Sunday, July 24, 2005

Possible Framework For A Maoist-Democrat Alliance

  1. Form an eight party dialogue team that stays permanent: the seven democratic parties and the Maoists. Encourage participation by some of the top most names in all parties. This is key. Getting into dialogue mode does not mean you are agreeing to anything. And this does not even signal a start of the dialogue. The two sides have already been talking through press statements. Such are less effective ways. Even if the democrats' worst fear of the Maoists is true, this step is an important one to take. Personally I don't subscribe to those fears. I think the senior Maoists are seriously looking for a soft, progressive landing. But if you harbor those fears, more the reason to meet them in person and really question them and get a feel for them. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. If that is how you would like to see it.
  2. Assuming we agree there is no military solution to the civil war, and even if there is, the democrats are not gun people, but primarily because there is a broad agreement the solution has to be political, and that the goal is to bring the Maoists into the political mainstream, we have got to admit that the goal has three steps to it: (1) acknowledge that the Maoists are not in the mainstream right now, they are at point A, (2) they have to be brought into the mainstream of non-violent, multi-party competitive politics, which is point B, and (3) point A to point B is a process, a delicate journey. It is not a simple yes-no question. They need to be dragged, cajoled, bullied, if need be, helped, reprimanded, praised along the way. To take offense that the Maoists happen to be armed right now is naive. It is to not acknowledge the existence of point A.
  3. So, if the solution is political, that solution comes out through dialogue: there is no other way. Political work gets done through dialogue. So if you refuse to engage in the most direct possible dialogue, you are no longer standing with your formerly stated position that the desirable and the only possible solution to the civil war is political.
  4. Once you do move into this concrete dialogue mode, then you can talk. You get to ask them all the hard questions. You can have them comply with the UN human rights teams. They have already made it clear it is their official position that they wish to comply with the global human rights regime. You make them live by their words. You help them live by their words.
  5. To ask them to disarm right away is not realistic. Only a government with the powers to order the army back into the barracks can legitimately demand the Maoists disarm. But there are other demands that can be made. Like, do not attack any civilians. Or even, hold your guns, have an undeclared ceasefire.
  6. And then the parties have to chalk out a major movement that might see a broad participation by the people in all the towns and villages in the country. The parties have to get assurances from the Maoists that they will not infiltrate the mass movement to give it violent turns.
  7. The goal would be to form a seven party interim government. That government can be formed through dialogue with the king if he exhibits flexibility. Or if he sticks to his ways, such a government can be declared unilaterally once the movement has reached criticial momentum.
  8. Forget the idea of reviving the 1999 parliament. Either the 1990 constitution is dead or it is alive. It can not be both. The very fact that now you have finally come around to the idea of a Constituent Assembly shows you are accepting the idea that the 1990 document is dead. And if it is dead, a parliament that took place under its behest is also dead. Move on, forget it.
  9. Once the interim government is formed, initiate formal peace talks with the Maoists. Do it yourself if you can, if not seek UN help. Kofi Annan has been salivating to help. The goal of the talks should be to disarm the Maoists so as to facilitate their participation in the interim government.
  10. Then the eight party government organizes elections to a Constituent Assembly. I am aware all seven parties have people among them who are for a constitutional monarchy. They all also have republicans in their ranks. Such disagreements can be settled peacefully through the Assembly. It is not for the leaders in the eight parties to decide the fate of the monarchy. That is a decision for the Nepali voters to make.
  11. The Assembly gives the country a new constitution. And the country is back on track, democracy is back on track.
  12. The collective goal after that: double digit economic growth.
In The News
  • Prachanda Statement INSN
  • Janadesh 32
  • Monarchy Stands Firm Asia Times ...... The economy, based on subsistence farming, would have already collapsed if the remittances sent by Nepalis working mainly as unskilled labor in the Gulf countries had not kept it floating...... A culture of self-censorship is developing, to the dismay of Nepali intelligentsia and their well-wishers abroad..... Ramesh Nath Pandey, also during the reign of the late king. Pandey, who then was only a king’s nominee in the upper house of parliament, admitted in a newspaper interview that he had had secret meetings with top Maoist leaders - billed terrorists by the government of the day. Adding an element of curiosity, Pandey declined to disclose their whereabouts for the sake of the safety of Maoists. He also did not mention who authorized those clandestine meetings. Political developments of the recent past portend more complexities....... ...... Nepalis hostage in their own countryBloomfield was given a second reprimand after he spoke to an academic group about the principle of rule of law. He said he picked up the issue because King Gyanendra himself had mentioned its importance in his proclamation of February 1...... despite their best efforts and wide publicity, the RNA remains largely on the defensive...... Gautam has told Nepali intelligentsia a number of times that a stage comes when the UN is compelled to take measures aimed at stopping the violence from spreading...... the UN is an organization that leaves the country once its assigned job is completed - like in Cambodia....... King Gyanendra , who has remained indifferent to internal political unrest, continues to ignore messages and appeals coming from the international front. Of course, he has granted audiences to a stream of international visitors in the past couple of months, and almost all of them have heard the king reiterating his commitment to democracy and human rights....... the king had surprised many through the appointment of retired army generals to important diplomatic posts. Loyalty is taking precedence over competence in matters relating to appointments and promotions....... the royal proclamation was indeed a thin veil for a power-grab...... The alliance of seven major political parties has now understood that there is no alternative to a decisive, nationwide movement for the restoration of democracy........ how will US and other initiatives work to restore democracy in Nepal? Will it be through organizations such as the Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was active in Kyrgyzstan “Tulip” revolution? Speculation abounds, especially in context of Nepal’s location: China, Nepal’s northern neighbor, is the US’s biggest rival.......
