Showing posts from May, 2010

Crisis Averted

Image via Wikipedia New York Times: Nepal Avoids Political Crisis With Broad Deal to Extend Parliament the Maoists agreed to extend the term of Parliament, the Constituent Assembly. In exchange, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal agreed to resign at an unspecified time in the future to “pave the way” for a new government. ..... Members of the assembly took up the measure before midnight and passed it around 1 a.m. .... Nepal is enduring a rocky transition from feudal monarchy to secular democratic republic. ..... Pinned between India and China, the world’s fastest growing major economies, Nepal needs political stability so that it can capitalize on its strategic location and jump-start its mediocre economic growth. India and China, both desirous of stability in Nepal

You can always trust them to do the right thing after they have waited to the last minute, as they did this time. The constituent assembly's term has been extended. Hopefully this will lead to a new national unity gove…

The Maoists Must Vote To Extend The Term Of The Constituent Assembly By A Year

Image via Wikipedia If the constituent assembly is allowed to expire, the current government is gone, true. But that does not mean Prachanda becomes the next Prime Minister. Then the power goes to the president. The president gets to appoint a caretaker government. That caretaker government might or might not be the current government. Or we might have an executive presidency for a little while. That caretaker government would have a one point agenda, to hold elections to a new constituent assembly. In that assembly, the Maoists will very likely be a smaller party than they are today. It will still be a fragmented parliament. No party would have an outright majority. And we would be back to square one. There would still be need to put together a coalition to form a new government. There would still be need to put together working coalitions on specific items of the new constitution.

That is the best case scenario. In a bad case scenario you are looking at a worse law and order situatio…

Is Federalism Necessary?

Image via Wikipedia The idea of federalism in the Nepali context has been part of the social justice agenda. Federalism was that tool that would be finally bring the Khas domination in the country to an end. But it can be argued federalism is not the only or the best way to bring that about. And that federalism does not address the social justice agenda of other marginalized groups like women and the Dalits, especially the Dalits.

In my last post I have been open to the idea of not having a directly elected president or prime minister for Nepal. (Why Not To Fear The Maoists?) In this post I am going to be open to the idea of not going for federalism in Nepal and instead having three layers of government: national, district, and local.

This is not me now being opposed to the idea of federalism. This is me saying I am open to other ideas that might achieve the same goals. This is me open to the thought that maybe there is no other idea that will achieve the goals that federalism would.


Why Not To Fear The Maoists?

Image by paramendra via Flickr Nepal is scheduled to have coalition governments for a long, long time to come, just like India. That might be a good reason to not fear the Maoists. And because Nepal is not about to become a two party democracy like America, it perhaps makes sense to not have a presidential form of government in Nepal, or a directly elected Prime Minister, which is the same thing by another name.

Not only will you have coalition government for a long time, you will also have three different layers of government. One party might be leading the government at the center as a minority party. And it would be very possible that party is not leading the government in about half of the states. It will be very likely that party will not be in power in the vast majority of local governments.

And you would have periodic elections. You might have elections to the national parliament this year. Next year you might have elections for the state parliaments. The year after that you mig…

A Roadmap For The Maoists

Image via Wikipedia The politicians in Nepal suffer from an inferiority complex across the board that makes them believe a political thought has to be thought somewhere else first before it can be tried in Nepal. Nepal is too backward a country to be the originator of new political thoughts and new political experiments. Marx has to first think it in Europe, Mao has to first apply it in China, some Socialist has to first talk about it in India. The Maoists are as guilty as anyone else.

Back in 2005 I appealed to the Maoists to act less dogmatic, and more thinking. They responded well. But this year they have been in an ideological rut.

Prachanda, Order Your Cadres To Live
After Ganapathy, A Ceasefire
For The First Time In A Decade, Permanent Peace Feels Possible
Militarists Attempting A Doramba Repeat To End Ceasefire
Prachanda, Extend The Ceasefire By Three Months

Prachanda, through his intransigence, and lack of creativity and imagination, has been able to bring about a political coalition…

Contents 2010

The Maoists Have Won

Calling off their Nepal Bandh after six days I see as a grand victory for the Maoists. They have exhibited that they are capable of experimenting, that they are capable of the scientific approach. You try something. If it does not work, you ditch it and go try something else. First they tried a peaceful shutdown of the country. After they realized they were imposing unnecessary hardships for the populations, they partly lifted the strike. People could move around in the evenings. Perishable goods - fruits, vegetables, milk - could be transported. And so on. I was very impressed. Finally they have gone ahead and called off the entire Bandh itself. I am impressed.

