Friday, July 23, 2010

A Maoist Madhesi Alliance Makes The Most Sense

Simple Majority: Enough

A national consensus government with two thirds majority would have been nice. But that is not coming along. And so now an attempt has to be made to put together a simple majority government. The three big parties stand like three poles. That makes the Maoists the biggest bloc.

The four Madhesi parties stand as one bloc. That Madhesi bloc does not make for a majority if it teams up with either the NC or the UML. But it forms a majority if it teams up with the Maoists.

And therefore putting together a Maoist-Madhesi coalition makes the most sense at this juncture. If we are going to keep having vote after vote for the PM's post, Nepal is going to end up being a butt of jokes in the world.


The Madhesi parties should put forth conditions.
  • Baburam Bhattarai for Prime Minister. 
  • Hridayesh Tripathy for Deputy Prime Minister
  • Ek Madhesh, Do Pradesh like in the original Maoist map. Chitwan has to be part of the Madhesh state. 
  • Work on a Nepal Army Act 2010 to shape the future of the Nepal Army, and the Maoist combatants, and to seek inclusion of the DaMaJaMa in the Nepal Army. 
  • Work on a Land Reform Act 2011 to deal with all the properties seized by the Maoists over a decade.
  • Altering the paramilitary aspects of the YCL. 
  • One third of the berths in the cabinet. 
Give And Take

There has to be a sense of give and take. Both sides sticking to all their demands will take us nowhere. 

If the Maoists act reasonable on all the other issues, it would be okay to accept Prachanda as the prime ministerial candidate. 

Returning seized property: the property should be returned but not to the original owners. The properties should be returned to a neutral commission that will keep the property until a Land Reform Bill passed by the parliament makes a final decision as to who owns the properties, likely after the elections next year. 

The same on the army integration issue. A Nepal Army Act passed on by the current parliament would shape the Nepal Army. Every element of that bill would get decided by a simple majority in the parliament. No point in asking the Maoists to decide now as to how many of their combatants will join the Nepal Army. 

The paramilitary aspects of the YCL have to seize right away, but it is perhaps unrealistic to think the organization itself has to be dissolved. Maybe it can be reorganized in a new name as a completely non violent organization. 

The Madhesi parties have to be willing to make a shift from Ek Madhesh, Ek Pradesh to Ek Madhesh, Do Pradesh, one where Chitwan is part of the Madhesh state. The middle ground would be to go to the original Maoist map that said east of Rapti river would be Madhesh, west would be Tharuwan.

And stop talking about the right to self-determination. That scares people. Nepal will stay one country, now and 10 years from now. In this day and age when we should be talking about a South Asian economic union, the idea of breaking up the country, even in thought, is to go back in time. 

Golden Opportunity

It has not been easy for the four Madhesi parties to come back together in a bloc. Their votes are decisive. The Maoists and the Madhesi parties are sufficient to form a new government. But there has to be a spirit of give and take. 

Hridayesh Tripathy

Upendra Yadav had his stint. Bijay Gachhedar had his. Now I believe it is Hridayesh Tripathy's turn to take the lead. He should be the Madhesi candidate for Deputy Prime Minister.

Prime ministerial run-off ends in fiasco; next voting on August 2 The voting could not produce any results with the CPN (UML), four Madhesi parties and some fringe parties staying neutral.
Maoist-Madhesi Front talks inconclusive; Front to stay neutral in today's voting Maoist leader Dev Gurung said his party was positive about most of the conditions set by the Front, but some issues needed to be further discussed. .....The Maoist leaders left after submitting their written response to the conditions put forward by the Front. .... The meeting was held soon after the Front publicised a three-point document entailing the conditions for support in the prime ministerial election.
Re-election for PM post gets delayed as parties busy themselves in flurry of meetings Madhes based parties have put forward difficult pre-conditions for their support.
Sujata says NC should clear the path for Maoist led govt if it fails to forge consensus for national govt she would not object to a Maoist led government if the former rebel party fulfills three conditions. ..... if the Maoists agrees to fix the number of combatants to be integrated into the state security forces, dismantles the para-military structure of its youth wing (Youth Communist League) and agrees to return the private property the party seized during the conflict period by forming a commission
Madhesi parties set conditions for support as House prepares for prime ministerial run-off guarantee of 'Madhes autonomous province' with right to self-determination, withdrawal of the decision of the big three parties to constitute the State Restructuring Commission and reservation for Madhesis in the state bodies in an inclusive manner..... ensure proportional representative system ..... conclude the integration of Maoist combatants within four months starting from the formation of the new government, carry out integration based on the standards adopted by the concerned security agencies, complete the 'decamping' of YCL within two weeks, return of properties seized during insurgency within a month and start process to democratise the Nepal Army and ensure 'group entry' of Madhesis in the army as per the norms of inclusiveness.
NC's Poudel seeks pro-monarchist RPP-N's support for his PM bid Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the leading contender for the PM post, met Thapa and sought his support during the election to the post of Prime Minister.
'UML won't partake in Prime Ministerial run-off until consensus govt ensured'
Re-election for the post of Prime Minister today; outcome unlikely
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Baburam Led Majority Government: Maoists + UML + Madhesi Parties

Nepalese MaoistsImage via Wikipedia
The president has been generous in terms of how much time he has given the Maoists to try and form a national unity general consensus government. He gave about a week, then he gave them five more days. But once he announced time was up, he has given a few more days for the formation of a majority government. But a government with 70% support in the parliament would still be a majority government. It has been like giving the Maoists extra time.

The Maoists have not done a good job of addressing the concerns of the other parties on issues of the YCL, the army integration or seized properties. Of these the YCL issue is the most acute. In a democracy it is not legal to have an armed group, or a group that engages in physical violence as a matter of policy. A group that engages in physical violence - beating up included - is a mafia group, not a youth organization. That can not be tolerated.

