Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why Will Girija Not Seek A Common Sense Solution?

A new interim government is about to be formed. That means the entire cabinet will be reorganized. The Home Minister might have had to go regardless.

Girija is like a stopped clock that is right two times a day. For one, he is sick. I wonder how much time he puts into work daily. And what exactly does work mean to him? Sit in bed Mao style and get his close circle to read him out the papers?

This confrontation he has invited is unnecessary. But now he is faced with it.

His tieing Congressi Madhesi Mahantha Thakur's hands and sending him out to pasture, setting him up for failure, is telling of his anti-Madhesi prejudice.

Perhaps what Girija is lacking is not political skill, although that he is, but rather an attitude that Madhesis are equal to Pahadis. Girija is a Khas guy. He knows where his loyalties lie. That he has anointed Krishna Sitaula, another Khas, as the leader among the third generation Congressis is no accident. This is tribal politics.

The enormous Khas resistance to the Madhesi Janajati Movement perhaps should not come as a surprise. The Khas are the powers that be in all seven Pahadi parties. The titanic struggle was perhaps inevitable.

Girija is not committed to the idea of a republic. He is not committed to federalism. The Khas in general are not committed to federalism. The Kathmandu media has been publishing anti-federalism articles one after another. All sorts of ridiculous arguments are being made against federalism by some top names in the diaspora. Political logic has been shunted, they are busy spewing Khas prejudice.

My logic has been simple. Are you for democracy? People say yes. Are you for federalism? Many people find it hard to say no. And then you lose them. They might pay lip service to federalism, but their heart is not into it. Even those who say they are for federalism are dead set against ethnic federalism.

In my mind, the solution is simple. If you are for democracy and federalism, you should let the people decide as to what shape that federalism should take. You produce your map, I produce mine. And we both go to the people. But the parties basically have refused to produce maps. Therein lies their dishonesty. And that is why the Madhesi and the Janajati are so suspicious of the Khas parties. The Maoists have a map, but they are not really for federalism as we might know it. And even their map is suspect. They have a Tharuwan, and a Tamuwan, and so on, but there is no Khasan for the Khas. The hills and the mountains in the west should be Khasan. That is a mindgame on the part of the Khas leaders of the Maoist party. They think of themselves as universal, as neutral. They are not ethnics, the rest are. That just is not true. We are all ethnics.

The fermentation of the Madhesi Janajati Movement has been necessary. The fog of Khas prejudice is too thick. That prejudice does not seem to respond to political logic, and hence the need for street action.

पुरे देशको प्यारालाइज कर दो
Nepalgunj II: This Is A Repeat
Eighth State: Khasan
Arato: Well Meaning But Away From Ground Realities
माअोवादी तानाशाही मुर्दाबाद
A Nepali Diaspora Milestone
िगिरजाको कुर्सी से हटा दो, सेरेमोिनयल बना दो
Federalism As A Formula
Janakpur Madhesis Demand Federal Republic Nepal
Paramendra Mention In Nepali Times By Kashish
Two Things To Do To Prevent April Kranti III
अगर सडक पर िफर से उतडनी पडी तो
Ram Manohar Sah: Himalayan Double Standard
Bahun Federalism Is No Federalism At All
Nepal Sarkar Needs To Set Up A Tribunal
Krishna Sitaula's Resignation: Why It Is Important
Of Hindu Supremacists And Muslim Martyrs

In The News

Bandh cripples life nationwide NepalNews nationwide shutdown (bandh) called by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NFIN) to pressurise the government to fulfill its 24-point demands. ...... ethnic autonomy, federal system, linguistic freedom, proportional representation in the constituent assembly and guarantee of self determination ..... Market places, education institutions remained closed and the streets were deserted in the capital and most of the major towns across the country. ..... In Kathmandu valley, all the bazaar areas, educational institutions and industries remained closed. Only a few shops were open in some inner parts of the valley. All the vehicles remained off the road. Only press vehicles, ambulances and blue plated vehicles (UN and diplomats) could be seen in the roads. ..... markets in Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dhading, Sindhupanchowk, Kavre, Palpa, Dhankuta and other districts remained closed. Members of the NFIN were deployed from early morning in these districts to make the strike successful. ...... Mahendra, Prithvi and other highways also did not see any vehicles plying. All vehicles running long and short distances are at a standstill. ..... the Tharu Kalyankarini Sabha called bandh in four eastern districts ...... life in Sunsari, Siraha, Saptari, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Rautahat, Morang remained affected due to weeklong strike called by the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum. Customs points also remained closed in these districts. ...... Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) has said that such bandhs will have large impact in the national economy PM concerned about Maoist arms, discussion for interim govt begins declare the arms of the Maoists not registered with the UN as illegal. ..... Maoists may not join the interim government without respectable ministries
Moriarty meets Nepal
Maoists should get ‘respectable position’ in interim govt: Prachanda The Maoists are said to have been demanding important portfolios like senior Deputy Prime Minister, Information and Communication and Home Ministry in the forthcoming interim government. ..... the Maoists had no objection to postponing the CA polls by a few months if the parliament agrees to declare Nepal a republic. .... the eight parties had started discussion for declaring republican setup in Nepal through the Interim Parliament itself. .... his party would soon issue a White Paper regarding its business policies.
SAC agrees to finalise election related bills soon

Mistakes of the Government Kantipur the political chaos we have been witnessing after the Madhesi Movement. ..... Promulgation of an interim constitution that was inherently flawed and not up to the expectations of the people can be considered the seed of all the present problems. ..... the anti-Madhesi stratum of the government. ...... who is supposed to investigate, prosecute and punish if the crime of murder is committed- a party or the government? ...... Accusing them of trying to weaken the government can be as ridiculous as it can get in a democratic society. ..... Everybody knows how long it took and how many compromises the government had to make to bring the Maoists to the negotiation table. Why not make some compromises this time too? ...... What the government should have done is to make a Madhesi the home minister. ...... The MJF has put forward three pre-conditions for talks: resignation of the home minister, formation of a high level probe commission and punishment to those who are found guilty of suppressing the Madhesi Movement. It is striking that the MJF should not even have had to ask for the latter two conditions. ...... Formation of probe commissions has taken place after each movement in Nepal. What is different this time? Is there something to hide? .... the government shows so much promptness to form a commission to probe an incident of stone pelting on the Mercedes of Gyanendra. ..... Lena Sundh, representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR) in Nepal, points towards the need of an impartial investigation into the deaths, injuries and destruction of property in Terai during the Madhesi Movement
Govt-Maoist discuss interim govt, CA polls
CA election dates will be announced by Thursday: Prachanda
NFIN-called banda affects life in capital, other parts
Each family in Karnali to get employment
King to vanish from Rs 1000, Rs 500 notes
Gas dealers press NOC to regularize supply
Two killed in Maoist-MPRF clash Seventh grader Khohade Kori, 14, was killed in the attack by Maoists while they were chasing MPRF cadres, according to locals. Another Madhesi activist Koili Kori succumbed to injuries in a hospital last night. ..... Following clashes with MPRF cadres in several places, the Maoists were compelled to move the mass meet venue from the local stadium to the ground of Tondon Rice Mills. Peoples' turnout in the mass meet was significantly lesser than what organizers had expected .... Dr Baburam Bhattarai claimed that Maoist should get the leadership for building a New Nepal.
CPN-M wants new govt in a day or two, govt in no hurry

