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Nepal News & Discussion

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Blunderbuss, act III
How much more will Natwar Singh lose for India?

14 March 2005: There are limits to the bloodymindedness of Natwar Singh’s conduct of foreign policy. Against military opinion expressed within the government, and despite exhortations from other quarters, including this magazine, India pursued a policy of democracy-or-nothing in Nepal, on the adamancy of Natwar, and now, this has blown on our face.

Since he captured power in a coup, King Gyanendra had been suing for resuming Indian military assistance against the Maoist rebels, but these requests were repeatedly turned down, because India took a moral position for a return of democracy in Nepal. Moral positions are fine so long you have the power or levers to enforce them, and since the UK, with really nothing to lose, backed the Indian position, we were basking in the glory of straightening out Nepal. Or that is what we thought.

The US, for all its pro-democracy talk, was not willing to suspend such military assistance as it gives to Nepal against the insurgents, and China had held out assurances to King Gyanendra that it would veto any censure moves in the UN against the coup. Despite these early warnings of a possible derailment of India’s pressure tactics on Nepal, we stepped on the gas, culminating with a wholly unnecessary admission by the foreign office spokesman that all military aid to the kingdom had been terminated.

Nepal is your immediate neighbour in the North East, not your enemy, and together with Bhutan, they provide buffers to China in Tibet. You may pressure such a neighbour in private, very privately, but you don’t slap it around in public, if such slapping around gains you nothing but cheap publicity, and brings no extra credit to your democracy. To this day, there is no logical explanation for why India went public with terminating assistance to Nepal.

Not all, Nepal’s foreign minister, Ramesh Nath Pandey, waited two weeks and more, before last week’s visit to India, for an audience with Natwar Singh, but Natwar wouldn’t deign to see him. Ramesh Nath told our ambassador in Kathmandu that the Indian desire for a sixty-day fight to the finish with the Maoists was unrealistic because of the terrible state of Nepal’s civil-military interface, but a hundred days would give the king room to return some of the previous democracy. It took some convincing for the ambassador to get Ramesh Nath to New Delhi, but here, Natwar Singh introduced further conditions, demanding an end to the emergency, release of detained politicians, and bringing some of them into a council to fight the insurgents. In return, India would consider resuming military aid.

Natwar had to recommend the final position to the Union cabinet, whether or not to resume aid, and on Ramesh Nath’s return, one of the conditions was met, prominently, the release of jailed politicians. But Indian assistance didn’t happen along, because as we published intelligence on Saturday (“Pakistan to sell arms to Nepal against Maoists,” 12 March 2005), Ramesh Nath was on the line to the Pakistan foreign minister, Mehmud Ahmed Kasuri, requesting for emergency military assistance.

At our time of publishing the intelligence, Pakistan had not gone public with its aid offer to Nepal, but subsequently did, understanding its huge propaganda consequences against India and in its favour, as a friendly power in South Asia. Kasuri’s response to Ramesh Nath’s request, according to diplomatic sources, was warm, and almost enthusiastic. Nepal wanted eight military items on an emergency basis, including two hundred rocket launchers and two thousand automatic grenade launchers, and Pakistan readily accepted to supply them from its own army stocks, at a minimum forty per cent down payment. It said it would deliver the weapons free at Kathmandu, a small price to pay for showing down India.

Now Pakistani aid to Nepal has the Indian government in a panic. According to the papers, Natwar who is abroad is rushing back, and the whole recent relations with Nepal will be gone over. As face-saver, India will probably repeat its pious democratic exhortations to Nepal, but privately concede to the king’s request for weapons. But any great advantages from this may not flow to India, because India has effectively lost its lever with Nepal. Earlier, Nepal was seeking alms at our table, but we were too haughty to pay heed, but with Pakistan intervening, India is being forced to be friendly again. The lever is lost in the sense that Nepal controls it now. It knows anything can be obtained from India by playing the Pakistan card, and this card will be used until it exhausts itself.

Nepal’s example is not the only one. During Rajiv Gandhi’s time, Myanmar sought Indian aid and infrastructure assistance, but we turned our nose up against its dictatorship. China quietly stepped in, to our subsequent mounting alarm, and all through the Eighties-Nineties, it rapidly expanded its presence, its businessmen capturing local trade, its trunk roads opening vast dark Burmese interiors, China controlled Burmese ports by virtue of expanding and upgrading them, and its crowning glory was to establish military outposts and listening stations in Burmese islands commanding a vast view of India’s defence assets on the eastern seaboard. Only after the NDA came to power were vigorous attempts made to contain Chinese influence, and it is in exercise of this that the Burmese military junta has now cracked up against the North East insurgents holed up there.

The point is, you must have a realistic assessment of your power, reach, and quality of levers. Although India had advance warning of King Gyanendra’s coup, the warning even conveyed through this magazine, it could do little or nothing to prevent it. If India had put effective pressure on the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) to pressure the king against a coup, he may have held back, because without the RNA’s backing, he is powerless, but Natwar Singh and the Indian government trusted the diplomatic route, which failed them.

Once this failed, both parties should have understood the limits of diplomacy, and dealt with the emerging Nepal situation in more unconventional ways. But no, there was more of the same, a high moral principle of democracy was made, the roping in of Britain in this was trumped up as a great victory, and unbearable pressure was put on Nepal. To their eternal shame, some Indian commentators backed this exercise, losing sight of the real picture. But now that Nepal has countervailed with Pakistani aid, the whole Natwar Singh strategy has collapsed, and India is in a panic rush to save the situation. How long are we going to pay for the blunders of Natwar Singh?

Nepal’s example is not the only one. During Rajiv Gandhi’s time, Myanmar sought Indian aid and infrastructure assistance, but we turned our nose up against its dictatorship. China quietly stepped in, to our subsequent mounting alarm, and all through the Eighties-Nineties, it rapidly expanded its presence, its businessmen capturing local trade, its trunk roads opening vast dark Burmese interiors, China controlled Burmese ports by virtue of expanding and upgrading them, and its crowning glory was to establish military outposts and listening stations in Burmese islands commanding a vast view of India’s defence assets on the eastern seaboard

When ever the communists/leftist have influence on the foriegn policy they make the country do the wrong thing which is taken advantage by China. It seems that they are coordinating with Chinese over Indian foriegn policy
Article by Baburam Bhattarai of Communist Party Of Nepal (Maoist)

Krishna Sen News Agency (Online Service) - English translation


Baburam Bhattarai


In his famous work The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Karl
Marx had said: "Hegel observes somewhere that all great incidents and
individuals of world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the
first time as tragedy, the second as farce." It was while drawing a parallel
between the coup of 1851 by Napoleon's nephew Louis Bonaparte, who had then
crowned himself as Napoleon III, and the original Napoleonic coup of 1799. Of
course, this was in a satirical sense.

