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Nepal News & Discussion
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal to become secular state

KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 15 (UPI) -- Nepal's prime minister announced Monday that the government would change from a Hindu kingdom to a secular state, 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.

Oh yes! these hundreds of people were actually representing the entire population of Nepal.
Dr. Koenraad Elst:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Esteemed worthies, dear friends,

From several sources I have received the following article, to which I have added my comment at the end:

<i>Preserve Nepal as a Hindu country
J.G. Arora
Central Chronicle, Bhopal:  May 25 and 26, 2006

It is a tragedy beyond words that on May 18, 2006, Nepal Adhirajya, the only Hindu country in the world and occupying a special place in the billion strong Hindu community's heart across the globe, has been divested of its Hindu identity, and has been declared as a secular country under pressure from Maoists and missionaries.

It is deplorable that Nepal, the land of glorious history of thousands of years; the land of warriors, sages, temples and Vedic heritage; the land of Gopalas, Mahishpals, Kirats, Lichhavis, Mallas and Shahs; the land of Yalambar, Lumbini and Gautam Budha, Manadeva, Amsuverma, Jayasthiti Malla, and Prithvi Narayan Shah; and the only Hindu country in the world is being grabbed by Maoists and missionaries in the name of democracy.

On May 18, 2006 after a decade long Maoist violence which began in 1996, the interim government led by G. P. Koirala divested Nepal of it being a Hindu country, and proclaimed it to be a secular state. Besides, simultaneously, 'His Majesty's Government' was replaced with 'Nepal Government' and Royal Nepal Army (which was fighting the Maoists) was named Nepalese Army. To complete Nepal's break with its distinguished past, monarch was divested of all the executive powers including that of being the supreme commander of the army. In the process, the basic identity and history of Nepal have been sought to be destroyed.

And there was no word of protest against the Maoists for the death and destruction brought by them.

Anti Hindu conspirators, Maoists, missionaries and ISI operators could not have asked for more. In the background of Pope's 1999 address at New Delhi asking for evangelizing Asia, missionaries see in demolition of Hindu kingdom of Nepal better opportunities for Christianizing the Hindu nation of Nepal.

Though there are scores of Christian and Muslim countries in the world, and though there is a billion strong Hindu community across the globe, Nepal with a population of 24 millions was the only Hindu country in the world.

Maoist-takeover of Nepal

For Nepal as also for India, Maoists are the problem, and not the solution.

It is all the more deplorable that Nepal which could never be subjugated in the past is being grabbed by the Maoists under the subterfuge of democracy. As per Mao Tse Tung (1893-1976), "power flows through the barrel of a gun"; and as his faithful followers, Maoists use violence to achieve political power. And Maoists never admire democracy.

Nepal travelled from absolute to constitutional monarchy in 1990. However, in February 1996, 'Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist' launched its violent movement to substitute constitutional monarchy with communist regime. Starting in 1996, Maoist violence has claimed thousands of lives in Nepal.

Throughout their regime till 2005, multi-party democracy and political parties could not tackle Maoist threat. Accordingly, to quell insurgency and to save Nepal from disaster, in February 2005, king Gyanendra took over the government for three years.

History teaches that democratic niceties cannot tackle insurgencies. A similar Maoist rebellion known as 'Shining Path' (Sendero Luminoso in Spanish) tormented Peru for decades before it was crushed in 1990s by Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori who suspended legislature and judiciary, and used army and dictatorial powers to crush terrorism.

After pro-democracy demonstrations, King Gyanendra restored Parliament and invited the Seven-Party Alliance to form the government. Nepali Congress leader G.P. Koirala was installed as the Prime Minister of Nepal.

Forgetting that many of their party members were killed by the same Maoists prior to royal takeover in 2005; and mortally scared of Maoists, Seven Party Alliance is implementing Maoist agenda which will facilitate Maoist takeover of Nepal, and make all non-Maoists irrelevant very soon. For political parties, the only way to defeat the Maoists would have been to support the king.

A unique native institution

Nepal is the only surviving native Hindu government on earth. Therefore, as a venerable symbol of aspirations of global Hindu community, Nepal's Hindu identity must be protected and preserved by the Hindu world.

Anti-Hindu forces want to destroy Nepal, the world's sole surviving Hindu kingdom, the way all other native religions and governments in other parts of the world have been already destroyed. Those celebrating the fall of Nepal as a Hindu nation should reflect on loss of millions of lives in Russia, China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia and many other countries where communists came into power.

Though anti-Hindus, Maoists and missionaries will celebrate demolition of the world's only Hindu country, it is a grim tragedy for Hindus all over the world. Considering Nepal's history and heritage, only the constitutional monarchy and a Hindu Nepal will be able to save Nepal from Maoists and missionaries.

Issues at stake

Events in Nepal concern every Hindu in Nepal, in India and every where else. The issue in Nepal is not of monarchy versus democracy as has been wrongly projected by some sections in media. The issue is that of having a friendly Hindu nation versus a communist dictatorship in India's neighbourhood. The issue is that of native Hindu governance versus a totalitarian communist regime like China, Vietnam or North Korea.

The issue is of preservation of Hindu culture and heritage in Nepal, in India and in rest of the world.

Demolition of the only Hindu country in the world will be disastrous for Hindus, and will lead to gradual destruction of Hindu heritage all over the world. Why cannot even a single Hindu country exist when there are scores of Muslim and Christian countries in the world?

Way out

By leaving Nepal to its fate, India has facilitated Maoist takeover of Nepal. And Maoist takeover of Nepal will be detrimental to India since it will sharpen Maoists' war on India. Already, Maoists in India are targeting Indian state and challenging Indian sovereignty over large parts of India.

Nothing is wrong with Nepal's Constitution of 1990, and with constitutional monarchy. Rather, constitutional monarchy is the only device which will save Nepal from Maoists and also enable it to retain its unique feature of being the Hindu nation. Since the king has already restored parliament and multi-party democracy, political parties have to ensure that Maoists do not grab Nepal. And political parties can ensure that only if they support the institution of constitutional monarchy; and do nothing to hand over power to Maoists.

Since past cannot be recalled and relived, and mistakes of the past cannot be undone, the least that the Indian government can do now to redeem the situation in Nepal is to help the anti-Mao forces in Nepal to crush Maoist violence and prevent Maoist takeover of Nepal.

Since Nepal has nurtured and upheld Hindu heritage and traditions for so many centuries, it deserves the help of global Hindu community in its fight against anti-Hindu forces.

If Nepal is allowed to be grabbed by Maoists and missionaries, India too will be grabbed by Maoists, missionaries and Pak-Bangla combine. Since government in India is passively watching the gradual demolition of Hindu nation of Nepal, organizations and individuals who understand Hindu anguish must do their best to preserve Nepal as a Hindu country.

It is now or never for Hindus all over the world.</i>


My comments:

1) Mr. Arora strongly and wrongly identifies two different issues, viz. the continuation of the monarchy and the continuation of the Hindu state religion.  If the latter really depends on ths former, Hinduism in Nepal is in a sorry state.  England has a state religion, Anglicanism, with the monarch as its guarantor ("defender of the faith"); but Anglicanism has nonetheless declined continuously in the last two centuries and is now the practised religion of only a small minority.  To be sure, I am not against constitutional monarchy as a proven success formula for sailing a nation through the rough waters of modernization.  Compare the relatively bloodless progress of Britain since 1688 with the blood-soaked 20th century of Russia and China, where pre-revolution attempts (by Piotr Shelepin c.q. Kang Youwei) at peaceful transformation through the mutation of the regime into a constitutional monarchy had failed.  But in such a formula, the smug monarch himself is usually a major problem.  In the case of Nepal, the palace massacre a few years ago showed how decadent and decrepit the dynasty had become.  Yes, the situation reminds us of Russia in February 1917, when a spineless bourgeois crowd took over and prepared the way for the Communists by autumn of the same year.

2) Where does he get the idea that Nepal has done anything for Hinduism?  Through isolation and the sheer force of inertia, the nominally Hindu character of the state was preserved until now, but not through any merit of the monarchy or of any other party.  If there is any Hindu core group fighting for Hindu interests in Nepal, I'd like to hear about it.  Clearly, Mr. Arora hasn't heard of one, otherwise he would have appealed for help to it.  Indeed, whenever any attack on Hinduism threatens, all Nepali Hindus have done was to give in without a fight.  A few years ago, the Maoists demanded the abolition of the Sanskrit class in schools, and the course was dropped at once.  And now, the king gives everything which the Maoist-pressured politicians demand, merely to save his own kingship and lifestyle, not moving a finger to defend the Hindu character of his state.

3) The Nepali politicians, that fickle and corrupt lot who messed up their chance at democracy so badly in the 1990s, do not behave as if they are under any pressure from Hindu lobby groups or public opinion to stand up for Hindu interests.  Indira Gandhi defended these once in a while because to her, Hindu opinion still made a difference.  Her successors today, by contrast, can afford to slap Hindus in the face day after day without incurring any adverse consequence whatsoever.  And likewise in Nepal.  Politicians take really existing power equations into account, and with their sharp eye for such matters, they have concluded that there is no need for assuming any Hindu factor in that equation, for there is no pro-Hindu force on the horizon at all.

4) Now, the responsibility for all this.  Ever since I first met a Nepali Hindu (at Benares Hindu university in 1989) and he gave me an account of the situation in Nepal, I have been very pessimistic about the future of Hinduism there.  Never in the intervening years has even a single news item reached my ear that indicated a counter-trend, it was slowly downhill all along.  Bangladeshi infiltrators accumulated, the ISI set up shop, the Christian missionaries lambasted the country's anti-conversion law all while making converts by the thousands...  But in the Organiser, which I read every week, or on the Hindu weblists, I have never seen any serious concern about it, much less any discussion of what to do about it.  (To this, RSS people have replied to me that "strategic plans are not discussed on a public forum", though always without showing me the actual results of their presumed secret masterplan, hahaha.)  Even the palace massacre did not trigger any soul-searching, any crisis consultation, any sense of urgency.  Even with the Maoists closing in on Kathmandu, there was no Hindu contingency plan, nor even any thought of one.  And now Mr. Arora says that "it's now or never", as if it just fell from the sky.  When the game is already up, he calls for Hindus to do something.  Where have all the Hindu forces been all this time?  Where was the family of organizations that endlessly praises its own merits in print, its role as "guardian" and "vanguard" and what not of Hindu society?  I have never ever seen it make an honest balance of its own achievements.  Apart from the Ayodhya demolition by its rebellious ranks, which it deplores as a Black Day, what has it ever achieved for the Hindu cause?  Alright, at the grass-roots level there may be some achievements, such as the non-conversion of many tribals to Christianity.  In civil society, the record is not all negative, and comparable to what tiny Hindu minorities in countries like Holland and England manage to achieve.  But at the political level, the Hindutva performance has been one long string of forfeits and defeats.  Winning an election may have been a victory for the BJP but not for Hinduism, for its time in government saw no victories for any specific Hindu interests (which is not to belittle the important work that Narendra Modi, Arun Shourie, Jagmohan and others have done in secular respects).  The enemy side has a lot to show, a lot of victories over the hated Hindus, but what have the guardians of Hindu interests got to show for all the trust Hindus have put in them?  And now, they are not even able to make and publicize an honest analysis of what exactly went wrong in Nepal.

5) The events in Nepal are not just a defeat against the Marxist-Muslim-Missionary combine.  An important factor, which the MMM have managed to mobilize in support of their own designs, has been the "aboriginal" and "Buddhist" communities, who also demanded a secular state.  Hindu organizations are good at pontificating how the Buddha was a Hindu, how all non-Abrahamics including the tribal "animists" in South Asia are Hindus, but on the ground, it transpires that the people concerned are not convinced.  They listen to the missionaries, even if not to convert, at least to turn against Hinduism.  What have you done to convince them?  Hindus either took them for granted, or wrote them off as already lost and beyond recall.  Please judge from the recent results.  A related matter: right now the Jains are making a choice whether they are Hindus or not.  If Sandhya Jain is right, the Hindu option is not lost yet, and is actually favoured by the majority of common Jains (if she'll forgive me for juxtaposing the words "Jain" and "common").  But given the Hindutva record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I wouldn't be too optimistic.

6) You could put a brave face on the dehinduization of the Nepali state.  As the Mahant of the recently-attacked Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi once told me: "If a religion relies on the state, it will become weak."  Well, maybe that's just what happened in Nepal.  Maybe it's better to go on without the status of state religion.  You may now try to present that anti-state-religion position as the Hindu view of the recent events, but that will only be credible if you can show that you already wanted the secularization of Nepal before it fell upon you.  All the same, don't kid yourselves: after a battle in which nobody showed up to defend the Hindu side, this has been a shameful defeat.  Your enemies know it, and they are enjoying it.

Yours truly,

Dr. Koenraad Elst

PS: And while I have your attention, please take a look at this recent article of mine as well:<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SITES: But why model yourself after movements in which millions were killed, both under Stalin and Mao's Cultural Revolution?

SINGH-BHANDARI: That's a fraud. That's a kind of defaming of communism — the massacres of Tiananmen Square were done in the name of communism but it was not communism.

As far as the Cultural Revolution, it was good since it was only the rich that were dealt with.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Nepal makes way for the Comrades</b>
Thursday, June 29, 2006 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version

Nepal’s parliament sworn in as king sidelined

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s parliament and ministers were sworn in on Wednesday at a ceremony, which for the first time did not include the king but ill health forced the prime minister to skip the event.

Parliament slashed King Gyanendra’s powers after he ended 14 months of direct rule in April following weeks of pro-democracy protests by political parties and rebel Maoists.

“The prime minister could not come for the oath ceremony due to health reasons and he will take the oath later in parliament,” Surya Kiran Gurung, parliament general secretary, told journalists. He did not elaborate.

The 84-year-old premier returned on Tuesday from a nine-day trip to Bangkok for prostate laser treatment. The ornately carved seat where the king formerly sat during parliamentary proceedings had been removed and replaced with a national flag as the speaker administered the oath of office to 19 of 21 ministers and around 200 parliamentarians.

The MPs and ministers read the oath out loud together and tapped the desks in front of them to signify approval when finished.

Ram Chandra Poudel, an MP and general secretary of the Nepali Congress party, said he felt ‘happy and proud,’ after the ceremony.

“The process of institutionalising a new democratic Nepal has begun now. We have moved away from any kind of intervention from the monarchy,” he told AFP.

The assembled politicians pledged to ‘be totally honest in performing the duty as approved by parliament that has been restored as per the people’s aspirations’ in the ceremony in the house of representatives.

The swearing-in was held according to “the proclamation by the house May 18 and the house regulation passed June 10,” Subash Nemwang, House of Representatives speaker, told AFP.

Before the new coalition government took over and ended King Gyanendra’s public political role and control of the army, the monarch swore in the premier and other lawmakers. But now oaths will be taken in parliament.

In future, “others, including army (officials), police and civil servants, will be called to take the oath of office in the days to come” in parliament and not before the king, Nemwang said. AFP

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pioneer-11 July 2006

Ascent of the anti-Hindus

Sandhya Jain

Barely a month after his visit to New Delhi for support in rebuilding his Maoist-ravaged country, Nepal's appointed interim Prime Minister G.P. Koirala has delivered his unhappy nation into the hands of its worst tormentor and retired to a hospital bed. Whispers from Kathmandu suggest that Prachanda, would-be President-King of the former Hindu kingdom, is a Christian. There is little reason to doubt these voices, as similar murmurings about LTTE supremo V. Pirabhakaran proved correct, and Sri Lanka's Tamil Hindus admit that the organization does not serve their political, economic or cultural interests in any way. Its objective is to provide its covert Western backers a foothold in the region.

With Prachand's ascent in India's hinterland, the West has executed a far greater coup than the secession of East Timor from Indonesia. If South Block is unmoved, it is only because an Italian Roman Catholic has successfully subverted the national ethos and subjugated the country to American geo-strategic interests. It is truly shocking that New Delhi has refused to react to the fact that an aged politician, appointed for an interim period in the wake of a popular agitation, has inaugurated the most audacious changes in Nepal's polity without any mandate from the Nepali people.

Instead of supporting Hindu Nepal, its civilizational ally, the Sonia Gandhi-dominated UPA regime is shamelessly working to accomplish the West-sponsored Maoist agenda. The centuries-old Hindu character of the country has been tossed aside, and the monarchy and the Royal Nepal Army which symbolize the nation discredited. Though the supposedly popular uprising (the cognoscenti say the streets were crammed with paid lumpens) aimed at electing a government and restoring the democratic process, it now transpires that Nepal is going to be subverted through a new constituent assembly, which was never on the people's agenda.

It is true that King Gyanendra is not respected like his late brother. Yet realization is beginning to dawn in some quarters that the political parties that constituted Nepal's fractious democratic process have been rendered completely irrelevant by plans for a new constituent assembly. This is because the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) regime is being blackmailed by Maoist threats of renewed violence and bloodshed, and this threat may impact upon the results whenever elections are held. Prachanda, dreaming of the Nepali version of the Imperial Presidency, is advocating United Nations supervision of the polls, when everyone knows that the UN is an agent of the West, especially under Kofi Annan.

America is seeking to enthrone Christian stooges wherever it has strategic interests. Ideology is a ruse, mere washable distemper. This will become apparent when the new constitution officially abolishes the Hindu nature of the State and espouses minority rights, despite the fact that there were no minorities in Nepal until the West and the ISI jointly evangelized the region as part of a policy of containing India. Nepal's new constitution will offer freedom of religion (sic), a euphemism for the freedom to convert Nepalis to Christianity.

Eradication of the Hindu character of Nepal is the sole raison d'etre for the present de facto regime change, and its instigators are the American-led West, operating through anti-Hindu communist groups in both India and Nepal. Notwithstanding their pretended anti-imperialist rhetoric, there should be no misunderstanding that Communists serve any power other than the West. Russia is officially non-Communist and China is Communist in name only. Left radicals enjoy untold luxury and wealth solely in America, populating its elite universities and NGOs. They are Christian America's natural allies in hurting the native civilizational ethos in non-Christian countries targetted by the West, and are doing a thorough job in Nepal.

The great Pashupatinath mandir, as critical to Nepal's cultural traditions as India's Vishwanath temple at Varanasi, has been singled out for secular assault. It has been asked to submit its accounts for scrutiny by unelected unbelievers. This is an outrage, an act of iconoclasm as grave as the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the American-trained Taliban. If Nepalis fail to respond to this insult with the ferocity it deserves, they should be prepared to witness the cross replacing the shikar over the sanctum sanctorum.

Prachanda has made several revealing statements. Last year, he told Time magazine that when he launched the so-called people's war in 1996, he did not have a single modern weapon or any trained armed cadres (18 April 2005). Anybody who has observed the insurgency in India's north-east would readily identify the religious affiliations of the international sponsors of such 'people's movements.'

More importantly, Prachanda is determined to keep his arms and armed cadres intact even after elections to the proposed constituent assembly are over. This is obviously to secure an advantage (sic) which the elections might deny him. He could then emulate Lenin and enact a Winter Palace-style of coup against the country's effete politicians, who have so far behaved with sheep-like stupidity. This has emboldened him to suggest that his Maoist insurgents could join and take over the Royal Nepal Army (RNA)!

Sonia Gandhi's supremacy having ensured an unfriendly India, it is not known what kind of cards the King and Army still retain to defeat this virtual colonization of Nepal. But it is almost certain that they cannot beat back this challenge alone. Nepal's notoriously divisive political parties have not shown any awareness of the nature of the threat facing the nation, so it is too early to say if they can unite with the King and Army for a larger purpose. If Prachanda formally seizes all power in Nepal, there is little doubt that America will seek bases on Nepali soil, in order to 'contain' China. This does not augur well for India. Yet we must prepare for this eventuality, as there is no other reason to plant a Christian in Kathmandu.

The twenty-first century seems set to witness a major geographical realignment with old national boundaries being merged into larger conglomerates. America already calls the shots in Pakistan and through it, in Bangladesh. It has bases in Afghanistan, and in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has been cultivated and controlled through a Hollywood star. Christian supremos have been put in place in India and Nepal, while Christian protégés are being promoted in Sri Lanka and Burma. That gives you a new political entity already christened by the US State Department - South Asia. Not a nice thought; not one that can be readily dismissed either.

<b>Propaganda against Hindus in Nepal

Soon after Nepal becoming a secular country, there is a flood of Christian and Muslim preachers in the country. The socio-political situation has become so volatile that these persons are unleashing a propaganda campaign against Hindus and particularly against India. Recently in Nepal, Christian bigots have produced a documentary called God’s of New Age, which is being screened in churches and other public places throughout the country. The documentary simply shows that oriental religions were created by Satan to counter-balance Christianity. Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna are depicted as Satan incarnates. It is being taught that Hindus do not have ethics.

<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> Nepal's Peace Process:
<b>It’s a Long Way to Tipperary </b>
By Madhukar S.J.B.Rana
Former Finance Minister

UN's Steffan de Mistura came and left with "cautious optimism". Most surprisingly, while in transit, he choose to visit India to "exchange notes" with the Indian Foreign Secretary because, according to him, of the Indo-Nepal 'special relations'.

It is worth mentioning that even while the UN arms management mission was in Nepal the Indian Foreign Secretary had organized a meeting, significantly, with all of his South Asian ambassadors here in Kathmandu itself to send a message to the UN bureaucrats that Nepal falls in India's sphere of influence.

To be honest, de Mistura drew a blank and left hoping to fill his notebook with a 'common minimum position' for him to submit to the UN Secretary General; and for which he had left Ian Martin do the follow-up rounds so that a common position could be had by August 11, 2006.

If anything, De Mistura filled his note book with extraneous terms of reference to make up of for the lack of progress when he advised Nepal on how the UN could help us, "provided there is agreement on all sides", over arms and armies' management; expansion of human rights in Nepal; monitoring the code of conduct, and assistance for the elections to the constituent assembly. Note there was no reference, whatsoever, for financial assistance to resettle, rehabilitate and re-employ the real sufferers-- the internally displaced people. Nor any reference to financially help re-build the infrastructure destroyed during the conflict.

Come August 11, 2006 Nepal has presented a "common position" which, to put it in diplomatese is an 'uncommon common position'. Why so? Let us analyse its content step by step.

To begin with the reference to the role of OHCHR is a non issue as it is already established here. The request to assist with monitoring the code of conduct raises several vital questions. Who actually will have primary responsibility to monitor, if not the UN? What will 'to assist' entail in terms of money, material, men and procedures for the UN?

What sanctions are to be applied to transgressors where the code of conduct is breached? Is a code of conduct sufficient to ensure peace and guarantee free and fair elections? Is it not necessary to have a formal ceasefire agreement to enable the due process of law to provide it with full legal validity for eventual judicial redress?

The UN is expected to send qualified civilians to monitor and verify the confinement of the Maoist militia and their weapons in 'designated cantonment areas'. The vital issue here is : Who is to designate the cantonment areas? How are we to be sure that the entire militia force and weaponry are actually confined? For how long is the confinement to take place--- till after or before the constituent assembly elections? Will the UN accept that the Maoist join the Interim Government and Interim Parliament prior to decommissioning their arms?

Secondary issues that have remained untouched are: who will maintain law and order if hostilities break out in the interim through the actions of its breakaway factions, as is taking place in the Terai or because of vigilante or mafia actions? What if droughts, floods, flash floods and earthquakes should hit Nepal? Does the armed force remain in their barracks?

Nepal is in a state of free fall. Where history is being re-written with the erosion, if not destruction, of traditional institutions from their pride of place in society like monarchy, the place of Hinduism and, not least, the attempted re-engineering of the one institution that is truly a national institution--- the army with its long, glorious history of founding and then preserving the independence and territorial integrity of the kingdom.

The precise parameters of our nation state are a grand unknown. It is as through the foundation of our house, its flooring, ceilings, roofing, walls, windows and doors—its architecture—is in a state of void.

The core societal values, its goals and mission are largely unknown ostensibly to be decide by the constituent assembly. Or is it to be decided by the Interim Constitution, to be submitted for approval by the unelected Interim Parliament as decided by the Interim Government that is to be appointed by heaven knows whom? All this is to take place with the Supreme Court kept in a state of regal limbo not knowing which constitution they are to protect and preserve through judicial interpretation and review.

So, therefore, our religious traditions and our historical legacies are henceforth to be declared taboo being charged with being harbingers of feudalism as though Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism are free from the feudal mindset bound by their fascistic, totalitarian political ideologies seeking dictatorship of the proletariat, one party-led people' s democracy and the like.

