Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Role of king is crucial

After the dramatic ups and downs of the last three months, the old regime and the new regime have once again agreed to sit for talks. However, since the old regime only makes verbal commitment to talks but does not do the necessary groundwork for the peace process, there are doubts if the third round of talks will be successful. Moreover, visible and invisible powers have been the major obstacles for the talks, and their role is yet to be seen.

The role of the king in the talks is going to be crucial. The ground reality remains that after the king's October Fourth move he has given himself executive powers. Since the talks will focus on the regime, they cannot be conclusive if they do not conform to the king's wish. Ironically, the king has hesitated to admit that reality in public. Instead, he is drumming up the propaganda that the present government has all the executive powers and he is pretending as if he is talking to us through the same council of minister. The king may have his own compulsions or he may be fooling us. We, however, remain confident that we have been fighting the king's army and at the same time we are also holding talks with his representatives. We had accepted the previous government negotiators as his representatives. But, since the army refused to implement the agreement of the second round of talks, a question has reasonably cropped up on the relation between the king and the army. Therefore, either the king should be present at the talks this time, or we want him and the army to implement the agreements of the talks beforehand. It remains to be seen if the king can empower the present government negotiators and give them the authority to decide his and the army's fate. This is the knotty issue that will determine the success and failure of the talks.

It will also depend on the sacrifices the king is prepared to make. The monarch, as an intellectual person, must understand that monarchy was a system that was born in the age of slavery. It has become irrelevant and unnecessary in the modern capitalist and socialist age we are living in. In Nepal, the monarchy has lost its historical essence. After the royal palace massacre, even the general people in the remotest parts of the country no more believe the monarchy as an institution. In this context, if the king opts to honour the people's democratic attitude and the heed the writing on the wall, by giving up his throne and allowing the republican system in the country, he will get the right respect both from the people and us.

If the king makes that sacrifice, the present conflict in the country will see the easiest exit and the country will make a giant leap based on the new setting and new national unity.

For some, asking the king and his men to allow a republican system may seem like a distant dream. But for those who know the scientific rules for social development and the subjective need of the age, the idea is quite reasonable. If the king cannot give up the throne just like that, we have the proposal of allowing the people to decide on the matter. That is why we have been stressing on round table talks, interim government and a constituent assembly. The future of the third round of talks will depend on what will be the old regimes' response to this political agenda we have already presented.

Our party deems it necessary that the parties of the dissolved parliament should also participate in the talks. We believe that these parties are significantly present between the armed forces of our party and the king. Without the participation and the agreement of these parties, the talks cannot reach a logical ending. Ironically, the parliamentary parties have not been able to realise this serious matter. Of course, there are some procedural problems for participation as they are not in the government nor do they share our principles. The 18-point demand of the parties could be a meeting point. True that there are some flaws in their demands, but most of them do resemble with our own political agenda.

In the present capitalist age, any country is influenced by international politics. More so, with a country like ours that has already been semi-colonialised and is heavily influenced by neo-colonialism. Among all kinds of foreign powers at play here, two deserve the biggest attention. One of them is with the king, while the other backs the political parties. Both are all out to keep us from gaining power, while their lip service has been in favour of peace talks. The American move to use Nepal against Indian and China is very serious. In a reply to us, the old regime recently admitted that there are American military advisers based in Nepal, but temporarily. The US has been stressing talks but its real intentions are different. It actually wants war, therefore, the royal palace and the Royal Nepali Army may try to sabotage talks.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)