Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The King Should Now Move To Step 2

Step 1 was cancelling his trip to my town, New York City. Great move.

Step 2 would be to reciprocate to the Maoist ceasefire.

The ceasefire is the best volley the Maoists have thrown towards their opponents to date. The king could take the negative approach here and lose even more ground. Or he could react positively and creatively keeping in mind the best interests of the Nepali people.

The ceasefire does not have to end up a win-lose situation. It can be turned into a win-win situation.

And if the king were to not do the right thing now, the message he would be sending is that he would rather have more war, more fighting, more loss to lives and property.

The king says he is distrustful of the Maoists. If I were him, that would be my first reaction also. But now there has to be a pause and a rethink. You don't have to trust them. All you have to do is to get them to accept international human rights monitors in all their military installations. And you offer to do the same.

So the ceasefire is genuine, and not the lull before the storm, the next round of fighting. Because, so far, the next round has always been more vicious. And we don't want a repeat of that.

In The News
  • Full Text of the Letter sent by seven opposition parties to UN Secretary General NepalNews ..... the current council of ministers formed under the chairmanship of King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah has no legitimate authority to represent the sovereign people of our country....... The February 1 royal take over in essence represents the ultimate step in the process of consolidating political power by King Gyanendra that he initiated by arbitrarily dismissing the constitutionally elected government on October 4, 2002......... Following the undemocratic and unconstitutional royal take over. King Gyanendra has appointed his puppet cabinet, destroyed democratic institutions and rule of law, and issued executive orders and ordinances infringing fundamental civil, political and human rights. The King has constituted a supra and unconstitutional body called Royal Commission for Control of Corruption, in parallel to an already existing constitutional body, with the motive of political vendetta against political leaders opposed (to) the royal take over. Likewise, the King has created various illegitimate authorities e. g., regional and zonal administrators with unlimited power vested on them to primarily repress and intimidate the democratic opposition to his absolute regime. The King has nominated his loyalists to otherwise elected positions of district development committees to consolidate his position. The King's handpicked council of ministers, as it comprises of notorious criminals, perpetrators of human rights violations and willful loan defaulters, is a matter of disgrace and dishonor to the nation. The country is now ruled by the absolute law of force........ The King, through a series of actions, following the royal takeover, made the chances for the peaceful solution of the violent conflict even more remote....... the political parameters within which a peaceful solution to the present crisis is possible....... our common platform in which we propose the reinstatement of the Third House of Representatives, formation of a government of all party consensus, free, fair and peaceful elections to the constituent assembly following peace negotiations with the insurgent Maoists, and inclusive restructuring of the state as a way out of the current crisis........ At this critical juncture in the history of Nepal, we need greater support and understanding of international community to stop our country from sliding towards a failed state. Not just political but also all economic indicators point to our heading in that direction........ the seven major political parties that together constituted ninety-five percent of the members of the last parliament of Nepal, would like to convey our strong feeling that the present royal regime and its political representatives have no competence, authority and legitimacy to represent and speak on behalf of the sovereign people of Nepal.......
  • Seven-party protests continue; dozens arrested journalists covering the protest program were mistreated by the police...... Vowing to violate the government’s prohibitory orders, the seven parties have intensified their agitations in Kathmandu since Saturday.
  • Indian envoy meets UML gen secy at the latter’s Koteshwor resident Tuesday morning...... the ceasefire announced by the Maoists will contribute towards creating an environment in which a peace process can begin
  • ‘Truce was declared at New Delhi’s behest’ As welcome statements continue to pour in from different quarters over the three-month unilateral ceasefire declared by Maoist supremo Prachanda on Saturday, an Indian daily newspaper has reported that the truce was called “at the behest of New Delhi” to put international pressure on King Gyanendra for a dialogue........ “It is believed that the supreme leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Comrade Prachanda, was in India recently for talks with officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Cabinet Secretariat.” ....... According to the news report, which was widely cited by Nepali dailies – government’s mouthpieces Gorkhapatra and The Rising Nepal dailies ran elaborate reports on Tuesday based on The Pioneer story -, the Prime Minister’s Office [India] and the Ministry of External Affairs have clearly ignored, in pursuing a deal with the rebel leader, the stand of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs that maintains a tough stand against the Nepali rebel outfit......... The CPI (Marxist) took initiatives in these dealings, The Pioneer claimed......
