40 Royalists Write To Bush
Dear 40 Nepali Royalists.
I read your letter thrice in a row with great interest. I feel the need to write a rebuttal. I also invite you to an open dialogue. I hope you will participate.
I respect your right to free speech, that you wrote this letter, and your right to free assembly, that you organized a rally, although the rally does not seem to have made news, not that I am aware of. Those rights fall within the paradigm of democracy.
We democrats are for peace too. If you really are for peace, perhaps we have some common ground. But I don't trust you are.
What gives the king any legitimacy? That he is the son of Mahendra, the grandson of Trubhuvan, is that what? That is hereditary monarchy you are talking about. Democrats everywhere are principally opposed to that very idea. Are you suggesting the king is more qualified as an individual than the democrats of the 1990s? That question would be relevant if the king were a duly elected Prime Minister or a duly elected leader of the opposition. Who is more qualified, Girija Koirala, or Madhav Nepal? That is a legitimate question. A comparison between Girija Koirala, Madhav Nepal and Gyanendra Shaha is not legitimate.
And if you are preaching monarchism to the President Of The United States, you are knocking the wrong door, may I remind you. This country was founded with a rebellion against another King G, G for George.
It saddens me to see a handful of Nepalis in the US who are monarchists. So what is it about America that you like it here? If you can not get the idea of democracy in America, where can you? I think the lot of you need to be deported to the moon, to the other face of the moon, because that is where the autocrats and their supporters belong.
Polls, what polls? Elections to a constituent assembly would bring both peace and democracy to the country, but the king does not like the idea. Why? He is trying his hand at Musharraf style elections. That will not do.
"The King has also ordered parliamentary polls before the expiry of its deadline." What do you mean? Expiry of what deadline? The deadline of the three years he has decided to give himself? Or the deadline of the parliament? Your statement is misleading.
You have rightly pointed out some of the deficiencies of the half-hearted democracy of the 1990s. I am a more fierce critic of the same than you are. There was instability, true, there was corruption, although your figure of $1.5 billion has to be vastly exaggerated. What I would like to see from you are the figures for the 230 something years of monarchy. The half-hearted democracy of the 1990s, flaws and all, was far superior to the monarchy before it. The increased army and royal palace budgets of the recent years have to be seen as corruption. All that extra money could have gone to schools and hospitals, to roads.
And so the struggle now is for a full democracy.
You provide an apt critic of the Maoists, but you are singularly silent on the excesses of the RNA. Nepal today is among the leading nations when it comes to human rights abuses by the state. It has a ghastly record under the leadership of this king. Most of the deaths in the civil war have been of the civilians by the RNA. If the Maoists are bad, the militarists are five times worse, going by their record.
And the king and the RNA have to take the much larger blame because they represent the state. The state is supposed to protect, not kill.
Enough is enough. This violence has to end.
If the Maoists are as bad as you say they are, you either seek a military solution or a political solution. If the politial solution be available, why seek the military solution? But this king is not interested in any political solution, and he is not capable of a military solution. He is hellbent on being the Musharraf of Nepal. His total attack has been on the democratic middle.
I could go into the little details, or I could come to the point, which is that a constituent assembly is the only middle ground for the three political forces in the country. If the king has the support of 83% of the people, as you claim, he should come back with a resounding victory. He should be gungho about the idea of such an assembly. Let's try that. And if he does not come around to it, it boils down to a political show of force, and the democrats are very much up for that historic mission.
If you are ideological monarchists whose fantassy is to see an active monarchy in Nepal, it is a fight to the finish between us, but if not, if you love the country and its people, you should come around to helping sell the common minimum program to all three factions. That common minimum program is a constituent assembly. As I said, I am open to a dialogue with you. Let's talk it out. I am all ears.
It has not been easy for the Maoists or us democrats involved in the larger dialogue for the Maoists to make some major political and military moves:
- Where is the world did an armed group with such a large presence in a country declare a unilateral ceasefire?
- Which Maoist or communist group shifted from the slogan of a communist republic to that of a democratic republic, and that also to be achieved peacefully through a constituent assembly?
