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Rise And Fall Of Regressive Forces

Issue 12, March 21, 2010

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Some political forces working against the people’s aspirations for building Nepal a federal democratic republic and making it prosperous have conspiring to put the Nepal on a reverse gear and pull it back to the domain of the corrupt politicians and rulers for continuing the oppression of the Nepalese people. However, current Nepalis have been well advanced than their forefathers that had quietly tolerated the merciless and brutal rule of the family rulers such the Ranas and the Shahs in the past. So, Nepalis will no more allow the corrupt politicians to continue their misrule and will punish them no matter how long it will take.

The recent attempt of the government headed by Madhav Nepal defeated in the polls at two constituencies in conjunction with the leaders of Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML) on finding an excuse to kill the peace process is to force the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) out of the country accusing it of not providing the information on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

In response to the Nepal Government’s request for confidential data on the PLA army personnel, on February 25, 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Representative Karin Landgren has told Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong that the UNMIN needs to follow the rule of law so it cannot share the information on the PLA with the government without abusing its mandate. So, she has said that the most appropriate agency for providing the government with the information it has sought from the UNMIN is the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) that has the equal representation of both the Government of Nepal and of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist).

Since then, ministers of the Madhav Government and leaders of the NC and CPN-UML have been criticizing the UNMIN for not sharing the information on the PLA and for favoring the Maoists. Their political tendency has clearly indicated that these guys have been not for following the rule of law but also even now trying to bully the rule of law driving the UNMIN out of the country.

The JMCC is responsible for resolving questions concerning implementation of the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) under which the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) monitors the compliance of both the Nepal Army and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist) following the peace accord of 2006.

On March 14, 2010, the government headed by Madhav Nepal has stated that the statement of UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe goes against the diplomatic etiquette, and has drawn the attention of the concerned agency means the UN agency to speak publicly remaining within the diplomatic etiquette according to the spokesman for the government. Mr. Pascoe has been in Nepal to sort out the controversy over the sharing of the information on the PLA.

Speaking to the reporters in Kathmandu on March 11, 2010, visiting UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe has said that the UNMIN could not share the actual number of the PLA and other information on them with the government following the understanding the government has reached with the Maoists. He has said that the UNMIN needs to follow the understanding. So, the political parties and leaders should not blame the UNMIN for their failures.

On March 12, 2010, the spokesman for the Government of Madhav Nepal has said that the integration, management and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants would be difficult if the government did not get the actual number and other details of the combatants from the UNMIN. The spokesman has also alleged that the UNMIN has refused to cooperate with the government on providing the details of the Maoist combatants. Obviously, the government wants to find an excuse to justify its unjustified existence. Clearly, the Madhav administration has not followed the consensus politics and has not attempted on completing the peace process integrating the PLA members with the Nepal Army.

Upon arrival at the Kathmandu airport from the Japan visit on March 13, 2010, NC Vice-president and Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Poudel has said that the UNMIN should provide the government with the details of the Maoist combatants living in the cantonments. Obviously, Mr. Poudel is not concerned with the UNMIN following its mandate or not. Mr. Poudel simply wants the UNMIN disregard the rule of law and provide the government with the details of the combatants. Thus, the so-called democratic leader Mr. Poudel bullies the rule of law.

At the meeting with UN Under Secretary General For Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe on March 12, 2010, Chief of Army Staff Chhatraman Singh Gurung has said that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) members need to be disassociated with the Maoist’s doctrines before joining the Nepal Army. He has also said that after the political consensus on the integration of the PLA with the Nepal Army, PLA members meeting the required qualifications could be integrated with the Nepal Army in an individual basis not en-mass.

At the meeting of the central leaders held in Kathmandu on March 13, 2010, the leaders of the UCPN-Maoist have condemned Chief of Army Staff Chhatraman Singh Gurung for telling the UN envoy Mr. Pascoe not integrating the PLA members en-mass with the Nepal Army. The Maoist leaders say that the PLA members will be integrated with the Nepal Army following the consensus politics and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. They have said that the Nepal Army also needs to honor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Currently, most of the defeated politicians have a major say at the Constituent Assembly (CA) and in the government headed by Madhav Nepal. Using the flaws in the election system, the leaders of the NC, the CPN-UML and the Madheshi political parties have appointed their defeated leaders to the CA disregarding the voters’ aspirations for appointing sincere and dedicated politicians.

So, mostly the defeated politicians have been running the current government. Prime Minister Madhav Nepal was defeated at two constituencies. His Deputy Sujata Koirala was defeated at the Morang constituency; his Defense Minister Vidhya Bhandari was defeated at one of the constituencies in Kathmandu. Out of the 44 ministers of the current government, 29 ministers are defeated politicians.

Similarly, the current CA has a large number of the defeated politicians. The most insincere leaders of the political parties have appointed the defeated politicians and leaders to the CA using the votes they have received for the sincere politicians. So, the defeated politicians have sidelined the directly elected politicians and garnered the majority of those most deceitful politicians and formed a government of the man defeated at the two constituencies.

So, both the defeated members of the CA and of the current government have no interest in writing a new constitution. They know if they write a new constitution they would need to face the voters again, and they are sure that voters would give them boots rather than votes for their dishonest activities. Consequently, they have no option other than for engaging in grabbing power by any means. These defeated politicians have formed regressive forces to put the country back to the rule of personality than the rule of law.

President, Vice-president, Prime Minister and Speaker altogether form a strong regressive force backed by the unprincipled politicians of the twenty-two political parties. So, they have not followed the rule of law rather they have bullied the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 and democratic norms and values.