Only the market, and its expansion, can unleash us from the vice-like grip of our poverty compounded by the fascist ideologies that basically nurtures authoritarian, and a feudal mindset. Markets allow individuals to be sovereign guided by the principles of full economic freedom for entry, exit and expansion in the product and service market places duly regulated by the laws of competition to protect consumers, farmers and workers from all manner of monopolistic business behavior. Full property right for each individual is a must for the generation of national wealth through the dynamics of the market mechanisms.

Conflict erodes social trust. Rapid change, pushed along in an atmosphere of conflict, violence, insurgency and terrorism is bound to generate societal stress, disharmony, distrust and destabilization. In such a uncertain environment, entrepreneurship is retarded and gamblers, bandits, blackmailers, smugglers, tax evaders, political wheeler-dealers take over from entrepreneurs at the cost of national unity and harmony. The mafia is the winner during periods of uncertainties and conflicts.

Ironically, individuals will be forced to seek self-protection by finding their safety and security through solidarity with their own castes, creeds, ethnic communities and class to further undermine broader national values thereby eroding national unity, harmony and trust.

Specially when conflicting political ideologies with competitive party politics under the electoral system of proportional representation cold cause further political instability in the absence of statesmanlike, patriotic behaviour from the political and social leaders. And in the absence of political parties that are deeply committed to inculcating a sound culture of democracy through exemplary party good governance nourished by its its past misdemeanours and mistakes.

The greatest danger is the social malaise that tends to unfold with the growing generation gap and the consequential breakdown of the joint or nuclear family systems in rural and urban areas respectively resulting in the erosion of our social capital.

Undoubtedly, Nepalis as individuals and their communities are faced with a crisis of identity. Yes, it may be argued that as individuals in an age of globalization and neo-cosmopolitanism it is genuinely possible for each individual to adopt multiple identities; but is this neither possible nor advisable for a community or a nation. Africa with all its vast empty spaces with an abundance of natural resources and low population density is in desperate condition as a 'lost continent' precisely because its peoples as individuals ape the west while its communities are left with no identity of their own whatsoever.

In such a scenario, it will be wise to put our national faith in the UN principles, systems and the collective security provided by it with moving ahead with greater momentum with the WTO obligations; implementation of human rights as per international law, and ratifying the international treaty on the International Criminal Court.

Upon analyzing the text of the agreement sent to the UN it appears that the UN will have to function as a mediator if they are to play an effective role in the entire peace process and elections to the constituent assembly.

It definitely will be required to play a role that is much more than that of an honest broker, observer or facilitator if it is to succeed in its mission of peace building and arms management give the vagueness of the agreement as to the desired role for the UN. This reasoning is premised on the belief that much of the issues related to the question of the 'how' with arms management is left deliberately vague in the common minimum agreement and thus subject to all manner of convenient interpretations by the government, Maoists, political parties and civil society.

The sum totality of the agreement, at face value, is simply that the UN peace keepers will not be deployed into Nepal with much of the peace building activities to be engaged in by UN mediators and the OHCHR.

Instead of unilaterally declaring and extending the cease fire, it is high time the Maoists unilaterally announced its Declaration of Peace by renouncing violence and stating what the Prachanda path is supposed to be ideologically in the context of the unfolding 21st century. In the absence of this fundamental posture, all this dilly dallying or tactical manipulating with arms decommissioning and ultimate rehabilitation of the Maoist militia would appear to be because, as Maoist leader Dinesh Sharma has lucidly stated, of their strategy is actually to rehabilitate the Maoist militia as an integral part of the Nepal Army. This is a sure recipe for permanent coups from within the army.

Former Ambassador K V Rajan to Nepal, we think you should also take moral responsibilities to turn Nepal into China fold.
Guru Bar

Thanks to Miami Mafia: Kaplan’s latest is hot off the presses from the May issue of the Atlantic Monthly. In brief, the article interviews an ancient British colonial officer still living in Nepal, and Kaplan talks about the Gurkhas and what Nepal’s 20th century history can tell us about today’s Royalist-Maoist struggle. Subscribers can read about it here, and an abridged excerpt follows below.

Colonel Cross of the Gurkhas

In the mountains of strife-torn Nepal, some lessons about modern warfare from a British throwback
by Robert D. Kaplan

The town of Pokhara, a half hour by plane west of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, lies in a dank and humid valley beneath the glittering snows and granite of the Annapurna range of the Himalayas. When I visited recently, in the company of a U.S. Army major, the town was wreathed in monsoon clouds. Water buffaloes meandered alongside black, mildewed walls that were almost completely covered with moss and further obscured by dripping banana leaves. Government paramilitaries in blue camouflage uniforms sleepily guarded their installations. In another era we could have arrived by bus or car, but Nepal today is torn by a Maoist insurrection, and the territory between Kathmandu and Pokhara is controlled or threatened by rebels. Pokhara was considered secure, but its atmosphere conjured collapse.

The U.S. Army major, who did not wish to be identified, is with the American team trying to help the beleaguered Nepalese monarchy in its campaign against the Maoists, and he and I had traveled to Pokhara to meet a military legend: the retired British army colonel John Philip Cross. Eighty years old, Cross greeted us outside his compound wearing a topi, dark glasses, a smart cravat, pressed shorts, and high woolen socks pulled up nearly to his knees. Those knees, I noticed, were tanned and powerful. He has covered 10,000 miles on foot through the Nepalese hills over the years, and still hikes twelve miles a day. Cross enlisted on April 2, 1943. On June 8, 1944—“D-Day plus two”—he boarded a troop ship for Bombay. Except for short visits to England he has lived in Asia ever since.

“A certain BBC reporter, God rot his soul, accused me of teaching torture,” Cross recalls. All in all he has spent a total of ten years in the jungle, often carrying the equivalent of his own weight on his back, which he terms “a delightful way of life.” He speaks French and nine Asian languages. Now, writing books on irregular warfare and Himalayan history that deserve to be read even though they aren’t, he is a minor and very eccentric offshoot of a British imperial species.

One cannot think about Nepalese fighting men—whether the Royal Nepalese Army, which is the government force, or the Maoist rebels—without thinking about the fierce and fabled Gurkhas. Throughout my travels with the U.S. military I ruminated on the American effort to raise indigenous troops and use them to project power. The story of the Gurkhas shows that the British were past masters at this.

The term “Gurkha” comes from a British mispronunciation of the town of Gorkha, in western Nepal, where the first units of these warriors were initially raised among Gurungs and Magars, Nepalese tribes of Mongolian origin. Not a true ethnic group, the Gurkhas represent what British officers since the mid-eighteenth century have considered the fighting classes of Nepal. The British first encountered them during the 1814–1816 war between Nepal and the Bengal Presidency of the East India Company. Impressed by their cheerful disposition even when wounded, the British bonded with their erstwhile adversaries. The relationship was solidified during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, when Gurkha recruits to the Indian army declined to revolt and in fact came to the aid of British civilians.

Afterward the Gurkhas fought for the British on India’s North West and North East Frontiers, in China during the Boxer Rebellion, in Mesopotamia and elsewhere during World War I, and throughout the globe during World War II. The British army used Gurkhas in the Falklands and the Balkans, and has used them in Iraq. They have served as UN peacekeepers in many places. Gurkha enlistees in the British military tend to come not only from the same tribes but from the same clans and families. In the 1970s forty-six sets of brothers were serving at the same time in a single battalion—the 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles.

“The toughness of Gurkha skulls is legendary,” writes the historian Byron Farwell. In 1931, on the North West Frontier, when a mess mule kicked a Gurkha havildar in the head with his iron-shod hooves, “the havildar complained of a headache and that evening wore a piece of sticking plaster on his forehead,” according to Farwell. “The mule went lame.”

I found the old Gurkhas a haunting presence, because they were sharpened, refined, exaggerated forms of the Marines and soldiers I had been befriending and describing in previous travels. There was something indisputably antique about these gentlemen warriors, who told me their life stories under a black-and-white photograph of Queen Elizabeth II. To call them Kiplingesque would be to cheapen them; they were practically out of the Iliad.

Balbasdar Basnet, a retired corporal in his seventies, was the most memorable of them. He had joined the Gurkha Rifles of the British army when he was sixteen. His shriveled, nut-brown face was capped by a topi. He had teeth on the right side of his mouth only, and his raspy voice fought against time.

