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Sushil-led Governmen-46: Nepal Toward Conflict Again

January Issue 2015

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


The partisan divisions at the Constituent Assembly had reached the peak on January 20, 2015, as the members of the CA starting off fights physically. The Nepalese politics had been dysfunctional because of political leaders refusing to budge from their stand on the contentious issues on crafting a new constitution. The ruling parties NC and CPN-UML had been for bullying the opposition of the UCPN-Maoist, the Madheshi political parties, indigenous people and the ethnic groups. The opposition and the ruling parties also had been fighting on the streets: the opposition enforcing the shutdown while the ruling parties going against it. The ruling parties were determined to promulgate a new constitution with force provoking a conflict that might lead the country to an unknown destiny.


The verbal fights between the ruling parties such as NC and CPN-UML and the opposition of the UCPN-Maoist, Madheshi political parties and the associations of the ethnic and other indigenous people reached the climax on January 20, 2015 when the CA members fought at the CA session, and their cadres on the streets. The opposition cadres had fought against the cadres of the NC and CPN-UML while the opposition cadres enforcing the shutdown called for protesting against the ruling parties for bullying the opposition and trying to promulgate a new constitution without the consent of the opposition, and small groups of the ruling cadres attempting to defy the shutdown in some towns.


The CA hall had been the battleground on January 20, 2015. The combatants had been the members of the CA, and the chairs and microphones the weapons. We saw the CA Abhimanuyes (warriors) holding chairs above their heads as the real Abhimanuye: one of the main characters of Mahabharat did holding a cart wheel above his head to defend and counter attack the eight major generals of the Kaurav army on the battlefield called Kuruchhetra.


The fight between the Pandavas and Kauravas on the ground of Kuruchhetra had been against the injustice perpetrated by the Kauravas. The combat at the CA hall had been between the federalists and anti-federalists in other words between federalism and anti-federalism.


Federalism had been for freeing the repressed Nepalese from the domination. Anti-federalism had been for dominating others against their will. Federalism had been for emancipating the people from repression perpetrated by the unjust rulers over two-and-a-half centuries. Anti-federalism had been for continuing the repression set by the perpetrator of injustice and continued by his descendants. Today’s perpetrators of injustice wanted to continue with the power of the two-thirds majority in the CA.


Before the dreadful combat at the CA on January 20, 2014, the verbal warfare had been going on primarily between the so-called leaders of the CPN-UML that had forgotten to speak properly and civilly, and the opposition leaders of the UCPN-Maoist and Madheshi front.


Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli and his partner leaders of NC had been deadly against federalism. Because agreeing on federalism means sharing power with the provincial leaders. Why should they share power with others when they have the two-thirds majority in the CA? Former chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal made it clear whether the federalists liked it or not the anti-federalists had the two-thirds majority and they would go with it.


Why CPN-UML and NC leaders had been dying for the centralization of power? They had tasted the power that they could use indiscriminately. They could use the state treasury as the private property. They could loot the taxpayers’ money for their private and party purposes. They could commit any crimes with impunity, as they would be the law enforcement people that could influence the judiciary. So, perpetuating injustice and enjoying lavish life styles at the cost of the people’s blood had been their dream. They had even started off praising the perpetrator of injustice: Prithvi Narayan Shah as the unifier of the country.


If the recent Nepalese media reports were correct Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli had asked five billion rupees for continuing the Tanahu Hydropower Project. When Prime Minister Sushil Koirala asked why the energy minister had cancelled the consultant selected by the donor Asian Development Bank, Energy Minister Radha Gyawali’s reply was ‘please ask KP Oli for that matter,’ according to the local media.


Prime minister Koirala had drawn Rs 14 million from the state treasury for treating his ailment in the USA. Poor Koirala had justified it stating he had nothing except for three mobiles as his assets. Mr. Koirala had kept more than three billion rupees he had received as donations for the relief of the Nepalese suffered from the natural disaster of floods and landslide in 2014. He released only a few hundred millions to buy blankets, foods and other relief materials for the immediate relief of the sufferings of the victims but he did not care about the victims that had been homeless and landless and had been without any means of living while he had been sitting on the large purse of donations. What was he going to do with the money? He did not need to be accountable to the expenditure of the donations. So, it was self-explanatory what Mr. Koirala was going to do with that money.


Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat had claimed more than two thousands dollar for his one-day medical treatment in New York, USA while he was there for ’The World Bank’ meeting, according to the local news media. Dr Mahat also allocated Rs 55 billions for the pension to the retired State employees but he refused to allocate a few billion rupees for meeting the demands of the senior citizens in the budget of the fiscal year 2014. Rather Home Minster Bamdev Gautam sent his police force to chase away the senior citizens peacefully staging a sit-in demanding discount on public transport at the office of the Department of Transport at Thapathali in Kathmandu.


