Hopes ran high when the top guns in the political parties signed an agreement to breathe new life in the peace process last month. The cynics among us said they only did it out of a sense of guilt for having wasted five years in senseless bickering. We said this was to appease a thoroughly disillusioned public so it would agree to another extension of the CA term on 30 November.
All that is probably true. The public perception of the nation's elected leaders is at an all time low. The current bloated cabinet is proof to many that politicians are only interested in a division of the spoils. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has inexplicably shot himself in the foot by not just tolerating and coddling crooks in his cabinet, but by pro-actively seeking a presidential pardon for a colleague who is a convicted murderer. Bhattarai is in danger of squandering most of the brownie points he earned for integrity and austerity.
In times like these, it is best to distil everything down to the bare essence: finding a leader who is partly clean. Little in Nepal these days is black or white, there are no absolutes. So, we in the media look for the relatively honest police chief, the bureaucrat who is comparatively less corrupt, the minister who shows a hint of honesty.
Call it "harm reduction". A political party may have not done much while it led a coalition, its ministers may have been involved in graft, the prime minister himself may have distributed cash from his relief fund to party cronies, but it may still do less harm than the one that openly uses threats, extortion and violence.
Nepal now needs a political evolution of the constitution process so that we conclude the disarmament of Maoist fighters, and move towards a pluralistic, democratic society that can bring social justice and economic progress.
This is the reason for the impatience about the political deadlock of the past five years. Nepalis want their politicians to get on with peace and constitution so that there can be a stable government that can deliver. Public opinion polls have repeatedly shown the peoples' main concerns are inflation, lack of basic services, shortage of jobs, and security. What we are dealing with, therefore, is a serious mismatch between the preoccupation of politicians and the expectations of the citizens.
The last five years since the signing of the CPA has been a case of serial failures of the political leadership to see the larger picture and respond to the popular will. The first ray of hope in a long time was the Bhattarai government, which is why he needs to get the ship of state back on track and restore his image and moral authority.
At an interaction in Kathmandu last week, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and former Guatemalan democracy activist, Frank de la Rue, said there are lessons Nepal can learn from Guatemala. Peace-building, de la Rue pointed out, is as important as peace-making. Guatemala suffers from the same post-conflict ills Nepal faces now: the rise of impunity, the politicisation of organised crime, the replacement of war violence with criminal violence.
The only way to deal with this in the short, medium and long term is by stabilising the politics with a new constitution. For that we need closure on the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Accord signed this week five years ago. The goal is to address the violent legacy of the war and bring a party that formerly believed in violence into the political mainstream to guarantee sustained peace, justice, and development. Only with a strong and stable state is all this possible.
Read also: A war of words, RUBEENA MAHATO Fighter turned writer has doubts about whether the revolution was worth it
Nearly there Nepal is taking money away from public welfare to rehabilitate and compensate Maoist warriors. But it may be the price we have to pay for peace.
No war, no peace, RUBEENA MAHATO No surprise that we have all forgotten the fifth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Accord this week
War during peace, DHANA LAXMI HAMAL A ceasefire is a time to build peace, not prepare for another war.
The way ahead, KUL CHANDRA GAUTAM The 1 November agreement breathed new life into the Comprehensive Peace Accord five years after it was signed.
With years of malpractice after 1990 in power by the coterie of "mainstream politics(?)", we are misled to believe that whether we like it or not, it is better to have corrupt parties like the NC and the UML or their derived ones like Madhesi netas -harm reduction in your language and the lesser evils in mine- than the terror spreading party with rampant mafia culture -the Maoists-. Of course both these extremes don't resemble to each other in many aspects of their social life. While the formers are a kind of slow poison the later is the lethal dosis to any society. Actually, the Maoists' terrorist war could be on the rise not due to the lack of social justice or economic progress(which we always had and still we do have them in large scale in spite of these mesiahs) but because of incompetence, corruption, lack of ethics among those who govern. Leaders don't get into politics to be served but to serve(this is as white and black as a swan). Ok, you may tell that we could find these menaces anywhere in the world. Yes, but with difference to Democracy like ours', in serious ones these blights are fought back constantly, not on the whims of a single person or a party but with impartial mechanisms guaranteed by the constitution as a collective project and not as a populist measure of a man like Bhattatarai but as a dream of a leader with vision.