Similar law of Hegelian dialectics seems to be in operation in the
history of Nepal, too. While the father, King Mahendra, had staged a military
coup on December 16, 1960 against the first parliamentary democracy established
after 1950 to centralise all power in himself, now the son, King Gyanendra, has
staged another military coup on February 1, 2005 against the second
parliamentary democracy restored after 1990 and centralised all state power in
himself. However, for the politically enlightened ones, it is not difficult to
see beneath the surface that this episode of February 1 is merely a continuation
or culmination of the episode of June 1, 2001, when the relatively more weak or
liberal King Birendra, along with his entire family, was butchered and a new
dynasty ushered in by Gyanendra. This way, the "First February" of the Nepalese
history seems to be a carbon copy of the "Eighteenth Brumaire" of the French
history; but it is yet to be seen whether it will be more
'tragic' or more 'farcical'.

The Essence of the Royal Regression

In his every public utterances after the coup, including the 'royal
proclamation' of February 1, Gyanendra has laboured hard to sell the theory that
his present move is designed to restore 'peace' and consolidate 'multi-party
democracy' by exorcising the ghost of 'terrorism' [i.e. the ongoing
revolutionary People's War led by the CPN(Maoist), and this is meant only for a
definite time-frame of coming three years. While talking to a group of selected
media persons on February 24, he has particularly taken pains to project himself
as the real Messiah of 'democracy' and the exorcist of 'terrorism' and has
demanded of the parliamentary political parties and the entire members of the
international community to cooperate with him in this grand venture against
'terrorism'. Thus, he has sought to project himself as the true follower of the
US President George W. Bush in the international crusade against 'terrorism' and
begged everybody to grant legitimacy to his autocratic
military regime at least on that count. Of course, he seems to have learnt a
few lessons from General Musarraf of Pakistan.

However, Gyanendra's such political gimmicks are not cutting much
ice among the masses, as he has a tainted image as the hardliner autocrat even
within the palace since his father's and bother's days and is particularly hated
among the public as the real fratricidal and regicidal culprit in the palace
massacre of June 1, 2001. Particularly after his induction of the old palace
stooges of known anti-democratic persuasions like Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi
Bista as his principal political associates and his abduction of all fundamental
and democratic rights of the people with the contrywide declaration of
emergency, the essential nature of his despotic military rule has been
thoroughly unmasked. Despite his incessant parroting about his commitments
towards 'multi-party democracy' and 'constitutional monarchy' , all his real
practices so far including the crackdown on political parties and their leaders,
free media and human rights activists and blatant trampling upon the
limited democratic provisions of the old constitution, leave one in no doubt
that the supine parliamentary democratic system has been snuffed out and the
autocratic monarchy restored in the country.

Hence the questions arise: How could the limited bourgeois
democratic system established after 1990 be abolished and the autocratic
monarchy restored so smoothly? Should not the wheel of history move forward
rather than backward? For the correct answers to these questions, one has to
grasp the laws of social development in a scientific and objective manner and to
correctly evaluate the weaknesses and limitations of the chronically infirm
parliamentary system after 1990.

Firstly, it should be acknowledged that struggle between social
classes provides the basic motive forces of societal development. The present
Nepalese society in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial stage is a multi-class
society, and the principal struggle there is among the feudal, the bourgeois and
the proletarian classes. All the three principle contending classes have their
allies, too. The traditionally dominant feudal class has the comprador and
bureaucratic bourgeoisie with it; the small and weak bourgeois class has a
section of the rural and urban petty-bourgeois class with it; and the
proletariat has the vast number of poor peasants and semi-proletariat with it.
This basically triangular class contention is increasingly turning into a
bi-polar contention after the initiation and development of revolutionary
People's War under the leadership of the proletariat since 1996. In other words,
according to the law of class struggle and social development , the parasitic
reactionary classes are polarised on one side under the leadership of the most
capable and strong class among themselves, and on the other side are rallied the
working and the progressive classes under the leadership of the most advanced
class, the proletariat. As the monarchy representing the feudal and comprador
and bureaucratic bourgeois classes is historically the strongest representative
of the reactionary classes in Nepal, the parasitic classes most adversely
affected by the revolutionary People's War have been increasingly rallying under
the leadership of the monarchy. This is the rationale and essence of the current
royal regression or the restoration of autocratic monarchy in the social class
terms. The regressive march of the reactionary classes in opposition to the
progressive march of the working classes is perfectly in keeping with the
dialectical law of social development.

Secondly, viewing from a further political angle, it should be
acknowledged that the inherent defects and weaknesses of the bourgeois
parliamentary democracy established after 1990 and the general infirmity and
incapacity of the middle strata and forces also provided an objective basis for
the ultimate feudal autocratic regression. Historically, the major parliamentary
political forces, viz. the Nepali Congress and later the revisionist UML, enjoy
no independent class base of their own, and tend to represent a hodge-podge of
class forces ranging from the feudals and comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie
to the petty-bourgeoisie and constantly take vacillating and conciliatory
political positions. Contrary to this, the monarchy traditionally draws its
strength from the prevailing feudal property and cultural relations, and
principally, from its monopoly hold over the Royal Nepal Army (RNA). To be more
specific, the political change and the Constitution of 1990 did not
properly settle the question of 'state sovereignty' traditionally claimed by
the monarchy and left the final 'state authority' and strategic control over the
RNA in the hands of the monarchy. This 'historical blunder' (to paraphrase Jyoti
Basu from India!) paved the way for the monarchy to gradually gobble up the
parliament and the Constitution and consummate the current royal regression.
Moreover, the parliamentary forces during their twelve years long rule in
between did nothing to bring about a progressive transformation in the
traditionally feudal and increasingly comprador and bureaucratic capitalist
socio-economic and cultural base of the society. In the later period,
particularly along with the rapid development of the revolutionary People's War,
their class and political base got further eroded. As a result, the upper strata
of the society which had backed the parliamentary forces after the political
change of 1990 gradually returned back to the fold of the monarchy and the
lower and a section of the middle strata naturally got polarized around the
revolutionary People's War. This dilemma of the reformist parliamentary forces
has been summed up in Chairman Com. Prachanda's recent People's War Anniversary
statement thus: "Ultimately, the so-called royal proclamation of February 1 has
not only exposed the irrelevance of reformism in the Nepalese politics, but also
shattered the collective lethargy of the parliamentary political forces."

Thirdly, from a military point of view, this action of total
centralization of the old state authority in the absolute monarchy can been as
an attempt of the moribund reactionary classes to wage a final battle with the
revolutionary forces in the ever mounting class war in the country. In view of
the recent declaration of the CPN (Maoist) to lead the nine-year old
revolutionary People's War into the final and decisive stage of strategic
offensive, it is not unnatural, though foolish, for the frightened reactionary
classes to attempt to wage a final battle of life and death under the direct
leadership of the monarchy, which has assumed supreme commandership of the RNA
since its inception. In the recent past the pathetic showing of the RNA in
almost every real battle with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been blamed
by certain quarters on the contradictions of de jure political leadership of the
parliamentary forces and de facto leadership of the monarchy over the
RNA, Also, it is not hard to understand the super military ambitions of
Gyanendra, who has grabbed the throne by butchering the entire family of his
brother, Birendra, to project himself as the great savior of his tottering
feudal and comprador-bureaucratic bourgeois class. Nevertheless, as any common
student of military science would know, the victory or defeat of a particular
army ultimately depends more on its social class base and the political goal
rather than on the leadership prowess of its commander, and in that sense the
ultimate defeat of the reactionary RNA should be a foregone conclusion and
Gyanendra's dream would be mere chimera.

Role of the International Forces

In the present day world of imperialist globalization any internal
political event has more international ramifications than ever before. Hence the
February 1 royal regression has generated worldwide reactions, and all major
world and regional powers and organizations, including the UN, the USA, the UK,
the EU, India, China and others have issued public statements on the question.
Surprisingly none of the major international players have supported Gyanendra's
regressive steps so far. Not only that the major powers like the USA, the UK,
the EU and India, which have been the principal props for the reactionary
regimes in Nepal in the past, have publicly opposed the current developments,
and others like China, Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. have commented upon the
events as 'internal affairs of Nepal'. The most significant international
development has been the suspension of military aid by India and the UK (the USA
also appears to be toeing the same line) and suspension
of 'development aid' by a number of EU countries. International human rights
organisations such as the Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, etc., have
publicly denounced the royal regime for its rampant violations of human and
democratic rights of the people. Thus the autocratic royal regime has been
totally isolated from the international community so far, which is a good omen
for the democratic movement.

However, the despotic regime is desperately seeking to exploit two
issues to gain international support for itself. The first is the
'anti-terrorism' card, and the second, the 'geo-political' card. The hackneyed
'anti-terrorism' card, much exploited after September Eleven by all and sundry
petty dictators and reactionary regimes of the world, has already lost much of
its original steam and is yet to be seen how it will fare in Gyanendra's case.
But one can be fairly certain that the enlightened world public opinion won't be
easily hoodwinked by the 'anti-terrorism' claims of a person of Gyanendra's ilk,
whose hands are blood-stained in the infamous palace massacre and who has now
launched a countryside reign of military terror against the people by suspending
all political and fundamental rights. Nevertheless, as all the values and norms
in a class-divided society are governed by class interests, it won't be
surprising if some of the reactionary rulers of the world would
ultimately back the regressive royal regime, overtly or covertly.

As far as the 'geo-political' card of the country's strategic
positioning between the two super-states of China and India is concerned,
Gyanendra's attempts to repeat the skillful diplomatic maneuvering of playing
one neighbour against the other as practiced by his father, Mahendra, in the
specific cold-war context of the last century cannot be expected to bear much
fruit in the changed situation of international balance of forces in general and
the India-China relations in particular. The recent coming together of the USA
and India and their coordinated policy against royal regression may tempt
Gyanendra to play the China card. He has given enough hints of this by
appointing the old royalist Kirti Nidhi Bista with a known pro-China tilt as one
of his principle associates in the government. Similarly, Pakistan and
Bangladesh, with traditional contradictions with India, may provide some
breathing space for the royal regime; some indications of which have already
come from
the Pakistani ambassador in Kathmandu. However, given the extremely shaky
position and uncertain future of Gyanendra himself, it is hard to believe that
any of the neighbours will go beyond diplomatic niceties to extend him any
substantial material help. Similarly, on the part of the proletarian
revolutionaries they should be prudent enough to practice strategic firmness and
tactical flexibility in the matters of diplomatic relations particularly with
the immediate neighbours.

Another noteworthy factor in recent days is the indication of some
positive change in the attitude of major international and regional powers
towards the revolutionary forces in Nepal. Due to their own distorted class
outlook and interests, these major powers in the past used to regard the
monarchy and the parliamentary forces as the so-called 'two pillars of
stability', and they were seen working hard to bring about a grand alliance
between the two against the revolutionary democratic forces. Now they seem to be
increasingly veering round a 'three pillar' theory, including the revolutionary
forces; which is, of course, a step forward. But the historical necessity and
the new objective reality of the country is that the new 'two pillars' of
parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces join hands to uproot the
outdated and rotten third 'pillar' of monarchy. The CPN(Maoist) has already made
a policy decision to this effect, which is reflected in the recent Anniversary
statement issued by Chairman Com. Prachanda.

The Question of Democratic Republic

After the royal regression of February 1, there are seen some
important developments in the internal political situation. Whereas earlier the
national politics was divided into three streams of monarchy, parliamentary
democracy and revolutionary people's democracy, now it is gradually getting
polarized into two broad streams of monarchy and democracy. Particularly, the
leaders, cadres and supporters of parliamentary democracy have now seen through
the anti-democracy maneuvering and divide-and-rule policy of the monarchy in the
past and their collective ire against the monarchy has sharpened more than ever
before. Though there are sponsored public rallies and statements in favour of
the autocratic monarchy on a daily basis, none of the known political parties or
their leaders have openly endorsed the royal move so far. While the royal regime
has laboured hard to propagate that the harsh autocratic measures are directed
only against the 'terrorists' (i.e. Maoist
revolutionaries), the people have increasingly realized that they are against
all the democratic forces. Similarly, almost all the members of 'civil society',
media persons, human rights organizations, professional organizations, etc. have
openly come out against the royal coup. This is obviously a good sign for the
future of democracy in the country.