Bill On Political Parties

Bill on Political Parties presented; parties to be barred from organising bandh NepalNews it will now be illegal for political parties to announce bandh ..... the bill proposes against wall-painting, pasting and graffiti-writing by parties on private properties without owners' consent. They are also asked not to vandalise public or private properties when organising their programs ..... prohibits the parties from enlisting corrupt persons, black-listed defaulters and those declared bankrupt by the court, as their members. It asks parties to make their executive committees inclusive and properly keep asset lists of their office-bearers. ....... The bill also proposes that the state provide grants to the parties based on the votes they garner. Parties that garner at least one percent of votes in the national elections will be granted with proportional amount of resources. It has also made provisions regarding the donations or financing of the parties by national or international government, organisations or individuals. ...... the bill makes it mandatory for parties to submit signatures of 10,000 people if they want to be registered at the Election Commission (EC). This provision, however, will not be applicable to the parties that are represented in the current parliament. ...... The parties will have to audit their financial transactions and present the report to the EC within six months of the completion of a fiscal year. The EC can impose fines on the parties who do not abide by this provision.

  1. Making it illegal to organize bandh is aimed at the Madhesi Janajati Movement. This reminds one of the royal dictatorial regime. This should be left a challenge for the political culture. We have to end up being a country where it is no longer necessary to organize bandhs. The political process itself should deliver. The Home Minister's resignation is essential to cultivating such a culture.
  2. This provision is offensive. Instead the Khas folks in power should address the genuine concerns of the Madhesi, and the Janajati.
  3. Asking the parties to make their central committees is not specific enough. There have to be numbers and percentages involved. If this provision is fair enough, there would be no need for separate Madhesi, Janajati movements.
  4. Granting parties money in direct proportion to votes they earn is great. This is my personal number one agenda item.
  5. A party having to get 1% of the votes to be recognized is great. 5% has been too high a bar.
  6. "(P)rovisions regarding the donations or financing of the parties by national or international government, organisations or individuals" is outrageous. This will fundamentally disfigure the national decision making processes. Parties have to be state funded. And there should be no other source of funding.
  7. Making the parties submit their book keeping to the Election Commission is great. The next logical step is that such book keeping should simply be made public.
The Major Challenge Of The Madhesi Janajati Movement

Ultimately the goal has to be to form a political party in which the Madhesi and the Janajati are clearly in the leadership positions.

पुरे देशको प्यारालाइज कर दो
Nepalgunj II: This Is A Repeat
Eighth State: Khasan
Arato: Well Meaning But Away From Ground Realities
माअोवादी तानाशाही मुर्दाबाद
A Nepali Diaspora Milestone
िगिरजाको कुर्सी से हटा दो, सेरेमोिनयल बना दो
Federalism As A Formula
Janakpur Madhesis Demand Federal Republic Nepal
Paramendra Mention In Nepali Times By Kashish
Two Things To Do To Prevent April Kranti III
अगर सडक पर िफर से उतडनी पडी तो
Ram Manohar Sah: Himalayan Double Standard
Bahun Federalism Is No Federalism At All
Nepal Sarkar Needs To Set Up A Tribunal
Krishna Sitaula's Resignation: Why It Is Important
Of Hindu Supremacists And Muslim Martyrs

In The News

SAC agrees to finalise election related bills soon Altogether 73 proposals have been registered for amending the bill.
One killed in Maoists-MJF clash in Banke one 14-year-old boy student was killed. It is not clear whether the boy named Khohade Kori was associated with the MJF or not. Locals claimed that the boy was heading to his school when the clash occurred. ..... Ten activists of MJF and 17 cadres of Maoists are said to have been injured in the incident.
Limbuwans press for their cause The 12th national council assembly of Kirat Yakthung Chumlung has concluded in Tehrathum on Tuesday declaring that they will settle for nothing less than Limbuwan autonomy within the central framework of federal democratic republic with right to self determination. ...... The four-day assembly – the traditional council of the Kirat community – held at Myanglung of Tehrathum stated that their demand will be presented to the government at the ongoing talks. .... The assembly has also concluded that it will launch strong agitation if their demands are not met.

NFIN-called banda affects life in capital, across nation Kantipur A banda called by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NFIN), an umbrella organization of more than 50 nationalities, on Wednesday forced most of the vehicles to stay put off the roads in the capital..... Dr Om Gurung had said that he had proposed to the government to call for a roundtable meeting so as to address the problems of people of indigenous nationalities along with that of the Madhesis, Dalits and other backward communities in a single package. ...... Gurung had said that they did not want solution in an installment basis but as a whole." ..... the banda has affected life in several parts of the country including Myagdi, Sarlahi, Palpa, Sunsari, Dhankuta among others. .... the busiest highway in the country, Mahendra Highway saw no vehicles plying
Teenager killed in Maoist-MPRF clash
ँजेठमा चुनाव हुन गाह्रो’
माओवादी-फोरम झडप
बन्दले उखुका रस सुके
पहिलोपल्ट चेपाङ सडकमा
माओवादीद्वारा युवती बेपत्ता
माओवादीद्वारा मजदुरलाई कुटपिट
बन्द र चन्दा
लोकतन्त्रका आसन्न चुनौती
दलित आन्दोलन र अधिकार
मिश्रति निर्वाचन प्रणालीको औचित्य

Strikes demanding more rights and power for ethnic minorities shut ... International Herald Tribune, France
Protests resume in Nepal, shutting roads, stalling trade
Maoists kill Madhesi teenager in Nepal clash
Reuters AlertNet, UK "The Maoists chased the villagers, beat them and killed the young boy who was a member of our forum," said Sarbadip Ojha, chief of the local unit of the Madhesi People's Rights Forum.
Strike by ethnic activists shuts down Nepal Monsters and, UK
Nepal’s Indigenous Leaders Demand All-sides Roundtable to AddressNepal human Rights News


