Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Malaria, Polio, Monarchy

> Dear all,
> Police and Armed Police Force have fired indiscriminately at the
> protestors at Gangabu. Hundreds of people are injured. According to
> unconfirmed reports over a dozen people have lost life. Most of these
> people are poor and cannot afford treatment. I request all of you to
> contribute some money for their treatment. Please, please help the poor
> who are sacrificing their lives for democracy and freedom for all of us.
> Expecting to hear from all of you, soon.

Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 19:19:54 +0100
From:"Rajesh B. Shrestha"
Subject: Solidarity to protestors
Hello Paramendra,

I read your blog every once in a while. How can we show our solidarity to the peaceful demonstrators and send a strong condemnation to both the King and Maoists for resorting to violence?

Are you collecting the funds for the Gongabu victims?

London, UK

Hello Rajesh. I am one of many individuals and groups collecting funds. But I would urge you to collect funds locally, and wait just a little before we figure out a way to send money directly from London to Kathmandu. I am pushing to do it through the Nepal Medical Association or some organization with a similar stature. That way we will have an efficient model where there will be this one bank account numerous diaspora groups will be sending money to directly, in a decentralized fashion. Small groups of 10 and 20 Nepalis across the world can raise and send money directly. Kudos. Keep up the spirit. They need us now more than ever before. On to a Democratic Republic.

Donate Money Through Samudaya: Donate.

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यो राजा होइन, पशु हो

राजतन्त्र भनेको मलेिरया, पोिलयो जस्तो हो। कुनै देशमा चाँडै हट्यो, कतै बढी टाइम लाग्यो। नेपालबाट राजतन्त्र फाल्ने बेला आइसक्यो। बेला यही हो। देश संिवधान सभामा त जान्छ जान्छ, तर त्यो भन्दा पिहले देश गणतन्त्र भइसकेको हुन्छ।

Kamal Thapa, Stay Out Of People's Homes

Killing people has not been enough for him. Now he had ordered the police into all homes in Kathmandu. We are not talking about human beings here. These are animals. This guy needs to go to jail for life.

Declare Revolutionary Parliament, Save Lives

Interim Constitution, Revolutionary Parliament

The seven party alliance leaders, especially the Nepali Congress, is trying my patience. Dialogue, what dialogue? You don't talk to animals. If these people were concerned about people's sentiment, they would have come for a constituent assembly. Small or large crowd, does not matter.

It is not okay to let people get beat up by the police, killed. This has to stop. This is where political leadership comes in.

The seven party alliance has got to coalesce around the common slogan of a Democratic Republic. The country will still go through a constituent assembly, but it will do so as a republic. This king is a madman. Can't do business with him.

