Nepali Times
My Take
Post-UNMIN tasks



The most immediate challenge for the government and political parties is to cool temperatures over the monitoring of the Nepal Army and Maoist ex-combatants and the management of specific numbers of weapons in the wake of UNMIN's departure on 15 January.

Instead, there's the usual politicking and posturing.

The Maoists had previously agreed, though with some reluctance, that UNMIN's extension till 15 January would be the last one. But they have already written to the UN Security Council for yet another extension, knowing full well that this is not possible. Their reasoning is that vital elements of the peace process are still incomplete, especially the thorny issue of the Maoist ex-combatants' integration and rehabilitation.

This may be a valid concern but equally important is the question of who is to be blamed for the delay by not making sincere efforts to resolve the situation during the four months of UNMIN's extended tenure. Despite knowing that UNMIN cannot stay here for eternity, the Maoists have violated one agreement after another, delaying almost every aspect of the peace process.

Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala says his party might agree on another extension for UNMIN, provided certain conditions are fulfilled, one of which is taking the Nepal Army out of the UN mission's monitoring purview. This is as silly a condition as one can come across. Even if the mission were to get another extension, one cannot change the terms and conditions midway through the peace process. NC, which has so far displayed a lot more resolve and character than any other non-Maoist party when it comes to making the Maoists honour agreements related to peace and the constitution, is clearly taking a wrong stance here.

Both sides are engaging in a useless debate. They should be focusing their energy on how to enable existing local mechanisms to manage the Maoist ex-combatants and their stored weapons, along with an equal number of weapons from the Nepal Army. UNMIN is on its way out, so there is no point arguing about the conditions under which it might stay.

The situation post-UNMIN assumes an urgency rarely witnessed since the political parties and ex-rebels came together in 2005. It demands dexterity, sensitivity and a little out-of-the-box-thinking. No doubt a tall order for the drivers of the peace process in the country, but they must salvage the situation despite naysayers who want to discard the peace process altogether. Not doing so will cost them both heavily, never mind the Nepali people.

The Maoists need to come good on their earlier pledge to transfer the control of ex-combatants to the Special Committee, which also includes members of their party. They have also consented to the appointment of retired Lt. Gen.  Balananda Sharma as coordinator of the Special Committee Secretariat, which is entrusted with supervision, integration and rehabilitation of the combatants. In other words, be it UNMIN's scheduled exit, transfer of control of the Maoist ex-combatants, and their monitoring by the Special Committee, these are all outcomes of agreements with the Maoists. Nothing has changed to demand a change in the set-up.

On its part, the government, effectively an anti-Maoist coalition now, must not provoke their former partners by demanding immediate control of the stored weapons and details of the combatants living in UN-monitored cantonments.

A competent handling of this situation will not only avert a looming but very much avoidable crisis, but will also go a long way in restoring the trust among the parties.

Stop wasting time, EDITORIAL
Big Madhesi politics, PRASHANT JHA

1. who cares
why maoist wants to keep unmin until the 14th? is it just a reason to extend the stay or they just want to prevent other side from preparing for the response against fourth people's movement. 

time has come to bring back united security arrangement, that include army, police, apf, secret service and this time they should include democratic party orgs too.  

2. Arthur
This article prepares to blame the Maoists for the future consequences of open repudiation of the peace agreement by the anti-Maoists.

Sushil's "wrong stance" of removing the NA from monitoring is what will happen from January 15. That is what the editorial advocates by wanting UNMIN removed, so it is pointless calling it a "wrong stance".

Everyone knows that the Maoists left government because their opponents blocked democratization of the NA and integration of the two armies.

No matter how many times you repeat the opposite, and claim the Maoists are refusing integration, people will still know it. The same people who will agree with you that the Maoists are blocking integration now will be those who agreed with you in denouncing Prachanda for insisting on integration before. This kind of childish empty talk seems characteristic of Nepali anti-Maoist politics.

If it was up to me, the PLA would respond to the government's unilateral decision that the NA is no longer subject to monitoring and its ridiculous demand that UNMIN hand the PLA's arms to the government by simply taking control of the arms and using them for training until such time as there is a new agreement that the other side is willing to comply with.

No doubt there are other political considerations, and fortunately the PLA will take those into account as well.

But my reaction has the advantage of openly showing readiness to fight (more convincingly than resolutions about future "revolt") while still not actually firing the first shot. That is exactly what the NT editorial is doing, from the opposite direction. Seeing just how far you can go without actually firing the first shot.

If the PLA does not respond by taking back its weapons, it would have to be because they are more concerned to avoid that first shot being fired by either side than the writer of this editorial is.

You may mistake such responsibility for being cornered and willing to back down. If you do then you will support further violations until eventually you actually try to support anti-Maoist rule without elections after May. Each step you take can be in the name of "democracy", but if you succeed in taking enough of those steps you will leave no choice to the real democrats but to fight back, with guns.
Meanwhile they would be idiots to hand over their guns when their enemies intentions are so transparent.

