The only full timer out of the 200,000 Nepalis in the US to work for Nepal's democracy and social justice movements in 2005-06.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Isolating The Monarchy
It is already solidly behind. But we need to keep up the pressure. There are not many examples on world stage where the major powers like India, Europe and the US are so solidly behind a people's aspirations for democracy. And that is a total reflection of the vibrant pro-democracy crowd in Nepal. Absent that the global community could have done little but look the other way for the most part.
Time will not cure this pressure for the king. There has to be a concrete change in ground realities.
It is not true China is supporting the king. China is at best staying neutral. China is too engaged with India, Europe and America to pick fights with them over Nepal.
The diaspora in the US needs to turn up the heat a little more. There has to be greater lobbying. The good work has to be made better.
There is a possible scenario such that the seven party alliance might have to unilaterally declare the formation of an interim government at the height of the movement. At that point we will need all the international friends we have got to recognize that government.
But this part of the homework is mostly done.
Seven Party Alliance, Maoists, Civic Society, The Masses
There has to be a strong alliance of these four forces. The first three need to come together for the benefit of the four. The 12 point agreement between the Maoists and the seven party alliance has to be revised. The seven parties need to let go the House revival stand. And the Maoists need to be willing to let go of their army before the country enters into a constituent assembly. Two of the four projects of the Nepali diaspora in the US are to do with the civic society, and two are to do with the seven party alliance. They are designed to bring them together and cement their bonds.
Ultimately the show of force is going to be when the people show up out in the streets in large numbers. I can feel the groundswell.
The king's reluctance to seek genuine dialogue leaves room only for a decisive confrontation.
They are already with us. They can not join the movement en masse during the early stages. But they will come out in large numbers when it is time to hit the decisive blow. They have been harassed and penalized like the rest of the population. We need to stay in touch with all our contacts inside the bureaucracy. We need to make the regime feel it has no way to keep secrets.
It has not been as out and out as it could be, but the Nepal Bar Association is solidly behind the movement. Shambhu Thapa has been providing great leadership. The Supreme Court itself has prevented excesses by the regime in several ways.
The idea is not to confront the police. We should seek to befriend them and win them over. Being realistic, it might not be possible to avoid confrontations altogether, but we should seek to avoid them as much as possible. The idea is not to fight the police. We are not trying to dismantle the state machinery. We are trying to take it over.
Should there be a military crackdown, a lot of the army honchos are going to end up behind bars. It is illegal to follow illegal orders. Both giving and following orders will get you into trouble.
On the other hand, try and win them over. The foot soldiers are all janata ko chhoro. They might be susceptible to concerted propaganda.
Stay in touch with all your contacts in the army as well. A lot of up and coming army officers are big on the professional army idea. They are not there for the king. Many of them are in touch with select elements of the diaspora.
Protect The Demonstrators
Document all assaults. This movement will be different from the one in 1990. Legal action is to be initiated this time to book the guilty. The right to peacefully protest is a fundamental human right. No regime or constitution can take it away.
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