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Nepal News & Discussion
<b>King Gyanendra appoints Koirala as PM</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->GP Koirala was on Thursday appointed the Prime Minister of Nepal by King Gyanendra.
The King issued a proclamation appointing 81-year-old Koirala as Prime Minister after his name was sent to him by the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) for the post, state-owned Nepal Television said.
<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> Chinese rush to Nepal to save image
Source: IANS.

Kathmandu, April 27 : Alarmed at the end of King Gyanendra's rule in Nepal and future consequences of having supported the royal regime, China has rushed here a team for damage control and to woo the major parties that will form the new democratic government.

Luo Chao Hui, deputy director of Asian affairs, flew in here from Beijing with a delegation Tuesday, hours after King Gyanendra was forced to reinstate parliament Monday night and relinquish power to the opposition parties.
In a bid to salvage Beijing's image, badly tarnished in Nepal and abroad after China threw its weight behind Gyanendra during his 16-month rule, the delegation is meeting political leaders and key foreign envoys to gloss over the support offered to the royal regime.
On Thursday, when the parties celebrated the victory of their 19-day peaceful mass movement by holding a mass meeting here, Luo met Nepali Congress leader and prime minister-designate Girija Prasad Koirala. More meetings with opposition leaders were scheduled.

After Gyanendra seized absolute power through a bloodless coup last year, Nepal's major arms donors India, the US and Britain suspended military assistance to show their concern.
Other members of the international community showed their displeasure by reducing development aid, cancelling visits to Nepal and not issuing any invites to the king and royalist ministers.
The king's plan to attend the UN General Assembly meet in New York last year had to be cancelled after it was learnt that US President George W. Bush had excluded him from a dinner hosted for visiting dignitaries. When the king went to South Africa, former South African President and Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela declined to meet him.
However, China kept up its diplomatic ties with the king, first sending its foreign minister and then state councillor to the kingdom.
It also stepped up annual assistance to Nepal from 80 million yuan to 100 million yuan and continued to sell arms and ammunition that were later used by security personnel to repress unarmed protesters, human rights activists, media personnel and political party activists.
Though China claimed Gyanendra's coup was an internal matter of Nepal, its support was actually prompted by the king promising to shut down the Tibetan Welfare Centre here that was helping Tibetans who had fled China-controlled Tibet to proceed to their desired destinations.
Since this year, Gyanendra's government stopped issuing exit permits to Tibetan refugees. Tibetans already residing in Nepal are not allowed to register their marriages or the birth of children.
The Tibet policy has tarnished both Nepal and China's image in the UN with the International Campaign for Tibet, an NGO, formally complaining to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Now China is alarmed that the seven opposition political parties, which will form the new government this month, will reverse the earlier stand on Tibet.
With the US supporting the Tibetan cause, China's stranglehold on refugees might not be continued by the new democratic government of Nepal.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Courtiers hailed as democrats
Sunanda K Datta-Ray (Pioneer)

Today's historic meeting of Nepal's Pratinidhi Sabha presents a challenge not just to the kingdom's three main contenders for power - King Gyanendra, the constitutional parties led by Prime Minister designate Girija Prasad Koirala, and Comrade Prachanda's Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). It will also test India's diplomacy in a region where everyone, no matter how much they might hate each other, is apprehensive of New Delhi's aims.

But not everyone is as blunt as Prachanda who makes no bones of his ideological conviction that war with India is inevitable. Though the Maoist emulators of Peru's Shining Path revolutionaries have suspended their insurgency for the time being, their denunciation of both the King and the political parties for the "historic mistake" of this truce does little to encourage the hope that they will lay down arms and join the political mainstream. Whether this is only bluster will become clearer when the Pratinidhi Sabha takes a stand on the Maoist demand for an unconditional Constituent Assembly leading to a republic.

To adapt Palmerston's famous adage, India has no permanent friends in the Himalayan kingdom. It has interests and options. No Nepalese forgets the sorry mix of force and fabrication through which India absorbed the adjoining kingdom of Sikkim. The action sent nervous tremors through the Himalayas. "India has had Sikkim for breakfast and wants to lunch on Bhutan and dine on Nepal" a Kathmandu official fumed at the time. "But we will give India indigestion!"

Today, Bhutan is India's most staunch friend. But one of the first acts of young King Jigme Singye Wangchuck's reign was to repeal a law whereby his dragon throne needed a three-yearly vote of confidence from the kingdom's Tsongdu (legislature). The Bhutanese could not be certain that the Tsongdu's simple members would not be pressured as Sikkimese legislators were to depose the Chogyal. Nepal dared to express its fears more vehemently. While mobs demonstrated outside India's embassy in Kathmandu - which our patriotic Press ignored or dismissed as royal manipulation - the King frantically beseeched the Americans to underwrite Nepalese independence.

True, King Gyanendra is a difficult customer. He was suspected of instigating the Maoists during the last King's reign. Darjeeling's Subash Ghising saw him as a patron. Many Nepalese say he reneges on commitments. Most are convinced he will try to regain absolute power. But no assessment of the monarch can be undertaken in isolation from the rest of the political cast as the Pratinidhi Sabha tries to bring the Royal Nepalese Army under political control, punish royalists and reward pro-democracy officials and politicians. Despite all this, the King's move opens up the prospect of resolving the constitutional crisis though it alone will not quell the Maoist threat.