Balbasdar was from a village so impoverished that he’d never tasted tea before joining the army. After basic training he served for eight months on the North West Frontier, guarding the border against “Pathans” (he used the nineteenth-century British term for what today we call Pushtuns). From there he went to Bombay, and then by ship to northwest Malaya for three months of jungle training, just as World War II was gathering force. Finally he fought the Japanese in close combat.

“Were you scared?” I asked.

“No, I was thinking only to do and die.” He actually said that.

For fifteen days he and other Gurkhas marched in the jungle, retreating from a much larger force of Japanese. He was taken prisoner early in the war, and for four years subsisted on beatings and 200 grams of rice a day, moving around among labor camps in Malaya, Java, Sumatra, and New Guinea, wearing nothing more than a loincloth. Hiroshima liberated him from his sufferings, he told me. Suddenly he was being fed and clothed, and a few weeks later New Zealand troops arrived to formally liberate him. Proud to have served Her Majesty, he told me.

This was no twenty-first-century Western mentality. Though many Marine and Army grunts make a good attempt at approaching the Gurkha corporal’s standard, the fact is that we are a softer, more complaining, less fatalistic society than the one the Gurkhas represent, and morally the better for it. But that is not without its disadvantages when confronting terrorists who have a very accommodating attitude toward their own violent death.

This was all bad news for the Royal Nepalese Army, I thought, though Colonel Cross was careful not to make explicit political statements, given his circumstances: the Maoists are in the hills nearby, and government forces are down the street. The fact is that the Maoists come from the same sturdy hill tribes that Cross recruited for decades, while many of the RNA’s forces are softer plainsmen and can’t employ artillery, because even a handful of civilian casualties would ignite protests from the international community. Moreover, the Maoists are fortified by “the mystic dimension of service and the sanctity of an oath,” whereas RNA recruits—aside from some specialized units—join for a salary and a career.

Of course, Colonel Cross is a throwback. His outlook and manner of expression can be brutal, almost perverse. He is living in a threatened backwater of the only country he can call his own. Still, there was a certain cruel logic in his pronouncements.

“It’s not about sugarcoated bullets and dispensing condoms in PXes,” he said. “You can’t fight properly until you know that you are going to die anyway. That’s extreme, but that’s the gold standard. You don’t join the army to wipe your enemy’s ass. You join to kill, or for you yourself to be killed, and above all to have a good sense of humor about it.”


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Millions of people in Nepal protest </b>

Nepal has been traditionally a Hindu kingdom from time unmemorable.
Nepal has at least 90% Hindu population. But it had a tradition of
religious tolerance and mixing. Despite being a predominantly Hindu
kingdom, Nepal is known for religious harmony and tolerance across
the world.

<b>But a resolution that was passed by the re-installed Parliament in
Nepal included a clause that said Nepal would no longer be formally
known as a Hindu country. </b>Members of parliament were not even
allowed to make any discussion on the resolution. It is believed
that the resolution was in fact force <b>imposed on Nepal under
pressure of donor countries (US, EU & India) and NGOs funded by
them to facilitate conversion activities in Nepal.</b>

Millions of people in Nepal have been protesting against the
parliamentary decision to declare Nepal a secular. People have been
expressing their protest in every town and village of Nepal. Some
Hindu groups took to the streets denouncing the parliament's
decision to turn the world's only Hindu kingdom into a secular
state. They demanded that the country be declared a Hindu kingdom
once again. The decision of the Parliament has hurt the faith of the
900 million Hindu populace across the globe.

<b>On the other side, Robert Gurung, a member of the "Good Hope"
Pentecostal Church, told that he regarded the resolution for secular
Nepal as "revolutionary and democratic".</b> Pasang Sherpa and Dr
Krishna Bahadur Bhattachan associated with the church activities
have also expressed their joy on declaration of Nepal as a secular
state. While Rokaya, who is the president of Church Association of
Nepal said "India is a secular country but there are limitations in
exercising religious freedom. Secularism alone will not resolve the
problem. <b>Hence, focus should be given to the religious freedom to
convert people to Church by missionaries, </b>" Rokaya has also demanded
that the government should set up a Ministry of Religious Affairs or
Department of Religious <b>Affairs to facilitate the conversion
activities and apply governmental regression against public protests
against conversions. NGO leaders of some minority ethnic groups
being managed by foreign donation have also been made to welcome the
decision of secular Nepal.</b>

Dr. Rokaya believes that the interim constitution being drafted by
people appointed by Seven Party Alliance and Maoists will facilitate
the conversion activities in Nepal. Most of the members in the
committee that is drafting the constitution had been receiving
funding from various donor countries under influence of Church, this
makes his hopes fly high. <b>His organization has already prepared a
model of constitution which would flare up caste, gender and
religious conflict which would make his job of mass scale
conversions easier.</b>

Speaking on this issue, Chintamani Yogi, said that the parliament's
decision to declare Nepal as a secular state could give chances for
the Hindu people to unite under the banner of Hinduism. Yogi further
cautioned Hindus all around the world that Missionary activities
could flare up in the days to come in the aftermath of Nepal being
declared a secular state and age-old harmony among various religious
groups within the country could be endangered. "Muslim brothers sell
bangles to Hindu sisters in front of Krishna temple in Lalitpur.
Such a harmony should be protected".

Shree Mohan Lal Rajpal who is president of Dharma Jagaran Manch
(DJM) stressed the need for creating awareness among Hindus towards
the ill effects of the declaration of Nepal as a secular state.
India is a secular country with majority of Hindu population, but
every two three months there is some attack on some temple or
festival of Hindus and hundreds of people are killed. <b>He has called
for a National Conference of Saints (Rashtriya Sant Sammelan) to
protect Hinduism in Nepal.</b>

Shree Prabhu Paswan and Prem Tamang of Hindu Rakchha Dal (HRD) have
asked for national unity against church activities in Nepal. They
stressed that church is behind all the conflict and miseries of
Nepal. They have targeted Nepal for their activities and hence
profusely funding to bring success to their aim. <b>They are using all
sorts of unethical means in Nepal. They appealed to the Christian
community to stop funding Churches in Nepal as their activities are
generating more and more hatred towards churches among the
But of course....

<b>Maoists disturb Hindu demonstration </b>

Bhairwa (Rupandehi) Nepal August 20 / Some two dozen Maoists
disturbed a demonstration of Shiva Sena Nepal against declaration of Nepal as
a secular state. The Hindu activists tried to restrain the disturbance
but they had to back out because of the bombing threat by Maoists.

Later, various Hindu organizations came out to streets in the
protest of this incidence at a few places in Nepal. Dharam Jagaran Manch,
Nepal Arya Samaj and Hindu Rakchha Dal have also denounced the act of

<b>Maoists did not make any disturbance to protest and demonstration of
Hindus till this day. It is surprising as what made them to exhibit
this intolerance.</b> It is feared that some of the local non-Hindu
activists of Maoists carried out the incidence without consultation
of senior party leaders. However, no official release has been brought
out by Maoists contradicting their involvement in this incidence.

Nepal is undergoing a phase where there is no rule of law. People
are living under threat of Maoists, Criminals and anti-social elements.

Psy-Ops from India's eternal enemy: the Anglo-Saxon BBC

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Hindu fears over secular Nepal
By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Kathmandu 

Young and old, some dressed in saffron, some wielding tridents, <b>Hindu nationalists </b>march in the streets of Kathmandu, letting out a cry of indignation.
"Bring back the Hindu kingdom," they shout.

It is a pattern being regularly repeated, mainly in the capital and the plains bordering India, by Hindus incensed by parliament's recent declaration that Nepal should be secular.

But at the moment, Nepal remains the world's only officially Hindu country.

<b>Holy war </b>

At the rally Hindu priests extol the goddess Sita, born in Nepal <b>according to legend</b>, and vow to continue protests.

Arun Subedi, chairman of the Hindu nationalist group Shiv Sena Nepal - with the same name as a hardline Mumbai (Bombay)-based organisation but unconnected to it - says secularism may worsen Hindus' relations with minority religions.

"Nepal is a Hindu country," he says. "It is the playground of God and a very holy country.

"If Nepal is not a Hindu kingdom then there is no Nepal. We are entering into a holy war," he says, describing a Hindu scripture as his arms and ammunition.

According to official statistics, more than 80% of Nepalis are Hindu. Many have traditionally regarded their kings as incarnations of the Hindu God, Vishnu.

