Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Positive Signs

M&M are both showing some flexibility. They both are laying conditions for talks. That is one step ahead of saying I will not talk to you. Now they are saying, I will talk to you but. That is progress.

On the other hand, the Maoists are also taking the initiative. They are doing the initiative thing better than the other two camps. They have put forth major programs of peaceful protests for the next three months. I think that is commendable. Peaceful protest programs are a great idea.

I think this is fantastic. The Maoists are so totally taking the lead. They are like, we announced a ceasefire, and it will succeed even if you don't cooperate, because we are now going to engage in massive peaceful protest programs.

I like that attitude. I think they are going to emerge the largest party after peace and a new constitution.

The peaceful protests will also give them an opportunity to train their cadres to the peaceful methods of political power. I have heard they have over 100,000 core supporters. If they could train them well in the peaceful methods, they could easily become the party of a governing majority.

I look forward to their land reform program. I really do.

The Maoists are the ones taking the initiative for peace now. That is so wonderful. They have constantly surprised me over the past week.

Their peaceful protest program is as big a news as the ceasefire itself. And as positive. They don't want their ceasefire to become meaningless simply because the Monarchists will not cooperate. I like that attitude.

Jasle maha kadhchha, usle haat chatchha. If the Maoists will be taking all the initiatives for peace, democracy and progress, it is they who deserve to emerge the largest political party in Nepal.

I am so thrilled right now. After the thrill of the ceasefire, I was worried the act might go in vain for the obstinacy of the Monarchists and the mental lethargy of the democrats. I am not worried no more.

Way to go Prachanda.

At this rate you could end up with CPN (M) in power in Nepal and Karat's CPI (M) in power in India.

The government saying give up arms for talks is not the attitude of people who want or know how to bring peace. These are incompetent people. These are people with major attitude problems. You don't start your peace talks by asking the other side to surrender!

The Maoists have taken some very positive steps.

First Baburam provides a theoretical framework for why the Maoists are for a Democratic Republic. And this is not an imitation of Madan Bhandari. Bhandari's move was more like, okay, so let's face reality here. Baburam's move is on much firmer theoretical ground. He offers a total analysis of the entire communist movement, and is openly critical of its obvious failures.

And then Prachanda makes the brilliant tactical move of a ceasefire. This is the best military move of Prachanda's military career, by a wide margin. In one move he managed to freeze his enemy army.

And now they have made the brilliant political move of peaceful protest programs for the next three months.

I have never been more impressed with these Maoist freaks before. Their strategy for success no longer depends on what the other two camps will or will not do.

The Monarchists have still not warmed up to the idea of a Constituent Assembly. That is why they talk nonsense when they claim to talk peace.

A strong alliance between the Maoists and the seven parties is but natural: they are the two forces for an Assembly.

Move right on.

If you are going to end up with CPN (M) in power in Nepal, and the CPI (M) in power in India - after all, they are the fastest growing party there - and a CCP in power in China, how dead is communism?

Baburam's theoretical work could put him in the top leagues with the big names in communist history. His blunt criticisms of deviated communists make it possible for him to imagine new stuff. Communist thinking is supposed to be a science: you are supposed to constantly face the facts. The deviated communists were used to presenting it as dogma. As in, are you Christian, or are you a Communist?

The multi-party framework has to be embraced, and right to property has to be seen as fundamental as right to free speech. As long as Prachanda-Baburam can stick within those two parameters, they stand to steer the world communist movement. This kind of rhymes with what I have had to say to Google recently. (See: Google's To Do List Keeps Growing)

No, they don't end up like the Social Democrats in Europe any more than the Americans who introduced massive social welfare programs in the 1930s became communists.

These guys are really upto something. They are the only political party in Nepal likely to get into the business of exporting democracy. And exported it must be. You don't keep the goodies to yourself. You share them.

