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Siddhi B. Ranjitkar: Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers


By Siddhi B. Ranjitkar
Monday, Nov. 20, 2006

Judging from the latest six-point agreement reached between the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) on November 08, 2006, more than eighty-year-old Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and about fifty-six-year old Chairman of the CPN-Maoist, Prachanda have scored highest marks on the deal clearly becoming the winners, making the king and the royal political parties losers. Prime Minister Koirala has demonstrated his power of compromising and Chairman Prachanda his power of persuasion to save the country from further armed-conflict and catastrophe.

If we take a look at the agreement published in local newspapers and translated into English by this author [1], we find that Prime Minister Koirala got what he wanted “the monarchy to remain” at least until the first session of the to-be-elected Constituent Assembly, and he compromised on storing the arms of the CPN-Maoist in a single-lock system and entrusting the key to the concerned CPN-Maoist leader rather than sticking to his demand for the CPN-Maoist to lay down the arms before joining a would-be interim government; similarly, Chairman Prachanda got what he wanted “the arms and his army” even in confinement but letting the monarchy to remain defunct until the first session of the Constituent Assembly to be elected latest by Mid-June 2007 rather than sticking to his demand for making Nepal a republic.

We cannot say the Communist Party of Nepal – Unified Marxist and Leninist (CPN-UML) a loser but not a winner too but looked more like an impotent, as it did not receive the portfolio in the current government it had claimed for immediately after the SPA came to power in April 2006, and it could not persuade the negotiators to agree on its stance on “a referendum on the monarchy and a proportional system for an election for a constituent assembly” in the six-point agreement concluded on Nov. 08, 2006. Rather its General Secretary ended up writing a note of dissent in the six-point agreement.

Deputy Prime Minister with a portfolio of Minister for Foreign Affairs, Khadga Prasad Oli representing the CPN-UML did also nothing remarkable to show the potency of his party he has represented. Most of his time during the seven-month term of office, he spent on visiting countries, and attending conferences and so on that hardly brought any positive results for the country. He has not even taken any actions on filling out the vacant positions of ambassadors until the six-point agreement was signed. He suddenly came out with a list of names of ambassadors to be appointed possibly thinking that time has been running out fast for him to appoint ambassadors, as the members of the CPN-Maoist are joining the soon-to-be-formed interim government.

On Nov. 13, 2006, Nepalnews.com wrote that Deputy Prime Minister with a portfolio of Minister for Foreign Affairs K.P. Oli and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala discussed the candidates for appointing to the vacant positions of ambassadors in 13 Nepalese diplomatic missions abroad. They discussed the proposal for the names of would-be ambassadors in 10 diplomatic missions to be appointed in the first phase. Of them, three people are selected from the Foreign Ministry and the rest from the three major parties such as NC, CPN-UML and NC-D. The rest of the vacant posts are left for the interim government to be formed including the CPN-Maoist to fill out. [2]

The CPN-Maoist was quick to respond to the proposal for filling out the vacant positions of ambassadors with rejecting it. Spokesperson for the CPN-Maoist, Krishna Bahadur Mahara told Kantipur Television on Monday, Nov. 13, 2006 that any appointment to the vacant posts of ambassadors, promotion of army generals or transfer of bureaucrats without their consent would be unacceptable to them. Spokesperson Mahara also staked his party's claim to the Defense Ministry in the forthcoming interim government. "The interim government will have to conduct the job of restructuring the army. This is not going to be an easy job. Therefore, we have staked claim to this ministry," he said. His remarks came in when the CPN-Maoist was preparing for being a part of the incoming interim government to be formed by Nov. 26, 2006. [3]

Belatedly the leaders of the CPN-UML attempted to be potent stating in public that the CPN-UML will not join the to-be-formed interim government. Its General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal speaking at the Reporters’ Club said, “The CPN-UML may not join the interim government without having any policy on running the coalition government and respectable participation in it.” Similarly, another leader of the CPN-UML Pradip Nepal said that his party might not join the interim government without having a clear policy on running the coalition government and his party's “respectable participation” in the government. Speaking in another function held by Sherpa Association in Kathmandu on Nov. 15, 2006, General Secretary Nepal said that Prime Minister Koirala threatened to go ahead and sign the agreement with the CPN-Maoist Chairman, Prachand. General Secretary Nepal, however, said that his party would not boycott the election for a constituent assembly even if it does not participate in the interim government. He commented on the performances of the current government that the ministers representing parties other than the NC have not been able to function properly due to the obstacles put up by the Prime Minister to their respective ministries. He doubted that the election for a constituent assembly could be held as scheduled based on the number of things to be done such as formulation and passing of an election law by the parliament, ratification of the citizenship Act by the Parliament and resolving the problem of voters list. [4] He should press hard everybody including the Election Commission to hold an election on time rather than doubting about it, and possibly making his prediction come true.

Referring to the statement of General Secretary of CPN-UML, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Sunday, Nov. 19, said that the "change" in the offing in the country would not depend upon any party's wish to join the interim administration or not. “I don’t know what he does. But the change desired by the people will not be halted just because a party wants or does not want to join the government (interim to be formed)," Koirala said talking to media persons at his hometown residence in Biratnagar. [5]

General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal and other leaders of the CPN-UML time and again attempted to show their stance on something different than others but could not hold on to their stance, and let the leaders of other party take the lead. The CPN-UML should stayed out of the current government when it did not get the portfolio of its choice as it has decided in its meeting but the party showed flexibility and got pushed back because it could not stand on its own decision. It could not put sufficient pressure on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to consider other issues too making him think the CPN-UML is nothing more than the NC-D. So, Prime Minister Koirala ignored the stance of the CPN-UML on suspending the then-Chief of Army Staff, General Pyar Jung Thapa as recommended by the High-Level Probe Commission. The CPN-UML looked more impotent than any time before when Prime Minister Koirala appointed Sukumgad Katuwal to the position of Chief of Army Staff ignoring the protests of civil society leaders and human rights group as General Katuwal was responsible for gross human rights violation during the people’s movement in April 2006. The CPN-UML could not force Prime Minister Koirala to have talks with the Maoists letting the Maoists to take initiative for peace deal, and ultimately holding a peace-talk on June 16, 2006, and signing an Eight-point agreement. The CPN-UML could not press all the concerned parties to implement the eight-point agreement. So, the CPN-UML got sidelined during the numbers of talks between the so-called SPA and the Maoists. Certainly, General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal has not only to bear the brunt of such things but also feel insulted as the stance of his party on a referendum on the monarchy and on an election for a constituent assembly based on a proportional system was trashed by Prime Minister Koirala.

General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal believes in a referendum on the monarchy is the right thing to do on deciding the fate of the monarchy, and in proportional system of election for electing a constituent assembly, which will incorporate all ethnic communities, women, dalits and people of the backward region. Every logical-thinking person agrees with him, in fact, leaders of the ethnic groups are insisting on it but he could not fight for these basic things and let him swept away by the whips of the Prime Minister. Does it suit to the person of his caliber? Why does not he take up and fight for these issues?

However, it might not be too late to save his party and him too from disgrace if the leaders of the CPN-UML will do what they often speak in public. For example, leader of the CPN-UML, Bam Dev Gautam said before the second-the-most important Nepalese festival called Tihar in October that the CPN-UML was pulling out of the current government as nothing had been happening as it wanted but nothing did happen after Tihar too. As reported in “The Rising Nepal” of Nov. 16, 2006, General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said that his party had already decided to campaign in support of a democratic republic. However, in the recent statement, another leader of the CPN-UML, Jhalanath Khanal rejected the offer made by the CPN-Maoist for forming a “republican front” stating that his party would not accept the offer until the Maoists hold on to the arms. Now, the question is the leader in question went to New Delhi a number of times to reach the 12-point understanding with the CPN-Maoist despite the repeated warning of the US Ambassador James F. Moriarty, and then signing one agreement after another with the CPN-Maoist while their cadres still engaged in extortion, display of weapons’ power and even in abduction and killing of innocent and political cadres. Exactly these things made the CPN-UML more impotent than potent and laughing stock for Prime Minister Koirala.

The Nepali Congress-Democratic (NC-D) is also neither a loser nor a winner too. It simply became nothing short of impotent not clearly putting forward its own views and ideas but simply following the stance of its parent party NC on contentious issues such as keeping the monarchy or not, and the arms and armies of the CPN-Maoist. Its position has been worsening by the rumors floated by the NC cadres and the repeated offer of the Prime Minister Koirala to the NC-D for joining the parent party at any time.

The Nepal Sadbhawana Party-Anandidevi (NSP-A) is clearly a winner too as it successfully stir the negotiators up to include the citizenship issues on the deal. As a result, citizenship certificates will be distributed to all Nepalese citizens deprived of citizenship certificates so far before the election for a constituent assembly. All Nepalese citizens born in Nepal before mid-April 1990 and have been permanently residing in Nepal since then will be provided with citizenship certificates easily [6]. It is not a small gain for the NSP-A.

Other small left parties such as People’s Front Nepal (PFN), Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (NWPP) and United Left Front (ULF) will have identity crisis as they could not make a strong presence in negotiation with the CPN-Maoist. The leaders of the large parties such as NC, NC-D, and CPN-UML even did not bother to consult them on the issues they are often semi-formally discussing with the CPN-Maoist leaders. So, the leaders of the small left parties often publicly complained that they did not know what other SPA leaders have been talking to the Maoists’ leaders. Leaders and cadres of the small left parties might need to join either the CPN-UML or the CPN-Maoist to continue their political survival as they might not be able to stand up either to the CPN-UML or the CPN-Maoist. The leaders will soon lose the little grip they have hold on to until now.