Don't kid yourselves about winning "international support" for your opposition to the peace agreement.

Take a look at the UNMIN report to the Security Council and you will see very little sympathy there for the Nepal government's demands:

"I must state clearly that the positions presented in this letter do not reflect consensus in the Special
Committee, and appear to deviate significantly from the Interim Constitution...

This proposal would effectively abrogate critical agreements, with potentially far-reaching political

consequences that should be well understood by the Council. Expunging these agreements would
create grave uncertainties and can be expected to erode the confidence that has been built up around
arms monitoring and through the important achievements of the process so far."

The rest of the world can see very clearly who is for peace and a constitution and who is opposed.

Don't kid yourselves that even your own readers cannot see through your editorial. Those who will agree with it are those who want to go back to war. Others may or may not remain silent but nobody will actually believe that your campaign to get rid of UNMIN is not in fact a campaign to get rid of the peace agreement.

It will be interesting to see whether those who agree with it will be as mealy mouthed as the editorial and keep pretending that they expect to get peace through these provocations or whether they will openly admit that they want to go back to war.

3. UA
As usual, good, unbiased analysis. I do agree that the stance being taken by the Maoists, NC and even CPN-UML are silly ones. UNMIN or no-UNMIN, if the parties and their top leaders are seriously concerned about completing the peace process, it doesn't make much difference. Rather, I would love to see that the political parties themselves conclude the peace process without any foreign help setting an example in the world. But, since they all are engaged in power sharing politics rather than problem-sharing politics, to talk positively about them is only a non-sense.

4. Kamal Kishor
The problem with UNMIN is global. This is an organization which is needed by all major conflict infected countries but it does not need any one. They go to help the local government minimize a conflict but help in aggravating the issues. You look every where they have been. They pump lots of money in a poor economy thus destabilizing the economy but won't do any thing as most of the UN bureaucrats don't have to loose anything if they can't achieve anything  and only thing most of these bureaucrats want is extension of their terms one after the other. Look at Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, Sudan, Bosnia and so on. 90% of the times, they have not achieved what they were supposed to do.

It is better they go.

5. Nirmal
Well, Damakant is missing the big point:What will happen with the status of NA in the peace pact? Will maoists and non-maoists are ready to remove the very terminolgy from peace pact to allow the NA out of monitoring list?

Again the issue of UNMIN has started as usual with a mixture of good and bad news, good and bad intentions. The time will be putting everyone in place and that will make what now looks black-white or white-black to resemble black stockings as CA deadline hopelessly approaches. Or vice versa.  Why not admit that the pessimism arised over time has given a room for surprises  that makes it(Karin Landgren�s analysis) the best?  We, the people Damakant, we are accustomed to these theatres of cutbacks and fro, to let go transforming the initial idea in the course of trials to lead to the unexpected.


I will start with the bad so it is taken off. To make the matter worse, by making UNMIN leave right when there is either any plan A or B, has been a low blow that hurts the peace process and it has left it orphaned and unaccompanied. All logistic equipments provided, human resources utilised have no any certain future to be reutilised. Well, the kamchalau sarkaar looks about to rush out for more for the  pajeros and other valuable things to continue with their loots. This brutal hack has knocked the peace process like never before. It has left a scar. And it will take time to close the wound If an equivalent mechanism is not put into place after.

Good news

On the side of good, the best news came with the appointment+promotion  of Karin Landgren in Burundi. She
is back where UN should be. The joy is great, I can not hide. I know she's one of ours. And please, this is not understood in terms of factions or parties, it has rained enough on the subject. I say it's one of us because for once I have felt close to the UN�s approach on having precise look on the stalls of all the theatres, and because she has shown to be a good madam and best manager in the field, because she played the rules of the game hand to hand, the face to face, the person to person. And because she loves what she does. And because it is easily perceived.

And I still have a room for what is neither good nor bad, quite the contrary: the agreement on Balananda Sharma for special committee by the Maoists though I know it was just a marketing tactics. For the record, the man is not at all anti-maoists or anti- UN type apparently. And we�ve never complained about those army officials who do it around us knowing that NA serves the country and as UN blue-helmets. There in the special committee, each one is supposed to be with their chest radiographs and possible solutions.
So,  it seems wrong to ask special committee to replace UNMIN theoretically and practically, it will alter the spirit of the whole pact. All this for a committee which is formed under the basis of political consensus of the moment supposes an incalculable risk. As retired general Sharma carries on, what is now more important to tell: �Ladies and gentlemen, a controlled, precise and open study to evaluate the efficacy of special committee should go hand in hand�.

Damakant, If the rightists people had been efficient ones, our country would have turned into Singapore or Switzerland long time ago, there also govern right, some sort of pseudo-democrats but the difference is that they care their own populace over many things but rightist in Nepal are as always, overly dramatic in their daura suruwaal attire and exagerately enchanted in their own circle. Pity!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)