Aug 27, 2012

Whither to, Mr. President?


By Dipak Gyawali

Dipak Gyawali
Long before he became today’s Venerable Acharya Rimpoche, Sridhar Rana worked as a pioneer in Nepal’s budding tourism industry of the late 1960s. It was a field full of the early romance of Shangri-La and bitten by that bug, he decide to “trek” to remote Bajhang, the district of his maternal grandfather and Nepal’s first humanist Raja Jaiprithvi Bahadur Singh. As Sridhar recounted to me in a chance encounter at New Road in those Hippie days, it took only a few days of trekking for the romance to wear off completely and for every carefully selected item in the backpack to become a painful burden. The rest of the trip then was mostly about trying to find a porter and some decent dal-bhat where no rice could be found. He might as well have been talking about the Loktantrick trek this country has been forced into over the last decade since the collapses 12-point Delhi architecture! It has taken only a few years for its prized items of romanticism to become burdensome embarrassments, a bhalu ko kanpat in Nepali, something that can neither be held onto for long nor let go of.

Loktantra’s votaries, both national and international, initiated the romantic adventurism that crashed when the genetically flawed Constituent Assembly fizzled out ignominiously on May 28th after failing to do what it was elected to do.In their desperation, the adventurists talk of “preserving” their so-called achievements – federalism, secularism and republicanism – either by reviving the CA “just for a few hours” or by getting the president to “do something”. Instead of honest soul-searching, their prattle has become as politically irresponsible as it is logically flawed. The Nepali expression, phalam ko chiura (beaten rice made of iron that cannot be chewed) aptly describes the as-yet undefined harebrained notion of federalism which proved indigestible to the CA because of the indivisible and interlaced nature of Nepal’s social mosaic as well as the alarm of neighbourhood geopolitics, and led to its demise.

Secularism, especially the manner in which it was imposed on a predominantly Hindu society through an unholy alliance of Marxist atheists, Abrahamic proselytizers contemptuous of other faiths as well as culturally-challenged Kangressi and Madhesi opportunists, promises unrest further out into the future. The recent exodus from Bangalore of Assamese and Nepalis is an early warning that Nepal too might not remain untouched by the clash of fundamentalists, the Tea Party types in the Western and the Taliban-inspired in the Syriac civilizations, without even the added involvement of Hindutwa-mimicing homegrown ones. For the present, however, there are enough other flashpoints to keep the Nepali political circus swinging.

It is the third adventurist “achievement” – republicanism – which is showing its feet of clay and remains the bottleneck behind today’s dead-end politics. A deep flaw was embedded in the 2006 movement when its leadership, both party and civil society, remained blind to the role of a head-of-state. Call it ceremonial, constitutional or by any other name, it is not just a rubber stamp. If it was, it could be replaced by one in some desk drawer in Singha Durbar to be used at the whim of the head-of-government! It is the repository of the residual powers of a state, which need to be used when events occur that had not been envisaged by those framing the written constitution. With the ignominious dissipation of the CA we are left with an illegitimate head-of-government (who horse-traded himself into power without even completing his unholy, opportunistic and the most frayed coalition governmentever) demanding that the head-of-state meekly submit to his whims. The latter, a prisoner of the misguided Loktantrick hype, is paralyzed with fear that he is now required to do exactly what King Gyanendra had to in 2002.

2012 has become the 2002 history repeating itself, this time as a farce. Unlike today’s president, King Gyanendra then had the weight of tradition behind him: he was king of the oldest nation-state in South Asia, and slightly older than the USA. He also had Article 127 of the constitution, which over thirty political parties asked him to invoke to dismiss the Deuba government (it had dissolved the parliament some five months earlier due to party infighting and was unwilling to hold fresh elections as mandated by the constitution). Today a decade later, the CA has self-dissolved; party infighting is even worse across the entire political spectrum making the elusive “national consensus” even more elusive; the interim constitution, flawed as it was and defunct as it has become with the CA’s collapse, has no provision for any electionand no one is in any position to claim leadership without a fresh popular mandate; the reputation of all political parties and their leaders is at rock-bottom, with hostility towards them rising sharply at the popular level; and the Leninists have captured critical state institutions and, clinging to them like leaches, hope to weather out any insipid opposition even as more state institutions lapse into leaderlessness. A real Loktantrick impasse if there ever was any! 

And during such critical times, the presidency finds itself a rootless institutionunable to command respect or authority, created as it was by an interim constitution that itself is now practically defunct. While the King was above partisan politics, the president comes from the Koirala faction of the Kangress and is not confident he will receive the support of anyone else if he takes any step to resolve the impasse. His credibility has been further damaged by the recent Muni-Shyam Sharan revelations regarding the Katwal episode. Having posited itself against traditional and nationalist forces, the presidency has to rely on those failed politicians and parties that destroyed the 1990 democracy, the parliamentary parties by their unbridled corruption and the Maoists by political violence. As institutions, all political parties have shown themselves to be highly feudal, family- and clan-based and centered on immediate personal pecuniary gains. Such a litany of negatives can never add up to anything positive.

Any new Nepali leadership has to address a few basics, the first of which is the question of restoring political ethics which is the springboard that inspires volunteerism in the cadres as well as the non-partisan masses. It has been missing since the mid-1990s and attempts to revive them in 2003 were opposed by the current leadership of political parties. With the arrest of the Guptas, the Wagles and the Joshis, their sins are catching up with them and will eventually catch up with the thieving ones of Loktantra as well either at the eventual ballots or thereafter.. Their failure with the second chance they had requires that these stale leaders retire from public life. The second of the basics is the non-inclusiveness of the leadership of main political parties, yes, all Bahuns and not very honest or inspiring ones at that. It has raised the hackles of everyone else in the country and no lasting political solution will be found that does not address this issue head-on. And it can only be done by the parties themselves with courageous new leaders of integrity who have pan-Nepal appeal and acceptability.