The tendency in India is uncritically to support Nepal's political leaders (even Maoist terrorists!) because they are supposed to represent the great god democracy and are now the rightful heirs of the massive protest. No one mentions the basic problems of a virtually bankrupt nation. But Mr Koirala and others are expected to preside over stable governments that maintain strong and friendly links with India. In practice, there is little evidence that the corrupt and inefficient politicians who made a mess of things when given the chance to run Nepal in the 1990s have learnt from their mistakes.

Their links with India run deep. When Harkishen Singh Surjeet presides over the Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee, he is continuing a tradition set by the National People's Congress before independence and continued by Jayaprakash Narayan and the Congress Socialist Party. Jawaharlal Nehru helped to overthrow the Ranas hoping that the restored Shah dynasty would allow his comrades in the Nepali Congress to form a Government.

Reflecting this bond, most Indian papers have been regaling us with editorials disguised as reports and opinion masquerading as fact. Allegations of the police manhandling toddlers ignore the criminal callousness of pro-democracy protesters dragging little children and disabled people in wheelchairs into the melee. Charges of the King wantonly dismissing Prime Ministers overlook the fact that most of these incumbents were his nominees. They were derided as courtiers when appointed but hailed as democrats when sacked.

Some basic questions must be asked as Nepal grapples with the chance of peace. What could King Gyanendra have done to avert the crisis? Been more tactful certainly, but he could hardly overlook the failure of the politicians to cope with the Maoist revolt which is still the principal danger. What do the populist leaders want? Power. Democracy is little more than a fig leaf for their ambitions. What course would most effectively safeguard India's interests?

This is the crux of the matter. The British Raj would have sent a proconsul with a detachment of troops to Kathmandu to "persuade" King Gyanendra to abdicate, placed some obscure and amenable cadet of the Shah dynasty on the throne and claimed popular acclaim for the coup. It knew that personnel decide policies that are essential for India's security. The obligations of geography remain the same. In current terms, it means preventing anarchy, ethnic fragmentation, Chinese control or Pakistani mischief. Much will depend on how India follows up Karan Singh's obviously effective mission which may have saved the throne but, more to the point, ensured victory for the politicians.

The need is for a blend of diplomatic finesse with tough management at many levels. The eviction of hundreds of Indian labourers who were robbed and beaten up should have produced a strong public response from New Delhi. The Don Pacifico incident, when Britain almost went to war over the vandalisation of a British subject's property, may have been an extreme case, but no Government can enjoy respect abroad if it lets foreigners treat its citizens roughly. This is especially so of a region's principal power.

Beset by enemies on all sides - and even within - India needs a regime in Kathmandu that can promise stability and friendly cooperation. Prachanda is hardly the man. The 84-year-old Koirala and the seven democratic parties are hostages to his stratagems. The only alternative to a King whose current unpopularity may owe something to India's dismissive attitude is his even more egregious son and heir. India must try to ensure that this is the beginning of a peaceful negotiated solution, not just another switch in the current of triangular politics.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Maoist vipers
The Pioneer Edit Desk

Prachanda must not be trusted----- On the eve of Nepal's reconvened Pratinidhi Sabha's meeting to formally elected Mr GP Koirala as Prime Minister at the head of a seven-party alliance Government, two important statements have emanated from Kathmandu. Comrade Prachanda, chairman of the outlawed terrorist organisation, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has offered a unilateral "ceasefire" for the next three months, promising not to mount attacks but maintain "defensive positions".

Linked to this is Nepal Commuist Party (UML) general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal's gratuitous promise that the new Government will "withdraw the terrorist tag from the Maoists, invite them for a dialogue and bring them into the political mainstream". While those interested in the restoration of political stability in Nepal are pinning a lot of hope on Mr Koirala's leadership at this crucial juncture in the kingdom's history, the veteran Nepali Congress leader would be well-advised not to rush into cutting a deal with Prachanda and his rapacious revolutionaries, irrespective of pressure from colleagues like Mr Madhav Kumar Nepal and interlopers like CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury who is driven by the single-point agenda of achieving in Kathmandu what his comrades have thankfully till now failed to achieve in New Delhi - hoist the Red flag atop the kingdom's seat of power. If Mr Koirala succumbs to the temptation of opting for the line of least resistance, he would only prove King Gyanendra right: Nepal's politicians are incapable of governing with a firm hand and in a decisive manner. Worse, by allowing himself to be overwhelmed by those who see nothing wrong with Prachanda's murderous campaign, Mr Koirala would hugely strengthen the Maoists.

Going by the propaganda that has been unleashed by admirers of Prachanda both in Nepal and India - and which has been disseminated by a complicit media - it would seem that Maoist violence is of recent origin. That is far from the truth. For more than a decade Prachanda's terror brigade has been waging war against both Palace and Parliament. At no stage have the Maoists declared faith in multi-party parliamentary democracy, nor have they ever made an effort to hide their desire to capture power with the sole purpose of establishing a dictatorship. Successive Governments in Kathmandu have singularly failed in convincing the Maoists to give up arms and join the political process; there is no reason to believe that Mr Koirala will be more successful in his present stint as Prime Minister.