A British national called Charles Malcolm Brown was honored by the CPN-UML in Pokhara for his valuable contribution to the reinstatement of democracy in Nepal. Mr. Brown was in Pokhara as a tourist during the People’s Movement in April 2006. For about three weeks, he coordinated a candle-light rally of tourists in support of the people’s movement, and had tourists and locals boycott the products of Surya Tobacco Company as king Gyanendra owned shares in it. "We have honored him (Brown) for the bravery he demonstrated fighting for the rights of the Nepali people," CPN-UML District Secretary, Rabindra Adhikari, said, "Jana Andalon-II was a success also because of the contributions of many foreign volunteers." Mr. Brown said that he was thrilled to receive such a honor. "Nepali people have proven that peaceful protests can overthrow an autocratic regime controlled by guns," Brown said speaking at the function. Further, he opined that Nepal would soon be on the path of development, provided the Seven Party Alliance and Maoists rightly use the achievements of Jana Andalon-II. [7]

Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), Lokendra Bahadur Chand and current Chairman of the RPP, Pashupati Shumsher Rana met with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at Prime Minister’ official residence, Baluwatar on Monday, Nov. 13, 2006, and discussed the latest political development including the position of the RPP in the incoming interim legislature. Prime Minister Koirala first met with Chairman Rana for about a half hour, and thereafter, former Prime Minister Chand for almost about the same time. Prime Minister Koirala boasted of six-point agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist as an example to the whole world, and urged them on assisting in implementing it[8]. The RPP leaders have been critical of the SPA and the CPN-Maoist for bypassing other political parties and making political deals without consulting political parties other than the SPA.

The losers are clearly the RPP and other parties with similar names but the persons are of the same feathers. The RPP did not participate in the people’s movement where as its splinter parties became a part of the tyrannical king’s government, and suppressed the protests against the regression, despotic king and the violation of fundamental human rights.

Leaders of the RPP splinter parties did not dare to go to the Prime Minister, claming for retaining their seats as of the current House of Representatives in the incoming interim legislature but the leaders of the RPP went to the Prime Minister for discussing the status of their party in the interim legislature. However, it is only the show of the potency of its leaders.

The six-point agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist did not allow the political parties that went against the people’s movement to participate in the interim legislature. If the legal experts could prove that the RPP did not go against the people’s movement then it might not need to worry for their status in the interim legislature. However, the six-point agreement did not specify the people’s movement so it might be hard for legal experts to prove that the RPP leaders and cadres did not go against the people’s movement as they once were the members of the regime that went against the People’s Movement in 1990.

The six-point agreement did not say whether the current members of the House of Representatives convicted of corruption, and alleged for corruption will continue in the interim legislature or not. If these corrupt guys continue their seats in the interim legislature it would be a great disappointment to sincere people, and shame on the political parties they represent. Sincere people will never forgive them for their heinous crime of amassing huge assets at the cost of the people’s welfare. They cannot be winners.

A single 330-member legislature to be formed latest by Nov. 26, 2006 is going to replace the 265-member parliament comprising 205-member House of Representatives, and 60-member National Assembly. Out of the 265 members of the current parliament only 209 will continue their seats in the incoming legislature. Most of the losers will be the supporters of the king, and opponents of the people’s movement for democracy.

Nepalnews.com reported that eleven members of parliament will be dropped out of the 330-member legislature. They are Narayan Singh Pun and Prakash Koirala of NC, Prem Bahadur Singh and Nar Bahadur Budhathoki of CPN-UML, Buddhiman Tamang and Brajesh Kumar Gupta of RPP, Badri Mandal and Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav of NSP, and royal nominees such as Roop Jyoti, Yangkila Sherpa and Dev Narayan Chaudhary. Most of them held ministerial portfolio during the royal regime. [9]

The king is certainly a loser too but he has not been an absolute loser yet. He can still keep the physical crown on his head and take a good look at a mirror to see how nicely fit it on his head thanks to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, the NC and the splinter NC-D but he has lost all power in the governance. His forcibly taking the power on Feb. 01, 2005 made the first step toward losing his crown, and his succeeding actions to throttle democracy ensured him to lose his nice crown that has been put on his head by the murderers of his late brother-king Birendra, and his late nephew-posthumous king Dipendra. The Constitution Assembly to be elected in Mid-April 2007 will decide whether the crown will go to a museum for public display or he will keep it.

