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Friday, February 29, 2008

The polls are bound to happen this time

KATHMANDU, Feb 29 - Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Bhoj Raj Pokhrel on Friday said the electoral programmes can not be rescheduled again.
Addressing media persons after his meeting with US Ambassador to Nepal Nancy J. Powell today, CEC Pokhrel claimed that the Election Commission (EC) exercised flexibility this time although the new electoral programmes have brought challenges to the EC.

He added that the programmes for the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections fixed earlier were postponed this time to assist the peace process.

CEC Pokhrel informed that the holding of the April 10 CA polls will be easier for the EC since the government reached to understanding with the major agitating Madhesi Front.

According to Pokhrel, it was agreed to establish a new centre for elections’ monitoring with the US support during his meeting with Ambassador Powell.

Only today EC fixed new dates for filing the name-list of the candidates to contest the CA polls under first-past-the-post (FPTP) system on the request of the government following the signing of an 8-point agreement with the Madhesi party United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF).

Source: kantipuronline.com

A step closer to peace?

The government and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) signed an eight-point deal on Thursday ending the protracted Terai crisis.


Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala shaking hands with Madhesi leaders (Upendra...
On the 16th day of indefinite Terai bandh, the government and the UDMF signed the agreement following which the UDMF leaders have withdrawn their agitation and agreed to take part in April election.

The deal states that the federal units including Madhes will be made autonomous; Madhesis and other marginalised communities would be proportionally recruited in Nepali Army; those killed during Madhes agitation would be declared martyrs; injured will be provided free medical treatment; and the government will request the Election Commission (EC) to allow the Madhesi parties to file their nominations for the CA election.




In a press meet organised after the signing of the deal in Baluwatar, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said that the agreement will be fully implemented.

"Let no one doubt about its implementation. It will go into effect immediately," he said.

PM Koirala also reiterated that the Constituent Assembly election will end all the problems facing the country. "That is the place from where all problems will be resolved," he said.

Addressing the joint press meet, Mahantha Thakur, chief of Terai Madhes Loktantrik Party (TMLP), said, "This uprising was not aimed at weakening Nepal but at gaining the rights for people of Madhes."



Thakur also urged the government to create environment to faciliate the entry of parties that have raised arms to come to the negotiating table.

Upendra Yadav, coordinator of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), said, "I hope that this agreement is fully implemented so that Madhesis do not have to launch another agitation. If we are compelled to launch another agitation that would be decisive and much intense."

Rajendra Mahato, chief of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP), also addresssed the joint press meet. The TMLP, MJF and NSP are three parties who floated the UDMF, which has spearheaded Madhes agitation.

General secretary of Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and Maoist chairman Prachanda were also present at the joint press meet, which was held following hours-long talks in Baluwatar.

Source: Nepalnews.com

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Curfew in Bhaktapur: One shot dead

The Bhaktapur district administration has imposed curfew in the city on Friday evening after continued clash between security forces and protestors.

The curfew has been imposed in municipalities between Kamal Binayak, Jagati and Sallaghari from 7 p.m. today till 4 a.m. tomorrow.

At least 11 policemen including Inspector Deepak Dhungel and several protestors have been injured during the scuffle that left the city tense throughout today. The clashes occurred in Suryabinayak, Byasi and Durbar Square areas.




The residents organised protests against the oil crisis. Later, the protestors demanded punishment against the murder of Krishna Prasad Suwal. Police said two persons have been arrested in connection with the murder.

The protestors set ablaze the tourist fee counter at Durbar Square. The Arniko Highway remained deserted due to the protests.

The protestors also misbehaved with journalist Gokul Shrestha and burnt his motorcycle. The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) have denounced the action

One shot dead for defying curfew in Bhaktapur

A person has been shot dead after he reportedly defied curfew in Bhaktapur city on Friday night.

The security personnel had opened fire after an unidentified youth defied the curfew in Golmadhi area of Bhaktapur city. He later succumbed to his wounds at Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj.

After the tension flared up following murder of a local youth on Wednesday night by unidentified assailants, the locals of Bhaktapur had protested and gheraoed district police office on Friday.

As the scenes started to turn nastier, the local administration clamped curfew in city area from 7 pm Friday till 4 am Saturday

May be the elections will happen this time around..

Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel today urged the political parties not to indulge in any activity that might adversely affect the April 10 Constituent Assembly election.
Speaking after a workshop for providing training to election officers here in Banke district of mid-western Nepal, CEC Pokhrel told reporters: “Political parties should get serious and refrain from any activity that might adversely affect the CA polls.”
Referring to the election code of conduct, Pokhrel said: “There are so many instances of poll code violation such as graffiti on the walls. Those who have done this should erase the graffiti before April 10, otherwise the EC would take necessary action.” He also urged the people to refrain from doing anything that might have a negative impact on the election and asked them to work for creating a peaceful atmosphere for holding the polls.
Pokhrel also urged the government to strengthen security measures. He said that he had requisitioned 70,000 personnel for maintaining security during the polls and added that he was confident that the government would oblige. He also asked the government not to take too long in addressing the demands of various agitating groups in different parts of the country. Stating that the election would be the first step towards making a new Nepal, he said that the agitating groups should also be prepared to sacrifice a little in order to gain a lot.
Pokhrel expressed regret about the blast this morning at the EC’s regional office and said that it was the handiwork of vested interests opposed to the CA polls and who wanted to demoralise the election commission staff. He added that if all the 74 political parties registered with the EC, move forward on the basis of understanding, any hurdle could be surmounted.
“If there is no option, we will set up polling booths in schools like before. I have also requested the schools not to hold examinations around the poll date,” he said.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is Army mobilization necessary for Peace in nepal??

An article from an outside source

> With increasing violence in different part of
> countries, whether it is terai or pahad, the chances
> of free, fair and peaceful election has been a
> symbol of day dream. In current scenario, mere
> mobilization of police and armed police force would
> not be sufficient to quell the consequences that
> seemingly appear during CA election.
>
> In one hand people are debating about the army
> mobilization and it has been voiced as conspiracy
> against terai movement. I opt different view in this
> regard. I believe army is just a structure & state
> force and can be mobilized at any time when needed.
> Especially during CA election it is a must. The
> reason why I am pointing out this is simple. Army is
> undoubtedly more reliable and efficient force than
> police/armed police force. I do not spell army
> should be mobilized only in terai because it would
> certainly disastrous for CA election in terai
> rather I would say, if mobilized it should be done
> in both terai and pahad equally.
>
> Since Maoists believe in power business and its
> wing, YCL thinks that certain districts are their
> personal property. I see Maoist and its wing YCL are
> greatest threat than struggling armed faction in
> terai Jwala singh or goit. Several examples can be
> tabled why YCL is a biggest threat for CA election.
> Whether it’s in case of obstruction during Sher
> bahadu deuba’s address in west or attack on Dilendra
> badu. On the top of that just recently Maoist
> revived their so called “people’s revolutionary
> council”. Although they name it differently and take
> it as alternative to local local bodies, reviving it
> ahead of CA election means a lot. The meaning could
> be to torture/kill people who do not support or vote
> them. The meaning could be to create the act of
> terror/havoc so that people should be forced to stay
> at home and only their supporter should vote or
> anything which garner their favour.
>
> Based on this scenario, army mobilization is a must
> to thwart their hidden interest. We have already
> seen police capability during recent incidents.
> Being a former minister or pri-minister they are
> unsafe, how can police give protection to thousands
> of leaders or poor people during CA election. The
> insufficiency of police force whether to protect
> leaders or capture YCL office taking more than 1 and
> half hour have been crystal clear examples why they
> can not provide security during CA.
>
> It is clear that going election to CA is inevitable.
> Despite terai problem still continues in pockets,
> the probability of going for election is certainly
> high. In that context if we do not mobilize army,
> more bloodshed can turn out rather than if army kept
> at barrack. Indeed, question will arise again
> against government if more bloodshed happens during
> election and if police could not provide adequate
> security. So, to protect people’s live and to have
> meaningful and peaceful CA election, army
> mobilization is a must.
>
> Regards
> Ajaya Jang Kunwar
>
> Ajaya Jang Kunwar
> C/o Prof. Dr. kerstin Krieglstein
> Dept. of Anatomy, Neuroanatomy
> Human medicine
> Georg August University
> Kreuzbergring-36
> Goettingen-37075
> Germany
>
> Ph. No. +49 (0)551 2502744
> Lab no. +49 (0)551 39 7072
>
> Alt. email- kunwar_ajaya@yahoo.co.uk

Is Nepal's Peace at Risk??

