Sunday, November 13, 2005

Indian Support For Democrat-Maoist Alliance A Must

There are unofficially corroborated claims of India having facilitated talks between the Maoist leaders and those of the seven parties. I believe them and I fully support India in its efforts.

India for its own sake can not imagine the worst case scenario. India can not afford to see a Rwanda or a Cambodia next door. The worst case scenario would ask for direct Indian military intervention and that would destabilize the regional geopolitics. India wisely would not want that.

India took the lead in helping the Nepali establishment seek a military solution to the insurgency. That did not work. All sane analysts believe there is no military solution to the insurgency.

That leaves room only for a political solution. And dialogue is how political solutions come about.

You can not come to the conclusion that the political solution is the best solution, and then act to prevent dialogue. You facilitate dialogue. That is what the Indian political parties are making possible. CPI (M) is taking a lead on this. And I commend Karat and Surjeet for that. These Indian politicians have a feel for the nuances of the politics in Nepal like peacemakers from Norway might not, for example.

The Maoists on their own have made some things very clear. One, they will disarm. Two, they want to go for a constituent assembly, and they will accept its verdict. They are the reason the seven parties finally came for the constituent assembly idea. Personally I totally believe they are honest about their roadmap. This is no tactical move. They are not trying to pull a Lenin. They do not have the option to try and pull a Lenin.

But the point is you do not have to trust the Maoists. You just make sure they stick to the roadmap. You measure progress as it gets made. You establish benchmarks.

A strong Democrat-Maoist alliance is the best way to neutralize the king, and the only way to bring the civil war to an end. This is the best way to bring the Maoists into the mainstream, and I have been espousing the idea for months now.

Keep doing what you have been doing. And do more of it.

Sarahana Shrestha, Anil Shahi, Sanjaya Parajuli

I had a long momo lunch with the three in Chinatown earlier. The meeting was Sarahana's idea. It was a most productive meeting.

Sarahana is going to produce some kind of a flash presentation to sum up the talk. The idea was to think of all possible scenarios to the point of democracy getting back on track. It was an hours long brainstorming session.

I look forward to the online presentation.

If I had to draw a brief outline, it would be as follows. We started at the finish line and worked our way backwards.

Constituent Assembly is the goal. The country could end up a republic or with a limited role for the monarchy. It could end up federal or not. Let the people decide. Another option was to write up a constitution and then take it to a referendum. To that I said I already have a document for that: Proposed Constitution. If it is going to be those same parties, with those same leaders, with similar electoral strengths, why can't they use my document as a framework for discussions. You first decide things you agree on. Things you can not agree on, you decide through a constituent assembly. That will fast forward things. If we go the South African route, that might take years.

Before that there has to be an interim government. The interim government has to hold peace talks with the Maoists and bring them into the government. UN mediation can be sought. There can be partial integration of the Maoist armed cadres into the state army. It was said the RNA is not as large as they say it is. The numbers have been inflated for propaganda purposes. It is more like 60,000, but they say it is 90,000.

What if the Maoists rearm after they don't do well at the constituent assembly elections. Personally I don't believe that will happen. They are not going to squander the safe landing they finally might get. But that's a thought.

How to get to an all party government? That is the trickiest part. And the group decided to tackle that at some future date.

In The News

Hearing on constitutionality of RCCC resumes NepalNews
Nepal King assures he would return to democracy: Indian PM
NGO Federation calls emergency national meet
42 Maoists surrender in Birganj
Lawyers organize sit-in at SC premises
Nepal’s move surprises India: Reports
Govt. warns not to defy Media Ordinance
UML General Secy returns home; rules out talks with Maoists
Bush to sign strict laws on Nepal this week Kantipur
"Civic movement" being organized
Rolpa Agreement Nepal
Krishna Pahadi In Boston, Video INSN

No comments: