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Protect Peace - Defeat Terrorism in Nepal

Protect Peace Defeat Terrorism in Nepal

Dr. Netra Adhikari

Anarchy in the country was in extremes in the past. People lived in fear. Somebody else told me that a person was being pick-pocketed in a broad day light, and onlookers did not have guts to stop him because of a fear of retaliation.

After Feb1, Overall, the change in political situation appears to have immediate positive impact on the general public of Kathmandu. They were tired of being amidst a fight amongst the power monger political leaders. They were tired of destructions, extortions etc, and appear like they do not care much of their freedom anymore than the peace and tranquility they are enjoying at the moment. After all, more than a decade of democracy did not bring general public much other than scandals after scandals by the corrupt leaders. This does not mean that we do not need a democratic society.

The question is do we have an ideal leader who can propagate the democratic values in the country? Or will we have one in future? I do not believe we can expect much from the current ones; they have had enough chances, and lost all of them. There was politicization in every sectors including the service providing bureaucracy, and the people had suffered heavily. Even King said parties should make clear their stance on it and that whatever distance seems between the parties and His Majesty might be because of the proximity between the parties and His Majesty.

Everyone should have the unanimity of opinion regarding issues such as making an end to terrorism, corruption control, serving the people, and a strong determination is what we need for such issues, said His Majesty, adding there will be no compromise with any elements that hinder the process of fulfilling that very aspirations of the people.

King's recent Interview.

Answer: What I found was, it was varying, but the aspirations were the same, the aspirations for peace. their sentiments were that some vented their personal matters, some that of their district, some made demands and made suggestions for this and that, but the main aspirations of all of them was peace, and development only afterwards. Question: What was the difference Your Majesty found on the situation in the far and mid western region, as compared to the eastern development region?

Answer: To tell you the truth, the whole country is in difficulty, but in the far and mid west I found a special kinds of difficulties, which I experienced and that may be because of the remoteness, and I think one special reason might be because of the poverty. May be because of being a bit farther from the capital. The east was as if influenced by the neighboring country, but here the terror is intense, and the fear as well. I experience it, and there are difficulties because of the geographical fabric of the region, let's talk about karnali zone, because of its geographical landscape, we should have a different view regarding it, I think.

Some parts of karnali are on the high himalayas, and some are in the trans-himalayan region. If we have to do some thing we should have a different view. We should be liberal, it will never do when we see it with narrow mindedness. For example, Dolpa is a place may be no one has even reached there. There are doubts the government is present there. in earlier visits, people said they came from upper dolpa. it took them seven days to come to dunai. Dunai was the headquarters, but they had more exchanges and movements to Tibet, the autonomous region of china, they talked of pastures, in humla they said it was easy when they went to other districts from Tibet rather than from our own country. It was difficult this side. They had told us at that time. Therefore, I have been emphasizing on road, which you may have realised this time. I have emphasized on road.

If we could reach the road to jumla, many things will be opened up to the terai, I feel. And we should reach it also to jajarkot, as the chhinchu-jajarkot route has been in operation, and it may take one more year. planners have told me that it may not be complete within this year. But the road also has to be built through remote areas and difficult terrain, but the works are underway. If we are to link jajarkot from chhinchu, we can reach the same road to dunai from one or the other routes. And then, dolpa will be linked to the national mainstream.

We should link the headquarters by road, and the economic transactions, and the movement will gear ahead unity, his late majesty king prithvi narayan shah the great had a meaning to call nepal a garden of various communities, varieties of flowers. To protect them all and to irrigate them is the sole responsibility of the monarchy, and it is what the monarchy has been always doing. Difference is there, as you asked me earlier. There is difference in two places, which we should not forget, what ever the difficulties, we are all Nepalese, we should live in Nepal and to work in Nepal and to die if the almighty desires so. And therefore, if we moved ahead with that opinion, it will have a boost to nationalism and territorial integrity and will give it the strength. Question : Your Majesty had said about development and peace, but the people have laid more emphasis on peace than development with Your Majesty. In such a situation, how do Your Majesty take this issue?

Answer: That comes from the inner feelings of the people. The state has given it top priority, peace is that of thought, I mean, that is not only a peaceful environment, but a peace in the heart. If the peace in the heart comes out, it builds an environment of peace. But we have some difficulty, some elements have been spreading violence, and extorting.

The people are terrorized, therefore I feel their demand is natural. The first and foremost thing they want is to be able to sleep comfortably with peace, to have both ends meet, those who work should be able to work in peace. Still, we hear the terror has targeted the industry, it should be stopped. Others will take benefit when brothers are divided.