However, it is a matter of serious concern that even after more than
a mouth since the coup the democratic forces have not been able to come up with
an effective & coordinated plan, programme or mechanism of resistance against
the autocratic monarchy. The CPN (Maoist) attempted to provide initial tempo to
the resistance movement by organizing a three-day 'Napal Bandh' (shut-down) and
a fifteen-day transportation blockade in February, and is planning further
mass-mobilization and military-action programmes in coming months. The
parliamentary forces did organize some propaganda activities from India and
symbolic public rallies within the country, and are planning peaceful
mass-arrest programmes for the future. But the desired sharp attacks against the
monarchy in a unified manner, firstly, amongst the parliamentary forces and,
secondly, between the parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces, has not
materialized so far. Whereas the Nepali Congress has come out more
sharply against the monarchy, the so-called 'leftist' UML has made a relatively
muted response against the royal coup. This has naturally raised some
apprehensions among the masses whether a new 'Rayamajhi' trend (i.e. the
capitulation of the then general secretary of the CPN, Keshar Jang Rayamajhi, to
the monarchy in the 1960s) is in the offing. However, after so much blood-bath
the situation has undergone a sea change since then. Hence, even if a few
Rayamajhis from the left camp and a few Tulsi Giris from the Nepali Congress
camp may arise, the overwhelming majorities of the leaders & cadres of the
political parties and the general masses of the people are likely to fight till
the end against the autocratic monarchy. Moreover, with the presence of the
revolutionary PLA to take on the monarchist RNA, and the more favourable
international situation than ever to fight against the absolute monarchy, a new
objective ground is prepared for the democratic political forces to mount a
unified assault against the monarchy so as to sweep it away for ever.

Precisely in this context the question of anti-monarchy common
minimum programme and slogan acceptable to all the democratic forces, including
the parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces and the international
community, has become pertinent. It has been the considered view of the
CPN(Maoist) that the programme of election to a representative Constituent
Assembly and institutionalization of the democratic republic is best suited for
the purpose. The old slogan of restoration of the parliament or re-activization
and amendment of 1990 Constitution, advanced by the parliamentary forces and the
international community, has been totally outdated and inadequate in the new
context. A brief recapitulation of the incessant struggle between the monarchy
and democracy since the 1950s in the country should leave no one in doubt that
without the complete abolition of the archaic institution of feudal monarchy and
its puppet RNA no form of democracy can be secure and
institutional in Nepal. It has been proved time and again that the so-called
'constitutional monarchy' seen in operation in some of the highly developed
capitalist countries cannot be replicated in a semi-feudal & semi-colonial
society. Hence any attempt on the part of the parliamentary political parties
and the international forces to preserve the thoroughly rotten and discredited
institution of monarchy, in this or that pretext, does not correspond with the
historical necessity and ground reality of balance of forces in the country, and
the agenda of 'democratic republic' has entered the Nepalese politics.

As for as the sincere commitment of the revolutionary democratic
forces, who aspire to reach socialism and communism via a new democratic
republic, towards a bourgeois democratic republic is concerned, the CPN(Maoist)
has time and again clarified its principled position towards the historical
necessity of passing through a sub-stage of democratic republic in the
specificities of Nepal. Particularly, in "An Executive Summary of the Proposal
Put Forward by CPN(Maoist) for the Negotiations" presented during the
negotiations in April 2003 [See, Some Important Documents of Communist Party of
Nepal(Maoist), 2004] the minimum content and the process of realization of this
democratic republic through a Constituent Assembly has been expressed in
concrete terms. The fact that the democratic republic is envisaged to be
institutionalized through a freely elected Constituent Assembly, should cast
away any illusions about the democratic credentials of the revolutionary forces.
concrete issues like the creation of a new national army after the dissolution
of the royal mercenary RNA can be discussed during the process of negotiations.

The need of the hour is unity of all democratic forces of the
country on the common minimum programme of a democratic republic. If anything is
lacking so far it is the real democratic vision and will power on the part of
the leadership of major political parties. Also, it is the time to win
confidence of the masses of the people through a correct projection of the
democratic credentials of political parties, and for this the correct practice
of inner-party democracy would be a significant component.

In the end, it may be useful to recollect Engels to understand why a
proletarian party needs to uphold the programme of a bourgeois republic in the
particular historical specificities of a country like present-day Nepal.
Lambasting the Bukuninist anarchists who had opposed the immediate programme of
a republic in nineteenth-century Spain, Engels had said:

"When the Republic was proclaimed in February 1873, the Spanish
members of the Alliance [i.e. Bakuninist 'International'] found themselves in a
quandary. Spain is such a backward country industrially that there can be no
question there of immediate complete emancipation of the working class. Spain
will first have to pass through various preliminary stages of development and
remove quite a number of obstacles from its path. The Republic offered a chance
of going through these stages in the shortest possible time and quickly
surmounting the obstacles. But this chance be taken only if the Spanish working
class played an active political role." [From "The Bakuninists at Work"]

March 15, 2005.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India must not be sentimental about democracy

Talking Point / Samuel Baid

King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev's coup in Nepal last month and the rising storm of Islamic militancy in Bangladesh have emerged as two major challenges for New Delhi's diplomats. In themselves, these developments would not have been so serious for India had Pakistan not tried to take advantage of them in order to embarrass India, while simultaneously creating an impression of improving relations with the country.

India expressed displeasure at the dismissal of the four-party coalition government of Sher Bahadur Deuba, the imposition of emergency and the imposition of censorship by King Gyanendra on February 1 and 2. Pakistan at once sided with the King, saying the developments were Nepal's internal matter. Perhaps such a reaction should not come as a surprise, since the Pakistani army has never shown any respect for democracy and elected governments.

But Pakistan's next statement showed open affront to India's position in Nepal. India had stopped arms supply to Nepal. Pakistan's outgoing envoy Zameer Akram offered to step in as an alternative arms supplier to Nepal. In the past four years, Pakistan has stepped up export of small arms to various countries. It would certainly like Nepal to be its client - if Kathmandu can pay for them.

For a long time, Pakistan has been trying to use Nepal as a base for subversive activities in India. The hijack of an Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu in December 1999 revealed a well laid out network of the ISI in Nepal. Subsequently, it was learnt that Pakistani officials and diplomats in Kathmandu were involved in a fake Indian currency racket too. The objective clearly was to subvert the Indian economy.

Nepal's porous border with India provides an ideal ground for ISI activities directed against India. This Himalayan kingdom is used by Pakistani militants to easily cross over to India. Moreover, the Terai region along the India-Nepal border is dotted with Islamic schools financed by the Pakistani embassy in Kathmandu. These schools, along with some other Muslim organisations, spread anti-India sentiments. There are certain Islamic organisations in Nepal which maintain contact with the Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-i-Tayyaba.

