Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forwarding security concerns, India is interfering in Nepal affairs: Journalist Kaphle

Journalist Sujit Mainali for the Telegraph Weekly and telegraphnepal.com talked with this vibrant young journalist Parshuram Kaphle on various contemporary issues related with peace and constitution drafting process and its internal/external dimensions.
Kaphle, an intelligent Nepali media personnel, specializes on peace process and security. Below is the excerpt of Mainali’s exclusive conversation-Ed.

Q1: What do you say on the ongoing debate among the political parties on whether or not to extend the tenure of the Constituent Assembly (CA)?
Kaphle: This debate is directly or indirectly linked to the power greed of political actors of Nepal to elevate them in the government power structure. Due to unnecessary inter-party and intra-party wrangling, the CA body failed to draft the constitution on time. If the political parties do not change themselves and continue to quarrel in the manner they are doing as what we have observing for quite some time now, it is highly unlikely that the constitution will be drafted even in further extended time.
None of the political parties are against extending tenure of CA. Nepali Congress (NC) and Madhesh based parties have forwarded some pre-conditions to Unified Maoist regarding the latter's commitment on peace process and republican order. I am fully convinced that political parties will unite again as usual to further extend the tenure of CA.
Up to now, the expenditure in the name of making new constitution has exceeded the colossal amount of 29 billion rupees. This expenditure should not go in vain. Not only to recover this cost, but also to institutionalize the achievement made in the post 12-point agreement period, the tenure of CA must be extended. Before this, politicians should say 'sorry' to the people for having failed to draft the constitution on time.

Q2: In recent days, Unified Maoist Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' is frequently having secret meeting with the Indian officials of RAW and South Block. What might have been the concealed intention of this meeting?

Kaphle: Well, after tendering resignation from the post of Prime Minister after having failed to sack the then Army General Mr. Katwal, misunderstanding between Prachanda and India has increased. Indeed due to this misunderstanding, Prachanda is being unable to bounce back to the power corridors. Prachanda is trying to please the Indian establishment so that he can pave his way towards government leadership. For this, Prachanda is having secret meeting with officials of RAW without informing even his party colleagues.
After the Palungtar Plenum, Prachanda had requested the Indian establishment twice to create an atmosphere for his New Delhi visit. But New Delhi denied his proposal outright. Rumors are being heard that during his recent mysterious visit to Bangkok, he had secretly meet National Security Advisor of Indian PM, Mr. Shiva Sankar Menon. Inside the party, Prachanda is floating anti-Indian sentiments to retain his strong hold in party’s leadership. At the same time he is time and again ventilating his desire to fulfill even those security concerns of India which may eventually jeopardize the sovereignty of Nepal. Power counts most for Prachanda.

Q3: What is your opinion on the security concerns of India in Nepal?

Kaphle: It is normal for India to express its concern towards the political instability of Nepal because an unstable Nepal has direct impact on the internal security of India. But in the name of expressing security concerns, India is frequently interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal. India can express its concerns but cannot say this person should be the PM of Nepal and that person should not. And Nepal also should have to assure neighboring countries i.e. India and China that their legitimate security concerns will not be harmed at any cost from the Nepalese soil.

Q4: Who is primarily responsible for increasing anti-India sentiments in Nepal?

Kaphle: Nepali people are not anti-Indian, but they are against the hegemony and continuous interferences of India in Nepal’s internal matters. And India is primarily responsible for this.
Land encroachment, the atrocities committed to the Nepali people living in the border area by the Indian SSB forces and the reluctance of the Indian establishment to accept Nepal as an independent and sovereign nation are other major causes which could be taken as responsible for increasing anti-Indian sentiments in Nepal.

Q5: After the highly unsuccessful tenure of Rakesh Sood, Jayant Prasad is landing in Kathmandu as Indian Ambassador. Do you have any message for him in advance?
Kaphle: I have heard that Mr. Prasad is calm and a modest person. I suggest him to learn from the modest diplomacy practiced by former US ambassador to Nepal Mrs. Nancy J Powell and incumbent Ambassador Mr. Scott DeLisi. The aggressive and hegemonic working style of former ambassador of US, James F Moriarty and incumbent Indian ambassador Rakesh Sood, is not going to work anymore.

Q6: Let's change the topic. Senior vice-chairman of Unified Maoist Mohan Baidya 'Kiran' is insisting to formulate National Security Policy much ahead of the conclusion of the ongoing peace process. What is your opinion on Kiran's proposal?
Kaphle: Not only Kiran but other security experts are also insisting in favor of the formulation of a National Security Policy. To tackle the looming internal and external security threats, a National Security Policy should be formulated as soon as possible. Earlier the better.
But the proposal of Kiran is more strategic in essence. He wants to formulate the National Security Policy in such a way that it helps his party during what he say "People's Revolt". Not only he, but his entire party is in this line.

