Saturday, April 30, 2005

This Is Huge: Emergency Over

This brings the king in the credibility zone. This shows he is at least trying to go by the constitution. This is remarkable.

This is a smart move. This now allows India to resume some military aid. And because he went as per the letter of the constitution, it does not look like he caved in to foreign pressure.

This is not exactly democracy back on track. But now the press is free. And political parties can openly organize.

Now the Maoists have no reason not to come forward for talks.

In The News

Friday, April 29, 2005

Changing Gears

Hi friends,

The arrest of Gagan Thapa and other students at 3:00 in the morning from their house has disturbed me very much. The police have also confiscated the camera of Ajay Shivakoti, parts of whose footage we have used in the andolan jaari chha.. Ajay is a COCAP volunteer.

All these people are very close to me, personally and in the pro-democracy movement. How can we help them? If Gyanendra is allowed to have his way, Gagan will be the first person he'l want to rot insiode prison.

I have posted an appeal at insn. Please visit it and start doing something.


Dinesh, April 26

Gagan Thapa's arrest has to be marked as a major turning point. The Monazis, formerly known as Monarchists, arrested a score of other student leaders around the same time. They destroyed a few cameras. Masked policemen in civilian clothes stormed the office of the largest party in the country.

These came around the hoax "April 25 11 AM" tentative date and time for the beginning of a massive protest, something I had alerted Gagan Thapa about over email a few weeks back. I am beginning to wonder if elements of the regime have been reading this blog.

It is important to maintain perspective and not exaggerate one's standing or contribution. I am just a blogger with some participation in some offline activities. I have kept it all transparent at this blog itself. My attempt all along has been to contribute to creating a democratic platform and becoming a small part of it.

But Gagan Thapa's arrest has had reverberations all the way to the Dinesh Prasain US Speaking Tour. And there is much concern. What are our options? What can we do? Emails have been floating around.

I would like to suggest team members and others study these two events:
  1. French Revolution Of 1789
  2. Orange Revolution, Ukraine 2004
I would like to propose we design a non-violent version of the French revolution. The new generation will have to step up to the plate. It is possible to design a takeover by the people in their 20s and 30s.

So far my attempt has been to work with the three players, the Monazis, the Maoists and the political parties. Maybe it is time to decide those three are the reason why Nepal is where it is today. Maybe we should float a new political party from scratch. That might be the quicker way to get to where we want to go.

Janata Dal. It will operate on the principle of total, transparent democracy.

The goal is to install this constitution by taking over the country through massive protests. We need to beat the regime through superior organization. I can see me being the Movie Director, and Dinesh as the lead Actor. But for this I need Dinesh to agree. It is at this blog that he himself will be seeing this proposal for the first time. Yes, basically the idea is that he will become Prime Minister. We will take the lead. Other parties that come along will get berths in the interim adminstration that will put the constitution to a referendum within two months of taking over.

His tour has been going on very well. It has exceeded expectations.

I would like to go into the details later on. I just wanted to present the outline here. Let me know what you all think. If we decide to do it, it will help that I expect to have moved to New York City by the end of June, or early July should I decide to attend the ANA convention in Dallas where I have been invited to hold a discussion on this topic.

After the move, I will be in a position to engage in some major fund-raising, in both the private and the public sectors, with organizations like the Open Society Institute and the State Department. And I will be thinking up strategy all along. And I am not worried about the Maoists fishing in the murky waters. I have very good ideas about snuffing out any such possibility.

Dinesh, give me organization, and I will give you full democracy! I guess this is a poor imitation of the famous Subhash Chandra Bose line, Tum Mujhe Khoon Do, Main Tumhe Ajadee Doonga.

First Gear: If the regime treats non-violent demonstrators with human respect, they will do fine after we take over. The king will retain all his property. There will be no mass purge of the army top brass, only some downsizing and reorganization.

Second Gear: If there is abuse of demonstrators, most of the king's property will get nationalized. A commission will investigate and punish key people in the police and the army who gave the orders for the abuse.

Third Gear: The king gets sent into exile if the demonstrators are put through cruelty.

I call this approach non-violent militancy. You stay non-violent. But within that limit you make the most of all political tools available, like sophisticated organization, massive use of communications technology, and the state apparatus, once taking over. The approach takes the best of Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose.