The ISI's support to Islamists in Nepal and Bangladesh is proof that Islamabad has not really changed its mind about using Islamic militancy as a tool for foreign policy. One may contradict this by pointing to Pakistan Army's crackdown on real or imagined Al Qaeda activists in Waziristan, and its support to the US-led war on global terrorism. But the fact is many leaders of the Al Qaeda are still living safely in Pakistan, and Islamic fundamentalism has been on the increase in that country despite all that Gen Musharraf has to say. This means that within his army and the government, there are strong supporters of the policy of Islamic militancy.

On March 15, Gen Musharraf agreed in a BBC (Urdu) interview that fundamentalism had indeed increased. He said it posed a threat to Pakistan. He admitted he was in touch with the leaders of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), "which is a moderate party," because if after the 2007 elections fundamentalists take over the government, Pakistan would be destroyed.

In Bangladesh, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has proved to be a boon for anti-democratic obscurantist forces and terrorists who would like to use Bangladesh as a springboard for activities across the globe. Frequent bombings at the opposition's public meetings targeting Sheikh Hasina and her party colleagues could well be the work of Islamists who want to crush democracy in Bangladesh to pave the way for an Army takeover. This would be followed by the Talibanisation of the country.

In Bangladesh, the Jamaat-e- Islami, a coalition partner in the government, maintains links with the ISI, the Bangladesh Army and radical Islamists. Begum Khaleda Zia seems helpless in tackling the activities of the Jamaat and stopping the country from Talibanisation. There are about 64,000 madrasas in Bangladesh funded by Pakistan's ISI and Arab charities. One may recall here the role of Pakistani madrasas in producing terrorists, some of whom were involved in the September 11 attack on the WTO.

But Gen Musharraf should understand that there cannot be enlightened democracy and that he cannot cleanse his country of Islamic obscurantism if his government follows the policy of supporting undemocratic systems and jehadi groups outside the country. He should seriously take note of his colleagues' role in Nepal and Bangladesh.

The world is taking a happy note of India's and Pakistan's efforts to normalise bilateral relations. And in India, there is a widespread feeling that bilateral relations between the two countries have never been so good. People in Pakistan, too, feel the same. But Pakistan's urge to hurt India is compulsive, as we see in Nepal, Bangladesh and elsewhere. It appears Islamabad's new India policy is to have cordial relations with India but surround it with unfriendly pro-Pakistan neighbours so as to have an edge in the region.

India should not find solace in the fact that it is in the company of the United States and Britain with regard to its present policy on Nepal. These countries use democracy as a slogan to blackmail despotic rulers in Asia to get them to follow their dictates. On the other hand, India's zeal for democracy in the region is genuine - though sometimes at the cost of its own interest. We must not be sentimental about democracy in our neighbourhood. It really does not help us.

The writer is former editor, UNI<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Really weird. A small country like Nepal flips us and we couldnt do jack. I guess nutwar will all go macho with Nepal and lecture Nepal on democracy and human rights. After all gora sahibs have just given us some spanking and we got to show we still got mojo.. <!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo-->


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal snubs India



After its overtures were spurned by India, a simmering Nepal has struck back, putting New Delhi’s envoy way down its list of priorities, giving precedence to Pakistani diplomats, the kingdom’s own festivals and even Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal.

As a sign of the entente far from cordiale, India’s ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shankar Mukherjee has been kept waiting for over a month for an audience with King Gyanendra while the monarch has readily granted audience to Pakistan’s outgoing ambassador Zamir Akram, attended Shiva Ratri celebrations at Kathmandu’s Pashupatinath temple and met Singhal who came last month with the assurance that millions of Hindus worldwide supported the royal coup in Nepal. Also in the doghouse, along with the Indian envoy, is the British ambassador, Keith George Bloomfield, whose request for a royal audience has also been put on hold since last month. But though the US had joined forces with India and the UK to express concern at the royal takeover and urge for the restoration of multi-party democracy, the American ambassador, James Francis Moriarty, has been given preferential treatment with the king granting him a meeting within less than ten days days of a request. This despite the fact that Moriarty also sought to meet Nepal’s top political leaders who have been under arrest since the royal coup on February 1.

Both the American and Indian ambassadors were prevented from meeting former PM and opposition leader Girija Prasad Koirala and other detainees, a prevention that hit the headlines in Nepal and abroad and triggered a formal letter from Nepal’s foreign ministry to diplomatic missions. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Krishna Sen News Agency (Online Service) - English Translation

Preparation for General Strike Complete

Kathmandu, March 30th / Spokesperson of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
has said that the preparation for the 11-day general strike starting from April
2 has been completed. He has informed that the different kinds of strikes,
vehicle-strikes, blockades etc in the regional and local level have been succeed
prior to the general strike.

Talking to Krishnasenonline Spokesperson Mahara said that the
general-strike along with all the military resistance and mass mobilization will
succeed striking back all the deceptive propagandas and obstruction of the royal
military regime.

Prior to the general-strike, hundreds of successful reports have
arrived of sabotages, local and regional strikes and blockades from all parts of
Nepal. Meanwhile the first day of the two day Mechi-Koshi regional strike
(March30th-31st) organized by various regional fronts has been succeeded. This
program was unitedly organized by Kirat Rastriya Morcha, Madhesi Mukti Morcha,
Kochila Mukti Morcha. Likewise 3 royal mercenaries have been annihilated in the
Ramechhap district last week.

The whole country along with the international community have been
concentrated to the 11-day organized for the first time in the history of Nepal.
The royal military regime is trying its best to divert the matter but is failing
each day. Despite the orders to the media by the royal regime not to communicate
about the strikes, the whole country has been attentive about the programs. The
CPN (Maoist) has finished its propagations by various means.

Various fronts and organizations have articulated their solidarity
to the 11-day general strike. President of All Nepal National Independent
Students Union (Revolutionary) Lekhnath Neupane, president of All Nepal national
Women Organization (Revolutionary) Jayapuri Gharti, President of All Nepal Trade
Union Federation Salikram Jamarkattel, President of All Nepal Farmers
Organization (Revolutionary) Shivaraj Gautam, President of All Nepal
Intellectuals Organization Komal Baral, President of All Nepal Teachers'
Organization Gunaraj Lohani issuing separate press statements have expressed
their full support for the general strike.

Similarly, Janadhikar Suraksha Samiti, an organization of Nepalese
people staying in India, is organizing a demonstration in capital city New Delhi
on 6th April.

