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To Prevent Internal Refugees Is To Prevent War

To Prevent Internal Refugees Is To Prevent War

By Kamala Sarup

War destroys homes and food sources, so people must leave their homes. These are war refugees. The only way to prevent refugees is to prevent war. But there will always be wars because people are aggressive, people are acquisitive for power, and ignorant of the consequences of aggression. The only way to eliminate war completely is to eliminate groups, bring them for peace talks and reduce the poverty. Because of the aggessiveness, acquisitiveness, and ignorance of people and their leaders, people can expect wars to continue but government can do is reduce the number and magnitude of wars by strengthening economic and social relations, outlawing the use of gas, land mines, etc.

It's not certain how many Nepalese have been displaced over the past 10 years, either internally or into neighboring countries.Internal displacement within Nepal, an estimated 200,000 people have been displaced by fighting. Almost 400,000 Nepalese people have gone to other countries (primarily to Arab countries, South Korea and Malaysia) in search of unskilled labor jobs. Many of them have died as a result of working in hazardous conditions. Twelve Nepalese workers were brutally murdered by Iraqi terrorists in Iraq.

Escalation of the conflict in the western and eastern part of Nepal forced a further thausends people from their homes. There are no phones, no paved roads, no electricity. The government has not fully analysed the extent of the problem of internal displacement. In addition that the conflict and additional security spending has limited the funds available for programs targeting those displaced. Even, the government has, established various compensation and resettlement funds for victims of the conflict, although most of these funds are not manageable for the victims. War victims cannot always be sufficiently protected by the Geneva Convention. They always need help.

The war has devastated Nepal. One of our foremost tragedies is that many children as young as age nine were recruited to fight in the war.

People have limited knowledge of the consequences of war; otherwise, they might not wage it. If Germany, Japan and Italy had foreseen that the allies were capable of defeating them, then they surely would not have tried to conquer the world during WW II. If the U.S. leaders had realized their impotence of war against communist governments in Indo-china, they would not have wasted blood and treasure being defeated.

Economic injustice provides a fertile ground for conflict. Government in Nepal should rally for bigger social transformation and stability through social conscientisation, and to bring about social reforms. If the leaders and the government promote education and values that emphasize national and international identification rather than ethnic, religious, tribal or clan identification, then the ethnic, religious, tribal and clan conflicts will diminish, in the long run. If they promote sufficient economic, judicial and political equality, then the people at the bottom of the ladder will not want to topple those at the top.

The results of reducing conflict are that when people engage in production and art rather than war, then the killing and maiming are reduced and the general living standards are increased and people are more satisfied. However, people are ignorant, aggressive and acquisitive, so some conflict will always remain.

If we do not take our own home as an analytical construct, we are bound to suffer a failure. So the most fundamental thing is nation-building with all components of national society contributing to it in a selfless manner and, of course, with a view to promoting national harmony.

Peace organizations in Nepal have to be trained in the skills they will need to organize nonviolent action, including public speaking, managing people, preparing effective appeals for support, fundraising, and identifying and neutralizing informants and infiltrators because given the high likelihood of harassment, repressive violence, imprisonment, solitary confinement, or even torture.Peace Organizations can assist civilian movements in framing and carrying out well-conceived strategies for nonviolent conflict, setting the agenda for negotiations. Numerous structural factors help to mold a nation's negotiating style, including geography and geopolitics, governmental structures, economic indicators, demographic makeup, and legal and educational systems. Peace organizations has to move leaving behind money-driven appraoch and create conducive environment for all to seriously mull over the future of nepal, that is peaceful and harmonious.


(Kamala Sarup is editor of )

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