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Dr. Deepika: Finally Another Nepal Peace Accord

Finally Another Nepal Peace Accord

Dr. Deepika

His Majesty's congratulatory note on the signing of the peace accord on November 21st came as a surprise to many. It reflected a genuine desire for peace among the Nepalese, an objective for which he strived hard. But he was happy that finally peace has been promised in the land and whole heartedly thanked all of those had played a part in this exercise, regardless of their political inclinations or whoever they were yesterday.

But it was obvious that the pain of roughly 14,000 lives lost in this process weighed heavily in his heart and although they were conveniently forgotten by others, he prayed for the eternal peace for the departed souls. It was not one upmanship but as a vernacular weekly Sanghu (with Leftist inclination) wrote he was one step ahead of the rest. His love for his people is unparalleled despite his efforts not achieving the success it was intended to.

There has been no let up in incidents of Maoist extortion, abduction and continuing of kangaroo courts as are being reported from several districts like Taplejung, Sunsari, Morang, Sarlahi, Lalitpur, Rautahat, Bardiya, etc. even as the entire nation basks in the afterglow of the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement between Maoists and the government. Moreover, from the capital itself they hijacked two micro buses. Forced recruitment has almost become commonplace with members of the families going to the camps and trying to return them back to the houses, and being denied access. Even yesterday a group of Maoist cadres kidnapped and tortured three students at Sanothimi Campus, Bhaktapur. All these events have raised a question: Whether the Maoist high command has control over their cadres? If such incidents increase in future, Nepalese will have to be ready to hear news of a splinter group within the Maoists.

India is one of the 54 countries that have flawed democracies. According to a new democracy index devised by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of the leading news magazine, The Economist, India is listed among the 54 'flawed democracies' that include countries such as Brazil, Israel, Poland, Romania and Estonia. In a detailed analysis of the "world in 2007, the magazine has devised the index that examines 60 indicators across five broad categories: free elections, civil liberties, functioning, government, political participation and political culture. But the desire to sit on judgment over others regarding democratic development is hard to resist. Isn't that so?

The Supreme Court issued a show cause notice to the government about the constitutionality of the May 18th proclamation of House of Representatives, and the Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Law minister wrote back saying that the peoples' mandate was the highest authority. Remains to be seen how much water will this particular logic hold during the debates in the court or as before, the Speaker is going to clandestinely threaten the judiciary by stating that the people's movements in the streets haven't subsided.

Finally, late yesterday afternoon an agreement on monitoring of the management of arms and armies was signed. According to the agreement:

- neither of the parties shall engage in movement or redeployment of forces resulting in tactical or strategic advantage, - the parties shall promote awareness of this agreement, and adherence to its provisions, among their commanders, members and affiliated groups, - there will be four phases of the agreement (a) reporting and verification, (b) redeployment and concentration of forces, (c) Maoist army cantonment, Nepal Army barracking and arms control and (d) full compliance of the agreement. The main bones of contention were sovled in this manner.

There will be 30 armed Maoist personnel deployed to provide security to the main camps whereas 15 Maoist personnel will guard the satellite cantonment sites.

The Nepali Army (NA) shall remain in its barracks and its arms are not to be used in favour of or against any side. UN monitors will have access to all NA barracks. The NA's arms will be stored in equal numbers to that of the Maoist army with a single lock system.

There will be a nine-,member Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee.

However, the Maoist combatants should be born before May 25, 1988. The agreement also says both parties fully agree to not include or use children who are 18 years old and under in the armed forces. "Children thus affected would be immediately rescued and necessary and appropriate assistance will be provided for their rehabilitation."

There has been a sigh of relief that the agreement did take place but everybody is hoping that it won't be mainly limited to the paper that has been signed upon, like last time. Let us see what miracles the UN can conjure up!


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