So, in order to overcome all the ills and evils of Nepali politics we'll ve to write the constitution at the earliest, without doubt it is going to be the fundamental paper of Nepali democracy. But I repeat again, it has become fashion in Nepal and in many parts of the world to say that we must defend the cause, a very good cause that could contribute to the mankind. However, I insist on saying, it is important to determine who is going to defend the very good cause and how it is going to be defended. Unless these factors(object and subject) are kept into account no society could really contribute to the mankind.
A formula of mine that I recently discovered:
A longer reaction span of method B( fighting corruption and making a result-oriented government constantly) can match the results of method A (reduction of sympathy toward groups or persons who opt for violence).
I've hardly found any sharp and thought provoking quote on leadership than the one by Lewis Grizzard, an american writer and humorist.
Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes
18 NOV 2011 | 4:08 PM NST
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has inexplicably shot himself in the foot by not just tolerating and coddling crooks in his cabinet, but by pro-actively seeking a presidential pardon for a colleague who is a convicted murderer.
One crook pardoning another crook.
18 NOV 2011 | 6:58 PM NST
3. Different view
How many of us honestly believe that by having a constitution all ills plaguing the country will disappear? Well I'm not advocating we should not have a constitution but having a constitution alone will not craete a better society or Nation. It is the attitude of the majority of the ruling elite and the civil society that makes or breaks a country. And we are very well aware of what kind of attitudes our influencers have
18 NOV 2011 | 7:19 PM NST
4. Soni Again, and again and again and again you get things wrong and then choose to vehemently believe in your incorrect conclusion based on mere plausibility of your argument, which is founded in misconceived notions.
It really, very seriously, is pathetic.
The Editorial says, "The only way to deal with this in the short, medium and long term is by stabilising the politics with a new cons tstitution. ...only with a strong and stable state is all this possible."
Kul Chandra Gautam says that this is no time for nitpicking, another article laments the loss of five years and wonders what it was for, even deeper is the confusion in somebody suggesting that there is apparently an equivalence in the excesses of the Army vs the excesses of a terrorist organisation.
Furthermore, a former Maoists reveals as outrightly as possible that children were forcibly recruited and then indoctrinated to spread terror and yet there is no true appreciation of the magnitude of crime that this represents.
I have to agree with Arthur's assessment really, made much earlier, in an effort to find the golden middle, you have ended up caught in a golden muddle.
What I can't understand is that when facts are nearly all in front of us, events are going to take the course they would, what is stopping you from taking a stand. You don't become fundamentalist by saying the right thing, or a rightist, you just have to look at the facts and sensibly understand them and communicate them, there is only one right conclusion that this would lead you to.
That truth is this,
A)2006 Janandolan was a result of not people rising up against the then government, but parties doing everything within their power to contain the growing chances of a clean polity where elections would be held not at their whim, but on time.
B)It was a desperate act by the people to stop the Maoists from continuing with their murder campaign, people supported the parties in the hope that once their (party's) greed is sated, they would all allow the people to get on with their lives.
C)It was the result of consistent propaganda. There is a copy of Koirala speech made in a Tarai town back in 2002/03 where is directly threatened the continuity of the state if it did not succumb to his wishful thinking and corrupt ways.
D)That is was a result of the fact that the local bullies and political goonda's wanted their way with the people, something that has been amply displayed over the past 6 years. The parties control all funding, and do as they please because their 12 or so leaders do whatever they please with the laws.
There is more, you know there is, it is your duty to talk about these things and bring them to light.
I am not saying this because I am what you would call a Royalist (1990 constitution), I fully understand that that era is over, I understood that long before 2006. But what I am hoping is that through a more open, clear, unencumbered by fear, and intelligent information, news and opinions will help us reach better, smarter, real, and long lasting solutions.
Or better still, what I am saying is that facts do not have to be interpreted through the prism of your ideology but in the light of truth alone.
Not this nonsense mentioned in the editorial, and other articles.
19 NOV 2011 | 11:31 AM NST
It was an experiment that did not work out.
