Supreme Court (SC) justices Balaram KC, Girish Chandra Lal and Prakash Wasti must be squirming now. Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has reminded the top court how its ruling dismissing a writ petition on the extension of the Constituent Assembly (CA) can be (mis)interpreted for questionable motives.
The apex court's interpretation of the Interim Constitution while deciding on a writ petition challenging the one-year extension of the Constituent Assembly is coming back to haunt it. In that ruling, the three-member SC bench said that the CA's task was to draft the constitution and hence it could not expire unless that task was completed. There had been multiple interpretations of what the bench meant.
One Law Commission official wrote in an article in a Nepali newspaper arguing that most interpretations, even by noted constitutional experts, missed a crucial aspect of the SC's wise words: "ahile ko awastha" (the existing situation). The ruling had been made earlier, and on the writ petition challenging the extension on 28 May, 2010; it only came to light after newspapers published the interpretation. The law official said the ruling should be seen in the backdrop of the last extension and not as a blanket endorsement of future extensions.
"Dissolving the Constituent Assembly is out of question," said PM Khanal on Monday while inaugurating the AGM of the FNCCI. "The assembly has the specific mandate of concluding the peace process and drafting a new constitution. Its fate cannot be altered until the mandate is fulfilled," said Khanal. Oh, and he did not fail to add: "This is the wish of the people as well."
Khanal of all politicians should know what the wish of the people is. Does Devi Prasad Regmi ring a bell? This former cadre of the party led by Khanal slapped him in public in Itahari in January. A loud cry of sympathy reverberated across the country. It was not for Khanal, but for Regmi.
As for the life of the CA, it is not for the government to decide. Public opinion matters and it can no longer be ignored, as has been the case so far. Another extension of the CA is possible only if there is some tangible progress on the contents of the new constitution.
At least two of the justices on the bench that have ruled on the writ have noted that the ruling was meant for extension on 28 May, 2010. They have said that if there is to be another extension, the court will look at it afresh. Political parties cannot go on extending the CA's term without convincing the people why they need another extension under the present circumstances. There has been hardly any progress to justify another extension. There is every possibility that another extended term would mirror the one that is about to expire. Moreover, Khanal should be the last person calling for another extension. He wasted seven months of the extended term, working overtime to dislodge a majority-wielding government led by his party colleague, Madhav Kumar Nepal. Since succeeding in becoming prime minister -of another majority government -he has wasted a further two months in trying to give shape to his cabinet, and is still struggling.
Governance is nearly non-existent, let alone good governance. If government is active, it is on the front of conjuring one plan after another to loot the state exchequer. Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari's 'white paper' is a pointer in that direction. And this government wants another extension.
In the next 40 days or so, the political parties must show us, and not just through cosmetic measures, their tangible roadmap for writing the constitution.
If murder, loot and extortion by the Maoists are acceptable means to achieve political power surely you cannot complain about looting the exchequer of a few rupees.
Get your priorities straight.
15 APRIL 2011 | 1:57 PM NST
2. who cares
if only formalities remain of constitution drafting then only they can increase date for one or two months..
other wise either election or president's rule (army if president backed down)
* president should dissolve this CA if CA is not dissolved by themselves and president should give them three months to draft constitution and complete peace process. if they cant then experts should draft it and prepare the road map for completing peace process and both should be passed by referendum.
* and if we go for election, then, 10% of the mps should have right to draft one option each in every section of future constitution which should be put forward to public through referendum.
- the first phase of election should select top 4 options among 10 or less options and those 4 should be contested in the second phase and the second phase should choose top two options which should compete in the final round of the referendum. (if none gets majority in the early phase of the referendum).
15 APRIL 2011 | 4:17 PM NST
Can somebody please explain this article to me? As a foreigner I honestly don't understand what Damakant Jayshi and the Nepal Congress actually want.
If they want another election they ought to say so. Normally it would not be necessary to say so. When a legislature expires and is dissolved, an election is held for a new one.
But everyone knows that Congress will become even smaller after another election. So it is difficult to assume they want to become even smaller. If they do want an election they should say so.
If they want to "issolve the CA and have no election, why talk about "public opinion"?
Attempting to govern without an elected CA would mean military rule and a return to civil war.
What does he actually want?
15 APRIL 2011 | 12:19 AM NST
The figure that marks the final round of the grace period for any government should serve also to take stock of the opposition. And even more in a moment so dramatic as we're living right now, where the responsibility should not be attributed only to those occupying power. And even when the moth nibbles that deteriorating public security and failureness to consolidate two-third solid majority for the constitution drafting are attributable in part to the management who just left (Madhav Nepal & Co.) This causes anger or indignation to people like us. Seeing how the NC, Oli sirs and madhesi seths limited their performance during their tenure; it's disgusting to see now when they burst out of their futile attempt to stick to the power and as it is approaching the final date of CA expiration. Or they give us lessons as if they have doctorates in dressmaking when we know that they are used to extend their arms three times more than their lean sleeves which had been covered. Maybe there are some who say that this is the part of the political game, but the most common games(although dirty for me) should be left in the drawer when the gravity of the situation requires so.
Just review and criticize the opposition as you did previously, then we'll talk about the responsibilities required and the necessary and immediate steps that should be taken by the government. This is not to abuse the side-mirror Damakant. You must practice this healthy habit even more when it is who(Jhalnath Khanal) governs without a parliamentary majority required to make decisions. And depends largely on the agreements that is able to establish and give answers that will allow groups to achieve it.
You can be destructive because of the current result or be positive by being creative. So far I thought this country needs less unemployed politicians to grow up but now I think plus we need less destructive columnists.
16 APRIL 2011 | 1:37 PM NST
Can somebody please explain this article to me? As a foreigner I honestly don't understand what Damakant Jayshi and the Nepal Congress actually want.
Kamred Arthur, you already have all the answers. ï¿½
If you still do not understand please refer to Revolutionary Manual Prachanda version v86.96 paragraph 3567 section 4326 subsection 2097.
16 APRIL 2011 | 8:07 PM NST
As a foreigner I honestly don't understand what Damakant Jayshi and the Nepal Congress actually want.
