Monday, April 10, 2006

Mike Veer: Has Nepal's Orange Revolution Begun?

Mike Veer: Has Nepal's Orange Revolution Begun?

Kathmandu, Nepal
April 5, 2006

(In the Ukraine, thousands and thousands joined in peaceful demonstrations resulting in the change of Government on December 6, 2004. This is known as the Orange Revolution)

The Hindu Kingdom of Nepal, nestled in the Himalayan mountains between India and China, has now passed the 10-year mark in the People’s War declared by the Maoists in 1996. At that time the Maoists controlled no more than 5% of the country. More than 3000 Nepalese have lost their lives in this brutal conflict between the central government and the Maoist rebels.

In 2001 the Maoists claimed to govern in almost 40% of Nepal. With rumors of a Peace Proposal between the Palace and the Maoists circulating, in what many Nepalese consider a Palace-Coup, former King Birendra and his entire immediate family were, on the night of June 1st, slaughtered in the Royal Palace and Birendra’s brother, King Gyanendra ascended to the throne.

It took only a few days for the new King Gyanendra to proclaim a temporary State of Emergency and Nepal’s 1990 experiment with democracy began to fade as the King moved away from Parliamentary rule and a Constitutional Monarchy toward Absolute Monarchy.

On 9-11, 2001, just three months after the death of King Birendra, the attack on the US would push Nepal from the margins of the world stage to front-and-center.

The first country visited by the then U S Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in the aftermath of what was deemed a “terrorist attack on America” was none other than Nepal.

Once an exotic destination for adventure travelers, hippies, and mountain-climbers, Nepal was to become part of the “War on Terrorism” and of the Bush Doctrine of using military force to impose US style “Democracy,” and never negotiating with terrorists.

In keeping with the “War on Terrorism” the US, in 2001 began to reduce its funding for humanitarian-aid and supported, with arms and training, the biggest ever expansion of the Paramilitary Police Force and the Royal Nepalese Army. What had been a combined police and Army force of approximately 20,000 in 1990 was soon to be expanded to over 100,000.

The Nepalese public, weary of the Peoples’ War, distrustful of the Palace, and disgusted with the corruption of the leaders of the Parties . . . tired of strikes, shortages and rising prices, turned their backs on politics as the King consolidated his grasp on the country.

On February-1, 2005 King Gyanendra suspended what was left of all Parliamentary and democratic institutions and took absolute control of Nepal.

Civil society: doctors, civil-servants, radio & print journalist, peace and human rights activist, party members and students began to stir as the Palace stepped up its daily attack, not just on the Maoists but on all democratic forces within the country.

Virtually every Human Rights organization, from the UN Commission on Human Rights to Amnesty International, criticized the Maoists and called for them to cease their actions against civilians. In even more harsh terms these organizations criticize the US trained Police and Royal Nepalese Army for extrajudicial arrests, killings, rapes, torture, disappearances and attacks on fundamental civil liberties, leading the Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC) in 2005 in a 124-page report, to state that “the rule of law has ceased to function in Nepal.”

By the beginning of 2006, the Democratic Parties have gone though much self-criticism and have initiated an unprecedented 7-Party Alliance with all major Parliamentary Parties agreeing on a common platform to restore Democracy. With the continued Government oppression, many of the parties now demand an END TO THE MONARCHY AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A REPUBLIC.

In the last month the 7-Parties have reached out to the Maoists and struck a 12-Point Agreement that would cause the Maoists to abandon the People’s War and join in the democratic process. The US Ambassador, James Moriarity, said to be an intelligent and kind man by many, saddled with the unintelligent and unkind Bush Doctrine, has skittered between the Democratic Parties, much like Chicken Little, warning of dire consequences if there is any compromise with the Maoist rebels.

The 7-Parties, now pushed to brink of civil-war, have called for 4 days of peaceful-protest throughout the Kingdom to start April 6. The campuses have turned into battlegrounds with many students being beaten and tear-gassed, as the evenings are marked by torchlight protests.
The Government, a day before the protest, on April 5, has proclaimed that anyone who demonstrates with the 7-Parties also helps the cause of the Maoists and a curfew has been imposed from 11pm till three a.m.. All buses have been stopped from moving toward or entering Kathmandu. Many vehicles have been seized from private citizens. Politicians, journalists, party and student leaders have been placed under arrest and authorities warn of “orders to shoot.”
With former US President Jimmy Carter’s expected arrival in Kathmandu and the 7-Parties readying to take to the streets, the Maoists have declared a unilateral cease-fire in the Kathmandu Valley and the next few days will determine for the near future if Nepal will escape the grip of dictatorship and stage it’s own ORANGE REVOLUTION.

D. MICHAEL VAN DE VEER - Freelance Journalist in Kathmandu
Contributor to UnitedWeBlog(Voice of Democratic Nepal), Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio News
P.O. 21218,Thamel, Kathamndu, Nepal Tel: 4700632

All The King's Horses And All The King's Men Can't Put The Nepalese Kingdom Together Again

Kathmandu, Nepal
April 7, 2006

Saturday proved to be the most violent so far in the 3rd day of a nationwide bandha (strike) called by the 7-Party Alliance to restore democracy in Nepal.

In the lakeside resort of Pokhara, where the King is residing in his Summer Palace, one person was killed and three were wounded by the Security Forces as demonstrators took to the streets shouting anti-monarchy slogans and demanding the restoration of democracy.