In The News
  • Nepal's Ex-PM Defies Corruption Panel Monsters and Critics, UK ...... Deuba was taken from his home Wednesday by about 50 police officers
  • Nepal emergency expires Saturday - what will king do next?:- Webindia123 ..... the king can lift emergency for a short period, even a day, and re-impose it on his own....... "There is no provision for him to head the government. Emergency can be imposed only on the recommendation of the prime minister who then has to get it endorsed by parliament. But the king imposed emergency after dismissing the prime minister." ....... A lawyer Thursday filed a second petition, asking for the convening of the upper house to decide on emergency. However, the court rejected the petition, saying the state of emergency had yet not run its course.
  • UN appoints Human Rights Commisioner for Nepal Press Trust of India Ian Martin .... with 30 years experience in the field of human rights, also served as the Secretary General of Amnesty International from 1986 to 1992 and Human Rights director of the UN in Haiti in 1993-95. He is presently the Vice-president of the New York based human rights NGO, the International Centre for Transitional Justice...... "breaking the cycle of serious and systematic abuses will be the first essential step toward achieving peace and reconciliation in Nepal."
  • Rebels lift Nepal school threat BBC News, UK ..... the rebel change of tack followed appeals from the international community and human rights groups......
  • Delhi bares Nepal fangs Calcutta Telegraph India, miffed at King Gyanendra re-arresting former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, today hinted at the “leverages” it has against Nepal but has not used so far....... the king had assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of “unwinding” the emergency....... The CPM and other Left parties, who have 63 MPs and whose support is crucial for the United Progressive Alliancea regime in Kathmandu that “is going berserk”......
    government’s survival, have strongly opposed the possible resumption of arms supply to Nepal.......
  • Restore democracy now, Annan urges Nepal Hindu, India
  • UN sending Human Rights team to Nepal: Annan Hindustan Times "as UN, we discourage transfer of arms" to any conflict area .....
  • Nepal troops in Sudan as vanguard for UN force Radio Australia, Australia A small group of Nepalese troops has been deployed in Sudan -- the first contingent of what's expected to be a 10-thousand strong UN peacekeeping mission.
  • Nepal told to focus on reforms to benefit from WTO Gorkhapatra, Nepal the WTO had been providing technical assistance to the developing nations to train their people so that they have a better understanding of the WTO agreements and negotiations....... the WTO chief called on the Nepalese government to speed up the reform process so that it can be better equipped to tackle the challenges posed following its entrance into the world trade regime. .... “Nepal must focus on reforms, facilitate and include the private sector in trade and development activities, besides strengthening its infrastructure,” Dr. Panitchpakdi told The Rising Nepal.
  • MIDDLE: A Plan for Gyan Times of India, India Last week, India agreed to lift an arms embargo to Kathmandu. Gleeful at the prospect of more guns, the king threw the leaders of all parties in jail. ...... In Kashmir, 500,000 Indian soldiers and paramilitary have grappled with militants for 16 years. Even today, there are an estimated 2,000 insurgents at work there. The king has about 150,000 troops trying to control about 2,000 active Maoist fighters and probably 10 times that many sleepers who carry out stealth attacks...... Gyanendra ..lacks any democratic instincts whatso-ever ....... Here's his economics, or what passes for that: Export more Nepalese workers to boost remittances, export hydro-electricity to India and boost tourism. Since February, tourist arrivals are rec-koned to have fallen about 50%; foreign aid, which funds approximately 70% of development spending has crashed as donors shrink from his regime; garment exports are down about 40% and Kath- mandu's official projections say that the economy might grow a measly 3% this year, compared to 7% for neighbouring Bhutan. ....... Nepal is in the clutches of a bumbling and dangerous despot. It is futile to expect Gyanendra to restore democracy, the rule of law and institutions.
  • Nepalese troops, helicopters track Maoist rebels: Officer Zee News Over 1,400 army security forces are being mobilized in Rolpa and are narrowing the circle on the Maoists in the course of the offensive operation ....
  • Nepal Situation: Briefing influential ones in the US United We Blog, Nepal Indira Karki, Bina Baidya, Puru Subedi, Dr. Shyam Karki, Congressman James Walsh, Dr. Maheswor Baidya, Suman Timsina and Anand Bista....... Walsh recently sent a letter to the King of Nepal signed by 11 fellow congressmen..... team met officials from the offices of three Senators: Senator Paul (MD), Senator Rick Santorum (PA), and Senator Arlen Specter (PA)...... Senator Santorum has recently written a strong letter to Secretary Rice asking to look into military aid ..... a Peace rally planned by Nepali Diaspora on May 15th, 2005 in Washington, DC .....
  • Nepal King Returns Home United We Blog, Nepal stopping a vibrant democratic process ..... I am talking about these students (pic), who are standing on the roadside, in a rainy and cold day, to welcome the monarch home. ..... We have a tradition of vacating the road for very very important personalities to ensure their safe and hitch less travel. ...... Are those public just meaningless creatures wandering around the footpath? Does that road solely belong to those VVIPs? ...... people were stranded and schoolgirls soaked, raindrops trickling from their hair and they were shivering from sudden cold ..... So what is the way-out so that both side win. My suggestion is: use helicopter. Take VVIPs directly from the international airport to their destination (in this case the royal palace)...... no students have get soaked in a cold evening sparing their time that they could have used by studying and doing homework....... I sometimes wonder the King learned much from masoists or masoists learned from nepal’s kings or both of these terrorists learned from somebody else. they use the same technique: indoctrinate school-kids from every possible way.
  • Indian couple held in Nepal for alleged conversions:- Webindia123, India
  • Nepal’s Entry Into WTO Getting Nowhere Gorkhapatra, Nepal Neither has the government made any attempt to fulfill its commitment in the WTO, nor have the private sectors developed their confidence. The process of introducing and amending more than 37 laws has been disturbed due to political instability ..... not a single step seems to have been taken to bolster the country’s trade and economy at the government level. .... The overall trend of foreign direct investment is not favourable. ....... “Instead of reaping opportunities, Nepal’s entry into the WTO has swelled up its liabilities.”
  • Maoists Attack Leave 15 Injured In Nepal SouthAsia Network, Asia Maoist rebels attacked civilians with knives, stones and iron rods in northern Nepal leaving 15 people injured including a two-year-old child.
  • Bandung II: Long on Rhetoric, Short on Reality Navhind Times, India Bandung II was primarily an extravaganza. It was long on rhetoric and short on reality..... platitudes and cliches are the lifeblood of international diplomacy .... the solemn talk about a ‘New Asia Africa Strategic Partnership’ (NAASP) makes little sense ..... Japan’s refusal to face up to its history of deplorable tyranny on its neighbours before and during the World War II..... Its recent decision to join the United States in promising to defend Taiwan from any invasion has infuriated the Chinese .... in this age of globalisation, every country is trying to make a deal with the dominant power, the US, to protect its own interests ...... the three main objectives of first Bandung Conference — end of colonialism, end of the scourge of apartheid, and the end of the Cold War — were achieved by 1990. But, sadly, the organisers of the 1955 Bandung Conference and those that had signed its 10-point declaration had nothing to do with this...... the recommendation that if a country cannot or does not protect the human rights of its citizens, the international community should have a right to intervene...... what took place on the sidelines of the Bandung celebrations was more important than the main proceedings ...... reports that the Royal Nepal Army was running dangerously short of essential wherewithal to take on the Maoists who seem rather well supplied ..... there is nothing to show yet that China wants to fish in Nepal’s troubled waters....
