Nepal Today

Friday, August 2, 2013


Kathmandu, 2 Aug  HLPM decided to hold second constituent assembly eections on 19 November at all costs.
The body of four parties behind government took a decision Friday and decided to continue discussions Saturday.
The mechanism decided to pursye talks with opposition parties opposed to assembly polls with the status quo.
The mechanism decided to put on hold differences on election related
issues like delineating electoral constituencies and women representation in the assembly until talks with the opposition.

Kathmandu, 2 Aug.: Police have arrested Gagendra Thakur, a teacher at the New Pathshala Boarding School at Gaushala-2 on rape charge, said Area Police Office, Gaushala, RSS reports from Gaushala..

He is accused of raping a girl of the same school when she was sleeping in the hostel on Wednesday, it is learnt.

An investigation is on in this connection, said Inspector Deepak Giri, at the Area Police Office. Students and locals are demanding strong action against the
Kathmandu, 2 Aug.:: The back-and-forth between Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) president Kamal Thapa is becoming a delight for those of us who love to take a long look backwards.
Dr. Bhattarai’s outbursts against former king Gyanendra for his alleged attempts to revive the monarchy through his current regional tour are understandable. As someone who still claims with a straight face almost exclusive credit for having
turned Nepal into a republic, Dr. Bhattarai is by far the most aggrieved Nepali on this count, Maila Baje writes in Nepali Netbook..
Where Maila Baje finds Dr. Bhattarai rather duplicitous is in his assertion that he would have arrested (even hanged or exiled) the ex-king if he were prime minister today. Come on, this is not the first time the former king has embarked on high-profile regional tours. Moreover, the former monarch has been more outspoken politically during previous outings, including when Dr. Bhattarai headed the government. As an acclaimed propagandist, Dr. Bhattarai should have come up with something better.
This blast from the past has acquired added urgency precisely because of Dr. Bhattarai’s antecedents. In his famed Kantipur essay in June 2001 urging Nepalis not to legitimize what he called a “new Kot Parba”, Dr. Bhattarai accused the new king of virtually pulling the trigger on King Birendra and his entire family to seize power. As prime minister, Dr. Bhattarai hardly resembled the author of that polemic, even after the ex-monarch’s open challenge to his accusers.
Of course, Dr. Bhattarai had also indicted then-prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala for complicity in the Narayanhity Conspiracy. So when the Maoists joined hands with part of the ‘Gyanendra-Girija clique’ to overthrow the monarchy, Nepalis thought the rebels were merely being pragmatic. Given that a one-party Maoist state was an impossibility in our day and age, the comrades needed a veneer of legitimacy that the Nepali Congress leader could provide.
Now it looks like Dr. Bhattarai had wanted to do a deal with King Gyanendra first. In Thapa’s recollection of a key phase in the peace talks, Dr. Bhattarai offered the king to become Nepal’s first president. (In retrospect, that was not quite a downgrade for the king considering the Kims in North Korea and the sheikhs in the United Arab Emirates.)
But the palace rebuffed that offer. The Girija alliance was an afterthought nurtured by a bruised ego, inflamed by foreigners outraged by the palace’s effort to find an indigenous solution to the conflict. (Just go back and read the Indian press commentary during this period.)
Kamal Thapa will perhaps come out with further tid-bits to fill the gaps Dr. Bhattarai has left out vis-à-vis the monarchy. Since the RPP-N leader has been dissected minutely enough since his student years, we can afford to set him aside here. But there are enduring mysterious aspects of the Maoist leader that need to come out from the man himself. His penchant for selective outrage must not be allowed to obscure some key questions:
How many times did Dr. Bhattarai and other senior Maoist leaders escape death when Nepali soldiers were asked to call off their offensives at the last minute?
Who in India bailed him and the missus out of Prachanda’s labor camp in 2005 and forced a patch-up in time for the 12-Point Agreement with the Seven Party Alliance? What specific undertakings had the Maoists (and Dr. Bhattarai as the prime interlocutor) made to the Indian government between November 2005 and April 2006?
How come the consistently tempered, coherent and elegant prose Dr. Bhattarai produced during his underground years turned out to be so inconsistent with the spoken language he has been employing since 2006?
Based on the preceding, what will Dr. Bhattarai do in the event the
monarchy is restored?