But minorities in this multi-ethnic country and most political parties have long demanded the move to secularism.

Since it was unified by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1768, Nepal has been ruled by a Hindu dynasty. Its kings have bound themselves into a litany of Hindu rituals and receive special reverence from many Hindus in neighbouring India, which is secular.

But in April this year massive demonstrations forced Prithvi's autocratic descendant, King Gyanendra, to abandon his direct rule. Unsurprisingly, the restored parliament declared the country secular.

One of Nepal's greatest monuments, the Swayambhunath temple overlooking Kathmandu, epitomises the country's traditions of religious tolerance and mixing, especially between Hinduism and Buddhism.

Swayambhunath is a Buddhist shrine - a great dome or stupa - from which the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha gaze from its gold-painted face. But adjoining the stupa and its prayer wheels, people swarm around buying offerings for the Hindu goddess, Harati, whose temple lies in the same compound.

Some worshippers move from one shrine to the other.

Changes welcomed

People advocating the Hindu state point to such places, saying the faiths get on very well as things are. Some commentators say the country's status has prevented the development of the kind of angry Hindu politics seen in India.

But others say precisely the opposite.

Bhikkhu Ananda, a <b>Buddhist monk </b>and lecturer in Buddhist studies, says the Hindu state grossly underplays the number of Buddhists in Nepal. He puts it at 50% rather than the official 11%.  <i>(I am pretty sure this voice of dissent from Buddhists is a manufactured one)</i>

"<b>In this Hindu country, we are not given our due place</b>," he says, asserting that the state broadcaster gives his faith 10 minutes a week compared with three-and-a-half hours for Hinduism.

Other religious minorities, <b>including the tiny Christian one</b> <i>(the REAL AGENDA)</i>, also welcome the change.

Pastor KB Rokaya heads a church which meets in a private flat because churches are not allowed to register with the authorities. He hopes that will now change and says that more than secularism, what is needed is full religious freedom.

"I think the minority religious people will now feel they are equal citizens, not second-class citizens," he says. "It will also mean we can practise our own religion and faith more openly without fear."

The most vocal advocates of secularism, however, are not grounded in religion.

For its size, Nepal is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. <b>Some were Hinduised relatively recently and some are discovering their pre-Hindu roots. </b> <i>(A deeper insight into the agenda to permanently severe India's ties with Nepal)</i>

Krishna Bhattachan works for an umbrella organisation of 59 <i><b>indigenous ethnic </b></i>groups, most of which have never enjoyed much power in Nepal.

<b>He says the Hindu state has held back democracy and development and wants secularism to be followed by removal of the monarchy and recognition for minority cultures and languages</b>.


<b>Ranged against this view are many ordinary Hindus who say they feel hurt, pointing out that many countries have Islam or Christianity as a state religion and saying they cherish Nepal's unique status. </b>

Louder are the angry Hindus, who speak with veiled threats towards religious minorities.

"In secularism it will be very difficult for them," a youth attending a rally tells the BBC. "The churches will be destroyed, the mosques will be destroyed.

"The people who are very much [of a] religious mind, they will spontaneously blow up these churches and mosques. The fight between the religious communities... is not going to stop. It has been ignited."

Currently the protesters wanting to keep Nepal officially Hindu are only gathering a few dozen to their rallies. But there have been some scuffles, <b>at least once with the influential Maoist rebels now inching closer to government. </b>

It is still unclear whether <b>militant Hindu sentiments </b>will harden and bigger crowds will flock to their rallies.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

And India's 'leadership' stands silent, impotent.
Manu here is something else we can thank Nehru for:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What Indians think about Nepal!

In an astounding display of political ineptitude at a time when Nepal is seething with anti-India sentiment, senior BJP ideologue and member of the party's national executive K.R. Malkani asserted that Jawaharlal Nehru should have accepted the accession of Nepal to India in the 1950s when it was "offered to us by King Tribhuvan."

In an exclusive interview to The News Today at its Office recently, Malkani said there were many reasons for the current anti-India tirade in Nepal – "Some of the mistakes are on our side, some are mischief by other parties." Elaborating, Malkani said, "I think we made a very serious, very foolish mistake when Tribhuvan offered to accede to India and Nehru said — 'No, duniya kya kahegi?’ (what will the world say?) We should have accepted the accession of Nepal to India when it was offered to us by King Tribhuvan." On further questioning, he said the offer was made in the mid-50s, "1954 or 55," adding, "It is known, it is public knowledge."

He repeated that Nehru refused the offer only because he feared adverse world opinion. "Usko duniya ka chinta zyaada tha (he was more concerned about the world), the BJP leader said with a touch of sarcasm. 'Pakistani presence very strong in Nepal' Asked if it would have been had Nepal had become a part of India like Sikkim in 1976, Malkani said: "Of course, of course. "He immediately added that " Pakistan has any number of agents in Nepal, they spend a lot of money out there, "implying that this was made possible because Nepal had remained an independent nation.

Holding forth on the Nepal-Pakistan connection, Malkani said, "When we had no diplomatic relations with Pakistan after the 1971 war, Bhutto especially sent a very influential powerful man to Nepal. He himself told me that Nepal is now very important for us as an entry point because from Nepal anybody can enter India – goods can come in, agents can come in, anybody can come in." He further said, "So the – I need not call it Muslim — the Pakistani presence is very strong in Nepal. And probably Nepal thinks that they will be in a better position to deal with India if they have Pakistan's support. (They feel that) they can always bargain with us – this always happens to buffer states."


vame via email.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nepal bans firecrackers for Diwali </b>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am from Nepal and am a hindu. I found this topic as well as the responses very strange. As far as I know the notice to ban firecrackers during deepawali (Tihar in Nepali) is issued by his majesty's government's home ministry every year in Nepal. This notice is published every year before Tihar and I have seen it at least for last 20 years. So there is nothing new in it.

The way in which most of the hindu festivals are celebrated in Nepal is mostly unadulterated from any external christian/ muslim etc influences. So the way in which festivals are celebrated in Nepal is somewhat different from that in India. In Deepawali (Tihar), there is a holiday all over the country for 5 days, and it is also called as 'Yama Panchak'. On day 1, we worship crows, followed by dog and Lord Dhanvantari on the second day, then cow and Goddess Laxmi on the third day, Ox, buffaloes, ones' 'aatman' (soul) and replica of Gobardhan Parbat on 4th day, and Yamaraj and own brothers on the last day. Lighting 'oil or ghee lamps' (diyos) is a custom followed on all 5 days, but lighting candles and using firecrackers has never been a nepali way to celebrate Deepawali. This is being copied from what is seen on Indian media in the last one decade, and is in no way related to Nepalese traditions. And I don't think that the 'Dharma Shastras' have told us to celebrate Deepawali by using firecrackers. I think this is a custom imported in India as well from somewhere else.

The only holidays we have in our country is during hindu festivals, ranging from dussehara (dashain), deepawali (Tihar) to Mahashivaratri, Holi and many others. This year also there was a 15 days holiday in Dashain and people celebrated it with much more zeal than in past few years. Even the Maoists celebrated Dashain this year after a long gap of nearly a decade. Our national and official calender is Vikram Samvat, and most people don't know the year/ months in Christian era. Only non hindu festival in which there is a holiday is 'Buddha Purnima'. Nepal still has 82% hindus and 11% buddhists (total 93%). Buddhism in Nepal is very much interwined with Hinduism and Buddhists here regularly visit and worship in hindu temples. Out of the remaining population, 4% comproise the Kiraats. This is more of an animistic religion with lots of hindu influence and their main god is 'Kiranteshwor Mahadev'. Muslims only comprise 2% of the population, and they too are concentrated in just 2 districts adjacent to Lucknow of India. Christians don't comprise even 0.5% of the total population. Anti conversion laws here are very strict and still in place, and everyone including Maoists are still for these rules. Killing cows is a punishable offence and one gets sentence of 12 years on killing cows even now. So I don't think that there is so much threat to Hindu religion here, as is portrayed by the Media. And the Hindu festivals celebrated here are more old fashioned with less influence of the current modern world, that is why many of them may look peculiar to someone from India or anywhere else in the world. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Capitalism is Maoist decree for Nepal </b>
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
Prachanda as President?
Comrade Prachanda, who is gearing up to take up the mantle of an executive President of Nepal, hinted that the Himalayan kingdom would be a capitalist State. He also made it clear that Nepal would have cordial, fruitful relations with India.

