Friday, September 09, 2005

Caution: Alliance Approaching

The king detaches himself from the army and the gang of non-royal/unroyal monarchists. That is the price he pays to keep the monarchy. The royals will have the option to stay on in a ceremonial capacity. That is as far as the democrats would be willing to do. But that might already have been yesterday.

But the king has not done anything to date to show the world he might opt for something like that. And so that leaves room only for a strong Maoist-Democrat alliance. How to make that alliance strong like steel? So as to usher in peace, democracy and progress into the country as soon as possible?

Seven Party Democratic Alliance
  1. Acknowledge the major ideological shift taken by the Maoists under the leadership of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. The Maoists might have started out with the goal of a communist republic. But now they have shifted to accepting a multi-party framework, right to property and things like that. That is huge.
  2. Forget the 1999 House. Revise your common minimum program. Turn it into a three point program. Interim government, constituent assembly, democratic republic.
  3. Approach the Maoists with that CMP. Tell them, if it is not about the king and the monarchists, then their sole focus should be to deal with the democrats. Since they have already made their ideological shift away from the classic Maoist dictum of "power flows through the barrel of a gun," they might as well totally disarm.
  4. Offer to agree to their land-to-the-tiller land reform program in return. Turn the three point program into a four point program.Interim government, constituent assembly, democratic republic, land-to-the-tiller land reform.
  5. Or at least a partial disarmament. Down to 3,000 armed cadres from the current level, to be integrated into the state army once the state power is acquired. How do you believe they did that? They should agree to allow international human rights monitors into all their military installations. There is of course a five year goal to have an army only 30,000 strong or less.
  6. Form an eight member committee to draft a new constitution. I recommend this as a starting point: Proposed Democratic Republican Constitution. All each party has to do is make three columns: (a) articles the party agrees with, (b) articles the party disagrees with and why, and (c) articles the party would like to add, subtract or modify and why. Keep the conversation public. Try to agree on as many things as possible. Things you can not agree on, that is what a Constituent Assembly is for. On the other hand, if you can agree on it all, we might as well skip the Constituent Assembly. The interim government gets six months to get the people to accept the new constitution in a referendum, and another six to hold elections to a new parliament. Let's face it, even after an Assembly is formed, it will still be the leaders of these eight parties banging heads. Why will they not band heads now?
  7. Launch a massive nationwide peaceful protest of the eight party alliance.
  8. Once the protest approaches a critical mass - say 500,000 people out in the streets for two weeks - declare an interim government unilaterally.
  1. You are republicans. You should be working to prove the king is irrelevant. You can not sensibly put forth strategies where the entire success depends on possible positive actions by the king. So forget the king.
  2. You have already made an ideological shift from "power flows through the barrel of a gun" to a peaceful transformation of the state. You have already made a shift from a communist republic to a democratic republic.
  3. Look at your brilliant move of a ceasefire. Your best military move to date. It is like you managed to hit every single soldier in the RNA with a taser gun. You froze them all.
  4. Go a few more steps down that path. Do it the smart way. As a guerrilla leader today, Prachanda could not kill off 50,000 RNA soldiers. But as the Prime Minister owing to being the leader of the largest single party in the parliament, he would be Commander in Chief, and he could legitimately lay off 50,000 soldiers.
  5. You do not envision a Maoist party that is within a multi-party framework but still gets to keep a standing army, do you? My proposal of reduction and integration is the fairest.
  6. If the quickest way from here to having an interim government within a democratic republic is for you to unilaterally disarm, will you do it? If not, why not?
  7. If you disarm, it will be like you sent 80,000 RNA soldiers into the deep-freezer. You could not possibly kill off 80,000 RNA soldiers through your methods in the past. But you could send them all into a deep freezer through this other creative method.
  8. If disarming on your own is the quicker way to achieve state power, why inflict delays on the movement?
To Both
  1. Work on a common minimum program. Bang heads.
  2. Work towards a unilateral Maoist disarmament if the king keeps talking nonsense.
  3. Go for an interim government.
  4. Start work on a new constitution now. Do not wait until you have a Constituent Assembly. That work will also allow the Maoists to prove their credibility on some basic issues of democracy. I trust them. But they need to engage in some more trust building activities for the rest of the world.
By the way, I have decided to volunteer for Norman and Eric in the New York City local elections to celebrate the Maoist ceasefire. Norman Siegel is running for Public Advocate, which is like one step behind Mayor. Eric is running for City Council. I had been telling both campaigns I am too busy with Nepal to give time.

And there is word Bharat Mohan Adhikari and Lokendra Bahadur Chand might be in town soon. I look forward to meeting both. As are many other local democrats. I just happen to know Adhikari's son-in-law and Chand's son. I was on the phone with Sudeep earlier in the evening. He is in Minnesota.

Deputy Prime Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari's Daughter Speaks Out (March 4)

The September 16 rally will still be held. Now it is to send a message to the 170 heads of state. To the world community.

In The News

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