Friday, July 29, 2005

Gagan Thapa Feels Unsafe In Jail

With Gagan's Thapa's dramatic arrest, the ongoing movement has been jolted to a whole different level.

In a way Gagan Thapa symbolizes the movement like noone else. In some ways he is more symbolic than even Girija Koirala. Gagan Thapa does not have the baggage of the 1990s. He does not have the baggage of not having had a clear stance for months after 2/1.

The arrest has also brought into focus the intent of the autocratic regime. They intend to go all the way. The king's attitude is like, I said three years, damnit!

Deuba's jail sentence of two years is supposed to play to that timetable. He gets out when the king feels like he is ready to hand over power.

But then what if he gets creative then? What if he holds elections for city governments where the RPP and the Mandal Sadbhavana participate? First, it is not happening. Second, it is going to be one big, fat, international joke.

Gagan Thapa's safety and freedom is of universal concern. He also has brought all the remaining political prisoners into focus.

With every dumb move like this one on the part of the monarch, the republic sentiment is getting stoked. The abstract concept of a constitutional monarchy and the person and actions of this particular king might soon head towards a permanent detachment. It already has among the students and the youth. The rest of the population is not that in the dark either. Books were cooked to throw Deuba in jail for supposedly that "silent majority." There is no such majority, and it is not that silent.

Gaganji's sacrifice will not go in vain. The movement has been stoked. It will only snowball from here. I have been proven wrong. There is not going to be a monsoon break.

King For Prime Minister, Chief Justice For Prime Minister

This king is so out of the whack. I thought he himself became Prime Minister on 2/1. But now he is pushing the Chief Justice for the post. The concept of separation of powers long went out the window.

The next we will hear Tulsi Giri has a double role: he also is Chief Justice. The guy might even get announced a General. It never hurts to amass portfolios onto the lap of a loyalist.

The king's poor strategy paper in his mind reads something like this: the whole protest thing is to make me give democracy. But what if I don't budge! The movement then fails. I have the switch in my hand that I can refuse to turn. If things were that simple! The harder it is made for the movement to find a democratic outlet, less room there is going to be for the king in the aftermath. Less might mean no.

Key Events

The movement will get catapulted by key events. The king or the party leaders are not going to be able to steer the movement.

Acts of repression will fuel the fire.

