Resurrection Of Old Habits In Nepal
Resurrection Of Old Habits In Nepal
By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar
Even the blood of the protestors killed and injured by the security forces in the people’s movement in 2006 have not dried up on the streets of Kathmandu and of other towns in Nepal, the resurrection of the royalists has begun at the swearing-in ceremony in the royal palace. Prime Minster in-waiting Girija Prasad Koirala said that he would not take an oath of office in presence of the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Privy Council called Rajparishad, Parasu Narayan Chaudhary because he was responsible for holding conventions and rallies against democracy and in support of the autocratic king. However, Four-term former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had to take an oath of office not only in presence of the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the privy Council but also from the bloodstained hands of the king at the royal palace on April 30, 2006. However, Prime Minister Koirala made one step forward against the regressive forces not taking an oath of the ex-officio member of the Standing Committee of the Privy Council from its Chairman, Parasu Narayan Chaudhary.
King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev administered an oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at Narayanhiti Royal Palace amid a special function on April 30, 2006. His Royal Highness Paras Bir Bikram Shah Dev was present on the occasion. Also present on the occasion were Chief Justice, Chairman of Rajparishad Standing Committee and constitutional heads . Against his wish, the Prime Minister in-waiting, Girija Prasad Koirala had taken an oath of office in presence of not only the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Privy Council but also other constitutional heads responsible for suppressing democracy and supporting the dictatorial regime. For this incident, Prime Minister Koirala needs to blame nobody but himself because the seven-party alliance wanted Girija Prasad Koirala to take an oath of office at the House of Representatives but Four-term Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala chose to take an oath of office from the king.
The question is why the Prime Minister needed to take an oath of office from the king when the people’s movement made him the Prime Minister not the king. It would have been highly commendable if he had taken an oath of office at the House of Representatives. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala became the first man responsible for resurrection of the royal power accepting the Prime Ministerial Position from the king. Prime Minister Koirala should not forget that the king and he were equally responsible for the death of the 21 persons and more than 5,000 persons injured during the peaceful protests against the king’s dictatorial regime, and the loss of the billions of worth of business, and for the miserable lives of Nepalis caused by the daytime and night curfews for weeks and weeks during the people’s movement against the king.
On the basis of the unanimous decision of the seven-party alliance on making Girija Prasad Koirala the Prime Minister, the King appointed Nepali Congress President and Leader of the Nepali Congress (NC) Party Girija Prasad Koirala to the post of Prime Minister pursuant to the Constitution of Nepal of 1990. The earlier statement issued on April 27 by the Press Secretariat of the King stating that his appointment was made pursuant to the Article 36 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal of 1990 was corrected by the king following the correction made for the same by the General Secretary of Nepali Congress. . Thus, immediate resurrection of the king’s power showed up when the Press Secretariat of the king announced the appointment of the Prime Minister pursuant to the Article 36 (1) of the Constitution of 1990. The General Secretary of the Nepali Congress immediately asked the king for correcting the announcement. The king complied with it and corrected the announcement accordingly. It was clear from this constitutional controversy, the king has not given up the idea of taking power back in his hands.
Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, the two main constituents of the seven-party alliance – Nepali Congress (NC) and Nepal Communist Party – United Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML), started squabbling over the allocation of ministerial portfolios. The CPN-UML claimed for Ministry of Home and Ministry of Defense, as the NC got the Prime Ministerial position. The CPN-UML Central Committee meeting even decided if the party did not get both the portfolios or even one of them then the party would not participate in the Council of Ministers. CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said it in public. However, the party accepted the Deputy Prime Ministerial Position leaving the two crucial ministerial positions to the NC. CPN-UML Central Committee Member Pradip Nepal came out openly against the decision of his party on joining in the government as it went against the decision of the CPN-UML Central Committee on acquiring ministerial portfolios such as Home or Defense or both. In protest, he resigned from the Central Committee Membership. Another CPN-UML Central Committee Member Jhalanath Khanal said in public that the NC monopolized the ministerial portfolios as a result the NC got hold of the Positions of Prime Minister, Home, and Defense while the CPN-UML got only one portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister. This is the old trait of these political parties resurrected again.
While driving back to the palace, Crown prince Paras hit the bus carrying a wedding party near Chabil in Kathmandu at around 6:00 P.M., on Saturday evening, April 29, 2006. The crown prince sped up toward Maharajgunj immediately after the incident. Under the directives of the military escorting the royal car, the wedding party's bus was held at the Gaushala police station. About 60 people including the bride and the groom were on the bus, all of them were held at the Gaushala police station for 45 minutes. After the wedding party strongly opposed their detention, they were released on condition that they would report to the police station next day at 8:00 A.M. with the bus. “We were informed that the royal motorcade of the crown prince was due. So we were running our bus on one side of the road. But, immediately after a vehicle of the motorcade overtook us, the car of the crown prince hit our bus and moved on without pulling up,” said Rabin Pokharel, brother of the groom. He said that the crown prince himself was driving the car. While the sidelights and bumper of the bus carrying the wedding party were damaged, the wheel cover of the crown prince's car came off. Nobody was injured in the incident. However, the police claimed that the security vehicle escorting the crown prince hit the wedding party's bus. According to the security officials, the crown prince was returning to the palace after playing golf at Gokarna. . Only after five days from the day the king surrendered the power to the people, the so-called crown prince came out openly and dared to order his military escort to hold the wedding party in custody even though he was at fault. According to the traffic rules and regulations, the entourage of the crown prince should stop then and there immediately after the accident, and should call the traffic police, and settle the dispute if any. However, the entourage and the crown prince behaved as if they were above the law, and have intended to punish the victims of the reckless driving of the so-called crown prince. This is another example of the resurrection of the palace power.
Some unscrupulous police and civil officers were successful to change their loyalty to the people in power as required by the change in the governing system in the past as does the chameleon. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Ashok Shrestha was going to be retired on May 02, 2006 if he was not promoted. So, he visited senior leaders of the seven-party alliance, and apparently already secured promises from them for his promotion. DIG Shrestha reportedly succeeded in establishing links even with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala . However, this time DIG Ashok Shrestha got retirement not promotion from the government of the seven-party alliance.
