By Rajat KC
March 11, 2007
Nepal is going through another period of turmoil.
In the course of establishing peace and democracy and resolving the ongoing crisis, the nation is heading towards elections for a Constituent Assembly.
Although the agenda of democratization has been the talk of the town, the Maoists’ totalitarian communist philosophy seems to dominate many sectors of the nation.
It is obvious that had there not been enormous pressure from the U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Mr. James F. Moriarty on the issue of Arms management, Nepal could have already declared itself as a Communist state by now.His concerns seem oriented towards a democratic and peaceful Nepal and to see Nepal as a sovereign and independent Nation.
As a diplomat of the only world super power, to the small Himalayan Nation, Nepal, he provided true assistance as a well-wisher of Nepal and the peace-loving Nepalese people.
Even in the past when the state was fighting war against terrorism (With alleged terrorist CPN Maoist), the United States was on top rank to provide necessary support.
The assistance such as military hardware, training and exchange program was provided to make Nepalese Security Forces more efficient and versatile.
Those people who know about the political crisis of Nepal and are also aware of Mr. Moriarty’s efforts to resolve the crisis can easily understand this truth.
In the post April 06 scenario, no elements other then US authority urged to put any sort of pressure on theMaoist hegemony. More than ever the government and Seven Party Alliance (SPA) are seen as very ineffective to resist the Maoist pressure so far.
In almost all cases in the beginning, SPA tried topresent their own agenda but that was eventually overshadowed by theMaoist agenda.
It is sad to say that some other political parties within the SPA, instead of putting forward their own ideas, alwayscarried the Maoist agenda as their own. In fact the SPA has done nothing generous from their own side except legitimating the Maoist agenda through political means.
Mr. Moriarty mentioned at a Media Roundtable on January 19, 2007, “TheUnited States believes the arms management process must be completed in an effective and transparent manner before the Maoists enter aninterim Nepali government. No partner in coalition government shouldexpect to retain a private army. Destabilization, mistrust and insecurity invariably would result.”
He further mentioned, “Democracy comes from the consent of the people, not the barrel of a gun. As the Maoists are now represented in ademocratic Interim Legislature, it is time they finally and completelyrenounce violence, intimidation and extortion. The Nepalese peopledeserve nothing less.”
He has made such statements several times but the above mentioned statement is sufficient to signify his selfless positive attitude tostrengthen democracy in Nepal. One should not forget that all hisefforts are based on US policies; it is not that he is providing acontribution in his personal capacity or interest. However, in thecourse of making a long-lasting peace in Nepal, his personal endeavorshave always been outstanding and meaningful.Prime Minister Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala also mentioned more than oncethat he will allow the Maoists to join the government only aftercompletion of arms management.
The Prime Minister gave a statement regarding the stand against the idea of allowing the Maoists to joingovernment before arms management only after having a cordial audiencewith Ambassador Moriarty.
Contrary to this practical and reasonableversion of the U.S. Ambassador, some political leaders see this moreas an interference of the U.S. in the internal affairs of Nepal.
Demobilization of rebel force and arms management is an essentialmeasure to ensure that dumped weapons are not used again in thefuture.
The Maoists’ enchantment with arms is still distinctlyprominent. Despite all pressure, they are only willing to deposittheir weapons with certain terms and conditions.
As per the present arrangement, they store weapons in their own cantonment, with a single locking system by keeping key in their own pocket.
UN monitors are to observe the containers regularly at cantonment sites.
Many believe that they have hidden all the sophisticated weapons and submitted only damaged weapons in the containers.
In addition they are continuously smuggling weapons from neighbouring countries taking undue advantageof the open borders.
The appointment of a retired army Major General as a legislator fromthe Maoists side clearly indicate that their reach or infiltration isin place in almost every sector of the state structure.
Another noticeable fact to prove this version is the behavior of Home ministerSitaula, who is extremely lenient towards almost every agendas of theMaoists.
Furthermore, it is said that he refused the statement of Mr.Moriarty in the manner as if he is a Maoist spokesperson.
In the reinstated parliament, the Maoists were not included even though their agenda is tabled by members of other parties of the SPA.
No one appears to have the courage to oppose the Maoist agenda.Recently, the Interim Parliament of 320 members was formed including83 Maoists, appointed as members of the legislature.
Most of them are not the Maoist politicians, mainly they have a guerilla background. Inthis milieu any one can easily imagine what type of decisions theinterim legislature can take up in the upcoming days.
Despite all these developments, the eight parties are still not in acondition to form the interim government.
That is mainly because ofthe Maoist’s negative role as well as their dual nature and moreoverthe crucial role of the Ambassador Moriarty. This effort is indeed not to push the Maoist back from the political theatre but to make themfully comply with the basic political norms.
If the goodwill effort of Mr. Moriarty will materialize in the futurethen without any hiccups and resentments we should laud and respect him.