Nepali Times Asian Paints
Publisher\'s Note
The Buddha's message


Here we go round in circles again. Like a game of musical chairs, it seems our political players won't stop until someone is left standing. It is a dangerous zero-sum game, and a needless one, because we could very easily have a win-win for all sides, and for the country.

If we take a step back from the see-saw of daily headlines that sway from 'Parties Near Agreement' to 'Gap Between Parties Widens' you can see why this is happening. As we noted in this space as far back as May 2006, we had a conflict that neither side won or lost, despite their claims. It was the Nepali people who lost. The country was devastated and the people brutalised.

This is not a peace process anymore. What remains is a ceasefire, and a tenuous one. The Maoists gave up the gun, but not their use of violence and threats. They were forced to put the war into deep freeze because of a military stalemate and geopolitical pressure. In that sense, a section of the Maoist leadership views this ceasefire as it did previous temporary cessations of hostilities: an opportunity to regroup and recharge. They have never wavered from their end goal of declaring a totalitarian people's republic, employing Gang of Four methods.

For their part, the political parties have also not given up on their aim of preserving liberal democracy. For parties that believe in non-violence and pluralism, the first priority was to stop the war. Only then could an open society, the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free market have a hope of surviving.

In this contest, it should be fairly easy for the friends of democracy and freedom to decide which side they are on. Yet we see confusion, a romanticisation of violent revolution, and an effort to tolerate and excuse chronic displays of Stalinistic despotism even by those who should know better.

In hindsight, we could say the democratic parties gave away too much to the Maoists in 2006-7. But some of those concessions were necessary to keep the Maoists engaged, especially since their negotiators kept threatening to pack up and go back to the jungle every time things did not go their way. These differences were sure to come out sooner or later, as they did when the drafting committees had to tackle the nuts and bolts of the future statute, and are clear to see with the deadline for the constitution approaching.

There are two ways to break this stalemate: go back to war or negotiate in good faith. Since the first option is unthinkable for the Nepali people and neither side has the stomach to fight, they have to talk. The Maoists are willing to test the boundaries of how far they can go with the threat of a return to war, and that was why they punished the people with an indefinite strike. They still think that a show of might and a hint of veiled violence will improve their bargaining position.

In the week that is left before 28 May, the first order of business should be to extend the CA, reconstitute the government and catch up with stuff we should have done last year. It is symbolic that on the eve of the constitution deadline we should be observing Buddha Jayanti.





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Don't kill the CA, Gagan Thapa
War games, Prashant Jha
The PLA speaks, Ekal Silwal
Flagellating the self-flagellators, Rabi Thapa
Online incline, CK Lal
Buddhaland, Indu Nepal



1. jange
Prachanda is the new Buddha.

If it wasn't for him there would be no peace in Nepal.


2. jange
The political gains made by Nepalis have been won on the basis of Maoist violence. It is hypocritical and unethical to say that violence is bad but the fruits of violence should be kept.

Similar to denouncing a bank robbery but taking money from the robbers.


3. Arthur
In this contest, it should be fairly easy for the friends of democracy and freedom to decide which side they are on. Yet we see confusion, a romanticisation of violent revolution, and an effort to tolerate and excuse chronic displays of Stalinistic despotism even by those who should know better.

As usual Kunda Dixit is back to complaining that Western "natural allies" of the status quo are still not supporting the completely corrupt and useless status quo in Nepal.

Maoists have not threatened to return to war. They have simply continued to organize the people and demonstrate their strength until the old parties that have lost public support get out of the way of actually building a new Nepal.

What on earth is supposed to be "liberal democratic" about excluding the largest party from government in order to not give up on the threat of military rule by a feudal army?




4. kale
Buddha or Buddhu?

5. hange

As always, you write white lies Arthur: technically, the Maoists have not said they will go back to war.  But, at every turn, their doublespeak consists of, "Do this- or we will revolt!" "Don't do that, or we will make you pay!" While this is not an official statement of returning to war, a threat is a threat is a threat: whether it be returning to the jungle or literally holding a gun to the head of a disagreeing businessman/politician/journalist/citizen is a mere technicality.

"Maoists have not threatened to return to war. They have simply continued to organize the people and demonstrate their strength until the old parties that have lost public support get out of the way of actually building a new Nepal." 

Really?  That's all they've done?  No threatening, murdering, no hacking journalists to death for disagreeing?  No holding the country for ransom while the poor that they purportedly support can no longer earn their daily wage?  There was once a teacher in Galkot in western Nepal who had his head hacked open by the Maoists- because he "represented the government."  Do the ends always justify the means Arthur?

Arthur, no one ever excluded the largest party from government: they walked out of government. They walked out of their own government.  They pouted and gave up.  If they had not been allowed to rule after the elections in which they clearly had a mandate, then your claim would have some truth.  But, it does not. 