The five-member High-Level Probe Commission (HLPC) headed by former Supreme Court Justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi stated that the Commission has spent 184 days on probing the atrocities committed by the then-regime during the people’s movement in April 26, 2006, and questioned 294 persons for ascertaining their level of involvement in human rights violation, and killing of more than 20 people. The HLPC found King Gyanendra guilty of suppression and killing of protestors during the people’s movement. “We have decided to recommend the parliament to take necessary steps against the king we found him guilty. Since he was the chairman of the council of ministers, we found him responsible for all the decisions taken by the cabinet,” said a highly placed source in the commission. The HLPC specifically recommended the government to take strong action against the members of the king’s cabinet and the chiefs of the security agencies who had ordered the use of excessive force to suppress Jana Andolan II (People’s Movement in April 2006). The HLPC also held the then-vice-chairmen of the Council of Ministers Dr Tulsi Giri and Kirtinidhi Bista, Home Minister Kamal Thapa and other ministers accountable for violating human rights. The HLPC leveled murder charges at Kamal Thapa. "Thapa was found provoking security personnel in killing pro-democracy activists," the source said. "He has been held accountable mainly for the killings in Dang and Kailai districts, where people said security personnel opened fire under his direct order." In addition, he is accountable for misusing state funds. The HLPC recommend promulgating a law for prosecuting the persons abusing human rights, as currently no specific law on prosecuting human-rights abusers is on-hand. [10]

The HLPC supposed to recommend strong actions against the perpetrators of human-rights abuses, and of suppressing pro-democracy protestors was engulfed by the arguments over how strong actions should be taken against them. Two members of the HLPC such as Ram Kumar Shrestha and Dr. Kiran Shrestha were for taking strong actions against the former ministers including the king whereas the rest of the five members of the HLPC wanted to go for lighter actions. The argument has reached the state of the two hardliners not signing on the report on the probe they have investigated. The disagreement surfaced after the final recommendations for taking actions against Former Home Minister Kamal Thapa; royal advisors such as Satchit SJB Rana and Sharad Chandra Shah; Former Chief of Army Staff Pyar Jung Thapa; Former Police Chief Shyam Bhakta Thapa; Former Armed Police Chief Sahabir Thapa; and Former Chief of National Investigation Department Deviram Sharma scaled down charges of murder to the charges of violating human rights and misusing state coffer. [11]

Talking to reporters at his residence in his hometown Biratnagar on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said that he was for implementing the recommendations made in the report to be submitted by the HLPC even if the actions are against the king after the approval of the parliament. Referring to the question about not taking actions recommended in the report of the similar probe commission headed by Mallik in 1990, Prime Minister Koirala said, "That is the history and it's no use raising the issue again. We will rewrite the history this time." If the late king Birendra’s property could go to a trust fund, and that of king Gyanendra could be nationalized, other things could follow suit Prime Minister Koirala said. [12]

The HLPC submitted its 1184-page probe report to the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at his official residence, Baluwatar on morning Monday, Nov. 20, 2006. Receiving the probe report Prime Minister Koirala said that the recommendations made by the HLPC would be fully implemented. One of the members of the HLPC, Harihar Bihar quoted Prime Minister Koirala, “The report will be implemented as it is. Have no doubt about it. Your labor will not go waste.” Birahi said that Prime Minister Koirala also assured them of presenting the report at the parliament and formulating necessary laws for actions to be taken against the people the HLPC found guilty of suppressing the People’s Movement in April 2006. Meanwhile, members of human-rights groups made demands for immediate publication of the report as it was of the public concern. [13]

Talking briefly to the media after submitting the report, Chief Commissioner Krishna Jung Rayamajhi said, “We have recommended actions against everyone guilty of suppressing the movement.” adding that the report had been “as per the people’s aspirations. As the chief commissioner, it was my responsibility to present a unanimous report before the PM. I failed in this regard.” Meanwhile, the commission member such as Ram Kumar Shrestha and Dr. Kiran Shrestha refusing to sign on the report said that they have no doubts about the facts in the report; however, they were not allowed to write a note of dissent over the disagreements they have on the report. Commission Member, Ram Kumar Shrestha said, “Because we weren’t allowed to include our ‘note of dissent’ in the report, we have presented a separate report to the Prime Minister mentioning the points of disagreement.” [14]

The Home Ministry dispatched suspension letters to the then-Inspector General Sahabir Thapa, Additional Inspector General Rabi Raj Thapa and SSPs Durja Kumar Rai and Madhav Thapa of Armed Police Force (APF) on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006. The government extended the suspension order for continuing suspension of four senior APF officers including the then Inspector General Sahabir Thapa for one more month. On May 12, 2006, the government suspended the four high officers of the APF, and Inspector General of Nepal Police Shyam Bhakta Thapa, AIGPs Rajendra Bahadur Singh and Roop Sagar Moktan, and DIG Krishna Basnet and Chief of National Investigation Department Devi Ram Sharma for six months on the charges of direct involvement in brutal atrocities inflicted on the protestors during the people's movement in April 2006. [15]