KATHMANDU (AFP) - Nepal's fragile peace process could be at risk if serious human rights abuses committed during a decade-long civil war are not addressed, a senior United Nations human rights official said.


"Impunity remains unchecked in Nepal and not one perpetrator of past or ongoing human rights violations has been convicted as a result of a criminal investigation," said UN deputy high commissioner for human rights Kyung-wha Kang on Sunday.

A peace deal between Maoist rebels and mainstream political parties in late 2006 ended a decade-long war that killed at least 13,000 people and brought the Maoists into government.

During the war, both the Maoists and security forces committed grave human rights abuses including abduction, torture and murder, rights groups have said.

"The consolidation of the peace process will continue to be at risk without political will on the part of the authorities to end this culture of impunity," Kang told journalists in Kathmandu at the end of her five-day visit.

During her visit to Nepal, the UN official met ministers involved in the country's peace process and visited the troubled southern plains region known as the Terai.

Since the peace pact was signed, at least 200 people have been killed in the Terai in ethnic and communal unrest that has cast a shadow over the deal and is threatening crucial polls delayed and now planned for April.

"These acts of violence only serve the interests of those seeking to disrupt the peace process and will make more difficult the holding of free and fair elections," Kang said.

The election is a key part of the 2006 peace deal and will most likely see Nepal get rid of the 239-year-old monarchy as well as elect those who will write a new constitution.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

King Gyanendra breaks silence yet again

Gyanendra challenges SPA over republic declaration

In less than a week time, Nepal’s sidelined monarch Gyanendra keeping mum for over a year period has broken his silence twice.
The question is not only that why he speaks but whom or which force on earth is provoking him to break his silence and that too in series.
If it is not the Nepal Army that had long association with the monarchial institution then for god’s shake which force is backing King Gyanendra this time…, analyst remain baffled.
“The western democracies, the US or India…or the Maoists themselves”, analyst have no answer.
Any ways, this time it was not simply a “verbal attack’ on the ruling political parties but he pose a question mark on the very legality of the “republic declaration”.
The decision to abolish the monarchy was an “undemocratic step”, says King Gyanendra openly.
This, King Gyanendra said last Monday talking to a select group of Japanese journalist at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace in Kathmandu.
King Gyanendra’s interview was published in Daily Yomiuri, Japan's leading newspaper.
Key Points:
The decision doesn't reflect the majority view of the people. This isn't democracy.
The people have the right to choose the fate of the monarchy.
Some leaders have tried to take action that was against cultural, social and traditional values.
A majority of the people find great meaning in the institution of the monarchy. In all clouds, there is a silver lining.
Only a week ago King Gyanendra talking to a local journalist had said that he had no idea as regards the declaration of Republic in the country.

I will look into the matter more seriously…, King Gyanedra had said.
Analysts remained puzzled as to what transpired in less than a week time that forced King Gyanendra though strongly questioning the legitimacy of the parliamentary proclamation however in doing so also accepting that the Country has already been declared a republic.
The question is also that as to who dare question the legitimacy of the parliamentary decision, the parliament that was raised from the dead by King Gyanendra himself, say analyst.
How will the SPA leadership retaliate to the questions posed by the Monarch on the legitimacy of the series of decisions that the leadership has taken since he gave up power, will have to be watched and will perhaps decide the future course the country is to take?

SOURCE: TELEGRAPHNEPAL

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The past 12 years of political conflict has:
Destroyed Nepal
Has made no change
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Sunday, February 3, 2008

When are the explosions going to stop??

A series of blasts rocked the southern town of Rajbiraj, Saptari district, where the Nepali Congress (NC) was organising a mass meeting, Sunday afternoon.

Eight explosions took place simultaneously outside Raj Stadium, where senior NC leader and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was attending a mass gathering organised by the party’s trade union. At least 11 people including a policeman were injured in the blast, reports said.

The injured persons have been undergoing treatment at the Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, Rajbiraj.

Apparently, the explosions were intended to terrorise those participating in the mass meeting.

Altogether 51 suspected of involved in the blast attacks have been arrested.

Even after the blasts, the mass meeting continued inside the stadium. Addressing the programme, Deuba said that bombings and threats would not deter the forthcoming constituent assembly polls.

Security has been massively beefed up in Rajbiraj after the blasts.

On Saturday, an armed outfit called Madhesi Mukti Tigers had detonated a bomb in Inaruwa, Sunsari district, when Deuba was attending a mass meeting organised by the NC there
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