Now that they have shown their street power, the Maoists still have the option to show their opponents their constitutional power. Unless the Maoists agree to it, the term of the constituent assembly can not be extended. If the term is not extended, this government's term is over, and there is a constitutional crisis. Alt…

The Maoists: Thinking Or Dogmatic?

Maoists To Allow Markets Open From 6 PM To 10 PM; Transportation Of Perishable Products Not To Be Obstructed NepalNews

This move by the Maoists gives me hope that the thinking Maoists who went from a violent struggle for a one party rule to a unilateral ceasefire and a common minimum program of a constituent assembly have not become all dogmatic and unthinking somewhere along the way. This move makes the Maoists look good.

Although the constitution does not ask for a government with more than a simple majority, I do feel the political need for something like a 10 party government. I am for a national unity government. But a give and take situation has to be created. The idea can not be to humiliate either the Maoists or the parties in power. The idea can not be to rub the other's nose in the dust, politically speaking.

This tactical flexibility the Maoists have exhibited on how to run their peaceful movement has also to be exhibited on the political front. If this shutdown of th…

An Appeal To The Maoists

2005 was a politically complex year for Nepal. The year started out with three forces at loggerheads. The three forces were all at cross purposes. The royalists imposed a dictatorship. The Maoists were waging a violent struggle for one party rule. The democratic parties were squeezed by both. The business at hand was to get the royalists out of the way, and that could come about if the other two camps could join forces, and the other two camps could not join forces as long as the Maoists kept waging a violent struggle for one party rule. That violence had to come to an end first, and a political road map had to be agreed upon. The big parties like the Nepali Congress and the UML were opposed to the idea of a constituent assembly. But that was the only meeting ground. And that is what came to be. But first the Maoists needed to cease violence.

I argued that the Maoists needed to declare a ceasefire.

Prachanda, Order Your Cadres To Live

They did.

After Ganapathy, A Ceasefire
For The First…

Prachanda's Second Big Mistake?

What was Prachanda thinking? That he will get 50,000 Maoist cadres to come over to Kathmandu from the districts, and the common people in Kathmandu will join forces and next thing you know there are half a million people in the streets like during April 2006? For him to ever have thought that goes on to show that this guy has no clue as to what happened during April 2006.

The Madhav Nepal led government will be toppled through parliamentary arithmetic, and that parliamentary arithmetic will never come to be if Prachanda does not make it clear he understands how coalition governments are run. Coalition governments are run through the consent of all coalition partners.

Prachanda seems to think the Maoists central committee gets to make all final decisions in the country. The Maoists central committee decides who will be in power, who will not be in power. The Maoist central committee decides who will be Prime Minister. The rest of the parties need to do what the Maoist central committe…

The Infighting Among The Nepali Organizations In America

What do women in my homevillage in Nepal, the Madhesis in Nepal, and the Nepalis in America have in common? I witnessed tremendous infighting among the women in my homevillage growing up. It took me long years to realize that infighting was due to the fact that the women were members of the powerless group in the village. That psychology of infighting extends to the Madhesis of Nepal. Look at how the MJF split. What the Madhesis are in Nepal, the Nepalis are on world stage. The Nepalis in America are numerically practically insignificant, politically non-existent, and not at all impressive when it comes to political consciousness.

What Are You Doing Monday? Come Meet Al Wenger
Reshma Saujani: Innovation, Ethnic Pride, Thought Leadership

The latest round of infighting going on among the three poles - the ANA, the NRN crowd, and the Janajati groups - of Nepali organizations in America reminds me of the women back in my homevillage.

Organizing Nepalis In America: Conversations With Simon D…

The Peace Process Is At Its Most Fragile

Nepal Seeing Major Political Crisis

Maoist strike brings nation to halt
Three party talks for consensus stuck on PM’s resignation, army integration The parties have charted six different points of contentions, that need to be resolved through consensus, including formation of a national unity government, compliance with Comprehensive Peace Agreements (CPA), arms management and army integration, returning seized property to rightful owners, transformation or dissolution of Maoist youth wing Young Communist League (YCL) and commitment to peace process.
UCPN (M)'s May Day demos conclude peacefully, Dahal describes protests as 'final push'
Three-party meet adjourned 'on a positive note' Dr Bhattarai said the three parties have reached consensus on four of the six agendas set earlier. "Now, we will be discussing on constitution making and power sharing in new government,"
EU deeply concerned over lack of progress in peace process the rising political…