1 February 2007, Thursday768
2 February 2007, Friday614
3 February 2007, Saturday716
4 February 2007, Sunday963
5 February 2007, Monday1268
6 February 2007, Tuesday988
7 February 2007, Wednesday1256
8 February 2007, Thursday850
9 February 2007, Friday391
10 February 2007, Saturday213
11 February 2007, Sunday412
12 February 2007, Monday327
13 February 2007, Tuesday386
14 February 2007, Wednesday661
15 February 2007, Thursday890
16 February 2007, Friday373
17 February 2007, Saturday312
18 February 2007, Sunday434
19 February 2007, Monday348
20 February 2007, Tuesday340
21 February 2007, Wednesday368
22 February 2007, Thursday333
23 February 2007, Friday415
24 February 2007, Saturday281
25 February 2007, Sunday313
26 February 2007, Monday214
27 February 2007, Tuesday436

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

पुरे देशको प्यारालाइज कर दो

नहीं चािहए कंस िसटौलाका राजीनामा
अब तो िगिरजाको ही जानी होगी
इस पुरे सरकारको खसानी होगी

मधेश बन्द रहे
जब तक ये सरकार न िगरे
मधेश बन्द रहे

मधेशके प्रत्येक सरकारी कार्यालयके
साइनबोर्ड पर
िलख दो
मधेश सरकार, मधेश सरकार

उपेन्द्र यादव
अन्तिरम राष्ट्रपित बनेंगे
संघीय गणतन्त्रका घोषणा
उपेन्द्र यादव करेंगे

वार्ताकी अब कोइ गुंजायस नहीं रह गयी
अब तो िवजयकी अोर बढो
कोइ माङ मत करो
पुरी करानेकी कोइ माङ अब बाँकी नहीं रह गइ
अिधकार माङी नहीं जाती
अिधकार िछनी जाती है
िछन लो

नेवारको काठमाण्डु बन्द कर देनी होगी
नेवा राज्यकी स्थापना अभी होगी
िकरातको कहो पुर्वी पहाड पुरे बन्द कर दे
जब तक ये सरकार न खसे
तामाङको, गुरूङको बोलो
मुँह क्या ताक रहे हो
अा जाअो सडक पे
मधेशी क्रान्ित तुम्हारे िलए
उपहार लाई है
मगरको बोलो
ितब्बतीयोंके जैसी दासता चािहए
या वास्तवमें संघीय राज्य चािहए
संघीय गणतन्त्र चािहए
मधेशी जनजाित क्रान्ितमें
सम्िमस्रण हो जाअो

तुम्हें संघीय गणतन्त्र िमलेगी
अभी िमलेगी
जरूर िमलेगी

खसको खसान देंगे
बाँकी ले लेंगे
जो हमारा है
वो हम लेंगे

उपेन्द्र यादव
अन्तिरम राष्ट्रपित बनेंगे
अोम गुरूङ
अन्तिरम उपराष्ट्रपित बनेंगे
संघीय गणतन्त्रका घोषणा
उपेन्द्र यादव करेंगे

सात पार्टीको ४०% सीट िमलेगी
२५% मधेशी गठबन्धन लेगी
२५% जनजाित गठबन्धन लेगी
१०% दिलत गठबन्धनको िमलेगी
प्रत्येक क्याटेगोरीमें
एक ितहाइ मिहलाको
एक नयी अन्तिरम संसद बनेगी
जम्मा ३०० सीटवाला

प्रत्येक मधेशीको
नागिरकतापत्र िमलेगी

देश संिवधान सभाको जाएगी
३०० सीटके िलए
समानुपाितक िनर्वाचन होगी
पुरा देश एक िनर्वाचन क्षेत्र बनेगा
राजनीितक पार्टी हितयार नहीं रख सकता
उसके अलाबे कोइ िनयम नहीं होगी
कमसेकम १% मत लानेवाले
प्रत्येक पार्टीको
सीट िमलेगी
राष्ट्िरय पार्टीकी
मान्यता िमलेगी

संिवधान सभा राज्यके प्रत्येक संरचनाकी
पुनर्संरचना करेगी
मन्त्रालय, सेना, प्रहरी
सबके सब

संघीय गणतन्त्रका घोषणा
उपेन्द्र यादव करेंगे

नहीं चािहए कंस िसटौलाका राजीनामा
अब तो िगिरजाको ही जानी होगी
इस पुरे सरकारको खसानी होगी

पुरे देशको प्यारालाइज कर दो
जब तक ये सरकार न िगरे

Madhesi Aawaz
  1. Madhesi Janajati Kranti Ka Aelan (February 25, 2007)
  2. Pure Desh Ko Paralyze Kar Do (Poem) (February 27, 2007)
  1. Maobadi Tanashahi Murdabad (Poem) (February 25, 2007) (Words)
  2. Girija Ko Kursi Se Hata Do, Ceremonial Bana Do (Poem) (February 24, 2007) (Words)
  3. Agar Sadak Par Phir Se Utadni Padi To (Poem) (February 21, 2007) (Words)
  4. Chunawi Jung (Poem) (February 18, 2007) (Words)
  5. Bijay Ki Sugandh Aa Rahi Hai (Poem) (February 7, 2007) (Words)
  6. Maghe Kranti (Poem) (February 4, 2007) (Words)
  7. Datey Raho (Poem) (January 28, 2007) (Words)
  8. Shanti Barta Kya Bijaya Ghoshana Karo (Poem) (January 25, 2007) (Words)
  9. Madhesh Jal Rahi Hai (Poem) (January 22, 2007) (Words)
  10. Phir Se Kah Do Ek Baar Inqilaab (Poem) (December 29, 2006) (Words)

Nepalgunj II: This Is A Repeat

The Maoists disrupted the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum mass meeting recently in Nepalgunj. They used physical force to that effect. The state security forces did not intervene.

But now the state security forces have intervened. They went hand in hand with the illegitimate Maoist army to provide protection to Prachanda's mass meeting in that same town.

This is an exact repeat of what happened in Nepalgunj during the last week of December.

The Pahadis are saying, you saw it right, we did wrong, and we stand by it, and, by the way, we just performed a repeat. This is a challenge to the Madhesis worldwide.

I am not saying there should have been a Madhesi reprisal, that the Madhesis should have also gone ahead and disrupted the Maoist mass meeting.

But Prachanda's Nepalgunj visit was more like a royal visit back in the days. Who is Prachanda, the new Raja of Nepal? These was a total security blanket on the town. The state security forces participated in the welcome.

Not a single party in power issued a statement of protest when the two recent MJF mass meetings were disrupted by the Maoist goondas, in Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj respectively. And in so doing, all the Pahadi parties have made it very clear where they stand. They stand with the Maoists. And so they have to share blame, take blame.

