Nepal: Country where the blood is flowing
(First published date: 2006/2007 )
Every day is the same, I wake up to feel a fresh day with new hopes and aspirations, but as I read the morning newspaper and listen to the radio, a chill goes through my spine.
Today, a military Colonel was shot dead in my town. This is crazy, why this is happening in my country? My country used to be known as a very peaceful country, but the on-going internal conflict makes surviving every day a struggle. When you leave your house in the morning, there is no guarantee that you will return home alive. My mom lives in constant fear and worries that I will not return from work. Internal wars and conflict continue to destroy my country; it is hollow within. I hope this will end soon!
Please pray for peace!
I have picked up this expression from my colleague, Miss Roshni Rai, from Katmandu, Nepal. Nepal once thought of as the country of Mount Everest and Lord Gautam Buddha, is now starting to be recognized as a grave violator of human rights.
This fatal nine-year internal conflict between the Nepalese government and the Maoists continues to deepen. The election of 1991 won the Maoists nine seats out of the 205, and as a result, the Maoists started killing police, militia and began vigorously stealing from the citizens. More than 10,000 people have lost their lives because of this “People’s War”. According to the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), “The Maoists share the ratio by around 2 (1.05) persons a day. In total, the increase has been observed by almost 4 (3.83) persons per day.”
The temporary seize fire was broken in August 2003, when the army captured 19 people from the village and killed them.
In 1990, King Birendra was forced to re-establish the parliamentary democracy in the country by public revel. In 2001, after the killings at the Narayan Hity Palace where all the Royal family of King Birendra had been murdered, the nation’s inheritance was in the hands of Gyanendra. The new King retained executive power on him, dismissing the democratically elected government and sidelining the parliamentarian parties in October 2002.
The killings, related to the Maoist’s armed conflict, after the Royal takeover by the State, has increased by almost 3 (2.77) persons per day according to the Informal Sector Service Centre. The increase of killings per day before and after the Royal take-over demonstrates that more people have been killed after the period when the king retained executive power. Although the king’s actions may have come to suppress the worsening situation in the country, it is clear that he could not withstand the reality of the situation. We need to remember that we need to unite and work together to rescue our nation.
To see how this is not only an internal issue for Nepal, we must evaluate Nepalese activities by neighbouring countries India and China. It is clear that China is diplomatic and against Maoists, this is a fact that the Nepalese Maoist are misusing China’s great leader Mao’s name. They said, “They are misusing the name.”
India continues to play political games, and there is no doubt what they actually want. The internal war of Nepal is not only of Nepalese concern; it is actually of major concern for India. As India is a neighbouring country to Nepal, many refugees and Maoists have been entering India. This Rebel movement may add to the ongoing crisis between India and Pakistan. “I strongly urged the king and the Nepalese political parties to work together to face a threat to Nepal. The preservation of Nepal’s system of constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy is crucial to meeting the Maoist challenge”, US assistant secretary for South Asia Affairs Christina B. Rocca said to them.
Although Nepal Army forces against the rebellion are being used throughout the country, 40% of the country has been captured by Maoists. Mobilizations of armed power are not the long-lasting solutions to this conflict. The economic condition suffers more and more as the backbone of the Nepalese economy is the tourist industry. Both tourists and investors are depressed.
We need to analyze the root causes of the Maoists’ armed conflict in Nepal and start to take necessary actions. Without knowing the real causes and roots of the war, we will never solve issues that reside within Nepal. We must ask the following questions: why did the Maoists politicians start this difficult policy for political power? and why are the communities behind them?
The monarch King Gyanendra, through a declaration on October 4, 2002, dissolved the elected government headed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and retained executive power of the State over him. The pro-parliament political parties; the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), the Nepali Congress, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, People’s Front Nepal, Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Ananda Devi) and Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party have been flying the royal declaration from the very beginning. They have labelled it unconstitutional and have demanded it to be corrected. A public meeting was held in Katmandu, and phase one was declared: a weeklong peaceful agitation against the royal drive.
They are currently going through the next (effective and last) phase of harmonious action now. I feel that they have a poor agenda to assemble and pressure the mass. It is as though they are just bargaining and bargaining. Professor Dr Brian Cobb said that most of the Nepali people are not educated, but they are certainly not stupid, they know a bad thing when they see it.
At the moment, many youths have begun to join arms and have a unified vision and logic. They don’t just lead the agitation against the royal drive they have stated the open debate on “Need of Monarchy system in Nepal”, they want to develop institutional democracy, not a constitute monocracy. One of the most popular youth student leaders Gagan Thapa said, “This movement is the last struggle for Democracy”.
We agree; it wouldn’t be good if our future generations also had to devote their time to fight for democracy. International revolution shows that student and youth movements are the foundation of progress. Their contributions start the revolutions; obviously, they should be leading the nations. It is a youth who lead the movements and older faces who lead the nations.
The present situation demonstrates how the political parties and the royal palace are challenging each other’s power. King Gyanendra can’t solve the main problems of the country without the help of political parties who are revelling on the road for the re-establish of parliament and democracy. It is necessary that King Gyanendra progress with the advice of public representatives and the political rules to end this violence. I feel that the only solution to these issues is a participant of the elections of parliament.
