Personal tools
You are here: Home News Analysis and Views Peace And Constitution
Log in

Forgot your password?

Peace And Constitution

Issue 22, May 29, 2011

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar

Nepali Congress held a mass rally at Tundikhel in Kathmandu on Friday, May 20, 2011 with the slogan of ‘peace and constitution’ only to create an environment conducive to confrontation among the political parties. Most probably, Nepali Congress (NC) leaders understand peace differently than what it literally means. These guys have been out of power and since then they have been running as madly as possible to grab the power again. This is not the first time they have been doing so once they are out of power. They need to be in power all the time no matter whether they follow the rule of law or not. So, these two words: peace and constitution have been as abstract as possible but have been instrumental for NC leaders to grab power. However, the NC leaders have not think of the consequences of grabbing power without the people’s mandate.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement has stated, “The Interim Council of Ministers may set up National Peace and Rehabilitation Commission, Truth Revelation and Reconciliation Commission, High-level Recommendation Commission on Reengineering the State, and other mechanisms as required, and set their working procedures”.

A High-level Truth Revelation and Reconciliation Commission is for finding the truth about the perpetrators of human rights abuses, and of the crime against humanity during the armed conflict, and create an environment conducive to reconciliation in the society;

A National Peace and Rehabilitation Commission is for rehabilitating the victims of the conflict and completing the peace process and may set up mechanisms as required for making the peace campaign a success. The interim Council of Ministers will provide the setup and working procedures of the Commission following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement but nothing has happened so far.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal continues the monitoring of the provisions made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for human rights to the dislike of the NC and CPN-UML leaders.

The Interim Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and his Minister for Peace Ram Chandra Poudel did not bothered to set up anyone of the commissions envisaged by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement rather they let the perpetrators of human rights both in the Nepal Army and the Maoists’ army go with impunity. Consequently, the peace process could not take roots.

The Interim government and the Minister of Peace Poudel did not do anything to ease the lives of thousands of the victims of the Nepal Army and the Maoists’ army. As a result, thousands of victims have suffered from not receiving the compensation for their losses but the perpetrators of the human rights violence have enjoyed the promotion given by the government. Consequently, the peace process could not move forward.

In addition, the Girija government used the then Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) as the mouthpiece for speaking against not integrating the Nepal Army and Maoist’s army. The then CoAS Rukmangad Katuwal categorically rejected the idea of taking any Maoists combatants in the Nepal Army stating the ideologically indoctrinated combatants did not fit in the Nepal Army. Both the Maoists and the government spent most of the time on squabbling over what the other side had not done rather than cooperating with each other in engaging in the peace process.

When the Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist became the prime minister, the CoAS Katuwal continued to work as the mouthpiece of the NC and continued to reject the integration of the two armies. Ultimately, Mr. Katuwal became the target of the coalition government of UCPN-Maoist, CPN-UML and Madheshi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF), as Mr. Katuwal stood as an impregnable wall against the integration of the two armies.

Instead of recommending the president to take actions against the Katuwal for his indiscipline, Prime Minister Prachanda fired him and simply informed the president about it. Probably, it went against the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007, and would have been annulled if the opposition political parties and the president had taken it to the Supreme Court of Nepal but instead of following the rule of law, the so-called leaders of the political parties represented in the Constituent Assembly (CA) went to the president and urged him to save the job of the Katuwal. Mr. President without thinking twice that his action would violate the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 simply wrote a letter to Katuwal stating him to stay on in his job. That was the beginning of the constitutional crisis in Nepal, as the president instead of acting as the President of Nepal for protecting the constitution of Nepal had acted as the cadre of the NC and obeyed the order of the party president for abusing the constitution of Nepal. Prime Minister Prachanda quit the office in protest against the president’s unconstitutional action.

The peace process became the victim of the President abusing the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007. The Maoists focused their entire energy on trying to regain the power. They wanted to register the proposal for discussing the president’s unconstitutional action in the legislature-parliament but the majority of the NC and CPN-UML did not permit them to do so stating the president’s action is one hundred percent constitutional. So, the NC and CPN-UML had been not for the rule of law but the rule of thumb imposed by the majority in the parliament. Consequently, the peace process could not move during the 20-month reign of Madhav Nepal at all.

The Maoists tried various tricks to correct the mistake the president committed by abusing the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 but the majority of the NC and CPN-UML did not let it work, following the rule of the thumb rather than the rule of law under the reign of the man defeated in two constituencies. The NC leaders instead of taking the power as the second largest party in the CA followed the strategy of making the man defeated in two constituencies Madhav Nepal of the CPN-UML a new prime minister for confronting with the Maoists. Making the man rejected by the voters, a prime minister, the NC leaders had not only shamed themselves but the entire populace but they had succeeded to stop the Maoists from correcting the president’s unconstitutional action.

