Nepali Times
Uprooting Grassroots Democracy

In stark contrast to the foot-dragging in parliament over the ratification of three key international agreements on money-laundering, terrorism and extradition (the deadline lapsed last week, but the government lobbied to buy more time citing political instability) it has displayed unusual speed in pushing through new amendments to the 1993 Forest Act.

There is something very fishy about this. The Madhesi-Maoist coalition's undue haste in legislating amendments could destroy Nepal's community forestry program that has taken 30 years to build, and is accepted internationally as the best-working model for local natural resource management. As is usual with these things, the reason the government and sections of the bureaucracy want these amendments is because the trees local communities nurtured are now fully grown, and there is big money to be made by chopping them down.

Nepal's traditional systems of managing local forest and water were recognised when Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2009 for her study in Nepal of the management of the commons. Ostrom has often said that the prize actually belongs to the farmers of Nepal whose management of irrigation for long-term sustainable yields she researched 30 years ago.

When community forestry was first introduced as a pilot project in Sindhupalchok in the 1980s in an Australian-funded initiative, it built on these traditional conservation practices that had then been destroyed by state intervention and nationalisation. Community forestry gathered pace in the 1990s because it dovetailed perfectly with grassroots democracy and local self-governance. The result is there to see across Nepal's midhills where canopy cover expanded by 20 per cent between 1990-2010. Landsat images taken twenty years apart in Sindhupalchok show a dramatic increase in forest cover because of community-based conservation efforts.

But as the trees grew into maturity and acquired commercial value, it coincided with the post-conflict erosion of local democracy, state-sanctioned corruption through all-party mechanisms and the criminalisation of politics. The fact that most community forestry user groups survived the war and pressure from corrupt politicians proves how resilient the model is.

It has to be said that the Madhesi parties and the Maoists never really came to terms with the community forestry concept. The Maoist because it is just too democratic and too decentralised for their liking, and also because of a perception that forestry user groups across Nepal are UML-dominated. The Madhesi parties have seen the Tarai's hardwood forests as timber to be mined, and not as a natural resource to be conserved.

In recent months, forests in Dadeldhura, Sindhuli and Makwanpur, among others, that communities took decades to protect and nurture have been systematically logged. The culprits are either DFOs working in collusion with local gangs that enjoy political protection, forestry user groups infiltrated and corrupted by local businesses, or infrastructure projects that are forced through just so contractors can lay their hands on timber. All these factors have a common cause: the absence of accountable local-elected councils, the political disarray at the centre and state-sanctioned corruption corroding the community spirit.

The proposed legislation will undo in a few swift months what took 30 years to protect. It will weaken the power of community forestry user groups, and legitimise illegal logging across the land. It will further erode grassroots democracy, and profit a few local crooks at the cost of communities.

Nepal's community forests survived the war, now they are threatened by peace.

Read also:
Don't fix what ain't broke, RUBEENA MAHATO
The government's proposed changes to the Forest Act are handcrafted to sabotage Nepal's widely-acclaimed community forestry movement

Out on a limb, DEWAN RAI
Nepal's forests are threatened by politicians protecting illegal loggers and corrupt forest officials

Get on with it, PAAVAN MATHEMA
What could be more 'anti-national' than holding the country's economy hostage?

The mote in thy brother's eye, ANURAG ACHARYA
The judiciary must first do justice to its own credibility

1. Parag
What can you expect from the acolytes of mass murderers like Stalin and Mao? The only thing they believe in is "uprooting" the "old" and in this case it happens to be our forests! Just look around you Kunda Dixit: they are destroying our national unity, Nepalipan, institutions, infrastructure, culture, morale, to name a few things, and haven't built anything of substance other than a culture of loot, plunder, intimidation and murder.  With Dr. Laal Dhwoj at the helm, the one-eyed bandit as his able deputy, and a host of who's who of crime as their battalion of ministers, what did you really expect?  Stop writing these pieces or else they will dub you a traitor and issue "laal fatwa" like they did to Kul Chandra, Subodh and Kanak!!  And what was, of all the people, the Chinese Minister for State Forestry Administration doing in Nepal? What was that all about?

