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Nepal: Confusion And Finding Scapegoats

Nepal: Confusion And Finding Scapegoats

Dr Chandrakala

So many lives lost in the Terai, the first one killed by the Maoists, the rest by the SPA government. How do you justify the Maoist killing and blame that on the Royalists really defies logic. The rest have been killed mostly because curfew was being defied. When there is a curfew imposed and people defy that, the government forces have to shoot; otherwise there will be no government. Now do we declare all of them 'martyrs' like those dead during the People's Movement II? Should the security forces trying to quell the riots be penalized for human rights violations as in the People Movement II? Should the same yardsticks be applied or not? It doesn't make sense at all.

A question to Chairman Prachanda: Last time when his effigy was burnt, the Chairman of the anti Maoist Civilian Organization Chitwan was shot and killed in the corridor leading to his office in Bagh Bazar, Kathmandu. How does it feel now? Those who live in glasshouses shouldn't be throwing stones.

Sincere appreciations of the Nepalese are due to Ambassador James Moriarty of the U.S. when he says, "I doubt if all the arms of the Maoists would go in the containers." He said this on the basis of his previous stance that the Maoists were still buying weapons from Bihar in India. Responding to a query, he said he had no information on royalists' hand in fuelling the Terai unrest. He said the US could not cooperate with the Maoists until they completely gave up 'extortion, violence and intimidation'.

Couch it in any terminology, the fact of the matter is that in a small nation like Nepal, separatism is being fanned and the leaders are trapped in their own rhetoric and are helpless to say and do what needs to be said and done. The attack on king Prithvi Narayan Shah's statue have been roundly condemned; but it did take place and the government can be blamed for setting the stage psychologically by canceling the national holiday celebrated on that day.

Members of the SPAM are sometimes blaming Hindu fundamentalist along with royalists for fermenting trouble in the Terai. For God's sake, who started it? Anyway why abolish Hinduism as a state religion? Was there a specific demand for that during the movement? Why did that happen? Now what do you expect the Hindus to do, applaud the performance? The SPA brought it upon themselves. Ask Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican to renounce their state religion. How would the people react if a bunch of once (long time back) elected members of the House of Representatives were to declare the nation a secular state, without holding a referendum or the political party without contesting on a secular state wins overwhelming majority in the election. Who defines 'people's mandate'? Would history deal with such aberrations kindly?

As far as imprisoning few former Ministers and blaming them without evidence for the Terai unrest is pathetic. The results of the SMS poll conducted by Kantipur TV is a clear indication. More than 54% believe that it won't solve the problem. The stupidity was seen when the SPA government blamed the riyals one day and in the very next day formed a committee to find out the cause of the Terai unrest.

Let us face it! The dominant group in Nepalese politics and government, in which all political parties are firmly entrenched, have only paid lip service to decentralization for decades. This has to be corrected. All groups must feel part of the national identity and should be directly involved in decision making concerning them. They can and will contribute to the national mosaic. Affirmative action is must and association with an Institution which rises above the differences are the requirements of the day. One could go into details as indeed should be done by all prominent people from all over the country bereft of political demagoguery or inflammatory presentations. However, one doesn't dare to speak more in such a charged atmosphere.

But the interim constitution was the product of the bullying by the majority of all not so well represented communities forcing them to take a back seat. They cannot be denied. And that also after having encouraged them with so many lofty promises. Expectation minus reality equals frustration, and frustration finds a violent outlet as at the present moment. Get rid of the Monarchy and everything would be all right? It might have exactly the opposite effect. Moreover I am not Royal apologist, but just a student of world history.

In the meantime, Maoists continuing terrorising people

Maoists are still occupying 1,300 bighas of land belong to guthi in Bhojpur district and collecting Rs. 1,00,000 earned by the Guthi land.

Maoist cadres on January 25 kidnapped Tej Prakash Pokharel of Jhapa district from Orleance Café at Thamel, Kathmandu and Pokharel's whereabout is not known.

Maoists are still holding and have not vacated the Kapash Development Committee's office in Bardiya district.

Maoists blocked the team of election officials from collecting and updating voters' name list in Jante and Sanishcare VDCs in Jhapa district.


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