On September 01, 2004, DIG Ashok Shrestha was in charge of the valley police when some suspected miscreants ransacked offices of manpower companies, business enterprises, and mosques and media houses in Kathmandu in protest against the killing of 12 Nepalis in Iraq. DIG Shrestha was one of the security officials responsible for the total failure of security in the valley on September 01, 2004 that had led to the damage of several millions rupees worth of property. He was the former bodyguard of late king Birendra for 17 years. He had reportedly defied orders of the then Home Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka on September 01, 2004 . He did so on the order of the palace to prove that the coalition government of the Nepali Congress – Democratic (NC-D) and the Communist Party of Nepal – United Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML), and headed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba reappointed by the king in June 2004 was not capable of maintaining the law and order, and to build up excuse for the king to take over the power.
The government of the seven-party alliance withdrew the suspension of police officers Indra Neupane, Surendra Mainali and Bhawesh Rimal in May 2006. The king’s government had suspended them for failing to stop the protestors against the king’s direct rule from stoning the motorcade of Crown Prince Paras at Minbhawan while he was on the way to Tribhuvan International Airport to receive his parents from abroad on November 22, 2005 . The crown prince went to the Police headquarters in Kathmandu, and ordered the Chief of the police to immediately take actions against the police responsible for the security failure. As a result, the three police officers got the suspension letters immediately at that time.
On May 01, 2006, three Indian political leaders such as CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechuri, Socialist Leader D.P. Tripathy, and CPI leader D Raja received a threat from the "royalists" in Nepal for supporting the Nepalese people's movement for democracy. They were the active members of the Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee (NDSC) set up in India for actively supporting the complete democracy in Nepal after the king took over the absolute power on February 01, 2005. Winding up his special trip to Kathmandu at the invitation of the new Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, CPI-M leader Yechuri traveled to West Bengal, India by road on Monday, May 01, 2006 Via Naxalbari and Siliguri, and reached Darjeeling where he was to address a mass gathering that afternoon. Then he got a call from "someone who wanted to discuss the Nepal issue" with him as well as with the CPI leader D Raja. CPI-M leader Yechuri guided the anonymous caller to CPI leader D. Raja. At the CPI's Delhi office, CPI leader Pallaba Sengupta also received a warning call, and immediately alerted the West Bengal police, and ensured additional security cover to CPI-M leader Yechuri. "It's true that somebody wanted to discuss Nepal issues with Yechuri-ji in Darjeeling," Tripathy said on Wednesday, May 03, 2006. "It's also true that Sengupta-ji received a warning in Delhi." . It was clear that the royalists were desperate to show their resurrection in one-way or another.
Reacting to the government of the seven-party alliance annulling the municipal elections held on February 08, 2006, and preferring to stay anonymous, a constitutional lawyer said that there was no provision made for terminating the local eletions or recalling the popularly elected representatives in the Local Self-Governance Act of 1998 (2055 B. S.). “While announcing its decision, the government hasn’t referred to any law. This shows that the very decision is controversial and devoid of any legal standing,” the legal expert said. However, Senior Advocate and Member of National Assembly, Radhehsyam Adhikari said that the government had the right to dismiss elected local bodies before they completed their term of office. “Of course, the elected representatives have the right to appeal at the court against the government's decision. But it would be illogical if the elected representatives challenged the government's decision on legal grounds," he said. Former Election Commissioner Dr Birendra P. Mishra also agreed that the government could dismiss the local bodies. He further said that even the Election Commission did not have any right to raise questions against the government's decision on invalidating the municipal polls. Stating the Election Commission (EC) did not have any opinion on the dismissal or reinstatement of the local bodies, Spokesperson for the EC, Tej Muni Bajracharya said, “Our job is to hold elections (for the parliament and local bodies) at the request of the government.”  The badly mutilated royalists have begun to talk about the possible legal actions against the government of the seven-party alliance thus slowly raising their heads to resurrect. Some of the elected municipal officials have filed a writ petition against the annulment of the municipal elections held on February 08, 2006 at the Supreme Court of Nepal on June 02, 2006.
The victory of the Nepalese people had been so spectacular that the euphoria associated with it refused to die down. There was a lot of enthusiasm and anger in the streets but no one was visualizing the possibility of a counter-revolution if the things would go awry. The political situation was fluid. If allowed to drift, it might pave the way for a counter-revolution or a situation where the main arbiters of Nepal’s fate would be once again the two forces with guns — the monarchy backed by the Royal Nepal Army and the Maoists. The people of Nepal might stand in danger of getting marginalized. As it was, the new government seemed to have no clear strategic vision. The political scene was hazy and full of confusion about what should be done and how. Weak Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala was suddenly in charge. He was not only very old and ill but preferred backroom manipulations to the transparent and democratic decision-making. Neither Koirala nor the half-formed government he led gave the impression of having a grip on state power. The sudden prospect of power increased the fissures in the seven-party alliance. Such was the scramble for berths and portfolios in the cabinet that not even a workable council of ministers had been put in place. The House of Representatives reconstituted under the peoples’ pressure, was confused about what it should do, should not do or could do. Was its will truly reflective of the will of the people? Should all actions of this parliament be taken as if they were the result of a referendum? Not even the members of parliament were sure of an answer. In short, Nepal faced with a situation in which the people and their representatives were not as well organized as the recently disadvantaged feudal elite they tried to overthrow or those waiting in the wings for power, the Maoists. The 237-years of power enjoyed by the Shah dynasty was unlikely to evaporate overnight. And certainly not with a parliament adopting a resolution that His Majesty’s Government would be called the Government of Nepal. It was useful to remind oneself that this was a divided parliament because the royalist parties were still a part of it. There might not be an immediate prospect for a counter-revolution from the Right. However, there was a possibility that in a few months, once the dust settled, the marginalized old elite, the top brass of the army and royalist ex-army personnel might come together and would make a play for power. On the other hand, the young, the ultra-left in the seven-party alliance and the Maoists were impatient. They wanted the reconvened parliament to take some quick decisions and dissolve it. At this rate, a situation might soon emerge where the interim government in Nepal would have no legitimacy in law; there might be no constitution in place and no parliament either. . This was the political scenario in Nepal in early May 2006 presented by the Indian political analyst.