Mr. Madhav Nepal made Bidhya Bhandari the Defense Minister. She had been worse than Mr. Katuwal in the case of contributing to the peace process by integrating the two armies. She had rejected taking in any Maoists’ combatants in the Nepal Army totally stalling the peace process. During the 20-month reign of Madhav Nepal, not only the peace process stalled but also the writing of a new constitution.

After the resignation of the most infamous Prime Minister Madhav Nepal, the NC strategist adopted a new strategy to capture the power at any cost. So, Mr. Ram Chandra Poudel had run for the office of prime minister several times without success hoping ultimately the CPN-UML and other political parties particularly the Madheshi parties would help him to win the election. Unfortunately for Mr. Poudel, both the CPN-UML and Madheshi political parties had been looking for their chance to grab the power. The CPN-UML leaders and some others refrained from voting in the election to a new prime minister making the need for repeating the election several times without success ultimately leading to electing Chairman of CPN-UML Jahalanath Khanal to Prime Minister on February 03, 2011.

The new strategy adopted by the NC leaders again failed, and sought a new strategy. That strategy is to dissolve the CA and take the country back to the previous status making the charge made by the Maoists of NC leaders are for the status quo not for changes as aspired by the people come true. Making the 10-point demand, as a condition for extending the term of the CA is the proof of the NC leaders are for the status quo. They have already made a success toward this end and if they are successful to tear down the CA then they would be one hundred percent successful in their mission to take the country back to square one making the need for the Nepalis to launch a third people’s movement for enjoying the fundamental human rights and the rue of law, as after the end of the CA, the NC leaders would grab the power and enforce their own rule and would not follow the rule of law as we have seen in the immediate past. Consequently, the success of the NC leaders would be the defeat of the people and the martyrs that had shed so much blood for bringing the country to the current state.

Ending the term of the CA, the NC leaders could be proud of what they have done. They could be proud of taking the country to the conflict and the anarchism that results from such a conflict. This would be the second time that the NC leaders have successfully taken the country to the anarchism after the anarchism they had created leading to the takeover by the then despot Mahendra in late 1950s of the last century. They also could be proud of their so-called democratic party with a socialist ideology playing fool in the politics of Nepal and becoming the enemies of the people that have sacrificed everything for setting up the rule of law and democratic norms and values, and institutionalize democratic institutions including the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

The slogan of ‘peace and constitution’ put forward is a trap set by the NC leaders for the people making the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal a reality to force them back to the centralized and dictatorial regime. In the name of ‘peace and constitution’ these guys are killing the CA that is elected for writing and promulgating a new constitution for meeting their vested interest means they would get their properties lost to the Maoists’ cadres, they would have a monopoly on the rule of thumb and would kill all the achievements made by the people for creating an inclusive administration and for ensuring the fundamental human rights. A small group of the NC leaders would enslave not only the NC cadres but also the entire population of Nepal, as most of the leaders of the NC are the landlord and revenue collectors in the past. They would certainly go back to the previous regime even forgetting the status quo.

We have seen Kamal Thapa has been madly calling for the end of the CA and holding a referendum on the previous regime but the NC and CPN-UML leaders have been doing it quietly during the last three years of the existence of the CA and finally, they want to kill it in the name of ‘peace and constitution’. So, these guys called so-called defenders of democracy have been the real threat to the CA and then the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal than the man like Kamal Thapa that could shout but could not do anything. Kamal Thapa must be dreaming the good old days once the NC and CPN-UML kill the CA, as they could go back to the previous regime and loot the state treasury indiscriminately for killing the people that are really for setting up a Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

One thing these guys have forgotten is that the Nepalis are of not of the 1950s, not of the 1980s and not even of the 1990s but they are of the 21st century and they know what they want and what they would get from their deeds. They would not keep alive those that kill the CA. So, the killers of CA will not escape with impunity. These guys have awarded the killers of the people fighting for their rights to live with the full human dignity but the Nepalis would not let them go free with impunity for all their crimes and misdeeds. So, these guys could be happy for some time for ending the CA but that happiness would not last long. The ghost of the CA will end them, too. The slogan of ‘peace and constitution’ put forward by the NC leaders is nothing but for killing each other; first killing the CA and then the ghost of the CA killing the killers of it.

Nepalis still hope that this worst scenario of the political situation of killing each other in Nepal would not come true and the NC leaders would have a little bit of political enlightenment and would not kill the CA and follow the ‘peace and constitution’ slogan in its real meaning, and let the people live in peace and with a new constitution that will ensure the inclusive administration, fundamental human rights, rule of law, independent judiciary and free media. We don’t want to see any bloodshed in the future, we don’t want to see our siblings, sons and daughters again dying for setting the political system right. We have enough of the political movements in the past and we don’t want to repeat everything again and again. We hope that the NC leaders would understand it and forget their vested interest in the interest of the entire populace of Nepal.

May 27, 2011

Document Actions