Noteworthy here is that the 16-days of National blockade from
feb12th-28th February and 3-days General Strike (Nepal-closure) from 2nd-4th
February against the 1st February Royal Coup has been significantly successful
declared by the CPN (Maoist).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Finally,<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India resumes military aid to Nepal </b>
UNI/ Jakarta
India on Saturday agreed to resume military aid to Nepal to counter insurgency by Maoist rebels, ending its two-month tough posture against the Himalayan Kingdom in the wake of the imposition of Emergency in February.

The decision was taken during a 40-minute meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nepal King Gyanendra on the sidelines of the Asian-African summit here.

It was their first meeting after the King sacked Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and imposed Emergency. External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh was also present in the meeting.

"We have agreed on specific things...We have got assurances that it (arms supply) will continue," King Gyanendra told mediapersons at the Jakarta Convention Centre where the unscheduled meeting between Dr Singh and the King took place.

India, however, did not give any details of the outcome of the meeting.

External Affairs Secretary (East) Rajiv Sikri said it was agreed to resume political process and deal with Maoist insurgency. "King Gyanendra assured that the political process in Nepal will be restored as early as possible," Mr Sikri said.

Terming the meeting as "frank and cordial," Mr Sikri said both the leaders emphasised the unique nature of Indo-Nepal relations. Mr Sikri parried questions on arms supply, saying, "I have only this much to say about the meeting with King Gyanendra."  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
King Gyanendra is winner. What a shame for UPA? When they have to make U-turn, Why they did such a low level drama?
I think Chini visit has to do with this decision.
The amount of insults these guys inflict on the country is unbelievable. Now even a lowly country like Nepal insults us. What were these freaks thinking when they suspended aid to Nepal ?
UPA foreign policy is pretty bad; they don't know how to handle neighbors. On one side they are rubbing their nose in front of Mushy, in front of China their tail is between legs, but showing eyes to Nepal.
They had made India laughing stock of world.
<b>NEPAL: Resumption of Arms aid:</b> <i>Does no credit to India’s credibility-Update</i> 67<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I recall a comment made by Dr. Tulsi Giri present vice chairman and former Prime minister in late seventies that <b>India does not give anything with “grace.”  </b>The present development is one good example.  There is another aspect of official Nepali Panchayat mindset and that is “public humiliation and private appeasement.”  The Indian Ambassador was made to wait for a long time to be granted an audience and yet in the 80 minutes’ meeting that followed, the King invited himself to meet the Indian Prime minister. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>King Gyanendra lifts emergency amid pressure</b> 
Agencies / Kathmandu
Faced with mounting pressure from India and other countries, Nepal's King Gyanendra has lifted a state of emergency imposed after the February 1 power grab, when he had sacked the government, suspended fundamental rights and curbed press freedom.

Gyanendra had assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Jakarta last week on the sidelines of the Afro-Asian summit that he would initiate steps for early restoration of multi-party democracy in the Himalayan Kingdom.

The re-arrest of former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba earlier this week had resulted in sharp reaction from India, which said such moves were "contrary" to the assurances given by the Nepalese King.

New Delhi has also maintained that the question of resumption of arms supply to Nepal suspended on Feb 1 in the wake of sacking of Deuba government, declaration of emergency, detention of political leaders and clamping of press censureship, was under "constant review." The move came hours after Gyanendra returned from a visit to China, Indonesia and Singapore, where he was firmly told to restore democracy in the Himalayan Kingdom.

<b>"His Majesty, in accordance with the constitution, has lifted the order of the state of emergency,'' </b>a brief palace statement said without elaborating.

The state of emergency was lifted as per Article 115 (11) of the Constitution, effective from midnight, the Royal Palace notice issued late night said.

Gyanendra had met several leaders on the sidelines of the historic African-Asian Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia last week and promised to restore democracy.

'Maoist war funded by drugs in Nepal'

ATHMANDU: Two months after the US government released a report saying Nepal's Maoist insurgents were smuggling drugs to fund their battle against the state, an Indian security official has said the rebels were running drug rings to buy arms.

According to Hemchandra Khakrawal, deputy inspector general Border Security Force (BSF), the communist outlaws are smuggling drugs like heroin and hashish to fund their armed struggle against the Nepalese government.

Khakrawal was in the southeastern city of Biratnagar, near the Indian border, Saturday to attend a press conference organised by Nepalese police.

"The Maoists' financial resources are in a shambles and the price of arms has soared," the Kathmandu Post daily Sunday reported the Indian official as saying. "So they are smuggling drugs like heroin and hashish."

In addition to kidnap to raise money, now the rebels were also smuggling narcotics, mostly to Nepal's southern neighbour India, to raise money, Khakrawal said.

Using people living along the India-Nepal border as pack mules for the smuggling racket, the rebels were also bringing in medicines and pressure cookers from India.

While the medicines are meant for the treatment of cadre injured in armed clashes with the Nepalese security forces, the pressure cookers are used to make bombs.

"One kg of drugs can fetch as much as Nepali Rs 5 million," the media reported the Indian official as saying.

The Indian allegation comes two months after the US Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs released its annual report on narcotics in Washington.

The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released on March 6, said the guerrillas were involved in smuggling drugs to India in the absence of laws in Nepal to crack down on drug-related corruption.

The report, quoting Nepal's police, said the production of cannabis was growing in the southern areas of the country, adjacent to the border with India, and most of the crop was sent to the Indian market.

Police, it said, had been intercepting locally produced hashish en route to India in quantities of up to 285 kg at a time.

It also quoted Nepal's Narcotics Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit as saying that the outlaws had asked locals in southern Birgunj city, a hub of commercial activities, to increase cannabis production.

They were also levying "tax", ranging to nearly 40 percent, on cannabis production in some areas, the report said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Red-faced govt in denial mode </b>
Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi
Karat claims he never met Nepal Maoist--- A thoroughly embarrassed External Affairs Ministry on Thursday was left waving CPM general secretary Prakash <b>Karat's denial of a reported meeting between him and Nepalese Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai amid reports of utter policy chaos in the corridors of South Block on Nepal.</b>

At a juncture when the UPA government is battling to evolve a watertight Nepal policy, reports of the Karat-Bhattarai meeting only added to speculations about an unprecedented lack of consensus, even clarity, within the government, on Nepal.

<b>Karat, aware of the serious implications of such a meeting both on the domestic and the international front</b>, said reports that he "met a Maoist leader from Nepal in a meeting arranged by the Indian security agencies is untrue. No such meeting was held."
A curious denial emanated from across the border. In an "<b>underground" statement, Bhattarai, while not denying the fact of the meeting, took umbrage to the charge that the "Indian intelligence" had arranged the meeting. Terming the report "utterly baseless, imaginary, erroneous and an attempt at character assassination,"</b> the statement said the report was an attempt to sabotage the pro-democracy movement in Nepal.