After all these years you have finally realized that you do not understand what Nepali congress wants. At least it shows you are making an honest effort.
Better late than never!
At this rate, I think in a year or so you will come to another realization that you do not understand what the Nepali Maoists want. And if you keep on working on it, it may take another few years before you realize that you really do not understand Nepal and what its people want. And at that point, you may have to junk all your preconceived notions and start from scratch.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
16 APRIL 2011 | 9:07 PM NST
7. K. K. Sharma
Damakant is lost to Nepali reality.
The reality is that the " public opinion" here has been and will be, the opinion of the three Bahuns in the three " major" political parties.
Otherwise, referendum would not have been bypassed, since 1990 while taking major decisions of far reaching consequences.
If you think you know what the author and the Kangresis actually want, by all means speak and explain it.
Does ANYONE here think they know what Congress actually wants?
Does anyone think Congress or Damakant Jayshi knows what they want?
17 APRIL 2011 | 3:41 PM NST
I do like your quotes fromLao Tzu. Contains more wisdom than Chairman Mao's red book.
The Chinese have come to the same conclusion. They have discarded Mao's teachings and have gone back to their ancient roots, and are now opening Confucian schools in China and around the world.
In their rush to the information age and globalization they apparently forgot to inform our Nepali Maoists, who are still way behind the times utilizing Mao's red book as their gospel.
Regarding the article,you may agree with the author's point or not, but I personally did not find anything confusing about the article. It is clearly written with a point.
Without knowing adequate background, and for someone unfamiliar with Nepali history and culture, it may be difficult to fully comprehend many of the articles in Nepali newspapers. Many of the things go unsaid, or are said in between the lines and are taken for granted by the people.
17 APRIL 2011 | 8:07 PM NST
It's still a delight to get friends in their creeps and tizzies. While I have some private misgivings regarding Maoists, yet I have some aloofness to Kangresis. I wonder what little less than bad our UML friends stand for.
I know, or I think I know but I don't pretend to know that the most rationalizing logic towards Maoists antipathies to some Kangresi hounds is that Maoists killed many innocent people, and that they are still marching for their supposed pinnacle of state capture. It's true Maoists are very convinced that the more they spout thepropagandist rhetoric, the more split the pie of public down 50/50 so that either way it's Prachanda and Baburam contending, else Baburam and Mohan so but never the Congress and the Maoists. We also know Prachanda is little comedian, and has some afflatus to mime the pantomime. Anyway, if it's true that Maoists killed some innocent people, for which the most Nepalis regret, including ideology fanatics, it's equally or more so true that the famine in Karnali, the toll in Arab, the looming depression among deracinated youths are mostly due to corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. What about them?
Mr. jange, it may belittle absurd that past can't be recalled, but what has past to do with what they can accomplish now. Like WE have many hardliners, is it not hard-line again that we reject their hard-linemanship?
I agree arthur in that the worst case of knowledge is the manifestation of its pretension. But what if we turn the debate to epistemology and eschatology than quoting Lao Tzu and than debating about incidental knowledge.
17 APRIL 2011 | 9:18 PM NST
Well, things must be desperate when Kamreds have to resort to Lao Tzu instead of Mao.
# 9 Anil- It is noteworthy that the Chinese are setting up Confucian schools and not Lao Tzu schools. I wonder why Lao Tzu should be ignored like this!!!
# 10- Maoist violence is very much a matter of the present. Credit to the Maoists , they have consistently and repeatedly said that their goal is to establish their dictatorship and everything that they do is just a means to that end- including the current pretense that they will somehow turn into a peaceful political party. The problem is that the other political parties have given them the benefit of the doubt or chosen to ignore it for their own partisan reasons.
18 APRIL 2011 | 9:09 AM NST
12. Arthur Anil #9, actually Mao has something in common with the dialectics of Lao Tze in opposition to the dogmatic and narrow Confucianism of the current Chinese regime (which is deeply hated by the Chinese people).
Anyway, if you have grasped what the author has left unsaid or said between the lines, please explain it.
Does he (and Congress) actually want fresh elections to replace the present CA after it is dissolved at the end of May?
Or are they threatening military ("Presidential") rule without elections?
Neither makes much sense to me (from their point of view).
I would have thought given the near collapse of the Congress with their present attitudes, they would be better off joining in a government of national unity to conclude the peace process and constitution jointly as they agreed to do in the peace agreement. Then they could at least go to the subsequent election as a small party that had participated in the successful conclusion of peace and adoption of a new constitution instead of as a total failure with nothing to offer anybody.
But if that was they want I think Damakant Jayshi would be writing a different article.
If you have a theory about what they really want, please explain it.
Narusha #10, not sure if I understood your remarks. On one point though, isn't it true, as shown by public opinion surveys conducted by Nepali Times that Baburam and Prachanda are the two most popular political leaders in Nepal and that none of the leaders of the other parties come anywhere near close?
Is it remotely possible that Damakant Jayshi believes that an election would be a serious contest between the Maoist and Congress parties instead of a confirmation that support for both Congress and UMLs has disintegrated as a result of their vividly illustrated corruption and incompetence?
18 APRIL 2011 | 9:21 AM NST
The legitimate resonance of popularity can be best calibrated by the CA election held some years ago, because that election was de jure legitimate and authentic. Yes, Maoists were, and still are, at benefits of popularity. It's pointedly objective that Baburam and Prachanda are amongst most popular politicians. But these objectivities but little count since the nation is 1. the combinatorial essence of the electorate, 2. execution prior to the State and 3. the maintenance of popular aspirations and mandates.So you tout the basic evaluation how the State can march ahead is Nepali Times polls just because you relish the prospect of electorate, someone..somewhere??
I've no ideals..but I think stage is the main platform, as are actors. It's like you are rummaging some idols when it's not personalities that count, at least formally, but the main apparatus of the State.
Now the question is: If CA was the authentic demarcation of the popularity (than Nepali Times indeed!), where do you stand for Gacchedar? Do you think he's the icon of all changes? Yes, people trusted him then, but do we not need constant reevaluation of these aspirants when they tumble down to their loopholes? So because Girija was six times the supremo doesn't mean he's, till now, six times the popular as Prachanda. And, unless othewise controversial, do Panchayet really stood for people when 55% tallies went to Panchas?
Arthur: I wish you were not less pretending!!
Jange: You're always the same!! I'm jaded of your same assertions, may they be differently worded.
I'm sorry yet since I couldn't be less harsher otherwise.
18 APRIL 2011 | 9:02 PM NST
14. Arthur Narusha #13, still not sure that I understand your remarks.
If you mean that future government should be determined by results of future free elections and not by results of past elections or opinion polls then of course I agree.
My comments were in trying to understand whether Damakant Jayshi and Nepal Congress really want to dissolve the CA and hold elections or not.
My argument was not about what should be the result, but what I believe that they (and everybody else) reasonably expect will be the result. I am assuming they expect to have less support at a future election than they did at the past. Therefore I doubt that they want to dissolve the CA to hold an election.
On the other hand they have no reason to believe that they will do better at a future civil war than they did in the past. So I doubt that they really want military ("Presidential") rule which would mean a return to civil war.
So I am left puzzled as to what they really do want and what the article means.
So far I don't think anybody has explained it.
18 APRIL 2011 | 10:45 PM NST
Arthur compares teachings of Lao Tzu to Maoism, and our Nepali comrades compare Buddha's teachings to Maoism. Of course it is irrelevant to the comrades that both Buddha and Lao Tzu, if they were alive today, would probably be horrified to learn of this new revelation that their teachings may have spawned this mutated communist ideology that has been responsible for deaths of millions of people world-wide.
Here it may be insightful to recite a well known Zen story of a university professor who comes to visit a famous Zen master. While the master is serving tea, the professor begins talking about all the things he knows of Zen and its principles. The master quietly keeps pouring tea until it overflows the cup and keeps on pouring. Seeing this strange act, the professor asks the master to stop pouring, as the cup is unable to hold any more and the overflowing tea is just wasted. Only then the master replies, "You are like this cup. How can I teach you Zen if you do not empty your cup?"
Since our comrades minds are already full with doctrines ofMarx,Lenin and Mao, there really is no place for any other thoughts. And unless they empty their cups all other teachings that contradict those doctrines including teachings ofof Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Vivekanand, Gandhi etc will all go to waste.
So Comrade Arthur, since you already know what the vast majority of Nepalis want just as well as you know that the Chinese people hate Confucius(their most renowned philosopher), are you not just testing our intelligence by pretending not to know what the Nepali Congress wants?
# 11 Jange
From what I can make out, the difference between Lao Tzu and Confucius seems to be that the former was more of a libertarian and a naturalist, believed in preserving the natural state of societies with minimal interference from the government and technological development, while the latter believed more in rules governing a society and family, and believed in a strong role for the government or the emperor. Correct me if I am wrong.
With more than a billion people to rule over, the Chinese government probably feels the Confucian model makes more sense.
19 APRIL 2011 | 8:25 AM NST
In JN khanal Language Nagbeli or popular Nepali term Satkhumti,hence no road map is feasible. For these rascals only presidential rule required.Slapping not enough for them kicking necessary.No extension should be granted.
19 APRIL 2011 | 1:31 PM NST
17. Arthur Anil #15, "are you not just testing our intelligence by pretending not to know what the Nepali Congress wants?"
I gather you don't know either, hence the long lecture against Maoism instead of any comments related to the article.
Perhaps #16 STUPID has the right answer, ie Kangresis want civil war. But one would not need to use a name like that in order for anyone to understand that wanting this simply does not make any sense.
I guess they will just have to go on with pointless articles and pointless lectures against Maoism since military ("Presidential") rule is so obviously ridiculous that they cannot even bring themselves to say it.
19 APRIL 2011 | 7:04 PM NST
18. John M. Kelleher
Undoubtedly the SC intended their prior interpretation to apply only to the 5/28/2010 extension of the CA. The specific verbiage of the ruling made that explicitly clear, as the author correctly points out. What is "coming back to haunt" the SC, as the author again correctly states, is the sloppy reasoning that the SC utilized to shoot down the writ petition challenging the CA's self-extension in 2010.
To claim that the CA "must not expire" until the constitution is drafted and the "peace process" concluded is to set a precedent for precisely the sort of argument Jhallu Baje is trying to make now. What if neither goal is ultimately attainable within the context of the current political settlement? The current mix of parties in the incumbent CA [heavily skewed to the far left] can scarcely agree on the time of day, let alone on the makeup of Nepal's next organic law. Meantime, the balance of internal force that the Maoists were foolishly allowed to hold after 2006 has made any meaningful "peace process" impossible and ultimately untenable, as the Army perceives its own imminent threat and will not quiescently allow itself to be subjected to institutional evisceration.
Should the CA keep resurrecting itself year after year whilst chasing these twin mirages? Honestly, is there anyone left who even wants these fools to craft Nepal's next constitution? And if they manifestly cannot, is there any reason at all to continue to fund this ridiculously oversized CA? Kudos to Mr. Jayshi for at least pointing the way to some questions that few journalists have been bold enough to even suggest until now.
19 APRIL 2011 | 8:47 PM NST
# 17 Arthur
I think you missed the whole point of the Zen story, comrade. Do not think anyone is surprised.
By the way,why do you keep on insisting that somebody else tell you what Congress wants?
First, tell us do you know what you want?
We understand if you want to check with your party high-command before giving us the answer.Do you really want a democratic election with the possibility that your party may lose its majority?
And if you really are serious about knowing what Nepali Congress wants, why don't you check with your party bosses? They surely would know since they have negotiating for three years now.
19 APRIL 2011 | 11:06 PM NST
I believe Damakantji has a point. How long can you keep on extending the CA who had no original strong mandate for it's own extension last year in the first place! The legality is dubious and it's continuation is bordering on the ridiculous. The politicians (mostly Maoist ones) will talk about the forming of a constitution as the most important thing for the nation giving some ridiculous reasoning as the aspiration of the people of the Jana Andolan II 2005. What a load of rubbish, The Jana Andolan II, was about the reinstatement of the sidelined political parties who made a deal with the Maoists in New Delhi, removing the direct rule by the King.
As part of those parties which signed that historic deal with the devil in India, they agreed to set up a constituent assembly inorder to form a new constitution. Never was this the reason for the people to rise up or nor was it about getting rid off the Hindu Kingdom state in the Jana Andolan II.
Constitution experts from around the world have always admired the 1990 constitution and if a failure to reach any agreements on forming a new constitution then the automatic revival the 1990 consititution would be the most appropriate thing to do with certain amendments i.e.the president as head of state rather than the Monarch, until perhaps a time of a referendum.
I don't feel that the current situation in Nepal would produce a valid, free and fair election result at present. As seen by the last elections we still have not been able to address the violence that is so rife in our nation since the start of the insurgency any such election will bear results similar to Zimbamwe, Mubarak in Egypt, Libya etc.
So if the if the CA fails to do it's job, even the more reason for the old constitution to be revived with certain ammendments. After all the country is having to pay the wages for these useless, waste of time, failing CA members.
20 APRIL 2011 | 5:21 AM NST
# 19 Anil- Good luck with trying to educate Kamred Arthur.
# 18- You might also mention that is is fundamentally anti-democratic for any legislature/parliament to extend its tenure.
Should the CA extend its tenure again it will have even less legitimacy than Gyanendra as king. That is quite a feat. Who says Nepali politicians never achieve anything!!
20 APRIL 2011 | 2:17 PM NST
And talking of Lao Tzu it looks like Girija might turn out to be the epitome of a Taoist.
With the Maoists murdering, looting and extorting at will for the chimera of a " New Nepal" he, in effect said, "OK, take it, it's all yours. Let's see what you can do."
Once in power the Maoists showed their true colours when it came to do anything constructive. And it has been downhill for them since then. Now, they are seen for their true character and Nepalis don't like what they see.
Who would have thought it? Girija- a closet Taoist!!!
20 APRIL 2011 | 3:03 PM NST
23. Narusha In most cases of knowledge, people don't learn; they just remember. (Plato)
My request to Politicians:
Extend CA for six months. Make sure that's enough. Come clean of your intentions. You'll be exonerated of your devilish tomfooleries.
And..Please try to learn, not remember.
20 APRIL 2011 | 4:29 PM NST
24. Vija Srestha
I totally agree with Mr.Rishav.How many times can we write the constitution?We have the examples,choices to choose from the best Democracy's in the world.We don't give standards in small sips,a standard is a standard,it has to be riched, and the Constitution must be written to the higher standards expected,which would mean there would always be sealing to succeed,that is what gives us the everyday aspirations to do the job well and be a worthy citizen of the country,feeling protected and cared for.And as Mr.Rishav writes,we need to change certain things as we do not have the Kingdom and we do not have the Government,but seems to me all is kept on the back burner,as Maoists have big hopes,because that is the only big difference we would have to make and adjust,it is the political system in the country ,which would change everything.This seems to be the only obstacle keeping us back and it is right,we must not give in to authoritarian regime .Therefore management of PLA and its integration in the society for the purpose of rebuilding broken down public properties would give everyone a good reason to feel successful and purpose ,but no security forces for PLA.
Therefore our opinion is more important than ever,there must not be silence,every move of our politicians must be discussed publicly,through newspapers,straight forward opinions of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable ,not just articles that give out statements ,and not announcements of officials who do not give answers or who talk separately behind the closed doors ,like Mr.Khanals lattest meeting with all leaders of each party.Why separately?Why not meetings with everyone present ,it would let us see what was disscussed ,in the end of the day,politicians are not a differrent country in the country,or maybe it is .Open discussions,this is what we need to reach and lets not give the bull about characteristics of Nepali society,because there are millions who do the job openly and with the best results ,but there are government officers like at MoEd and CDC who till now do not take responsibility seriously .Just announcing that schools use foreign textboooks ,not even thinking about why schools have come to resurt to this choice is just fantasticly stupid.The simple reason for schools doing their own research is that CDC has not updated curriculums and textbooks or any material for years,decades.I support any school who would think forward and for children and if we have teachers who do not come to classrooms prepared or if we have schools who make textbooks even without reading them through then let them take the pay but even checking the schools is not gone update the education curriculums.MoEd and CDC must create appropriate age and up to date curriculums representing the developments of this centure and please do not think at CDC that children in villages can not learn.Children learn anything you teach and they will teach you officers at CDC what they want to learn,but seems you are taking places and seats of so many creative people in many of Nepali schools.They do better jobs already,as they have gone ahead and you at CDC have resurted to the usual stick and rule control.
It is also worth mentioning,that Government newspaper 'The Himalayan Times'just simply doesn't allow commments,as I have tried so many times,it just doesn't accept and one can never send.So how can one ever express the opinion ,like in today's edition Mr.Khanal meets the leaders and the article says,Mr.Khanal has come to see ,that the party leaders are more serious about the whole process.What a rubbish statement.How can any thinking person even allow to say such a sentence ,specially if he represents government.What does 'more seriously 'mean in political environment?
How much are Mr.Khanal's daily wages.For such talking I wouldn't give a paisa,however even that is not asked it is just taken.
Public Opinion is the tittle of this article,but reading the comments above,we can only conclude that we have spoken ,but the government offices do as they please,i think it is time we take our responsibility and think who we elect and it must be a two way street,we elect and we re-move.Only then we can say that our opinion mattered.
20 APRIL 2011 | 4:46 PM NST
Donkeys and Mules are far better than these CA 's members, they serve mankind and their owner but they are worst looting and delaying the Nation.In the name of consensus the neglect National interest.People May forget or forgive, how they will face their Soul.Folk of Guys!
20 APRIL 2011 | 4:54 PM NST
26. Arthur Anil #19, I am interested in discussing the article and did not see any point relevant to the article in your Zen story.
I am in favour of democratic elections both in my own country, where there is no party I agree with and so no possibility of a majority in support of my views and in Nepal where I broadly agree with the Maoist party which also happens to have majority support.
I am genuinely puzzled as to what Damakant Jayshi and the Kangresis really want, and that is why I am still hoping for serious discussion about it rather than just exchanging remarks for and against Maoists etc.
Based on the most recent comments from John L Kelleher and Rishav as well as earlier comments it would be easy to conclude that what some readers want is a return to civil war by dissolving the Constituent Assembly without holding free elections and they are hopeful that this is what the article also aims for. Unlike some others you have not said anything that indicates that is also your position. I honestly don't know either what you want or what the article or the Congress wants. (I know you don't want the Maoists to win another election, just like most other commentators, but it does not automatically follow that therefore you want military rule to prevent this).
My impression is that there no such mood for resuming civil war amongst anybody that actually matters in Nepal. It is just people like Rishav and John L Kelleher who have no more relevance than I do. So it makes no sense to me that the article or the Congress is really hoping for military ("Presidential") rule.
One would expect a lot of turmoil and tension visible even to a foreigner reading the english language press if there really was a serious possibility of military rule and civil war within a couple of months! All I see is relaxed and pointless discussions in a situation of near paralysis. That could result in further delays before eventual agreement or it could result in holding an election. But it doesn't seem to be the sort of "atmosphere" that looks like a prelude to military rule and civil war.
The reason I am in favour of democratic elections, whether a party I agree with can hope to win or not. is because that is necessary for the large majority of people to learn how to rule.
It is natural for those who want to rule over the large majority to only support elections on condition that no revolutionary party representing the real interests of the large majority could win and to prefer military rule rather than give up their power.
But it is not at all natural for people who have already discovered that they could not win through military rule to try that again instead of simply accepting that they will lose the next elections. How many generals of the Nepal Army really want another round against the PLA?
After all, as the audience for Nepali Times are well aware, the world is completely dominated by and Nepal is entirely dependent on, countries with governments quite hostile to revolutionary communism and Nepal still needs extensive and prolonged capitalist development. So there is every reason to expect that anti-Maoist parties will have a basis for continued existence despite losing another election.
So why would the Congress want to risk its actual existence on military ("Presidential") rule rather than accept that a Maoist majority government will hold power for a while?
My guess is that this article and other examples of the sort of remarks that lead others to hope that Nepali Times and Congress will support military rule are just empty talk from people who are stuck.
20 APRIL 2011 | 5:57 PM NST
27. jange 26. Arthur
Anil #19, I am interested in discussing the article and did not see any point relevant to the article in your Zen story.
If you did not see any point in the Zen story you will not see any point in any expalnations either.
21 APRIL 2011 | 2:34 PM NST
Dear Friend, MKN at least declared there is surge in corruption and key bureaucrats are in active to solve the Public Problem properly.But during tenure of Jhankri (JNK) look at the poll by NT 85% people are Sad. variousscandals appeared shortly. AFM forced to resign prior to joining vat ran Adhikari (FM) did not get to clean his Past image of suspected corruptionist , appeared with his monkey like old face, now donkeys only think for extension of CA's term even three month. Balance period enough to declare the constitution and few will come through addition/ omission or amendment this is need of time, perhaps will of common people.......Peace as a whole will take more time may be Maoist section will be solved earlier but other will be balance.... Thanks Dahal he select anti- revolt way... he should raise voice against corruption
21 APRIL 2011 | 3:21 PM NST
29. Arthur jange #22, your reference to GPK as a closet Taoist is more interesting and original than the usual mantras.
The flaw is of course that the Maoists are not in power, but have been helping people see what their opponents can do so they are more Taoist than GPK...
Nevertheless, to encourage such raising of the level of discussion I will offer some more interesting quotes from Lao Tzu:
The "brave warriors" who keep calling for military ("Presidential") rule may one day understand that it was not cowardice that led the Maoists to insist on peace and constitution, but a determination that when a fight does become inevitable they will win.
Any man who is not a communist at the age of twenty is a fool. Any man who is still a communist at the age of thirty is an even bigger fool." George Bernard Shaw
I am sorry to hear that Maoism is not popular in your country, and that is why you had you had to join the Maoist struggle in Nepal. Please accept all our sympathies.
I would think people in your country are better educated than in Nepal; it would be interesting to hear why they want nothing to do with Maoism. With all their intelligence and education, why have not grasped how uplifting Maoism can be for humanity as you argue? Maybe our Nepali Maoist leaders can help with the education of the masses there too. Just a thought.
Regarding the extension of the constituent assembly:
I think is evident now that the CA even if extended multiple times will not be able to draft a constitution.
If they have not been able to settle on even the basic nature of the constitution in three years, it is doubtful adding another six months or a year is going to make any difference. All that will happen is that the country will keep on sliding into anarchy and lawlessness, and only the extremist elements will keep on benefiting.
I think most of the controversial issues will need a referendum to be settled.
21 APRIL 2011 | 8:26 PM NST
31. John M. Kelleher
>> "I am in favour of democratic elections both in my own country, where there is no party I agree with and so no possibility of a majority in support of my views [...]"
And thank heaven for that! It is what makes this country so amenable to live in for those of us who happen to be sane.
>> "I am genuinely puzzled as to what Damakant Jayshi and the Kangresis really want, and that is why I am still hoping for serious discussion about it [...]"
What makes you presume that Jayshi [or anyone else here] is a Kangresi, or that this article is about what he or those of a like mind "want"? His clear intent in the article is to analyze the precedent set by the SC's ruling (last year) rejecting the writ petition to block the CA's questionably legal self-extension, and to consider its applicability in the current circumstances. His concluding point, which most would concur with, is that there is little point to employing this device yet again if there is no realistic expectation that the current waste-of-space CA will complete a task in the next year that it has failed to complete in the last three.
>> "Based on the most recent comments from John L Kelleher and Rishav as well as earlier comments it would be easy to conclude that what some readers want is a return to civil war by dissolving the Constituent Assembly without holding free elections and they are hopeful that this is what the article also aims for."
Where on earth are you reading that? Arthur, my contempt for the Maoists is based first and foremost on my respect for a liberal parliamentary democracy with regular, fair, and orderly elections [of the sort some of us rather doubt took place in 2008], and my contempt for the current CA, notwithstanding its unworkably far-left composition, is predicated on its failure to execute the mandate it was tasked to fulfill.
>> "My impression is that there no such mood for resuming civil war amongst anybody that actually matters in Nepal."
It is specious for you to talk of "resuming civil war" when the party you support has never ceased to maintain that its grotesquely misnamed "Peoples War" is still ongoing. The Maoists' willingness to sign the 2006 CPA doesn't represent any genuine game-changer in their strategy - Maoist-style revolutionary warfare has always employed variant levers including the overt use of armed force and formation of popular fronts. The Maoists, since 2006, have relied more heavily on the latter whilst throttling back on the former, without EVER rejecting the continued or future use of armed force and coercive violence.
It is not only specious, but profoundly hypocritical for a Maoist supporter to fault political moderates for desiring a return to civil war. The fault for that conflict lies with its initiators: the Maoists, who launched a destructive and unprovoked campaign of treasonous insurrection against a democratic and constitutional government. Any return to armed conflict will be the fault of the Maoists, for their repeated violation of both the spirit and letter of the CPA. It is not the responsiblity of the state or of the moderate opposition to keep these glorified bandits mollified simply to ensure that they do not revert to killing people en masse.
>> "It is just people like Rishav and John L Kelleher who have no more relevance than I do."
Indeed, nor should any of us pretend to. We are both watching events unfold in Nepal from the other side of the planet, Arthur. Neither one of us is going to have any impact or practical relevance on what actually unfolds in Nepal. That said, I will let the Nepalese members of this forum decide for themselves who has a better grip on reality.
>> "All I see is relaxed and pointless discussions in a situation of near paralysis."
Ah, "T.I.N" = "This is Nepal!" Sterile rhetorical confrontation in a political stalemate is the norm, not the exception. Your boys are far from immune of course, lurching from one internal dialectical dispute to the next whilst talking out of both sides of their collectivized mouth, threatening to launch a fresh revolt in one breath and presenting themselves as the paladins of the peace process in the next.
No one is plotting coups Arthur, least of all me or any of my friends. If matters should ever return to a state of active confrontation, it will be because the Maoists have finally provoked it with their repeated pattern of callous abuse, mean-spirited stupidity, and continued gratuitous violation of a badly-conceived "peace process" of which they themselves have been the principal beneficiaries.
>> "The reason I am in favour of democratic elections, whether a party I agree with can hope to win or not, is because that is necessary for the large majority of people to learn how to rule."
This suggests to me that you do not clearly understand the purpose of elections in the representative republic in which you and I live. Sovereignty resides in "the people," but "the people" do not themselves "rule." That is an impossible fantasy. Rather, we elect those who are tasked with the government of the nation for a fixed span of time. It is worth pointing out that in a parliamentary (rather than presidential) setup, such as Nepal's, this does not require the polity to be specifically qualified as a republic.
That, at any rate, would be the underpinning logic of liberal democracy. You seem to favor "democracy" of the crimson-hued variety, of course.
>> "It is natural for those who want to rule over the large majority to only support elections on condition that no revolutionary party representing the real interests of the large majority could win and to prefer military rule rather than give up their power."
Disgusting. Whose "real interests" does the violent, extortionary UCPN-M represent, aside from its own? Flash back to May 2010, Arthur, if you want to understand how well-loved these "revolutionaries" truly are.
As I've said, no one is plotting to impose military rule in Nepal and any mention you may see of this is nothing but speculation in Nepal's gossip-prone press. If any armed confrontation lies in Nepal's future, it will be because the Maoists, not the other side, have provoked it with their heavy-handed abuse.
>> "How many generals of the Nepal Army really want another round against the PLA?"
You're asking the wrong questions (again). Any future confrontation will not be between the NA and the PLA. The PLA is no longer combat-worthy after kicking their heels in the cantonments for the past four-and-a-half years and are in no position to revert to guerrilla warfare anytime soon. Moreover it's doubtful that the majority of the ex-fighters would even be willing to return to the insurgent lifestyle - large numbers of them have married and produced offspring since being confined to the cantonments.
The criminal YCL and the Maoist-aligned labor unions have replaced the PLA as the Maobadis' shock-troops over the past four years. The theater for any future conflict would be urban, not back in the jungles.
>> "Nepal still needs extensive and prolonged capitalist development. So there is every reason to expect that anti-Maoist parties will have a basis for continued existence despite losing another election. So why would the Congress want to risk its actual existence on military ("Presidential") rule rather than accept that a Maoist majority government will hold power for a while?"
Well put Arthur, and you are to be commended for your grasp of Maoist dialectics. Yes, even the most militantly anti-revisionary communist outfits such as the Maobadis hold to the classic Marxist prescription that the capitalist phase of development must necessarily precede socialism and communism. Mao's corollary to the classic model was to propose that the capitalist and socialist phases of development could be simultaneously pursued under the benign guidance of the leading communist party, thereby bypassing any leading role for the bourgeousie.
I'm sure the NC Party and Nepal's other moderate political groupings would appreciate your gracious suggestion that they spend the next 10 years or so catching scraps from the Maoists' table. For now, we needn't mention to them that the capitalist roaders and right-deviaitonists will all be put against the wall and shot once Nepal is ready to move past the New Democratic Revolution into a full Dictatorship of the Proletariat. No need for the Kangresis to learn that too soon, eh?
21 APRIL 2011 | 9:30 PM NST
32. Vija Srestha
The question is simple.Do we want to drag on like these two months ,without any purpose and without actually having solved anything.Everyone talks about peace process.Can anyone tell me why it has taken for Dahal to say two words,peace and constitution first,the whole two months.Wasn't this meant to be the whole purpose of the new Government and their 7 point deal between Khanal,the answer is clear,it was not the purpose.The only purpose was what we all saw,fighing for chairs .