2. Govinda Bahadur Thapa
Baburam Bhattarai is a criminal. His hands are drenched with the blood of innocent people of Nepal. Pushpa Dahal is even a bigger criminal. His hands are also dripping with blood of Nepalis. The Madeshi politicos are gansters cut form the same piece of cloth, just look at Gupta and Gachhadhar. These are the thugs that are making the decisions for Nepalis. The Maoist are commies, but their leaders live like Royalty. This is a bad picture. The Maoist are not democratic so its only natural for them to dismantle Democracy. The biggest problem of Nepali people is India. India created and nurtured the Maoist thugs. Indian is responsible for spilling the blood of Nepalis. So, until Nepal can produce a real Nepali, who can put the unjust, cruel, heartless, bigoted Indians where they belong, a person who can uplift the future of Nepal and Nepalis, we will keep on suffering. Baburam and Pushpa Kamal are SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE. The Nepali people need to treat the like servants. The sad part is that UML and NC leaders are hand in glove with Maoist, in looting Nepal. So what is the alternative.  Lets look for   and find a real Nepali. Jai  Nepal.     

3. Joseph P Pouydal

Most politicos of Nepal take their orders from the Indians. The Indian Ambassador in Kathmandu behaves like the King of Nepal. Why are there so many RAW agents in Lainchaur.  India is an enemy not a friend of Nepal. Get this fact straight, people of Nepal. We, as Nepali need to learn to stand on our own feet. The current crop of leadership in Nepal cannot accomplish this. The current leaders are old, senile, out of touch with modern day world. We need leaders with Blackberry and I pads, leaders that have instant access to other leaders of the world. We need a new generation of Nepalis to go forward. We need to get our Guts and Glory back, and push the Indians out of Nepal. They can have a consulate in Birganj, thats it ! When will the people of Nepal wake up to this reality. Prachanda is just a Dog that eats the dry bone of South Block.    INDIA IS THE PROBLEM AND NOT THE SOLUTION FOR NEAPL. India is destroying the resources of Nepal by using people like Baburam  and Prachanda.        

4. K. K. Sharma
In the geopolitics of Nepal.( political parties), Dal = (quisilings) Dalal, of India.  And still the Nepali intellectuals fall for their words, and seem unaware of their deeds.

5. Bijay Rana
Its time to give some serious consideration to Nepal and India relationship. Govinda ( 2) and Joseph ( 3 ), are spot on when it comes to Indian abuses to Nepal. India has always abused its neighbours. Pakistan has gone to war with India. Bangladeshis hate the Indian mandarins in New Delhi. Rajiv Ghandhi was blown up by a Sri Lankan freedom fighter. So, the writing on the wall is plain and clear for all to read. Its time to stand up to the Indians. I hate the Indians for all the killings they commited in Nepal with the help of traitors like Baburam and Pushpa Kamal.  The Nepali leaders to date, from all the political parties say how high, when the Indians say jump. Its a sad and tragic situation. You know, except for the Ranas, all other Nepali leaders have behaved as servants of the Indians. So if we want a peaceful and progressive Nepal, the 1st step must be to get rid of the Indian influence and Indian domination of Nepal. Let the blood of all patriotic Nepalis boil against Indian oppression. Mothers of Nepal, its time to produce brave sons of Nepal.  Hara,  Hara  Mahadev ! Its time to declare a war on India.  Its time to take back all the Nepali territory that the Indians stole from Nepal. Its time to fight for our rights.          

6. Ghoe Chaku Naran
   Carthage must be destroyed !

The present forest must be destroyed in order to create a NEW FOREST in Nepal,viz. New Nepal is the call of the hour or not.ACPN(Maoist) slogan ,
 Baburam's in particular as its architect. So the infrastructure of the past were razed to ground during the revolt. It continues in a different form still now. Nepal has a long history of civilization and has contributed to world civilization as well. But some one wants to level it out and create new one.  They forget re-building it. An architect fixes that part that has collapsed, not the whole  or not?.New Nepal is an anacronism. They must understand that it is Re-building Nepal not building New Nepal.
 Raze the existing forest to the ground and get the seeds (indoctrinated, or doctored) and saplings from North Korean ,or  Cuban,or ,or Venezuealan forests to sow .
Nepalese soil is very fertile for absorbing all Communist seeds as of now; at least this is their assessment.
God save the country ,if there is one!