Amid the various flip-flops by the Indian foreign office and the PMO between outright opposition to the Nepalese monarchy and extension of conditional support to it, New Delhi in recent weeks has been struggling to position itself vis-a-vis the three key players in Nepalese politics - the monarchy, the political parties and the Maoists.

<b>Aware of the risk of King Gyanendra turning to China in the event of India suffocating military aid to Nepal, New Delhi recently announced the resumption of defence supplies</b>. At the same time India has to sing in chorus with global champions of democracy like the US to seek early restoration of democracy in Nepal. <b>What, however, came as the crowning glory was the reported meeting between Karat and Bhattarai last week. The report hinted India would like to use the Left's influence to prevail upon them to convince the Maoists to join Nepal's seven-party pro-democracy alliance.</b>

However, not one to be seen hobnobbing with the Maoists in Nepal while battling their counterparts on home turf, New Delhi had to reiterate its disapproval of the Maoists' violent ways. The MEA said India "strongly condemns the terrorist and violent activities of the Maoists that have caused enormous sufferings to the people of the kingdom." In a statement, the spokesperson said, "There is no change in respect of our policy with regard to CPN (Maoists)."

The spokesperson said India believed there was no purely military solution to Nepal's Maoist insurgency: "Durable peace and stability in Nepal can only be achieved through a political settlement, which, among other things, requires the Maoists to forswear armed struggle and lay down their arms." When asked if Mr Bhattarai had visited India, he said he had no information about it.

For any comments, queries or feedback, kindly mail us at feedback@dailypioneer.com<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Commie Karat had meeting with head of group, which now on International terrorist list and now they are denying. When MEA and PMO was singing chorus, it means meeting took place.
Too late. Which also shed Karat influence on Indian maoists.
<b>Karat did meet Nepal Maoists, admits party</b>
Rudradev posted this on BR.. I think we must also keep in mind the latest UN itch to study human rights 'abuses' against dalits as 'racism'. The xtian powers in the US and by proxy the UN view the hindu resurgence and all expressions of hindu power as a threat and would like to cut it down to size.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This could be important.

I gleaned the following information from some fairly high-level officials in the UN whom I met socially last week.

-The UN is soon to open its largest "human-rights monitoring mission" in the world , in Katmandu, Nepal. It will have over 50 monitors stationed there within the next few months.

-Nepal is viewed (or spun, for the benefit of UN functionaries) as a hotbed of political violence and a source of political instability in "South Asia". The blame for the "Maoist revolution" is being laid squarely on the "Hindu-led, casteist monarchy that has consistently denied the Nepalese people social, political and economic freedoms" (verbatim quote). It was amply suggested, if not stated, that India's influence had been complicit in maintaining the Hindu monarchical status-quo.

-The figure that is being bandied about is 12,000 dead. The term "genocide" is liberally used in the Nepalese context. The need for "progressive social and political change" was being earnestly highlighted.

-The forecast is that Nepal will end up as "either a Hindu Republic (as in Islamic Republic) or a Maoist Republic".

-The spin on the Maoists is one of condescending sympathy. Condescending because "only in South Asia would they have a Maoist revolution decades after Mao's original revolution has been discredited by realpolitik". Sympathy because at some level it is being spun as a desparate, justified struggle. As the "Kashmir struggle" has also been spun in the past.

-The view of India's role is that India will probably not act unilaterally to intervene militarily in Nepal, "because India has its eye on a permanent seat in the Security Council, so it will probably behave itself".

-The view of China's role simply does not seem to exist. Nowhere in the conversation was it even suggested that China might play a role in the current goings-on in Nepal.

-What was most surprising to me, is that the UN officials I spoke to seem to be actually looking forward to being posted in Nepal... with their families, including small children. Very strange indeed for a country that they're talking about as a Rwanda or Kosovo in the making. So at some level, in spite of everything, the UN feels safe there.

So what then, is the UN's game in Nepal?

My conclusion: The UN has recognized that the neocon GOTUS' actions in Iraq have put them in serious danger of being rendered impotent and irrelevant. They know that they cannot re-establish their relevance by going against the GOTUS, in fact by any means other than by ingratiating themselves with the GOTUS. What they are doing in Nepal is actually serving as the GOTUS' cats paw to achieve this purpose. The GOTUS would love to establish a significant military presence in Nepal...squarely occupying the high ground between India and China, its two major competitors of the unfolding century. The UN, with its largest-ever-human-rights-mission, is going in first as the thin edge of the American wedge.

Ironically, the UN officials I spoke to were openly resentful of the Bush regime and critical of its actions in Iraq. I wonder if they recognize that they might be serving as that same regime's proxies in Nepal?

Another thought. If India, China and the US are likely to constitute the premier corners of the 21st Century's triangular geopolitical contest... and China and the US are permanent members of the UNSC... how much can India trust the UN as an organization, especially if it turns out that we are denied permanent membership in September?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Maoists abduct 1,000 students in Nepal  </b>
Agencies/ Kathmandu
Armed groups of Maoists have abducted some 1,000 students and teachers from different schools in western Nepal for forceful indoctrination on rebel ideology, state-run media reported today.

The rebels abducted students mainly from Class 9 and 10 and two teachers from each school in Jajarkot district, 'The Rising Nepal' daily said.

Maoists forcefully took away 150 students and two teachers from Shankar Secondary School at Bahun Thana of Jajarkot district yesterday, the daily said quoting a teacher of the school. They have taken other 850 students and teachers from 11 schools of the district towards unknown destination.

The students and teachers have been taken by the Maoists to indoctrinate them into the Maoist ideology and to forcefully make them attend their programme, the daily said.

The daily also reported that the southeastern district of Chitawan is in grief four days after the landmine blast triggered by the Maoist that killed at least 40 and wounded dozens traveling on the passenger bus.

Although the Maoist top leader Prachanda has apologised for the incident saying that it was a mistake, the family members of the victims are not satisfied, it said.

The Amnesty International Nepal Chapter has asked the Maoists to probe into the landmine and make public the full report of its internal investigation and action taken against the culprits, The Rising Nepal said.

Hundreds of people queued up to cremate dead bodies at Reu Khola, the mass graveyard of victims of Monday's landmine blast in Chitawan, The Kathmandu Post reported.

Those responsible for the heinous crime must stand trial before the public, said a local resident, rejecting the Maoist's apology, the daily reported. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Fire at Pashupatinath temple</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A mysterious fire broke out at Nepal's ancient Pashupatinath temple complex in Kathmandu, reducing to ashes a building and centuries-old religious manuscripts and idols.

