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Nepal: Maoists Yet to Legalize Land Transaction

Nepal: Maoists and Other Stakeholders Yet to Legalize Land Transaction Done in Under Insurgent Power

Mohan Nepali
17 February 2012

The hardliners within the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist (UCPNM) have protested against their own leadership that mandated the coalition government headed by their party to nullify the decision to mainstream the land transaction performed while there was their own ‘people’s power’ that replaced the then monarchial state power during the civil war from 1996 to 2006.

The government headed by Maoist Vice-Chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on 9 Februray 2012 withdrew its decision taken on 12 January 2012 regarding the legal mainstreaming of land transaction done among people through ‘people’s power’ mechanisms in certain Maoist-run districts, where there was a de facto absence of the monarchial government in the mid-insurgency period.

Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai attributed the withdrawal to the 25-day stoppage of the Legislative Parliament by the Second and the Third largest parliamentarist parties—the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML). He still argued that the cabinet decision under him was a right step to end the dual power that existed even after the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) came into existence on 21 November 2006. It was generally believed that the dual power had come to an end after the former Maoist rebels joined the Interim Government in 2006 itself.

The Maoist hardliners’ position implies that the 12-January cabinet decision was a progressive step to recognize the ongoing peace process founded on the peace accord signed between the then Seven Party Alliance (SPA)-led Girija Prasad Koirala government and the Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. According to them, the people recognized land transaction done when the legal government lacked and the de facto rebel power functioned actively in their strongholds. They argue that the equilibrium stage peace process itself was the recognition of their ‘people’s power’. They have accused their own party Vice-Chairman and Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai of having surrendered to the NC and the UML that have never psycho-morally accepted the Maoists’ emergence as the largest parliamentarist party following the Constituent Assembly elections held on 10 April 2008. But the prime minister denies that his is a surrender. He, instead, defends his withdrawal decision as being in favor of the peace process. He also assures of a possible measure to address the issue in a dignity-saving way. “Let’s not take it as a lose-win event,” he urges his party colleagues.

The Maoist politbureau member, a close supporter of the Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai, however, said that only a reasonable alternative to the insurgency-period land transaction could provide a grassroots solution.

The UML and the NC have questioned the UNCPNM regarding its paradoxical role both at the time of taking the decision to legalize the insurgency-period land transaction, which triggered a strong controversy, and while withdrawing the same decision recently. They have sought an all-party consensus on such issues.

However, the Maoist Party—UCPNM—and its political opponents have displayed their political rivalry without suggesting any justifiable method to bring into the legal track the land buy-and-sale transaction done under the Maoist insurgents in the peace process.

What the Maoists and their political opponents have been demonstrating during the five-year peace process period indicates their psychological inability to wholeheartedly accept each other as the sine qua non co-existing components of the political environment.

Should they remain as political barriers to each other instead of becoming mutually collaborating peace process stakeholders, the revocation of large-scale violence in the near future may not be beyond imagination. This must be a matter of grave concern to all the Nepalis since the lack of mutual confidence among the human components of the peace process will further complicate the people’s situation.

ENDS

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