The third and most important is the issue of national independence as well as nationalism howsoever one may obfuscate the issue with donor-speak. Given the recent Muni-Sharan revelations, and the more serious “silence of lambs” of the compromised political leadership of Prachanda-Baburam, Shushil-Deuba as well as the Madhav-Oli-Jhalanath coteries, it will be theirproverbial phalam ko chiurain the days ahead. An indication of which way the wind blows has come in on FM this morning as this essay was being completed: the Vaidya Maoists and Kamal Thapa’s RPP are to team up on this particular issue despite their other ideological differences. After all, it was the Sihanouk model that restored peace to a still very communist Cambodia and the Spanish model that bade goodbye to fascism in the Iberian Peninsula. Even as the Western busybodies may wince at the thought, even as the French and Finnish models of the CA went nowhere and even as we have a head-of-state paralyzed with fearful memories of his party’s misdemeanor of 2005/2006, the regional powers as well as the Nepalipan nationalists among Maoists and the Monarchist are alltoo aware of its therapeutic possibilities to address the dead-end impasse of Loktantra.

Courtesy: New Spotlight

Aug 26, 2012

Nepal PM and President both unconstitutionally occupying posts: Baidya

Telegraphnepal.com


Nepal PM and President both unconstitutionally occupying posts: Baidya

'China wants to maintain instability in India's North East'


By IANS

New Delhi: China's role in northeastern India is not to create instability but "to maintain instability" because it wants to keep India out of Myanmar, says veteran journalist-writer Bertil Lintner.

His new book, "Great Game East: India, China and the Struggle for Asia's Most Volatile Frontier (Harper Collins India)", released last week, looks at the geopolitics of eastern Asia.

Lintner says at the core of China's covert interference in the region is the Indian Ocean, which the country wants to penetrate for strategic gains without India's interference, Lintner said.

This "is the great game in the east", says the author, who has been writing for the Far Eastern Economic Review for the last 20 years.

"In the old colonial days, the great game east was between Russia, Afghanistan and the British colonialists in India. The Russians, the main player in the game, were trying to reach the Indian Ocean; as was China. Both of them tried to keep the British out of the way (in the period before the World War II)," Lintner told a news agency in an interview.

Post-Independence, the action has moved to China, Myanmar and India. China is still looking to increase its net of operations in the Indian Ocean, Lintner said.

The intricate net of intrigues has kept the game going, the writer says.

"In 1950, China invaded Tibet after which the Americans began to support the cause of an independent Tibet. In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to India and China was angry. In a few years, China attacked India resulting in the border war of 1962 and by the mid-1960s, China decided to support the rebel movement in the northeast. Pakistan was also interested...Difficult games are being played in the region," Lintner said.

Myanmar with its ethnic groups along the border was in the cross-hairs, Lintner said.

"It is difficult for Myanmar. Even if Myanmar wants to lessen its dependence on China; they can't do it. China will always be there...As for Myanmar's ethnic conflicts, they will always be there. These conflicts have existed for hundreds of years - starting with Myanmar's ancient warrior kings waging their wars against the non-Myanmarese nationalities and continuing to this day - and are not likely to go away any time soon," he said.

Lintner, who is recognised as an expert on Myanmarese issues as well as on South Asia was one of the first outsiders with Burmese Shan wife to reach the isolated Myanmar's northern-held rebel area and China from India's northeast after a 2,275-km overland trek in 1985.

Courtesy: IANS

Troubled Relations In Troubled Waters Of South China Sea - Analysis Eurasia Review

By Keshav Prasad Bhattarai

Troubled Relations In Troubled Waters Of South China Sea - Analysis Eurasia Review

Aug 24, 2012

Nepal 40 point replay, Baidya submitting same 1996 load to PM

Nepal 40 point replay, Baidya submitting same 1996 load to PM

Nepal Maoist: India’s Trojan Horse claims Comrade Rohit


Telegraph Nepal

Narayan Man Bijukche Rohit termed Nepal’s Maoists as India’s ‘Trojan Horse’. 

The Trojan horse is a tale from the Trojan War about the trick that allowed the Greeks to finally enter into the city of Troy (Wikipedia).

“I am not making comments without proof,” he said confidently and added, “It was India that supplied substandard Insas Rifles and Night vision helicopters to the state and at the same time it was also supplying trucks full of modern arms and artilleries to the Maoists”.

“The driver who was driving one of the trucks is from my district of Bhaktapur,” he claimed and added, “The then Defense Minister (India) George Fernandez is directly involved in the incident.”

George Fernandez is the one, to recall, who being a sitting minister of India had taken China as number one enemy. And he was supporting the Maoists.

“The Maoists prime objective is to create fissure in the Nepal Army. They have been assigned with this role after the peace agreement”, confidently claimed Bijukche and said further that, “The Maoists are not a nationalist force, instead they are India’s ‘Trojan Horse’.”

A new nomenclature indeed. But doesn’t the June 2002 Nepal Maoists-Indian Government Treaty justifies his claim?

“I advise the President to immediately get rid of such a horse”, he claimed while addressing a press meet organized by mobile team of Reporters’ Club in Bhaktapur, August 24, 2012.

How the Maoists react to this grave allegation will be no less interesting to observe. 

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

India exodus result of unchecked websites


By Global Times

Ethnic clashes in the Indian state of Assam have prompted panic nationwide, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee from the south of the country where they work.

Wary of social networking sites' ability to spread rumors, New Delhi has asked websites including Facebook and Twitter to come up with IP addresses suspected of spreading rumors. Pressed by the Indian government, these websites have signaled a willingness to "cooperate." Opinions in India vary from urging the government to strengthen Internet censorship to concerns over freedom of speech.

The scene is familiar to Chinese. What happened in India can help us understand more objectively whether the Internet can foment social instability and how it does so. The exodus was a result of public panic that was easily ignited by rumors. It takes more than working with social networking websites to appease the agitated public and prevent this from happening again.