Q7: Does this mean that the entire Unified Maoist Party is moving ahead with the same purpose and idea?
Kaphle: Of course. The introduction and the installation of Communist order is their sole objective.

Q8: But rumors are being heard there exist wide ideological differences between Chairman Prachanda, Vice-Chairman Kiran and another Vice-Chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai? How you see to it?
Kaphle: The differences are more tactical than strategic. (Bhinnata Ranatik vanda pani Karyanitik ho). All the three leaders are committed to "People's Revolt". However, while Kiran immediately wants revolt where as Dr. Bhattarai wants peace and constitution drafting process to be completed first. Prachanda is balancing the ideas of his two deputies.

Q9: Unified Maoist has accepted the proposal made by Nepal Army (NA) on modality of integration of PLA. What impact will this have in the political course of the country in days ahead?
Kaphle: I don’t think that Maoists have accepted the modality of integration made by the NA. In the proposal of NA, it is said that a separate unit comprising of Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police and PLA should be created and the command should remain with the Nepal Army. According to the proposal, 35 percent of the unit will come from PLA, next 35 percent from the NA and remaining 30 percent from Nepal Police and Armed Police. Further NA’s proposal is very clear for not awarding the first and second command of the said unit to the PLA. But Maoist had claimed the highest command of this separate unit. More intensive and extensive debate on modality of integration of PLA is perhaps yet to happen.

Source: http://www.telegraphnepal.com/opinion/2011-05-25/forwarding-security-concerns-india-is-interfering-in-nepal-affairs.html

Sunday, May 22, 2011

सुदलाई मुक्का हान्ने माओवादी धम्की

कुटनीति सभ्य, सुसंस्कृत र शालिन राजनीतिक खेल हो । तर नेपालमा यो राजनीतिभन्दा असभ्य बनेको छ ।

हिजो आइतबार मुस्ताङका माओवादी कार्यकर्ताहरुले नेपालका लागि भारतिय राजदुत राकेश सुदलाई मुक्का हान्ने धम्कि दिए । चीनसँग जोडिएको सामरीक महत्वको क्षेत्र मुस्ताङमा सुदले विकास निर्माण र समाजसेवाको नाममा चीनविरोधी गतिबिधि साचालन गरेको माओवादी कार्यकर्ताहरुले आरोप लगाएका छन् । कुटनीतिज्ञले आफ्नो मर्यादामा बस्नुपर्ने बताउँदै उनीहरुले राजदुल सुदलाई थान्कोमा बस्न र आफ्नो सिमा नबिस्रन चेतावनी दिए ।

तर उनीहरुले आफ्नो अमर्यादित कि्रयाकलापबारे भने कुनै टिप्पणी गरेनन् ।

यसअघि पनि माओवादी कार्यकर्ताले राजदुत सुदलाई कालो झण्डा देखाउने, नाराबाजी गर्ने मात्र नभई उनलाई जुत्ता हान्ने सम्मको काम गरिसकेका छन् । तात्कालिन अमेरिकी राष्टपछि जर्ज डब्लु बुशलाई एक इराकी पत्रकारले जुत्ता हानेको घटनाबाट प्रेरीत भएर माओवादी कार्यकर्ताले राजदुत सुदमाथि जुत्ता प्रहार गरेका थिए ।

यसपटक माओवादी कार्यकर्ताहरु इटालीका एकजना झोक्की व्यक्तीबाट प्रभावित हुन खोजेका छन् । इटालीका बहालवाला स्त्रीलम्पट प्रधानमन्त्री सिल्भियो बर्लुस्कोनीलाई एक जना इटाली नागरीकले नाकमा मुक्का हानेर उनको नाकि्र पुटाइदिएका थिए । बर्लुस्कोनीको दुई वटा हो कि तीनवटा दाँत पनि फुस्किएको थियो ।

यसै घटनाबाट प्रभावित भएझै गरी मुस्ताङका स्थानिय माओवादी नेता निरु थापाले भने, 'यसरीनै राजनीति गर्दै हिँड्न खोजे सुदलाई कालोझण्डा देखाउने र जुत्ता हान्ने मात्र होइन, मुक्कै हानिन्छ ।' मुस्ताङलाई राजदुत सुद निषेधीत क्षेत्र घोषणा गर्ने चेतावनी पनि उनले दिएका थिए ।

आज एक विकासनिर्माण सम्बन्धि कार्यक्रममा सहभागी हुन जान राजदुत सुद मुस्ताङ जान लागेकोमा यसको पुर्वसन्ध्यामा हिजो आइतबार मुस्ताङमा माओवादी कार्यकर्ताहरुले सुदलाई होशियार रहन चेतावनी दिँदै मार्चपास गरेका थिए । मार्चपासलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै स्थानिय नेता थापाले यस्तो चेतावनी दिएका हुन् ।