A treacherous and venomous lot given to speaking with forked tongues, Prachanda and his comrades cannot be trusted. Indeed, it is absurd to suggest peace talks with those who have offered to lay down arms only if the Royal Nepal Army does so; that absurdity is only further underscored by Thursday's conditional ceasefire which is nothing but a ruse to lull those who will now govern Nepal into inaction. It is a pity that killers of innocent men and women who have kidnapped children to forcibly indoctrinate them in Maoism feel, with more than little help from Mr Yechury and his ilk, not to mention senior functionaries of the UPA Government, emboldened enough to set the terms of engagement. That is tantamount to legitimising terrorism.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->True, King Gyanendra is a difficult customer. He was suspected of instigating the Maoists during the last King's reign. Darjeeling's Subash Ghising saw him as a patron. Many Nepalese say he reneges on commitments<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Same is with Koirala. His involvement with commie and corruption and ruined Nepal. Now he is a PM.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Jawaharlal Nehru helped to overthrow the Ranas hoping that the restored Shah dynasty would allow his comrades in the Nepali Congress to form a Government<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
His comrades not only destroyed Nepal but also India.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India's folly lets Maobadis win
Kancha Gupta (Pioneer column)

Switching on the television set in my hotel room in Kasaragod early Tuesday morning to catch up with the news, I was greeted by a newsreader on a 24x7 channel informing the world how "people's power" had won in Nepal. The ecstatic look on her face made it seem as if she had just rushed to the newsroom from the barricades after celebrating King Gyanendra's near-abject surrender to the hoodlums, most of them Maobadis from the districts adjoining Kathmandu, who had laid siege to Singhadwar in a pre-meditated putsch for capturing power and hoisting the Red banner aloft Narayanhity Palace.

Tragically, going by the week-kneed response of the UPA Government which refused to stand by the King during his most difficult hours this past fortnight, choosing instead to let events "take their own course" and allow the Maobadis to dictate the course of politics, and the amazing absence of any reaction among the chattering classes to such abhorrent policy, it would seem most of India has signalled solidarity with Nepal's Red terrorists.

It is immaterial whether the UPA Government's decision to abandon the King even while claiming that India believes that both constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy are needed to ensure stability in Nepal enjoys popular approval. Just like it is of little consequence that the seven-party alliance has agreed to form a Government and nominated Mr GP Koirala as Prime Minister after the King offered to revive the Pratinidihi Sabha.

The message that has been successfully conveyed to the King, politicians and people of Nepal by the UPA Government is clear to all: India lacks the integrity to make tough choices and the courage to take difficult decisions. Those who have wrecked India's Nepal policy with gay abandon, including senior bureaucrats in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office who need not be named since they have unabashedly associated themselves with anti-palace forces and broken bread with Comrade Prachanda and other Maobadis who have blood on their hands, may now seek to seize the moral high ground by pretending solidarity with the people.

But the simple fact of the matter is that the establishment in New Delhi behaved the way it did - isolating the King, ignoring urgent appeals for military supplies to fight the Maobadis, and hatching conspiracies with those who have been waging a murderous and rapacious campaign of Red terror - simply because unlike his brother King Birendra, King Gyanendra is nobody's fool and endowed with sharp intelligence. Had he chosen to be a doormat and offered to do New Delhi's bidding, as was expected by our politicians and bureaucrats, perhaps Kathmandu would not have witnessed the hooliganism of the past fortnight.

Worse, New Delhi's slighted establishment aggressively lobbied with the US and European Governments to mould opinion against King Gyanendra. If the Prime Minister and his advisers, including National Security Adviser KR Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, had truly believed in what they now say - that Nepal cannot do without the twin pillars of constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy - then they would not have played such a negative, debilitating role ever since the palace coup of February 1, 2004.

Steeped with duplicity, they may, however, have overplayed their game to destabilise King Gyanendra. By allowing an individual's presumed arrogance and hauteur to overwhelm their sense of judgement and distract their attention from India's national interest, they have allowed the institution of monarchy that has served as a bulwark against forces inimical to India for ages to be weakened to a point where the Maobadis have the gumption to repudiate even the most craven offer of reconciliation as was made by King Gyanendra on Monday night.

Comrade Prachanda, who has led a campaign of anarchy, loot and murder for the past decade with the singular purpose of demolishing all institutions of the state, such as they exist in Nepal, and has threatened to train his guns on India after humbling the monarch, in a statement issued on Tuesday has rubbished the King's offer as a "ploy to break Nepali people and save his anarchist Monarchy". He has also declared that the Maobadis will continue with their blockade of Kathmandu and other major towns.

It is laughable that a man who has relentlessly waged war against all semblance of parliamentary democracy should denounce the King for "starting a new precedence of constituting Parliament illegally" which, according to him, is a "gross insult of the parliamentary system". The seven-party alliance's positive response has been described as a "blunder" and "betrayal".

But more than feeling betrayed by Mr Koirala and other discredited politicians who are solely to blame for the political mess in Nepal, Prachanda and his ilk should feel let down by their friends in the New Delhi establishment. In the end, they could not carry out the counter-coup they had plotted with high officials of the UPA regime - the Maobadis' seizure of power must wait for another day; for the moment, the wily King appears to have outmanoeuvred them.