According to the news posted on on January 23, 2015, Minister of State for Commerce and Supplies Giri Bahadur KC had been involved in creating the shortage of cooking gas in Nepal. He had cooperated with the Nepalese cooking-gas dealers for selling the Nepal-bound gas in India. The selling price of cooking-gas for industrial purpose had been NRs 2,300, and for household purpose had been NRs 900 per a bottle (cylinder) of gas in India. So, the minister could make millions of rupees if not billions causing tremendous sufferings to the Nepalese consumers. This had been the reward the voters had received for giving the two-thirds majority to the NC and CPN-UML.


These were only the few highlights of the abuse of power. NC and CPN-UML leaders had been for continuing such abuse of power and for keeping the power with them at any cost. Naturally, they would fight to death against the federalists. They would continue injustice to the people.


Consequently, even today, Nepalese had been the victim of injustices. They had not have the water supply except for once or twice a week, they did not have the uninterrupted power supply, and they did not have the continuous fuel supply for vehicles, certainly recently they had been suffering from the shortage of cooking gas. All these things had been happening because the people in power had abused their authority and most of the development projects for generating power and for water supply had been delayed overrunning cost and time. Fossil fuels were often sold before entering Nepal. These things had been happening, as most of the ministers had been with the criminal mindsets. Even today, the current cabinet has many ministers with criminal background.


For over two-and-a-half centuries, the rulers did not do anything for the people. They built the military only to repress the people. They built a number of palaces for enjoying the lavish lifestyle. They did not build schools and hospitals; they did not permit the people to flourish. They convicted the people with the crimes not committed, and expropriated all the assets if they found somebody got rich or if somebody were found to be using a horse for transport. A single ride of a horse might provoke the then rulers to seize all the assets of the people. The rulers did not want to see the people becoming rich and flourishing. Today’s perpetrators of injustice have doing the same but differently. They made the development projects intended for the public welfare as the moneymaking projects for they themselves getting rich while keeping the common folks poor.


The anti-federalists had the same mindset. They did not want other people to get rich. They did not want to share the power with the people. They wanted one ruler s/he be KP Oli or Sushil Koirala, one country, one religion, one language and one people. They had regular police, armed police, and the military to do away with the unarmed people seeking for justice. They did not think that one day the oppressed people would hang them at the Tundikhel in view of the common folks.


CPN-UML leaders had been more aggressive and belligerent to the federalists while NC leaders had been sitting on the fence and watching the fight. NC guys had shown their intelligence and had not used any foul language, as did the CPN-UML leaders. NC leaders had been so genius that they anticipated both the CPN-UML and the opposition would perish while fight against each other then the NC leaders would have monopoly on the power. Is it not a wonderful dream if it is to come true?


NC leaders had undergone the injustice inflicted on them by the killer of democracy and his father the puppet king that recovered the power at the cost of the people’s blood that had been shed for tearing down the Rana regime in 1951. NC leaders including the current Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had to undergo severe hardship because of the killing of democracy by Mahendra on December 15, 1960. They had to wait three decades before getting back the democracy. However, these guys did not realize that refusing federalism meant going against democracy and giving the tonic to the secessionists and anarchists. NC leaders needed to understand that the future rebellion or people’s movement or whatever the name might be, would be targeted at them and they would be the first victims.


Nepalese needed federalism and power to the provinces to correct the current corrupt political and economic system. The political system had been for the criminal minded politicians that could kill anybody to meet their ends. Either they were in power or out of power they tried to eliminate the opposition by any means. They were not ashamed of doing anything and saying anything in public. For example, one of the current minister had said that he had spent tens of millions of rupees for getting KP Oli elected to the chairman of the CPN-UML; so, he needed to make money to compensate the expenditure, according to the local Nepalese media.


Some industrialists and businesspersons could take the money anywhere they would like to and they could be called billionaires in the foreign journals but the common folks could not take out even a few thousands foreign currency for business or for any other purpose following the laws. The law enforcement people did not take actions against the billionaires for taking money out of the country and investing in other countries breaching the law because the ministers and powerful politicians had been as unlawful as the businesspeople.


Most of the members of the CA had paid more than Rs 20 million to get slots in the CA following the proportional representation. People might like to know who received the money, certainly the concerned political party. The question is whether the persons paying Rs 20 million or more would think about the voters that had voted for the party. Certainly, they would not. So, voters would not like each party selling their precious votes for millions of rupees. Will the voters forgive the political parties for their shameful acts? They would not. Some rebellious politicians labeled the current CA as a fake. So, the current warfare in the CA hall had been the result of the faulty election system.


NC and CPN-UML leaders were to promulgate a new constitution on January 22, 2015. Such a constitution would die in the womb before it would come to implementation. Mahendra could unilaterally promulgate a new constitution in 1962, as the people were uneducated and they were weak, and were not for demanding the fundamental human rights. Majority of today’s Nepalese were educated. They knew what were the fundamental human rights. So, NC and CPN-UML could not emulate Mahendra nor could give birth to any person like him in the today’s Nepal that had been quite different from the Nepal of the 20th century.