It should be thought about by the people. We should not give others room for this. And should not encourage by being sensitive. as far as we seem to divide, others will take benefit. Those who have deviated, if they think with national unity and nation as focal point, we can have a solution. if they had done something in a political point of view in the beginning, but unfortunately this took a different turn. Once I had heard that the terrorists had taken the agenda from the people and wanted to do something for them, but can we say it has been so now ? But then, as they surpassed the point they were in terrorism, and the people did not follow them.

In the beginning, we had heard they had 41 demands, and this and that. Some of them are good, we do not deny it. But the governments of the time could not give a thought on it. Otherwise, if the governments at the time had done some thing, we should not have been in the ditch at present. Now I say, some of them we have addressed in the 21-point programmememe and now if we are able to think with nation as the focal point, solution can be certainly come out.

Question: During Your Majesty's visit, the people have filed petitions on development works and law and order, and administrative delays, and some personal demands and have expected from Your Majesty. what directives will be from Your Majesty. Answer: There are varying demands, some are personal, we should look into it once we return to capital. Some are genuine demands. We give special attention. Some are that of the districts, some of education, some for peace. we think whether they fall in our main policy. The state can not do every thing, we stress on participation of the people. we should leave it to the people and to the peoples representatives. they should be able to do it, but the representatives should also be able to represent in reality.

They should give place to the aspirations of the people in the national thinking. neither can one man can do nor a government, but we have taken all the petitions. Some of them you have also recorded and heard. So we should screen them which can be applicable we will give special attention from the state. Question :Your Majesty, this region is more affected by the Maoists, but the visit has witnessed the participation of large numbers of people. How do Your Majesty take it?

Answer: I want to thank the people, I have learned a lesson. One thing they were lined up in such scorching heat, sweating as they were in this hottest season. Even the flowers in their hands had been dried up, but it was to be offered at any cost, this was my experience this time. I heard that some elements had tried to disturb it. They had tried to make their presence felt, but the people have given them the reply. The other thing I learned is the patience of the people. They wanted to see their king with much patience. They wanted to speak to me even by taking troubles. I felt it good. We should be able to listen to everyone, either be it pleasant or bitter.

But we should listen to it. Whatever we can do we should do, and may be some of them we can not. This is what is to go to the people, once we go to them we should be able to hear sweet or bitter words with patience, I learned the patience from the people this time. They waited for that long, the shed sweats in this season. In some places, I heard, they waited me even in rain, when we reached there the rain had stopped but the people were still waiting, we should learn from it.

Question: People have seen Your Majesty walking for more than two and half hours, and sweating , and the people are amazed. How do Your Majesty take the expressions of the people to the press. Answer: This is an unusual question. Firstly, I am also a human being. It is natural that we sweat, but we should make it productive, and constructive. we sweat, it is difficult there, we get dust, our country is like that, when we go somewhere we have to climb hills, we should wear clothes to suit our country. We should wear certain types of shoes.

We should be able to walk. if the people can do, why can't their king ? what I say is wherever there are Nepalese, there is the king and where there is the king there are the Nepalese people. This is the uniqueness of nepali monarchy. The Nepalese monarchy that shapes in accordance with the people and what the people say. This is our tradition. In this age, we have blacktopped roads, there was no such roads in times of our ancestors. They would not have vehicles, not to talk of helicopters, they had to ride horses or to walk on foot , but the kings had reached the people. Therefore, we should not feel it difficult. We should go with respect and love whatever the people are like. This is the uniqueness of the monarchy.

Question: Your Majesty, do you have any comments on the accusations by some elements that the people were gathered because of pressures, as it was a encouraging participation of the people during the visit?

Answer: What comments to make on this ? I think this should be asked to the people present there. whether they were forced or were present spontaneously. It would be better to ask the people, how can I answer it ?

Question : Your Majesty, you have held direct conversations with people of different walks of life, have talked to the elderly and the disabled. has there been any difference between the time prior to the royal proclamation and the aftermath ? Answer: One thing we experienced was that the Nepalese people have a increased willpower, self-confidence has increased, the sense of nationalism, I experienced it this time.

I heard that some swiftness in services had been there after the February 1, and some said it can be slowed down gradually. I warn those responsible for providing the services that it is not the time to go like that, the people should receive the facilities, they should do the works of the people. it is not the time to wait and see in one or the other pretexts, we have made a determination on this. from any quarters, good governance is our motto. some things are such that we never compromise, this is one thing, it should be like this.

