Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nepal update and SL comment

1) Nepal update:

The President as per the Interim Constitution 2063 Clause 38-1 had urged parties to form government forging a political consensus after Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned on June 30, 2010. President Yadav thus on Monday, July 12, 2010, sent a letter to the parliamentary secretariat asking for holding election to choose the next Prime Minister based on majority. The major three parties, Nepali Congress, United Marxist Leninists and Unified Maoists’ held a meeting early hours on Monday to give final push for garnering consensus but after failing to do so the leaders told the press that they will try to seek consensus within the majority framework. The meeting was held at the CA premises and lasted for almost two hours. “The next government will be technically a majority one but politically it will be based on consensus”, said Jhal Nath Khanal of UML.

Similarly, Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress opined that the parties are totally committed to provide consensus while forming a majority government. Constitutionally the government will be based on majority but we will make it in consensus, assured, Narayan Kaji Shrestha of Unified Maoists’ Party. Say reports the political parties are separately working on three different propositions. First is formation of a Government under the leadership of Jhal Nath Khanal of the UML supported by Unified Maoists’ Party. Second is formation of government under the command of Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal of Unified Maoists supported by UML and Madhesi parties. Third is continuation of current framework wherein Ram Chandra Poudel would become the Prime Minister.

Is this meant to be a bloody JOKE? What is exactly a majority government formed based on consensus? And this joker of a journalist from whom I have cnp-ed has presented all these options and leaves us no sense wiser, and thinks he has informed us. Or is it that Nepali politicians are such numbskulls to mislead their own people with gay abandon? Most folks knowledgeable on Nepal know that Jhalnath Khanal and MK Nepal dont go well at all with PK Dahal, more so after this MKN ouster, so what kind of a sick joke is option 2. The third option is as remote as GP Koirala arising from his ashes, especially with Sushil Koirala still around. The modus operandi behind option 1 is as unclear as google maps in a thick fog. So either I must be dumb or this journalist is cooking a crock of crap in a journalistic garb.

Sitting on the top of the heap and watching this saas-bahu-whinefest-is-better must be Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, one must pity him. The more one deals with Nepal, the more questions pop up, and fewer answers get heard. Beckoning Nihar Nayak to make a post at IDSA making sense of the developments and providing mere mortals some insight into what he can also see. Linky

With the failure of the political parties to form a consensus government within the timeline given by the President, the legislature parliament is set to elect the new Prime Minister on July 21. Parliamentary Business Advisory Committee today set the date for the Prime Minister's election. According to Minister for Law, Prem Bahadur Singh, who was present at the committee's meeting, nominations for the post would be registered until July 20. The timetable for the Prime Minister's election would be presented at the meeting of the parliament for endorsement later today. The committee's decision comes a day after President Dr Ram Baran Yadav wrote a letter to the parliament secretariat to start necessary procedures for formation of a majority government.

Now one may ask: why did the NC and CPN (M) that were getting closer by the day say goodbye, yet again. The answer lies in this:

Hinting at the alleged involvement of Maoist activists in the murder of a district leader of UML Chabilal Karki few days ago, the top NC leader said that if the Maoists don't stop engaging in violent activities, all blames for the failure of peace process would go to the former rebel party.

Whenever the maoists are cornered, they and their thug-student outfit Young Communists League (YCL) unleash a mayhem that is beyond bizarre. In this case, there had been enough power centres within the maoists that PKD and BBR control only a fraction of these power centres. Much like the Punjabi Taliban. Continuing on the maoists' theme:

Unified CPN (Maoist) has asked Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) to come clean on the issue of integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants. Organizing a press conference at its Parliamentary Party office in Singha Durbar Tuesday, the Maoists requested NC and UML to make public their respective views over the issue. Speaking on the occasion, Maoist vice-chairman Narayan Kazi Shrestha said that it is also necessary to know NC and UML's official viewpoint on the issue for the formation of a national consensus government. The call comes few days after NC and UML leaders expressed there serious reservations against the 6-point action plan for integration and rehabilitation of PLA combatants finalised by Unified CPN (Maoist).

What would a street-smart person do when someone accuses him of impropriety? Accuse back. That is exactly what the maoists are doing: asking NC and CPN (ML) to clarify their stand. The maoists need to stop dilly-dallying and speak consistently, and in one voice if it needs something tangible. As of now, BRB, PKD and NKS are batting their own nefarious innings. Onwards further, it is a mistake to think of the maoists as uber-ideological. The top honchos such as Baburam Bhattarai are, but just like every huge "movement" has to suck in the debris on the way, if it has to become huge, the maoists too sucked in quite a few thugs that would have otherwise converged in either the Sadbhavana party or the Rashtriya Prajatantrik-lites. In earlier days, I would have chucked at the following, now just reading and walking off seems a good bet:

Police have confirmed the involvement of the Kali Bahadur Kham, central committee member of Unified CPN (Maoist) and division commander of the fifth division of party-affiliated People’s Liberation Army (PLA), in looting three Chinese businessmen in Kathmandu last week. The Chinese businessmen, who used to trade Yarshgumba, were called at a guest house in Gongabu area by people who posed as Yarshagumba sellers and looted on Friday. A special police squad deployed from the Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka raided Kham’s rented apartment in Kathmandu Monday and recovered about eight kilograms of Yarshagumba, half million rupees cash, arms and Kham’s identity cards.

