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Kamala Sarup: Maoists Ceasefire Is A Good Thing

Maoists Ceasefire Is A Good Thing


By Kamala Sarup

No matter what ceasefire is a good thing and should be welcomed and encouraged to take it to the next level. Everybody should work on making this event a permanent one. One can not marginalize Maoist in power sharing with the King and parliamentary force. Maoists have also realized the importance and necessity of peace and stability. The cease-fire announced by Maoists is the result of the widespread desire and will of the people, civil society and international community, political parties and the government.

Government must call for an all-party meeting, perhaps, to converge all divergent political views and make one single national approach to solve this seemingly intractable and embarrassing problem of this country. The lack of trust and respect for politicians makes us all wonder whether the proposed negotiations will lead to permanent peace. There is no hope for peace unless the major political forces; the goverment the Maoists and the parliamentary parties recognize the urgency of a negotiated peace and are willing to take bold initiatives to address the concerns of the common people.

Negotiation means that you not only set your objectives for a negotiation, you also understand why those are your objectives. It is a humanistic approach to negotiation that utilizes the strategies and tactical tools of successful negotiating to achieve optimal results. Strengthening independent actors' capacity in civil society can contribute to stability by broadening participation and enhancing prospects for democratic accountability and responsiveness.

There are three alternatives to the present crisis; the way of the gun; active participation by the political parties, the goverment and Maoists and a way out through the peaceful democratic process. It is true that the King recently gave indications that the government is indeed serious about resuming negotiations with Maoists and Maoists have also expressed willingness to soften their stance in favor of talks. What the Nepalese demand is their right to live with justice, peace, true democracy, liberty and dignity.

We hope this time it is because there is a real possibility that the current ceasefier will lead to a permanent and peaceful resolution of this conflict.

It is true, majority of the Nepalese people wish the talks to resume in order to restore normalcy in the country. It is time that all peace-loving people in Nepal sit together and agree on a cease-fire ald lasting peace. Failing to do this, might invite untold sufferings to the people.

The Maoists political parties and government should take it seriously and should take steps for creating an atmosphere for the talks. If the government, political parties and the Maoists are all serious to preserve and enhance Nepalese national interest they must compromise and come to an agreed solution. This solution could be the Maoists surrendering all the looted weapons and arms including the public properties.

Efforts for realizing peace, in the importance of comprehensive cease-fire for building confidence and creating conducive atmosphere for the negotiations, supporting the humanitarian work and ending the Nepalese citizens' suffering is very important.

Evan, International community has been saying that the conflict is slipping out of control and on the other hand Maoists are willing to begin a dialogue with the government. So Pranchanda, urged to help create a proper atmosphere for talks.

Congress, UML, Sadbhavana, and RPP as well as the government must look into the root cause of the problem and must give equal importance to security and peace actions. The government must initiate action against social injustice and bring peace to the country. The service delivery system must be people oriented, efficient and effective and development programs must enlarge their centrally located programs to the village areas, generating employment.

The intellectual and political battle is the decisive battle that has to be fought at the local level to build up confidence among the local people in Nepal. If there is war, it'll hit the whole country, and I won't feel safe just because I live in the city. So, the government and the Maoists should immediately respect and promote human rights, as defined under the UN's Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

We Nepali really want peace. The whole country wants the war to end. There is a strong expression of peace in the community so we are very hopeful about the talks.

The peace talks between the Deuba government and Maoists sides collapsed last year and the Deuba government declared the Maoists as terrorists. This followed imposition of the state of emergency and announcement of a huge price against Maoists leaders. Maoists increased their violent activities by attacking security posts even as the government embraced the primacy of political solution through negotiations.

It was our bad luck that the Maoists unilaterally violated the last time four-month truce by attacking the army, the police and government establishments in Syangja and Dang districts in November, compelling the government to declare the CPN (Maoist) a terrorist organization and imposing emergency throughout the country on November 26.

Peace Organizations Role

Peace organizations and Civic society should support peaceful political transition to democracy should increases opportunities for individuals. 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.

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. We are a small nation with two giants as neighbours. National unity must remain the priority goal of political process, both right and left. Nepal has been suffering not because we lack manpower, resources and national unity, but because we lack visionary leaders who can guide the nation to a path of development. We have leaders who do not read and therefore do not understand what is happening beyond Thankot. Compare our leaders with others. We do not need to go beyond SAARC so let's have visionary and dedicated leaders. The quality of present day leaders in Nepal is questionable. There loyalties are doubtful. Their interest is vested. Their way of thinking is limited. It is because of this reason we are suffering today.

In any time of conflict, it is the responsible parties that plays the lead role in bringing about a tangible and lasting solution to the problem facing the nation and the people. Nepal, too, is not an exception.

To promote a permanent peace and respect for diversity through citizen participation in programs that develops a consensus around peace issues. To contribute to the definition of a permanent national peace policy through action, ideas and research aimed at the construction of a society based on policies of social justice and sustainable, humane development.

Negotiation is only one of many ways that organizations and societies deal with conflicts so how interest-based negotiation can be combined creatively with other rights-based and power-based procedures such as arbitration, adjudication, voting, and third-party intervention in order to constitute a "dispute resolution system."

Nepalese people bear the brunt of the country's violent armed conflict. Maoist actions increasingly turned anti-people. Thousands have been killed in recent years, and thousands more have been kidnapped for ransom. Small children, some as young as thirteen or fourteen, have been recruited. The violence targeted against the local infrastructure community forestry projects, small hydro plants, bridges, telephone stations, and office buildings. The closure of educational institutions, businesses and cession of ordinary life in the country in response to their frequent calls for "bandh" helped only to make the lives of ordinary people more difficult.

As we know, conflict resolution is never easy, but it is especially challenging in Nepal. Hope, we will have permanent peace in our great Nepal at this time.

Nepalese people know Nepal needs constructive support it might help all Nepalese to focus on a constructive future and escape the horrors of further violence. The talks between the government and the Maoists have reached a definite point so all sectors must find a meeting point and solve the problem once and for all.

Constitutional Monarchy, Multi party democracy, human rights, sovereignty and national interest must be made the meeting point and basis for the peace process. These issues should by no means be compromised for any reason. Politics should be for the welfare and interests of the people and nationality, national solidarity and moving the democratic line by enlisting the participation of all the linguistic and ethnic communities in the campaign of nation building.

ENDS

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