6. Susal Stebbins
The challenge for the people of Nepal is how to develop and consistently use effective non-violent means to ensure social justice and a decent standard of living for all.  This honors Buddhist, Maoist, and any other legitimate spiritual or political ideals.  How do you truly listen with compassion to the experience, suffering, and ideals of others? How do you collaborate to heal the wounds while creating new systems that take into account everyone's real needs without catering to anyone's greed? May the blessings of Buddha, of all the Hindu pantheon, and of all other enlightened beings, gods and deities support Nepal through this transition.

(former Bideshi Reflections columnist and editor of ECS Magazine)


7. Daniel Gajaraj

Mainly to the hardliners in the ACPN(Maoist),Marxism is like theistic Judeo-christian religion.;a creed of violence in its fanaticism and intensity,.it,s complex theology  based on the concept of dialectical materialism ,its gods,its priesthood,its holy books,its literature, its liturgy, its heritics,its inquisitions,its images,its hymns,and place of pilgrimages.From semetic people it has taken the idea of the Chosen People, from the Christian rescuing the soul from damnation. from the Buddhism the Conversion,From the Islam the Holy Wars  Jehad.The party becomes family, school, church, and barrack.No doubt some of their leaders are Christians.So they are supported by the Scandinavians, Norway in particular and France advocating the right to convert,theRICE CHRISTIANS.



8. jange
# 7

Very astute observation.


9. Arthur
hange #5, I replied earlier but it has not gone through. Presumably a "glitch" since there was no "removed by moderator" replacing it.

Your nightmares are very vivid. But in the real world the large majority of political killings since the ceasefire have been murders of Maoists by anti-Maoists just as the large majority of people killed during the war were alleged "Maoists" killed by the "security forces".

There is still a ceasefire and the Maoists have neither returned to war nor threatened to do so. This is a simple fact.

The peace agreement has not been carried out as the other parties and India allowed the Nepal Army leadership to refuse democratization and integration of the PLA. The Maoists refused to pretend to be governing in that situation. Only people like MKN are willing to lead a pretend government.

You can ignore reality as long as you like but old Nepal is dying and the wailing about that by various exiles here won't change that. Kunda Dixit's complaint about the West's failure to side with the status quo shows just how far the process has already gone.

Like it or not only a government led by a party that has the confidence of the majority can actually work. A government that only has the confidence of the army and India cannot work. That is the way things are in developed countries and that is the way it will be in Nepal.

The sheer silliness and irrelevance of the anti-Maoist comments and articles here itself testifies to the absurdity of Nepal's failed state. Serious politics just doesn't look like this.


10. Sunita Tiwari
"...it should be fairly easy for the friends of democracy and freedom to decide which side they are on. Yet we see confusion, a romanticisation of violent revolution, and an effort to tolerate and excuse chronic displays of Stalinistic despotism even by those who should know better."

Apart from Europeans, this is also directed towards C K Lal and Prashant Jha. He simply cannot imagine anyone writing and not cursing and blaming the Maoist. 

He has turned into a textbook example of an elite, one who cannot imagine oneself an inch farther from the state,  and the one who cannot tolerate anyone within a thousand mile of the state with a different view.

This is why he somewhat supported Maoist during the Gyanendra regime, as he was pushed a little bit farther from the 'state'. Now he is opposing the same Maoist, who are much, much more peaceful than during the Gyanendra's regime as his so called 'democratic' ideology cannot accept anyone on state with a different views and ideologue than his. 




11. Johann
And you are now what, Sunita? Sigmund Freud?


12. hermann
THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BUDDHA PEACE PRIZE IS SURPRISING. IS IT NOT TENTAMOUNT TO BLASPHEMY ? IT TS SACRELIGIOUS. BUDDHA IS REGARDED AS AN INCARNATION ,ALMOST A GOD. CAN ONE FIND ANY BODY WORTH GETTING A PRIZE IN THE NAME OF SUCH A HIGH PERSONAGE/ MAY BE AFTER HIM THERE HAVE BEEN ONLY TWO PERSONS ;JESUS AND GANDHI.  LET IT BE RENAMED LUMBINI PEACE PRIZE INSTEAD.

13. Azad
In a secular contry no religious activity or organization shall receive any privileges from the State,nor exercise any political authority.The Stateand its organshall refrain from it.Buddha Peace Prize has been announced now by the government. Should we go on announcing prizes in this way in the name of various religious heads or prophets? Will it be in keeping with our nascent SECULAR transformation?

14. jange
# 13

When VAT was introduced in Nepal there was great opposition to it. The government said YES VAT and the opposer said NO VAT. A wag commented that the end result would be neither NO VAT or YES VAT but NEPALI VAT.

Similarly we have Nepali secularism.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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