Might have been the right for the NC and CPN-UML leaders. The ruling partners had tightened the security across the country obviously with a view to the possible protest against the forcible promulgation of a new constitution going against the will of the oppressed people that had lived under repression for over two-and-a-half centuries. They also had made a fortification called ‘chakr-byu’ around the CA for January 22, 2015 to promulgate a new constitution so that none of the modern Abhimanuyes (warriors) could infiltrate into the CA. However, they had forgotten that millions of modern warriors had been born and ready for combat against the injustice.


Despite the fortification of the CA building, and not letting the members of CA carrying mobiles and any other sharp things in the NC hall, the CA hall had been the battleground again on January 22, 2015. This time, nobody except for one took up the chairs or microphones but they peacefully objected the ruling parties attempting to start the process of promulgating a new constitution. This was really what the ruling political parties wanted.


The news posted on the on January 22, 2015 revealed that the main culprit for not building a consensus on promulgating a new constitution had been no other than Prime Minster Sushil Koirala. According to the news, Mr. Koirala never took the meeting of the four major political parties such as NC, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madheshi Front held to discuss the contentious issues of a new constitution seriously. He had been repeatedly telling the public that he was for a consensus constitution rather than promulgating a new constitution by the two-thirds majority. Mr. Koirala proved himself a liar.


Clearly, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had been not for promulgating a new constitution on January 22, 2015 on the date he had set for doing so. Mr. Koirala would need to leave his office for the CPN-UML as soon as a new constitution was promulgated, as his party had agreed upon. His interest was staying on in the power as long as possible. So, he had been an obstacle to promulgating a new constitution. His intention was to make the opposition held the CA for not promulgating a new constitution.


Chairman of CA Subhas Nemwang attended the meeting with the ruling parties such as NC and CPN-UML leaders at the Baluwatar official residence of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on January 23, 2015, according to the news on Mr. Nemwang had to be neutral to honor his position of chairman of CA but attending the meeting of the ruling leaders disgraced his office. Morally, he needed to quit the office but who would care in Nepal where only the politicians with the criminal background run the administration.


These guys certainly would not let the federalism take roots. They would fight to the finish. Thus, they had been provoking another people’s movement that would end those leaders that did not want to share the power with the people.


Prime Minister Koirala met with the ambassadors of China and India after the Indian external affairs ministry and other foreign countries including UN issued a statement stating the need for promulgating a new constitution acceptable to all the major political parties including the opposition, according to the, January 22, 2015.


However, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was serious about promulgating a new constitution with the two-thirds majority disregarding the call of the international community for a consensus constitution. Sushil Koirala might be emulating former Prime minister Girija Koirala for proclaiming Nepal a republic ignoring the call of the then international community not to do so. Sushil Koirala should know that at that time, Nepalese in general approved the proclamation of Nepal a republic. Today, Nepalese would rise against the promulgation of a new constitution with the two-thirds majority because it would deprive them of their fundamental rights to have their voice in major decision-making for their lives.


Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat also spoke to the chiefs of the diplomatic missions in Nepal on January 22, 2015, and told them that a new constitution would be promulgated building a consensus of a large majority of the political parties if not possible then of the major political parties; in case that was also not possible then they would promulgate a new constitution with the two-thirds majority. That was the perfect way of stating diplomatically that they would be promulgating a new constitution with the two-thirds majority.


On Friday evening, January 23, 2015, Prime Minster Sushil Koirala addressed the nation on the live TV to state he was determined to promulgate a new constitution with the two-thirds majority following the CA process. Chairman of CA Nemwang had been preparing to promulgate a new constitution on Sunday, January 25, 2014 bypassing the opposition. The opposition also had been preparing a strategy for making the conspiracy of the ruling parties a failure.


Prime Minster Sushil Koirala had been morally bankrupt, as he could not keep up with his own deadline for promulgating a new constitution acceptable to all parties on January 22, 2015. Chairman of CA Nemwang had lost his neutrality and had gone beyond his duty of his office meeting with the ruling parties’ leaders for formulating a strategy to promulgate a new constitution bullying the indigenous people, ethnic groups, Madheshi people and the opposition led by the UCPN-Maoist. Koirala and Nemwang had no moral rights to continue in the respective office after the failure of building a consensus on the disputed issues of a new constitution.


If the Nemwang and Koirala were to promulgate a new constitution on Sunday, January 25, 2015 without considering the concerns of the opposition, indigenous people, ethnic groups and Madheshi people, then it would mean they would be provoking direct confrontation with the opposition immediately. These NC and CPN-UML leaders had been acting like little ‘gyanendras’ that had no idea of how to manage the power they had unexpectedly got by virtue of the voters so generously voted for them but punished for their generosity.


NC and CPN-UML had the opportunity of writing their records in golden letters in the history of Nepal crafting a new constitution with a consensus, and then leading Nepal to economically, socially and politically prosperous country. However, these guys had been very smart to surpass even the most corrupt pancha leaders of the past regime in making money and running the administration discretionally immediately after taking the offices. NC and CPN-UML leaders would be blamed for taking the country to a conflict retarding the economic development if they were really producing a new constitution that would lead to confrontation, that would not be acceptable to all the people, and that would immediately provoke large protests across the country.


January 23, 2015

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