Nepal: The Role of NGOs in destroying the seeds of revolution

The Drawback Of Nepal’s Revolution : The NGO’s Harvest

By Saba Navalan, Countercurrents.org

17 August, 2012

Nepal is one of those lands so very rich in natural resources that it constantly pricks the eyes of multi-national companies which dominate the world today. Nepal which is situated at the backyard of India had been treated over the years as its slave-land. The poor farmers and working class in Nepal is representing the ‘neo-slaves’ of the globe. In many villages there has never been any governance or State administration. The inhabitants of these villages have never had access to government medical facilities. The horror of slavery in the Feudalistic System of Governance in the last century remains dreadfuly present trapped in a time capsule.

For a long time Nepal has remained so steep in enslavement and subjugation as if it was under the ‘colonial rule’ of India. Prior to Maoists, no one proposed an alternative system of politics against India’s domination as well as revolutionary path against the feudal slavery system. In this milieu people were mobilised under the leadership of the Unified Communist Party which followed Maoism in letter and spirit.

Villages were freed. Within a span of ten years many villages came under the overall influence of the Maoists. People were trained in people’s warfare. People were mobilised and organized through the Agricultural Labourers Organizations, trade unions and Workers’ Forums at first and later through Students’ Forums and Organizations which too became powerful. The Maoists maximised the conflicts and contradictions that existed between the King’s battalion otherwise known as the Royal Nepal Army and the Police Forces, in the initial stages and had developed effective suitable military strategy.

In a similar vein, exploiting the contradiction that existed between the King and the Political Parties that were arguing the case of ‘bourgeois parliamentary democracy’ the Maoists began to launch their revolutionary initiatives in the urban areas as well amidst the lower rung of the middle-class. Around 75 districts had completely or partly, came under the Maoist administration just before 2000.

Having formed a strong and firm People’s Political Front in Nepal, they led the first stage of revolutionary activities against the monarchy. The other capitalist parties too joined hands with the forces under the leadership of the Maoists in their effort to remove the system of monarchy. After the fall of monarchy the other parties came to an agreement with the Maoists on the issue of conducting general election for the formation of a Constitutional Assembly. At this stage the Maoists came forward to form a ‘Capitalist Democratic National Government’ in Nepal At the same time the Unified Communist Party of Nepal – Maoists – had announced was only an interim period in the revolution.

By June 2006 the United Communist Party or the Maoists developed a 12 Point Compliance Plan in consultation with the other seven parties. On the 21st of November, 2006 an extended Peace Pact was signed between the Maoists and the Government of Nepal. The reason why the Maoists, who with the support of a tremendous ‘people’s upsurge’ had cordoned the Royal Palace in Kathmandu, instead of seizing ‘the power to rule’ in its totality had accepted a ‘peace pact’ still remains a mystery. Many agree that the November Peace Pact was the historic blunder of Nepal Revolution.

The most alarming part of the pact which was considerably dangerous is the Clause whereby they would appeal to the United Nations Assembly, to be the watch-dog of the said Pact. As soon as the signatures were attested, an appeal was made seeking UN intervention. Continue reading

UN, human rights groups examine India’s “democratic” claims and oppressive reality

UN to scrutinize Indian progress on rights

Groups say government must make significant improvements

Rita Joseph, ucanews.com, New Delhi, India
May 23, 2012
Homeless people share a makeshift shelter with their cattle

[Photo:  Homeless people share a makeshift shelter with their cattle]

Rights groups have said that India is to face “enormous human rights challenges” ahead of a UN review in Geneva tomorrow.

With the Human Rights Council set to conduct its second periodic review, Miloon Kothari, convener of the Working Group on Human Rights in India, said yesterday that the world’s second most populous country must improve on everything from poverty and housing to abuse against women and child trafficking.

“Given the enormous human rights challenges faced by India, the second Universal Periodic Review offers India an opportunity to admit its shortcomings and offer to work with the UN, civil society and independent institutions in India toward implementation of national and international human rights commitments,” Kothari, who is also a former UN special rapporteur on adequate housing in India, said at a Commonwealth Human Rights meeting in New Delhi.