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has directly written a letter to the then army chief ordering him to continue on the job overriding the decision of the Prime Minister on firing him on May 3, 2009. As a ceremonial president, Dr. Yadav could not do anything without the recommendation of the Prime Minister if he were to follow the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007. The legal case on the President not following the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 has been pending at the Supreme Court of Nepal for more than six months. If the court had given its verdict on this case, the current political deadlock would have broken.

Vice-president-elect Permananda Jha took the oath of office in Hindi from the President. However, the President did not stop him for not following the provision made in the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007 for taking the oath of the elected office. Someone took him to the Supreme Court of Nepal for not following the Interim Constitution of Nepal of 2007. The Court ruled that Mr. Jha either take the oat of office in Nepali or get suspended. He took the second option and has remained suspended until the legislature passed an amendment bill making the provision for taking the oath of office in mother languages. Mr. Jha took the oath of office in his mother language: Maithili.

Taking the advantage of the flaw in the election system, Prime Minister Madhav Nepal has successfully proved the elected political celebrities such as Former Prime Minister and NC Leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chairman of CPN-UML Jahalanath Khanal and NC Parliamentary Leader Ram Chandra Poudel incompetent for the position of Prime Minister. Mr. Nepal has been attempting on prolonging his government formed not following the democratic norms and values at any cost to the nation. He has been finding one excuse after another not to complete the peace process and not to promulgate a new constitution on time for either extending the life of the CA for another six months or for imposing an emergency rule with the backing of the deceitful leaders of the so-called twenty-two political parties representing in the CA-cum-legislature.

Speaker Subash Nemwang has been the self-made victim of the unprincipled politicians of the twenty-two political parties. As a law-practitioner, Mr. Nemwang knows that he is violating the democratic norms and values not allowing the debate over the President’s undemocratic move on directly writing a letter to the then army chief at the legislature. However, poor Nemwang has not allowed the debate over the president’s undemocratic action under the pressure of the leaders of the twenty-two political parties.

In addition, working against the Nepalese people’s aspirations for peace and political stability, the regressive political forces have been dreaming to gain the lost power back using the religious personality called Kalibaba. On the pretext of demanding reintroducing Hindu state in Nepal, Kalibaba has been the instrument for using the religion for the political purpose. This is not a new trick. Mahendra had used one of the religious characters in late 1950s for creating political dissent among the people, and then grabbing the power from the then elected government of the NC. However, current Nepalis have been far ahead in their political thinking; so, the crook and unscrupulous politicians would not be able to trick Nepalis to believe in what the religious character says.

Kalibaba has threatened to self-immolate if Nepal is not declared a Hindu state. He has performed the nine-day long fire worship called ‘maha yagya’ at the Shleshmantak forest in Kathmandu demanding return of Nepal to the Hindu state. Gyanendra Shah and his spouse visited him at the time of performing the fire worship and gave his support for restoring Nepal to a Hindu state. Mr. Shah is a former king. He might use any possible means to regain his kingship. After meeting the Kalibaba, he met with Khum Bahadur Khadka: one of the Nepali Congress leaders supporting the monarchy. Mr. Khadka has been making public statements to form an armed group of his party to fight the Young Communist League of the UCPN-Maoist.

The US Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in 2009 released by the Department of State in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 11, 2010 has stated that arbitrary arrests and detention, threats to media, extortion, and intimidation have continued in Nepal in 2009.

However, the abuse of human rights by Nepal Army, Nepal Police has continued even in 2010. For example, the Nepal Army has killed three women including a twelve-year old girl at the Bardiya National Park on the night of March 11, 2010. The women were there to cut the grasses but to cover up the blatant criminal act, the Nepal Army in a statement said that they killed three persons in an encounter. The legislative Committee on Women, Children and Social Welfare has summoned Defense Minister Vidhya Bhandari and Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Chhatraman Singh Gurung to its committee meeting on March 16, 2010 for questioning about the killing of three innocent women including a twelve-year old girl at the Bardiya National Park by the Nepal Army personnel on March 11, 2010.

This is not the first time the Nepal Army personnel have killed the innocent people and then covered up the killing. On December 14, 2005, the then Royal Nepal Army killed twelve innocent people at a shrine to Goddess Kali Devi on the Chihan Danda in Nagarkot, about 28 km east of Kathmandu. The then rebelling Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala had promised the people to take actions against the culprits but once he took over the power in 2006, Mr. Koirala forgot to do anything on this matter.

Instead of taking strong legal and administrative actions against the erring Nepal Army personnel, Prime Minister Madhav Nepal and his Defense Minister Vidhya Bhandari have promoted Toran Jung Bahadur Singh indicted for the enforced disappearance of 49 people at the Maharajgunj barracks in Kathmandu in 2003 on suspicion of being linked to the Maoists, to the Second-in-command of the Nepal Army. Similarly, Defense Minister Vidhya Bhandari has been protecting Major Niranjan Basnet indicted for the murder of a minor, not turning over him to the police for presenting him at the Kavre District Court for criminal proceedings. Both Madhav Nepal and Vidhya Bhandari represent the regressive forces, as they have been attempting on running the government without facing the voters.

In 1951 Nepal had only two percent literacy but successfully removed the despotic Rana family rule. However, the then regressive forces including the monarch reversed the political development on December 15, 1960, and imposed a no-party system called Panchayat that had lasted for thirty years. Then, the parliamentary democracy returned to Nepal in 1990 but the stakeholders of the parliamentary democracy institutionalized corruption rather than democracy paving the way for the absolute ruler to take over once again in 2005 only to meet the demise of the autocratic dynastic rule in 2006. Once again, repressive forces are attempting to put the country into a reverse gear but majority of Nepalis have been well educated in politics so these regressive forces will ultimately meet their own demise, as did the institution of monarchy in 2006.

March 17, 2010

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