The “Coalition for National Unity and Reconciliation in Nepal,” New York denounced the six-point agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist. In a statement, it said, "We, Nepalese citizens, currently living abroad, strongly denounce the recent agreement reached between the so-called SPA and the Maoists.” The agreement will not return peace and democracy to Nepal in the foreseeable future, as the agreement allows the Maoists to enter into mainstream politics and join the government without renouncing violence and laying down weapons. “We also condemn the SPA and the Maoists for their decision on setting up an interim parliament instead of seeking the mandate of the people in a free and fair election,” the statement said. The Coalition also appealed for immediately replacing the current government with a new non-party government for holding a free and fair election for parliament within three to six months. [16]

Nepalese Diaspora and experts on Nepal in Canada welcomed the SPA-Maoist deal made on Nov. 08, 2006. On Nov. 18, speakers at an interaction event held by Canada Forum for Nepal (CFFN) said that a new hope for a beautiful Nepal was emerging in the Nepalese atmosphere after the peace deal with the Maoists. However, they said that the Nepal Army to be reengineered, regional imbalance and the monarchy still posed threat to democracy and a lasting peace. [17]

On Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006 in Kathmandu, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Politburo Member, Sitaram Yechury said, "The Maoists of Nepal and India are different, Nepalese Maoists have shunned violence and joined mainstream politics, and we welcome the move." He added that Nepalese Maoists have realized they could not ignore the democratic process, so they joined the mainstream politics that was a momentous change they brought. He also said that the recent revolution was a lesson for the entire world, the world could learn a lot from the courage the Nepalis had displayed. "New Delhi would accept any decision made by Nepalese people on monarchy," he said. After the Maoists join the interim government on November 26, he would invite Prime Minister Koirala, Maoist Chairman Prachand and CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal to Calcutta, where his party CPI-M will organize public reception for them. [18]

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A. Boucher has said that the US government would continue its assistance to the people of Nepal even after the Maoists join the interim government. "We will look at certain legal implications (of the joining of the government by the Maoists who are still listed as terrorists by the US government)," he said talking to journalists after the talks with Deputy Prime Minister with the portfolio of Foreign Minister, Khadga Prasad Oli. "Our desire is to continue support to the people of Nepal," he said, adding that the US would continue its support in areas such as health, good governance and general support for the peace process. "We will find ways to work this out," he added. "I am here to find how the US can help this agreement work," he said referring to the six-point agreement between the government and the Maoists signed on Nov. 08, 2006. He also said, "the people of Nepal get to make a choice about what kind of leadership they want.” He arrived in Kathmandu from Bhutan on No. 15, 2006. He held talks with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, and House Speaker Subash Nemwang on Thursday, Nov 16. After the meeting with the Prime Minster at Baluwatar, talking to media persons, Assistant Secretary of State Boucher said, "The US is ready to continue its assistance to Nepal for the welfare of the Nepali people." After the meeting with Prime Minister Koirala, US Assistant Secretary of State, Boucher met with Nepalese House Speaker Subash Nemwang. Replying to the Nemwang's queries about the continuity of US assistance to Nepal in the changing political situation, US Assistant Secretary of State Boucher said that Washington was positive on the recent political developments and would continue the assistance to Nepal [19]. More than once in the past, the US Ambassador to Nepal had said that the US government would not be in a position to continue the assistance to the Government of Nepal if the CPN-Maoist joins it.

Nepalis are losers or winners not clear yet but they will be winners if the six-point agreement and the action plan included in it are implemented keeping to the letter of the agreement. One thing everybody has to keep in mind is that Nepalis have been empowered enough to face any dictators, are they in the names of the king or in the names of Maoists and any others. They would not let live dictators any longer in the political life of Nepal.


Footnotes

[1] Six-point Agreement Reached between the SPA and CPN-Maoist

Full text of the Six-point Agreement Reached between the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) in the summit meeting held on November 08, 2006:

Honoring people’s aspiration for democracy, peace and progress that have been expressed through repeated historic people’s movement and struggles since 1951;

Reaffirming commitments to the 12-point Understanding and 8-point Agreement reached between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist, and 25-point code of conduct agreed upon by the SPA and the CPN-Maoist, and to other agreements, understandings, code of conducts signed between the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist and identical ideas expressed in the letters sent to the United Nations;

Pledging for progressive reengineering of the state to correct the prevailing problems of class, ethnicity, regional and gender imbalances;

Reiterating commitments to the competitive multiparty democratic system, civil liberties, fundamental rights, human rights, absolute press freedom, rule of law and the values and ideals of the democratic system;

Guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the Nepalese people to participate in an election for a constituent assembly in the free and fearless environment;

Focusing on democracy, peace and prosperity, progressive social and economic transformation, independence, integrity, sovereignty and esteem of the state and on implementation of the commitments made by both the sides to hold an election for a constituent assembly by mid-June 2007 in a free and fair manner;

The following decisions are taken in the meeting of the top leaders of the SPA and the CPN- Maoist today, November 08, 2006:

1. Concerning the implementation of the past agreements, it is agreed to:

a) Implement and get implemented fully, sincerely and strongly all the, understandings, agreements and code of conduct signed in the past;

b) Set up a high-level commission on investigation and publication of the whereabouts of citizens alleged to have been made disappeared by both the state and the Maoists in the past;

c) Expedite the process of returning the houses, land and properties seized in the past; ensure an environment conducive for the displaced people to return to their villages; to this end, form committees comprising representatives of both the sides at districts; complete all these tasks within a month;

d) Make public announcement on the withdrawal of all accusations and charges made by the CPN-Maoist and the state on the political leaders and the cadres, and release all political prisoners of both the sides;

2. Management of arms and army

In order to hold an election for a constituent assembly in a peaceful, impartial and fearless environment, and to democratize and reengineer the army, the following tasks will be undertaken pursuant to the 12-point understanding, eight-point agreement, and 25-point code of conduct and five-point letter sent to the United Nations in the past:

Maoist Army

1. Pursuant to the commitments made in the letter sent to the United Nations by the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist on August 09, 2006, the combatants of the Maoists will be confined in temporary camps in the following areas under the United Nations’ certification and monitoring:

Main camps will be located in the following areas:

1. Kailali, 2. Surkhet, 3. Rolpa, 4. Palpa, 5. Kavre, 6. Sindhuli 7. Ilam. Three smaller camps will be located in the periphery of each of these main camps

2. After confining the Maoists’ combatants in the camps, all the arms and ammunitions will be securely stored in the camps except for the arms and ammunitions required for the security of the camps, and lock them up by a single-lock system and keep the key of this lock by a concerned party. In the process of locking up the store, a device with siren and a recording system will be installed for the UN to monitor the store. Whenever inspection of the stored arms and ammunitions is required, the UN will do so in the presence of the concerned party. Camera installation and other technical details will be prepared in conjunction with the Government of Nepal, the CPN-Maoist and the United Nations.

3. After settling the Maoists’ combatants in the temporary camps, the Government of Nepal will provide them with food and make other necessary arrangements.

4. The interim cabinet will set up a special committee to carry out supervision, integration and rehabilitation of the Maoists’ combatants
\
5. Security of the Maoists’ leaders will be arranged in conjunction with the Government of Nepal.

Nepali Army

6 Pursuant to the commitments made in the letter sent to the United Nations, the Nepali Army will be confined in the barracks. Guarantee that its arms will not be used for or against any side. The Nepali Army will also safely store its arms and ammunition in equal number and quantity of arms and ammunition stored by the Maoists, lock them up in a single-lock system and keep the key with the concerned party. In the process of locking up the store, a device with siren and a recording system will be installed for the UN to monitor the store. Whenever inspection of the stored arms and ammunitions is required, the UN will do so in the presence of the concerned party. Camera installation and other technical details will be prepared in conjunction with the Government of Nepal, the CPN-Maoist and the United Nations.

7 Pursuant to the new Military Act, the Council of Ministers will control, mobilize and manage the Nepali Army. The interim Council of Ministers will prepare and implement a detailed-action plan of democratization of the Nepali Army with the political consensus and with suggestions of the concerned committee set up by the interim legislature. This includes tasks such as setting the right number of the Nepali Army, creating a democratic structure, and the national and inclusive character of the Nepali Army, and training them on democratic principles and human rights values

8 Let the Nepali Army continue the tasks such as border security, the conservation areas’ and protected areas’, banks’, airport, power house, telephone tower, central secretariat security and the security of VIPs it has been doing.

3. Subject Matters of the Interim Constitution

1) The Interim Constitution

a) The interim constitution submitted by the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee will be finalized pursuant to the agreement reached today.

b) The reinstated House of Representatives will promulgate the interim constitution and the newly formed interim legislature will endorse it.

2) The monarchy

a) The King will not be vested with any rights to state governance.

b) Properties of late King Birendra, late Queen Aishwarya and their family members will be brought under the control of the Government of Nepal put them in a trust and use it for the welfare.

c) All properties such as forests and conservation areas, palaces located in various areas, and historically and archaeologically importance places inherited by King Gyanendra will be nationalized.

d) Whether the institution of monarchy will remain or not will be decided by simple majority of the first session of the Constituent Assembly.

3) The interim legislature

a) The interim legislature will be of unicameral and will have the follow provision:

i) The 209 members of the SPA and other political parties except for those opposed to the people’s movement, elected to the current House of Representatives and the National Assembly will remain the members of the interim legislature; the United Left Front does not have its representation in the current parliament, so its representation in the interim parliament will be decided based on consensus.

ii) The CPN-Maoist will have 73 members in the interim legislature.

iii) Civil societies, professional organizations, oppressed ethnic communities and regions, and political personalities will nominate 48 members from among themselves based on consensus to the interim legislature. Total number of members of the interim legislature will be 330. However, people opposed to the people’s movement will not be in the interim legislature.

b) Immediately after the formation of the interim legislature, the reinstated House of Representatives and National Assembly will be dissolved.

c) On the day of the formation of the interim legislature-parliament, the people’s government, people’s court and all other agencies concerning the state administration run by the CPN-Maoist will come to an end.

d) The interim legislature will function based on the political consensus.