Meanwhile, a sense of déjà vu permeates Narayanhity Palace. In another palace coup more than half-a-century ago, on November 7, 1950, when Prince Gyanendra was placed on the throne of Nepal by Prime Minister Mohan Shumshere Jang Bahadur Rana, it was part of an elaborate conspiracy to oust his grandfather King Tribhuvan who had fallen out with the all-powerful Ranas and taken refuge in New Delhi.

For a while, it seemed, the Ranas would, yet again, have their way. But Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru nipped that conspiracy in the bud. With India's full, unequivocal and firm backing, King Tribhuvan returned to Kathmandu and resumed his role as the kingdom's absolute monarch and Mohan Shumshere Jang Bahadur Rana slipped into history books as the last hereditary Prime Minister of Nepal.

Destiny, the defeated conspirators would later say, favoured King Tribhuvan. Destiny did not abandon Prince Gyanendra either. The famed pearl-and-plume crown he wore for a few days as a four-year-old child in 1950, is now rightfully his. Tragically, unlike King Tribhuvan, it is his destiny to be denied support by a crafty Government in New Delhi that has chosen to ignore history and for whose folly both Nepal and India shall pay a terrible price.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Those who have wrecked India's Nepal policy with gay abandon, including senior bureaucrats in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office who need not be named since they have unabashedly associated themselves with anti-palace forces and broken bread with Comrade Prachanda and other Maobadis who have blood on their hands, may now seek to seize the moral high ground by pretending solidarity with the people.
MEA is filled with impotents; those who go against Queen or commie get sacked.

Supporting Maoist in Nepal will bring havoc in India.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->When will UPA see red in Nepal?
Dina Nath Mishra (Pioneer)

Since its inception, the UPA Government under influence of the Left, particularly the CPM, has orphaned a country like Nepal despite its significant geo-strategic and geo-cultural importance for India.

India's foreign policy towards Nepal must bear the stamp of paramount strategic determinants for four reasons: First, Nepal's Maoists are blood brothers of Indian Maoists who are waging war against the Indian State in 160 districts spread over 11 States of the Indian union.

Second, King Gyanendra speeded up Nepal's status of a failed State when he did away with the elected Government. China, Pakistan and many other powers started fishing into the troubled waters. The Chinese started sending truckloads of arms and ammunition to Kathmandu. They have everything to gain whatever may be the outcome of the present turmoil.

If the ongoing civil war in Nepal brings the Maoists to power in Kathmandu, its strategic depth reaches up to the Indian borders.

Third, Maoists are on the verge of seizing power through their 15,000 trained and armed guerrillas. The Royal Nepal Army has done everything to defeat violent upsurge but has failed. The present strife includes looting of banks, extortions, forced conscription of Nepali boys and girls and brainwashing them with rhetoric.

Last, thousands of Nepali refugees are pouring into India through Uttaranchal, UP and Bihar. Soon there may develop a situation that the Government may have to start refugee camps as it did prior to the Bangladesh war.

The UPA Government's response has been influenced by Left Front parties. The Maoists leaders of Nepal have been frequenting New Delhi, meeting CPM leaders and covertly negotiating with MEA.

Maoists have advanced their strategic move of vanquishing Nepal's Royal Power. At this juncture, the Indian Government has sent Dr Karan Singh to talk to King Gyanendra at Kathmandu as they have good personal relations.

The brief to Dr Singh indicates that India wants to force certain formulations, which King Gyanendra may not accept easily. One theory suggests, King Gyanendra wants to deal with the Maoists and the political parties separately.

The CPM, on the other hand, advises its Maoists brothers in Nepal to shun violence and take part in peaceful negotiation process.

If that happens, Maoists are sure to squeeze out the democratic leaders and become sole controllers of the Himalayan Kingdom in the times to come.

Left Front's perception of the situation in Nepal has caused immense harm to Indian interests. It is during this period that the problems of Nepal acquired menacing proportions. King Gyanendra wanted to come to New Delhi for consultations with leaders in the Government but India did everything it could to repulse his repeated efforts on one or the other pretext.

The underlining message was clear. India wanted to export democracy to Nepal at any cost. King Gyanendra wanted to deal with Maoists with a firm hand. Let us consider what it would mean to India if Maoists capture power in Kathmandu.

Can a Maoist takeover of Nepal ensure peace, democracy or stability?

The democratic set-up in Nepal under political parties or alliances could not effectively neutralise the growing menace of Maoists for over a decade. How can a weak political Government neutralise that menace? Would the Maoist Government in Kathmandu be India-friendly or China-friendly? Would it not be more difficult to fight Maoists in India if their blood brothers are in power in Nepal? Can a Maoist Government in Kathmandu provide a buffer between India and China?

Indian business establishments and other institutions are being attacked. This, too, has compelled India to send Dr Singh to Nepal. The situation is tricky.

The Kathmandu valley along with its universities and other academic centres, has fuelled the hate-India campaign for decades. Even Indian tourists feel the heat. This has to be considered before taking a step like military intervention. The Nepali establishment and palace power is generally hostile to India. India's stature has drastically gone up in all important capitals of the world but not in Kathmandu.