More than 100,000 demonstrators clashed with Security Forces in the south of the country around Chitwan National Park, Janakpur, Biratnagar, and in smaller cities in the region.

In Chitwan most Government Offices were occupied or burned and until reinforcements could be sent the area was declared “Nepal’s first Republic.”

Three were wounded as thousands rioted in the southern town of Bharatpur burning government buildings and forcing Security Forces to retreat from the town center.

In the southwest town of Batwal, Security Forces and the Maoist insurgents fought a raging overnight battle that left at least 13 dead.

Even with the mass rally postponed by the 7-Party Alliance until Sunday, pro-Democracy demonstrators defied the “shoot-to-kill curfew” in the Kathmandu Valley and threw stones, burned tires and clashed with Army and Police. The municipalities of Patan and Kirtipur saw fierce resistance to the Security Forces and have declared “security free zones.”

With the “shoot-to-kill curfew” extended into Sunday from 7:00 A.M. till 8:00. P.M. and from 10:00 P.M. until 3:00 A.M., Security Forces dressed in riot gear at each corner and lining the main avenues, the streets of Kathmandu are empty of vehicles except those taking tourists to and from the airport. The press has been warned not to defy the curfew and not to take pictures or drive press vehicles.

As Security Forces continue to arrest Party activists, human rights advocates, and members of the press, the Capital of Kathmandu is eerily quiet.

Today, Sunday, there is a mass rally scheduled for the Capital and demonstrations continue in the Kathmandu Valley municipalities.

Pro-Democracy forces brace for continued attacks by the Police and Army(RNA) as the support for a Republic and the end to the monarchy spreads throughout the Kingdom.

D.Michael Van De Veer-Freelance Journalist
Contributor to UnitedWeBlog-Voice of Democratic Nepal,
& Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio News
Member: SAJA (South Asian Journalist Association)
Tel:4700632 in Kathmmandu

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Dear Sir,

There was talk on conflict country in USA organize by very prestigious organization which is playing a very important role to establish peace and human rights in conflict countries at international level.I deliver A talk on behalf of Nepal.I am sending you a small news report on the subject.I hope it will be important for your reader.At this point of our history we need international support to establish democratic peace in our country.I have also been adopted as a international adviser of Global Majority by its full international meeting conducted 6-9 April 2006 at Monterrey California.Please feel free to contact me in this regard.Thank you.

With regards
Advocate Dinesh Tripathi


April 9, 2006, USA (California),

Public forum was organized on “The power of civil society: Promoting Dialogue, Averting violence “at Monterey California (USA).program was focus on conflict countries. Supreme Court Advocate from Nepal was invited to speak about Nepal. On occasion Advocate Tripathi spoke” Civil society of Nepal is fighting to establish democratic peace in the country. State terrorism and state lawlessness is the biggest issue in Nepal. Peaceful and nonviolent movement launches by seven parties and massively participated by civil society has been responded by royal military regime of in very cruel and ruthless manner. But despite of ruthless suppression there is popular and spontaneous uprising of people of Nepal want genuine democracy, freedom and socio economic justice. Without genuine democracy, rule of law and socio economic justice no peace can be establish. Peace and tyranny can not go togher.Peace is not only absence of war. Genuine peace requires genuine and participatory democracy, rule of a law. In Nepal long historical experience show that king and democracy can not go together in Nepal. In today’s world Democracy and people’s sovereignty is paramount not king. This is defining moment in the history of Nepal. People are coming into street and challenging ruthless and tyrannical and military backed regime of king. King is totally isolated from people. King Gyanendra of Nepal is biggest road block for peace process in Nepal. He left no stone unturned to suppress popular aspiration and lead country toward heavy militarization. He has no respect for people’s rights popular will. He is working on total military strategy. Peace is not his agenda. His hidden agenda is to consolidate and perpetuate his direct and military based regime. Military is working with full impunity and without any accountability in Nepal. There is no civil control over military in Nepal. There is total breakdown of rule of law and constitution. There is no respect for international and national human rights and humanitarian law. There is huge political repression is going on in Nepal. At this critical juncture international civil society and community must come forward to address growing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Nepal. Nepal’s military regime is not a legitimate and constitutional governmet.It has no legitimacy at all international civil society must launch massive campaign to restore full democracy and human rights in Nepal. World community should not do any thing to legitimatize royal military regime. Impunity should not be tolerated so who are committing a crime against humanity, war crimes and committing systematic violation of human rights must be face trial at international tribunal. They must be brought before justice. Royal military regime must be isolated from international community. People of Nepal must not left alone. Nepal’s democratic movement is the part of global democratic movement.Injstice in one part of the world is threat for justice and human dignity for everywhere. International civil society must exert huge pressure and must mobilize a shame against king’s regime.Internatinal community must support people‘s ongoing movement to establish republican democracy in Nepal. It is proven fact of history of Nepal that democracy and monarchy can not go together.

Program was organized by Global majority which is working at international level for nonviolent conflict resolution and Monterey institute of international Association and Conflict Resolution association. Prominent speaker from various countries who has play a important role for peaceful conflict resolution.Internatinal meeting of Global majority conducted April 6-9 at California also adopted advocate Dinesh Tripathi as a International adviser of global majority.

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