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nepal : Flow of conflicting ideas fortify democracy

Telegraph Nepal, Editorial

Partisan media more so those who have been adhering to a particular set of political ideology may not agree to what we intend to write here. They all deserve the right to disagree with our views because this is in effect the beauty of democracy. We honor such conflicting views.
We have so far not felt the need to stick to a particular cluster of political bias as we presume and have exhibited both in words and deeds over the past decades and decades that devotee politics drags the person nowhere but yet it leads somewhere the power is accumulated. We believe that those who practice such partisan affair must have done so in order to extract some political benefits and in the process must have managed affluence. Yet this remains to be substantiated. Nevertheless, what we have clearly observed being in this profession over several years that a partisan media has clearly benefited from such an affiliation both in terms of material wealth and the likes.
Perhaps it is these clandestine benefits, perhaps now a glaring fact which could be easily noticed, that some of our colleagues appear to have joined this profession with double intent: to serve a singular political ideology and in the process manage some practical benefits to meet their individual ends.
But having sympathy for a particular set of political idea is not a crime as such as is being taken in this part of the world. Even media men can stick to a single set of line as it is his or her fundamental democratic right which way to go. No harm. Nothing to worry about. We must respect and honor their affiliation as a liberal democrat. At least we at this paper salute those who have unconditionally been supporting political parties of their preference or choices for a variety of reasons-may are at times compulsions. Yes! Where we beg to differ is that such political loyalty must not be coupled with the transaction of monetary affairs.
It is these dubious deeds of such tilted media that the people get confused as to which one is saying correct and which one was spreading false and manufactured stories?
Such practices must be abandoned as these sorts of activities neither help support the national cause nor does it enhances the credibility of the media sector itself. Sponsored media at times drops the news as the dissemination of such reports may damage the political credentials of his or her party wherein he or she is associated with. The allegiance factor at times makes the people not to get what they want. This is dangerous indeed. People first should be the motto.
Having said that let’s come to the point.
We at this paper attended a lively seminar organized by the Forum of Human Rights and Democracy, FOFRID, and enjoyed it in that we could learn and record the pulse beat of the intellectuals of the nation as to how they have been perceiving the national political events prevailing as of now.
Many speakers talked in negative but the partisan media, we are sorry to say, dropped the negative part of the “juicy” news perhaps concluding that it may damage their own party and the leaders who run the party and concurrently have been leading the nation.
An independent media should disseminate the things as it happened or happens. There must be honesty. Simply by dropping the news will not bring the deteriorating politics back on its original track. The fact is that the politics has already taken a slide of dangerous dimension.
Nothing remains hidden. Worst appears round the corner as becomes evident from the frightening utterances expressed by one of the senior economist of the country, Dr. Keshab Khadka, who while commenting on the papers presented at the seminar ( Political Science Professor Ram Kumar Dahal and a promising journalist Sujit Mainali had presented their working papers) did not mince his words and bluntly said that if the parties fail to forge an effective and meaningful consensus much ahead of May 28, 2011, the now sidelined King Gyanendra will surely stage a grand comeback. Whether this will take a formal shape or not can’t be guessed in advance but yet what could be said of such expressions coming as it did from a noted academician of the country that this scholarly paraphernalia too is not at all happy with the prevailing chaotic politics. Definitely, Dr. Khadka did not wish to see King Gyanendra back in his throne but Dr. Khadaka’s expressions did say that people have begun suffocating observing the negative trends and traits that have already inundated the country’s politics. Dr. Khadka at best warned the present day leaders not to force the general population to look back. Sound warning that it was.
Listening to both of the papers by Professor Dahal and Mainali what could be concluded that both the intelligent brains lamented over the existing state of politics. The papers were a balanced one and informative as well. The papers truly represented the people’s inner frustrations.
Frustrations lead to anguish, we have been told. Anguish may later turn to irritation and the irritation if continued for long then it may contain the seed of agitation which if not addressed on time may become a chaotic affair which ultimately take the form of a mass movement.
The fresh slap of CA member from Maoist camp, Mr. Jhakku Subedi, by a tea shop owner does tell so many things unspoken.
In sum, the Forum led by senior Nepali Congress activist, Nutan Thapaliya, did a marvelous job by organizing such a seminar which allowed several sharp brains even to express their negative views. Well done FOHRID. We wish such more informative and educative seminars from this Forum. Ideas must flow. This could be again taken as the largest beauty of democracy. That’s all.


