Sunday, July 19, 2009
(I was not able to handle the format there: not conducive to a deep conversation. So I am bringing the material here. Let's engage through Disqus. I am very much into the conversation.)
July 11 at 11:30pm
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- The issue has not been if Katuwal is a good guy or a bad guy. (Gurung Not Katawal For Army Chief August 2006)
- The issue has not been if he should be sacked.
- Prachanda messed up on the procedure.
- He had to get all his coalition partners to agree. He did not do that.
- After all his coalition partners had agreed, he needed to send his decision to the president. He bypassed the president. He messed up again.
- The president then would have had the option to send the decision back to the cabinet for reconsideration.
- The cabinet would have had the option then to send it back to the president. At that point the president would have had no option but to send the decision to the army chief.
- Thereby the Army Chief would have been duly sacked.
- Then prime minister Prachanda did what he did.
- The president did what he did.
- The president's decision has been challenged in court.
- The parliament, Prachanda and Madhav Nepal should give the court space.
- Rule of law asks for that.
- The Supreme Court needed to decide right away if the president's move was unconstitutional or not as alleged.
- My understanding is the president's move was legitimate. It was the prime minister who bypassed due process in two major ways.
- But it is for the Supreme Court to make that announcement.
- Madhav Nepal waited for his own party to decide which members of the UML will participate in the government. He extended that same courtesy to the Nepali Congress, to the TMLP, and the SP. Because that is how it gets done in parliamentary democracy.
- But he went ahead and appointed Bijay Gachhedar to his cabinet without waiting for the MJF to officially send a list of people to join the cabinet. The MJF had already decided to participate in the government with both Yadav and Gachhedar holding major cabinet portfolios.
- What Madhav Nepal did was against the basic norms of parliamentary democracy.
- Madhav Nepal has proven there is as much danger to democracy in the country from Madhav Nepal as there might be from Prachanda.
- Madhav Nepal made another big mistake.
- He withdrew Prachanda's decision to sack Katuwal. That decision by Prachanda was under due consideration by the Supreme Court. A Prime Minister can not thus overrule the Supreme Court. It has been for the Supreme Court to decide on Prachanda's decision.
- To promote the army guy who was behind Dhoramba has been a major political mistake. (Militarists, Maoists, Monotones, Dorambaites, Naxalites October 2005)
- It feels like the regressives have taken over power in Nepal.
- Perhaps Upendra Yadav's original sin was to bring into the MJF the corrupt Congress faces like Bijay Gachhedar and Sharad Singh Bhandari.
- Or his second mistake was to not himself have become the parliamentary party leader after the April 2008 election.
- His continued mistake might have been that his leadership style has not been as consultative as it should be. (The MJF Must Stay Intact, Putting The MJF Fire Out, MJF: Is Reconciliation Possible?, The MJF Drama)
- Whether by naked Indian embassy intervention (and the Pahadis think Madhesis are Indians!) or by simply buying out MPs and central committee members or by happily playing into the hands of the Pahadi ruling class or all of the above, Bijay Gachhedar has proven he is capable of bringing about a vertical split in the MJF.
- It is for Upendra Yadav to decide if it makes sense to seek reconciliation with Gachhedar or to go his separate way.
- At this juncture to seek reconciliation would be to say, okay Jhala Nath Khanal is UML president, but he is not in the cabinet, Girija is NC president, but he is not in the cabinet, neither Mahanth Thakur nor Hridayesh Tripathy are in the cabinet. And so Upendra Yadav is also going to stay out of the cabinet for now and instead seek party unity.
- This might be Upendra Yadav's best option. He should lose this small battle to later win the war.
- After reunifying the party then Upendra Yadav should work with Prachanda for the formation of an all party national unity government and bring it about in a few months' time.
- In politics six months are a long, long time.
- Keeping the party intact at any cost might be Upendra Yadav's best option at this point.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Image by paramendra via FlickrBoth the Madhesi Movement and Nepal's peace process are at a delicate juncture at this moment. There is major lawlessness in the country, especially in the Terai. A political paralysis has gripped the country. The largest Madhesi party has undergone a vertical split. The Maoists are doing all they can to disrupt government work until a new government in their leadership is formed. Basic due process has been disrespected, either through ignorance or ill will, by all and sundry. The peace process is at its lowest point since the 12 point agreement between the Maoists and then seven parties in late 2005.
The Maoists are not about to reignite a civil war. But is lawlessness not bad enough news? Is the current political paralysis not bad enough news? Nothing much is getting done. The work on building the institutions of democracy is at halt.
It is important for the largest six parties in the parliament to work hard to revive the spirit of the 12 point agreement when they put aside their major differences in the interests of the people and the nation.
Even if the Maoists will not go back to the jungle, even if the Maoists will accept mul
Image by paramendra via Flickrti-party democracy for good, there still is much work to be done. Basic law and order is something all parties should be able to agree upon. That is among the most fundamental of people's expectations.
An all party government might be the need of the hour. That might be the way out of the current political paralysis.
As for the Madhesi movement, I do think the split in the MJF is a tragedy and a setback. But the split is not formal yet. There could still be a rapproachment. Or the split could become formal. Whatever the case the newfound political consciousness of the Madhesi people through three major social mass movements is not about to be trampled. That no longer depends on any political party. All parties in the country have no option but to respect that newfound political consciousness. The Madhesis will get federalism, and the Madhesis will make steady progress towards equality in all walks of national life no matter how many parties split, form and unite. It is just that that process would be faster if the Madhesi parties stayed united and actually become unified, such that there is not three, four or more but one party.
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Thursday, July 09, 2009
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Monday, July 06, 2009
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