In The News
  • I Am Not Safe In Jail: Gagan Thapa UWB Kiran Chapagain ..... the upcoming general convention of Nepal Students’ Union, the student wing of Nepali Congress Party, and possible victory of Gagan Kumar Thapa as the president of the student wing ..... his victory means massive student movement across the country against the present autocratic government. Our belief is that he is the only student leader who could drive a student movement across the country against the present autocratic government....... In 2003, he was arrested on charge of sedition, which raised his popularity ....... the present autocratic government of convicted criminals, corrupts and bank defaulters...... On Monday, I had met Gagan in the rally. As I was reporting, he was passing to Jamal on bike but stopped the bike at Ratnapark. He stopped for a while and asked his friend to go away dropping there. We greeted each other. He then said to me, “Kiranji, rally ma chhirnu paryo (Kiran, I am joining the agitation).” I followed him. I did not see him entering the restricted area during the rally as accused by the authorities. I was with him throughout the rally. With the charges against him known to me, I concluded that the government is conspiring against the most popular student leader of the country......... As a friend, I met him at Hanumandhoka Police Office where he has been detained with permission from a court. He talked to me from inside the detention cell for five minutes. I found him bolder, more determined and confident. The police did not allowed him to come out from the cell; and we talked from a distance. The police tried not to allow him to talk to me but he raised his finger and warned: “Hey, is this the way to treat a student leader!” ......... “I have been kept together with pickpockets, drug addicts and other criminals. I am insecure living with them,” the popular and influential student leader said from behind the bar. He has urged national and international human rights organizations to ensure his security in the detention..... .. authorities are not treating him as per the international humanitarian laws. Besides, he has to share an unventilated and small room with nine inmates....... charged the police of not allowing him to give his arrest warrant to his lawyers. “Even I have not been allowed to meet my family members and well-wishers easily,” he said........ He also announced that he is contested in the election during the general convention for the post of presidency from jail. He was commanding his friends and student leaders to “burn the country” with protests and topple this autocratic government of convicted criminals, corrupts and bank defaulters....... He was confident of the complete democracy and republic setup to come in Nepal as demanded by students....... I finally said, “All the best Gagan. The world is with you.” I told him that the students were taking your arrest to the street and the longer the government keeps you in the jail, the faster Nepali will turn into a republic state......
  • Constitution Amended UWB ... the king has “amended” the constitution through a decree early Friday morning. .... the king has, in accordance with the Article 127 of the Constitution, granted authority of a stitting prime minister to the chief justice. According to the amendement, the chief justice can now chair and call the meeting of the Constitutional Council (CC).
  • Photos Will Propel The Democracy Movement UWB Furious Nepali students today clashed with police at several locations, mostly in colleges, in Kathmandu protesting the arrest of prominent student leader Gagan Thapa on Wednesday...... Students threw bricks and stones to police personals and the guys in uniform fired back with bricks and lathis. Students blocked the roads, burnt the tires and chanted anti-government and anti-monarchy slogans. Many students threw stones from insides the colleges. The police have surrounded some of the colleges like ASCOLL, Shankar Dev and Tri Chandra....... many political movements have gained significant momentum by the help of the student protest. Student protests have propelled the mass movements at many occasions in the past, including in the 1990 Mass Movement and 1980 Referendum....... Has the time come? Will the apparently sluggish Mass Movement be propelled? ...... I, hanging my id card to ensure safety from both side, stood more than an hour watching the protest go on.... Students were on the top of the being-constructed building hurling bricks to police and chanting slogans. At one point, they declared the campus area a republic zone..... At around, 10:45am, the students themselves stopped the protest which allowed the policemen come and clean the area. I didn’t see anyone hurt or injured.
  • Kunda Dixit In New York UWB ..... it is clear that any international attempts to resolve Nepali crisis will be coordinated with India...... very clear that repressive measures that the government of King Gyanendra has introduced have mostly targeted the democratic institutions in the country (political parties, civil society, media, etc.) instead of the Maoists....... King’s official takeover on February 1st, 2005 was the ultimate result of careful planning to undermine the democratic process ..... harassment, imprisonment, and torture (of the journalists) by the security forces on district levels are still continuing....... government’s decision to relax it’s tightening on the media on some prominent national news outlets is only to allay international pressure ....... performing live broadcast of the news in market places, or by having conversation-style outlet of news items, or even broadcasting news in songs formats! ....... The security forces have killed “Maoists” mostly in defensive actions only, and their success in defense has been limited to district headquarters only. Both the security forces and the Maoists seem to avoid contact with each other, rather than taking action to defeat the other. This has resulted in a MILTARY STALEMATE in the field, and a POLITICAL PARALYSIS in the center....... cabinet full of individuals with notorious records of being corrupt and staunchly against democracy during the Panchayat times reflect upon King’s desire to quash democracy in the country for a long term....... seem to be trying to copy the Burmese model of not only militarizing the country, but their 40 years of successful apathy to international pressure....... the leak of information relating to Nepali Maoist leaders’ visit s to India came from the Indian intelligence themselves....... government seems to have taken a keen notice of this possible development ...... the moderates among the Maoists seem to be looking for a safe landing too...... the real danger of further lengthening this conflict, which would inevitably wipe out the entire three if prolonged much longer.......
  • Rising Voice Of Republicanism UWB It seems many in Nepal are republican. Everywhere, the voice of republicanism has been dominating: From the street to the Special sessions of the dissolved parliament...... “The present regime carries criminal trait,” Pahadi said....... Tula Dangol, who declared Patan a republican area in the 1990’s Mass Movement ..... “Journalists hold rally, members of civil society get arrested and parties release press statements. This is quite opposite. Engine of the movement is political party....... should clearly tell people their agendas. .... parties should reform themselves and become clear over their objectives.” ...... the root of all problems is monarchy ..... “We should abolish monarchy,” he said. “Change is imminent.” ....... associate the Bhumigat Giroha with the present his majesty ..... Now is the time to change the basic characteristic of the state ...... Maoists didn’t bring the talk of Constitutional Assembly and its election. It has been there for the last 50 years...... The regime is not serious about talks. It is looking for arms ..... The king shouldn’t be given any role now
  • An Interview With Deuba's Father UWB He is 91 .... He heard it on the radio .... It is like Rana Regime now, there is no justice .... He never took one paisa from anyone, ever .... The Supreme Court is scared of the king; this asks for international intervention .... I will only die after I have proven my son innocent ...... He spends three hours each morning doing puja ... then he reads all and sundry newspapers ..... The elder brother gave democracy, the younger took it away .... Everyone is scared of the king .... Sher spend nine years in jail for democracy, what is two years! ..... We did not accept royal slavery before, we will not do it now .... He came to Kathmandu 50 years back looking for a government job ... Sher came to the valley for his I.A. ..... Because he was vocal about democracy, the administration burnt his tongue with electricity ..... The panches offered to make him Zonal Commissioner several times, but he refused ...... He is a monk who never thought about tomorrow ...... When he was young, he used to give away his money to others, and I had to beat him up for that ...... He has 5 sons, and 3 daughters ...... I have experienced Rana rule and Panchayat rule, but I am not understanding this king's rule, why does he keep destabilizing governments? ..... Dr. Arju Rana: my husband thinks of the whole world as his "dera" ...... I have been able to build a house with help from my parents and earnings from my job ..... I have been able to get his salary only once .... "He gives his money away to people as soon as they start telling their sob stories." ...... When I married him, I did not know much about politics, I had only heard names like BP and Ganeshman .... I married him for his simplicity and his utter disregard for money .... For someone who does not care about money to get accused of corruption has got to be a joke.
  • Towards An Eight Party Alliance: Two Reports Kantipur Parties, Maoists hold talks in Humla .....A district-level meeting between the representatives of agitating political parties and Maoists began in Humla ..... after Prachanda expressed his willingness for maximum flexibility to unite with the political parties to restore democracy in the country..... Although the seven-party alliance at the central level is yet to decide on whether to initiate dialogue with the Maoists, the participants of the talks that began in the Maoist stronghold in the Midwest Nepal are planning to broaden the talk process.
  • ADHRN Press Release On Gagan Thapa INSN Alliance has been advocating about rule of law, human rights and democracy in Nepal since 1989 ..... If the government has substantial credible evidence(s) against them, they should be tried through the constitutionally-created Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of the Authority (CIAA)...... Sanjaya Parajuli, President .... Mridula Koirala, Chairperson,

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