You make a shameless attempt to paint the poor, illiterate, rural Nepalis as people not good enough for democracy. All they want is a meager living. How dare you?
You draw out a long list of countries to suggest if the world does not have a problem with them, why does it have a problem with the king of Nepal. Therein you stand exposed. Obviously you are not suggesting there is democracy in Nepal. You are saying, there is no democracy in Nepal, and that should be okay. Take your letter to Kim Jong Il. He might give you a friendlier reception.
Dear President Bush:
This letter of support for the bold and justified moves of His majesty the King of Nepal was prepared by more than forty members of the Nepalese community living in different States of the United States. We also organized a Peace Rally today in Washington DC. Rally co-ordination Committee has also collected signatures of more than 1400 Nepalese people residing in the USA and friends of Nepal. The list of signatures is included. In addition, a number of significant newspaper editorials and articles supporting the actions of HM the King from prominent newspapers from Nepal are added as exhibits to corroborate our own support.
As you know, Our election is schaduled for 8th of Feb. Altogether 72 parties registered for the 8 February polls. The Election Commission has also launched a nation-wide campaign for the maximum participation of people in the coming vote. The King has also ordered parliamentary polls before the expiry of its deadline.
As you also know, Nepal has been facing Maoists insurgency for the last nine years. As a result of the insurgency, more than 11,000 Nepalese people have lost their lives. Another 23,000 have committed suicide because they could not take the pain and suffering caused by the loss of relatives and property. It was just too unbearable for these individuals. Thousands have been very badly injured and disabled. Thousands of children have been orphaned. It is estimated that nearly a million people have been displaced and forced out of their homes and have become refugees either in the district head quarters or have moved to Kathmandu, the capital city due to the actions of the insurgents. Thousands have gone to India to look for manual labor jobs. Another 400,000 Nepalese people have gone to other countries (primarily to Arab countries, South Korea and Malaysia) in search of unskilled labor jobs. Many of them have died as a result of working in hazardous conditions. Twelve Nepalese workers were brutally murdered by Iraqi terrorists in Iraq.
The late King Birendra introduced democracy in 1990 as a result of demonstrations orchestrated by the political parties and the economic blockade from India. After the introduction of democracy, not a single elected parliament served a complete term of five years. The government changed thirteen times in fourteen years. Some prime ministers started having huge cabinets just to stay in power. At one point there were as many as forty eight ministers in the government. Members of parliament were bribed so that they would not vote against the government. The bribing was so fast and furious that at one point, they had no time to count the money. So, the prime minister started to weigh the money instead of counting so that money could be distributed fast enough so that the prime minister could stay in power.
There was constant struggle and fighting both within and among the political parties. Instead of concentrating on the welfare of the people, the elected government and members of the parliament resorted to all means of corruption. The personal interests of collecting wealth became the main focus of the members of the government and the parliament. Consequently, the party bosses became like the new kings. They abused the foreign loans and grants given by international agencies. Once the ministers themselves were involved in massive corruption, the whole government bureaucracy became corrupt. Some people became very disenchanted with the corrupt democratic system, and joined the Armed Maoists insurgency group.
The elected prime minister dissolved the Parliament in 2001 and promised to hold the general elections within six months. The dissolution of the parliament was approved by the Supreme Court. However, the same prime minister postponed the elections citing the reasons of violence by Maoists insurgents. Since the Prime Minister was unable to function, His Majesty the King using article 127 of the constitution fired the Prime Minister and appointed a new government in October 2002. The new government was asked to form a national coalition government, negotiate with Maoists and hold the general elections. However, the new government was unable to carry out its charge and consequently resigned. His Majesty the King appointed a new government and gave it the same charge. It too failed to carry out its responsibility.