More than 40 percent of children under five are under weight, he said, while India still has the highest number of malnourished people in the world at 21 percent of the population.

“While the average growth rate [in India] between 2007 and 2011 was 8.2 percent, poverty declined by only 0.8 percent,” said Kothari, adding that if India applied globally accepted standards of measurement the nationwide poverty rate would be close to 55 percent. Continue reading

Egypt’s ElBaradei suggests war crimes probe of Bush team

In this Nov. 4, 2009 file photo, Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reacts during his lecture at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. ElBaradei suggests in a new memoir that Bush administration officials should face international criminal investigation for the "shame of a needless war" in Iraq. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

(AP) – 4 days ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Former chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei suggests in a new memoir that Bush administration officials should face international criminal investigation for the “shame of a needless war” in Iraq.

Freer to speak now than he was as an international civil servant, the Nobel-winning Egyptian accuses U.S. leaders of “grotesque distortion” in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, when then-President George W. Bush and his lieutenants claimed Iraq possessed doomsday weapons despite contrary evidence collected by ElBaradei’s and other arms inspectors inside the country.

The Iraq war taught him that “deliberate deception was not limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators,” ElBaradei writes in “The Age of Deception,” being published Tuesday by Henry Holt and Company.

The 68-year-old legal scholar, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 1997 to 2009 and recently a rallying figure in Egypt’s revolution, concludes his 321-page account of two decades of “tedious, wrenching” nuclear diplomacy with a plea for more of it, particularly in the efforts to rein in North Korean and Iranian nuclear ambitions.

“All parties must come to the negotiating table,” writes ElBaradei, who won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the IAEA in 2005. He repeatedly chides Washington for reluctant or hardline approaches to negotiations with Tehran and Pyongyang.

He is harshest in addressing the Bush administration’s 2002-2003 drive for war with Iraq, when ElBaradei and Hans Blix led teams of U.N. inspectors looking for signs Saddam Hussein’s government had revived nuclear, chemical or biological weapons programs. Continue reading

Africa: Africom And the ICC – Enforcing International Justice in Africa?

[The International Criminal Court (ICC), which the USA has never joined nor recognised its authority, is now slated to use the US’ AFRICOM forces as the enforcement arm of the ICC in Africa.  This article traces how this will enable the US to further camoflage its imperialist interests and interventionist maneuvers in the current “scramble for Africa” and its resources. — Frontlines ed.]

Pambazuka News

Samar Al-Bulushi And Adam Branch

14 April 2011

The ICC (International Criminal Court) prosecutor has called for the US military to enforce ICC arrest warrants in Africa, while American officials have declared a new phase of cooperation between the US and the ICC, write Samar Al-Bulushi and Adam Branch. What some see as a solution to the ICC’s lack of enforcement capacity, the authors argue, in fact poses a dramatic danger to peace and justice in Africa and to the future of the ICC itself.

THE ICC’S ENFORCEMENT CRISIS

Nearly eight years since its establishment in July 2002, and with its first major review conference just around the corner, the International Criminal Court (ICC) faces a number of challenges. The fact that it has prosecuted only Africans has provoked charges of neocolonialism and racism; its decision to indict certain actors and not others has triggered suspicion of the court’s susceptibility to power politics; and its interventions into ongoing armed conflicts have elicited accusations that the ICC is pursuing its own brand of justice at the cost of enflaming war and disregarding the interests of victims.[1] Each of these concerns is likely to provoke heated discussions at the review conference in Kampala next week.

