Nepali Times
Letters
Not wars


I've looked over the articles and letters these last two weeks in your paper, and in other papers from the Valley, all bemoaning Nepal's situation and each pointing a finger at one or another reason as being a cause: America, too much democracy, corruption, Maoist leadership and so forth. A mistaken theme running through all these letters and articles is that Nepal is some sort of exception, and that by making adjustments here and there, Nepal's problems will be solved.

Unfortunately, these problems are everywhere in the world. Nepal has its armed insurgency, but it is not just Nepal's tears. There are at least 49 other countries experiencing their own armed insurgencies in other Third World wars. They all arise out of real grievances: rural rent-seeking and servitude such as in Nepal, theft of land, water and resources.

Maoism is just the unfortunate face given to this one, but its violence comes out of the frustration of alienated young people who in their desperation see no other alternative. President Bush, cheered by his allies and emulated by his puppets across the globe, has chosen to call these people "terrorists." How convenient. So Bush promises to repress all these insurgencies through armed force, including in Nepal.

They say that democracy is not working in Nepal. But when have we had democracy? Not this ersatz top-down democracy that is being imposed all over the world at the same time as the big multinational corporations are emerging as the new rulers of the world. Such democracy gives us an illusion of participation at the ballot box while at the same time removing us from the political and decision-making process, a process that increasingly is being shifted to the big finance capitals of the world. Elections won't give us back our forests, factories and rivers once they are gone.

When the cause of insurgency is poverty, unequal wealth, environmental destruction and injustice, an insurgency won't be solved by more guns, just as the cause giving rise to the insurgency can't be solved by the guns of insurgents. More guns, in whose ever hands, just make for more destruction, more poverty and enlarges the problem. When the Maoists thought they were winning because they were slaughtering people, they cut off the negotiations. Now that the government is getting military support and claims to be slaughtering Maoists, it is no longer interested in negotiations. All war does is benefit the arms industry. The answer of course is democracy, but democracy in which people organise and educate themselves.
Stephen Mikesell
by email


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


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