The blaze broke out on Saturday night at a house (Agamghar) located about 100 metre south of the temple and caused heavy losses, officials of the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust said.

Though there were no casualties, documents of religious and historical importance, ancient idols and ornaments dating
back to the Malla dynasty were gutted, a media report said quoting officials<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Commie's hand????
The fire could be work of Relic smugglers, stealing ancient mouments and then destroying temple building.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Signs of disintegration of Nepal’s Royal Army

27 June 2005. A World To Win News Service. Two notable events in Nepal over the
last week seem to point to increasing desperation on the part of the Royal Army
of Nepal. One is the kidnapping and killing of six family members of lower-level
RNA personnel, very likely by the RNA itself. The other is an RNA tender for
weapons and supplies, as they complain that they are running out of bullets and
guns. Further, the parliamentary parties announced they would boycott the local
elections the monarchy hopes to organise.

Nepal’s king has put all of the news media under the control of his armed
forces, forbidding the popular local FM stations from broadcasting any news at
all and sending censors to camp out in other media and print press editorial
offices. In early June, the Nepali media reported that the Maoists had abducted
six members of RNA men’s families from their rented house about five hundred
metres from a Royal Army training camp in Badimalika, in the Kailali district of
western Nepal. The next day the media reported that the kidnapped people had
been found killed in cold blood. They said that all the women had been raped and
all of them plus a child were cut to pieces with a knife. The
military-controlled media claimed that the Maoists had committed this crime as
if that were a proven fact, even though there had been no investigation. Many
people were stunned by this claim, especially in light of the recent incident in
Chitawan district where Maoist guerrillas had blown up a bus full of
civilians. Ultimately the media had to admit that the Maoists had nothing to do
with the vicious killings of the RNA soldiers’ families, but the RNA has yet to
say who the real murderers are.

Immediately after the bus tragedy in the Chitawan district, Chairman Prachanda
of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) issued an apology and a serious
self-criticism on behalf of the party, affirming that it was a violation of the
party’s policy of not harming civilians and suspending the People’s Liberation
Army and political leadership involved.

The commander of the western division of the PLA, Comrade Pravakar, issued a
statement on the murder of the family members. He said, “First of all we would
like to make it clear that the CPN(M) and the PLA had no role in that incident.
That incident is merely an extreme example of [the Royal Army’s] own
international contradictions. We would never even think of such inhuman crimes,
let alone actually commit them. Since we release the soldiers captured in the
battlefield, we could not even think of killing their family members for no

“Concerning the crime itself, the following reasons could be behind it. First,
they may have been seeking to confuse the international communities and
international public by committing such a crime and attributing it to the
Maoists in a situation where they have been suffering all-around defeats in the
battle with the PLA. Second, they may have been deliberately committing such
crimes as a trick to control dissent in the lower ranks of the Royal Army
soldiers. Third, while committing this crime, they may have feared that the
facts would come out, and it may be that the reason they attributed the incident
to the Maoists was to keep it from backfiring against the RNA.”

In another development, the Royal army has opened a tender for global suppliers
of weapons to kill the Nepalese people. Many Nepali newspapers reported that the
regime of the feudal despot Gyanendra Shah is looking for foreign arms
suppliers. After the king’s February coup against parliament, major suppliers of
arms to Nepal, including India, the US and the UK, announced they were
suspending shipments. Now the royal regime is nearly running out of guns and
bullets. The RNA said it was looking for various kinds of ammunition, weapons,
explosives, tanks, aircraft, regular helicopters and gunships, armoured
personnel carriers, security communication equipment, mine detectors, bullet
proof vests, parachutes, flack jackets and other equipment and spare parts, the
press said. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has proposed a budget double the size
of that of the current fiscal year, buttressing the RNA’s call for more
equipment, other press sources reported.

The royal regime has announced that municipal elections are to be held across
the country. The municipal governments became paralysed about three years ago
amid mass resignations of officials, and the establishment of revolutionary
political power in most of the countryside has made new elections impossible
since then. The alliance of the seven parliamentary political parties declared
they would boycott these elections, thus declining the king’s appeal that they
join him in fighting to save the monarchy.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->To airlift ill Mansarovar pilgrim, Nepal said no to IAF, China yes

Posted online: Friday, August 12, 2005 at 0225 hours IST

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 11: Jolting the belief here that resumption of military aid to Nepal had arrested the slide in New Delhi-Kathmandu ties, Nepal refused to let an IAF helicopter use its airspace this week to airlift a Kalilash Mansarovar pilgrim who had taken ill on the Chinese side.

What’s more, while a stunned New Delhi was weighing options, Beijing came to the rescue and allowed the Indian chopper to enter from the Chinese side.

The Royal Nepal Army (RNA) also ignored an India request to lend one of its choppers for the rescue mission if they had a problem letting the IAF use the kingdom’s airspace.

The RNA simply said that all its choppers were busy in operations against the Maoists. Sources said that the RNA instead advised India to hire a private helicopter from Kathmandu to make the long flight to North-West Nepal and rescue the woman who had taken ill.

The incident took place on August 6 when Madhavi, one of the pilgrims, took ill at Dolma Pass which is among the highest points on the trek route at an altitude of 19,200 feet. She was initially taken to Darchen and then to Taklakot in Tibet on the Chinese side.

While Madhavi received treatment there, it became clear next day that she would have to be evacuated at the earliest. On August 8, India sent in requests to both Beijing and Kathmandu to allow an IAF chopper to enter from Uttaranchal and rescue the woman. The route through Nepal is considered the best approach.

But the RNA refused permission and this was endorsed by the government in Kathmandu. In the meantime, China gave its nod and the helicopter flew into Taklakot from a different direction. The approach was made from the Chinese side and did not involve crossing Nepal airspace.

Madhavi was safely evacuated to Bareilly on Wednesday and is currently undergoing treatment. Officials said military authorities are taking care of her and she is expected to recover soon.

But the entire episode has prompted South Block to think afresh about its approach towards Nepal. Sources did not rule out the possibility of India examining ways to apply pressure on Kathmandu given the kind of response it got on a purely humanitarian issue. They felt that this aspect will definitely be factored into future discussions with Nepal.

Nepal King Gyanendra, who seized absolute power on February 1 by dismissing the Deuba government, has been evasive on the issue of supporting India’s candidature for the UN Security Council. He is still to clarify whether the longstanding Nepalese support to the Indian quest stands now that he is at the helm of affairs.


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