Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Deuba Is Not Going Down

The king keeps pushing the envelope.

He "sacked" Deuba the first time around as if Deuba were a General Manager working for one of his private companies.

He reinducted Deuba the second time around to fool the people. Look ma, no hands!

2/1 was thought to be unthinkable in this day and age. But he did it.

Even he miscalculated. He wished to become the darling of the western powers, like his cousin Musharraf, by declaring a personal war on "terror," but that dumb move backfired many times over, but he intends to stick to his guns. If there was not terror before, there is now: it is called royal terror.

He can not afford to be seen changing his mind. Dictators can not afford to be seen changing their minds. That is a fundamental difference between dictators and democrats. Democrats do have principles and positions, but we do recognize there are other players in the game, and we seek consensus and coalitions. We make compromises out of deference to the fact that we are not the only power in the room.

When Kofi Annan's envoy came to visit him, this Mahendraputra rewarded his call for democracy by inducting some more rotten faces into the cabinet, instead of dismantling the rotten faces he already had aplenty.

And now he has done the unthinkable. Despite evidence from the Asian Development Bank to the contrary, Deuba has been sentenced to two years in jail for an Asian Development Bank scam.

This is not about evidence. Because there is none. How do I know that? Because I put some stock in what the Asian Development Bank has to say on this topic. It is unusual for the Bank to come to anyone's defence like this, like it has in Deuba's case. The Bank must feel pretty strongly about this. I guess they surmised the king and his coterie are creating a brand image problem for them.

And this is not about corruption. Who is more corrupt than the king himself? The rotten among the Congressias are a flicker to his thousand watt glare of financial misdeeds, like giving himself tenfold pay increases.

This is about power. Feudal power. Unaccountable power. Above the law power. This is about the law of the jungle.

He has made it absolutely clear he intends to stay his three years.

Saddam never changed his mind either, not before the first Gulf War, not before the second one. Makes you think. So maybe it is not true dictators are only after power. Looks to me that dictatorship is not even about power. Dictatorial thinking is a habit of mind.

The king is counting on the fact that the majority of the Nepalis might not have read the Asian Development Bank's report. That his character assassination of Deuba will work.

Reminds me of a Hem Bahadur Malla story, that supposed Shere Dhanusha. He used to show a calculator to some of his unsuspecting voters and tell them if they did not vote for him their names would show up on that machine.

The king is similarly counting on Da People.

Shows you how much respect he has for Da People.

Deuba has been scapegoated.

If this were about corruption, Tulsi Giri would be running away from the Interpol right now.

Instead the Sharad Chandra Shahas of the world stole away the bank papers, and threatened the Kantipur people who broke the story.

This is power gone berserk.

Deuba has been scapegoated.

All the king cares about is his personal GDP, which seems to be doing fine.

The king has a clear gameplan, a roadmap: it is feudal. Do the democrats have one? That is the question.

His attitude is like, okay, so forget that terrorism I mentioned, now what about corruption!

He is grossly underestimating the intelligence of the Nepali people. What might be fact for the Asian Development Bank is also fact for the Nepali people.

People who don't belong in the 21st century are ruling Nepal today.

This calls not only for democracy, but also for a subsequent Truth Commission that brings justice to these goondas of this regime. These hoodlums who will give themselves million rupee allowances for house renovation.

I think the republican sentiment just got stoked further.

The truth is too obvious.

There is something called rule of law. There is something called due process. There is something called separation of powers. There is something called all equal before the law.

Deuba is no Bhimsen Thapa. We live in a very different era.

If Deuba will be beaten, it will be at the electoral hustings, not by a blind king's corrupt men.