4) The interim government

a) The interim Council of Ministers will be constituted based on consensus.

b) Portfolio allocations and the structure of the interim Council of Ministers will be based on mutual agreement

c) The interim government will function to meet the people’s aspiration demonstrated in the united people’s movement, and based on political consensus and culture of cooperation

5) The judiciary

a) The values and ideals of the concept of independent judiciary will be followed.

b) The judiciary will be committed to the aspiration of the people’s movement, democracy and interim constitution

c) A constitutional court will be set up for settling the disputes over the constituent assembly.

6) The constitutional bodies

a) A new constitutional council comprising Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Speaker of the interim legislature will be set up for making recommendations on the subject matters including appointments to the positions at the constitutional bodies. Specific criteria will be followed for making such appointments.

b) The Election Commission will be made independent based on consensus.

7) The local bodies

a) Based on the consensus of the SPA and the CPN-Maoist, interim local bodies will be set up at districts, municipalities and villages.

8) The citizenship problem

a) Before the election for a constituent assembly, citizenship certificates will be distributed to all Nepalese citizens deprived of citizenship certificates.

b) All Nepalese citizens born in Nepal before mid-April 1990 and have been permanently residing in Nepal since then will be provided with citizenship certificates easily. Mid-April 1990 is considered as a base year.

c) Other matters concerning citizenship will be pursuant to the provisions made in the law.

9) The election for a constituent assembly

a) The interim Council of Ministers will be delegated an authority to set the date for holding the election for a constituent assembly by mid-June 2007.

b) The election for a constituent assembly will be held based on a mixed-electoral system. Two-hundred and five members will be elected by a first-past-the-post system. Two-hundred and four members will be elected by a proportional representation system based on the number of votes won by political parties. A law on this matter will be made in consultation with the Election Commission.

c) While fielding candidates, political parties shall ensure proportional representation of oppressed communities, backward region, Madheshi, Women, Dalit and other groups.

d) Based on consensus, the interim Council of Ministers will nominate 16 individuals to the members of a Constitution Assembly from among the nationally distinguished persons.

e) The total number of members of a constitutional assembly will be 425.

f) Nepalis 18 years of age or above at the time of promulgation of an interim constitution will be eligible for voting.

g) The United Nations will monitor the election for a constituent assembly.

10) The structure of the state

a) To end the class, ethnic, linguistic, gender, cultural, religious and regional discriminations, the current centralized and unitary structure of the state will be tore down and reengineered for making it an inclusive, democratic and forward-looking state.

b) A high-level commission will be set up to recommend on reengineering the state.

c) The constituent assembly will make a final decision on reengineering the state.

11) The directive principles of socio-economic transformation

a) All forms of feudalism will be ended; a common minimum program on socio-economic transformation will be prepared and launched based on a mutual agreement.

b) A policy on launching a scientific land-reform program by ending the feudal land-ownership system will be adopted.

c) A policy preserving and promoting national industries and resources will be adopted.

d) A policy on ensuring the rights of all citizens to education, health, shelter, employment and food security will be adopted.

e) A policy on providing land and socio-economic security to socio-economically-backward groups including landless people, bonded laborers, tillers, and household-farm workers (Haruwa-charuwa) will be adopted.

f) A policy on strictly taking actions against the people working in government positions and amassing huge assets not proportional to their incomes through corruption, and punishing them will be adopted.

g) A common development concept will be prepared for socio-economic transformation of the country and for ensuring the fast prosperous and equitable economic development of the country.

h) A policy on ensuring the professional rights of workers and making investment in industries, trade and export business for creating high employment opportunities will be adopted.

4. Rehabilitation of the conflict victims

1. An arrangement will be made for rehabilitating the people injured and disabled, giving honor and proper assistance to them, and the family members of the people killed during the armed conflict.

2. Based on the report presented by the investigation commission, assistance to the family members of the people disappeared will be provided.

3. A special program on rehabilitating the people displaced, on restoring private and public properties damaged, and on reconstructing the infrastructures destroyed during the armed conflict will be launched.

4. A high level Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be set up based on mutual understanding for creating an environment conducive to reconciliation in the society, for conducting investigation into the people involved in the crime against humanity and the people who committed gross human rights violation during the armed conflict.

5 Miscellaneous

1. A high-level joint monitoring committee will be set up based on conscious for monitoring whether all understandings and agreements have been implemented or not.

2. The government will take actions against anyone involved in violating the code of conduct, understandings, agreements and laws, and punished them.