Just a decade back, it was unthinkable that Nepal would go the Maoist way. Despite the stubbornness of the King during NDA regime, the ties between the two countries normalised gradually after the Kathmandu-bound Indian Airlines flight was hijacked and the Nepali establishment took tough stand to curb ISI on its land. But the UPA has adopted policies detrimental to India's geo-strategic interest and has allowed Nepal to slip into the Maoist grip. Let's hope that Dr Singh is allowed to play a constructive role for both nations and not for Maoists in Nepal and Left Front in India.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
the UPA has adopted policies detrimental to India's geo-strategic interest and has allowed Nepal to slip into the Maoist grip. Let's hope that Dr Singh is allowed to play a constructive role for both nations and not for Maoists in Nepal and Left Front in India.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal House starts, Koirala yet to be PM
Himalayan News Service | Kathmandu

The first meeting of the reinstated House of Representatives statrted in Singha Durbar on Friday.

Deputy Speaker of the reinstated Parliament, Chitra Lekha Yadav, chaired the Parliament meet after speaker Taranath Ranabhat resigned from his post on Wednesday.

Nepali Congress (NC) president Girija Prasad Koirala, who was appointed the Prime Minister was not present in the meet due to ill-health.

The swearing-in ceremony of Girija Prasad Koirala to Prime Minister's post has been postponed due to his ill health. <b>Koirala had been on artificial respiration till Thursday evening.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Seems like a farce of nehruvan proportions.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Time to shun the Chinese trap

Beijing has executed well its plan of propping up the Maoists and then making Nepal's royalty an institution of disgrace, says Bulbul Roy Mishra

It is time for India and the world to watch apparently innocuous Chinese moves toward Nepal on diplomatic chessboard. It is "innocuous" as China has appeared to have taken a stance of non-involvement in Nepal's internal affairs. Chinese non-involvement is "apparent" and not real, as is borne out by their strategy of arms supply to the Royal army to crush the Maoists, only to render the King hateful and the Maoists popular. It is no secret that for the last 10 years, it was China that was covertly lending financial and logistic support to Maoists.

Sandwiched between two Asian superpowers, China and India, Nepal royalty, up to the regime of King Birendra (2001), had always felt affinity toward India for reason of common Hindu tradition. Democratic parties of Nepal also looked to democratic India, not Communist China, for support to their legitimate democratic aspirations. China, therefore, constantly strived to wean away strategically important Nepal from India's influence. Chinese strategists considered it nearly impossible as long as Hindu monarchy in Nepal was continuing. Their blueprint was as follows.

First, start an anti-royal armed movement, known popularly as the Maoist uprising, with an express intent to replace monarchy with a republic under Communist banner.

Second, start with a slogan for multi-party, secular, democratic republic so that Nepal's Hindu tradition is rendered politically irrelevant, conversion permitted, and its natural affinity toward India snapped. The above strategy became evident when Maoist leader Prachanda, in an interview to a Latin America Journalist in 2001, revealed that the reason why the movement started in districts like Rolpa and Rukum in western Nepal was that the influence of Hinduism was weakest there.

Third, in order to expedite abolition of the monarchy, it was necessary to make it not merely unpopular but hateful. The Chinese task was made easy when on June 1, 2001, then Crown Prince Dipendra reportedly and rather inexplicably killed King Birendra and his entire family and then killed himself to enable headstrong Gyanendra to ascend the throne. Thereafter, the new King walked into the Chinese trap by declaring that his target was to suppress the violent Maoists.

Fourth, win over the royalty by inducements and moral support to sustain autocracy. The inducement came in form of arms supply ostensibly to suppress the Maoists, and moral support came in form of admiration for arbitrary closure of 45 years old establishment of Dalai Lama's representative in Nepal as also the Tibetan Refugee Welfare office in January, 2005, on the flimsy ground that those offices were not registered under Article 3 of the Society Act.

Fifth, when the situation turns too hot for the King, quietly withdraw strategic support compelling the King to surrender to the wishes of the people and abdicate.

Sixth, from two conflicting interviews of Prachanda, one prior to royal assassination on June 1, 2001, given to a Latin American journalist, and the other to Siddharth Varadarajan of the Hindu in February 2006, the change in the Maoist stance is indicative of the shift in the Chinese strategy. In 2001, when King Birendra was unprovoking, Prachanda was breathing fire over inevitable armed revolution, predicting that "Ultimately we will have to fight with the Indian Army." In 2006, the script changed, despite provocation from King Gyanendra.

He found India's tough stand against autocracy positive and urged India to shed its two pillar theory of constitutional monarchy together with multi-party democracy. Prachanda's remark that China will not stake its cordial relation with India by supporting the autocratic King looked as if he was parroting the Chinese script.

Herein lays the Chinese trap where the likes of Mr Sitaram Yechuri are eager to lead India into. His unfounded claim of having reformed Nepal Maoists into believers of parliamentary democracy is absurd and stupid.