Question: We saw that small from children to elders aged 80-90 years also met Your Majesty during the visit. even in the crowds and scorching heat. But what we heard is that many a people in the districts are longing to see Your Majesty and who were fortunate enough to see Your Majesty have wished that such visits should be continued frequently.

Would Your Majesty continue such visits of the zones and districts in the days ahead? Answer: I want to say from the Nepal Television, the Radio Nepal and RSS that there is no difficulty for the king to meet his people. We are ready to go whereever and whenever the people want us to go. We should do anything to lessen the hardships of the people and to resolve the difficulties faced by the people if need be. The monarchy will never lag behind. Therefore, in my opinion, such visits should continue and would certainly continue.

Question: Your Majesty, we now put a query on the press. In what ways should the media run in the present situation of the country? Answer: I find this a most difficult question. this is not my duty to suggest how should the press run, but what we desire is that whoever has the sense of responsibility at this sensitive circumstances of the country, they should work in a disciplined manner. I reiterate it, as I had said it in other occasions. we should not encourage terrorism in any way.

Lets' not forget that this country is still in crisis in some ways or the other, the situation has not been eradicated. Did the fourth estate keep mum during the emergency, i don't think so. I had said the same thing at that time. I still say the same thing today. Yes. the country is in difficult situation, we should comprehend it, and the only goal should be the same, how to make the country stronger, peaceful and democratic.

Democracy should be from the grass roots level to the parliament. We need democracy but we should not sit idle without making it stronger in the foundations, only by talking about the central level. We should make it stronger from the foundation. When we build a house, how can a house be there without a stronger foundation ? what are the pillars that we have to reinforce ? we should make them stronger. What are the democratic pillars which we should make stronger? And then only, it rests on it. We should have this thought and there happens to be the meaning of democracy.

And then only, all the people can get its fruits. What is the theme of our religious scripture 'Geeta' ? it was we should go on working and should not long for its fruits. once we are born we should go on working as our duty. And when we start discussing whether it can benefit this or harm that and this hinders this and that, then how would we reach the goal. Now the nation has taken a definite goal. the national goals is that terrorism is unacceptable to the nation and how to make the democracy relevant and mature. The main goal of the February 1 proclamation was this and when we stay confused in the junctures and take different paths, when would we reach the goal? We should come out of the situation when we falter as junctures come. there are obstacles, what I feel is like the story of a married couple. When they meet daily they get into squabbling. when they meet, one would say I need it and the other will say I will give it to you tomorrow.

The first will say I need it today itself, this is our expectation. This happens when we are too close. I feel that now that this has been so between the political parties and the king. Certainly, but they should be clear on three or four points. We have already said this. they should be clear about terror. Some saying co-work with the terrorists and others to have dialogue, this is not that easy. If they do not tell the king, they should tell the people on this.

The people want this. When we visit , the people have been clamoring for peace, they are plagued by terror. On the other hand, the political parties want to co-work, or to hold dialogue with the terrorists. They should be clear on such matters. Another thing, on good governance and corruption, they should be clear, and on this politicisation, it has been in many aspects. they should also be clear on this. I heard that there is politicization in the bureaucracy. they should come with clear concept on this too. And then the fiscal discipline. I have been saying on these four issues. If they make a public opinion, then there will be room for dialogue. We should have place to go ahead and to move forward. As for me, I am open on it. I have never said that I will never meet them. but there has to be some basis for it. If they become clear on this, I am also responsible to the people now. I should be able to say that your leaders have said this on these issues. if it is clear, then we should have an environment for dialogue.

Question: There are some public grievances, Your Majesty, some patriots have also been feeling that it may be difficult to have the wishes of Your Majesty fulfilled.

Answer: I have heard this too, not that I am not informed on it. Firstly, We should learn to work with nation in our heart. we should learn to move ahead with nation in our heart. Let's talk about the tradition, during the time of late king prithvi narayan shah the great, the late king was not allowed to make minister whom he liked. The people did not allow. We are to follow the footsteps. We should not shrug off. If the people say, we do not have the difficulty. We have also thought over it. It does not suit the nationalists to be pessimistic and to comment on others when they did not get public positions and opportunities in the name of being nationalists. patience is what we should learn from the people. I have said earlier.

Media persons: Whatever queries we put from the RSS, Nepal Television and Radio Nepal, in connection with the visit, and whatever opinions Your Majesty have given to us, we are grateful to Your Majesty for that.

HM: Thank you, I would like to appreciate the labour you have undergone.


(Writer is a professor of Political Science)

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