3. At the time of the election for a constituent assembly, the political parties will be free to present their views and policies on republic, socio-economic transformation, referendum, electoral system and other issues on which consensus has not been reached so far.

6 Timetables

1. A comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Nepal and the CPN-Maoist will be signed by November 16, 2006

2. Pursuant to the Article 2(1) of this agreement, the entire Maoist combatants will be drawn together at their concerned camps and stored the arms by November 21, 2006. The United Nations will conduct verification and monitoring.

3. Pursuant to the Article 2(6) of this agreement, the Nepali Army will be confined in barracks stored the specified number of arms by November 21, 2006, and the United Nations will monitor it.

4. The interim constitution will be completed by November 21, 2006.

5. The interim constitution will be promulgated, the interim legislature will be instituted and the House of Representatives and National Assembly will be dissolved by November 26, 2006.

6. An interim Council of Ministers will be in place by December 1, 2006.

Signatories:

Prachand, Chairman, CPN-Maoist Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister and President of the NC

Madhav Kumar Nepal

General Secretary of CPN-UML

Sher Bahadur Deuba

President of NC-D

Amik Sherchan

Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of People’s Front Nepal

Bharat Bimal Yadav

Vice-president of NSP (Anandi Devi)

Narayan Man Bijukchhe

President of NWPP

C. P. Mainali

Chairman of United Left Front

(Leaders of the SPA)

November 08, 2006

Note of dissent of the CPN-UML

While agreeing on the implementation of the subject matters stated above as all other parties have agreed on, our party is of the following opinion that:

1. A referendum on the monarchy should be held during the election for a constituent assembly;

2. A proportional system for an election for a constituent assembly will be the most democratic one.

Signed by

Madhav Kumar Nepal

General Secretary of CPN-UML

This text is translated by Siddhi B. Ranjitkar from the Nepali text posted on Ekantipur.com on November 08, 2006

[2] Nepalnews.com pb Nov 13, 2006, “DPM Oli, PM Koirala discuss proposed names of Ambassadors”

[3] Nepalnews.com sd Nov 14, 2006, “Appointments by this government will not be acceptable, says Mahara”

[4] The Himalayan Times, Nov. 16, 2006, “We May Not Join Interim Govt, Says UML Leader”; The Rising Nepal, Nov. 16, 2006, “UML may not join interim government”; Nepalnews.com sd Nov 16, 2006 “Nepal says UML won't stay in the government by bearing insult”

[5] Ekantipur.com, Kantipur Report, Nov. 19, 2006, “Everyone must change with changing times: PM Koirala”

[6] Six-point Agreement between the SPA and the CPN-Maoist signed on Nov. 08, 2006

[7] Ekantipur.com, Nov. 14, 2006, “Briton honored for role in Jana Andolan-II”

[8] Nepalnews.com pb/ia Nov 13, 2006, “Chand, Rana discuss peace process with PM”

[9] Nepalnews.com sd Nov 13, 2006, “Eleven MPs to be left out in the interim parliament”; ZEENEWS.com, Nov 14, 2006 “11 King`s men to get the boot, no place in Interim Parliament”

[10] The Himalayan Times, Nov. 14, 2006 “Rayamajhi panel indicts King”; Nepalnews.com sd Nov 15, 2006, “Rayamajhi commission prepares report, King found guilty of oppression”; Ekantipur.com, Nov. 14, 2006, “HLPC implicates king, Murder charge against Kamal Thapa”

[11] Nepalnews.com sd Nov 17, 2006, “Row in Rayamajhi Commission, two members refused to sign the final report”

[12] Nepalnews.com ia Nov 18, 2006, “PM Koirala vows to implement HLPC report”; Ekantipur.com, Nov. 18, 2006, “PM hints at action against king”

[13] Nepalnews.com mk Nov 20, 2006, “PM assures to ‘fully implement’ probe report; publicize report: Rights groups”

[14] Ekantipur.com, Nov. 20, 2006, Kantipur Report “HLPC submits report to PM, recommends action against 202”

[15] Ekantipur.com, Nov.14, 2006, “Govt. extends suspension of 4 APF officers”

[16] Nepalnews.com pb Nov 16, 2006, “SPA-Maoist deal denounced”

[17] Nepalnews.com pb Nov 20, 2006, “Nepali Diaspora and Nepal experts in Canada hail SPA-Maoist deal”

[18] ZEENEWS.com, Nov. 16, 2006, “Monarchy can never become an obstacle to democracy: Yechury”

[19] Nepalnews.com sd Nov 15, 2006, “We desire to continue our assistance to the people of Nepal, says Boucher”; Ekantipur.com, Nov 16, 2006, “US to continue assistance even after Maoists join govt.”; The Rising Nepal, Nov. 16, 2006, “Assistance will continue, says US”


*************

Visit www.SiddhiRanjitkar.com, and write to srilaxmi@wlink.com.np

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