When the second government appointed by the King failed to carry out its responsibility, His majesty the King asked all political parties to come together and recommend one person who will represent the political parties and form a national coalition government. The political parties failed to recommend the new prime minister despite of the repeated request by His Majesty. Finally, the government headed by Sher Bahadur Deuba was appointed by the King since no consensus candidate was recommended. Deuba was highly incompetent and failed to maintain basic law and order even in the capital city. An example of the lack of rule of law was when the news of the murder of twelve Nepalese citizens by Iraqi terrorists reached Nepal, a huge mob ransacked the whole city to show their anger and frustration. The government led by Deuba became a bystander and did nothing to prevent the mob from carrying out the destruction. It also failed to settle the Maoists issue and hold the general elections.
During all this time, the Maoists Insurgency was intensified. There was no rule of law. Corruption became uncontrollable. The whole nation was living in terror. The business community could not continue their work. School children were not allowed to go to school. Instead of concentrating on their studies, college students were used as tools for political gain by the political parties. There was a nationwide destruction of public and private property. The whole nation was sliding towards becoming a failed state. It was becoming an international terrorist's hub.
While the elected leaders and party bosses were busy protesting in the capital where it is relatively safe from Terrorist attacks, His Majesty the King took time to visit just about every region of the nation including those areas in Western Nepal where Maoists are supposed to have their headquarter. Every where he went people were crying for help. All these people wanted, was to live in peace and left alone so that they could carve out a meager living by working on their farms. People from every district and village wanted the King to establish direct rule so that the terrorists could be defeated and rule of law can prevail.
Please note that 90% of the Nepalese people live in villages and the only means of livelihood they have is farming. Nearly 72% of the Nepalese people are illiterate. More than 80% of the people make less than 58 cents a day. Nearly 20% of the infants die before they celebrate their first birth day. Ninety percent of the people have no access to health care. Less than 1% of the people have access to cable TV and less than 5% have access to telephone. According to a report published in Janadharna a weekly newspaper published in Kathmandu on Feb. 10, 2005, the political parties and their leaders have looted Rs, 92 billion. That is equivalent to US $ 1.5 billion. The Royal Commission appointed by HM the King is busy unearthing the looted money.
The majority of individuals, who represent a cross section of Nepalese people including the 70% illiterate people of Nepal and 90% of those who have no access to modern amenities, whole heartedly support the decisive moves taken by His Majesty. The King had absolutely no choice but to impose the state of emergency to prevent further death and destruction in the country. By taking this action, His Majesty has put his life and his throne at stake. Please believe us; if the King fails Nepal will turn into another Cambodia. The Pol Pots of Nepal will massacre nearly eight million people, that is, a third of the population of Nepal.
Right now, less than five percent of the people of Nepal support the political parties. Another 11% support the Maoists. However, the vast majority of the people living in villages both in the mountains and the terai, that is, nearly 83% of the people support the King's move. When there is a vast majority of people supporting the King, it is not fair on the part of the USA and other nations to disapprove the actions of His Majesty the King of Nepal. These temporary steps were taken by the King with a view to defeat the terrorists and maintain the law and order as requested by the vast majority of the people. Friends of Nepal must not be influenced by the propaganda of the corrupt political party bosses and their cronies.
The same countries which have opposed the steps taken by the King of Nepal have supported the military rulers in Pakistan, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and many other countries. The UN and other countries which are opposing the actions of the King of Nepal do support the absolute rule by Kings of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Bhutan, Swaziland, and many others. In many of the Arab countries females are not even allowed to vote in any kind of elections. They are not allowed to show their face in public. Females are not allowed to drive. Well, no one has said anything about the human right of the people of these countries. Therefore, is it not a double standard to disapprove the temporary measures applied by the King of Nepal? The UN and EU and others also support the communist countries such as People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea and Cambodia Therefore, why is it a problem when the King of Nepal imposes a temporary state of emergency to control a communist insurgency and massive corruption by the government?
The political parties wanted to reinstate a duly dissolved parliament so that they could continue in their efforts to loot the country. The Supreme Court rejected out right the idea of reinstatement of the parliament. One cannot make a dead horse live again. His Majesty the King wanted to hold elections and mandated not one or two but three governments to hold the general elections. However, they all failed to do so. Many political parties were opposed to elections. What kind of political parties are these which oppose elections?