But New Delhi's worries that the Internet promoted the rumors didn't come out of nowhere. As the inventor of social networking sites, the US has experience in regulating them. But these websites have caused disturbances in other countries. The unrest in the UK last summer exposed the side effects of these networking sites, prompting the government to ponder blocking Internet information flow in times of emergency, a decision that led to an outcry.

Social networking sites were also thought to have played a role in the Arab Spring. A revolution is unlikely to happen in India, which is regarded as the world's largest democratic country. But the recent disturbance in Assam showed that unrest stirred by rumors is unrelated to a country's political system. The Indian political system can withstand great uncertainty, but its public sentiment is very fragile when facing an emergency.

India is a poor country. Survival is top priority for the majority of the population. Every piece of information carried by the Internet or cell phone looks real to grass-roots people.

China's situation is relatively good. It is hard to imagine rumors causing an exodus. The government's reaction and public's ability to discern false information are much better. But the mass of information flowing through the Internet still presents a challenge to governance. The Internet has become deeply integrated in Chinese society, but can still create a disturbance.

It is difficult to blame any single factor for the exodus in India. Now the problem needs to be fixed. It is difficult to ask India to make big changes immediately, compared to the adjustments made by social networking sites. These sites should be more active in dealing with local realities.

Courtesy: Global Times, August 23, 2012

'Chinese takeaway from India’s northeast’



BEIJING: A newspaper affiliated to the Communist Party of China on Thursday said they have lessons to learn from the rumors concerning people from India's northeast that caused widespread disturbances in the country. The paper also blamed the US for the role played by Facebook and Twitter in fanning the troubles.

"The scene is familiar to (the one faced by) Chinese. What happened in India can help us understand more objectively whether the Internet can foment social instability and how it does so," the Global Times newspaper said.

"It is hard to imagine rumors causing an exodus. The government's reaction and public's ability to discern false information are much better," the paper said.

There were signs that Chinese officials felt vindicated because Facebook and Twitter are banned in China. "But New Delhi's worries that the internet promoted the rumors didn't come out of nowhere. As the inventor of social networking sites, the US has experience in regulating them," editorialized the Global Times. The paper did not name Pakistan, blamed by India as the source of rumors. It also ruled out an Assam-like situation in China and said India is unlikely to see anything resembling the Arab Spring. "A revolution is unlikely to happen in India. But recent disturbance in Assam show that unrest stirred by rumors is unrelated to a country's political system," it said.

Suggesting that Indian masses could easily fall victim to sweeping emotions, the paper remarked, "The Indian political system can withstand great uncertainty, but its public sentiment is very fragile when facing an emergency".

Commenting on the violence in India, a Chinese govt daily blamed the US, as the inventor of social networking websites, for the role played by Facebook and Twitter in fanning rumours.

Courtesy: Times of India, August 24, 2012

Aug 23, 2012

Diplomatic failure led to India-China war


Times of India

KOCHI: The India-China war of 1962 could have been averted if the two Asian giants had sat down across the negotiation table and explored ways to revive the Panchsheel pact, which was to lapse that year.

But, difficult as it may sound, it was India which took an aggressive stand and turned down the Chinese proposal to resume talks on Panchsheel, claims a book.

The book, to be released here to on Wednesday, to coincide with the 50 years of the 1962 war - 'Dividing Lines', published by Platinum Press - exposes these and many other 'facts' which may run contrary to the popular perception in India that the 1962war was an act of treachery by China on a peace-loving and gullible India.

An equally interesting dimension is that the book, replete with similar views that contradict many official positions, has been authored by a senior serving government official K N Raghavan.

Raghavan, a post-graduate in physical medicine and rehabilitation, had joined the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) in 1989 and is presently the Commissioner of Customs in Kochi, his hometown.

"The Sino-Indian boundary was never delineated, and India erred in unilaterally fixing her borders in 1954. But the dispute was not over just boundaries, as most Indians believe," says Raghavan. The book details the failure of Indian diplomacy, and the actions of the army and paramilitary forces, which the Chinese interpreted as unfriendly.

"It was the failure of Indian diplomacy that had led to the war. Talks would have acted as a venting valve for many of the distrusts that had developed between these two countries which had never fought each other till the fateful autumn of 1962," Raghavan says.

India had published a map in 1954 showing Aksai Chin - an alternative route from China to Tibet - as its part. This, along with India's decision to give asylum to the Dalai Lama, is some of the factors that made China suspicious of India, says Raghavan.

On what prompted him to write a book on the Indo-China conflict, he says: "Foreign policy was a strong point of Jawaharlal Nehru, who was my childhood hero. I was keen to find out where Nehru would have erred in going to war with China. This was probably the only blot in his career.''

"I could get some time to read on the conflict during my posting in Singapore from 2007 to 2011. I had jotted down the points then and those notes took the shape of the book," he clarifies.

On former defence minister late V K Krishna Menon's role in the war, Raghavan says, "Krishna Menon would have definitely known that it was one war which India could never have won considering the huge and alert war machine that China had then possessed. He did commit some diplomatic errors, like forming a core group in the Indian Army and asking them to take position in the frontline in 10 days. However, Krishna Menon had received enough brickbats for the setback in the war and he paid for it with his position."

Raghavan, who is passionate about cricket, is an accredited umpire. He has umpired one-day international matches, and authored World Cup Chronicle.

Courtesy: Times of India, August 22, 2012

Nepal: Politics and Power-Maniac Politicians


Shyam Prasad Adhikari,
Senior (Retd) Nepal Government Bureaucrat

Shyam Prasad Adhikari
It is sad to say that politics in Nepal has degenerated into a naked struggle for power for its own sake. It has become a lucrative profession. It involves the intent of somehow or the other occupying the position of power by any means and staying there for long time to come. The governance of the country as a result of such negative tendencies has received a short shrift. There has been a steep fall, as a result thereof, in the standards of public life and public administration, to name a few. The crisis of character, value system in politics, institutions of public administration and political institutions is there for all to see. Democratic norms and processes have been completely undermined and there is wide-spread erosion in respect for political parties, politicians, legislatures and civil services. Nationalists who wish to see Nepal as an independent and sovereign country for ever are becoming apprehensive of our leader's role blaming them as puppets and tools of some foreign countries.

