Kamala Sarup: Nepal Peace Agreement Concern
Nepal: Peace Agreement Concern
By Kamala Sarup
If the general expectation of the people for lasting peace could be transformed into reality, Nepal could once again be a land of unmatched natural beauty with for ever cheerful, friendly and hospitable people.
The cease-fire, or the temporary agreement to stop the use of arms, between the government forces and the Maoists is indeed a very welcome political phenomenon. If the fighting parties do not come to terms, they might go back to violent means again and again, but what I feel and feel strongly is that we must always strive for ultimate peace. We have a deep desire that this time around there will be no break down of talks and a true and lasting peace will be achieved, for we know not only the two fighting adversaries, but all the neutral innocent people of Nepal want the nation to be free, prosperous and happy. And to be truly free and really prosperous and happy, we require an open democratic atmosphere of mutual understanding, toleration and cooperation. We must have peace to achieve this kind of democratic goal in which every individual and group has an equal opportunity of participation in the administration.
23.5 million Nepali people want peace in the country. This is the happiest moment for Nepalese. Even recently, many people strongly called for immediate relief packages and rehabilitation programmes in the affected parts of the country both at the government and the local level. The peace process would not last long if there is no concrete programmes to address their problems. Without settling the humanitarian problems, no lasting peace can be envisaged.
It is in this dubious economic condition when the agenda of national reconstruction was thrown overboard that an extreme leftist element represented now by the Maoists emerged in the country.
Like the people and their needs, like their demands, everything is in a flux and the constitution is also not above and beyond the universal law of change. The existing constitution should not come in the way of joining hands between brothers and sisters, nor as an impediment to time-honored change. If we proudly advocate the sovereignty of the people, we must also without any reservation recognize their exclusive right of amending the constitution according to their needs.
The cease-fire will certainly enhance the position of the Maoists. They can openly discuss their concepts and ideology and participate in popular democratic activities. It is good to be able to do so without taking recourse to violent means. Peaceful means are more convincing to the people, stronger and ever lasting. They have got this opportunity, which, I feel, they will not let go in the heat of their ideological sentiment. Armed struggle or the use of arms can succeed not only in Nepal, but anywhere in the world, if it is launched under an able commander. History has an ample proof of it. But it is not a question of overthrowing a regime or conquering a country. The main issue is the achievement of peace, security, progress and prosperity for our nation. We love Nepal and the Nepalese people. Our main objective is and should be a free and fearless life for us all.
To promote a permanent peace and respect for diversity through citizen participation in programs that develop 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.
Peace is another name for the emancipation of the common people and also equal opportunity for all the citizens. Our ultimate goal is to achieve true democracy and to achieve that goal for the happiness of all our people, we should let all ideas, all concepts and all philosophies to have an interplay for the free selection and adoption in which every individual and every section of our people will have an easy access and willing participation for a better tomorrow.