Life has come full circle for the 84-year-old Nepali Congress Leader, Girija Prasad Koirala. It was exactly three days after the royal massacre on June 01, 2001. Nepal’s elite had assembled at the ancient royal Palace, Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu for the coronation of Gyanendra as the King of Nepal. As the new King of the Himalayan country prepared to take the traditional buggy ride from Hanuman Dhoka to Narayanhiti Palace, he urged the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, to accompany him. Prime Minister Koirala politely declined the offer. “Sarkar (Your Majesty), I do not want you to face the public ire,” he said to the king. “People are very angry with me. They will stone the buggy if I ride with you.” Prime Minister Koirala’s popularity during his third term of office was at its lowest ebb. The people of Nepal blamed him for the deteriorating law and order situation, escalating Maoist violence and, worse still, for the Royal massacre, in which 10 members of the royal family, including the king and the queen, were killed. A few weeks later, Prime Minister Koirala resigned from office after the Royal Nepalese Army refused to obey his orders to put down the Maoist insurgency. Then, four-and-a-half years later, life had come full circle for the 84-year-old Nepali Congress Leader. Today, as Koirala copes with failing health, people from all walks of life are hoping that he will steer Nepal to safety in this critical period of protest and distrust . The appointment of Girija Prasad Koirala to the position of the Prime Minister itself was the reflection of the resurrection of the previous one corrupt government after another led by him during the time from 1991 to 2001. Escalating irregularities in civil services and mismanaging the state-owned business organizations, he had poorly managed four-terms of office of the Prime Minister he had enjoyed. Regarding the then-newly crowned king Gyanendra, the people standing on the sidewalks jeered him while riding back to the palace from the old palace after the coronation ceremony.
One of the royalist political parties, the Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP) headed by former Prime Minister and Loyalist Opportunist, Surya Bahadur Thapa has begun floating the opportunistic idea and begun resurrecting the power of the king. The RJP expressed dissatisfaction over political decisions made by the government of the seven-party alliance. It said that the political decision on every issue might lead to anarchy; so, it suggested the government to prioritize the 'genuine' Maoist issue to guarantee security and unobstructed movement to the people rather than engage in other issues. The meeting of the RJP decided to discuss four issues such as the current trend of taking political decisions on every issue, the question of focusing on the Maoist problem, restructuring the state and avoiding further political conflict between the King and the seven-party alliance. RJP Chief Surya Bahadur Thapa raised these four points on the second day of the meeting of the party on May 08, 2006. "We are sure the central committee meeting will accept the four points," spokesperson for the party, Sarbendra Nath Shukla informed the Nepalnews.com . Surya Bahadur Thapa betrayed Nepalis several times. In early 1960s, he betrayed the then-elected Prime Minister, and assisted the then-despotic king Mahendra in consolidating his power. In 1980, he again betrayed Nepalis manipulating the result of referendum on the choice of between the multi-party system and the improved Panchayat system in favor of the improved Panchayat system. In early 2000s too, he tried his best to manipulate the power in favor of the king when he was the Prime Minister appointed by the king. At a time when everybody knows that the king’s power has gone, and nobody is thinking of taking into account of the king for the state affairs, former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa has been attempting to give importance to the king.
Most of the king's loyal lieutenants have not given up the idea of their resurrection. Former Home Minister in the royal government and the prime accused of atrocities committed against the peaceful protestors, Kamal Thapa said that the king paved the way for the political parties' roadmap after his own roadmap "for peace and democracy" failed, and the coming days would show whether the new roadmap would work. When asked why the king's roadmap failed, Thapa said, "It is a matter for research. As an active implementer of that roadmap, I might have my own opinions, which I will make public later." But Thapa said that the "alternative roadmap should be given a chance". When asked why the royalist government had waited for the people's movement and the death of 21 Nepalis to give the parties' roadmap a chance, he said, "Till the last moment, we were absolutely sure that the king's roadmap would work." Thapa also denied that the previous government unleashed terror on the peaceful demonstrators. He claimed that whatever was done was in accordance with the prevailing law and constitution. When asked whether he spent Rs 500,000 a day to crush the movement, he said, "That is not true. Let the new government furnish proof."  Kamal Thapa was one of the notorious politicians of the Panchayat period. The Mallik Commission on investigation into the responsible persons for brutally suppressing the people’s movement against the Panchayat in 1990 in its report recommend the then-government for taking actions against Kamal Thapa. However, one elected government after another of the period from 1991 to 2000 failed to implement the report of the Mallik Commission, and did not bring the culprits to justice. Consequently, the same Kamal Thapa became the Home Minister of the king’s government in 2005, and was responsible for brutally suppressing the people’s movement against the king’s dictatorial regime in 2006.
Member of the Rajparishad (Privy Council) Standing Committee and one of the staunchest proponents of a military solution to the Maoist insurgency, Satchit Shumsher Rana said that he would be ready to comment on Nepali politics in one-and-a-half months time. "They (seven-party alliance) are in power now. They have joined hands with the Maoists. Let's see whether they succeed," said Rana. He was the former chief of the army staff. When asked how he sees the royal retreat and the probability of elections for a constituent assembly, Rana said, "I wish them all the best and hope that peace will prevail."  Satchit Shumsher Rana had served in the Royal Nepalese Army for 36 years according to his own words. He was one of the remnants of the past oligarchy that the Nepalis ended in 1951. He was one of the family members who enjoyed the prerogative of having the position of Army General immediately after birth during the Rana regime that lasted from 1846 to 1951. The Rana regime was an unusual offshoot of the Shah dynasty. So, he was one of the diehard supporters of the king.