Well,we have heard Mr.Dahal admiting these words only,the most important is to have the actions,which means integration of PLA and only when that is complete we can finalize the constitution writing,Mr.Dahal was talking for so many months while having UNMIN in the country about PLA problem and urgency but when they were gone ,for two months he once didn't bring this point forward as the main problem.So here we are,with admition and tactic changes from Mr.Dahal's side. I just hope that drafts of constitution are in final stages and were being done along this chair pulling games,if that was Mr.Dahals real intention.We need to understand that life goes on and everyone should be doing the job one is supposed to do.We have new Ministers in place,like Minister of Education Mr.Tuladhar,but his statement in todays Himalayan Times tells me ,that all this time he was not doing his duties,as he is too busy playing politics.His answer to educators and teachers was very straight forward.Peace process and constitution first and in some other speech constitution first and peace process after ,so there is no gone be any chages until then,teachers and schools.So Mr.Tuladhar all this time has been doing nothing,just clapping hands to cheer up Mr.Dahal.Today we saw his rule with the stick already,there is nothing creative about it for children and educators.We have a right to opinion and we have a right to loud and remove Mr.Tuladhar ,if he doesn't do his primary duties,which is make people at MoEd.and staff at CDC to work on new curriculums and policies for schools and participate in writing ,if he is an educator because we do understand that his staff may not be able to ,so if he was chosen to be our Minister of Education,he should be able to show the example.Children need education ,care today,not after the constitution will be written.This is a separate point for discussions and I request Nepali Times to open discussions on this topic as well. .We need a newspaper that would consistently discuss problems in education and we need to know what is MoEd.doing ,in practice,not just do checking on foreign books,first make sure you work out curriculum according to age and needs of children wherever they are in the society,make policies and print books,that is what you need to be doing Mr.Tuladhar.
Roadmap,that is what is needed and I hope newly appointed Ministers are working hard in their professional fields not just cheering up Mr.Dahal.Mr.Dahal is not sure what is gone happen,but he needs NC,he knows that and also lets not forget Mr.Dahal wants the chair ,therefore he made 7 point deal and that was the whole point .Lets turn back for a minute to this deal and the order of points in this deal and as you see he didn't say anything he didn't want to and the order is properly put in the shelves.
This scenario reminds me the one in UK.I think it is even applausable as long as there is understanding and the purpose ,and knowledge of why we are doing what we are doing and most importantly we have a roadmap and we have put the standards and expections high enough to reach for them.Sincerity ,creativeness,but without the sticks.Compromise is the word for co-existence and acceptance in the society of 21st century.
Thank Mr.Arthur ,Mr.Rishav ,MrJange and everyone who participated in this discussion and thank you Mr.Arthur for the blue print.They are worth of gold and hopefully our experiences in the end will be positive ones.
21 APRIL 2011 | 10:14 PM NST
By the way, dissolution of CA does not mean a civil war. All the parties(or at least the moderates in the parties) need to agree to create an interim neutral government until the law and security situation improves. Then another CA can be elected with adequate safeguards so we do not repeat the same mistakes of the current CA.
At the same time as the election of another CA, all the controversial topics could be put to a referendum.
People with extreme ideologies are the ones implicitly threatening a civil war if they don't get it their way. They are afraid they may be voted out by the people because in the last 3 years, they have done absolutely nothing for the people.
21 APRIL 2011 | 11:05 PM NST
34. John M. Kelleher
>> "By the way, dissolution of CA does not mean a civil war. All the parties(or at least the moderates in the parties) need to agree to create an interim neutral government until the law and security situation improves. Then another CA can be elected with adequate safeguards so we do not repeat the same mistakes of the current CA.
At the same time as the election of another CA, all the controversial topics could be put to a referendum. "
Thank you Anil, that is precisely what some of us are actually hoping for. Issues of profound importance to the overall character of the polity, such as constitutional monarchy vs. republic, Hindu nation vs. secular nation, and federalism vs. centralism need to be decided by referendums specifically addressing those questions.
Now that the worse-than-useless UNMIN is gone for good, Nepal can carry out its own elections under the supervision of its own Army and police, with the YCL's coercive presence kept as far as humanly possible from the polling places. And this time, please, don't invite Jimmy Carter.
22 APRIL 2011 | 7:58 PM NST
As there is a new front page for this week's edition I will only respond very briefly. Also I suggest it is better to stick to the topic of the article rather than more general philosophical disagreements since abstract discussions of such matters are less illuminating than concrete discussions around particular issues.
Your GBS version is still popular against communism but the original anti-republican and anti-liberal versions have already suffered the decline one would expect for such silly appeals to the old and dying against the new and developing.
John M Kelleher #31:
"What makes you presume that Jayshi [or anyone else here] is a Kangresi, or that this article is about what he or those of a like mind "want"? His clear intent in the article is to analyze the precedent set by the SC's ruling (last year)..."
This article is part of a series with a common theme of advising what Kangresis should do (but with confusing and contradictory alternations in approach). If you take a look at previous issues and the latest one I think you will understand why I made that assumption, although more precisely implied that he does not actually know what he wants or what Congress wants.
The concept of analysing the entrails of court opinions for illumination concerning the fate of a Constituent Assembly is too bizarre for anyone engaged in it to even pretend to take seriously.
Constituent Assemblies make dispositions with respect to legal systems and judiciaries. Courts do not make dispositions with respect to Constituent Assemblies.
>> "My impression is that there no such mood for resuming civil war amongst anybody that actually matters in Nepal."
...No one is plotting coups Arthur, least of all me or any of my friends. If matters should ever return to a state of active confrontation, it will be because the Maoists have finally provoked it with their repeated pattern of callous abuse, mean-spirited stupidity, and continued gratuitous violation of a badly-conceived "peace process" of which they themselves have been the principal beneficiaries...
[much longer and more war-like ranting omitted]
You seem to be in "furious agreement" with my dismissal that such warlike ranting is not to be taken seriously.
"...The theater for any future conflict would be urban, not back in the jungles..."
Agreed. (Cf Lao Tzu quotes in #29)
22 APRIL 2011 | 10:02 PM NST
36. John M. Kelleher
>> "The concept of analysing the entrails of court opinions for illumination concerning the fate of a Constituent Assembly is too bizarre for anyone engaged in it to even pretend to take seriously. Constituent Assemblies make dispositions with respect to legal systems and judiciaries. Courts do not make dispositions with respect to Constituent Assemblies. "
As I suspected, you are grossly deficient in your understanding of Nepalese political organs or constitutional law in general. Not surprising, for a raving communist fanatic. The Supreme Court would not have issued a ruling on the matter if it possessed no purview whatsoever. And if you reject the author's entire purpose in "analysing the entrails of court opinions," why on earth would you even bother to reply to an article structured around precisely that? Aside from making as much of a nuisance of yourself as possible, that is.