Nepal is now counted amongst one of the most corrupt and poorly governed countries in the world as the prospects of civil strife and caste/communal discord stare us in the face. These all have combined to present a disturbing scenario in our country today.

It has been rightly said that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Power has peculiar way of entering into the mind of the one who receives it or snatches it, thereby intoxicating the man and even half-maddening him. He grows much more conscious of his rights than his duties and at the same time becomes impatient of even those moral and legal restraints which stand in the way of having a fuller taste of power. For the time being, he begins thinking that he is a demi-god, answerable to none or that he is just a superman who has every right to bully or domineer over the lesser creatures who actually are his fellow-brothers, voters.

Power under minds objectivity and rationality. To a man in power, rationality lies in all that augments his power and anything that reduces it must be doubly irrational. History is a standing testimony to the fact that power-thirst dictators or rulers have been most unscrupulous, arbitrary and willful. The present political crisis in our country is a result of the tug of war between major three political parties for their lust and greed for power. It is a glaring example of our power-maniac politicians/leaders who rather than tackling myriads of socio-economic problems of their country, pushing her back to more backwardness due to their unending lust for power. It is sad to see that the lust for power among our leaders is clearly mocking the ideals of our hard-earned democracy. Fellow countrymen! Isn’t it time for us to punish our power-maniac leaders who are bullying us with their false and hollow promises? But how? Go for people's mandate? benevolent dictatorship or marshal law ? We have chose one among the three.

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

Nepal will surely take its usual course but with a big bang: Thapa


By Telegraph Nepal

Whereas UML leader Madhav Nepal claims that Unified Maoists Chairman Pushpa Kamal’s public assertion that his party will continue to remain in power for 25 years and takes it as a ploy to impose a dictatorial rule, Surya Bahadur Thapa-a more maturated politician opines that in saying so Pushpa Kamal has exhibited his political immaturity.

Matured leaders that Thapa is talk of maturity.

“To claim that present government will continue for 25 years is his immaturity (Ketauli Buddhi).” ( Childish utterances).

“I do not want to make more comments on such an immature (abodh balak ko jasto) remark.”

When asked by lone veteran journalist Rishi Dhamala what he has to say on PM Bhattarai’s fresh remarks that Nepal’s Key lay outside the country replied Thapa, “I can clearly see that the key is right here in the country. If he thinks that it is outside the county why not he brings the key back home.”

Double speak but in the process he is defending his old alien friends. Shrewd Thapa.

The Reporters Club mobile team led by Journalist Dhamala had arrived at Thapa’s personal residence, August 22, 2012.

“For how long will the country continue to remain in a status-quo,” asked Thapa and claimed, “The day country decides to take on to the natural course there will be a big explosion.”

Is he talking of end of Nepal?

“No matter for how long we block the course of a river. The day comes when the river decides itself which course to take but that happens with a big explosion,” he claimed and added, “Nepali politics will also take its own natural course.”

But when?

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

Nepal: Army Institution is lone saviour


By N. P. Upadhyaya Nepali, 
Telegraphnepal.com

Kathmandu: Many would not believe but high placed informed citizenry opine that Nepal as a nation-state began taking a definite slide right from the very day India forced the seven agitating parties to sign the most ad nauseating 12 point agreement with the force of a treaty, November 22, 2005.

The politics as it stands today could well be said that it is nothing but the outcome of the unholy alliance of the so called parliamentary parties with the radical communists now turned capitalists. People’s War now has turned into a Money War, claim critics.

To recall, the then American Ambassador to Nepal, James F. Moriarty had said , February 16, 2006, at a Hotel Annapurna seminar ( it was either a Rotary or Jaycees gathering) that he remains in a puzzled state in understanding the very content and the inner design of the said 12 point agreement.

In fact he expressed his surprise over whether the parliamentary parties had brought the radical Maoists to their fold, as was being claimed by Girija and his Delhi trained cohorts, or the radicals forced the former come to their terms?

Now as the things stand today, even a senile person can analyse the events and openly claim that the then Delhi residing Maoists, as per the US Ambassador,  instead had brought the parliamentary parties to function as per their wishes and preferences after entering into the mainstream Nepali politics. The climax is there for all to see. Moriarty was hundred percent correct.

This scribe had himself listened to what Moriarty had stated on that very particular day of the Nepali parliamentary parties and also those of the Maoists-then guests of South Block.

His assessment made then has come true. This by implication means that till then the US was not feeling easy with the parliamentary parties signing the India sponsored 12 point deal as he smelt rat in the entire affair which has now taken a shape which is what had been desired by the ones who drafted the agreement in Hindi language later translated into Nepali for Kathmandu consumption. It was a pencil written draft, if fact.

This once again by extension unfolds the then existing reality that the US Ambassador was favouring the King as the US policy had been and will remain perhaps so for long time to come (but now conditions apply) and, as the US envoy told personally told this scribe( during tea session), that(sic), “Your King tells me every time I meet him that he will hand over his entire authority to the parliamentary parties well within three months time…however, those three months will perhaps never come”.

This way Ambassador Moriarty expressed his pain. His pain also contained the subtle message that he was not at all happy with the parliamentary parties signing the dangerous deal as he had guessed in advance that the agreement will completely go in favour of the radical Maoists.

If the US was siding with the King and was against the parties signing the Delhi deal then what distanced the US with the King?

Is it the same three months time? Perhaps yes! More is yet to come.

A pretty annoyed US envoy then slowly began talking against the ruling monarch to the extent that at the fag end of the so called people’s Uprising-II, he even made a very uncommon and dirty remarks against the Nepal King for which he was summoned by the Nepalese Foreign Ministry to clarify his fiery statement made against the King.