Former Minister of State for Information and Communication, and former Spokesperson for the royal government, Shrish Shumsher Rana said, “King Gyanendra has taken a "step" and it is up to the government to make that "step" a success.” He, however, refused to comment on the King's "step". "I won't give an interview," he said.
Former Vice-chairman of the now-scrapped Council of Ministers, Dr Tulsi Giri, refused to make any comment on the current political situation and stated that he was busy shifting residence. "I will be ready for comments in a couple of days. Right now, I am moving out of government quarters. Let me settle down first," he said.
For them, the recent political change was just another "step" taken by the king. They were certainly down but not out of the game yet . The government of the seven-party alliance took Former Minister of State Shrish Shumsher Rana into custody on the recommendation of the High-level Commission on investigating the brutality inflicted by the then ministers on the peaceful protestors in April 2006. Similarly, in May 2006, on the recommendation of the same High-level Commission the government also restricted the movement of Dr. Tulsi Giri. He was the Former Vic-chairman of the Council of Minister headed by the king. He was famous for saying the Maoists’ back was broken.
Four years of incessant ritual worship and animal sacrifices at various shrines in Nepal and abroad may have failed to uphold his absolute rule, but King Gyanendra is seeking fresh divine help. The king is now consulting a new ‘god woman’, said a media report Wednesday (May 10, 2006). He is clearly undeterred by the fact that his 14-month rule, punctuated by erratic actions supposedly taken on the advice of his retinue of astrologers and god men, made the palace so unpopular that Nepalis are clamoring to abolish monarchy. A middle-aged, little-educated woman from Nepalgunj town in Midwestern Dang district is the latest ‘divine mediator’ for the Narayanhiti royal palace. Known as Bijuli Mata, the woman has supernatural powers and can bail the king out of his difficulties, royalists believe. She was flown to the capital last week along with a child helper in a palace helicopter kept for VVIPs (very very important persons). The Royal Nepalese Army reportedly played a key role in staging a meeting between the king and the ‘god woman’. An army general, who was formerly part of the palace royal guards, is said to have discovered the woman and her supernatural powers. She was flown in by two colonels and after arriving in the capital, was reportedly screened by army chief Gen Pyar Jung Thapa before being taken to the palace. Bijuli Mata replaces Kali Baba, a god man from India, who is said to know people in high places in the Indian capital. Last year, the Baba had also been flown in to meet the king and reportedly pray as well as mediate to strengthen his rule. Less than a week before the Bijuli Mata’s arrival, the king made his first public appearance since surrendering power last week when he worshipped at a temple (Dakshinkali) in Kathmandu Valley (on May 05, 2006). Accompanied by Queen Komal, he had four animals and a bird sacrificed at the shrine of Dakshin Kali, whose worship is believed to increase one’s power and destroy enemies.  The king and his spouse had visited many shrines to gods and goddesses situated in many different parts of Nepal flying on the army or civilian helicopter at the taxpayers’ expense. One of the reasons for taking power on February 01, 2005 he gave was the corruption, he set up a Royal Commission on Corruption Control a few days after taking power but he misused the taxpayers’ money for his personal gains during his reign.
The capital's street witnessed hooliganism on Tuesday, May 16, 2006 after it was reported that Former three-term Prime Minister, and President of NC-D, Sher Bahadur Deuba wanted the post of the Royal Nepalese Army's supreme commander-in-chief but without uniform for the king in the Declaration to be made by the House of Representatives. On Wednesday, May 17, 2006, NC-D Leader Dr Narayan Khadka said that he had strong objections to Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba's reported attempt to "amend" the Declaration to be tabled by the seven-party alliance at the House of Representatives on Thursday, May 18, 2006. Khadka also said that if Deuba had really made such a comment, he should not have denied it. "A senior leader, who has been Prime Minister thrice should not make such a short-sighted comment and refuse to admit that he did make it," he said. "If Deuba really has made comments on the already decided proclamation agenda, as it was reported, I would object to our president's way of working. He never brought up the issue of supreme commander-in-chief either with the Central Working Committee or the Parliamentary Committee," Khadka said, in a program at Reporters' Club . Immediately after his release from the government custody on February 14, 2006, after the Royal Commission on Corruption Control was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Nepal on Feb 13, 2006, Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba came out against the 12-point Understanding reached between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists although he had approved it while he was in dentition according to his party men. However, later on he publicly said he would accept whatever the seven-party alliance would decide. His party NC-D was one of the constituents of the seven-party alliance.
At a time when the seven-party alliance is about to declare the reinstated House of Representatives the supreme body of the nation and curtail the King’s powers, newly appointed Attorney General Yagya Murti Banjade has differed on the issue. “This is not the supreme body and it cannot do anything as it likes,” said Attorney General Banjade. He also said it should work and decide everything within norms and values. He also questioned the legitimacy of the much-expected Declaration to be made by the House of Representatives. Attorney General Banjade called on the government and the House of Representatives to choose whether to bring a new interim constitution or to incorporate all the things that would come in the Declaration from the House of Representatives into the existing Constitution through the amendment to the Constitution of 1990. “Unless the Declaration is incorporated into the Constitution through amendment, how can we believe that it is a part of the Constitution,” he asked. Attorney General Banjade added that it takes time either to bring a new interim Constitution or to amend the existing one to legitimize the Declaration. “People will not accept autocracy from any quarter,” Attorney General Banjade said speaking at a program held by a number of NGOs, including the Nepal Law Society on May 17, 2006.  The government of the seven-party alliance appointed Mr. Banjade to the position of the Attorney General after the resignation of the Attorney General appointed by the king. Nepalese lawyers are famous for advocating their discretion rather than the law. For example, former Attorney General Pawan Kumar Ojha defended the king pursuant to the dead Constitution of 1962 while defending the case of the constitutionality of the Royal Commission on Corruption Control in 2006. He also advocated “the Hindu king does not need to follow the Constitution.” There are several cases of such legal anomalies in Nepal.