‘Nepal Ex-King likely to stage a comeback, Third movement a must’

Telegraph Nepal

A seminar finally turned merciless.
Attending participants, including paper presenters, commentators and intellectuals from the floor not only deplored present day Nepali leaders but some even claimed that Nepal will never get a constitution if the "dead leaders" continue to overwhelm Nepali politics.
Ugly, dirty and power lust were some of the negative adjectives added to exemplify Nepali leaders.
Honor but with a negative note indeed.
Some floor participants, during the question and answer session, went berserk and the listening scholars, mostly from the Nepali Congress camp perhaps, neither could reject those filthy words made against their own set of leaders nor dare to come to the rescue of the leaders who apparently have brought the nation to the current sorry state.
The vitriolic attack was on leaders belonging to other parties as well.
Hands were tied.
However, the Seminar organizer, the Human Rights and Democratic Forum, FOHRID, must be admired to have collected the courage to gulp the bitter pill thrown to the Nepali leadership for obvious sreasons.
Must have been the compulsion factor.
Professor Dr. Ram Kumar Dahal presenting his working paper on "Democratic Stability in Nepal: Political Accountability and Trends" made public all the political wrong doings committed by the Nepali politicos right after the advent of the current order and summarized his paper by stating that the political parties which collectively brought about this change must forge consensus or else they were sure to face the music sooner than later.
He however pinned high hopes on the Nepali youths and urged them to take over the charge of the national politics as the almost "dead leaders" currently at the center stage of the country's politics had become already defunct and redundant and thus to expect anything substantial from them would be a self-defeating exercise.
Dr. Dahal demanded that a criterion must be set to allow only those to enter into politics who were qualified and have had some educational backgrounds.
Logical suggestion indeed.
Professor Dahal hinted in his paper in a roundabout manner that the Nepali leadership appeared more accountable to the dictates of the foreigners and demanded that such trends and traits in politics should be rejected to establish the Nepali sovereignty.
Journalist Sujit Mainali in his paper said that prevalence of peace and draft of the constitution for the time being may dawn the desired peace and a constitution but that in no way eventually guaranteed continued existence of peace in the country for all time to come.
"Even if the constitution gets drafted, peace will continue to remain in a disturbed state as the society remains always in a dynamic state and thus various sorts of conflicts for a variety of political reasons may recur in the country", said Mainali.
"All that we have to do is to remain alert in lessening the intensity of the emerging conflicts in the days ahead", summarized Sujit Mainali.

The worst is yet to come.
Forwarding his comments for both the papers, a highly qualified guru at the Central Economics Department of the Tribhuwan University, Dr. Keshav Khadka almost exploded while speaking his inner mind. He spoke correct.
Look what this distinguished senior economist Khadka says," If the parties fail to forge a political consensus prior to the constitution deadline, May 28, 2011, then let's take it for granted that no force on earth will be able to block the grand comeback of King Gyanendra in the political scene".
If, per chance, King Gyanendra, now a sidelined personality, is not allowed to stage a comeback then we will have the replica of Hamid Karzai regime in place who will be told to rule the nation, added the veteran Nepali economist.
Let's not make tall claims as we don't have potable water to drink, don't have electricity power nor do we feel secure and in places like Mugu district, the local residents are forced to swallow the flies while they have their regular lunch or for that matter the dinner, Dr. Khadka lamented but with a strong warning that it was.
Perhaps Dr. Khadka was referring to the health conditions that now prevail in the district.
Moreover, Dr. Khadka said that the Nepalese today have lost their unique identity that we have had abundant in the past and questioned the leaders as to why we missed our identity in this republican setup?
"We thus need urgently a third popular movement in order to regain those which we lost over the recent years", Dr. Khadka in a sentimental voice appealed.
As if this were not enough, a senior advocate, Kamal Pokhrel, demanded that the new constitution must ensure an accountable system wherein peace and justice will go hand in hand.
"We don't need the so-called peace but what we need today is a justiceable government which secures the life of its people and allows them all to live a dignified life", added Pokhrel.
One senior commentator seated at the podium, Mr. Karki, even saw politics as a dirty game being played by idiots.
Perhaps he was referring to the politics and the political leaders of his own country.
The final blast came from the floor.
He was Dhan Prasad Pundit who bluntly told the intellectual gathering that India was behind the dismantling of the Institution of the Nepali monarchy through the effective use of the 12 point agreement.
"Some of our own nationals 'for sale' definitely assisted the Indian design which ultimately sidelined the monarchy", said an enraged Pundit.
The seminar session was presided over by, FOHRID Chairman, Mr. Nutan Thapaliya who is himself a loyal Nepali Congress stalwart.
The program was definitely a grand success. FOHRID deserves appreciation in having provided a platform to ventilate the feelings of the intellectuals. The seminar was held Friday, 29 April, 2011 in Kathmandu.
Congrats FOHRID.