The Maoists waited until they were done with their mass meetings in the eastern Terai, the Madhesi heartland. And then they showed their true colors. For their Biratnagar mass meeting, they brought in truckloads of Pahadis from the Pahad. They knew Madhesis were not going to show up.

Land reform is a Madhesi agenda. The Maoists need not apply.

Federal republic is a Madhesi agenda. The Maoists need not apply.

Maobadi ka Madhesh se patta saf karo.

Madhesi Alert, Nepalgunj Pahadi Attack On Madhesi, Raw Email, Video Footage
िफर से कह दो एक बार इन्िकलाब
पहाडी मधेशी दंगा, मधेशी जनजाित गठबंधन, र िनर्णायक, अिहंसात्मक अन्ितम अान्दोलनको खाँचो
सद्भावना रोडम्याप
नेपालमा दमजम अान्दोलनको अावश्यकता

Prachanda receives two-tier security during his Nepalgunj address the Maoist cadres and state security forces patrolled the major thoroughfares of this southwestern city of the country since early morning ahead of Maoist Chairman Prachanda's address today. ...... Maoist cadres in civilian garb had arrived in Nepalgunj last night itself ...... an extensive security detail has been arranged to maintain surveillance on those who could possibly disrupt the programme ...... a security team of 500 in addition to 500 volunteers had been deployed at the Nepalgunj venue. ..... aside from the Maoist security detail, the local administration has arranged a large number of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force personnel to maintain security in the region. ....... Security in Nepalgunj has been beefed up following the disruption of the Madheshi People's Rights Forum's mass meeting by the Maoists here three days ago. The heightened security has come in consideration of a possible MPRF retaliation during today's address.

Eighth State: Khasan
Arato: Well Meaning But Away From Ground Realities
माअोवादी तानाशाही मुर्दाबाद
A Nepali Diaspora Milestone
िगिरजाको कुर्सी से हटा दो, सेरेमोिनयल बना दो
Federalism As A Formula
Janakpur Madhesis Demand Federal Republic Nepal

Eighth State: Khasan

Proposed Constitution

I propose an eight state federalism for Nepal: Madhesh, Tharuwan, Kirat, Newa, Tamang, Tamuwan, Magarat, Khasan.

The president has to be directly elected. And if no candidate gets at least 50% of the votes cast, a second round election between the two top candidates has to be held.

The central government has a lower and an upper house. I propose a total of 300 seats. Each state will get seats in direct proportion to its population. And the seats have to be roughly of equal population. For the upper house, the entire country is one constituency, and there is a separate ballot, and there are 100 seats. Any party that gets at least 1% of the votes qualifies. A party may not be armed. Other than that there are no rules. As in, it is perfectly okay to have ethnic parties. It is called the basic human right to peaceful assembly.

Each state is to have a lower and an upper house. Members of the lower house are directly elected in constituencies that are roughly of equal population. The state decides how many constituencies there will be. Members of the upper house will be indirectly elected through proportional representation. There will be a separate ballot.

As for revenue, the central government keeps 50% of its total budget, and hands over the rest to the states. Each state gets an amount in direct proportion to its population. A state keeps 50% of its total budget. The rest goes to the districts. The district keeps 50% of its total budget. The rest goes to the village/town/city, in direct proportion to its population.

The income tax is to be collected by the central government. People in the bottom 40% income brackets will not pay any income tax. The income tax is to be distributed as follows: 50% central government, 30% state government, 10% district government, 10% village/town/city.

Only the state may collect any sales tax. A state might choose not to.

The governor of each state is to be directly elected.

The central government will have no power to dismiss state governments.

Defense and Foreign Policy stay with the central government. Other than that, each level of government participates. On issues like law enforcement, education, and health, all levels of government have to participate.

All book keeping at all levels of government is to stay transparent. All deliberations in the state and central legislatures are to stay transparent.

All political parties are to be state funded. A party must get at least 1% of the votes cast for the central upper house to qualify. The money allocated will be in direct proportion to the number of votes earned.

Proposed Constitution

When the Madhesi Janajati Kranti declares a federal republic, with Upendra Yadav as interim President, and Om Gurung as interim Vice President, this is what I propose be adopted.

There is to be a fundamental restructuring of the state bureaucracy - the ministries, the army, the police - through the constituent assembly. All members to the constituent assembly will be directly elected through proportional representation. The assembly will function as a parliament for three years. It will also write the country's permanent constitution. That constitution will be subject to a referendum.

That constituent assembly will elect the first President of Nepal. That will be the last time the country will get an indirectly elected President. That president's term expires with that of the assembly.

The best part of the formula presented above is that it reads like a mathematical formula. There is this mathematical elegance to it. It basically is the vertical implication of one person, one vote extrapolated.

All Nepalis should feel very much at home in all eight states. And we should expect much economic migration.

In The News

Govt brushes aside demand for Home Minister’s resignation NepalNews the government today threw its weight behind the Home Minister. ..... Badu said there was no discussion on Home Minister’s resignation during the cabinet meeting. He also termed the demand for Sitaula’s resignation as ‘personal’. .... NC central leader and Prime Minister Koirala’s daughter Sujata and few other NC men have gone on record to suggest that Situala should resign by taking responsibility for the loss of lives and property during recent protests in Terai. They maintain that his resignation could create favourable atmosphere for talks with agitating Madhesi groups. ..... Situala, an influential NC leader, has said he would not step down unless the Prime Minister asks him to do so. The Maoists, who initially opposed the idea of dialogue with the MJF and two factions of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM), have already sided with Situala saying there is no need for him to quit
MJF reiterates demand for Home Minister’s resignation
Strike paralyses life in various districts Vehicles remained off the road in a number of eastern and western Terai districts ..... Sunsari, Sarlahi, Mahotttari, Janakpur, Siraha, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Nawalparasi,Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Banke and Bardiya were the worst affected districts by the strike. ..... Transaction in Birgunj, Biratnagar and Nepalgunj customs offices was nil, though business in Bhairahawa customs office was normal ..... Chepangs today announced a transport strike in four different districts in central and western development regions, demanding "Chepang autonomous region". .... Transport services have been halted and bazaars remain closed in Makwanpur, Chitwan, Dhading and Gorkha district due to the protest. .... There are nearly 15,000 Chepangs in the country.
Prachanda decries efforts at disrupting communal harmony Addressing a mass gathering in Nepalgunj on Tuesday, Prachanda said the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) was engaged in hurting communal harmony between hill-dwellers and plain-dwellers in Terai region. Likewise, he claimed, various elements were working to hurt communal harmony among various ethnic communities, as well. ..... activists of MJF clashed with Maoist cadres at Puraina VDC of Banke district when buses carrying Maoist cadres were obstructed by the MJF activists. Four MJF activists and one Maoist cadre was injured in the incident. ..... Since the Maoists had vandalised MJF's public program in Nepalgunj a few days ago, the Maoists had deployed thousands of their cadres to provide security to their program on Tuesday to prevent MJF's reprisal.
FNCCI urges for no strikes during SAARC car rally
ICG suggests inclusive constitution for Nepal
Restructuring Nepal As per 2001 Statistics, out of 104 different races (Jat Jatis) in Nepal, each of the 46 Jatis are less than 0.1 percent of the total population, each of the 32 Jatis are less than 0.1 to 0.5 % each in population, each of the 14 Jatis are 0.6 to 2 % in population, each of the 9 Jatis are 2 to 7% in population, and the three Jatis, people of Khas origin comprise 30.01 % of the total population (Brahimin -12.74%, Chhetri -15.8%, and Thakuri1.47 %). ..... Divide and rule through the mechanism of favoritism and nepotism in the distribution of resources was the preoccupation of those holding power at the central level

