I don't blame anyone for being confused about the ground reality in Rolpa. You hear the army has been deployed, yet it is not taking action as many expect it to. It is the duty of civil authorities to provide internal security. If the situation escalates and they cannot address it, they may request army help. Such operations involve minimum use of force. The army hasn't been deployed to hunt Maoists. Their mandate is to free the 69 hostages and disarm the Maoists. They are trying to block escape routes. The Maoists are using human shields, a very tactical move.
The army seems under tremendous pressure to exercise restraint. Using force they can finish such operations in hours, but that could lead to high casualties. With the blockade, the rebels could run short of basic supplies. This wll put pressure on them to negotiate, while we are in a position of strength. I don't think they are prepared to take on the Royal Nepal Army. The government has to tighten security in other Maoist areas, so the rebels don't have a free hand, and focus on development. It should carefully coordinate security work by forming a coordinating council, with more administrative, information-sharing roles.
The government does not have a paramilitary so it has to rely on the army. The National Security Council spells out the task and commanders decide operational modalities. I don't think there is any confusion about who deploys the army, the elected government or the monarch. The prime minister chairs the security council, and it recommends deployment. In a constitutional monarchy, the king ratifies decisions of the council of ministers. In our case, our politicians failed to carry out their responsibility because they lacked moral strength. That is the only confusion-otherwise things are absolutely clear. Personally, I would have preferred to use the army when the police failed and needed help a long time ago. If that had happened, the situation would have been different by now.
There is no doubt about it: the action in Rolpa is justified. The Maoists have to realise they cannot have a clear run anymore. It is time to talk with them, since the issues they raise are of national importance: poverty, illiteracy, unemployment. The present polity is corrupt and mismanaged, and that has exacerbated the situation and fed the insurgency. If we blame the democracy of the last 12 years for doing nothing, the blame for five years goes to the Maoists.
The Maoists seem to have committed, educated leaders. They would be much more effective working under the constitutional framework, they could even change the constitution. The didn't need violence to get what they want.
Wars are fought to bring peace. We need peace for development. Even the Maoists would need peace if they were in charge, and needed to rebuild the country. We should begin negotiating now because even if the army is able to, it wouldn't want to massacre fellow Nepalis.