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In The News

Foreign Office warns against travel to Nepal Telegraph.co.uk
Unrest In Nepal Voice of America
Nepal pro-democracy protestors injured, arrested in fifth day of ... JURIST
Thousands march in Nepal protests despite curfew, government ... JURIST
Troops fire on Nepal protesters Aljazeera.net, Qatar protests and clashes, including in places where shoot-on-sight curfews were in force, showed that more ordinary people were coming out openly against him.... sources close to the palace said the king was unlikely to relent
Update 9: Activist: Police Fire on Nepal Protesters Forbes
Clash shakes Kathmandu as Nepal again tries to stop pro-democracy ... Canada.com A small clinic near the scene of the Kathmandu clash treated about 130 injured protesters, said Keshar Karki, a clinic employee........ The Kathmandu violence came in a neighbourhood on the city's edge, when protesters marched toward a line of police from an area not covered by the strict curfew rules. When the protesters didn't retreat, the police first beat the demonstrators with batons and then opened fire on them, said Poshraj Adhikari of the rights group INSEC-Nepal........ Brian Cobb, an American doctor who set up a small clinic to treat those injured in the protests, said police had stormed his makeshift operation and attacked his patients..... "The police charged in and knocked people onto the ground and starting beating them," said Cobb........ The government said the clashes were being investigated, but insisted security forces were fired on....... The government also announced it would launch a search of houses across Kathmandu in search of terrorists who they say have infiltrated the pro-democracy protests.
Nepal riots continue, scores injured Bangkok Post
Protesters in Nepal fired on International Herald Tribune, France
Update 8: Activist: Police Fire on Nepal Protesters Forbes
Activist: Police Fire on Nepal Protesters ABC News
Back off! Brajesh Mishra tells Nepal King CNN-IBN, India
Crack in King’s govt as fresh violence erupts Indian Express
Anti-monarchy strike continues in Nepal NDTV.com
KING’S CROSS Calcutta Telegraph King Gyanendra may still be the reigning monarch of Nepal, but he clearly has little political or moral authority. The army and the police may yet succeed in winning back for him an administrative post or a town that protestors overrun and seize for some time. But that does nothing to regain for him his lost authority. On the other hand, even a fleeting victory adds to the moral strength of the uprising. This is the real significance of the siege of Chitwan, where hundreds of students took control of the district administration for a few hours before being driven out by the king’s army....... The movement is fast acquiring a strident anti-monarchy character. ........ the main responsibility for the crisis in Nepal lies with the king. He first usurped all powers of an elected government and then went on to rob the people of their basic freedoms. He has ignored all appeals, domestic and foreign, to restore democracy. His refusal to resume the peace talks with the Maoists is compounded by his inability to tackle the revolt. The international community must do much more in order to save Nepal from its failed monarchy.
Dozens injured in clash in capital of Nepal Xinhua, China
Nepal parties defy curfew orders, 15 activists arrested Hindu
Nepali seven-party leaders vow to continue agitation Xinhua
Nepali gov't imposes 13-hour curfew in capital People's Daily Online
Curfew clamped in Nepal, agitation continues
Sify, India
Curfew clamped in Nepal, stir continues Daily News & Analysis
Agitation continuing in Nepal despite curfew Islamic Republic News Agency
Protestors continue to defy curfew in Nepal Outlook (subscription)
Nepal beyond the monarchy
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Nepal: Left Calls for End to Repression, Talks Political Affairs Magazine, NY
OHCHR-Nepal deplores excessive use of force, arbitrary detention Kantipur Online, Nepal
Popular protests ignite Nepal Christian Science Monitor, MA A nationwide civil uprising gripped Nepal for the fifth consecutive day Monday as civilians from all walks of life brazenly defied a government curfew imposed in Kathmandu and half a dozen districts outside the capital. This is the first time a curfew has been widely defied here in 16 years......... The strike quickly gained a life of its own, with party leaders not seen at the forefront of the demonstrations........ demonstrations now are coming from the grass roots with spontaneous participation from women, children, and the elderly. Ordinary citizens - fed up with a decade-old insurgency that has crippled life, and a king who has curbed civil liberties - clashed with security personnel during curfew hours, decrying repression, demanding that the king be exiled, and declaring their localities republics.......... every locality in Kathmandu Valley, and every district in the country are in spontaneous revolt........ "Even the parties had not expected this degree of spontaneous participation... The massive participation from the people is more due to disillusionment with the royal regime than due to love for the parties. People have no expectations [of] the royal regime anymore." ....... Groups of protesters have swelled into thousands with ordinary citizens, students, teachers, professionals, doctors, and even civil servants joining in. Employees at government-run banks have locked bank vaults and joined the democratic movement........ to put an end to violence and misrule ....... It is true that the parties made mistakes during their 12 years of rule from 1990. But the king has outdone them in just over a year.... We want the king out of the country.......... Even the parties cannot stop us now ......... Individuals like Koirala have taken it upon themselves to barricade roads, burn tires, and chase away police in most localities in Kathmandu. Streets in the capital are littered with bricks, rocks, charred tires, and torched vehicles. The number of protesters coming onto the streets rises as curfews begin. In places like Gongabu and Kalanki in Kathmandu, thousands of demonstrators who have been defying daytime curfew since it was imposed Saturday, have asked Army personnel to shoot at them, saying they are ready for martyrdom.......... The killing of four protesters, one each in the towns of Pokhara, Banepa, Chitwan, and Janakpur, by Army bullets and batons, has inflamed tensions. ........ the government denied curfew passes to independent media .....
Nepal under dictator’s rule, forces searching all homes for ... International Reporter, India Nepal's government admitted on Tuesday that it ordered security forces to conduct a comprehensive search of all homes in the capital where they have doubt of alleging rebels have infiltrated....... he resort town of Pokhara, while the king has been vacationing .......The last mass democracy movement in 1990 only gained steam after dozens of pro-democracy demonstrators were shot by police, prompting a surge of anti-royal sentiment.........
Former parliamentarian shot dead in US NepalNews Former parliamentarian Prakash Koirala was shot dead by unidentified assailants at convenient store in Texas of United States (US), on Monday. According to reports, the assailants shot Koirala and burnt the store where he had been working for the last few years. His body was almost completely burnt. Koirala was elected as a member of House of Representatives in the 1991 general elections representing Nepali Congress from Sindhuli. Koirala was residing in the US for the last ten years and working at the store of a Pakistani national.

Demonstrations continue on Tuesday; two protestors shot in Pokhara NepalNews
Meaningful dialogue need of the hour: RJP chief Thapa
FNCCI expresses full commitment to democracy
Open dialogue with the opposition parties: Gill
Former parliamentarian shot dead in US
Day-time curfew continues on Tuesday; curfew hours reduced
Direct palace rule has failed in every regard: US
AI fears increase in violence in coming days
CoAS Thapa inspects Butwal, Taulihawa
NHRC concerned over excessive use of force
NT employees called strike over mobile phone disruption

Senior EU official warns of pushing UN to take action on Nepal Kantipur
OHCHR-Nepal deplores excessive use of force, arbitrary detention
Pro-democracy demonstrations continue, hundreds injured in police action; 9 tourists arrested
10 journalists arrested
King's failure to restore democracy has compounded problem: US
Restore democracy: Boucher
Army infiltrates rally
Civil servants join protests
Securitymen using excessive force: NHRC
Police beat Kantipur journos


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Police open fire at demonstrators in Gonganu, over a dozen critically injured

More than a dozen protesters were injured when security personnel opened fire at a demonstration in Gongabu in Kathmandu Tuesday evening.