CPN-M wants new govt in a day or two, govt in no hurry Kantipur
NA expresses dissent over Maoist security arrangement NA on Tuesday recommended that the government should provide security to the Maoist leaders itself as it does to the leaders of the other parties. .... there should be no double standard in maintaining security in a single state. ... The United Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) had on Friday informed that 3,428 Maoist weapons were registered at the UN. However, the NA had submitted a report to the UNMIN stating that the Maoists during the insurgency had looted 3,430 weapons from the NA, Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police.
CPN-M will hold talks with NC, UML soon on declaring republic: Prachanda
Prachanda receives two-tier security during his Nepalgunj address the Maoist cadres and state security forces patrolled the major thoroughfares of this southwestern city of the country since early morning ahead of Maoist Chairman Prachanda's address today. ...... Maoist cadres in civilian garb had arrived in Nepalgunj last night itself ...... an extensive security detail has been arranged to maintain surveillance on those who could possibly disrupt the programme ...... a security team of 500 in addition to 500 volunteers had been deployed at the Nepalgunj venue. ..... aside from the Maoist security detail, the local administration has arranged a large number of Nepal Police and Armed Police Force personnel to maintain security in the region. ....... Security in Nepalgunj has been beefed up following the disruption of the Madheshi People's Rights Forum's mass meeting by the Maoists here three days ago. The heightened security has come in consideration of a possible MPRF retaliation during today's address.
Traffic in Lalitpur obstructed over torn 10 Rs note the beating up of a microbus driver by Maoist cadres .... The driver and the conductor further claimed that the cadres took them to their party office where they were tied up and meted out further beatings.
Posing as JTMM cadres group abducts teacher from Kalaiya
Martin calls into question CA polls unless political consensus reached soon the Constituent Assembly elections could not take place if an immediate political consensus could not be reached
Nepal’s constitutional process must be more inclusive: ICG report
MPRF strike continues in eastern Nepal; now Chepangs join the fray
End of monarchy will herald a new Nepal : Gautam
‘Armed’ Maoist MP growls at parliament the Maoist practice of entering parliament with pistols, a Maoist member in the Interim Legislature on Monday said he still has a weapon and challenged other lawmakers to take action against him for possessing it...... Putting his right hand on his waist, Maoist Central Committee member and member of the Interim parliament Lokendra Bista said, "I have my weapon here, with me." ..... "If you have the capacity to take action for my rough remarks, you can arrest me," Bista said. ..... None of the members protested Bista's remarks, and instead Home Minister Sitaula came forward and apologized. .... Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara defended Bista
Take command of PLA now: Maoists to govt Mahara, claiming that everything was transparent in the spending of the money provided by the government for cantonment management. ...... "At least Rs 180 million has been spent on food alone. Costs rose to more than Rs 360 million for arranging blankets and utensils in 28 camps," said Mahara. "The force was also 33-34,000 in the beginning. Some of them quit the camps before registration was complete." ...... Sitaula also assured lawmakers he would furnish details on the expenditure in Maoists' camp management in the next meeting of parliament.

Customs officials strike paralyses Nepal districts Malaysia Sun, Malaysia

Monday, February 26, 2007

Arato: Well Meaning But Away From Ground Realities

Arato: Well Meaning But Away From Ground Realities

Professor Arato is a leading expert in his field, that of interim constitutions. I have heard it said that he is of global renown, a widely respected academic. I have had the honor to meet him a few times in person. He is a man of modest demeanor, approachable. He surely has a keen interest in Nepal. Above is the photo of him I took at the event.

The last time I met him was at The New School Event where I spoke.

He asked the first question during the Question Answer Session, my favorite part of the whole program, and he asked it to me. This article reads like an elaboration of that same question. I hope to offer an elaborate answer here myself.

The New School Event: Madhesi Question: Photos 2
The New School Event: Madhesi Question: Photos
The New School Event: My Speech To Be Delivered

It worries me that someone of his stature is missing the picture. He seems to offer the same explanations as the ruling elites in Nepal today. The people are asked to be patient, to wait. Social justice takes time. You can not have it all right away. Progress will be incremental, might take generations.

I am all for a constituent assembly. Heck, I have been arguing for it right after the king's coup.

As to where to go from where we stand right now, I think there are two basic steps that have to be taken. The first has to be the Home Minister's resignation. Professor Arato does not even touch upon that issue. That shows how far removed from Nepal's ground realities he is. His writing has been gleaned more from reading journal articles in his field than the daily news on Nepal.

Without the Home Minister's resignation, the ball is not moving at all.

The next thing to do would be to adopt the Madhesi, Janajati, UML demand for proportional elections to the constituent assembly. That is the best bet to make sure the constituent assembly's composition ends up looking like that of Nepal.

Two Things To Do To Prevent April Kranti III

The Madhesi and Janajati Movements have not been waged against the constituent assembly, quite the contrary.

Constituent Assembly: 300 Seats Of Roughly Equal Population

What has been launched in Nepal today has to be seen as the third part of the April Revolution. Let's face it, the April Revolution surprised the world. Noone had a clue as to how exactly the king would relent. People in circles like that of Arato were hoping someone would talk sense into the king, perhaps some visiting dignitary, some foreign ambassador, perhaps some UN official. He would somehow see the light.

The problem with that view all along was that it did not see clearly as the magnitude of force that would be required to get the king off his pedestal. That force had to be street action.

The eight parties did not incorporate federalism in the interim constitution. That rang alarm bells. Not even the Maoists are offering federalism. They talk of autonomous regions. They have Tibet in mind, not Bihar. Parties like the UML are thinking in terms of a federalism that is but a codeword for decentralization, with maps that look not that different from that of King Mahendra. In other words, clever ways will be sought to marginalize the Madhesi Janajati sentiments for ethnic federalism, just like Wales and Scotland and Tamilnadu and Maharashtra and Quebec.

