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17,000 ghosts

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
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babFrom the Nepali Press

Editorial in Annapurna Post, 6 October

Once perceived to be a Maoist ideologue, Baburam Bhattarai is now no longer with the party that he nurtured alongside his comrade Pushpa Kamal Dahal for two decades. He is now claiming to be just an ordinary Nepali. Even so, whatever he speaks or does will create political ripples for some time because the media and the international community still view him as the torch-bearer of a liberal Maoist ideology.

But when he was Prime Minister, Bhattarai performed no better than his predecessors in terms of effective service delivery. While in the party,  he spent much of his time and energy justifying what Dahal’s leadership did. He is now speaking his mind as a free citizen. But will he do the soul-searching necessary? Will he publicly admit to his party’s mistakes during the war?

After quitting the party, Bhattarai claimed that there was a conspiracy to finish him off during the war. What he meant was that Dahal wanted to kill him when they fell out over strategy. He did not name Dahal, but no one but the supreme commander of the Maoist army had power to terminate him. Bhattarai was indeed stripped of his responsibility and put under house arrest. But his political line prevailed, and he led his party to the peace process following an India-brokered 12-point agreement with other parliamentary parties.

Nine years after the peace process, Bhattarai’s allegation carries significance and needs to be investigated. Dahal has to answer. But before that, Bhattarai has to himself answer many other more serious questions. He was the chief of the so-called parallel people’s government of the Maoists. So he is not less guilty of the deaths of the 17,000 people. What did Nepal gain or lose from the slaughter of so many people? Bhattarai is as responsible as Dahal is. He will not be able to justify his much talked-about new political force unless he answers this question.

Bhattarai was an elected representative of people in the post-1990 parliament. But he insulted the people’s faith in him by quitting parliament, just as he did now, and waging a decade-long war that led to the deaths of so many people. Maoist rebels butchered political opponents. He has still not forgiven Dahal for the latter’s alleged conspiracy to declare him a traitor and terminate him. But has he forgiven himself for the deaths of innocent civilians? Is he sorry to the families of those killed by his party? If he is not, accusing Dahal of a murder conspiracy and forming a new political force will just be yet another sign of his hypocrisy.

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4 Responses to “17,000 ghosts”

  1. fagaj on Says:

    everyone knows BrB is the mastermind behind all those innocent citizens killed to serve his ego and his party’s pockets. on top, he sowed this seed of toxic ethnic politics in this country, of which we’re still suffering. BrB should be charged for all these crimes, including corruption by his wife & family when he was PM. even if the ppl here have no courage to do so, we need to do this in international courts, same way the maoist khmer generals are still being charged for their similar crimes decades ago.

  2. bharat on Says:

    Dear

    baburam sir i think its not a positive
    Welfare for the people because nation suffering
    Epidemic troubles so you should also be in government
    To solve the nations miserable situation
    And also need think about people they are swiming in the pond
    With included poision .so i think you are the great
    Guardian for the people

  3. Poudyal on Says:

    Absolutely -BrB as well as Prachandra should be taken to the International Criminal Court for Justice. Why is this not happening now? Why is there no indictment against them? Being the major cause of 15,000 death is a lot and ICC has investigated people for far less. Who is protecting them and why?

  4. Vintu on Says:

    This comment comes late, but is necessary due to the unresolved question placed by Mr. Poudyal. Brb and Prachanda cannot be brought before the ICC because Nepal is yet to sign the Rome Statue of the International Criminnal Court. Even if Nepal was to sign it, Article 24 sets the non-retroactivity ratione personae, which prevents any person to be criminally responsible for a conduct prior to the entry into force of the Statute.

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