Kamala Sarup: Peace Process Needed in Nepal
Peace Process Needed in Nepal
By Kamala Sarup, PhD
In order to establish permanent peace in the country, three phases of peace process must be held. The first phase, cease-fire, the government and the Maoists should sit together to discuss the modalities of peace process. In the third phase, the actual peace negotiations should begin and should include political parties, civic society and other groups so the government can take the peace process.
Everyone's attention must be seriously focused. The government-Maoist peace process must be conducted within the framework of multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy.
It is true, Peace process can explore common values, challenges and mistaken assumptions because together we can explore and conceptualize a shared vision of peace that has depth and integrated meaning, that integrates our understandings, experiences, and hopes. Nepalese people would like to know a comprehensive preventive strategy must first focus on the underlying political, social, economic, causes of conflict. Government and Maoists should take a look at Bosnia and Croatia, Kosovo, Somalia, or South Africa and we have to acknowledge what happened and find ways to avoid it because Nepalese people know much of the hard work to promote peaceful coexistence must be done internally by each people. We should all try to transform this into a permanent peace the nation would remain
The code of conduct must be made public so it will lead to take country out of political morass because compromise is the rule of game in modern day politics. We should find a common ground because it is a profound commitment to preserve existing constitutional order and polity. Politics is changing consistent with the changing patterns in political behaviour so sincere observation of the code of conduct will help strengthen mutual understanding. Every political leader should rise above narrow interest to demonstrate that he/she is interested in larger public interest. There should be some elements of ethics that we lack very much these days because artificial peace is not needed, it has to be firmly rooted in people's perception and thinking. We need substance and that should accommodate varying and often conflicting interest. National interest should prevail at any cost.
All should join hands into a lasting peace. In this context, some degree of flexibility is needed on the part of government, Maoists and political parties. If they think this is a very important question. It is not a time to make contribution and sacrifices for the nation.
Equally important is the notion of "mass information" in order to educate the people in far flung remote villages, about the code of conduct because many still do not know what is code of conduct and how the parties concerned should behave during this period. It will be good if the code of conduct will come into immediate effect.
Furthermore, a code of conduct is not enough. Its basic objective is to facilitate peace process. We have to learn from hindsights, that means past negotiations. Excessive rigidity, on the part of both sides, might wreck the peace process. So enough care is needed to move the process ahead in unbalanced and transparent way but a lot will depend on political parties, how they will find themselves in this process. It is natural to expect genuine commitment from them to take country out of political morass, that means contributing to peace process in selfless manner. Peace process should focus on legal political; developmental; economic and fundamental rights like; human rights and security.
On the other hand, economic growth is bound to widen economic and employment opportunities to make them self reliant but unless we embrace a multi-dimensional approach to deal with both economic and social issues, it is almost difficult to achieve lasting peace in the country.
Nepal has been suffering because we lack visionary leaders who can guide the nation to a path of development and lasting peace. We have leaders who do not read and therefore do not understand what is happening beyond Kathmandu. They amass property without feeling a sense of cheating, they care for their coterie and psychophants who always guide them to do mischievous things. The quality of present day leaders in Nepal is questionable. They loyalty is doubtful. Their interest is vested. Their way of thinking is limited. It is because of this reason we are suffering today. We have to make efforts to change the society consistent in the changes in our thinking.
But still Nepalese people would like to know how how can mutual recrimination be avoided? How can the government, political parties and the Maoists increase their mutual understanding and respect for each other? How can we strengthen our commitments to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence? How can destructive conflicts be transformed into constructive negotiations and war turned into peace?
As our political systems are incapable and far too short-sighted to address the basic moral questions, which have significant impact on Nepal's political stability and prosperity so the political parties should forget minor conflicts and differences among themselves and the political party leaders must realise that people's wish and feeling are the most important.
We must and should think, if nation survives we are there if it is not there where we are going to find ourselves? One thing our leaders should remember: democratic ideals may not be yielding any results if we lack sustained efforts to empower people both politically and economically. Economic injustice provides a fertile ground for conflicts.
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. National unity must remain the priority goal of political process, both right and left.
It is true, peace and conflict resolution may require the art and skill of negotiation, but that alone would not be sufficient.
The existence and sovereignty of the nation should be our main concern. Today Nepalese people desire peace. It would be difficult if the rebels and the government do not begin the serious business of narrowing down their differences. Therefore, the two sides have to agree on one point that all those problems at the root of the bloody long insurgency, which has taken a toll of 12,000 human lives.
The peace process should move ahead in a transparent atmosphere so let's hope that the peace process will begin soon. Multiparty democracy, Constitutional Monarchy, human rights are such issues which should be the focal points while initiating the peace process.
It is now time for the nation to immediately create permanent peace.
(Kamala Sarup is a editor of http://peacejournalism.com/ )