From The Nepali Press
Former Ambassador Kedar Bhakta Mathema in Deshantar, 12 February
FROM ISSUE #286 (17 FEB 2006 - 23 FEB 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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After I listened to the king's speech on 1 February last year, I believed that a special effort would be made to establish peace. But I have not seen any such move. Instead, state resources are being diverted to wage war. While the people kept demanding peace, the state ignored it. I am not a member of the political parties, I call myself an independent intellectual. But I feel the parties have been sidelined by the state. The king should have acted as a guardian and asked the parties to come on board and share their grievances. But the king's recent speech gave no indication that he will take that route. Why the king made such a speech is something I cannot understand. It appeared he was simply marking the anniversary of his move. An independent country earns its reputation either through its economic development or its democratic practices. In Nepal's case, we have failed in both. The situation has eroded so badly that the US, India and China have begun to voice a common opinion that the crisis should be resolved. The international community in general has a negative image of Nepal and have already begun to hint that we are headed towards becoming a failed state. The attitude shown by the monarchy does itself no good. This country will have to bear a huge loss if peace does not return. Outsiders have begun to suggest what we should do because we have been unable to manage things ourselves. Tomorrow if outsiders must work as mediators to settle our differences, perhaps denting our image as an independent country, who will take the blame? The only way left is for the king to bring together constitutional forces and take the initiative to start a peace process. The king is not the leader of a political party, he should be above it all.