  • Need Of The Hour: People’s Rule Gorkhapatra, Nepal. unnecessary interferences from others in the internal affairs .... post-1990’s borrowed model of multiparty democracy..... Nepal needs compatible democratic practice that can address the multi dimensional Nepalese circumstances. ........ we had one of the World’s best and the most liberal democratic constitutions ...... the ‘rule by the people, for the people and to the people’ .... after dissolving the House of Representatives with written consensus amongst all political parties, they continued the drama in the street of Kathmandu and other district headquarters in the name of anti-regression campaign ...... Constitutional provisions are not the prerogative of the political parties and their cadres alone. Every Nepali citizen is equal. We have seen many borrowed ‘Ideologies and Isms.’ Why not make fresh start with ‘Nepalism’?
  • Nepalese Reality Why It Is Misunderstood Gorkhapatra Many tourists, despite their strong desire to visit Nepal, are forced to cancel their trip as various countries have issued security alerts which, however, are not based on the actual situation of Nepal. Those who managed to visit Nepal have returned home with first-hand positive impression..... Some of them have even gone to an extreme by asking economic blockade against Nepal....... It is the “Information Age.” Whosoever uses this tool effectively certainly gets the upper-hand...... All major parties have been in power since the Maoists movement started. But they all failed miserably. If they are criticizing the Royal move, it is just for the sake of doing so. When the people of Nepal are willing to sacrifice themselves in the war against terrorism, why do the political parties shy from supporting the King on this noble cause? ....... Even for Maoists, this could be the right time for them to safe land
  • People Regaining Confidence Gorkhapatra Suspicion, fear and deceit are pervasive. This all happened due to short-sightedness and inaction of the political parties who governed the country after 1991....... The Sher Bahadur Deuba government, instead of finding political solution within the House of Representatives, recommended the dissolution of the House and asked for the fresh mandate of the people. The government failed to hold the election as well as failed to hold dialogue with the insurgents..... The local elected bodies were dismissed ..... Instead of working together with the King, parties preferred to stage protest in the street, further weakening the democratic values........ Those who have shown doubt over the Royal action have little knowledge about the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal and the strong bonds between the King and the people. According to the Constitution, House of Representatives, National Assembly and His Majesty jointly constitute the Parliament........
  • Peace & Democracy The Ultimate Goal Gorkhapatra Whenever there is anarchy in the nation, monarchy comes in the forefront to deal with it and brings peace. As the monarchy restores peace, the nation and the people of Nepal gradually aspire for democracy and bring it. In case, if this restored democracy fails and turns into anarchy, then again the monarchy comes into the picture. ....... First two cycles of this model were tried between 1951-1961 and 1990-2005. .... the third cycle has begun. It is hard to say how many of these cycles would it take before we have a vibrant democracy in Nepal......... Even the ruling and opposition agreed on benefits such as vehicle import tax exemption, salary and allowances for their legislators........ purchasing votes by cash, rice, clothes and false assurances ..... In fear of terrorism their activities were confined in urban areas ...... When hundreds of their party workers were killed in villages they could do nothing except showing crocodile tears and a formality of condolence from the safe urban centres....... Even professors, lawyers, doctors and engineers joined the protest programmes of different political parties. Students behaved like the fighters of the political party ....... Our security forces were in the barracks for hundreds of years. ...... Even the US and UK, the prophets of democracy, while they invaded Iraq have not complied a hundred per cent human rights as we hear frequently in the media. But similar nations are threatening of aid sanctions to Nepal on these impractical grounds......
  • Don’t link corruption with politics: Dhakal Gorkhapatra, Nepal Minister Dhakal said the arrest of former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and former minister Prakash Man Singh had been lawfully carried out....... Minister Dhakal recalled the warning given by the donor nations at the donor’s meeting for Nepal held in 2002 that they would discontinue financial assistance if Nepalese authorities did not curb corruption....... He said that nobody had the right to undermine and make fun of the rule of law when a commission issues summons ..... the Royal Proclamation of February 1 was made under Article 127 of the Constitution of Nepal 1990 and that a state of emergency had been declared under Article 115 (7). ...... Dhakal expressed regrets over the media hype related to the police raid carried out at the CPN (UML) party office a few days back. ...... regrets over the exaggeration of a simple incident
  • Deuba put under 7-day police custody Press Trust of India, India was arrested from his house in a pre-dawn raid
  • India blinks, but Gyanendra doesn't ANALYSIS / NEPAL Bangkok Post, Thailand Not only did Kathmandu not make public any roadmap that it promised in Jakarta, it went a step back and launched a fresh offensive on political parties, leaving India red-faced. This perhaps forced New Delhi to do another u-turn.......
  • Nepal Confronts Growing Insurgency The Washington Diplomat Nepalese Ambassador Kedar Shrestha has a message for the international community: “You will have to bear with us.” ...... “It’s not as if tanks rolled into a functioning parliament and put everybody under house arrest or started killing people” ...... Once we have peace, then we can talk about other things, like democracy and human rights....... he has pledged to hold elections within three years. So far, however, no clear roadmap for reaching that goal has been annunciated. What is clear is that Nepal’s Maoist insurgency, launched in 1996, is getting more powerful...... Camp said. “The Maoists have made clear their intention to impose a one-party ‘people’s republic,’ collectivize agriculture, ‘re-educate’ class enemies, and export their revolution to neighboring states. The humanitarian ramifications of such a regime would be immense, reminiscent of the nightmare brought upon Cambodia by Pol Pot.” ...... an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 “hardcore” rebels, plus about 12,000 to 15,000 “militia” ...... “They hit and run,” he says. “They have this advantage of surprise and assimilation. They surprise you in the dark of the night and then they disappear and immediately mix in with the common people. They are just not there.” ....... rebels attacked with rocket launchers and mortars .... “It’s not likely that they’ll seize power, but their influence could grow if we do not address this problem squarely.” ...... “Poverty alleviation has been one of the major thrusts of our economic planning. We want to give the basic necessities of life, like food and shelter, education, health, transportation. To do all of that, we need peace first.” ...... U.S. security aid to Nepal this fiscal year is about $2 million—one-twentieth the amount the United States gives to the country in economic and social aid...... Shrestha says such steps would prove counterproductive, although they won’t cripple Nepal’s armed forces. ...... Deuba and Girija Prasad Koirala, under house arrest .. the move was ordered to prevent an outburst of political violence in the streets. “It was also for their own safety,” he adds. “When violence starts, you never know how it will end up.” ........ Shrestha says most are released shortly after their arrest. “It’s big news after we arrest them, but when we release them after a couple of hours or a couple of days, the news doesn’t get that much publicity.” ....... “Sometimes there are exaggerations in the press [that] are not entirely helpful.” The ambassador says controls have been greatly relaxed since the days immediately following Feb. 1 and that the media is now “lively and critical of the government.” ...... “[Supportive] groups are not well organized, so you do not hear their voices as much as you hear the opposition’s voice ....... if the issue wasn’t consuming most of his energy now, his priorities would be increasing trade between Nepal and the United States, and bringing more U.S. investment and tourists to Nepal. ......
  • Nepal King Impressed By Indian Prime Minister United We Blog we can see king Gyanendra is watched by his son Crown Prince Paras as he addresses media representatives at Tribhuvan International Airport ...... “Nepal is ready to be transit point for both the neighboring countries.” .... Look he is talking to media, a rare act by a Nepali monarch. ..... So, he is no different than a political leader......