  • Empowering the people of Nepal: Sociopolitical and economic devolution INSN ..... a reconciliatory approach for coexistence is a failure approach ..... focus should be in empowering different nationalities, minorities, and women...... Contrary to unification under one language, religion, and central governance, political devolution with sovereignty would truly unite the country and move ahead towards comprehensive prosperity of nationalities, minorities, women and population at large....... devolution will also increase innovation among local governments as they can develop as “laboratories of democracy.”...... demonstrate what program works and what does not under specific internal political, administrative, and socio-economic conditions..... the Dhimal community of Jhapa; Chepang community of Chitwan; Tharus of Chitwan area, Dang, Deukhuri, Banke and Bardiya; Rai-Limbu community of Eastern Nepal hills; Sherpa’s around Everest region; Maithali speaking Terai Bashi between Bagmati and Koshi basin; people of Terai origin between Koshi and Mechi basin, or between Bagmati basin and Thori jungle or between Naryani and Rapit basin; Newar community in and around Kathmandu valley; Gurung community around Annapurna Range; Magar community in the hills of Kaligandaki basin; Manag people in Manag valley; Muslim community of Rautahat, parts of Rupandehi/Kapilbastu, Banke and Bardiya; people of Terai origin of Nawalparasi, Rupandehi and Kapilbastu; and Humli of Karnali basin; Dotyal, Acchamis and Aitwal of far western region; and the Dalits who are scattered throughout the country but are destitute....... A novel constitution is needed to institutionalize the democracy at local and regional levels.....
  • US On Nepal's Case Asia Times .... Fresh from its perceived success in Kyrgyzstan, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an American non-governmental organization, has a new mission in Nepal ..... The NED makes no bones of its concerns about Uighur Chinese, and is known to have earlier funded anti-China forces in Tibet........ openly receiving special appropriations from the US Congress, the NED...... its recent role in the “color-coded” revolutions in Central Asia ...... “democratic revolutions” were designed to help Washington and antagonize Moscow and Beijing...... The NED has extensive ties to the AFL-CIO trade union bureaucracy that was identified during the 1960s and 1970s for its efforts to topple governments deemed unfriendly to Washington....... bring down governments in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine ..... Akayev joins the ranks of a long list of former US assets, including such figures as Manuel Noriega of Panama, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Saddam Hussein of Iraq...... India has been accused of human-rights violations in the northeast on more than one occasion...... more than 200 NGOs are operating in some of the major states of northeastern India...... several of India’s northeastern states have been heavily evangelized by Baptist and other missionaries...... more than 85% of the residents in Mizoram are Christians...... The troubled state of Nagaland also has an overwhelming majority of Christians..... Dutch missionaries have been found active in the northeastern state of Tripura..... guerrilla leaders in conflict with New Delhi go to the Netherlands to meet Dutch NGO officials prior to or after their meetings with officials in New Delhi...... several districts in West Bengal and Assam where Muslims have become a predominant majority...... As reportedly envisioned by the US State Department at the time, Project Brahmaputra was to initiate a movement for a “United States of Assam”, bringing together the northeastern insurgent groups under a “Seven Units Liberation Army”....... President George W Bush, in his January 22, 2004, state of the union message, vowed to double the NED budget...... the evening the “Tulip” revolution” took to the streets and drove out Akayev...... the National Endowment for Democracy, the American lifeline for dissidents worldwide...... Uighur Muslims in East Turkistan (Xinjiang province, that is) and Tibetan Buddhists in Tibet...... just a month after 9/11, he specifically warned China not to use the fight against terrorism as an excuse to persecute its minorities ...... the presence of the NED, backed by the Bush administration, in Nepal raises the specter of an aggressive US involvement on the Tibet issue..... The age-old traditions valid in Nepal as well as in Tibet do not allow Buddhists to be prosecuted for petty offences...... The pressure on the Tibetan issue came to the fore when Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao reportedly cancelled his Nepal visit during a recent South Asia tour because King Gyanendra could not satisfy the Chinese demands......
  • New Alignments In Nepal INSN .... the gap between the two sides is narrowing ... if two of the three actors — the King, the political parties, and the Maoists — join hands they can trump the third ......
  • LTTE not training Nepal’s Maoists in India: Police Indo-Asian News Service ..... After a discussion with top police and intelligence officials, Governor Buta Singh said Monday that the state police had not come up with any such evidence so far.
  • Interview: Krishna Pahadi INSN .....Peaceful movement against the unconstitutional and undemocratic activities of the king is the only one way out..... The political leaders are advocating for full democracy but the general people have not understood the true meaning of this term...... The royal proclamation itself was the extreme violation of human right. Then onwards rule of law, fundamental independence have been destroyed in the country.

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