On the recommendation of the High Level Judicial Commission on probing human rights abuses during the people’s movement in April 2006, the government of the seven-party alliance suspended Additional Inspector General (AIG) Rabi Raj Thapa along with then Armed Police Force (APF) Chief Sahabir Thapa, SSP Madhav Thapa, SSP Durja Kumar Rai, and others - top brass of Nepal Police and National Investigation Department on May 12, 2006. The government's decision to suspend APF Additional Inspector General (AIG), Rabi Raj Thapa, and promote his junior AIG Basudev Oli to the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) was inexplicable, as AIG Thapa was the Head of the Human Resources Department while AIG Oli was the Head of the Operations Department that commands field officers during the people’s movement. The government suspended SSP Thapa and SSP Rai of the APF allegedly for the police shooting at protesters at Gongabu and Kalanki respectively.
APF Acting chief Oli conceded that he headed the APF's Operations Department, but he did not command field officers during the people’s movement. He added that there was a separate mechanism that was overseeing the entire field operations. "During the movement, my role was limited to in dealing with information," he said, adding, "I did not order any officer to shoot at protestors, nor was I involved in mobilizing forces." Oli also categorically denied "any family ties" with Deputy Premier Oli and Home Minister Sitaula.
A highly placed source said, during the people's movement, orders came from a central control room at the Home Ministry, where former Home Minister Kamal Thapa and chiefs of all four-security agencies such as Royal Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, and National Intelligence Department were stationed.
The orders were given to field officers through the army's Valley Division where Major General Dipak Bikram Rana, Valley DIG Krishna Basnet and APF DIG Dilip Shrestha were stationed, and issued orders to commanders on the field.
Interestingly, on May 12, 2006, the government suspended Nepal Police Operations Department Chief and the then-second-in-command AIG Rajendra Bahadur Singh along with Valley DIG Krishna Basnet. AIG Singh was in Indonesia for ten days during the people’s movement. He returned only a few days before the King's retreat. APF DIG Dilip Shrestha was however not suspended, while another Police AIG Rup Sagar Moktan was suspended for an incident of shooting from his home at Gongabu. . In view of the arbitrary suspension of the police officers, the government of the seven-party alliance has resurrected the old habits of letting some police officers responsible for shooting at the protestors go free with impunity.
The Kathmandu Post May 22, 2006
LETTER TO EDITOR
A letter and a news report published last week in the Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post dailies (Ekantipur.com) has made everyone in the Armed Police Force (APF) feel that justice has been done to us. In fact, this was the first time we directly experienced the power of information. We hope that your publication will play a vital role in making the AFP free from political interference to ensure that the officers who played a key role in suppressing the people's movement are punished.
The order papers given by AIG Bashudev Oli to suppress the movement can be found in the office of his department and another copy of it in the office of the IGP. Since Oli is currently in charge of the office of IGP as well as Operation, there is a growing fear that the evidences are being gradually destroyed. Since no action is taken against him, the lower-level officers are finding it difficult to speak about his misuse of authority. AIG Oli will flee nowhere only if the government probes into the Kalanki and Gongabu incidents. It was Oli who gave the orders to security personnel stationed at both places to blindly open fire at the protestors.
Unfortunately, Home Minister Krishna Sitaula has closed his eyes to the misuse of authority and appointed him to the post of the AIG. How can such a move heighten the effectiveness of a professional organization such as the Armed Police Force? And, how to believe that there will be no injustice in our new Nepal?
APF Officers 
The above-mentioned “Letter to Editor” written by a group of APF (Armed Police Force) Officers clearly indicated the current government of the seven-party alliance showed its traits of arbitrarily running the administration and taking no actions against some police officers responsible for shooting at the unarmed and peaceful protestors. Is it not the resurrection of the previous corrupt regime?
In Bhairahawa, on Wednesday, May 17, 2006, transportation workers held an eight-hour long Chakkajam (traffic strike) protesting against the "repeated incidents of extortion and manhandling" of the vehicle staffs by the APF patrol at Bhairahawa Customs, in the name of security checks. Protestors said that APF men beat up jeep driver Ghanshyam Dhawal on Tuesday and laborer Deependra Poudel on Wednesday after they refused to pay "huge sums of money" demanded by the policemen. However, protestors called off their strike in the evening after authorities pledge to punish the "guilty policemen" within three days. The announcement came following a meeting of representatives of transportation workers, police authorities and of the seven-party alliance. The meeting also decided to remove APF and Nepal Police check posts at Dandapul and Anchalpur respectively. . The government of the seven-party alliance either could not bring the APF under its control or did not want to bring the culprits to justice.
On May 17, 2006, the day before the House of Representatives was going to make a Declaration of the national importance, under the pretext of maintaining law and order in the capital city, the Kathmandu District Administration Office issued a prohibitory order forbidding any sorts of rallies except for of festival and cultural nature in some public core areas of the Kathmandu metropolitan city. The order came into effect on Thursday, May 18, 2006. The areas forbidden for public rallies are the periphery of the Royal Palace and of the Government Secretariat Building called Singha Durbar where the government ministries have their offices. The Kathmandu District Administration Office issued a prohibitory notice pursuant to the Local Administration Act of 1971 (2028 B.S.)  The government of the seven-party alliance using the age-old laws of the Panchayat regime curtailed the basic human rights of Nepalis to express freely and to move freely, and attempted to seal off the royal palace and the secretariat building from the protest rallies Nepalis might put up at any time against the king and the government. The government of the seven-party alliance should have annulled the Act instead of using it, as the Act goes against the fundamental human rights.