Perhaps this was the height of the US insult which catapulted the entire politics. Ambassador Moriarty then began increasing his private talks with the Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran who wanted the King to come to the foot path sooner than later.

Saran must have taken an oath in the name of God that he will dismantle the Royal institution once and for all when he was not allowed to enter the dining table instead the King enjoyed the luncheon at the palace with Dr. Karan Singh.  Dr. Singh was here as the special emissary of Man Mohan Singh, the de facto Prime Minister of India.

That was unfair by all Nepali manners.

The US annoyance was simply in a heightened state as Moriarty who was in knowledge that Indian Foreign Secretary was flying to Beijing, early February 2006, to convince the Chinese authorities but yet he did not intervene into the matter because by this time an insulted US envoy too wanted to teach a befitting lesson to the unyielding Nepali monarch.  India received the desired Beijing nod. Delhi-Beijing and Washington came in one single axis to do away with Nepali royalty.  It was afterwards a collective affair.

Later things went as per the Indian half-cooked design and the net results of which, after seven years, are with the Nepalese people, good or bad whatever it is. But can it be said well? Should the Nepalese still hope for a New Nepal as promised by ‘imposed’ 12 point?

Yet what could be said of the US envoy is that he had tentatively made a logical comment. His claims made then have been justified. Those who brought the Maoists from New Delhi’s hospitality after signing the 2005 Nepal-India Treaty (with twelve articles) have begun feeling the brunt associated with the radical Maoist music.

PM Bhattarai is not in a mood to resign nor there is a provision that allows the President to sack him all of a sudden. Yet the President is being encouraged to sack Bhattarai. If he does so then he will do it at his own peril. Finance Minister Pun has already stated that the office of Nepal Presidency too has become constitutionally vacant after the CA demise. This perhaps speaks of the Maoists mood.

In the mean time, a new power and prestige tussle has begun in between the PMO and the President’s office. This is very dangerous.

The frightening of it all is the fresh formation of a Federal Alliance under the Chairmanship of Chairman Dahal.

The opposition parties have assailed the formation of this Front as they see that this alliance may ultimately split the country into two equal halves. Disintegration of the nation was inevitable, they claim. Underground Communist leader, Mohan Bikram Singh claims that Nepal will split for sure if the country adopts federal order. ( See opinion).

The NC and the UML have just been watching the highhandedness of the ruling coalition, as they have begun feeling the NOIDA heat. 

Worst of it all is that this Federal Alliance has come into existence close on the heels of China airing its suggestion to Nepal not to go in for a federal system of governance.

Ai Ping is on record to have said to the Nepali leaders’ right here in Kathmandu during his fresh trip that Federal system for Nepal bodes ill. More so, Mohan Baidya, the Chairman of a new Maoists party while in his trip to Beijing was convinced not to embrace a federal order. Baidya now talks less on having federal order.

But ignoring the Chinese suggestions, the federal Alliance has already come into existence which means that a competing rival China lobby must have been there in encouraging the federalists to go ahead minimising what Beijing suggested.

Now it has become a matter of prestige for China. She has only two options: to let Nepal go its own preferred way or she forcefully intervene into the current Nepali politics caring little of the net results. China must come to a decision at the earliest. Beijing is perhaps mulling on how to face this Nepali challenge.

All in all, the existing politics must have been carefully analysed by the Nepal Army. Nepal has now a much disciplined and well informed Chief of the Army Staff-Mr. Gaurav S. Rana who must have been receiving information of his own country’s worsened politics each minute.

President too remains in a disturbed state so is PM Bhattarai. Dr. Yadav has time and again hinted PM to go by consensus. PM says let the parties in the opposing camp take such an initiative.  Tussle is in a heightened situation.

Champions of federal order have got a new strength after the formation of the Alliance. These events if woven in a single string give an impression that Nepal is inching towards a fierce civil war. A strong force doesn’t seem in sight which could avert the largely looming threat to the nation. Nepal Army is the last hope if and when a calamity befalls upon the nation. Military institution is now the lone saviour, analysts presume.

Attention new CoAS Mr. Rana!  Nation counts now on you and your highly professional institution only. After all the nation-state must be saved from the likely situation of a civil war. Prepare yourself for a Himalayan role ( not the military rule albeit) that may approach you sooner than later. Let the situation not turn from bad to worse. The eyes of the entire national population are now centered towards Bhadrakali Head Quarters.  That’s all. 

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

Nepal: New turn in national Politics, Thapa meet former King


Telegraph Nepal

The Chairman of the RPP-Nepal Kamal Thapa has proved himself to be one of the most smart player of Nepali politics as it stands today in a turbulent situation. Whether he is or not, only time will tell.

Kamal Thapa is learnt to have exploited the fragile situation of the country brought tentatively, at least this is what the major parties, NC and the UML, think and conclude, by the ruling Maoist’s arrogant attitude which is also associated with State capture desire has recently met with practically all the major party leaders like, Sushil Koirala, Jhal Nath Khanal, Chairman Dahal and talked on how to get the country out of the present political impasse.

A clever Thapa upon meeting with today’s heroes and builders of Nepal, claims the Dristi weekly dated August 21, 2012, met with the Nepal’s former Monarch on August 16, 2012, last Thursday, at Nirmal Nivas.

Thapa while meeting with the former Nepali sovereign must have, let’s presume, briefed the latter of his own condensed version of what the political leaders have been thinking of the current troubled Nepali politics.

Writes Dristi weekly, while meeting RPP-Nepal Chairman, the now sidelined King asked Thapa, what if, in his own words, (sic), “A Front be formed comprising of those scattered population and of the political parties which favor the revival of the Nepali monarchy together with the Hindu state”.

This means that the former King remains in an excited state.

Yet Kamal Thapa responded the former King by stating that it would be far better if instead of the formation of a Front as desired by the former Nepal King, a Broader Nationalist-Democratic Alliance be in place. 