  • Annan ready to help Nepal Annan Tuesday said his office was ready to help parties in Nepal reach agreement but hoped they would take steps leading to peace negotiations.
  • Nepal king cancels UN trip as opposition mounts Reuters AlertNet, UK Days before the guerrillas announced the ceasefire, Nepal's main political parties said they would consider joining hands with the rebels to launch joint protests against Gyanendra...... the widespread international disapproval that followed Gyanendra's assumption of power may have forced him to cancel his visit.
  • Nepal says not confident about Maoist truce Reuters AlertNet
  • Nepal Government Questions Maoists Ceasefire Announcement SouthAsia Network
  • Third day of protests in Nepal Calcutta Telegraph
  • Nepal king cancels UN trip as opposition mounts Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates
  • Nepal king cancels UN visit Times of India, India
  • Gyanendra does not represent us: Nepal parties to tell Annan Indian Express
  • Despite protests, Nepal king to address General Assembly: NewKerala.com
  • Pressure mounting, King plans to skip UNGA Newindpress
  • India's Maoist revolutionaries PeaceJournalism.com
  • Indian Envoy Meets Madhav Nepal Himalayan Times, Nepal
  • Indian Envoy Meets Thapa Himalayan Times
  • B'desh allows tri-nation gasline to Nepal through India Deccan Herald, India
  • Government Response To Maoist Truce Is Tragic: Leaders Kantipur Just when the major political parties, civic society, business entrepreneurs and human rights organizations were expecting a constructive role on part of the government over the three-month unilateral ceasefire announced by the Maoists, the government Monday evening issued a statement that neither welcomed nor took the Maoist statement positively....... “I have sensed a language of panic in the government statement,” CPN-UML leader Jhalnath Khanal says. “Either it is trying to disband the peace process or is trying to ignore it.” ....... Minendra Rijal says that the government was not serious to find a political solution...... Krishna Pahadi says that the “immature response of the government exposed its true nature.”.....
  • UML to initiate dialogue with Maoists
  • UN welcomes Maoist announcement of truce
  • Parties urge govt to reciprocate truce offer
  • New Road Tense As Police Lost Their Temper UWB Police fired a tear gas shell on the sky of New Road this evening targeting to disperse an agitated crowd of journalists. Scribes were shouting slogans against police because police lathi-charged over them indiscriminately. Ironically, some policemen were caught into that tear gas later......... Wagle, who suffered injury in his right knee as a stone hit him while taking photos. He also accidentally inhaled tear gas and faced problem in breathing for about 30 minutes..... As journalists were protesting the lathi-charge over their comrades, police became furious and started charging indiscriminately over the scribes. At least 15 journalists were hurt........ this blogger accidentally inhaled the gas and felt the impact of the gas. And that was terrible. ...... Police beat even those journalists who waived off their identity cards and those journalists who were wearing yellow colored jacked with the word PRESS printed on it. Then journalists held a meeting on the middle of the road in New Road. They chanted slogans against excessive use of force over them and demanded apology form police. Later, a police officer showed up in the gathering and said “Sorry”. ....... Journalists found at least two vigilante police in the appearance of reporters. Those police-reporters were passing information from reporters’ camp to the police and signaling when to fire tear gas shells....... Police stormed into a house and lathi-charged over the people there....... It was a bit different today in a sense that police were more intolerant to the slogans and protestors. Police tried to disrupt the gathering and sloganeering even in non-prohibited area. Once, police attacked over protestors just when the protestors were chanting slogans against monarchy and against the autocracy. That was quite strange compared to earlier days....... Protestors pelted stones to the police only after they were attacked by the forces. ..... Police seemed to be uncontrolled. Commanding officers were not capable of handling their boys. Once, I saw a group of riot police harassing a group of women on the footpath of New Road. One of them was warning not to do anything to women and other was determined to charge lathis over women....... Several journalists, including Bimal Gautam (yellow jacket) were beaten up by police..... Journalist Kiran Nepal addressed an on-the-spot-meeting of journalist on the middle of the New Road. Nepal was actively involved defending reporters’ right to freely report in those moments of tension.

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