Therefore, on behalf of all those
We express our support to the moves of His Majesty the King of Nepal. We sympathize with those Nepalese people (less than1% ) who have temporarily lost access to Internet and 5% of the people who lost their access to the telephone. However, they have to understand that it is a temporary measure.
The most important human right is the right to livelihood. Vast majority of Nepalese people have no food to eat they are dying of hunger. Many of them have become homeless. They have been victims of violence. Therefore, it is ridiculous to talk about freedom of speech and freedom of movement and right to gathering when there is not even right to life or right to livelihood. People are being murdered, tortured, and subjected to terror everyday. His Majesty the King must establish peace and end the insurgency before we can talk about the human rights. Besides, His Majesty has made a commitment that he will honor human rights.
UK and the USA must also note that India had been supporting the Nepalese terrorists until two years ago. Maybe India is still supporting the insurgents even today. The Nepalese insurgents get all their weapons from India. The majority of the insurgents' leaders are living comfortably in India with the full knowledge of Indian authorities. Leader of Nepal's largest party, Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal met the Nepalese insurgent leaders in India about two days ago. It was the second time Mr. Nepal visited them in India. He had previously met them in Siliguri, India. Similarly, Mr. Girija Koirala leader of Nepali Congress party met the leaders of the insurgent group at least two times in India. One of the meetings was reported to have been arranged by Indian politicians.
By taking advantage of the internal problems in Nepal, India has also illegally built a number of dams in the rivers flowing from Nepal into India. The dams are built so high and so close to the Nepalese border that a number of villages and towns on the Nepalese side have been drowned. A lot of people have been forced to become homeless and destitute as a result of the Indian actions which are against the International norms and treaties. Moreover, India is also busy moving the border pillars along the Nepal-India border. It was reported that India has already illegally moved 64 border pillars and is in the process of moving more of them because Nepal is too busy fighting a civil war.
Our friendship with both UK and the USA is much older than young India. Therefore, Nepalese people request both the governments not to support India in its attempt to subjugate Nepal at its time of great crisis. Nepalese people would appreciate it if they get the support when they need it the most, which is undoubtedly right now.
Mr. Bush , Nepalese people greatly appreciate the tremendous help the US government and people of the USA have provided to Nepal in the last five decades. The assistance provided by the US has made a positive impact on every aspect of the lives of Nepalese people. The steps taken by His Majesty the King of Nepal were absolutely essential to save the country from the imminent take over by the insurgents.
After the Feb. 1, 2005 actions of His Majesty the King of Nepal, the country has become much more peaceful. There is now rule of law in Nepal. Our friends and relatives report that there is peace in major part of Nepal. Over 83% of the people of Nepal have supported the King's actions. The leaders of the Terrorists have already fled to India and are living comfortably under the protection of India.
Our request as well as the request of the majority of the people of Nepal is for a continued US support to the Government of Nepal under the leadership of HM the King so that corrupt criminals can be punished and terrorists are defeated. The King has promised to respect human rights and hold fair and free elections of the parliament and hand the power to the elected representatives as soon as possible.
Those who abused the power in the last fifteen years and used democracy as a tool to plunder the nation are very much opposed to the actions of the King. Because they know that they not only have to return the looted money but also have to spend time in jail. The elected criminals, who collected massive wealth, have sent their relatives and children to study and work in the USA and other Western countries. These people are hiding behind the curtain of human rights and democracy. They are making a lot of noise in the name of Human Right and democracy so that they can get away with the loot
Please do not listen to India and continue providing the military assistance to Nepalese Army in its fight against the insurgents. It is an open secret in Nepal that the Nepalese insurgents were supported by India in order to destabilize Nepal. The leader of insurgency group Baburam Bhattarai was educated in New Delhi, India. He has a Ph.D. ( perhaps on how to be terrorist) from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Even today all the arms and ammunitions for the terrorists come from India. China has outright refused to support the Terrorists. It is ironic that the Indian Government has suspended to supply arms to the Nepalese Army while they continue supplying arms to the terrorists. It shows which side India is taking.
Sincerely, Peace Loving Nepali Citizens