Kamal Thapa met Sushil Koirala August 14, 2012, and the following day, August 15, 2012, he met with Chairman Jhal Nath Khanal, UML Party General secretary Ishwar Pokhrel, Secretary Bishnu Poudel.

It was after this meet, Kamal Thapa went straight to meet the former King, August 16, 2012.

Interestingly, Kamal met with Chairman Prachanda on August 17, 2012, a day after Thapa met the former Monarch. Thrilling more is that Kamal Thapa talked with Prachanda in the very august presence of caretaker Prime Minister Bhattarai and Maoists leader Agni Prasad Sapkota. It must have been a collective meet.

High placed sources claim that the RPP-Rana and the RPP-Nepal (Thapa) have tentatively agreed to summon the parties general convention well within three months time and declare the party unification.

Both the parties have also agreed on a common agenda: Revival of Nepali Monarchy and a Hindu state.
It should be in this light, Kamal Thapa and Mohan baidya’s fresh joint slogan on preservation of Nepali nationalism has to be looked upon.

This again means that Nepali politics remains in a highly dynamic state. Let’s see what remains in the store for the Nepali population. 

Juicy events are taking place though

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

China, Bhutan, Nepal And India: Strategic Reflections On Quadrilateral Relations


By: Keshav Prasad Bhattarai

Keshav Prasad Bhattarai
During the UN Conference on Sustainable Development at Rio de Janeiro last month, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao exhibited his surprisingly new found enthusiasm for a meeting with his Bhutanese counterpart Jigmi Y Thinley – the first ever high level meeting between the two countries that are yet to establish diplomatic relations. Next to India, a gripping fact is that China does not have any negotiated border agreements with its tiny neighbor in its South – Bhutan.

According to Xinhua both leaders expressed their willingness to establish formal diplomatic ties and Chinese premier highly appreciated Bhutan’s staunch support for its policy on Taiwan and Tibet.

Chinese Prime Minister pledged for his commitment “to forge formal diplomatic relations with Bhutan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence”. Wen further assured Prime Minister Thinley that it respects Bhutan’s choice for its developmental path as per its national conditions and revealed eagerness to conclude the border demarcation at an early date.

The agreement between Bhutan and China in 1998 that was aimed to maintain peace and tranquility on the Bhutan-China Border was considered as a major diplomatic feat for Thimpu. In an explicit term, the agreement, for the first time had acknowledged Bhutan as a sovereign country with a promise to respect the “territorial integrity and independence of Bhutan”. Quite contrary on the other hand, India recognized Bhutan as a sovereign independent country only on February 2007, after both the country revised the 1949 Treaty that used to have a provision that read- “The Government of India undertakes to exercise no interference in the internal administration of Bhutan” and in return “Bhutan agrees to be guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations”. (Article 2)

But in the updated treaty in 2007 the article as mentioned above is revised as follows -” . . .the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests. Neither Government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other.”

And obviously since 2007, Bhutan in both principle and practice has been enjoying the status of an independent sovereign country with its new found national confidence in building its international image. However for all practical purposes; India shall continue to make close monitoring of Bhutan’s external dealings and if necessary will try to mentor it. Even so, the huge strategic transport and communication facility including five access roads built by China around Bhutan and the huge global geo-political weight that China has gained of late, will continue to confront India with its role in South Asian affairs including Nepal and Bhutan.

Bhutan is a UN member since 1971 and has its permanent missions in New York and Geneva. It has widened its diplomatic relations with 39 countries, has its embassies in Bangkok, Brussels, Dhaka, Kuwait and New Delhi, but in Thimpu only Bangladesh and India have their embassies. None of the five permanent members of UN Security council have diplomatic relations with Bhutan. But once it maintains diplomatic relations with China, U.S. will immediately follow it and soon Bhutan’s geo-political location will accumulate worldwide attraction. Unfortunately, if Bhutan fails to manage it with strong will and diplomatic skill, it may confront similar challenges that Nepal faces today.

The Dragon at the door of India’s vulnerable “Chicken Neck”
Chumbi valley, a vital tri-junction between Bhutan, India and China is just 5 kilometer away from one of India’s vital life line – the narrow stretch of land with just 20 km wide and 200 km long called as ‘Siliguri Corridor’ bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The strip of land is also known as ‘India’s ‘Chicken Neck’ joining India’s mainland with its seven states in the North East that makes it the most vulnerable strategic part of India.

Bhutan and China share about 470 km long adjoining borders and have disputes over some territory since China annexed Tibet. After the 19th round of border talks in Thimphu on January 2010, both countries are near to resolve their disputed areas covering some 764 square kilometers – 269 sq km in the North West and 495 sq km on Central North. Interestingly, while Bhutan and China started the border meeting they had some 1000 square kilometer of disputed area. But now it is narrowed down only 764 and even from among the 764 it is learnt that China has proposed an exchange of Pasamlung and Jakarlung valleys with an area of 495 sq km with 269 sq km pasture land in some parts of Chumbi Valley in the North West – a sensitive geo-strategic location adjoining Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet and close to Siliguri Corridor.

Chumbi valley on the one side is flank by Paunhuri peaks and the other by Chomulhuri peaks that joins the tri-junction of China, Bhutan and India looming large over Siliguri Corridor. If Bhutan is prepared to concede the other 269 sq km disputed area in Chumbi valley to China, the huge neighbor in the North may reward Bhutan with a lucrative large chunk of territory and other benefits that Bhutan wants. And the elected government of Bhutan and the oxford educated young and energetic king Khesar Jigme Namgyal Wangchuk may find it hard to reject, if China comes with such a concrete proposal including returning to 1951 border line that has existed between Bhutan and Tibet.