Whether Nepal should turn into a secular democratic republic, following India, or should continue with its Hindu tradition, but constitutional monarchy, only Kautilya-like diplomacy will help Nepal wriggle out of the former option, a clear trap for checkmate. India should strive for the alternate stalemating option.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Maoist boss secretly met Left in Delhi
New Delhi, May 8: On April 6 at 4 pm there was a knock on the door of Nationalist Congress Party leader D.P. Tripathi, who was waiting inside with the CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury with some anticipation for this meeting. A middle-aged, bearded man in trousers and shirt was standing outside, having just got off the pillion of a bicycle on which he had ridden through New Delhi’s streets to reach the political leader’s residence. <b>It was the Nepal Maoists’ legendary leader Prachanda, rarely seen in public, a man deemed to be a terrorist by the United States but who has a mass following in Nepal, and known to be a stickler for keeping his word</b>.

The two-hour meeting, the first between Mr Yechury and Mr Prachanda and the second for Mr Tripathi, was very successful. The Maoist leader placed a three-point agenda for future interactions on the table. He made it clear that he was for multi-party democracy and would not go back on this if the 12-point formula was followed in letter and spirit; that his cadres would not resort to violence provided there was no repression against them; and three, there should be no interference from India and it should be left to the Nepalese people to determine their destiny.

<b>Mr Tripathi, when contacted on Monday, said that “a significant indication of the sagacity of the Maoists had come when they kept to their word of keeping the democratic struggle completely peaceful, and when they took the first step of declaring a unilateral ceasefire for three months.”</b> He said that despite the attack on the protesters by the security forces acting under instructions from King Gyanendra, the Maoist cadres operated under strict instructions not to retaliate. He said that he had been communicating with Mr Prachanda through an intermediary since their last meeting on the Nepal-Bihar border several months ago.

Nepal’s political parties, civil society groups and the Maoists are currently involved in a debate centring around the crucial question: what to do with the monarchy. Mr Tripathi held the view that the people of Nepal would not agree to anything more than a ceremonial role for the King, if at all.

A constitutional monarchy mechanism, with some powers vested in the King, which New Delhi had been working on, would be completely unacceptable to the Nepalese people, he said. Interestingly, the choice of monarch has also become an issue for debate, with a wide section of opinion in the Himalayan kingdom totally opposed to allowing either King Gyanendra or his son and heir Paras retaining control of whatever limited monarchical functions finally emerges from the present churning in the country.

One option, sources said, is to make them “faceless” — such as the King of Sweden, who exists without  most ordinary citizens being even aware of his presence. The other two options, however, are particularly significant. One is to crown the granddaughter of late King Birendra, a seven-year-old child, as the ceremonial Queen, with a regent handling affairs until she comes of age.

<b>She was the only surviving member of the royal family assassinated in the palace in the summer of 2001. The other option, the sources said, was to crown the minor son of Paras as King with his grandmother as regent. Mr Tripathi, when asked about this, said the second option might not be acceptable to those who wanted to see the last of King Gyanendra and his immediate family.</b>

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his meeting with Mr Yechury and Mr Tripathi, reportedly indicated that the government would raise no objections if the Maoists joined the political process after giving up guns and violence. This is what the Americans have been maintaining as well, with US state department official Richard Boucher making it apparent during a recent visit to Kathmandu that the Bush administration expected the Maoists to lay down their arms before joining the political process.

Mr Yechury had earlier told this reporter that this would be impossible unless corresponding measures to transfer the command of the Royal Nepal Army from the King to a democratically-elected government were undertaken.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal Govt frees two Communist rebels
Kathmandu (Pioneer)

Nepal's new Government on Thursday freed two jailed Communist rebels, including a senior leader, the latest sign that the peace process in the Himalayan country is beginning to take hold. The decision came hours after the Maoist rebels announced they have formed a three-member team for peace talks with the Government in hopes of ending a decade of fighting that has killed more than 13,000 people.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal proclamation to be issued

Nepal’s new interim Government will shortly issue a proclamation asserting the sovereignty of the people and curtailing the powers and privileges of the King. The Government is also considering to bring the King's assets under the tax net for the first time and reducing the Royal Palace budget, which has been increased by five fold to 8.7 million dollars during King Gyanendra’s rule.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>POLITICS OF VENDETTA AGAIN  </b>
The arrests of some prominent monarchists by the Koirala government would send all the wrong signals, writes Jyoti Malhotra

Koirala with Tamrat Samuel of the UN department of political affairs 
Just as the landing of the former royal, Karan Singh, in Kathmandu in the middle of the <b>democracy movement only gave more teeth to the struggle, the arrest over the weekend of all the king’s men by G.P. Koirala’s government will only detract from the credibility of the new sarkar.</b>

The truth is, the east is red this season in south Asia. The re-storming of its bastions by the Left Front in Kerala and West Bengal last week has affirmed again the importance of the aam admi in this age of corporate globalization. But it was the kingdom of the gods, Nepal, that had shown a whole month before that the spirit of the revolution was alive and well in south Asia.

The disciplined and determined marching of young people on the streets of Kathmandu through April, the columns of bodies willing themselves to break the curfew day after day, in honour of their own spirit and in honour of a new Nepal, will definitely go down in history as the making of a model revolution.