On Wednesday, May 17, 2006 in a statement, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal expressed its concerns over the use of the Public Security Act (PSA) to take five former ministers of the king’s government in preventive detention. The statement said the OHCHR conveyed its concern to the Home Ministry on May 17, 2006 over the use of the Public Security Act (PSA) for holding five former ministers in custody. “OHCHR-Nepal believes that the use of the PSA raises serious questions about the legality of the arrests and detention. The detention letters issued by the Chief District Officer of Kathmandu stated all detainees were involved in conspiratorial activities including organizing secret meetings likely to jeopardize the sovereignty of the people and the people’s rights achieved by the people’s movement. The detention letters however do not indicate the basis on which these accusations are being made, nor do they give specific details of the conspiratorial activities and how such activities immediately jeopardize the sovereignty, integrity, or public tranquility and order of the Kingdom of Nepal,” the statement said. The government took former ministers Minister Kamal Thapa (Home), Ramesh Nath Pandey (Foreign Affairs), Shrish SJB Rana (Information and communication), Nikshya Shumsher Rana (Health) into custody on May 12, 2006, and placed them in the Nepal Police Academy at Maharajgunj and the Armed Nepali Police barracks at Tripureshwor in Kathmandu. However, the OHCHR-Nepal said its monitoring team visited the detention centers on May 14, 2006, and found the condition of detention of the former ministers “generally acceptable”.
“OHCHR-Nepal had repeatedly said in the past the use of the PSA to hold individuals in custody was the violation of international human rights. It is disappointed that the new Government has continued this practice at a time when it should be setting new standards for fully respecting human rights and upholding the rule of law,” the statement quoted Ian Martin, the representative of the OHCHR-Nepal as saying. He added, “Those responsible for human rights violations should be brought to justice, but I call on the authorities to ensure that the rights of anyone accused of human rights violation under the previous Government are fully respected.”  In the first week of June 2006, the government released Ramesh Nath Pandey (former Minister for Foreign Affairs), Shrish SJB Rana (former Minister of State for Information and Communication), and Nikshya Shumsher Rana (Former Minister of State for Health) from custody after the Supreme Court of Nepal gave its ruling that there was no threat to the security from them.
Human Rights Activists have expressed dissatisfaction at the government’s indifference to the report made public by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal on the 49 people still remained disappeared from the custody of the Bhairabnath Battalion based in Maharajgunj, Kathmandu. A press statement issued by three former members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Sushil Pyakurel, Kapil Shrestha, and Dr. Gauri Shankar Lal Das said the recently published report of the OHCHR on the missing people is also an example of how the illegal activities of the security forces increased after king Gyanendra seized power sacking the elected government on October 04, 2002. “It is however surprising to see how the current government of the even-party alliance has remained silent on the issue of the disappearance of those 49 people although the CPN - Maoist and the seven-party alliance have both committed to human rights in their 12-point understanding,” the statement said. “The NHRC had received the information on such activities of the Bhairabnath Battalion based in Maharajgunj under the 10th Brigade during our tenure. When the NHRC tried to investigate the case, at that time the members of the NHRC were criticized as being ‘anti-army’,” the statement said. The statement also urged the government to immediately suspend the then commander of the 10th Brigade- Colonel Raju Basnet- along with the Chief of Army Staff, Director General of the Army Mobilization Department and the Director of the Army Intelligence Department who were fully aware of these activities. They also appealed the government to form a reliable mechanism immediately to hold investigation into those 49 missing individuals and other cases of disappearances as cited by the OHCHR in its report.  How much the Prime Minister of the government of the seven-party alliance was concerned for the people’s welfare was demonstrated by his refusal to meet the group of people claimed to be the victims of the Maoists in mid May 2006. The police forcibly removed the people gathered at the main entrance to the official residence of the Prime Minister at Baluwatar in Kathmandu. It was not surprising if the king’s Deputy Dr. Tulsi Giri did it but the Prime Minister appointed by the people’s power grossly neglected the people’s grievances was quite unfortunate
A heated debate was held between the top pro-palace and moderate army officials at the Nepal Army Headquarters in Kathmandu on Thursday, May 18, 2006 after they realized the House Declaration would scrap the King's position as the supreme-commander-in-chief of the army, and not leave his power of selecting an heir to the throne intact. However, the army generals ruled out any probability of a military revolt against the issue.  The government of the seven-party alliance has not suspended the Chief of the Army Staff in June 2006 yet despite the need for the government to do so immediately for making the High-Level Commission on investigating the brutality of the army actions during the reign of King Gyanendra, easy.
On May 21, 2006, Nepal's Prime Minister met the nation's humbled King for the first time since Parliament overwhelmingly backed plans to slash the Monarch's powers, an official said. Prime Minister G P Koirala had an hour-long audience with King Gyanendra just three days after the nation's Parliament agreed to turn the world's only Hindu Monarchy into a secular state and stripped the Monarch of many of his powers. "The Prime Minister today discussed the current political scenario," said Basanta Kumar Gautam, a member of the Prime Minister's staff. The two men met at the King's palace in the capital Kathmandu where Koirala was sworn in last month as the head of an interim government after weeks of protests against the King's outright rule.  The king was not a power at all after the Declaration made by the House of Representatives on May 18, 2006. The people have given all power to the reinstated House of Representatives, and the Government of the seven-party alliance. The people wanted the revived House and the government of the seven-party alliance working in tandem, and in cooperation with the CPN-Maoist set up a lasting peace and democracy, and ensure the fundamental human rights, independent and free media, and independent judiciary. Then, why did the Prime Minister of the government of seven-party alliance meet the disabled king and do again business with him? Pursuant to the Declaration made by the House of Representatives on May 18, 2006, the king needed to take orders from the government of the seven-party alliance. In this situation, if the Prime Minister goes to the palace and again attempts to revive his power then if it is not resurrection of the palace, what is it?