China is said to planning to extend its railway networks at least at four points in South Asia from Nathu La (Sikkim), Chhumbi Valley (China, India- Bhutan), Kodari (Nepal) and Nyangtri (Arunachal Pradesh). Bangladesh has also requested China to extend railway link to China from Dohazari in Chittagong via Mynmar. Besides China has developed railways as well as extensive all weather road and advanced communication networks in border areas joining neighboring South Asian countries.

This way, as China has increased its geo-political weight in South Asia, it has stirred India at an alarming level. According to Times of India Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during his meeting with some editors in September 2010 came up with unusually blunt remarks when he said “China would like to have a foothold in South Asia and we have to reflect on this reality. We have to be aware of this.”

China’s second defense line and India’s northern security
The high rise of ethnic politics among the people of Mongol origin and tribal communities in Eastern hills of Nepal may have cross border implications upon Gorkhaland agitation in West Bengal. The predominantly Mongolian and tribal population of Bhutan, Sikkim and mainly North Eastern Indian states engaged in decades long insurgencies since Indian Independences sooner or later may find a sense of unity and affinity with Nepali ethnic states. And in due course of time with increased transport and communication with the people across the border, the sense of unison seen among people of Nepal’s Terai with people across border and strategic challenges Nepal has to confront with, may be repeated among people of Mongol and tribal communities living in Northern belt of South Asia extending from India’s North East to Western Nepal with people across border to North. When identity based politics goes stronger a new geo-political scenario may appear in South Asia.

On the other hand, Indian leaders and top officials have described Maoist insurgency as the single biggest internal-security challenge the country have ever faced. It has spread rapidly over one third of India’s 626 districts. Obviously they have gained inspirations from Maoist in Nepal – that has emerged as the largest political party of the country. The division in ruling Maoist party in Nepal and formation of a new under “Kiran” may give Indian Maoist a new boost – making strong presence along the Indian hart land contiguous to Silliguri Corridor.

According to Indian media sources radical communist and other separatist groups that are trained and sheltered in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma may create havoc in case India is attacked by Pakistan in Kashmir and by China in Arunachal Pradesh. In such a situation Chinese forces stationed in Chhumbi valley may be lured to share the pie in India’s Chicken Neck.

Apparently, stronger voice raised in Nepal in favor of ethnicity based communal political forces from Tarai to Himalayan region and the demand for the provinces clearly demarcated along ethnic line are supposed to have political and financial support from India and some Western countries. This on the one hand has alienated large number of people enlightened with western and Indian political and cultural values. On the other hand, those alienated this way have been looking China as a great friend of Nepali nationalism.

Together with this if Nepal in future is forced to create ethnic provinces in hills and Himalayas, by nature of ethnic affinity they will oriented more toward China in reaction against India supported Madhesh based politics in Nepal. In such a situation a weak and fragile central government may not run its writ throughout the country. Resultantly China might be engaged extensively with hill based provinces that will work as a second line of its defense next to Tibet that will indubitably be detrimental to Indian security in general and its Northern belt in particular.

Courtesy: The Reporter, August 20, 2012

Aug 22, 2012

Nepal: The way ahead is deceitful


By Deepak Gajurel,
Political Scientist, TU, Nepal

Deepak Gajurel
No 'consensus' on constitution building or peace process, and anything in between has been the hallmark of Nepali politics. Prachanda-Baburam-led Maoist party appears to drive the nation at their own will. While ruling Maoist leaders are attacking the opposition parties on several issues, not sparing even the threat of violence, others-those being attacked, have not been exhibiting their will for having legitimate counter-attack. Poor opposition.

'Consensus' has been the most sought schema since more than half a decade, but all in vain. Partners of 12-point Delhi Agreement are now at odds with no sign of a common meeting point. Adding fuel to the fire to the ongoing conflicts among 'major' parties, the UCPN (Maoist) Supremo Dahal has informed the opposition publicly that the current caretaker government, led by Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai, would rule the country not just for 20 or 30 more years but even longer.

Must have scared the opposition parties.

'If the parties fail to reach an agreement, the present government will continue for an indefinite period that may stretch to decades and decades,' said Dahal while addressing a press meet in a Terai town. His condition for shorter rule is simple: come and agree with my party's stands/agenda or face the Maoists music. This is what has been irritating the other 'major' players, namely the Nepali Congress and UML. Sushil Koirala and Jhal Nath do not seem to abandon their cause for supporting Prachanda's.

Earlier, a Himalayan challenge was erected by ruling Maoist before the 'opposition parties' in the name of the formation of a what is called ‘United Federal Democratic Front’ which adds strength for a new series of fierce confrontation among the 12 point parties.

At the same time, a confrontational deadlock has been emerging between the President and the Prime Minister. The rejection of some of the ordinances by the Head of the State does not seem to fade up in the days ahead, but will surely swell into a dangerous point facilitating an open power struggle between the two State organs. And here again, the opposition does have no clue on what to do and how to defend.

The Election Commission has already jeopardized the declared elections for another Constituent Assembly. Opposition parties' pressure on Dr. Bhattarai to quit has not only become futile so far, pressures of vivid shades and color(s) are mounting on the opposition. And NC, UML and other oppositions are showing lethargy. In fact, they do have no options left. They have in effect pushed to the wall.

The nation is engulfed thus into a constitutional vacuum with no clear constitutional or legal way out. In this backdrop, there are only two viable alternatives, one is to choose violence to further devastate the nation (preliminary signs of violence have already become faintly visible); and another is the path for adapting to peaceful means.

In case the present political players choose a peaceful path, there can be two means which will be a legitimate exercise, because it would be based on 'democratic norms and values.'

Creating an environment for generating a 'political legitimacy' with broader national consensus is one remedy for the current political conundrum.

The next alternative is to revive the 1990 constitution, which will be a means of 'continuation of legitimacy.'

Either of the above mentioned alternatives demand a sort of 'national consensus' in which the King must be brought into the front. At the same time, other potential political players should also not be left in the cold.