By the way, those young men and women had not only put the corrupted institution of monarchy on notice — but just as important, the political parties on alert. This is the double message of Nepal’s revolution. Already, though, the prime minister, G.P. Koirala, has been displaying such a shockingly immature political instinct that it boggles the imagination. In a move that is reminiscent of the autocracy of the paanch sarkar, as the monarchy in Nepal is called, <b>Koirala’s new sarkar ordered the arrests of the five most powerful ministers (foreign affairs, home, communications, local administration and health) in King Gyanendra’s government and suspended three security and intelligence chiefs in Kathmandu last week.</b>

<b>Worse, Koirala’s order was issued after an emergency cabinet meeting in his house, under the same laws that used to be invoked by Gyanendra when he summarily dismissed governments he did not like. New Delhi has, so far, not reacted publicly to Koirala’s dismissals, but it is not likely to go down well with India. If Koirala thought he was going to get both Maoist sympathy as well as international approval for his move, he should perhaps pay closer attention to what the people are saying — both in his own country as well as in India, whose public opinion has always played a big role in shaping the democratic profile of Nepal.</b>

Unfortunately for Koirala, a large majority of the people, including those who vociferously supported April’s jan aandolan, feel that this move smacks of vendetta. Many feel that Koirala should learn from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by black South Africa after it became independent of white rule in 1994. <b>In India, too, the country’s 500-odd princes gave up their special privileges to join the Indian Union in 1950 after Vallabhbhai Patel entered into a dialogue with them. The demolition of their privy purses happened much later, in 1971, when these former blue-bloods had had a chance to absorb the republican spirit.</b>

Surely, Nepal cannot be that different. If anything, G.P. Koirala must have his finger on the pulse of all Nepal’s citizens, irrespective of their ideological belief. He must offer former offenders a chance to repent and the new rulers, the opportunity to forgive. That’s what Mahatma Gandhi did with the British. That’s the way of south Asia.

Koirala, who has perhaps lived in exile longer than any of his comrades, knows that is a basic truth. The large majority of the subcontinent, always centrist, wants its fundamental rights protected so that nobody is above the law. That means both king and commoner must respect the wishes and traditions of the people.

In this case, Koirala should have simply curtailed all the powers of the king, especially his control over the army. If the king resisted such a move, then sterner measures can be called for — including international censure. But arresting the king’s coterie can only lead to a backlash, especially in a country where the mood is still fragile.

This delicacy of the moment currently defines Nepal. Koirala, in his new incarnation as prime minister, must rise above party and post and persuade all Nepalis to see reason. For example, just as the royalists will have to be told that they are not so special anymore, that they will have to surrender their vast land holdings to the state, the Maoists will similarly have to be told to respect the traditions of the people. People’s courts, in which justice is summarily executed, are just not on, for example. Nor is urinating on shiv lingams an exercise in Marxism.

In the new Nepal, restraint is the need of the hour. One would have thought Koirala, who spent many years in India, and who counts upon the Indian democratic and left leadership as his best friends, would have understood. His move to throw the king’s coterie in jail may only earn him some brownie points with the Maoists, although even that is unlikely. Prachanda and Babu Ram Bhattarai, both know it is one thing to galvanize a nation to the point of a revolution, completely another to rule fairly in a new dawn.

If anything, India’s experiment in affirmative action, with Dalits for example, could serve as a new blueprint. The royalists, who have large experience in a number of areas, must be asked to serve — and nobody will accuse them of being anything less than Nepali.

Crucially, the army’s allegiance should transfer smoothly and effortlessly to the new government. India’s army owes allegiance to the commander-in-chief, or the president, but he is a totally toothless, titular head. Even if Nepal keeps the king in ceremonial mothballs, to be pulled out during Dussehra, he cannot have any control over the army. That power should ultimately reside with the prime minister. Pyaar Jung Thapa, the current army chief, can be cordially told who his new boss is. That is all.

This, then, is the bottomline. In the new Nepal, there is no place for the politics of vendetta.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->United Press International - Nepal to become secular state
KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 15 (UPI) -- <b>Nepal's prime minister announced Monday that the government would change from a Hindu kingdom to a secular state, </b>with equal rights for all.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said Monday that the declaration, to be proclaimed by the House of Representatives later, would protect the rights of the nation's indigenous people and minorities.

Hundreds of indigenous people were protesting in front of the prime minister's home to demand a secular state, the Himalayan Times reported. The prime minister made his comments in response to their demands.

The declaration drafted by the House was scheduled to be announced Monday, but was postponed as the seven-party alliance failed to come up with a final draft.

Limiting the powers of the king, changing the name of the country and placing the army under the control of the parliament were other issues expected to be included in the final declaration.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Finally, Commies are able to kill last Hindu nation.
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+May 17 2006, 09:12 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ May 17 2006, 09:12 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Finally, Commies are able to kill last Hindu nation.
Let the people of Nepal decide, what they want. Democracy is better than the present crippled monarchy.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal votes to curb king's powers

<b>MPs in Nepal have unanimously approved a landmark plan to drastically curtail the powers of King Gyanendra, including stripping him of control of the army.</b>

Under the plans, the royal family will pay tax and parliament will control the army and name the heir to the throne.

