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Kamala Sarup: Maoists and Comprehensive Peace

Maoists and Comprehensive Peace


By Kamala Sarup

We recently heard from the Royal Nepal Army, Maoist has expelled politburo member Baburam Bhattarai and his wife Hishila Yami from the party. Meanwhile, houses and public places in different places of the coutry reportedly bear wall paintings with slogans like ''down with prachandapath'', ''declare cease-fire immediately'', ''hold peace talks immediately''.

What we Nepali want is every forces have to step down from their stand to come to the common point if needed and avoid further bloodshed in the country. Any force or group which feels left out from the peace process would easily pick-up guns and revolt against others since the Maoists have demonstrated the power of a gun. All must consider for comprehensive peace. If we fail, it will lead to disaster. This is a chance for concluding a very just and peaceful agreement which should be based on what has been proposed and agreed upon.

Nepalese leaders should know that while the political agenda is most critical for the conflict resolution, the humanitarian aspects should not be unduly neglected. They should know no negotiations can be successful if basic minimum trust can't be maintained between the negotiating parties.

Nepalese people can not forget how our politicians were guided by self-interest and thus they ignored the main issues faced by the Nepalese people. The past 14 years have seen splits within the three main political parties. The Nepalese leaders should have rectified the mistake committed in the past 14 years of democracy. Nepalese leaders, should think that the agitation by the five political parties will not help to bring peace in Nepal. They should know they must play constructive roles.

Even recently, thousands of people have held a peace march in Kathmandu. They called for lasting peace and similar marches were held elsewhere in the country. But on the other hand, in the different district of Nepal, Maoists "banned" the movement of farm produce from one village to another.

The Maoists have put three political demands - roundtable conference, formation of an all-party government and election to the constituent assembly but there is a hot debate on the issue of constituent assembly in the Nepali politics from the centre down to the village level. The Maoist politburo member stressed that a new constitution should be drafted. Now, Nepalese people would like to know, will the talks begun soon or we'll enter another period of confrontation?

The talks is crucial because if the talks do not begun we may come to the conclusion that there is no hope for peace.

Nepalese people would like to ask if it is the role of political leadership to think about the prospect of the country. Why political leadership does not have any kind of vision to give the message that Nepalese people want economic development?. Why Nepalese leaders do not understand democracy and democratic behavior should have begun from the political parties in terms of elections and recruitment of workers?. Why Nepalese leaders do not even think of democratization of the party? How long will we allow the current economic situation to continue?. How long can the politicians ignore the economy? Why politicians are still busy in political fighting?

The political parties need to share with each other their understanding of peace. Dialogue must not be confined to clerics. Dialogue must be multifaceted; different dialogue efforts should involve different constituencies and strive to achieve different ends. We must develop a commitment to peaceful coexistence. The role of the poor people must be recognized. Much of the hard work to promote peaceful coexistence must be done internally by each political parties. The Nepalese political parties, Government and Maoists should know dialogue requires a variety of capacities for self-transcendence: transcendence of one's own interests and perspectives for the sake of understanding the interests and perspectives of the other side. They should know who are committed to pluralism and peaceful coexistence must step forward and take the initiative. They should know when the main grievances - inequality, political repression, and ethnic and religious divisions - are measured objectively, they provide no explanatory power in predicting rebellion.

However, The Maoist-Government conflict, political instability, contradiction in the policies formulated by the different governments, which only disturbs the smooth flow of business activities investors. We can not forget how the loss incurred in tourism, exports, business activities and transportation sectors due to security problems. So some investors and potential investors have already begun to worry about the investment environment in Nepal.

So, Nepalese want to end a bloody guerrilla war that is taking about 11,000 lives. We cannot resolve the problem in Nepal comprehensively unless we address the problems.

*************

(Kamala Sarup is editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )


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