The mood of the ruling as well as the opposition(s) do not indicate any signs of a 'consensus', which clearly points to a confrontation among 'Loktantrik Gantantrabadis'. The partners of 12-point Delhi Agreement will eventually be face to face. Violence can’t be ruled out if that does happen. 

In case, the political players do not follow the path of national consensus for peaceful resolution of the constitutional vacuum of the day, the country will be dragged into undesirable situation.

The nation and the Nepali people should be prepared, at least mentally for the time being, for the adverse situation.

The Maoist's posture plainly suggests that parliamentary parties, mainly NC and UML, will be ruined and devastated through the Maoists. Some of the recent revelations provide ground that Prachanda and Baburam are not speaking loud on their own. This means some kind of 'invisible' hands will be behind for the modus operandi that is in the pipe line. The way ahead is bumpy for the present day parties in the opposition camp. 

At a point when the parliamentary parties are crushed, at least politically, through all means, covert as well as overt, Maoist too will not be spared. 'Foreign Hands' in every aspect of Nepali affairs will not hesitate to thunderstorm upon to sweep away any 'force' coming in their way.

So, it is advisable to the political forces, especially the NC and UML, to completely abandon the path charted for Nepal by the 12-point Delhi Agreement. Earlier the better, just come out of the illusion of 'Loktantra', 'Naya Nepal' and so on, and join the purely Nepali agenda: reviving the 1990 constitution and taking mother Nepali into a peaceful and prosperous future. This is the only way for saving you and the nation. Choice is yours definitely.

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

Nepal: Mark Twain’s counsel on stupids


Telegraph Nepal, Editorials

We don’t have adequate idea about this special Indian national. We have heard his name though time and again. What we understand is that he lands in Kathmandu as and when he feels that Nepalese must be taught some insulting lessons and in the process he not only teases the entire Nepali population but also pounces upon the sanctity of sovereign mother Nepal. Humiliation not included.

We have been told that he has some loyal marionettes in Nepal, not sure whether they enjoy monthly under table salaries, who invite him here quite frequently and through him make to tear apart the very sovereign-glorious prestige of their own mother-Nepal. We fail to understand as to why this third class Indian national (?) comes here quite often when he now fully understands that the entire Nepali population, save a few loyal, hate him to the extent that if the people in Kathmandu streets recognize him then he will surely be misbehaved and even manhandled. We pray that such ugly incidents do not happen. After all a scholar, that he is that we have heard, must not be treated in an inhumane manner. We mean it.

He makes lectures on Nepal. He provides the political prescriptions for our local ailments. He, in the process, also reminds his bought organizers who bring in some innocent souls to listen to his “rubbish” lectures that he was the lone Indian intellectual among the crowd of tens of millions of citizens of his qualification who may have been loitering in the dirty and stinking by-lanes of New Delhi and across the entire landmass of the former British Colony. Yet knowledge must be respected.

He at times claims that he brought the Nepal Maoists from the Hills to the Delhi plains and managed a secret meet with Brajesh Mishra and forced the former to sign the most ignominious treaty in June 2002 wherein the Nepali side represented by two heroes and builders of new Nepal promised that their people’s war will in no way be detrimental to the Indian prime security interests. It is this man who, we have been told, encouraged Maoists to pounce upon mother Nepal and now when the country remains already in a devastated state, he exposes his own men? What could have been his inner intent in exposing his own former colleagues? Design must be there. But then who is he?

Very freshly he was in town, we have been told, wherein he not only took to task the Nepali media but pulled the under garments of the half-baked Nepali intellectuals who claim themselves as the top-notch and cry at the seminar halls, yet by stating that these Nepalese set of sharp brains had gone berserk as regards the claims that he made freshly known to the world through one of his write up on Nepal Maoists. The listening so called media men together with the so called sharp brains could not pose hard hitting questions when he was insulting Nepali sovereignty by speaking the absurd. Instead, our media men and the educated and informed class listened to his lectures that mostly centered on insulting the late King Tribhuwan and mother Nepal.

However, we understand as to what had happened then instead what is being purposely disseminated by this Nepal hater Indian national as regards King Tribhuwan-Nehru talks in order to spread hatred amongst us the Nepalese people.

The fact is that, as we have been told by some high level Nepal Foreign Ministry officials that overwhelmed by the Royal treatment during his trip to Kathmandu, Nehru appealed the then Nepal King Tribhuwan that he would very much wish to get a Nepali citizenship certificate and spend the rest of his life serving mother Nepal. Listening to this somewhat awkward yet pleasing proposal as it did come from a Prime Minister of a neighboring country; King Tribhuwan convinced Prime Minister Nehru that the newly freed colony demanded his wise counsels and administration in order to institutionalize the democratic system in the Indian Union born 1947. Nepal King turned down his request.

The Nepal foreign Ministry official has told us that when time will come he will definitely provide the document for the knowledge. Strikingly, this is how the Indian national too has been assured by his own foreign ministry official as regards the King Tribhuwan-Nehru talks.

Listening to his bizarre speech, one of the attending participants, a highly educated Nepali personality who served the nation as a strong Nepali government bureaucrat for decades and decades, could not control himself and has reportedly wrote an article wherein he, the retired bureaucrat of high intellect, demands from this Indian national to educate further whatever he knew of the Maoists, their well managed stay in Delhi and many more which, the former bureaucrat hopes, would certainly enhance Nepal-India relations.

Unfortunately, we at this paper would love to see him in person and listen to the manner he is accustomed to hate mother Nepal during his speeches as and when he drops in Nepal through the kind courtesy of his local dubious friends. Those who could not become the son their own mother, how they can serve an alien mother?

Prior to winding up this not so pleasing write up we would wish to finish this with what Mark Twain had said long time back. Here is what he had said. “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience”.

By the way, who is stupid or is being made stupid, we leave it to our highly qualified and nationalist readers to assess the gist from what has been just presented. After all who is more stupid? We need convincing answers. Will some one educate us all at this publication? That’s all. 

Courtesy: The Telegraph Weekly, August 22, 2012.