19 NOV 2011 | 2:47 PM NST
6. Kalpana Tamang
Look around you. Every where. Not just Nepal, but India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, UK, USA, just to name a few. All these countries are filled with corrupt and immoral leaders, who care about only amassing wealth for themselves. People in the world think that USA is great, but USA also has multi billion dollars in scams by dirty politicians and corrupt business executives. Dick Cheney, VP of America in Bush Adm, Dick Cheney who made Halliburton rich billions of times over by attacking Iraq. Where is WMD in Iraq. Did any one punish Cheney for that. NO. Its the same deal but at a smaller scale with BRB, JNK, Maakuney, Sher Bahadur, PKD, these beggars are now worth millions and billions- how did that happen. Zardari in Pakistan is known as Mr. 10 perecnt. At least the Eypgtians and Libyans have done something good. They got rid of Mubarak and Gaddaffi. That is what is needed in Nepal as well. Power of the people - if people start to lead, then these vile leaders can be wiped out. So, lets have a Nepal Spring. Lets have a Occupy Nepal. Lets build our own destiny. Best of all lets wipe out the current Nepali leaders and turn Nepal into a better country. The time to act is now.
19 NOV 2011 | 10:30 PM NST
7. Vija Srestha
What is there for millions of Nepalis?Hard work for survival.
Let's look at all the articles printed in Nepali newspapers and one of the latest.As you see,it is not so bad,we still have USAID and UNDP,which is another topic as you know but let's look just at one included in this process of development.
Can the government and the maoist party tell the exact number of cantonments existing in Nepal for PLA as the statement says only seven and why not the rest?Are the rest considered armed gangs?What was the difference between PLA and armed gangs then and now?We would also like to know how many of previously advertised armed gang menbers have come voluntarily to Minister Satiya Pahadi?
Why the number from 6000 PLA soldiers has increased upto maximum 6500.Does the government tries to accomodate these 500 for free or is this a usual way of big deal ,500 here 500 there?Who are these newly addition of 500?
Now the most important.
Let's make it clear.
Survey teams have begun the process.So it has already begun.Ok.Then why the following phrase in this article exists 'will be asked to voluntarily choose'
Survey means a kind of questionare and the process is a long term meaning.
What does the word combination' will be asked to voluntarily choose.'
Voluntarily means at the time PLA soldiers chose? What is there about the voluntarily choice if the maoist party has decided for the soldiers of PLA.There is no choice it is a decision made by less than half of maoist party first of all,secondly PLA soldiers are the conveniet playing toy for Dahal and Bhattarai only!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6000 PLA soldier ,number was announced and agreed upon by all three major parties who signed the 7Pact agreement,now there is a term maximum upto 500 more. Now,this number of PLA soldiers,they do not have practically a choice at all because this is the number maoist party wants to integrate.What is there voluntarily if somebody has already decided for you?? The question is who will be among those 6500 so called PLA soldiers?
Members of armed gangs and politically stable maoist cadres is the number of 6500 .
What does a restructuring means?
To form into a new or restructured group or grouping. 2. to become reorganized in order to make a fresh start.This term is carefully chosen like in maths,it has an immense choice of meanings and solutions.Fantastic Mr.Bhattarai!
What is the fresh start maoist party has in mind?
Where is the voluntarily integration,where is the voluntarily rehabilitation and where is the voluntarily retirement.
All these groups have nothing voluntarily ,they all if they are or were PLA soldiers ,like any other soldier of any army have a code of conduct ,responsibilites and duties included.So Mr.Dahal and Mr.Bhattarai ,do not pull this foggy explanation on your soldiers and the rest of the nation.
Now lets look what does it mean for those who will be regroupped.It is a tactical strategy thought of by Mr.Dahal and Bhattarai, but what that means to the thousands of PLA ''voluntarilye retired '' soldiers.
First of all all of the PLA soldiers were paid salaries all these more than 10 years of maoist atrocities.So practically the PLA soldiers were employees.As per the law employers cannot force employees to retire set a retirement if we go by law,but then we do not have them .This government makes the laws according to the need of time ,so when everything will be settlled as they planned,the constitution writing process can begin,however ,it is a long way ahead,as the developments with the neighbours must be settlled too and by the way Mr.Bhattarai already knows the loopholes,so he has a copy ready in case he needs to quickly present it.This is just the process to remove the internationally recognized terrorist tag Mr.Bhattarrai and Dahal and you are killing two rabbits with one shut here.It isn't hard anymore,the other parties have signed off the fight and you knew that, as you very well know that the only fighter can be the one who is hungrier.