In The News
  • Nepal jails ex-PM for corruption BBC News, UK ....Deuba was also fined over $1m for wrongdoing over a contract to build an access road for a controversial multi-million dollar water project..... the highest-ranking leader in Nepal ever found guilty of corruption......Human rights groups say the panel, set up by King Gyanendra after his February coup, is a tool to muzzle dissent..... also convicted a former minister and four others
  • Sacked Nepal PM jailed for two years for corruption Reuters AlertNet Deuba and his government were sacked on Feb. 1 when Nepal's King Gyanendra seized power and declared a state of emergency.... Deuba and a former minister in his government, Prakash Man Singh, were found guilty of embezzling $5.3 million in awarding a contract to supply drinking water to the capital, Kathmandu....... "Deuba should be jailed for two years and pay a fine equivalent to 90 million rupees ($1.3 million)," said the chairman of the Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC), Bhakta Bahadur Koirala, giving Singh the same sentence..... commission said Deuba had overruled the relevant authorities to award a contract to a member of his own party..... Deuba and Singh had denied any wrongdoing and refused to appoint lawyers or post bail to the commission, saying the anti-graft body was illegally set up by Gyanendra to defame politicians opposed to his seizure of power..... The $464 million water supply project was funded by a consortium of foreign donors, including Japan and the Manila-based Asian Development Bank...... Deuba was put under house arrest for several weeks after being fired and was arrested in the middle of the night in April by the anti-graft body, which was given sweeping powers by the king to act against corrupt bureaucrats and politicians........ In July the same panel cleared Deuba and six other ministers in his sacked cabinet on charges of distributing $54,000 in state money to party workers during the Hindu festival of Dasain in October last year....... "This is a conspiracy, politically motivated, and it is aimed at the character assassination of those politicians who speak out against Feb. 1," Deuba told reporters outside the heavily guarded white commission building after the verdict...... Around 100 supporters cheered him as he was driven away, the small crowd waving his party's red and white flag and chanting "Down with the commission" and "Free our leaders"...... The bespectacled Deuba, dressed in a dark Nepali cap and jacket, said he would decide on his next move after consulting his and other political parties.
  • Nepal activists want ADB project halted IANS being accused of promoting Japanese multinationals at the cost of Nepalese firms...... Water and Energy Users' Federation, Nepal (WAFED), a Kathmandu-based NGO.... accusing the ADB and Japan of vested interests and turning a blind eye to the "lack of feasibility" of the project. ..... "Earlier scheduled to be completed by 2006, it will now go beyond 2010. Meanwhile, the cost has gone up to $531 million." ...... The donors expect to recoup the full cost from the residents of Kathmandu valley, who would be benefited from the project. With 30-40 percent of the valley's population living in slums and barely eking out a living, this is a pipedream...... Kathmandu valley has adequate water resources. Only, they need to be managed more efficiently and the existing infrastructure needs to be strengthened..... earlier the project included setting up a 14 MW hydropower project that would have helped minimise the costs. But it was dropped at the ADB's insistence..... In two weeks' time, WAFED says it is going to lodge a complaint with the anti-corruption wing of ADB in Manila, asking them to investigate the rising costs and the feasibility...... Deuba, a former minister and several top bureaucrats have been charged with irregularities while awarding a contract in the Melamchi project. The allegations caused ADB to conduct its own independent investigation and its findings, tabled last week, clear Deuba and his aides of any irregularities....... Neither the commission nor WAFED accepts the ADB report.
  • RCCC delivers verdict, Deuba, Singh get 2 years jail, Rs 90 million each fine NepalNews also convicted former secretary Tika Dutta Niraula, executive director of Melamchi Drinking Water Project Dhruba Bahadur Shrestha, deputy executive director of the project Dipak Kumar Jha and contractor Jep Chhring Lama of Lama Constructions of corruption in the drinking water project...... three-member panel comprising RCCC chairman Bhakta Bahadur Koirala, and members Raghu Chandra Bahadur Singh and Haribabu Chaudhary gave the verdict
  • Irate NC-D supporters protest RCCC verdict NepalNews irate NC-D supporters have taken to streets protesting the verdict...... from the protest site, the NC-D spokesperson Dr Minendra Prasad Rijal said that they were in front of the RCCC office opposing today’s ‘groundless and unconstitutional' verdict....... “The protest, however, is going on and it will continue till autocracy collapses” .....
  • Sadvawana party expels gen secy Agrahari NepalNews .... for her statements that Mandal joined the government violating norms of the party.
  • Daschle holds parleys with NC (D) leaders, RNA chief NepalNews Daschle Monday held discussion with Nepali Congress (Democratic) leaders at the party’s central office at Maharajgunj ....... for nearly one-and-half hours ..... NC (D) leaders had also mentioned about the ‘politically-motivated’ action of Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC) against party president and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and central Prakash Man Singh leader on corruption charges..... Daschle, who represents the National Democratic Institute (NDI)


Anonymous said...

i fully support the decision made by the government. Most of Nepalese political leaders are corrupt, if it can be somebody else then why would it be hard for neplaese people to not trust the case agaisnt deuba.By the way what do people really know about their leaders and why should they not agree with the decision made.

Anonymous said...

Corruption begins at the top. Gyanendra it can be argued is the godfather of corruption in Nepal - remember RNAC 757 purchases? He pioneered the idea of getting kickbacks for aircraft purchaes and leases. Deuba is no angel but this is hypocracy at its worst.

Anonymous said...

We have to start somewhere dont we? Or just complain that government is not doing anything regarding corruption. I like the first choice. Corruption is the issue here not hypocrisy. I wanted to see action against DEuba and Singh and I am satisfied with the outcome. Good work RCC.

Anonymous said...

Why not start with Gyanendra?