Army integration has not been going anywhere because the political party leaders have been trying to tackle the issue in each other's living rooms. The issue has to be resolved by the parliament through its work on a Nepal Army Act 2010. Parliamentary debate and parliamentary vote will take care of all the details. You would need majority vote to decide on each element of such a bill.

As for seized properties, ownership has to be handed over to a commission until a Land Reform Bill 2011 decides on the final ownership of all that land.

But once the Maoists can assuage the others on these issues, a majority government in Baburam Bhattarai's leadership is still a possibility.
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Friday, July 09, 2010

The Maoists Must Not Return Seized Property

Nepali Congress (Democratic)Image via Wikipedia
Land reform is the single most important thing anyone could do to kick start the Nepali economy. While I wholeheartedly disagree with the violent methods the Maoists used over 10 years to seize land and properties across the country largely belonging to Nepali Congress leaders, returning all that property to the same wholescale and going back to the way things were is not an idea that is either practical or desirable.

A middle path has to be found.

All that land and property has to be handed over to a neutral commission until its final fate is decided by a Land Reform Bill to be passed by the national parliament once that takes shape after the country gets itself a new constitution. An interim arrangement has to be made.
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Prachanda Can't Be Prime Minister

Pushpa Kumar Dahal (also known as Prachanda), ...Image via Wikipedia
The last time Prachanda was Prime Minister, his government fell because he refused to understand how coalition governments work. He exhibited dictatorial tendencies. In the aftermath he has blamed everyone except himself. Ram Baran Yadav did what he was elected to do: protect the constitution.

Prachanda needed the support of all his coalition partners before he could have sacked the army chief. Even after he had accumulated that support, he needed to go through the president. He did not think it necessary to seek support from his coalition partners, and he totally bypassed the president. Those were two grave mistakes, they were two illegal actions. And that is why his government fell.

It was okay for Prachanda to have led a majority government. But according to Prachanda it was not okay for Madhav Nepal to have led a majority government. Prachanda leading a majority government was a patriotic, nationalist government. But Madhav Nepal leading a majority government was a puppet government run by India. That has been Prachanda's logic.

Someone who does not understand how coalition governments work can not lead a majority, coalition government, let alone a national consensus government. Prachanda's idea of a national consensus government is one where all parties in parliament follow the dictates of the Maoist central committee. He has not learned his lessons. He has not exhibited democratic tendencies.

And that is before the lingering issues of army integration. The idea that 19,000 Maoist soldiers with 3,000 guns will take over a country of 30 million people has always been laughable. Issuing empty threats is generally considered bad politics.

Even if the Maoists are okay with Baburam Bhattarai leading a possible national consensus government, there are no guarantees a national consensus government can be formed. But a willingness on Prachanda's part to be open to that possibility will at least send a signal that the Maoists are now better understanding how coalition governments work.

A national consensus government will necessarily have a steering committee representing all participating parties that will take all the key decisions that the government has to take.

The parties have been going on the army integration issue exactly the wrong way. A Nepal Army Bill 2010 has to be worked on by the full parliament, not the party presidents. Bypassing the parliament has been the reason the army integration issue has gone nowhere.

The bill has to go through a full debate. That bill would decide the future size and composition and modality of the future Nepal Army.

But over time I have gotten the impression Prachanda passed his SLC exams after perhaps a third attempt and he now wants a Nepali Congress prime minister.
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Thursday, July 08, 2010

High School, College, New York City

Whitaker as General Idi Amin in The Last King ...Image via Wikipedia

I feel like both a high school and a college dropout. Emotionally I dropped out of high school a few months before the SLC exams. I had a very happy first year at college. Then an experience in institutional racism caused me to emotionally drop out.

Larry Shinn and Gail Wolford - they actively participated in an institutional hate crime - are the two most disgusting human beings I have ever had to meet in person, and they had me in jail for six months with murderers and drug lords. And that makes Charlie Rangel the Idi Amin of New York City politics. I am going to take a leak on that motherfucker's grave some day, but I have vowed to never go anywhere within 10 miles of that guy, and so. Oh well. Sometimes you cut your losses and move.

June 3 Immigration Court Date
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Thursday, July 01, 2010


Back then I was based out of Indiana. This guy and I had a lot of friends in common, he had been a year junior to me at high school in Kathmandu. We were never close, but we always got along. We emailed, talked. He was a student. I decided to drive about four hours to go meet him in Ohio. I took him out to lunch at an Indian restaurant in Columbus. He said "madisey." The motherfucker has not meant shit to me since as a human being. Laxman Udas Pandey.

This was before I had moved to the city. But my sister had moved over to the city from Nepal after her marriage. She had been in town not even a few months. I was in town for a few days. I was still based out of Indiana. A friend of her husband, who also was my friend, two years junior to me at high school, put together a small reception party for my sister and her husband at his place on the Upper East Side. Somebody else was there - Badan Tuladhar - who also I had known a long time, the same high school circle, a guy I had always been nice to. It did not matter to him that that was a special moment for my sister. He said "madisey." That motherfucker has not meant shit to me since as a human being.

This was in Jackson Heights last year. Philadelphia guy Suman Timsina was in town. I was at this event. He said "madisey." That motherfucker has not meant shit to me since as a human being, and never will. He needed to do his growing up on his own.

The Word Madisey: Madisey Bhanne Shabda

The motherfuckers who destroyed the final three and a half years of my high school experience are right here in the Nepali circles of Queens, larger in number, their ethnic prejudices even stronger.

Reshma 2010
Maloney's Idiotic Debate Non Stand Can Be Countered Through Use Of Social Media
Reshma 2010 Party Tonight
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