I felt like writing on the first day of the New Nepalese Year, 2064. But the situation changes everyday over here. There was a time when I could see far ahead very far right up to the glorious Himalayas. Now I can't see beyond my compound wall. There is so much of a haze, a political haze brought here by the smoke of burning jungles in the South, just like the haze in Singapore caused by the forest fires in Indonesia.
It started with commitments from all the eight parties to hold the Constituent Assembly elections. But everybody knew that they were only paying lip service and they have left it too late to promulgate the essential laws. Anyway, who wants to get into and share the spoils? Moreover, the Maoists used to politics of intimidation are finding it hard to switch over to electoral politics.
Anyway, the onus of nay saying has been taken up by the National Election Commission. Only former PM Sher Bahadur Deuba was bold enough to say that the elections can't be held. Now, he is vindicated. When he couldn't hold elections, he was dismissed. Now what happens to his rival, the present PM, who has failed miserably in fulfilling the same mandate given by the people and when he had so much more time than Deuba?
Now a loser's last ditch attempt – referendum. Started with Madhav Nepal and now supported by Prachanda. Exposure of the emerging Leftist alliance and a clear realization that further this political charade of the SPAM (seven party alliance and the Maoists) continues, the larger the number of people who would be disappointed and recognize the need to retain Monarchy. I don't have to elaborate. My readers have a lot of perspicacity as represented by their responses. They are aware of all the ramifications.
Now that the great Prachanda has been proved to be using somebody's forcibly taken vehicle, people have realized clearly that it is only the tip of the iceberg. Thank Heavens that in the scuffle between the real owner trying to repossess his vehicle and the Maoists, Prachanda, otherwise the poor chap would have been killed. Let the status quo continue and more and more leaders would come down in people's esteem to the level of lesser mortals like us, from their high pedestal propped by weapons and gun toting hooligans, not to say the outside help.
- 2 -
Indeed I quote from the Wire Services:
Maoists still terrorize:
Chief of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, Lena Sundh has said that the threat and terror of the Maoists still remains in the country side. This she made clear to the Local Development Minister, Dev Gurung, who is also a Maoist polit-bureau member. She also urged the minister to work on creating fearless atmosphere in the country. Lena Sundh also drew the attention of the Maoist minister that the People's Court of the Maoists was still in operation despite repeated assurances of being dissolved from the Maoists. (Source: telegraphnepal.com)
Maoists evict Madhesi patients from Kathmandu hospital:
The Maoists, now a dominant party in the ruling alliance, forced nine severely injured Madhesis to leave a hospital here. The Madhesi Janadhikar Forum said nine of its badly hurt supporters were forced to leave the capital's government run Bir Hospital after the former rebels threatened to attack them. 'These were people who had undergone surgery and unable to move,' Forum leader Upendra Jha told IANS. 'However, the Youth Communist League (YCL) of the Maoists threatened to hack them into pieces. We were forced to bundle the nine men in ambulances and drive them overnight to the border town of Birgunj.' (Source: indiaenews.com)
Maoists torture, tonsure two youths:
Maoist cadres tortured two youths of Magaragadi VDC of Bardiya on charges of 'attempted rape", before handing them over to police on Monday. The Maoists forcibly took Pradeep Puri, 17, and Chandra Bahadur BC, 15, from their houses at Harnawa village early in the morning and severely tortured them till 3 pm. The former rebel cadres also shaved half their hair to humiliate them and forced a confession from the two. (Source: The Kathmandu Post)
Other atrocities continue. Interestingly in Far West Nepal three types of number plates are used: Se Ma Swa Pa = Seti Mahakali Swayatta Pradesh (Seti Mahakali Autonomous Region); Tha Swa Ga = Tharu Swatantra Ganarajya (Tharu Independent Republic); and the Se A or Ma A = Seti Anchal or Mahakali Anchal, (the legal government registration system). Law and order has broken down. Brand new Indian vehicles are bought across the border and used in Nepal using such number plates. (By the way that the number plate in the vehicle used by Prachanda was also a forged one.)
- 3 -
Police raids were conducted simultaneously in the offices of the Young Communist League (YCL) to search for weapons and were given a clean chit as not storing weapons. Whom are we trying to fool, may be the foreigners of whom I would talk later. But hats off to the PM's daughter, Sujata, who stated clearly that all cadres of YCL possesses weapons and ammunition.
SPAM is breaking up at the seams. But what worries me is that Nepal would be like some African countries with no law and order and marauding gangs roaming the countryside and even in the capital after some time. A traffic Police controls hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians not because he is stronger or armed. It is the legitimacy and the respect for authority. That for the first time is steadily eroding in this country as can be exemplified by so many motorcyclists without helmets.
All the time where are the foreigners and international press who were so vocal one year back around this time. Interestingly, I met an envoy who, I knew was a closet Maoist sympathizer, squirming under the need to explain to the home government that all his reporting about the necessity and inevitability of the Constituent Assembly polls had gone up in the air and he couldn't even predict anything about this proposed referendum.
In the meantime, almost all of our missions abroad are without ambassadors and the present Foreign Minister Mrs. Sahana Pradhan says that it will take further time as the earlier announcement has to be reviewed in the light of the Maoists joining the government. At least the new UML Education Minister Mr. Pradip Nepal has said that he would resign on May 9 if the key functionaries of all the four Universities aren't appointed by May 8. The whole system of higher education is being negatively affected for again almost a year because the SPA government couldn't appoint Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Registrars because of political horse trading woes.
And today there is news that Sita Ram Yechuri is going to come to Nepal. One wonders, 'for what sinister purpose'. The Maoist Forest Minister fights with the PM in the Cabinet about allegation that Army is destroying Shivapuri forest (which one doubts) and walks out. The Maoists forcibly stop the functioning of the Legislature citing the Police raid on YCL offices and rejecting the recommendation of the Election Constituency Delimiting Commission (ECDC). Oh! what a mess in the beginning the year and who is responsible?
(Note from the Nepal Horizons Editorial Team: The views and opinion expressed in this article are that of the author and not of NHC. We request individuals with interest in Nepal to submit their views on contemporary Nepalese issues to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictures of contributors or images that relate to submissions are welcome)