But there is another aspect of the court’s role in Africa that will require scrutiny going forward: enforcement. Lacking its own enforcement mechanism, the court relies upon cooperating states to execute its arrest warrants. The ICC has found, however, that many states, even if willing to cooperate, often lack the capacity to execute warrants, especially in cases of ongoing conflict or when suspects can cross international borders. Moreover, the African Union (AU) has rejected the ICC’s arrest warrant for its most high-profile target, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and ICC supporters worry that the AU will continue to challenge the court’s authority, especially when the court targets African leaders. The court today thus faces an enforcement crisis: out of 13 arrest warrants issued, only four suspects are in custody. Apparently, having concluded that African states are either unwilling or unable to act quickly or forcefully enough to apprehend suspects, the court has begun to seek support from the one country that has shown itself willing and able to wield military force across the globe: the United States. Continue reading

How the US military was sent to Haiti not to deliver aid–but to police the people

US soldiers landing in Haiti to secure government buildingsExploiting Disaster by Peter Hallward

Pambazuka News, November 10, 2010

For the last twenty years, the most powerful political and economic interests in and around Haiti have waged a systematic campaign designed to stifle the popular movement and deprive it of its principal weapons, resources and leaders,’ writes Peter Hallward. January’s earthquake ‘triggered reactions that carried and that are still carrying such measures to entirely new levels.’

Just before 5pm on Tuesday 12 January 2010, Haiti’s capital city and the surrounding area were devastated by the most catastrophic earthquake in the history of the hemisphere. The scale of the destruction was overwhelming.

According to the most widely cited estimates, around 220,000 people perished and more than 300,000 suffered horrific injuries, leading to many thousands of amputations.[2] Stories told by the bereaved defy summary. Perhaps as many as 200,000 buildings were destroyed, including 70 per cent of the city’s schools.

Today, more than half a year after the disaster in which they lost their homes and virtually all their belongings, around 1.5 million people continue to live in makeshift camps with few or no essential services, with few or no jobs, and with few or no prospects of any significant improvement in the near future.

Although the earthquake has no precedent in Haitian history, the factors that magnified its impact, and the responses it has solicited, are all too familiar. They are part and parcel of the fundamental conflict that has structured the last thirty years of Haitian history: The conflict between pèp la (the people, the poor) and members of the privileged elite, along with the armed forces and international collaborators who defend them. Continue reading

Activists critique US government performance at UN Human Rights Review

November 5, 2010, Geneva

US activists in Geneva observing the government’s first-ever review by the UN’s top human rights body said the government failed to convince the world of its positive human rights record.

“If the US government delegation’s objective was to reclaim the mantel of global human rights leadership, it failed miserably in that effort,” said Ajamu Baraka, Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN), immediately after observing the US review. “What we heard instead was an eloquent defense of US ‘exceptionalism’ – its view of itself as somehow having a ‘special status’ that does not require it to conform to internationally recognized human rights norms and standards.”

“On the positive side, it was gratifying to see the constant drumbeat of criticism from the international community over issues US activists have been raising for years – such as the continued use of the death penalty, racial discrimination, the lack of a US national human rights institution to monitor domestic human rights practice, and the lack of treaty ratification.”

“Fortunately, the US will not be able to dismiss these criticisms as mere ‘political rhetoric’ by its ‘enemies’. The criticism came from a host of states, including US allies such as the UK, France, Australia, and Switzerland.” Continue reading

Some historical background on the struggle for self-determination in Kashmir

 

The division of Kashmir, dating back to the India-Pakistan war of 1947--a legacy of British colonialism

This is an excerpt from an article by a World to Win News Service dated October 25, 2010.

Kashmir lies on the northern borders of India and Pakistan. Its more than 12 million people are mainly involved in farming or work in workshops and small factories making shawls, rugs and carpets. Kashmir’s population is multi-ethnic and multi-religious, with a Moslem majority but also many Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians.

After World War 2, before British imperialism ended its formal rule and left the subcontinent, the colonialists deliberately aggravated the differences between various nationalities and religions, as they did in other parts of the world.

This policy resulted in the partition of the former colony of India and the creation of the country of Pakistan after a bloody war between Hindus and Moslem that led to millions of deaths and several millions refugees. It was the biggest displacement history had ever seen until then.

After partition and the creation of Pakistan, the subcontintent’s small states that had never been under direct British colonial rule were not allowed to choose whether or not they wanted to be independent. In practice, they were forced to choose to be part of India or Pakistan. Continue reading