The Madhesi and Janajati are worried that once the elections already take place, and the constituent assembly ends up looking no different from the current interim parliament - mostly Bahun Chhetri men - then all doors will be shut. There will be even less room to complain. To revolt against a "popularly elected" constituent assembly would make even less sense.

The struggle is not to disrupt the elections to the constituent assembly. The struggle is to make sure the ground rules are fair. The constituent assembly has to end up looking like Nepal in its ethnic and gender composition.

Andrew made a valid point at the program. He was alarmed that in trying to make the constituent assembly "look" like Nepal, we might veer from the basic of democracy, which is one person, one vote. His valid fear that I share is we might end up with the kind of social engineering that the Soviet state experimented with not long after its formation. The Maoist parliamentary team today has a better Janajati representation than that of the other parties, but those Janajatis have been herded around like cattle by Prachanda. So "looking like Nepal" will not be enough. The members of the constituent assembly will have to be elected through the one person one vote mechanism. They have to answer to the people first, to their party supremos second.

My original proposal was to have all members to the constituent assembly be elected directly by the people. And to have reserved constituencies. So if you have a Dalit constituency, you still hold elections, but all candidates in that particular constituency have to be Dalit.

I think Andrew Arato might go for something like that. But then that's the point. The eight parties will not. And Andrew is in no position to influence them otherwise. There is social injustice in Nepal. People in power sustain that. Andrew can not remedy the social injustice. So he should be glad the oppressed are seeking nonviolent remedies to redress.

If the ground rules were fair, the Madhesi and the Janajati would head to the polls and seek votes for themselves. But the ground rules are not fair. The few Bahuns at the top are slated to give tickets. They will get to decide who will even contest the elections.

We who watch the developments from afar have to hope that protests stay nonviolent. More importantly, we have to take sides. Andrew's position reminds me of the MLK line about how the quiet of the good people hurts more than the active malice of the bad people.

The most tenable position now would be for the likes of Andrew to rally support for the two common sense positions in the current scenario.
  1. The Home Minister's resignation.
  2. Proportional elections to the constituent assembly.
The three weeks of the Madhesi Movement concluded by the Prime Minister saying the Terai will get 49% of all seats in the constituent assembly. But the recent amendment tabled in the interim parliament on the topic sticks to the original 205 constituencies. There is this basic dishonesty. There is this basic disrespect towards the Madhesh. And Andrew is not aware of that.

The Home Minister not resigning should tell the world how disrespectful the Pahadi Bahun men in power in Nepal are towards the Madhesis of Nepal. That right there is the most obvious litmus test.

Andrew's call should not be for elections, but free, fair and representative elections. Andrew's call should not be that the Madhesis and the Janajatis should shut up and sit down. It should be that the Madhesi and Janajati grievances should be identified and addressed.

Let Professor Arato pass the same litmus test. Will he or will he not call for the Home Minister's resignation?

Andrew is suggesting federalism has to be secured through the constituent assembly. That is not the issue the Madhesi and the Janajati are struggling with. The issue we are struggling with is that the Bahun Chhetri men in power have been equating federalism with disintegration.

I suggest Andrew offer more empathy to the Madhesi Janajati movement. I suggest he get more specific. Otherwise he comes across as parroting those in power in Nepal right now.

And I would welcome further conversation on this topic. I can accuse Andrew of not being in tune with the ground realities of the Madhesi Janajati movement, but I can not accuse him of holding the prejudices of the Bahun Chhetri men. So further dialogue between Andrew and me might help the conversation in Nepal itself.

"The task for now was only making sure that the Constituent assembly would be constituted in a free, fair and truly inclusive way, so that its decisions on all the relevant questions will be democratic, fair and inclusive in turn."

This is what I agree with. Will Andrew agree that the interim constitution has failed in that task?

Andrew claims ignorance on the citizenship issue raised by the Madhesis. How could he? That issue is fundamental to the Madhesi Movement. That is further proof he is not in tune with the basic thrust of the Madhesi Movement.

Andrew paints the picture of a dictator Prime Minister, one that can die away, but otherwise can not be removed. To him it reads like an oversight. To the Madhesi and the Janajati that reads like entrenched Bahun power.

I would have chosen a single country PR with rules for ethnic and gender fairness"

Andrew and I agree after all. That is precisely what the Madhesi and the Janajati are asking for right now. That is why they have shut the country down.

The creation of all woman candidate districts (1/3 of them) would be possible but absurd."

Why would that be absurd?

It is equally important now that the Interim Constitution be accepted, even with its glaring faults. Renegotiating it would put off elections indefinitely.."

This is where we fundamentally disagree.

Interim Crisis or Interim Learning?

By Prof. Andrew Arato

The new Interim Constitution of Nepal is an important achievement of a democratic process. It is however a document with serious problems of drafting and formulation, which could lead to political difficulties, even constitutional crisis. Fortunately it is relatively open to constitutional amendments that are constitutional learning. With a few necessary amendments, this constitution should be strongly supported by democrats because there is no alternative regulation for the transition period.

The interim constitution places Nepal in the forefront of the best recent experiments in non-revolutionary democratic transformations, starting in Spain and culminating in South Africa. These experiments all involved two stage models of change, negotiated for most of them through round table or multi-party agreements, and in the most advanced form relying on interim constitutions. Nepal unlike many of the cases had a legal break initiating the changes, but like the most developed form had a series of multi-party agreements and now completed an interim constitution. And that, under difficult historical circumstances is a great achievement, especially if it works.

With this said the Interim Constitution recently enacted has serious faults, some of which became clear during the recent popular movement in the Terai region that is already forcing probable amendments. Let me note the main problems. First, the Interim Constitution makes a great mistake in its Preamble to speak in the name of “We, the people of Nepal”. The American original could do so because it was submitted to ratification by popularly elected bodies. Other constitutions that follow this example are drafted by popular bodies, or are submitted to popular ratification, or both. Neither is the case for the Interim Constitution of Nepal; it was drafted by an 8 party bargain, and ratified by a chamber elected in 1999, and illegally (though perhaps legitimately) recalled. These two instances do not add up to the authority of the “people” in any sense. Moreover, an interim constitution does not need such an authority, because its function is to enable the people, or those legitimately speaking in its name to draft a new constitution. While greater legitimacy in negotiating the Interim Constitution through a more public, consultative and open process would have been important, taking on the mantle of the people is especially paradoxical in the absence of such proceedings. It has finally a very dangerous consequence: it is assumed that the makers of the interim constitution had the authority in principle to decide questions that only a democratically elected body could decide, in particular to transform the state from a centralistic to a federal one. Now under pressure the government seems to be getting ready to make an amendment on this question, pre-empting the work of the constituent assembly. But to some extent it invited the raising of this problem, and who knows what others, with the possible absurd end result that the constituent assembly would have nothing left to decide.