7. kalyan Dev Bhattarai

We all know Nepalese politician are gang of goons, corrupt, power lusted crooks and in politics to loot the nation. It started from the monarchy time when the then king distributed the forest to his kith and puppet.  This was continued the following rulers in different pretext and S.B.Thapa used the forest in the name of referendum and looted the country. This is continued till date and all the so called leaders used the forest for their personal benefit. As long as the present day so called politicians are not hanged to death for their crime, corruption, betrayal to nation, and looting the nation's treasure such writing will not make any  positive changes as they can do no physical betterment in the forest . Yes the dissemination of such naked truth will help the people to understand the criminalization of the politics . Thanks


8. Sunil Upreti

The time for another Janga Bahadur has come ! Nepal is on the verge of another KOT PARBA ! The groups and gangs of Politicians from all Parties that have so far looted the coffers of Nepali Govt., and the Nepali people MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE ! These corrupt individuals that who have gone from rags to riches must pay for their misdeeds. In this modern day, we can track any bank account, we can freeze these acounts and then redistribute the money back to the national coffers from where it was embezzled. G P Koirala was famous for the Lauda Scam, looting Nepal Airlines for his Nepali Congress. Look at Deuba. This man lives in a mansion. He is a low life theif that stole from his people. Same goes for UML party bosses, the biggest looters are the Maoist. We must also make the Indians pay for all the abuse they piled on us. The Indians are the real culprits for the death of 17000.00 Nepalis. The Indians must pay for this river of blood. Its now going to be a war between good and evil.  Just like the Mahabharat, we need a Maha Sangram. Only then will Nepal have a chance to prosper.  Lets roll some heads.   Also History will repeat itself, you can count on it.                     

9. Pramod Hamal
99 percent ofNepal' problemswill be solved if we get rid of Baburam and and Pushpa Kamal Dahal. These 2have killed many Nepalis. They are traitors and they we need to get rid of them.Other corrupt Netas will simply just drop dead from cardiac arrest or they will flee Nepal.

10. Sangita Manandhar
We must reject as well as resent the Maoist!For the love of Gopal, I mean come on, the comuunist thugs should all be in prison where they belong. That goes for UML as well as the corrupt NC like Deuba and Koiralas. The issue is not about the politicians, but about the welfare of Nepali people. Prachanda, a beggar now lives like a King. Disgusting. The Maoist Party has betrayed its cadres as well as all other Nepalis. Its now time to improve the lot of the 99 percent Nepalis and get rid of the 1 percent criminal politicians. Lets get rid of the Maoists and make Nepal a better place. There is no time to waste. We know whothe currputed are : Deuba, Maakuney, Jhala Nath,Gachhadhar, Prachanda, Baburam, the list goes on. Surely, we can get rid of these bastards for ruining Nepal and the future of Nepal. They are criminals that need to rot in jail. This is a no brainer, you know. This is the only way forward.There is no time to waste. Bring the criminal politicians to justice.

11. Bimala Tamang
Mr Pranchanda - do you know the following corrupted leaders -  Saleh in Yemen, Ben Ali of Tunisia,  Mubarak of Eygpt, Gadhaffi of Libya, these people thought that they would be KINGS for ever, look at what happened to them. Mr. Pranchanda, you and your Maoist croonies are headed in the same direction, you will pay for all the blood that is on your hands. Believe it or not. Maybe you can go and hide in Syria.

12. Gareeb Nepali
The Nepali Public Servants ( read politicians) need to understand that they are just servants, in Nepali term it would be Nokar. We the public and the we the people need to start treating them like Nokars. People go into public service to make differences in the community or the country. Nepali politicians have been acting like Gods and we the people have been treating them like Gods. This needs to stop immediately. We must make the politicians pay back for using and abusing us. This is the only way to make any progress. One bit of good news, JP Gupta is now where he belomgs. Its time to put the rest of the stinking pile there as well. 

13. Dipak Bahadur Thapa

It looks like there are people in Nepal other than the hated Maoist, that can blow up a bomb. I wonder what the Maoist head honchos are thinking and planning. Are they thinking that may be they will be the next target. We all sick of the Maoist high handness and their cruel games in holding Nepal a hostage. I bet the Maoist are cringing and pissing in their pants, after all the leaders are all cowards and may be afraid of their own sudden demise. We must get rid of the rotten politicians to really establish a new Nepal, with promise of jobs, growth and devlopements. The current crop is not going to cut it, so they need to disappear. How do you feel Pranchanda.... are you looking over your shoulder constatntly.    

14. Soni
After the blasts and a number of other atrocities by the SJMM, if indeed they are not another Maoist front- which I suspect they are, do we expect the head of SJMM to be in the cabinet shortly? 

Would that be sufficiently democratic?

