monkey challenge to the British government. That was once KP Oli mockingly used for the challenge of the ethnic and Madheshi people to the two-thirds-majority parties. Certainly, the British administration must have taken it, as a mouse’s challenge to an elephant. The British administration got disappointed for not being able to help the quake victims in Nepal.


The results of not accepting the Chinook helicopters had been several thousands of the quake victims remained without relief supplies. They had been living in the makeshifts tents assembled from the worn-out tarpaulins. The recent snow had made them desperately cold. Was not the rejection of such helicopters for providing the quake victims with the necessary relief supplies, a criminal act? Certainly, it is. The Indian government and the US government needed to take such criminals to the International Court rather than trying to directly intervene in the internal affairs.


Former Prime Minster Sushil Koirala declared the relief work had been done and the reconstruction of the quake-damage structures had reached. He transferred the remaining amount from the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund to the Reconstruction Fund. That was what reported in the media but the real intention was not known but what was known was Koirala had distributed billions of rupees to his colleagues and a cadre of his Nepali Congress party before leaving the office. From where Koirala had so much money to distribute so generously to his people and a cadre of his party was shrouded in mystery.


After about nine months from the first quake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, Prime Minister KP Oli launched the reconstruction campaign letting President Bidhya Bhandari laying a foundation stone initiating work to rebuild a temple and garden on the premises of the Ranipokhari in Kathmandu in an arrogant ceremony on January 16, 2016 (Magh 2): the day the devastating quake struck Nepal in 1934. The prime minister and his ministers simply disregarded the millions of quake victims living in the makeshift sheds waiting for the prime minister elected by the sovereign parliament, to do something for them.


The international community had committed to provide Nepal with $4.1 billions for the reconstruction but the current government had done nothing to make the money flow to Nepal. Ministers and prime minister would do something if the money were to fill up their pockets but the international community were not for allowing happening such thing.


Forty members of the cabinet formed breaching the constitution had been enjoying their lives enviable even to those people living in the western countries while millions of Nepalese had been living in poverty as the result of the Shah-Rana dynastic rule for 240 years. Prime minister and his thirty-nine ministers each had at least three cars provided by the State. Actually, those ministers had taken the cars flouting not only rules and regulations but also the simple ethics anybody needed to follow to be a real human. Those ministers had been less than humans.


Now, Prime Minister KP Oli had been allowing the parallel market for the petroleum products even though India had already let go the petroleum supplies trucks to Nepal. Common folks had difficulty in getting a few liter of gasoline whereas a cadre of KP Oli brought tankers of gasoline. A single tanker fetched extra money from one million rupees to three or four million rupees. A tanker carried 10,000 liters of gasoline. The State-set price was one hundred rupees per liter whereas the black marketers sold gasoline at five times higher than the regular price, and finally coming down to twice or thrice.


Taxi drivers had been paying such fantastically high prices for the gasoline otherwise they could not run their business. They in turn had been charging terribly high prices to the customers. The same thing with other businesses too had been happening. A ‘mal-puwa’ means dough fried in oil cost only three rupees in the immediate past had cost ten rupees to customers. Many mo-mo (dumpling) sellers went out off the business because they did not have the cooking gas, and they could not afford to buy it in the parallel market at five times the regular price. Karna Shakya: one of the hoteliers in Nepal publicly said that he had been running his business buying the petroleum products in the parallel markets. Prime Minister Oli must be very happy a cadre of his party had been making money out of it.


Nepalese politicians had already proved that they were really criminals. To prove them criminals, parallel market of the petroleum products had been quite enough. They had been robbing the people directly selling the petroleum products in the parallel market, and indirectly misusing the State treasury. The State had the monopoly on buying and selling petroleum products; that had become one of the main tools of corruption in dealing the petroleum products.


So, the US administration and the Indian administration that had been so concerned with the Nepalese political crisis would be well off assisting the common folks in rising against the corrupt politicians, and in sending those criminals to the International Court rather than using the threatening words, and putting embargo on Nepal causing tremendous troubles to the common folks and giving yet another chance of making money to the deceitful politicians from selling the petroleum products in the openly run parallel market.


Again I repeat that the irrational Nepalese politicians, and their ministers and the prime minister were not to listen to the good advice of the well wishers such as the Indian and US governments to make the constitution inclusive, and make the Nepalese sovereign. Nepalese needed to root them out off the power as they did to the past unruly rulers. To this end, the Indian and US governments could surely help Nepalese.


Now, the Chinese government had been reluctant to take the best opportunity provided by the Indian embargo on Nepal of opening up the northern border widely to increase the volume of trade through the land route between Nepal and China. Why China was not doing so could be only guessed.