In his first 'open' visit to India after launching resistance movement for 10 years in his country, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, on Saturday outlined his vision of Nepal at the ongoing Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in the Capital on Saturday. 

<b>"The Nepalese people want to overthrow the Monarchy and establish a capitalistic society in the country," </b>he said, adding that this would be in the best interest of Nepal.

<b>"I would request the feudal forces to transform themselves at least as capitalist or bourgeoisie,"</b> his number two in the party Babu Ram Bhattari supplemented.

In his interaction with the media and the strategic community in Delhi, Prachanda said, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was neither going to toe the line the Communists had taken earlier, nor were they preparing for an October Revolution-like event. "I would like to see a presidential system in Nepal removing the King," he said. Delivering his speech at the summit, he said: <b>"It should be an executive presidency and if the people want it I would love to be the President." However, he clarified that neither he nor his brass were going to join the interim Government.</b>

"We know the interim Government cannot do much. If I or our top leaders join it, people could be disillusioned with us also," he said. At the same time, he said his second rung leaders would, indeed, be there in the interim government. A sun-tanned Prachanda added confidently that people will adhere to his vision of "New and Changed" Nepal.

<b>"King Gyanendra would be an ordinary citizen of the country and his properties would be confiscated in the form of national wealth,"</b> he said.

In another appearance at Observers Research Foundation, he said the ratio of reduction in the strength of his People's Liberation Army would be consummate with the reduction of force of the existing Royal Nepalese Army.
<b>"We cannot believe the Royal Army, so we will keep the minimum force and weapons with us under the supervision of UN," </b>he clarified. He said his party was making an experiment in Nepal that was new for the global Communist movement.

"We want competitive politics. If Lenin was alive for some more years, he would have moved towards political competition and that would have made the Soviet societies more vibrant and prosperous," he said, departing from the Stalinist ideology of classical Communism.

<b>Observers feel an executive presidency would suit Prachanda as he could then directly win elections for Presidentship with no leader of his reach an organizational network exists in Nepal.</b>

About Indian interests in Nepal, <b>Prachanda said the so-called "Red Corridor" was never the policy of his party and the clash of interests on water usage on the Indo-Nepal border was the handiwork of Monarchy." </b>

This is bad news. Commie dictator.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pakistan 'offered aid' to Maoists

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Web| Nov 20, 2006
Subversion Sans Borders
Nepal Maoist chief Prachanda's 'dislcosure' that Pakistan's ISI had offered help to his outfit through "direct or indirect" means only underlines what has been an open secret for years: Pak-sponsored terror from the the porous borders with Nepal


On November 4, 2006, union minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal stated that in view of Pakistani militants using Nepalese territory as a hideout and base for infiltration into India, the government might re-draft its extradition treaty with Nepal. Speaking at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, he said Pakistani militants had "found a safe hideout in Nepal and it is a safe passage for coming to India... The government would be unable to check this completely as Nepal is a friendly nation and we have a porous border with it. If the need arises, we might consider a new extradition treaty with Nepal."

The minister's statement confirms a fact well-documented over the years. Nepalese territory has long been used by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as a launch pad for its activities against India. Taking advantage of India's good relationship with Nepal that excludes a policy of 'squeeze targeting' the latter, the ISI has been able to exploit Nepal's territory and the porosity of the 1,751 kilometre India-Nepal border to augment its subversive campaign.

The India-Nepal 'open' border runs across 20 Districts in five Indian states: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal and Uttaranchal. The term 'border' is a misnomer in this context, as people of both the countries can cross it from any point. The legality of the border is enforced through specific border check-posts, including 19 agreed immigration check posts, 22 mutual trade routes and 15 third-country transit routes. There are six transit points for nationals of other countries, who require entry and exit visas to cross the border. Locals, however, routinely cross over at any point, and the terms of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 offer virtually uninterrupted passage for illegal smuggling of goods, arms, ammunition and narcotics, as well as human trafficking from either side.

A 78-page Indian intelligence report dating back to the year 2000, titled 'Pakistan's Anti-India Activities in Nepal', detailed various aspects of Pakistan's 'undeclared war' and its modus operandi, including support to NGOs promoting ill-will against India among the Nepalese Muslim community by circulating propaganda material received from Pakistan and elsewhere, support to radicalization in an increasing number of mosques along the border and the use of such mosques and religious centres to facilitate the movement of subversive and terrorist cadres and material across the border.

With the fencing of the India-Pakistan border in the Punjab and Rajasthan Sectors, the ISI has increasingly exploited India's open border with Nepal for infiltration of terrorists, arms, ammunition and explosives, to carry out strikes in various parts of India with the help of various Islamist groups directly supported by Pakistani state agencies. Reports indicate that militants have been crossing into and out of India through the porous Indo-Nepal border, particularly via Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar. Terrorist and subversive cadres based in Bangladesh go to Nepal through the same route, crossing into India from West Bengal. According to one Police officer, "Young men from Kashmir Valley, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other places, who are initiated into terrorism, often use the same route to reach the training camps apparently being run in the neighbouring countries."

The impact of such a permeable border has been felt on both the Indian and Nepal side. The ISI has used the Raxaul sub-division in Bihar as a recruiting ground for terrorists, with Birganj (the second largest city of Nepal), allegedly, being the nerve centre of such activities. Over the years Birganj has emerged as a major hub for the distribution of counterfeit currency, narcotics, explosives and arms into different parts of India through Bihar.In addition to the border districts of North Bihar, the Kishanganj area adjacent to West Bengal has also reported significant ISI movement. In July 2006, the Intelligence Bureau Director, E.S.L. Narshimhan, visited Raxaul to take stock of reports of growing activities of militants and smugglers along the border, allegedly patronised by the ISI. Further, agencies indicated that at least 3,000 persons residing on the Indo-Nepal border, particularly in Sikrahna and Raxaul, had been enjoying dual citizenship by registering themselves in both India's and Nepal's voters' list.

Further, smugglers (including the network of Pakistan-based Dawood Ibrahim) and narcotics peddlers have taken advantage of the open border since long. Maloy Krishna Dhar, a former Intelligence Bureau Joint Director, in his book Fulcrum of Evil: ISI-CIA-Al Qarda Nexus¸ has disclosed that the ISI has been active through two subsidiaries—Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous and Joint Intelligence X— to carry out a systematic process of mobilisation among Nepal's Muslim population. Some of the groups aiding this process include the Nepal Islamic Yuva Sangh, Jamait-e-Islami Nepal and Nepal Muslim Seva Samiti. According to a March 27, 2006, report, there are around 1,900 madrassas (seminaries) on both sides of the India-Nepal border, including 800 on the Nepal side. Muslims constitute just 4.2 per cent of Nepal's total population, of which 96.7 percent is confined to the Tarai region bordering India, constituting some 7.32 percent of the total population of the Tarai.

India's Task Force on Border Management, in its report of October 2000 also confirmed ominous developments along the India-Nepal border:

On the Indo-Nepal border, madrassas and mosques have sprung up on both sides in the Terai region, accompanied by four-fold increase in the population of the minority community in the region. There are 343 mosques, 300 madrassas and 17 mosques-cum-madrasas within 10 kilometres of the border on the Indian side. On the Nepal side, there are 282 mosques, 181 madrassas and eight mosques-cum-madrassas. These mosques and madrassas receive huge funds from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Managers of various madrassas and ulema maintain close links with the embassy officials of those countries located at Kathmandu (sic). Financial assistance is also channelizsed through the Islamic Development Bank (Jeddah), Habib Bank of Pakistan and also through some Indian Muslims living in Gulf countries. Pakistan's Habib Bank, after becoming a partner in Nepal's Himalayan Bank, has expanded its network in the border areas including Biratnagar and Krishna Nagar. It is suspected that foreign currency is converted into Indian currency in Nepal and then brought to India clandestinely… Madrasas and mosques on the Indo-Nepal border are frequently visited by prominent Muslim leaders, Tablighi Jamaats (proselytizing groups) and pro-Pak Nepali leaders. Officials of Pak Embassy have come to notice visiting Terai area of Nepal to strengthen Islamic institutions and to disburse funds to them. Pro-Pak elements in Nepal also help in demographic subversion of the Terai belt.

