Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"Dummy government?"

(Excerpts from Madhav Kumar Nepal's statement in parliament demanding an explanation from the prime minister)

"We have taken the statement made by the Chief of the Army Staff on 27 March very seriously. The statement asks why the people's representatives have not supported the security forces. Reading the full text, we found other very serious issues in it. The allegations in the statement have raised questions about the authority and duties [of the CoAS] and at what point such statements cross the limits of decency. We are confused.if one type of indiscipline takes root in the nation, it will be very difficult to return to normal. We are deeply worried about these things.

The prime minister and the defence minister is [are] automatically responsible for statements made by the CoAS. The defence minister is responsible being the line minister, and as chair of the National Security Council, the prime minister is answerable for the issues raised. We demand a satisfying explanation to the matters raised in the statement from the prime minister.

Some may agree with the CoAS' statement, so they may not think it is necessary to discuss its subject matter. But the question is not about the matters raised, it is who said these things, and where. What would happen if the chief secretary were to go around saying there is bad governance in the country? What would happen if a secretary went around making political speeches? Can we accept it if people in responsible positions in government go around opposing or criticising the government's performance? We are now forced to ask such questions.

.We are highlighting in this house of people's representatives the concerns raised by the people about the CoAS' statement. People have to be capable of understanding their limits and responsibilities. We must all stay within our limits. What would happen to this country if we all started crossing the line? We have to be able to separate the good from the bad, the right from the wrong. We must be able to point out shortcomings. But what is the appropriate place to point out what is wrong, what is the appropriate medium and audience, how should such things be said-all these things have their own definitions and meanings, and fixed limits. We must respect those limits.

.We don't know if Sher Bahadur Deuba's government is a dummy, or whether it is actually running the country. If it is a dummy government, why is the Nepali Congress still supporting it. this government is helpless, just a shadow. Why has a puppet government been allowed to continue its show? We cannot understand why the Nepali Congress is content with watching a puppet show. A puppet government must be overthrown. The Nepali Congress has to form a more real government.We are also surprised by statements of the party president [Girija Prasad Koirala] that the state of emergency was declared because the army demanded it. Who will tell us what is happening, that is unclear even though we have a majority government? Who will explain all this to us-isn't this the responsibility of the prime minister?

.We see these kinds of contradictions in a situation where the prime minister is weak, helpless and powerless. He cannot speak in front of others, he just projects a helpless decency. He tries to lie to everyone, he is unable to understand his own status, duties and responsibilities. That is why we have been hearing statements [from the prime minister] such as because "everyone has said.," "you have said." "I have talked.", or "you said strike, so I've struck," [an earlier Deuba statement in parliament]. That was why we asked whether this country has a prime minister or a robot? .If the prime minister is a robot, we have nothing to say except that the country does not need a robot as a prime minister.

.We don't think it is a valid charge that we haven't supported the security forces The entire parliament ratified the emergency. Would the emergency have been possible if the people's representatives had not backed it? .There is no mention of that in the statement. .The people's representatives [accused in the statement by the Chief of Army Staff Prajwalla Rana of refusing to go to their constituencies] may also have their concerns. They have been told: don't go to the villages, don't visit the districts. They have been told not to move around in groups of more than one or two people, they've been told don't organise meetings, and don't conduct any political activities now. On the one hand you say this, on the other you say that you don't have the support of the people's representatives. Isn't this contradictory?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)