15. Indira Basnet
I know that there are many honest, hard working and patriotic Nepalis that are trying to make a difference in Nepal. We need to separate and highlight the efforts and achievement of these personalities. The politicians can go to hell. What is disgusting to me is that the Civil Society is made up of cowards. These well to do, well fed members of C S are only looking for their perosanl interest, otherwise where is outrage against the Maoist. Why are the cops from the Sudan scam roaming free. Why are politicians that rob N A C or N O C or any other state enterprise roaming free. Its time for a big time PURGE. Enough evil. Its time for the good to prevail. Its time to honour the rule of law in Nepal. Its high time to stop the loot. May God Bless Nepal and Nepali people.   

16. Keshab Sharma
Why does any one believe in the Maoist. The Maoist Party is a Party of criminals. The Maoist leadership is filled with  criminals. They belong in prison for crimes commited against Nepal. This should be the main narrative in Nepali politics. Why does any one expect the Maoist to behave as democrats. Does any one not know that they are comunists. They look up to killers of innocent people, killers like Lenin and Stalin and Mao. Why does any one give any time of the day to a killer like Prachanda. The Americans have tagged the Maoist as terrorist and they are on the terrorist list and they will always be on the terrorist list. We as common Nepali citizens should rise up against the injustice of the Maoist.  All the Maoist deserve is a rope around their neck, especially Prachanda and Baburam.  NC and UML also needs to share the blame. Both NC and UML are also corrupted and cowardly. Both NC and UML obey the commands of the Maoist. This is state of modern day Nepal. Ooooppss... almost forgot the Madhises.... just look at JP Gupta... speaks volume for Madesh.

17. Harihar Thapa
Pranchanda and his gang of murderous theives have only destroyed Nepal. Prachanda, the traitor of Nepal with India shamelessly supporting him killed thousands of Nepalis. For what. So Prachanda could loot more and more. The Nepal - India relation needs to change. Its upto patriotic Nepalis to accomplish this. Today, we have many tools in our hands. Facebbok, Twitter, I Pad, texting, Instant Messaging. We just need 1 brave Nepali to overtrun the abuse the Indians have inflicted on Nepal and Nepalis. Prachanda, Baburam they are flunkies of India, surviving on paltry crubms given to them by their Indian Masters. Prachanda and Baburam should be tried as agents of RAW, and then sent to the gallows. This is the truth in Nepal - India Realation.  Its time for a game changer.  Where are the brave sons of Nepal that forced the Indians to apply an economic blockade to a land locked nation. Nepalis really need to wake to the reailty that its the Indians and Nepali traitors that are dragging down Nepal each day. Lets do something about it.      

18. Pushkar Kunwar

The biggets problem for Nepal and Nepalis is INDIA. The RAW agents in Nepal are the ones pulling the strings of power because they have dogs like Prachanda and Baburam as their slaves. Nepal will never prosper or be peaceful because the Indians won't allow that to happen. Only we Nepalis are to balme for this. India has been bribing the Nepali Netas ( read - not Netas but traitors ), ever since the 1950s. We have not been able to produce one proud Nepali who has been able to stand his own ground against the Indians. As long as traitors like Baburam and Prachanda, shameless murderers  are at India beck and call, the status quo will remain. The current Netas of all political parties belong in prison. We need a new treaty with India and we need to get all the lands that India has stolen from us. Its time Nepal and Nepali people stood up for their rights. Its time to unite the patriotic people and forces of Nepal against India. This is where the solution lies for Nepal. Long live Nepal and Nepalis. 

19. Anita Rai
The political leaders in Nepal have been trying, since 2008 to come up with a Constitution for Nepal. Its now 2012. Where is the Constitution. What have these wise and visionary leaders done for 4 long years. In the mean time, Nepali people suffer. All day, every day. People like Prachanda or B R B, how about the Koiralas or Maakuney or Sher Bahadur, these group of gansters live a life of luxury. Something is very, very wrong with this picture.  Then there is all the corruption and billion rupees scams.  Why can we not find patriotic Nepali blood. Is the entire Nepali leadership beholden to the Indians. Do the Indians really have that much control in Nepal. How can we go on living each day suffering for lack of petrol, water, electricity, law and order. We need jobs now.  The communist will never take Nepal forward. Maybe its a vast Indian conspiracy for the Maoist to be calling the shots in Nepal. Is there any other explanation to the current status quo.  I think not.  

20. Harry Subba
It seems the cat is out of the bag by now.
The people of this country called Nepal now have come to
their senses, They are to be congratulated , now that they know who are the flowers and who are the weeds. "Let thousand flowers blossom !"
Enough is enough.
Ma yeuta manish ko khojima chhu.
A  Star-Junge will soon be risen!
Heil Junge.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)