Kathmandu, 2 Aug.:Although political party leaders have not yet given up their rhetoric exhorting people to be “forward looking,” they reel under the barrage of public criticisms against them and the manner in which their parties have been derailed. UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and Madhesi groups have monopolized power under the unconstitutional mechanism widely known as four-party syndicate.
The syndicate’s constituents have made it a point to sink their differences when sharing the spoils of power whatever the consequences on the general public,
Trikal Vastavik writes in People’s Review..
They haggle among themselves for the spoils down to the crumbs and pieces.
Nepali Congress workers complain that the party leadership had given up the philosophy B.P. Koirala propagated. At numerous closed door sessions at pockets of venues created by group leaders, they frequently lament over their organization’s steep downward political slide in the loktantrik years beginning 2006.
NC members publicly stated that their leaders had taken a course diametrically opposed to B.P. Koirala’s. They are, however, not courageous enough to admit that they are against the so-called gains of the 2005-6 movement for political changes, harking back to the days when theirs was almost always the largest party in parliament.
Even on the rare occasions when NC was in the opposition, its presence was very strong unlike the highly marginalized role it has been reduced to since the 2008 elections. If the party members had deluded themselves to believing that there might be some way of recovering their lost ground in the next elections, it has foundered after the Girija Prasad Koirala’s death five years ago.
Similarly, CPN (UML) workers lament that their leaders took different tracks than what had been propounded by Pushpa Lal and Madan Bhandary. Such complaints did not get voiced when the party leaders abandoned the principles in return for landing themselves onto the seat of power and misusing the public positions for enriching themselves and distributing the remaining spoils to family members, relatives and party workers, and in that order of priority.
In the years since the “gains” of the 2005-6, UML’s position in the public estimate has shrunk very fast. The party could not benefit even from the fact that two of its leaders, Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, became prime ministers although UML was the third largest party in parliament. The scheming and machinations that the leaders resorted to not only exposed their greed for power at any cost but lowered the party’s already declining public image.
As for the two groups of Maoists, their top leaders do not believe that their workers and the rest of the public believe that they have any intention of upholding Maoism in actual practice. Even China considers invoking Maoist rhetoric too strongly as archaic and removing oneself from the truth of what is being put into practice. Nepali Maoist workers have seen how overnight their leaders at various rungs of the party echelons and their relatives have accumulated wealth through improper routes and abandoned the goals and principles pledged to be undertaken once “we come to power.”
Maoist leaders’ deeds and misdeeds in seven years after they joined the political mainstream have been monitored by their many workers. The ones who deeply believed in the ideology their leaders infused in them are frustrated at the boiling point. Initially, they held their heads proudly high in the districts when the war they waged against the State was formally declared as having ended. Today, they are extremely embarrassed when people talk to them openly and in public places, pointing out how Maoist leaders have abandoned the original party goals and the committed workers who fought the war with high risks away from friends and family for years.
The Maoist cadres are questioned by others: Was the war worth it all, including the deaths of more than 16,000 and destructions of public property and derailment of industrial growth by decades? The split in the Maoist party and the Baidya group’s vitriolic attacks day in and day out against the Dahal-led group have done for other parties, including NC and UML, what the non-Maoists could not do on their own in causing such deep dent on the former armed rebels’ public image.
The Madhesi Morcha and its allies find their credibility fast eroded because of their constant and unsightly squabbles for power and the money reported to have accumulated through questionable means. From the six Madeshi parties in 2008, there are now a dozen and a half whose number is itself a telltale sign of their malfunctioning.
Regrets by leaders of the syndicate get expressed in words but without the appropriate action to correct the wrong track, let alone reprimanding or pulling up those who led the parties through the garden path to the cesspool of perfidious politics nursed by deception, duplicity and self-aggrandizement. A few, not courageous enough to speak against the organizational malfunctioning, remained silent without supporting the mischievous leaders.
Meanwhile, the polls planned for next year, according to foreign correspondents with good contacts with the foreign missions that count the most in Kathmandu, are shrouded in uncertainty. If they are held, the Maoists as of now will come tops thanks to the fact that they are “the best organized at all units of the organization, are calculative, moneyed and very militant.”
Extremely politicized and polarized, the Nepali society is hostage to a few organized groups that obtain foreign funds for foreign agendas and willingly submit to being proxies and puppets for the alien benefactors. Many of them serving as members of political parties receive for their activities and speeches wide coverage by reporters who, too, belong to their parties. The vicious cycle of “you scratch my back and I’ll do the same for you” revolves heartlessly, crushing people’s hopes and risking extreme reactions from the disaffected sections of society.
If the civil society had discharged its role honestly, public voices would have been served well and party leaders would be compelled to correct their attitude and actions. But the evil in the so-called civil society is that it is either infested with core party activists or do not wish to be sidelined from limelight. Foreign agencies have been quick to exploit the local conditions for their own agendas. This cannot go on for too long. One shudders as to what the present conditions might produce. The need is for looking back at what all went wrong before taking corrective measures.


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