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Gagan Thapa Arrested, Deuba Re-Arrested

This gives me the impression the emergency will not be lifted at the end of April. The king is only tightening his noose. He is nowhere close to changing course. Plus, the guy ends up saying the most ridiculous things in his interviews.

From: Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba []
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:40 AM
Subject: 2.30 am Arrest of Sher Bahadur Deuba

Dear all,

I am Arzu Rana Deuba, wife of former Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon.Sher
Bahadur Deuba of Nepal - I wish to inform all that my husband was arrested
an hour ago at 2.30 am by Nepal Police at the command of the so-called
"royal commission against corruption" on trumped up charges which does not
hold water as has been already re-iterated by the Asian Development Bank
in the Kathmandu Post and Kantipur broadsheets (these two are the dailies
in largest circulation in Nepal).

The very fact of his surreptious arrest under the cover of darkness with 5
truck loads of police in uniform and plainclothes is testimony to the fact
of my husband's innocence and the roayl government's guilt accussing a
honourable and upright man with trumped up charges. As a politician and
Prime Minister of Nepal my husband and a senior minister in his cabinet
Hon. Prakash Man Singh have refused to recognise the royal commission as
it does not have any constitutional basis and is thus an illegal
entity.The police came after midnight at 12.30 am, cut off our power
supply and our phone lines. After alteractions with them for one and a
half hour they forced entry into our residence - they threatened personal
violence to me and my son - who is 9 years of age and my father in-law who
is 90 years old. They have taken away my husband to an unkown location.
They told us that he is being taken to the royal commission premises which
does not open at night. It is against all laws to arrest anybody under the
cover of darkness - except perhaps in a case related to murder. Nepali law
also does not allow arrest after hours.

The royal commission is being used by the king for personal vendetta and
to discredit political leaders. My husband and his friends who are honest
and upright and more importantly popular in the country are being
especially targeted. The main strategy is to dicredit democratic system
and political leaders to establish a dictatorial authoritarian state.

As upstanding global citizens with love for freedom, human rights and
democracy, I wish to appeal to you all to spread the word of this
injustice, illegal and dastardly action as well as lobby with your
political representatives and media for restoration of democracy and human
rights in Nepal and condemnation of the dictatorial false king who is
trying to take our country back to the dark ages.


Arzu Deuba
I, my son and my father-in-law strongly protest this action. The
desperation of the royal commission in trying to prove their
'constituionality' can not be more desperate or low.

As friends and aquaintances of my husband and myself - I request you all
to lobby your country's ambassador to protest this sly arrest of a
well-known political figure.