On Wednesday, May 24, 2006, Members of the House of Representatives accused the government of flouting the historic House Declaration appointing new ministers through the palace early this week. Speaking during the Special Hour in the House on Thursday, May 25, 2006, House Members alleged that the government has demonstrated its reluctance to take actions against the army, severe the link between the king and the army, and transform the Royal Household Service into Civil Service. "If the government is working as per the mandate of janaandolan (People’s movement), why did the King's Chief Secretary appoint cabinet members under the king's orders a couple of days ago?" asked Ishwar Pokharel, an CPN-UML House Member. "This is gross violation of the House Declaration." Pokharel sought information on the government's progress in changing work performance regulations, changing Palace security arrangements and scrapping the National Security Council - some major changes the House declared to be made last week. Supporting Pokharel, House Members Jagannath Khatiwada and Asta Laxmi Shakya of the same party urged Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to inform the House on whether he breached his own commitment to the people’s mandate by asking the Palace to issue a press communiqué about cabinet members' appointment. "It is indicative of an apparent conspiracy against the achievements of janaandolan (people’s movement)," Khatiwada added. Khatiwada also drew the government's attention to the reports on the discussion on "testing the legitimacy of the House Proclamation among Supreme Court justices ". "The Government must decide immediately whether we need a separate Declaration to make judges take an oath of office in the House," Khatiwada said. He also stressed the need to enforce an interim constitution to avoid all sorts of legal complications." Khatiwada also urged the government to pay an immediate attention to the reports on secret meetings between some suspended police officers and mandale (regressive) elements against the current government. Stressing that Prime Minister Koirala must tell the House what transpired during his meeting with King Gyanendra on Sunday, May 21, 2006. House Member Lilamani Pokharel of People's Front Nepal (PFN) said the meeting between the Prime Minister and the king couldn’t be a "secret". "I urge the Prime Minister to inform the House through the Speaker what transpired during the meeting."  The Prime Minister had not reported to the House of Representatives as demanded by the House Members on the subject he had discussed with the king in the first week of June 2006 yet.
In the opinion of the legal experts, the Declaration made by the House of Representatives could be challenged at the Supreme Court of Nepal as a normal case since the Declaration did not say anything about the Supreme Court (SC). Talking to Nepalnews, former Justice of the SC, Laxman Prasad Aryal said that the Declaration could be challenged in the Supreme Court as other cases, as the Declaration did not mention anything about the SC. He said that the case should not be analyzed as a normal case, as it was done in a changed political situation and it was done pursuant to the people’s aspiration expressed during the people’s movement. SC Justice Anup Raj Sharma expressed his view about the possibility of testing the constitutionality of the Declaration made by the House in the Supreme Court. Talking to journalists after a function at the Supreme Court on Sunday, May 21, 2006, Justice Sharma also asked House Members whether the Declaration was a constitutional or a political decision. However, speaking at a program held to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Dilip Kumar Poudel said that he would hold a discussion with justices of the SC on the recent Declaration made by the House of Representatives to find out whether the Declaration was a part of the constitution and whether it could curtail the apex court’s powers or not.  The author of this article is not a student of law nor does he claim for a legal expertise but he does understand that the current House of Representatives is the Supreme Law-making Body of Nepal. So, any law it makes in the form of Declaration or a Constitution or an amendment to the Constitution is applicable to all. None could challenge it at any law court by anybody. Therefore, legal experts or anybody for that matter should immediately stop the current ongoing controversy over the Declaration because such a controversy could assist the regressive forces in raising their heads and working against the hard-owned democracy.
Speaking at the House of Representatives, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula said on Thursday May 25, 2006 that the government would take strong actions against those promoting religious fundamentalism and plotting against democracy. "I assure you that all those plotting against democracy in the name of pushing their fundamentalist ideas will not be spared," Home Minister Sitaula told the House. He also informed that all police and administrative machinery have been instructed to take such activities under control. Home Minister Sitaula was speaking in response to the questions raised by members in the House. The House Members criticized the government for its failure to bring the persons responsible for anti-democratic forces during the protest against the king to justice, and they are still actively plotting against the democratic government. Most members speaking at the special hour in the House said some "notorious" royalists who tried their best to suppress the democratic movement have started fishing in troubled waters and are trying to create a state of lawlessness in the country in the name of protecting their faith. Some Hindu fundamentalists took out protest rallies in the eastern part of the country. "Why is the government reluctant to arrest Hindu fundamentalists like Bharat Keshari Singh and illiberal former Army General Satchit Shumsher Rana who have started plotting against the democratic government on various pretexts," asked Bidya Bhandari, a CPN-UML lawmaker. House Member Raghu Pant of CPN-UML said there is urgent need to control anarchist activities started by some miscreants since yesterday in the name of opposing secularism. "Some fundamentalists are trying to politicize Hinduism to serve their anti-democratic interests," House Member Pant said. 
On Thursday evening, May 25, 2006, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala took up with King Gyanendra the matter of royalists' alleged direct or indirect involvement in orchestrating anarchy in various parts of the country in the name of preserving their faith. According to a highly placed source, during the 75-minute meeting at the Narayanhiti Palace, Prime Minister Koirala gave the example of the involvement of Nanda Kishor Ghirahiya, a member of the dissolved Rajparishad (Privy Council), in inciting violence in the name of religion. Prime Minister Koirala told the king "the government would be compelled to take stern actions against the royalists if they are not stopped." . It was obvious that the regressive forces were active to revive the king’s power. However, after the Prime Minister’s warning to the king, the Hindu fundamentalists have stopped protesting against the Declaration of Nepal a secular country.
As attendance declined sharply in the House, several members drew the attention of the government and the Speaker to empty seats in the House. "It'd be better to adjourn the House meeting at present and summon it again after working out new business instead of running the House like this," said House Member Dr Ganga Dhar Lamsal of NC. "There will be no difference between four years of House under (Former Speaker) Tara Nath Ranabhat's leadership and the present if meetings are held with empty chairs," pointed out House Member Sohan Lal Choudhary of CPN-UML. "If this situation continues, I will quit politics," House Member Gopal Koirala said, pointing at less than 20 members attending the meeting. After listening to members' concerns about House attendance, Speaker Subash Nemwang said the situation would improve with the House promulgating new Regulations on running the business of the House of Representatives soon. He also issued a ruling to the government on the compulsory presence of at least some ministers during the House session.  The House members shamelessly collect salaries and allowances even though they do not attend the House session. What for the people elected them if they did not attend the House session? This is again the resurrection of the old habits of the House Members.