Indian intelligence now believes that several underground groups in Nepal provide logistics and support to the militants taking shelter there. Some of these have been identified as the Kashmir Jama Masjid Democratic Muslim Association, Nepal World Islamic Council and Nepal Islamic Yuva Sangh. In some cases, such groups are known to have received funding from sympathisers based in Jeddah and other Asian cities. One of these groups is alleged to have links with the Islamic Youth Organisation based in Jakarta.Among others on the Indian intelligence watch list are Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Hadis, Millat-e-Islami (which has links with Jamaat-e-Islami) and Jam Seraj-ul-Alam, which is based in Kapilvastu in South West Nepal.

The serial blasts in Mumbai (July 11, 2006), in Varanasi (March 7, 2006), in Delhi (October 29, 2005), and a foiled terrorist attack on the disputed religious site in Ayodhya on July 5, 2005, all exposed a Nepal connection. The arrest of two Pakistanis, Moiddin Siddiqui and Gulam Hasan Cheema, from a five-star hotel in Kathmandu on July 13, 2006, by the Nepal Police further corroborated these linkages. Then, on August 7, 2006, the arrest of a Dawood Ibrahim aide, Fazlu, from the India-Nepal border at Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh had been preceded by the arrests of two suspects in Mumbai blasts, Mohammad Kamal and Khaleel Aziz, from Madhubani in Bihar, again on the India-Nepal border.

Security agencies are also concerned over the free flow of fake currency notes in the denominations of INR 1,000 and INR 500. Police reportedly seized such fakes notes in more than 200 different places on the Indo-Nepal border over the past year. The printing and circulation of massive quantities of fake India currency has been an integral part of the ISI's strategy for decades now. In one of the incidents of this kind, on August 7, 2005, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested two suspected ISI agents, Mobin Ansari of Nepal and Ashfaq Ahmed of Gorakhpur in UP, from Delhi and recovered fake currency notes with face value of INR 68,500. The duo reportedly confessed that they used to smuggle fake Indian currency via Nepal through their own agents and circulate them in the bordering districts of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. In direct confirmation of the Pakistani role in the circulation of fake currency through Nepal, a Pakistan Embassy official, Siraj Ahmed Siraj, was detained by the Nepalese Police at Kathmandu, and counterfeit currency amounting to INR 47,000 and USD 9200 was recovered from him.

Following the imposition of Emergency in Nepal in 2001 the Maoists started taking advantage of the open border to take shelter in bordering states in times of adversity and also created a support arrangement with the Indian Maoists for safe haven, medical treatment and assistance in training. The union ministry of home affairs in its 2006 annual report said that 180 Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist leaders and cadres have been arrested from different parts of India over the last five years. It stated, further, that 140 Maoists had been arrested from 2001 to 2004 while 40 were arrested in 2005, adding that Nepali Maoists frequently visit the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for medical treatment. After the November 7, 2006-agreement between the government and Maoists in Nepal, the infiltration by Nepali Maoists may witness a momentary lull. But without a solution crystallizing in Nepal, there is little grounds for lowering the guard on the India-Nepal border.

The Shasastra Seema Bal (SSB), a paramilitary force, which now guards the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar and West Bengal, is already in the process of augmenting its force and would position 45,000 personnel on the ground by March 2007. It has already urged the Bihar government to connect all border outposts, presently numbering 148, through district roads and also favoured greater coordination between central and state agencies against the growing ISI threat in the region. The union home ministry is also considering the setting up of four integrated check posts (ICPs) along the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. ICPs are expected to be in place shortly at Raxaul and Jogbani in Bihar.

Grave dangers, nevertheless, continue to exist, and, given the nature of the neighbourhood and the campaigns of covert warfare against India by Pakistan and Bangladesh, as long as the Indo-Nepal border remains porous, the dangers of both subversion and terror emanating from Nepal will persist.

Ajit Kumar Singh is Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management. Courtesy, the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->JNU goes to Nepal House
- Holiday after making history


Kathmandu, Jan. 16: “Jawaharlal Nehru University is going to run Nepal now,” remarked a Nepalese politician. That may not be entirely true but what prompted the remark was the induction of three new MPs — all from JNU — last night in the new interim parliament of Nepal.

Two of them — Amresh Singh and Hari Roka — are still completing their PhD in JNU. Singh expects to finish his thesis within a year at the School of International Studies. Roka hopes to submit his thesis in the economics department by this July. The third, Bamdev Chetri, was assistant librarian in JNU before he was arrested by India for his Maoist links and closeness to another former JNU student, Baburam Bhattarai. He was deported to face the torture of King Gyanendra’s police.

Former foreign minister Chakara Prasad Bastola, himself a product of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), remarked: “The BHU-centred leadership of Nepal reflected the pre- and post-1947 reality. Calcutta, Patna and Allahabad universities also played a role in influencing the Nepalese leadership once. Today, that role is being played to some extent by JNU.”

Hari Roka, who was jailed at the age of 13 for seven years for participating in a demonstration, and Amresh are both familiar faces to those in Delhi who took any interest in Nepal.

“JNU expanded my horizons. It gave me the space to talk about democracy and freedom. It is that experience which made some of us argue for negotiations between the political parties and the Maoists,” said Singh, who has been nominated by the Nepali Congress to parliament.

Not only did JNU change them but the Nepalese students also changed opinion about Nepal in India. Hari Roka, nominated by the Maoists as a civil society representative free from their party whip in parliament, can justifiably claim credit in this regard.

The author of several seminal analytical articles in the Indian press on the Nepalese democracy movement, Roka said: “Earlier the relationship with India was mediated through retired Indian bureaucrats who organised seminars on Nepal and pontificated in the media. Our political leaders and the Kathmandu elite forged close ties with them.

“We started writing in the Indian newspapers and forged a new kind of relationship with Indian intellectuals, political parties, journalists and editors. The Indian people realised what was really happening in Nepal.”

JNU also became the hub of Nepalese political activities after the king’s retrograde action in October 2002 of dissolving parliament and then his complete takeover on February 1, 2005.

“Not only Nepalese students but even the Indian students lent support to our democracy movement. Leaders like Baburam Bhattarai, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Mahant Thakur, Krishna Sitaula, Shekhar Koirala, Hridayesh Tripathi and Rajendra Mahato came to JNU,” Singh pointed out.

“All their meetings were held either in my room in Brahmaputra Hostel or in Hari Roka’s room in Sutlej Hostel,” he recalled.

Roka, who organised news conferences of leaders of Nepalese democracy in JNU, recalls how JNU’s professors helped open political doors for them. “How can we ever forget the support given to us by professors S.D. Muni, Anand Kumar, Kamal Mitra Chinoy, Anuradha Chinoy or the president of the JNU Teachers’ Association Roopamanjari Ghosh?” Singh said.

“Nepal needs good social scientists and experts on regional development. Indian universities like JNU must train Nepalese students on a preferential basis.” Roka said.

There are long-term benefits of helping Nepalese students study in Indian universities. “India does not recognise this. Today, our students are going to the US, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan as admission in Indian universities is very difficult. This cannot be good for India,” Bastola said.

“Those educated in India have goodwill towards it with no expectation of rewards. That relationship is very strong, very positive and very objective. Today, bureaucrats think that the Indian embassy here can generate goodwill. The chemistry of such ‘goodwill’ is very different from that which comes from being educated in India,” Bastola said.
This is very serious, these pests have latched onto Nepal and will not let go until they suck out the last drop of blood from the Nepalese.
<b>Transition in Nepal historic: CPI-M</b>
The purge has started? King's man arrested, 29 January 2007:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nepalese former minister arrested</b> 
A former home minister during King Gyanendra's rule in Nepal has been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to encourage recent violence in the south.
Kamal Thapa, a close adviser to the king, was arrested by police at his home in the capital Kathmandu, government officials said.

They said Mr Thapa was being held at the city's main police station.

At least seven people have been killed since the unrest began in Nepal's southern region nearly two weeks ago.

"The former royally-appointed Home Minister, Kamal Thapa, was arrested at his home," the home ministry secretary, Umesh Mainali, told the AFP news agency.

"He has been taken into preventative detention so enquiries can be made into his role in provoking unrest," Mr Mainali said.

The unrest in Nepal's impoverished southern plains began early this month, spreading to most major town of the region.

Demonstrators say they have been left out of government development and policy-making decisions.

Mr Thapa was the home minister in April last year, when King Gyanendra was forced to end his direct rule in the Himalayan country after weeks of mass political protests.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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