In The News
  • Nepal wait and watch Calcutta Telegraph, India Left leaders who met Singh yesterday have made it clear that apart from lifting the emergency, Gyanendra has to release all political prisoners, allow them to function independently and remove the censorship on the Nepalese media....... the government emphasised that “the first consignment of arms which was in the pipeline” would go through very soon.
  • Doubts over early resumption of Indian military aid to Nepal Asian Tribune Prime Minister’s office has clarified that no such promise was held out to the King and that a promise to consider his request was only made..... the king said the aid resumption was promised.
  • Nepal's key players to watch India on arms supply:- Webindia123 masked security men arrested a student leader from a condolence meeting, intimidated members and vandalised our party office...... "I would rather wait and see what happens instead of believing what I see in the press," said British Ambassador Keith George Bloomfield.
  • Attack on Nepal Communist party office flayed Hindu, India the attack on the headquarters of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) by police and security personnel ......the attack took place immediately after the funeral of Sadhana Adhikari, a prominent communist and wife of the former Prime Minister, Manmohan Adhikari. The body was kept in the party office for the people to pay homage.
  • The King has turned Nepal into police state: CPI(M) Deepika
  • Sacked Nepal PM arrested for graft Rediff, India Armed policemen arrived at Deuba's residence in Budhanilkantha, 10 km from Kathmandu, shortly after 2am, cut off telephone and electricity lines and forcefully took him into custody ..... the whereabouts of the senior leader were not known after the arrest
  • Nepal continues crackdown on poitical leaders Deccan Herald, India Within days of King Gyanendra avowing “total and unflinching” support to multi-party democracy, human rights and rule of law at the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta, security forces in Nepal continued arrests on political leaders and ransacked the office of the largest communist party ...... The trio was arrested by security personnel in plainclothes from Adhikari’s residence without any warrant. The arrests come a day after masked security personnel stormed the office of the largest communist party ...... Nepal Congress party has initiated action against one of its Central Working Committee members, father of Indian film star Manisha Koirala, for allegedly supporting the February 1 royal coup.
  • Top Nepal student leader arrested BBC News one of the country's most wanted men ..... Gagan Thapa, a firebrand ......locked up under an act which allows 90 days detention without trial ...... Kathmandu's deputy police chief said that the authorities had been looking for Mr Thapa since King Gyanendra declared an emergency in February...... student leaders had evaded arrest by moving from place to place, sometimes emerging to address protest meeting ...... masked police threatened party members with revolvers, smashed in a toilet door and beat up the person inside while hunting for party youth leaders....... Police headquarters deny all the claims.
  • Gyanendra reneges on Jakarta promise The Statesman
  • Russian envoy urges world community to support Nepal Gorkhapatra, Nepal “The present political state of Nepal could be referred to as a transitional phase to move towards a democratic set up that would be appropriate in the Nepalese context” ..... Valentin I. Soldatenkov, counsellor at the Russian Embassy in Nepal presented the global scenario of terrorism with particular reference to Chechnya.
  • Mood of Nepalese people now against terrorism, says HM Gorkhapatra His Majesty had also said that Nepal condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and we call for a resolute international action plan against terrorism in every nook and corner of the globe. ..... relocating the zonal headquarters ...... The headquarters have mostly been relocated from the lower regions to areas above the Mahendra Highway. ..... Reacting to a comment by a media person that certain regulations should be implemented to make the media more responsible and accountable, His Majesty opined that the state should give opportunities to all for the sector to develop further...... no person should be afraid to admit his or her mistakes. Trying to act like you know something when you actually know nothing about it could be more damaging, His Majesty said...... His Majesty said that he found Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh very statesman like. ...... there is nothing that has been taken away to be restored, the need is to put in more energy to the system that already exists ..... It was no surprise that both the convention hall and the media centre were attentive and silent when His Majesty addressed the Summit. The foreign journalists, after His Majesty spoke, were all praise for the Royal Address....... His Majesty said that while he agreed with their view that constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy were the two pillars of a system, still other pillars were also necessary to construct a house. According to the design of the house there could be four pillars, six pillars or even more if needed, His Majesty said....... In a serious tone, His Majesty also reminded the media people that the only truth was that a person would die after being born. But in between, we must have a purpose to do something and we must do something for our country.
  • Nepal forced India to restore military aid India Monitor, UK It was also brought home to the policymakers in New Delhi that King Gyanendra was “here to stay” ..... Nepal is now expected to join Pakistan in lobbying for China’s inclusion in Saarc
  • Prominent Student Leader's Arrest Could Galvanise Anti-King ... Inter Press Service (subscription) Gagan Kumar Thapa, a 28 year-old charismatic Nepali student leader at the forefront of Nepal's pro-democracy protests ...... Charged with sedition for shouting republican slogans and held in prison for more than two weeks by King Gyanendra's government in late 2003, Thapa also had the bad luck of being fired from his position as general secretary of one of the biggest students union in Nepal by none other than his party elders....... His crime: vocally pushing for a republican line when the Nepali Congress was still trying to reconcile with King Gyanendra during the heady protests in summer 2004...... In the wee morning hours, jeep-loads of police surrounded the tiny house at the Sorhakhutte neigbourhood in the heart of Kathmandu, a house that had served as his hiding place after Gyanendra seized power ..... now imprisoned at a police station barely 450 meters from the Royal Palace..... Thapa is widely known across Nepal and commands a solid following among the youth of the Nepali Congress party. Even rivals from opposing parties acknowledge his popular appeal...... Minutes after his arrest became public through a secret grape vine, human rights networks kicked into high gear in an effort to get the news out....... ''We fear that he could be disappeared just like so many others'' ..... That is a valid fear...... Because of his organizational skills, unrelenting demand for a republic and charismatic speeches, which often held crowds enthralled, he was high on the list of politicians and students wanted by the royal regime....... Thapa went underground. A frustrated regime harassed his family members and cut of the phone lines in his house, all in an attempt to coerce them into giving Thapa's whereabouts. None of this worked. ....... From his safe hiding place, Thapa regularly put out press releases and statements calling for the international community's support in the fight for the restoration of democracy. ........ "There is no solution to the present political crisis in Nepal without the involvement of the democratic-progressive forces, that represent well over 90 percent of the Nepali people...There are just too many people in Nepal who are neither royalists nor with the Maoists.'' ...... ''To deny their existence, and to imagine a political solution without their decisive role, merely because they do not carry guns, and believe in peaceful politics, is utter foolishness and arrogance' ..... ''The king has repeatedly shown that he wants to use the pretext of the Maoist threat to usurp power for himself; he has no intention of resolving the crisis. It is high time that the Maoists and the international community realize this'' ..... ''If the king believes that even in the 21st century, Nepal is his private property, that he can rule through intimidation and terror, that he can hold the country hostage for his raw greed for power and wealth; that he has the authority to silence dissent and to deny the inalienable and universal human rights of the sovereign citizens, then we the people of Nepal have every right to trash this king in the dustbin of history''..... any physical harm to him will act as a trigger for more intense protests against the regime
  • Nepal needs new leadership, not the failed one United We Blog, Nepal In a network of email communication, several views regarding Sujata, her image and her visit are popping up...... Those who want good for Nepal shouldn’t be excited about shouldering that failed leadership. Giving Sujata unnecessary priority is nothing less than shouldering her....... Look at Gagan Thapa. He remained inside the country, mobilized cadres against the royal takeover...... Party should formally decide and assign central level leader for such mission with clear objective: where to go, whom to meet and what to talk.
  • Student leader arrested in Nepal United We Blog
  • Top student leader is arrested in Nepal Times of India, India
  • Nepalese troops, helicopters track Maoist rebels: Officer Zee News Ground troops backed by helicopters are closing in on Maoist rebels in the western jungle areas of Nepal in the fifth day of an offensive to claim control of the countryside ..... Troops combed the jungles in the Rolpa .... "Over 1,400 army security forces are being mobilized in Rolpa and are narrowing the circle on the Maoists .....
  • Authorities in Nepal arrest ex-PM Deuba United We Blog, Nepal police banned traveling Budhanilakantha area two hours prior to the arrest. Sources have told us that Deuba has been kept in Police Training Center in Maharaganj...... Commission wants to interrogate Deuba on his alleged involvement in corruption of Melamchi Drinking Water Project and Prime Minister Relief Fund...... Many people have expressed their doubt over that much power given to same authority that can investigate and decide on it’s own....... Correspondents waited whole day yesterday expecting arrest in Deuba residence. They did same the day before yesterday too.......
  • Update On Gagan Thapa's Arrest INSN I then parted the police station saying, “remember, if anything happens to these guys, it’ll be out all over the world and you guys will face the heat.” He smiled, shook my hands, and said, “we take orders from above. That’s where you should go.”
  • Nepal , A Failing Strategy INSN .... the Royal coup on 1 February 2005 by his son, King Gyanendra, has once again taken Nepal back to the days of absolute monarchy for political activism is severely restricted ...... Strong condemnation of the coup within and outside the country has done little to influence the regime’s policies ..... most of the present regime’s policy assumptions are flawed and, consequently, point towards a continued future of violence and conflict ...... Politically, Nepal has never been as polarized as it is now ...... the traditional ruling elite and the business and industrial lobby support the King’s actions and point to the relative quiet of Kathmandu streets ...... Only 5 per cent supported a Royal dictatorship ...... flawed thinking and a serious mis-reading of conditions prior to February 1 ...... Attempts by the parties to start a 1990-style People’s Movement have consequently yielded no results...... the campaign against democratic politicians through selective use of the Royal Corruption Control Commission ..... a vindictive approach towards political parties and civil society ...... reviving Panchayat era politicians and institutions ..... What Nepal is witnessing today is the gradual dismantling of democratic institutions in favour of a Panchayat-style system. .... Ironically, King Gyanendra could prove to be the biggest catalyst for this rejuvenation of the parties.....
  • Release Gagan .... INSN the systematic targeting of the pro-democracy students by this dictatorial regime of Gyanendra Shah ..... police seized today the video camera of Mr. Ajay Shivakoti, a journalist and human rights defender. Ajay is a television journalist with Image Metro TV Channel, a district committee member of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists Lalitpur district, and a long-time volunteer with Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP) .....
  • Gyanendra's Handshake With Manmohan Singh INSN Emboldened by this, Gyanendra is reverting to his February 1-10 frame of mind..... Some 30 plain clothed men, calling themselves policemen, entered the CPN (UML) Office ..... carrying a list of ten persons to arrest ..... Jhala Nath Khanal, now acting General Secretary of UML, Surendra Pande, Gokarna Bista, Khim Lal Bhattarai, Yogesh Bhattarai and Rabindra Adhikari ..... particularly trying to hunt down Yogesh and Khim Lal. Yogesh was one a few youth leaders to collect some 500’000 signatures against the misdeeds of Parash Shah, now Crown Prince, in the aftermath of his killing of singer Pravin Gurung some five years back. The signatures were then handed to late King Birendra urging him to take stern action against Parash...... They kicked open a toilet being used by Jhapat Rawal, a youth activist, but not in the list. He was kicked and punched while in the toilet, and was threatened with throwing off the window from the four-storey building. Jhapat was suspected as Khim Lal, one of the two in the hit list, and was made to confess. He repeatedly said that he was not the person they were hunting down, but no one heard his voice..... Mr Shakya warned them if they did not leave the building, it would invite repercussions with serious and far-reaching consequences they had not thought of...... he is not going to give way to democratic order and those who voice for democracy and speak of freedoms are not safe at all. .....raises a serious question about the ‘longest democracy’ itself. Is it so weak to be swayed by a tricky dictator? ..... the situation in Nepal is going from bad to worse each passing day after February One, there is no room for thinking towards relaxing the sanction on arms supply. At this juncture, such a decision will not only be wrong but criminal.