In The News
  • Parents of Maoist leaders call for cessation of violence NepalNews Official RSS news agency reported that Muktiram Dahal, father of CPN (Maoist) chairman Prachanda alias Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nanda Kumari Thapa, mother of senior Maoist leader ‘Badal’ alias Ram Bahadur Thapa have urged their sons to lay down arms and come to the peace talks...... Stating that the King is the guardian of all the people, they appealed to the political parties and the Maoists to join hands with the King and save the nation by holding peace negotiations ...... The Maoist leaders have, however, ruled out possibility of talks with the royal government unless it agrees to take up their major demands including election to the constituent assembly to draw a new constitution.
  • NGO Federation welcomes ceasefire
  • Seven-party demonstrations continue; scores injured for the fourth consecutive day Wednesday..... Police charged batons, fired several rounds of tear gas shells and used water canons to disperse the protesters. At least six-dozen leaders including UML’s Yuba Raj Gyawali and Ishwor Pokhrel, Nepali Congress leaders Bal Bahadur Rai, Mahatha Thakur, Dr Ram Saran Mahat and Chhaya Devi Parajuli, NC (D)’s Prakash Saran Mahat and Dr Minendra Rijal were arrested..... According to them, the government has detained them without producing detention warrants.
  • Performance of the govt. is not worth commenting: Chand .... Former prime minister and staunch royalist, Lokendra Bahadur Chand has said the performance of the council of ministers led by King Gyanendra himself is not worth..... it would be good not to engage in the trouble of evaluating this government. The government hasn't fulfilled any promises that were made in the royal proclamation of February 1........ let's not even talk about the RCCC as the discussion on its legitimacy is being discussed in the court now. “However, personally speaking, I don't have a positive outlook towards the royal commission” ....... there should necessarily be understanding between the king and the political parties. If there is still some possibility left, even though however small or inconsequential, then it should be weighed up from all the angles and aspects....... the possibility of talks (between the monarch and the agitating parties) is gradually waning ....... there is still some time left; the time hasn't really passed. Everybody should make amendments ....... I don't wish to become a prime minister anymore. I have fulfilled the responsibility of prime minister many times. I am equally ready to find a solution to the problem facing the country by staying outside. It would be a great honour to be able to contribute in finding a solution to this problem as a citizen ....... “At the moment His Majesty the king has sufficient options before him. I am of the firm belief that His Majesty would take appropriate decision as per the country's situation and aspirations” ......... there was no need for him to give His Majesty any personal suggestion. “His Majesty himself is very knowledgeable. I have heard that His Majesty reads all the newspapers himself. Because of that I think he is pretty informed and abreast with everything that is happening
  • ICRC yet to resume visit of detention centers ..... Nearly six months after it stopped visiting detention centers maintained by the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA), the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Maoists announce nationwide protests from Sept 10 Prachanda today announced nationwide protest programs from September 10 to December 3....... Prachanda said his party would carry out protest programs at the district level, in phases, throughout the truce period. As part of the protests, a massive publicity campaign would be spearheaded, among others, in favour of party’s key demands – an interim government, election to the constituent assembly and a republican setup...... pledged to cooperate the political parties in their agitations in Maoist-controlled areas...... Prachanda’s statement further said talks with agitating political parties and civil society representatives for a joint movement would be initiated soon.
  • EU welcomes ceasefire
  • I haven’t met Indian leaders: Prachanda ...... denied reports that claimed that he had met senior Indian officials in New Delhi recently...... In an interview with online edition of his party’s mouthpiece, Janadesh ....... challenged Nepali officials to prove their allegations that he had met Indian officials and that the ceasefire was announced as per their plans....... Prachanda said it was important to see after three or four days of his party’s announcement that the royal regime was not in favour of peace or any political solution. The main reasons for the Maoist decision (to go for unilateral ceasefire) was to create an environment for what he called ‘forward-looking political way out’ at both the national and international level, encourage seven political parties for collaboration and politically intervene on the `old regime.’ ..... Prachanda said his party did not see any rationale or prospect of holding talks with the royal government. He, however, said his party could hold talks, with the consent of political parties and the civil society, if the government too declares ceasefire and makes clear that it is ready to let people decide their own fate....... the Maoist chairman made it clear that the unilateral call for truce did not mean to influence the forthcoming UN General Assembly (or the proposed visit by the Nepalese monarch to New York). He also denied reports that the ceasefire was announced in consultation with the seven opposition parties. “We took this decision based on our own political analysis.”
  • CPN (M) Statement INSN
  • Maoist Statement Announcing Ceasefire INSN
  • Cry, The Beloved Country UWB Today morning in Kantipur Daily, I saw a pathetic picture of Vishwa Bhasha Campus Free Student Union chairman Santosh Bhatta, his grey shirt painted by blood. Unable to bear the disgust, I sprang out my room and headed for RR College. The erstwhile pacific and academic-looking Exhibition Road turned into battleground. Students of Vishwa Bhasha Campus were retaliating the beating of their chairman........ The flame stemming from the tire at the middle of the road was rendering the ambience ablaze. The smoke emanating from the half-burnt tire was causing difficult to inhale, adding more carbondioxide to already pollutted air. Quite environment-unfreindly! Students recoiling inside the campus as if it were a haven were throwing bricks at baton wielding riot force. The tires were burning into cinders. One agressive-looking guy threw yet another tire into the pyre while police watched that from stone’s throw away.......Fear was wrought large in wayfarers’ faces. There, of course were few curious viewers, supporting the student’s cause and giving an anti-establishment air. The crowd was swollen but the observers easily outnumbered the protesters. Police seemed waiting for orders to lathicharge while students were bustling in and out of the gate. I noticed that Sajha Prakashan’s sales point was there inside the campus area. I had skimmed through the Nepali masterpieces kept in order out there. Those books obviously adhered to peace. But what was happening just outside was at odds with its credo.
  • Call truce and we'll talk, Nepal Maoists tell king Newindpress, India
  • Give up arms to show your sincerity, Nepal govt tells Maoists Rediff
  • 7-party agitation continues in Nepal for 4th day Outlook (subscription), India
  • Nepal weighs response on ceasefire, parties welcome the move Press Trust of India
  • Dozens held in violent protests against Nepal king Reuters AlertNet, UK
  • Give up arms to show your sincerity, Nepal Govt tells Maoists Outlook (subscription), India
  • NEPAL: Five journalists injured in police beating in 7-party ... Asia Pacific Media Network, CA
  • Bar Nepal from using int'l fora: Parties ask Annan Kathmandu Post, Nepal
  • Nepal’s lone war on terrorism – I, Nepal

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