>> "[much longer and more war-like ranting omitted] You seem to be in "furious agreement" with my dismissal that such warlike ranting is not to be taken seriously. "
What on earth are you talking about? Where do you get the impression that anyone here, least of all me, is staking a "warlike" attitude? I thought I made it quite clear in what I wrote that I do not believe a military coup or a reversion to armed conflict to be either necessary or desirable. What I did say was that the blame for any such eventuality would fall squarely on the shoulders of the Maoists. This assumes that you actually bothered to read qhat I wrote, of course. Astonishing that you have neither the patience nor the attention span to read my "warlike ranting" whilst expecting the rest of us to sift through your interminable, dyspepsia-inducing apologetics for a violent terrorist organization.
Again Arthur, it strikes me as disgustingly hypocritical for someone like you, who clearly supports the Maoists' vicious so-called "Peoples War" against the state, to label the rest of us as "warlike" simply for having the temerity to criticize these disgusting thugs. An utterly confused young man who lists Lenin, Mao, and Che among his personal inspirations may wish to take a long self-introspective look in the mirror before accusing anyone else of having a "warlike" disposition.
22 APRIL 2011 | 2:39 AM NST
First, my opinion on some unrelated comments in this thread-
"They have discarded Mao's teachings and have gone back to their ancient roots, andare now opening Confucian schools in China and around the world."
"It is noteworthy that the Chinese are setting up Confucian schools"
Confucius Institutes are actually an example of an European tradition of public diplomacy combined with a powerful Chinese symbols - the mandarin language, and Confucius. They have more in common with alliance Francaise & the British Council than they do with the teachings of the old Chinese sages. So, when it comes to Confucius institutes, the Chinese are not going back to their ancient traditions but using them as means for a very modern goal: increase of influence through soft-power.
---- ----- -----
Onto main topic, it may be too late for me to say anything because the context seems to have changed. Whats up with Dahal talking "peace" instead "revolt" these days?
And Damakant: What should this roadmap contain? What promises should it make to the Nepali people?
23 APRIL 2011 | 5:23 AM NST
38. Arthur Battisputali #37, I agree that the Confucius institutes have more in common with the alliance francais, British Council (and Goethe Institute).
Nevertheless it is also true that the Chinese revolution had a strongly anti-Confucius stream both in the May 4 movement and during the Cultural revolution while the anti-Maoist regime in power now has revived Confucianism to support traditional authority against rebelliousness. This does include a downplaying of the more dialectical Lao Tzu.
[Ignoring pointless spluttering in #36]
23 APRIL 2011 | 7:15 PM NST
I think you missed the entire point.
The Chinese do take pride in their ancient roots, and that is why they have named the schools after Confucius.
The point is they did not name these schools after Mao, who has played a bigger role in Chinese history than Confucius, and are trying to do away with Maoism.
Most people would not think that Tribhuwan University teaches thoughts of Tribhuwan or Jawaharlal Nehru University teaches thoughts of Nehru.
But thanks, all the same, for pointing out that Confucian schools do not teach the thoughts of Confucius.
23 APRIL 2011 | 11:31 PM NST
40. John M. Kelleher
>> "[Ignoring pointless spluttering in #36] ."
You are, beyond a doubt, the most repellently obnoxious and arrogant pro-Maoist I have ever met. And that is saying quite a lot. It's all well and good, Arthur, if you cannot defend your own "beliefs" against the points I've raised. But, you only make yourself look ideologically and intellectually bankrupt when you revert to one-liners and self-righteous "spluttering" [a far more apt descriptor for YOUR posts, not mine] in lieu of any relevant reply.
I've asked you how you can dismiss this author's legal analysis of the precedent set by the Supreme Court last year as "bizarre," when this is surely a more reasoned approach to the issue than theoretical pontifications. You have declined to reply. I've asked you how you can have the nerve to call anyone else on this forum "warlike," when you are yourself a strident defender of violent revolution and the Maoists' own so-called "Peoples War." Your only reply has been to call me, and others, "warlike" once again.
I've asked you how you can continue to regard the Maoists as a party that represents the "real interests" of the majority when the people quite unequivocally gave Prachanda the thumbs-down in May of last year. You've declined to reply. I've asked you how on earth you can realistically expect the NC, or the moderate [Oli-led] wing of the UML, or the ex-Panches, or any other of Nepal's moderate political groupings to quiescently accept any leading role in the constitution making process by a party that consistently rejects the very notion of liberal multiparty democracy. Again, you have declined to reply.
It is so amusing when a kid such as yourself considers himself entitled to swagger about with the air of having it all figured it out, despite clearly being utterly confused about everything. Your penchant for dismissive insults targeting those with the nerve to disagree with you doesn't add much to your credibility, or your personal charm.
Apparently, you prefer a theoretical approach to these topics than a factual one. Again, no surprises here, given your ideological predisposition. It's just a pity, Arthur, that you give up so quickly with a fit of pique when pushed to the wall. It doesn't speak well of your ability to debate. Not the hallmark of a very effective revolutionary propagandist, I'm afraid.
24 APRIL 2011 | 10:22 AM NST
The Arthur used to be MaoDai until he moved to US. Then, he changed his avatar. Now, he became US Citizen, and calls himself a foreigner. When he was in Israel, he used to call himself staying in semi-industrialized country. Poor DK aka Maodai aka Arthur. Similarities between three: all three are the same person. Just have the study in these three' mode of delivery of views, agressive attack on all who are supporters of democracy, all three pretent to be innocent, and try to provoke people, and try to get support of peple in fence. He is very coersive, intimidating.
26 APRIL 2011 | 5:36 AM NST
to extend the CA is to extend insurgencies in the country. inefficient and incapable CA members are burden to the country. lets firm a indepedent forum or constitutional body to draft a democratic constitution.
forum should have only one member of 12 parties(must be chairman or chief of party), 3/4 others leaders and majorities of indipedant experties from different sectors.