Monday, April 25, 2005

India's U-Turn: Nuanced As Predicted

The news today is clearer on that. But the king will do himself a big favor by letting the emergency expire at the end of April. Arms supplies might resume after that, although starting in a trickle.

On another note, the fall of the Maoists' "capital" Thawang is major news.

And Sujata Koirala is in New York City. I got informed earlier today over email. Kind of coincides with the Dinesh Prasain tour. I sent out this email to the mailing list I am part of:

Sujata Koriola should be extended all help possible
Thank you ____ for the key info.

I got to interview her over the phone for my blog.

The idea is of a Common Minimum Program. And she is
very much part of it: democracy and human rights.

It might not be a great idea, technically speaking, to
mix the Dinesh Prasain tour with hers, but people in
the same network should be individually requested to
extend her all help possible.

Plus since there is a strong feeling that we should
keep Dinesh long after May 6, it would be possible to
turn that phase of his stay into something more
political. And more integration would be possible. To
those of you who do not know, Dinesh has a family
relationship with the Nepali Congress. His father has
been part of it for decades. So Dinesh, in his
personal capacity, might feel very comfortable doing

Koirala can get more media attention, as well as
attention in DC on Capitol Hill due to her last name,
and we should cash in on that.

At this difficult time for the country, when Girija
Koirala personifies the struggle, as his close
confidante and voice in the global arena, we should
extend Sujata all help we can. She has been one of the
top 5 leaders in exile. And Girija Koirala has
repeatedly asked her to stay out of Nepal still: that
is his reading of the ground situation in Nepal. And
leaders inside Nepal are on the cusp of organizing
some major street protests. We should move in tandem
with that.

And also in the name of supporting aspiring women

Plus, she is articulate and media savvy. That has been
my personal observation.

P.S. I am copying this mail to her.

>>--- _________
>> > Hey all,
>> >
>> > I just got an email from Sujata Koriola via a
>> > friend. She is in NYC and
>> > would like help/contacts to arrange meetings in
>> > and D.C.