TV footages showed several injured demonstrators being rushed to hospital as violent clashes between the police and the protesters went on. Red Cross officials, some foreign volunteers and police personnel carried the inured persons to police vans and other vehicles to be rushed to hospital.

According to human rights monitors present on the scene, more than a dozen agitators were shot by the riot police and the Armed Police Force (APF) officials as angry demonstrators threw stones at the residence of police AIG Roop Safar Moktan at Gongabu after unidentified persons reportedly opened fire at the crowd from inside the house.

APF Senior Superintendent Madhav Thapa who was leading the security forces refused to order his men to halt fire despite several requests after a number of protesters were shot at, the rights activists said.

Several rights activists and journalists were also injured as police indiscriminately charged batons at the crowd while dozens others were arrested from the protest that started soon after the daytime curfew ended at 5:00 p.m.

The condition of a number of persons who have been undergoing treatment at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital is said to be critical. nepalnews.com mk Apr 11 06

"Glorious Revolution" of Nepal (Special to Nepalnews)

A timely restoration of the Parliament is in the King's interest too

By Rajesh B. Shrestha

It is 1685 AD. After a prosperous reign of 25 years, King Charles II of Britain, who recalled the Parliament that had had been dissolved for 7 years, dies. His brother, James II succeeds him and, shortly then after, tries to bring back absolute monarchy and savagely suppresses rebellion. Fed up with the new monarch, the political parties of the time, in 1688, launched what later became known as the Glorious Revolution, forced the King to give up his crown and chose James's daughter as the new monarch. The Parliament thereby proved itself more powerful than the Crown, and enshrined in a Bill of Rights, ended divine right and absolute monarchy in Britain.

Today, the seven party alliance (SPA) is calling for the restoration of the Parliament as the first step towards return to peace. Monarchists in Nepal cite that the revival of the Parliament which has expired its mandate is unconstitutional. The sequence of events leading from October 2002 when the King dismissed the elected Prime Minister to the royal takeover on February 1, 2005 can hardly be described as constitutional. Even as the King cites the Constitution in his every address, he has routinely acted against the spirit of the Constitution and blatantly abused the Article 127. The ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, the Supreme Court, in terming the RCCC illegal, has also intimated the unconstitutionality of the King's takeover.

His Majesty King Gyanendra

The King has also publicly stated that he is committed to multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy. If that is indeed so, the restoration of the Parliament assures the King the most direct and the country the least anarchic route back to order. Many legal analysts argue that Article 127 of the Constitution was designed for this very purpose. An old Parliament is better than no Parliament. By its very nature of representation, the Parliament is inherently more sensitive and more in touch with people's realities and aspirations than any king or dictator could ever be.

A timely restoration of the Parliament is in the King's interest too. Not only would it keep the monarch above the political frays that is inevitable among the political parties and the Maoists in the days ahead, but also contribute to restoring people's faith in the usefulness of the monarchy. The alternative is a complete shakeup of the political terra-ferma of the country, which will most certainly leave the monarchy in tatters. A delayed action on the King's part risks missing the parliament-window and the SPA moving ahead to full-fledged republicanism which has already gained considerable favour among young Nepalis.

A delayed action on the King's part risks missing the parliament-window and the SPA moving ahead to full-fledged republicanism which has already gained considerable favour among young Nepalis.

Of course, restoration of the Parliament alone is not enough. The present Constitution is in need of a serious revision, if not a complete rewrite, through constituent assembly elections. Similar to the British Bill of Rights, legal safeguards need to be put in place establishing the supremacy of the Parliament and sovereignty of the people, to prevent the history of 2017 B.S. or February 1 ever repeating again. Either way, the responsibility of taming the Maoists, forming the government and the modus operandi of the constitutional changes will be left to the Parliament.

Since the Maoists do not have any representation, the restoration of the Parliament offers a litmus test to their claim of political transformation. The Maoists are clearly envious of the recent successes of the SPA's peaceful movement. In launching civil and economic rather than military attacks against the government, SPA has demonstrated that peaceful economic defiance is more effective and more appropriate in today's economic world order. Nevertheless, the restoration of the Parliament would oblige the Maoists to tilt more towards the SPA's peaceful methods and towards their permanent disarmament.

A cursory review of the British history reveals that the Parliament was dissolved a number of times but later re-instated, even after as many as 11 years. The timely restoration of the Parliament would be a meeting point between the three forces in Nepal and a quick way out towards getting the country back on track. History may look back at the beginning of this new year as Nepal's own "glorious revolution" for long-term peace and prosperity of the country.

(Rajesh B. Shrestha, currently based in the UK is one of the organisers of London Chhalphal (www.london-chhalphal.org). Please send your comments to rajeshbsh@gmail.com)

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