Evaluating the series of political crises within Nepal is critical. The contradictory statement by the Chief of the Army Staff, Prajjwal Shumsher J.B. Rana, at an army convocation program on March 27, 2002, not only displays the Nepali political crisis but also shows how he is an example of it. He said “The point to be considered here, who led the country to this condition? Is it due to bad governance or the military? Is the state of Emergency imposed as per the army’s interest or due to threats over the national security? We have to understand why we need it before we plunge into a debate on it. Does a government enjoying a majority in a multiparty system proclaim Emergency in the army’s interest? Should the terrorist attacks against the Constitution, constitutional government and governmental mechanism along with the innocent Nepali people not to be considered as a national crisis? Why were the suggestions put forward in terms of national security due to undesired political activities ignored during the last twelve years? We will have the reality exposed itself if these questions are answered.”
Publicly, his role as army chief did not allow him to evaluate his political situation. His every word reflects the twelve years Nepali political leaders’ negative governance. Political leaders are never concerned with what is happening beyond Kathmandu. Rana further said, “Are the elected representatives carrying their responsibilities actively in their respective constituencies? Why are they playing a non-co-operative role against the security forces boldly facing the terrorists in their own constituencies? Instead of working collectively to inflict defeat over the Maoist activities, there is a game going on to snatch power (among and within the political parties) taking advantage of the uneasy political scenario, which is against our national interest…”
In other words, political parties also have to leave the concerns of war and should try to fulfil the Maoist desires. Major parties are coming up with a new proposal to deal with the Maoist problems. They must decrease the support for Maoists by making positive relationships among circles and areas that were not in line with their policy creation. According to the main political parties, “Key of political solution is in king’s hand.”
In Nepal, the royal palace has the Army’s power as well as the most effective and sustainable power, the moral support of Nepalese. The people of Nepal respect the King as a live god. The King is the parent of Nepalese, not a player of politics. In the king’s address to the nation on October 4, 2002, he believed, “The greater good of Nepal and the Nepalese people is our only goal. History is witness to the fact that the institution of Monarchy in Nepal has always been guided by the wishes and aspirations of the people. We have time and again expressed our commitment to democracy, and we would like to assure our countryman that democratic ideas will always continue to guide us.”
His Majesty proves that the Shah Dynasty is flexible in public demand. He continues to say “It is known to all that in keeping with the tradition of the Shah Dynasty to remain ever dedicated to the paramount welfare and progress of the Nepalese people, the democratic multiparty polity was reinstated in the kingdom in 1990 following the wishes of the Nepalese people. It is also clear that during the twelve years since its reinstatement, several political exercises have been adopted for the consolidation of democracy”.
It is clear in how he addresses the nation that you will get more love and responsibilities from the king to his countryman.
My concern lies in the fact that the way that he addresses the public is completely different than his actions. History teaches us that it is a bitter truth that those with a solid military and warfare will never give power easily to those who cry for power. In this century, we know that single democracy is hardware; democratic parties are operating systems, and the Nepalese abide by a constitutional monarchy system. Here we can’t say anything; political demands are negative for the nation and the King’s democratic practical experiments are faulty. We are clear on one thing, though, the King’s actions are non-democratic.
Democracy and human rights are the basis of peace and development. Human rights should be respected, and freedom should be provided for the people. The government, the Maoists and all political parties should respect and promote human rights. International humanitarian laws should be considered in times of conflict. Advocate Shom Prasad Luitel expresses the need for unity in his article History of Maoist. He says, “The Maoists should come into the political mainstream, stop violence and contribute to a developing nation. The government and all political forces and human rights communities should make an effort to solve the Maoist problem. All Nepalese, whether Maoist or non-Maoist, together with should bring peace in the country; a new era where everyone has basic human rights without regard to caste, sex, religion, origin, economic status or political ideology”.
Peace for a student, peace for development, peace for poor and so on. Social science student Roshni Rai further expresses her feelings in her dairy “U know today I woke up early to look forward to a beautiful day, but some things never happen…..I change and then get ready for my college. And off go to my bus stop. The bus comes me up and. Hoping to meet my best friend and share all my problems…..I rush toward the day…BUT ALAS!! When we reach the college gate, the guard tells us “RETURN there’s A STRIKE…NO STUDIES no COLLEGE” my dreams shattered in the ground…….It happens to every student who has dreams to share the vision and make their life better…But my place is filled with black shadows of dirty politics that the light of our desires is hard to see…HELP US PLZ…….MAKE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN!! PEACE………….”
The King must start to have better communication with democratic political parties and the Maoist. He must begin to address this serious matter carefully. Power comes from the justifiable deeds, and it is only a democratic system that balances the power. It is not a time to challenge, but rather a time to observe and share. The best way to resolve the current situation is to set a date for an election and to continue down the road of institutional democracy. We need to recognize that we have already covered much of our history in blood, and we need to start to learn from our past.