There are unconfirmed reports Gagan Thapa might have been arrested. The regime is not doing
itself much good by actions like this one: "... around–2.30 a.m. Nepal time .. arrested them ....
whereabouts are not known ..... security people have been going through all of their personal
documents including books and articles .... Yesterday, Keshav Singh, national president of
Student Union and Sanu Shrestha, District President of Nepal Student Union, were
by plain clothes security personnel. Their whereabouts are also unknown."
In The News
  • Coming Anarchy In Nepal We’re talking about illiterate peasants with no education adhering to a blind devotion to violent insurgency. They slaughter teachers and destroy schools, bomb bridges and roads, abduct children into their army, terrorize villages, and would do much worse give half a chance.
  • Amnesty Nepal: Reports
  • Elusive Respite by SD Muni The Monarchy is part of the problem in the Himalayan Kingdom, it can hardly be a part of the solution to the present crisis.
  • Counsel For A King Times Of India New Delhi is willing to engage the monarch in efforts to restore democracy ..... Already, over a million refugees have sought sanctuary in India ...... the Maoists have made common cause with Naxalite groups in Bihar, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, purportedly to carve out a communist revolutionary zone slicing through the Indian nation ....... If necessary as an eventuality, an inter-national force could be set up under the aegis of the blue helmets ..... a Security Council resolution....... the bulk of the peacekeepers could be from South Asian nations
  • Nepal arms on hold after Left volley Calcutta Telegraph, India ..... arms supply would not be revived unless King Gyanendra took serious steps to restore democracy .... Today’s linking of arms supply revival to restoration of democracy is the result of the realisation that more forces could join the Left and turn the move into a major controversy, souring the success of talks with China and Pakistan...... On April 30, the ordinance the king issued to impose emergency expires. Opinion in Delhi as well Kathmandu suggests he might not extend the ordinance.
  • Military aid to Nepal: PM meets Left
  • No decision on Nepal military ties yet: PM Economic Times, India .... the government was yet to take a formal decision on renewing military ties with Nepal
  • Kälin calls for humanitarian action in Nepal Swissinfo, Switzerland .... the country was in the grip of a "climate of fear"...... the overall situation in the country was "very difficult and dangerous"..... Large numbers of people have been displaced due to violence and threats by the Maoist rebels. However, many people are also scared of getting caught in the crossfire between government forces and the Maoists. The bad security situation makes life unbearable in places..... Many of the IDPs have left for India in the hope of finding work but a large number remain in Nepal. Their situation is increasingly difficult. Some of the women are even forced into prostitution...... Many people are afraid of government forces....... I hope the rebels will accept my demand to respect the basic principles of international humanitarian law. If they do that, one of the main causes of displacement will almost certainly be eliminated the UN and its human-rights monitors access to both sides...... The situation is in fact very serious outside the capital.
  • 10 killed in Nepal violence Times of India, India The banned student wing of the Maoists has been on an attacking spree ..... an increasing incidence of the communist insurgents switching their ire to civilians from security forces
  • CPI calls for cautious approach to Nepal Hindu, India
  • Do not resume arms supplies to Nepal: Left Hindu D. Raja, found it strange that it was the King who announced what the Indian Government planned to do.
  • Maoist heartland falls to army Times of India launching concerted raids and capturing the village of Thawang ..... Royal Nepal Army (RNA) has sent hundreds of soldiers to clear out Maoist strongholds in Rolpa district, the heart of the rebellion ....... the first concerted offensive against rebel strongholds since King Gyanendra seized total power on February 1. Most of the fighting since have been defensive operations ...... capturing Thawang and surrounding areas is not enough to declare victory .... "Since the Maoists are a guerrilla force, they will withdraw rather than face a conventional army"
  • India's Resumption of Arms to Nepal Not Due to China - Analysts Inter Press Service (subscription), World India and China are no longer competing in Nepal or elsewhere ..... already the pressure from India has shown results and if this continues there is a chance for the restoration of democracy .... ''It (the resumption of arms supplies) had to happen sooner than later,'' Mehta told reporters. ''We could not have kept the supplies blocked indefinitely, having undertaken to modernise the Royal Nepalese Army we could not back out.'' ...... Nepal is probably the deadliest conflict in Asia with an estimated 10 killings a day ..... Harsh realities remain. India is obliged to supply arms to Nepal under a 1965 treaty and also it has open borders with the Himalayan kingdom, which has allowed at least 10 million Nepalese to cross over to India and take up employment and residence in this country. ..... India also faces a Maoist insurgency in several of its own states, especially in southern Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and in eastern Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. But New Delhi prefers to regard this as development issue and has refrained from unleashing its army on extreme left-wing groups.
  • Expert warns of spread of Kala-azar in Nepal Xinhua, China Nearly 6 million people living in Nepal's Terai Belt are vulnerable to Kala-azar ..... A poor family is forced to spend over 25 percent of its annual income on prevention and treatment of malaria .... Nearly 50 percent people are threatened by mosquitoes but there are only two mosquito experts in Nepal
  • Naxals getting arms, rocket launchers from Nepal: DGP Deepika, India
  • When Only The Wrong Parties Are Right it was the constitutional obligation of the government to protect the monarchy that handicapped the political parties in dealing with the Maoists. The Maoists are always ready to settle down with the multiparty democracy without the kingship........ the crucial matter of bringing the pre-democracy corruption into the book--points to the power the passive monarchy still held after the democracy....... the political parties have power and freedom enough to abuse, but not enough to challenge the King and his interests....... The slowly emerging voices for doing away with the ever ambitious monarchy have become louder and are spreading rapidly among political party workers since Feb 1...... October 4, 2002, when the King decided not to remain in the shadows and determined to show everybody who had the real power in Nepal by sacking the elected government with an authority he did not legitimately wield...... This shocked the political parties. ..... the political parties--even after learning through three rounds of formal talks with the rebel that the rebels were ready to end the insurgency for a democratic republic, or at least for the acceptance of a democratic process geared toward that possibility--unanimously decided to crush the rebels militarily and protect the monarchy by declaring the state of emergency on November 26, 2001....... leaders of political parties ..... there have been just too many mistakes for too long a time to admit to all of them..... they have yet to present clear roadmaps ..... the collective failure of all parties, all the time..... what we had was still a quasi-democracy, and a quasi-democracy is not a self-correcting but a self-destroying system..... when the words that Maoist ideologue Dr. Baburam Bhattari writes in national dailies become the most stimulating and bold ideas ever read by common people in Nepal
  • Constitutional Crisis In Nepal, The Way Forward INSN ... former judges of the Supreme Court spoke against the autocracy of the king .... spoke unequivocally about the unconstitutional nature of the king’s 1 February proclamation and move and the need for a new constitution for the country..... The speakers included representatives of the Nepali political parties (Rajendra Mahato, General Secretary, Nepali Sadbhavana Party; Mr Swanaam, spokesperson, Communist Party of Nepal–Unity Centre-Mashal; Rajan Bhattarai , International Department, CPN-UML, CD Joshi, CC Member, CPN-United; Pradip Giri, Nepali Congress-Democratic, Krishna Sitoula, CC Member, NC)...... the need for evolving a common agenda ....... The clear and unanimous view of all the representatives of the political parties was the consensus was unambiguously in favour of constituent assembly and for the need for support from the international community ...... some speakers underlined the need for a peace agreement and a broad alliance across the political spectrum, including the Maoists, against the king ......

Sunday, April 24, 2005

India's U-Turn: Are Proponents Of Democracy Strong Enough?