In fact, a careful examination of the document shows (rightly in my view) a conservative rather than innovative spirit at work, belying the supposed popular mandate. Most of the interim constitution tracks the structure and sometimes the very paragraphs of the 1990 Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal, eliminating most references to royal powers and prerogatives of course, or worse substituting Prime Minister for King in some crucial instances. Such tracking and repetition is unfortunate when it invites repetition of the authoritarian practices of the old regime. In particular the presence of the Constitution of 1990 is obviously visible in many of the provisions concerning civil rights for example that are full of the old loopholes and in the provisions concerning judicial structure. The latter justifiably raised questions, in Nepal and outside, concerning judicial independence. Granted, the Interim Constitution adds whole sections on The Right to Equality and Rights against Untouchability and Racial Discrimination (articles 13 and 14). But these new rights are in no better shape than the old if the judges needed to enforce them are picked exactly in the old way, with Prime Minister substituting for the King in the exact formula of the 1990 Constitution.

Moreover, astonishingly enough, this Prime Minister will be for the next two and half years under less parliamentary control than the old one was supposed to be, though of course that control was shared with the King in a highly undesirable fashion. In the Interim Constitution, the PM is supposedly picked by consensus among the 8 parties, and failing that by 2/3 of the new parliament (Legislature-Parliament in the new terminology). There is however no possibility of removal through loss of or votes of no confidence as there was in Article 36(5b) of the Constitution of 1990. Astonishingly, with the election of the Constitutional Assembly (rightly defined as also a new Legislature-Parliament) there is no requirement of new government formation. So appointed under one majority, a PM may choose to govern when he is in a weak minority position. Of course he could resign, but he does not need to, and the Constitutional Assembly has no powers to force him. Even more astonishingly Article 160 of the Interim Constitution states that the Council of Ministers in office at the time of the promulgation of that constitution stays in office making Article 38 (1 and 2) basically irrelevant, except in cases of death or resignation of a Prime Minister. The road is open for the current government to stay in office for 2 and ½ years, if it wishes, and if it is favored by natural factors. If the idea was to produce a power sharing formula among the major parties, this was not the way to do it, especially because it is hard to know what will be the major parties after the elections for the Constituent Assembly.

Preparation for those elections and the rules for the Constituent Assembly were in fact the major tasks to be solved by the Interim Constitution, and I strongly disagree with those who argue that it was their makers’ task to come to agreements about all kinds of substantive issues confronting the country, like federalism and material social justice. Those issues are the legitimate province of the democratically elected Constituent Assembly, and even subsequent legislatures to the extent that social and economic policies are involved. The task for now was only making sure that the Constituent assembly would be constituted in a free, fair and truly inclusive way, so that its decisions on all the relevant questions will be democratic, fair and inclusive in turn. It was also important to restrain the Constituent Assembly by rules so that minorities could not be simply outvoted by majorities, producing an imposed, majoritarian constitution, and the Interim Constitution accomplishes this last task reasonably well. The way the Constitutional Assembly is supposed to deal with the issue of kingship through simple majority is not too reassuring, but there is the option still of calling a referendum on this question according to the Interim Constitution (Articles 157, 159(3)). The really difficult issue remains that of the Constituent Assembly’s membership. While I do not sympathise with those raising the issue of federalism now, others questioning the Interim Constitution’s decisions on the electoral rule and citizenship have a much stronger point because these two domains have to do with the very composition of the Constituent Assembly and the possibility that it will not be genuinely representative of both the unity and the diversity of the people of Nepal. As to citizenship, I am no expert, but the kind of additions I detect vis-à-vis the Constitution of 1990, though important, do not seem to go very far. So (I cannot judge) if the grievances of the Madhesi community are serious, more adjustments and changes in this area would be called for. Perhaps independent international experts need to give their opinion on this question. If the lists of citizens can be expanded in the Terai, I must admit I think this would be a better solution than adding more first past the post districts in that region. The mixed system in the Interim constitution is not a bad one (though I would have chosen a single country PR with rules for ethnic and gender fairness) reflecting the fact that some minorities are geographically concentrated and would benefit from more districts in their area, while others like the Dalits (and women who are not a minority) are dispersed and need PR with legal restrictions to get seats. The present regulation is however a muddle (Article 63 (3 and 4) as far as I can see, though I admit that my judgment can be based only on the provision regarding women where it is required that their 1/3 parliamentary representation be assured. There is simply no way to do this with almost half the members running in First-Past-the –Post single district races, because even if parties were required to nominate 1/3 women, all these could lose. The creation of all woman candidate districts (1/3 of them) would be possible but absurd. What I am arguing is that only in the proportional representation part of the competition could the law mandate fair representation of women and other groups, and adding more first First-Past-the –Post races to help one underprivileged group winds up hurting the others. If both types of seats are added as currently proposed, the size of parliament grows and no group is helped. Thus, it would be better to handle the citizenship issue head on, rather than further tinkering with the electoral rule.

In my view then two issues still require adjustment: judicial independence, and (possibly) the question of citizenship. The Interim Constitution allows its own amendment by 2/3 of (in English it is unclear) all or attending members. That rule should be used, though sparingly so that the Constitution is not converted into a simple statute. It is equally important now that the Interim Constitution be accepted, even with its glaring faults. Renegotiating it would put off elections indefinitely, and who knows what conflicts a new Interim constitution would unleash. The current document seems to provide internationally accepted criteria for moving toward free elections, and the most important thing is that it be enforced and upheld during the two and ½ years of its likely existence. Since the government created by it is a power sharing one composed of many forces one would imagine that their internal relations would play some role in constitutional enforcement. Political forces that feel excluded are right to charge an elite agreement to some extent over their heads, and the absence of really open, public and consultative negotiating process, but their best hope in a more democratic outcome is a speedy movement toward a freely elected constituent assembly.