As for the ''voluntarily retired soldiers,I hope that Mr.Dahal and Mr.Bhattarai is giving you pension enough to survive without work as you know,if you do continue to work for other employers,you pension stops as it must be by the law,but as we know all,there is no law .PLA soldiers must also reap benefits,the fruits of their work.So these are the fruits.The rehabilitation package will cover schemes ranging from one to four years with cash assistance of Rs 600,000 to 900,000. Likewise, the families of combatants who died during their stay in the cantonments will get 50 percent of cash assistance according to the rank of the combatant. So we were politically motivated to destroy everything,kill,rob,rape and since we are at the reigns,we choose fruits,however,the behind the whole scenario is wider world with its neighbours and biznesses.This is where Dahal and Bhattarai chose to change their colour and chose to reap benifits for them personali.This is the breaking point of promises and their ideology for all those poor nepali people who belived in their integrity as they have joined the hegomonious plans of their neighbour for global fight. So the question now is,are we for Chinese hegamony in the region as I woldn't worry about communist ideology as it doesn't exist there a long time ago.It is the power of state for the poor chinese to keep them in control and they are doing it well as for the well of and rich chinese,it is a matter of hegamonious plans in region teritorially and in hegamonious plans in the bizness in the world. But then,maoist party and all the parties that signed the 7 Pact Agreement chose not to talk about it and ignore the developments in the region as Mr.Dahal and Bhattarai and the other party members have chosen their biznesses as the priority.No one even worries anymore,who will lead the government for the next 4,5 years,as the rehabilitation package itself mentions,it will take at least 4,5 years to conclude the process and payouts. That is why the 7 Pact deal was so important and we see now why. Will we be given choice t have an elections.Yes,and the result is known,with the help of other party members,as they have made their priority clear too,bizness.What is there for millions of Nepalis? Hard work for survival.
20 NOV 2011 | 1:49 PM NST
8. Vija Srestha
Exploring ,reserting to ,being creative to get the opinion across to Mrs.Clark. Have you based your answers in the interview on the results Nepali governments have presented to you as the leader of UNDP for MDG. Hopefully you also know that government of Nepal and at that time Finance Minister Mr.Pandey's report about the expenditure and the future plans was simply a blown up report of spent money without progress over the past decade. That is why you Mrs.Clark use the expression' according to Nepal's 2010 MDG progress report'.Or is your evaluation based on genarilization and assumtion ,that if few individuals in Nepal or in the world have become very rich during this past decade ,that if those individual results included in overall accounts,is the real sittuation of millions of Nepalis,then you are choosing to ignore and close eyes on the realiy of life. However there is a message which we would love to achieve.'The right mix of policies, targeted technical assistance, institutional capacity, adequate funding, and strong political commitment are necessary to accelerate progress.' As you have mentioned last decade,which means maoist party being on the terrorism street has actually brought development for Nepal as from your words there has been progress in very important areas of social life,education,health ,overrall poverty has decreased and Nepal is close to reaching the 2015 MDG poverty target.Wow.Your leadership Mrs.Clark has been very productive indeed and thank you for your answers we know the future of Nepal as UNDP advocates for the empowerment of women, investment in basic services such as education and health, scaled up coverage of social protection schemes, and expanded energy access. With these types of action, MDG achievement can be accelerated over the next four years.We clearly see wehre your optimism as leader of UNDP has come from ,BIIPA and Lumbini projects ,integration process and lets wait for another 4 years to see the results of actions by Bhattarai's led government. Interesting development.We have a financial crisis ,we have whole EUROZONE in deep whole ,let's not even talk about Africa ,and most mportantly we have two leading forces,USA and China pulling foggy blanket over our eyes .
Is their goal one?????Well,actions speak louder than words.USAID and its Monsoto with quick fix programme, China and its teritorial claim over the China Sea ,common interests of USA and China plans over iAsia development,agreeing on bits and pieces over their spheres of influence,Lumbini for China,with Dahal as the project manager,progress in bringing energy for Nepal with Bhattarai and BIPPA ,these are all UNDP international policies.We see what is going on in the rest of the world ,EUROZONE was one of UNDP ,the right policies and the governments and the right leaderships.Do the % of poor people get less,that's the question I have no answer but I do know that overall % of few individuals getting rich increases,as politicians in all of those mentioned above countries are getting richer as are the biznesses of all those who spend money on the institutions just to bring their developed biznesses into practice,as an example,Monsonto,Iran and it's nuclear programme with all the long list of interests involved in this chain,China,Russia,USA ,Germany ,soon we will have another UNDP plan which includes the whole of ASIA,including Australia.
20 NOV 2011 | 6:33 PM NST
Poor Nation rescued the PLA, root reasons are as before.
21 NOV 2011 | 5:07 PM NST
#3 Kalpana Tamang. Kalpana keep it up. This shows the spirit of the youths of our country. We need more of your likes.