The question of democracy in Nepal has global implications. India, US, and the EU need to keep this in mind. Countries that before have pumped in tens of millions of dollars worth of weapons should seriously consider pumping in a few million to the democratic cause in Nepal. Democrats need to outdo the autocrats when it comes to sophistication in organization, and efficiency in the execution of the protest movement.

India is not in a position to directly challenge China. Powers like the US need to realize that a China that is a democracy will be much more reasonable on issues like Taiwan. And so Chinese boosts to the king need to be countered.

The reasons for funding the democratic movement in Nepal are:
  1. It costs much less than funding the Royal Nepali Army.
  2. The Nepali democrats would subsequently work to export democracy to the other countries in the region.
  3. There might be long-term democratic implications also into China.
  4. Either you are for democracy, or against it. There is no middle ground.
  5. Put your money where your mouth is.
I think one thing that might have made India do its U-turn could be that the Nepali democrats have not been able to put any major protest against the king out in the streets. The clampdown has not made it possible. But that is not a good excuse. The top-down nature of deciding how to move ahead, and a lack of sophisticated organization methods have played into the king's hand. A heightened Maoist acitivity in India might also have prompted India to tone down a bit.

I think India's "very soon" should mean after emergency is lifted at the end of this month.

It is also possible the king is exaggerating the extent of Manmohan's assurance, because the guy does like to cast the impression he is a brilliant politician. He is trying to create the impression he made Manmohan see reason by talking to him.

In The News
  • Top News ; Nepal crown prince dons father's mantle: Keralanext Paras, portrayed by the foreign media as a young man still sowing his wild oats and fond of frequenting discos ...... The WHF, that aims at establishing Hindu supremacy worldwide, regards King Gyanendra, ruler of the only Hindu kingdom in the world, an incarnation of Vishnu, one of the Hindu trinity, and therefore the sovereign of Hindus all over the world. ..... the crown prince too has had an extraordinarily busy social calendar perceived as a grooming for future...... On April 9, along with his parents, he attended an army programme where he looked the identical image of his father, both wearing similar uniforms, caps and dark glasses....... he exchanged pleasantries with the heads of different foreign embassies and missions
  • Fresh agitations planned in Kathmandu from May 1 Hindu ..... huge demonstrations in capital ...... gearing up for massive anti-King demonstrations ..... NC, CPN-UML, NC (Democratic), People's Front Nepal and Nepal Sadbhavana Party (A) are working out on a common agenda to launch fresh agitations ...... Girija Prasad Koirala will leave on a country-wide tour to hold meetings with party cadres in all five administrative regions
  • Top News ; Nepal king's foreign trip lands commoners in trouble:Keralanext, India Royal Nepalese Airlines, deeply in the red ..... The state carrier has only two Boeings. With King Gyanendra and his sizeable entourage leaving Kathmandu on a nine-day tour abroad, one of the aircraft had to be put at his disposal.
  • Villagers in Nepal form self-defence committees to fight Maoist ...Webindia123, India a strong 500-member army of young men and women..... "We have sold our land, homes everything to raise this army...what will we do with all this if we don't have life. All these people here, they have sold their fields, homes. We have collected 200,000 to 400,000 rupees so far. If we don't have life then what is the worth of all that money"
  • CPI (M) opposes arms supply to Nepal Hindu
  • Left raps Centre on arms to Nepal Indian Express, India ‘‘There should be no question of resuming arms supplies to a despotic king who suppressed the elementary democratic rights of the people’’ ..... municipal polls announced by the king are ‘‘farcical and cannot be a substitute for full restoration of parliamentary democracy and having an elected government’’. ...... resumption of military supply would ‘‘weaken revival of democracy in Nepal’’.
  • China rolls out red carpet for king Calcutta Telegraph Delhi fears that taking too hard a line with the king would push him closer to Beijing. With China already enjoying close relations with Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, India can ill afford to “lose” Nepal .... The king’s position is that he had no choice but to dismiss the government as it was failing to end a Maoist insurgency that has gripped Nepal since the mid-1990s ..... there is little evidence that the king’s actions, or China’s support, have fazed the guerrillas ...... the day the king landed in China, the Maoists called for an 11-day general strike.
  • CPI (ML) criticises renewal of military aid to Nepal:- Webindia123, India
  • Coup rebels offloaded Calcutta Telegraph Devendra Raj Pandey, the finance minister in the sacked regime, could make it to Delhi as he had come by road. He said the “civil community” in India could not fathom the “gravity” of the situation after the king “staged a coup” and killed democracy...... Pandey said Nepal is abuzz with two trains of thought: one is the restoration of status quo ante, thus allowing political parties to again assume power, and the other is the scrapping of the current constitution to make way for “constitutional monarchy”. The latter option bears the threat of the royalty’s intervention in the elected government any time.
  • India does a U-turn on arms supply to Nepal, delivery The Hindu ... a consignment of arms which had been in the pipeline when King Gyanendra seized direct control of the Government on February 1 would be delivered "very soon." On his part, the King assured the Prime Minister that democracy in Nepal would be restored "sooner rather than later" and that he would be sensitive to Indian concerns that there be a "road map" for restarting the political process ....... On King Gyanendra's statement that Indian military supplies would now be forthcoming, all Dr. Singh was prepared to say was: "His Majesty raised that issue with me and I said we will look at these things in the proper perspective." ...... Indian officials were caught off guard by the Nepalese monarch's statement to NDTV soon after ..... cited his controversial decision to hold municipal elections as the first step...... It is not clear whether the decision to send the one pending consignment of arms to Nepal will be followed up soon with other deliveries...... Gyanendra, who continues to defy calls made by people in Nepal — and the international community — for a speedy return to democratic rule ...... In his speech to the Jakarta summit, the King was unapologetic ..... and claimed that .... the international war on terrorism had been strengthened as a result.
  • India rising: PM chosen to lead Asia Times of India Natwar Singh said that India was now ready to attend the SAARC Summit in Dhaka.
  • Pakistan lacks freedom, follow India: Pak media Indian Express For Pakistan life will not be good till they get rid of the General, establish a humming India-like (not Bangladesh-like) democracy. Till then, water will well in every Pakistani’s eyes.