(The author is a Professor at the NewSchool for Social Research, New York . He has visited Nepal and delivered talk programs as an expert on constitution-making and can be reached at )

In The News

Royal properties to be nationalised; King to face ‘action’ for his statement
Govt-NFIN talks inconclusive
Prachanda says republic must be declared ahead of CA
Interim Crisis or Interim Learning?
Injured MJF activist dies; Strikes hit normal life in various districts Sunsari, Sarlahi, Mahotttari, Janakpur, Siraha, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Banke and Bardiya districts were affected by the MJF transport strike.
Eight parties discuss PLA camp management
Prachanda defends weapons count; says he is against foreign investment in media
Bandhs hit the nation, Home Ministry appeals for restraint
NA starts storing its weapons

Govt set to take action against king for Democracy day message Kantipur
King's Feb 1 step no way justifiable: Rana
NFIN sits for talks with govt, turns down request to call off banda
Gularia tense after Maoist attack victim dies
Civil society members urge govt to tidy up road to dialogue Civil society members on Monday demanded the government make talks with all the agitating parties including the Janjatis and Madhesis obstacle free and create an environment conducive for dialogue as soon as possible. .... the civil society members also said that if the problems of the Madhesi people put forward by the Madhesi People's Rights Forum can be resolved through the home minister's resignation, the home minister must be ready to step down. ..... The society members also urged the government to form a high level committee to investigate the loss incurred during the Terai movement. ...... Padma Ratna Tuladhar, a member of civil society, said, "Following the loss of so many lives, it is but obvious that anybody will demand the resignation of the home minister. This is not only the demand put forward by the MPRF, it is everyone's demand right now, including us human rights activists and civil society members."
Terai in grip of strikes once again
Robbers on the pretext of MPRF, JTMM members wreak havoc in Terai
Nepal Army okay with number of Maoists arms registered at UN
Nepal Police going hi-tech
Rampant deforestation around Maoist camp
Lack of coordination worsens HIV infection
Mainstream the marginalized: NFIWN
Interim govt to form probe panel to look into cases of the disappeared
Morang's Pathari Bazar grows tense as local dies
फोरम वार्तामा आएन
चुरे-भावर बन्द फिर्ता

UN envoy to Nepal calls into question June polls unless political ... UN News Centre
Nepal to seize Gyanendra’s property
Calcutta Telegraph, India Koirala also urged the government to immediately start talks with the agitating Madhesi groups and the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities which have begun a blockade in the Terai region. .... Traffic on highways in Nepal’s southern plains ground to a halt today ..... Thousands of bus passengers were stranded after Madhesi activists urged all drivers to stay off the roads.
Strikes Resume In Southern And Southeastern Nepal All Headline News markets and educational institutions in the southern and southeastern districts remained shut down .... The protesters have toppled trees and blocked the highways.
NEPAL:Strike call halts traffic
New wave of strikes hits southern and eastern Nepal Monsters and
Protests resume in south Nepal, shutting down roads and stall ... International Herald Tribune No traffic crossed the busiest trading point between Nepal and neighboring India, the border town of Birgunj, because of the strike ..... Landlocked Nepal has to import all oil products and much of its consumer goods from India, and an earlier blockade by the group caused shortages and shut down most traffic in the capital.
Nepal's Constitutional Process Reuters AlertNet, UK Nepal’s political leaders must make the constitutional process more inclusive or risk a return to violent conflict. ...... So far, the concentration has been on building elite consensus at the expense of intense political debate and extensive public consultation. ....... broader public participation can only help ...... Wide public involvement and transparent decision-making will legitimise the process and increase the chances of a durable and popularly accepted outcome. ....... Mainstream political parties will remain key actors, especially if they seize this opportunity to increase their inclusiveness, promote internal democracy and tackle the worst excesses of corruption and patronage. ...... reshape the state and encourage reform of the political parties ..... Recent unrest in the Tarai plains illustrates the dangers of ignoring popular discontent. ....... tackle long-standing ethnic, regional and caste fissures. ..... violent conflict may emerge once more. ........ the major party leaderships and India. If their judgement is out of step with the national mood – as it often has been in the past ....... a complex equilibrium among elites. ...... The consolidation of a competitive multiparty system naturally bolsters the mainstream political parties but in the short term will heighten their differences with each other and may encourage a return to the less than edifying tactics of earlier parliamentary politics. ....... political leaders have skillfully stripped royal powers comprehensively but gradually, with no single step sufficient to prompt a backlash. ........ a decisive alteration of traditional power structures will still encounter resistance from conservative institutions – not just the palace but also elements of the army, judiciary and bureaucracy. ...... A handful of SPA and Maoist leaders have controlled closed-door negotiations; limited parliamentary scrutiny has not even extended to recognising the concept of an opposition. The interim constitution has granted the prime minister and cabinet sweeping authority, subject to minimal checks and balances; the compromised independence of institutions such as the judiciary has weakened the principle of separation of powers. The inclusion of provisions such as the unrestricted authority to grant pardons suggests that interim arrangements may enable the political elite to sweep past misdeeds under the carpet. ........ the peace process has so far delivered an oligarchy of party leaders rather than a popular democracy. ..... Party leaders have shown little appetite for pluralism: the interim legislature will have no official opposition, royalist parties may be excluded from the CA, new parties will find it very hard to register for elections, and in any case, “consensus” decisions will leave most power in the hands of party leaders. ........ no institutional structures to channel, process and consider the results of consultation. The Interim Constitution Drafting Commission invited public input but lacked a clear mandate or adequate mechanisms to deal with submissions. ....... Mainstream parties have devoted scant consideration to the difficult questions of procedure involved in constitutional reform. Few have embarked on internal changes to tackle their own problems of corruption, patronage and exclusion that fuelled support for the Maoists. ...... their tried and tested tactics of intimidation and coercion. ...... transparent agenda-setting procedures for the constituent assembly in both plenary and committee sessions. ...... communicate effectively to the public the progress and next steps of the process throughout the lead-up to, and life of, the constituent assembly. ..... maximise the transparency of the constituent assembly’s deliberations by, for example, providing for press coverage of, and public access to, all plenary sessions and limiting the number of closed committee sessions. ........... the setting of minimum quotas, to improve the representation and participation of women and minorities such as dalits and ethnic groups in party bodies such as central committees. ....... Establish internal rules to promote transparency and increased debate so as to diminish the importance of patronage as a factor in intra-party decision-making. ...... maintaining pressure on the Maoists to refrain from politically-motivated violence
King of Nepal to be punished by the state
Nepal's Constitutional Process ReliefWeb (press release)
Woman linked to Nepal royal massacre weds
The Brunei Times, Brunei Darussalam
Nepal's Terai plains brace for fresh turmoil
Indian Muslims, CA
Nepal's Terai plains affected by fresh protests Hindustan Times
Fresh turmoil racks Nepal’s Terai plains Gulf Times
Nepal plans to grab king’s palaces, land The News - International, Pakistan
Madheshi blockade starts in southern Nepal Radio Australia, Australia The group says it wants to block all 22 trading points along the border with India, which supplies the bulk of Nepal's essential goods and fuel.
Nepali Madheshi blockade starts in south