The police displayed the materials seized from Kham’s residence along with people arrested in connection with the incident at a press conference in Kathmandu, Monday. Earlier, Kham was charged of murdering Kathmandu based businessman Ram Hari Shrestha. He is still at large. Chief of Kathmandu police Superintendent (SP) Ramesh Kharel informed Kham is on the ‘most-wanted’ list of Nepal Police. “An arrest warrant has been already issued in the name of Kham by Kathmandu District Court on charges of murdering businessman Ram Hari Shrestha,” said Kharel. “He is also involved in looting the Chinese businessmen.” Police have also seized a car numbered Na 1 Cha 8736 and a motorcycle numbered Ba 39 Pa 7223 being used by Kham. During the raid on Monday, police have also found some arms including an Insas rifle, a Chinese pistol some bullets, knives and khukris from Kham’s residence.

They have recovered Kham’s citizenship certificate, his PLA identity card, his passports and fake stamps of some government agencies. Police have suspected he could also be involved in smuggling forest products as they found stamps of forest offices. A satellite phone was also seized. At the press meet, police also made public eight persons, Lal Bahadur Rana of Tanahu, Milan Sen Thakuri of Dang, Madhusudan Sharma, Ganesh Malla, Jitendra Budha Magar, Karma Shahi and Saugat Budha Magar of Rukum and Ashok Khati of Nuwakot arrested in connection with the looting of Chinese businessmen.


A meeting of 22 smaller parties Tuesday passed a 'condemnation note' against the major three - Unified CPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML - for their failure to reach a consensus in the process of forming the new government within the two deadlines given by the president. According to Keshab Mainali, chairman of Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekta Party, the 22 parties passed condemnation proposal against major three parties for not being able to narrow down their differences for the sake of consensus. "We agreed that the major three parties are responsible for creating the present political turmoil by lingering the remaining tasks of peace process and constitution writing," he explained, emerging out of meeting.

Today's 22-party meeting held at the parliamentary party office of Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party (TMLP) in Singha Durbar also concluded that major parties were taking statute drafting for granted and that they were involving in a nasty tug of war over the leadership of the new government. According to Mainali, the fringe parties also decided to urge NC, UML and UCPN-M to continue efforts for consensus to install a new government at the earliest possible time.

Quite rich coming from a rag-tag alliance of opportunists, pseudo-socialists and monarchists. Passing a condemnation note can only go so far, why could nt these 22 parties amalgamate around each of the three power centre if they cared so much rather than hiding behind the sari that is "lack of consensus". Duh, that one should even spend time on these folks. Meanwhile,

On Monday, the PAC interrogated foreign secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai and chief of protocol Mukti Nath Bhatta over the fairness of the MRP contract. During the interrogation, secretary Bhattarai had informed PAC that the MRP contract was done lawfully. Based on the report of its MRP evaluation team, the ministry had on July picked the French company Oberthur Technologies (OT), out of the total four companies that participated in the bidding, to print and supply four million MRPs. The French company had quoted the lowest printing cost, US$ 3.59 per copy.

From what is being heard, Sujata Koirala is fuming at the Foreign Ministry's action. The very fact that she cant do much and is fuming is explained by the caretaker-ness of the MKN ministry. So should Amb. Rakesh Sood. The MRP crisis is a manufactured crisis, which saw known oiseaules flock to the gate.

2) An interesting take on the Tamil-Sinhalese relations: Linky

Now that the war in Sri Lanka has come to an end, do you think the focus should shift to the development of the Tamil areas?

Sri Lankan Tamil scholar K. Sivathambi: The focus should be on the efforts to eliminate the questions and situations that led to this so-called separatist rights. The Sinhalese should accept that we are Tamils and Sri Lankans, and we should accept that they are Sinhalese and Sri Lankans. This does not mean the country belongs to any one of the communities. It is ours. Unfortunately, the colonial tradition did not allow that. It is quite interesting that our entry into democratic or representative rule was on the basis of members representing the Sinhala community, members representing Tamils, and members representing the Muslim community. So, when the public franchise came in the early 1930s in the whole of Asia, we voted along these lines. That was the mistake.

Apart from this, right from the days of the first war of independence in 1857, people in the north and the south participated in the freedom struggle in India. Unfortunately, we did not have a situation in which all our people could join as Sri Lankans. So, we remained as Sinhalese and Tamils. That has caused the problem. But now we realise…. The Sinhalese people also should realise that we are part of the landscape, and Tamils also should realise that this is the only country where the Sinhalese live. So, it is a question of acculturation and not assimilation.

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At July 13, 2010 at 3:03 PM , Anonymous Al said...

The amount of waste by the Indian govt. is staggering -- budgets are meant to be as accurate as possible, and in the case of the NE states, 50% of the budget is going unused, which means that (a) the people who made up the budget did no planning and just pulled numbers out of a hat (b) there is a lot of money sitting idle because the state govt. does not use them after pretending that the money is needed in the state budgets.


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