The proclamation has been described as a Nepalese Magna Carta, effectively making the king a ceremonial figure.

The move follows mass street protests in April which led the king to recall parliament and end direct palace rule.

<b>The army will be from now on mobilised by the order of the prime minister and the government</b>
<b>Senior Congress Party spokesman Minendra Rijal</b>

Cutting the powers of the king, who seized direct powers in 2005, is a key demand of the pro-democracy protesters and of Maoist rebels who have fought for a republic for 10 years.

The interim government's proclamation overrides the 1990 constitution, which handed most power to parliament but kept the monarchy involved in politics.

The rebels want to get rid of the monarchy, but most of the governing coalition are non-committal on the issue.

Peace talks between the government and the rebels have been announced, but no date or venue has been set.


The plans include bringing 90,000 troops under the direct control of the parliament and bringing the royal family and its assets under the tax net.

<b>The move also scraps the royal advisory council, the Raj Parishad, that has the authority to name the heir to the throne - a power that will now be held by parliament.</b>

<b>And the proclamation declares Nepal a secular country, after years as the world's only Hindu kingdom.</b> Royal references will be removed from the titles of the army and government.

The proclamation says it will annul those articles of the current constitution which contradict it, although observers say this is likely to come under challenge in the courts at some point.

The BBC's Charles Haviland in Kathmandu says all the measures appear to be provisional, pending the planned election of an assembly to write a completely new constitution.

He says the new government hopes the change will dampen the anger of people who have been demonstrating in the streets accusing politicians of moving too slowly towards change.

He says one move the street activists are unlikely to be happy with is the banning of demonstrations in parts of Kathmandu around the government buildings and the royal palace, just as the authorities of the previous royal government did.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Coup against King
The Pioneer Edit Desk

Koirala has strengthened Maoists ---- It is absurd to hail Thursday's parliamentary coup in Nepal as a "modern Magna Carta," as is being done by those who are cheering the grossly ill-advised move to strip the King of all powers and privileges. The parliamentary resolution moved by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on behalf of the seven-party alliance that now rules Nepal, and unanimously adopted by the 205-member Pratinidhi Sabha, is astounding in its scope. Apart from removing King Gyanendra as the commander-in-chief of Nepal's Army and placing it under the control of the Cabinet, the resolution says the monarch shall no longer have the right to take a final view on major issues, that he will lose immunity from prosecution and taxes, that Parliament will now decide the royal family's benefits, and, that nothing in Nepal will any longer come attached with the 'Royal' tag.

As if all this were not bad enough, the resolution also declares that Nepal shall no longer be known as a 'Hindu Kingdom' but as a 'secular state'. What the Maoist terrorists could not achieve in more than a decade of bloody insurgency, Mr Koirala and his colleagues have succeeded in doing in less than a fortnight: They have destroyed the basic identity of Nepal by reducing it to a perversion of its past and erasing its civilisational history. It is another matter that the sanctity of resolution is suspect because the present Pratinidhi Sabha is an interim arrangement and does not have the mandate or the legitimacy to bring about such sweeping changes in the Constitution. What is, however, significant is that despite denuding the symbol of Nepal's sovereignty and its unique cultural identity in so grotesque a manner, Mr Koirala has failed to satisfy the Maoists.

This is evident from the Maoists' response to the resolution. While Mr Koirala has claimed that his parliamentary coup against Narayanhity Palace, which has just stopped short of dethroning King Gyanendra, "represents the feelings of the people", Maoist leaders have spurned it as "insufficient", saying they want the monarchy to go. It is as good as declaring that the Maoist onslaught shall not cease till such time Nepal becomes a Communist state ruled by Comrade Prachanda's thugs. Given the stranglehold of the Maoists over vast areas of Nepal, established through terror, murder and extortion, and a political class robbed of all credibility, it is more than likely that the proposed Constituent Assembly, as and when it is "elected", will be packed by Prachanda's men who will then opt for the final putsch, the contours of whose terrifying consequences defy imagination.

If Mr Koirala and his colleagues believe that they can buy popularity with the masses by weakening the monarchy, they are sadly mistaken. On the contrary, they have only whetted the appetite of the Maoists and made it that much easier for them to achieve their goal. It's Nepal's tragedy that rather than stop Mr Koirala from destroying the unifying symbol of that country, the world has refused to lift a finger. Perhaps realisation shall sink in when the arms the US has now promised to supply will become the armoury of Prachanda's People's Liberation Army. We have seen this happen elsewhere, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-southindian+May 17 2006, 06:24 PM-->QUOTE(southindian @ May 17 2006, 06:24 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+May 17 2006, 09:12 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mudy @ May 17 2006, 09:12 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Finally, Commies are able to kill last Hindu nation.
Let the people of Nepal decide, what they want. Democracy is better than the present crippled monarchy.

Unfortunately it is not the people of Nepal who are deciding it. There is no reason to believe that people of Nepal want to get rid of Hinduism. They won't have anything against state religion as long as they can elect their representatives and King doesn't interfere with it frequently.

But, missionaries and saudi funded organizations do care if Nepal is a secular nation. Now they succeeded in it by pushing maoists.

I believe the commies are bunch of brainless idiots who could be remotely manipulated by others.

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