The state-run newspaper called “The Rising Nepal” of May 28, 2006 suddenly came out with the red logo of Lord Ganesh and slogan of “Dedicated to Nation, Patriotism, Crown and Democracy” above the heading of the newspaper. The next day issue of the same newspaper published the correction notice “The slogan and logo above the masthead of “The Rising Nepal” was inadvertently printed in Sunday’s issue of the daily. The Gorkhapatra Corporation apologizes for it and expresses commitment that such errors will not recur in future – Publisher.”
“The Rising Nepal” of June 03, 2006 printed the photo of the king and his spouse watching the “Bhotojatra” at Jawalakhel, Lalitpur on June 02, 2006 in a post-card size but the photo of the Prime Minister in a passport size. The newspaper continues to address the king as His Majesty although the House of Representatives by its Declaration on May 18, 2006 removed such royal address. This indicates that the royalists have a sound grip in the management of this newspaper. The government of the seven-party alliance should immediately take actions against the management for continuing such anti-people’s activities at the taxpayers’ expense.
Only several days after the Declaration made by the House of Representatives on May 18, 2006, both the state-run newspapers such as “The Rising Nepal” in English and “Gorkhapatra” in Nepali removed the logo of crown, and sayings of the king from the publications. Both the newspapers had vehemently defended the king’s dictatorial rules and had published the news and views against the democracy and the protests against the king, blacked out the news about the protests held against the king even at the city center, Basantapur in Kathmandu since the king took over the power. They published the opinion articles vehemently supporting the king’s rule and deadly against the protests launched by the seven-party alliance. The same management team is running both the newspapers. So far, the government of the seven-party alliance has not made any changes in the management team letting the regressive force remain intact in this publishing house called Gorkhapatra Corporation.
Similarly, the House of Representatives so far has failed to put the pressure on removing the remnants of the regressive forces such as Chief Election Commissioner Keshav Raj Rajbhandari, who defended the king and went against democracy holding municipal elections on February 08, 2006, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal, Dilip Kumar Poudel and Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Nayan Bahadur Khatri, both of them welcomed the king taking power on February 01, 2005. In other words they were against democracy. Similarly, the justice Pawan Kumar Ohja was still serving as the justice at the Supreme Court. Justice Ojha was Attorney General before he was appointed to this position by the king as a reward for saying the Hindu king was above all the law while defending the king in the case filed at the Supreme Court of Nepal questioning the constitutionality of the Royal Commission on Corruption Control. They are all the remnants of the regressive forces still intact. They might resurrect at any moment when opportunities arise. Therefore, if they do not resign from their positions voluntarily, the House of Representatives should immediately impeach them.
At the invitation of the BBC News website, Krishna Murari Gautam wrote a regressive article titled “Nepal's Misunderstood Movement” as follow: The political parties are ill equipped to handle power. In 1990 when Nepal embraced multi-party democracy, the political party leaders found themselves in a position where they had no one to fight against. But they also didn't have any plan or program ready at hand to meet the aspiration of the people. The royal massacre of 2001 injected new confusion, suspense and a new player in Nepali politics - King Gyanendra. Like the political parties in 1990, the then prince Gyanendra suddenly found himself in a role for which he was not prepared. His accession to the throne as per the constitution and tradition of Nepal occurred when (a) many suspected him of engineering the royal massacre, (b) the country was sliding down to the brink of being a failed state, and (c) section of the population disappointed with the performance of political parties looked upon him as the possible rescuer of the nation.
King Gyanendra had no choice but to take over. And he did so in Feb. 2005 and included his old friends, faithful or monarchists in the government with the hope that they will somehow be able to make the 1990 constitution functional again through the election of local and central government bodies. But by then, the agitating parties had made considerable progress in defaming the king, misguiding the international community on the king's actions and intentions, and getting stronger to make impossible for any government other than their own to rule.
Interestingly, the king who favored people electing their representatives both at the local and central governments was projected as anti-democratic or authoritarian while the political parties that avoided election and dissolved the elected bodies were to be taken as the beholders of democratic values. Somehow, they succeeded in convincing the world that taking part in the election of representatives of the people for different levels of the government is against the democratic norms in case of Nepal.
By April 2006, the leaders leading the street protests had to be called in to form the government and rule the country with democratic values and norms. Now the future of Nepal rests singularly on the hands of Maoists who have performed well as revolutionary but their performance as rulers is yet to be seen.  Author Krishna Murari Gautam attempted to project the king as a sincere democrat and all political leaders as crook. However, the author failed to mention how crooked the king had been in killing democracy, curbing fundamental human rights, denying press freedom, and spoiling the independence of Judiciary appointing the pro-palace justices to the Supreme Court of Nepal. The king held the municipal elections with military power without the participation of the political parties to consolidate his own power and demonstrate the international community how he held the democratic elections. The king had also used the taxpayers’ money as his private incomes.
Another author by the name of Madan P. Khanal writes an article titled “People Real Victims Of Nepal’s Politics Of Vengeance” and posted on the website ‘Scoop.co.nz’ as follow. King Gyanendra’s 15-month direct rule was far more constitutional than the charade that is being played out in Kathmandu today. King Gyanendra, recognizing the conspiracies being hatched against the kingdom, restored the House of Representatives (HoR) in order to facilitate genuine conciliation among the political forces. However, the seven-party alliance, in keeping with the Delhi Master Plan, began undermining the country in the guise of empowering the people. The two oldest and most patriotic institutions, the monarchy and the army, became the principal targets of the “historic” HoR proclamation . Royalists writers such as Mr. Madan P. Khanal does not feel shame at writing such a disgraceful article stating the king’s direct rule is constitutional, and put blame on India for the king’s failure to manage the state affairs. This is an attempt of the royalists to resurrect inciting the Nepali Army. Nepalis need to watch the activities of such anti-democratic activists who must have lost power and benefits after the collapse of the palace power. They must be nostalgic to their lost power and prestige.
 The Rising Nepal, May 01, 2006
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 Scoop.co.nz 31 May 2006, 12:15 pm People Real Victims Of Nepal’s Politics Of Vengeance By Madan P. Khanal