The guess was probably the Chinese authorities might have thought that opening up the land trade route would be opening up the floodgates to Tibet for the Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal to enter illegally. Contrary to what the Chinese authorities might have thought, the land routes would help to keep Tibet firmly in their hands, as the opening of Tibet would perfectly neutralize any anti-Chinese propaganda, as everybody would have an opportunity to see clearly how Tibet looked like rather than simply believing what the media told them to believe.


Commercially, China could trade its industrial goods for the Nepalese agricultural products. China could import most of the foods, spices, and other goods Tibetans needed that China had been providing them with at a high cost from the mainland. Both China and Nepal could benefit from such commercial activities.


China could absorb the trade Nepal had with India drastically, and benefit from it. However, the current lackluster interest the Chinese authorities had shown in building up the strong trade relations with Nepal could be only for the political reasons that the Chinese authorities might have thought that Tibet would go out of their hands once they opened up the border between Nepal and Tibet.


If we take a look at the history, Nepal had minted coins for the Tibet. Nepalese traders had set up their businesses in Lhasa. Only in 1958 the then Chairman Mao Zedong drove Nepalese traders from Lhasa after the botched uprising of Tibetans. Nepalese traders and businesspersons could strengthen the hands of the Chinese authorities to run the administration in Tibet effectively if they were to welcome the Nepalese traders and to welcome the smooth trade between Nepal and Tibet as had been in the past.


The volume of the trade between Nepal and China might not be even a peanut for the Chinese but it might be huge for Nepal and Tibet, too. The choice was of the Chinese authorities not of the Nepalese.


China had provided Nepal with 1.3 million liters of petrol worth Rs 130 million rupees at the regular market price of Rs 100 per liter when India stopped sending the petrol tankers going to Nepal. That petrol must have gone to the parallel market for the sale at double or triple the State-set price, as the regular market had no supply of petrol at all. The State agency did not say where and how the grant-in-aid petrol had been sold. The money must have filled out the pockets of the big fishes because small fishes could not swallow such a large amount in one go.


The government was trying to sell the induction stoves China had provided Nepal with in the grant-in-aid for relieving the poor Nepalese from the short supply of fossil fuels. The government had set the high prices for the induction stoves received free. So, the government could not sell the stoves while the poor people did not have the resources to buy the stoves intended for them, according to the local media.


I had said a number of times that the current Nepalese rulers had been not much different from the Shah-Rana rulers that did not do anything for the people but filled out their pockets from the State revenue. The Ranas had used the State revenue for paying the salaries of the employees and never used for building anything for any Nepalese community. By any chance if they did a public-interest project, they encouraged the project chief to save as much as possible. The savings directly went to the private treasury of the Rana prime minister. The Rana prime ministers also transferred the leftover money from the State treasury to their private treasury every year.


My father used to complain that the Ranas forced others and him to work on clearing the track for them to go to Nagarkot in Bhaktapur for the summer retreat. My father never did forgive the Ranas for forcing him to clear a track for them to travel. My father happened to live in Bhaktapur. The forced labor without pay was called ‘jhara’.


Former Nepalese king Mahendra forced the State employees to work in villages with the agricultural implements to dig tracks for 15 days in the State campaign called “go to village”. A large number of the State employees including me carried agricultural tools and went to the nearby hill to open a track in 1970s. A beautiful scene of well-dressed bureaucrats digging the ground for building a track was for everybody to see then and there. Then, we received certificates of the work we did from the then Pradhan Pancha means the elected chief of the Village Development Committee, and submitted the certificates to our concerned State offices. The then administration had made it mandatory for us to do so.


The current Oli-led government had spent only eight percent of the capital expenditure within the six months in other words the current government had done nothing to construct anything during the last three months of its existence, according to the “gorkhapatra” news of January 26, 2016. However, the cabinet ministers including prime minister must have pocketed millions if not billions of rupees seizing the opportunity of the so-called Indian blockade at the same time.


Nepalese could see the hydropower plants, road highways, factories, office buildings and so on done by Britain, China, India, Russia, Switzerland, and US but the government had done almost nothing. The ministers and prime minister begged the donor countries for anything in the name of the poor Nepalese but those people in power took the maximum possible benefits from whatever the donor countries had given for Nepalese. The government of Prime Minister Oli begged China for providing Nepal with another lot of petrol in grant as of 1.3 million liters, according to the local media. Those ministers had proved themselves not better than any other beggars.


One example of how the State employees made money had been, they sold the Nepalese power at Rs 4 per one-kilowatt unit and bought the same at Rs 12 per unit as stated in the opinion article of Rabindra Bahadur Shrestha published in the “gorkhapatra” of January 26, 2016. According to the opinion article of Shrestha, Nepal Electricity Authority sold the Nepalese power to India at Rs 4 per unit, and bought the same at Rs 12 per unit. This is only one example. Nepal must have hundreds if not thousand of such examples.


January 26, 2016


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