Friday, September 09, 2005

Irresponsible Response To Ceasefire

The king has been irresponsible in how he has responded to the ceasefire. He is basically like, a ceasefire is not enough, surrender! That response presumes you are in this tremendous position of strength. And he plainly is not. He is politically the most isolated head of state on earth with an army that has the worst human rights records on earth. That is not strength.

The Maoist guerrillas fight an asymmetrical war. The very fact that there is a political and military stalemate shows they have been strong enough to bring the state army to a standstill. What changed in the past few months that has made the king or the state army stronger? The only thing that has happened is parties that refused to even consider the Constituent Assembly idea are now republican. The economy is in shambles. It is almost like the king is blind or something, or at least politically.

What exactly is he suggesting? Two possibilities. One, that a monarchy is better suited to run a country. Two, that it is not the monarchy, that it is him, that he is a more capable individual than any of the aspiring democrats, than Prachanda or Baburam.

I am not even going into the monarchy-democracy debate. I have better things to do with my time. As for the king's individual abilities, if he thinks it is not the monarchy-democracy debate, that he is more capable as an individual, he will have the option to float a party within a republic. Let the political marketplace decide if you are more capable.

It boils down to having a feudal mindset, about having an attitude problem, about not getting democracy. His love for an absolute monarchy is so strong, he would rather end up with a republic. His lack of flexibility points to that direction.

He seems to have a one point agenda: to not allow elections to a Constituent Assembly. The thing about an Assembly is, if the Maoists were to suddenly disappear, vanish, I would still want a Constituent Assembly. That is a no compromise issue for me. Assembly and federalism. The details can be worked out.

So if his one point agenda is to not allow elections to a Constituent Assembly, and if a Constituent Assembly is the only meeting point between the Maoists and the democrats, then that leaves room only for a strong coalition between the Maoists and the democrats to look for all possible options to reach that goal. Then it is not about dialogue and peace talks, it is about a showdown. Tactics change.

If the king had been reasonable, it would have been possible to go for a Constituent Assembly where a constitutional monarchy would have been guaranteed. Now we instead move towards a Constituent Assembly where a republic is guranteed. The people will not have the option to vote whether they want a constitutional monarchy or not. Maybe money thus saved will go to build schools and hospitals. Because a republic is the new meeting ground between the Maoists and the democrats.

Precisely because the king has been unreasonable in the way he has responded to the ceasefire, it is extra important for the Maoists to maintain it.

The seven parties need also to come up with a detailed program for massive nationwide peaceful protests. That is the only option.

Prachanda, Do Not Break The Ceasefire
Positive Signs
The King Should Now Move To Step 2
King Cancels UN Visit
To Trust Or Not To Trust The Maoists
The Nepali Rasputins Want A Revolution
RNA, Declare Your Own Ceasefire, You Have No Choice
After Ganapathy, A Ceasefire
What Is Prachanda Doing?
Is Prachanda For Real?
To: Dr. Baburam Bhattarai
Baburam Bhattarai, Pramod Aryal, Ram Chandra Poudel

In The News
  • Nepal leadership needs to work with the rebels, if peace is to ... OhmyNews International, South Korea At a time when the Nepali people are desperately craving respite from a long and bloody struggle, it's a surprise to many that the government has been seemingly unwilling to respond in earnest to the recent ceasefire declared by the Maoists..... the government has denied any third-party participation in the peace process as it sees itself "capable of solving its internal matters on its own." ..... "the royal government lacks the competence, authority, and legitimacy to speak on behalf of the people of Nepal." ....... the opposing parties are planning to forge a defining dialogue with the rebels and also urge them to lay down their arms completely to help create a profound political understanding and fight the autocratic government through peaceful means.
  • Guerrillas displace 800 families of security men in Nepal Xinhua, China Some 800 families of security personnel have been displaced from their ancestral homes in Nepal's eastern hilly districts .......The guerrillas forcibly dislodged the families from Paanchthar,Bhojpur, Okhaldhunga and Khotang districts, asking them to call back their relatives working in the army...... Most of the displaced families have fled to India and other countries
  • Telephone services disrupted in Eastern districts NepalNews Jhapa, Ilam, Morang, Sunsari, Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Tajlejung and Paanchthar
  • UN envoy on torture to assess Nepal situation:, India Manfred Nowak, the United Nations' special rapporteur on torture, is to arrive in Kathmandu Saturday on a fact-finding mission..... The Kathmandu-based Centre for Victims of Torture, an NGO, estimates nearly 100,000 cases of torture are reported countrywide each year, affecting around 20,000 families. Nowak's visit comes about two months after a visit by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's special adviser Lakhdar Brahimi.
  • US proposes sanctuary for Tibetan refugees from Nepal:, India Bush's Refugee Admissions Programme proposal for fiscal 2006, conveyed to the Congress Aug 30, includes a new programme to resettle "certain Tibetans from Nepal in the US..... resettle a section of Tibetans living in Nepal, particularly those who have been in the kingdom for several years and are considered especially vulnerable to deportation to China....... The US decision was made after consultations over a long period with the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the administrative arm of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, based in Dharamsala in India, a statement by International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), an NGO with chapters in the US and Europe........ The ICT in a recent survey said it was getting more dangerous for Tibetan refugees to flee to India via Nepal as the Nepal government was intent on improving ties with China and had begun cracking down on the refugees....... According to the CTA, 125,381 Tibetan refugees were living in India, Nepal and Bhutan, as of March 2004, with some 2,500 new arrivals each year from Tibet. Approximately 10,000 Tibetans are living in the west.

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