Nepal: UNMIN exits, India enters

by Mohan Nepali for Public Journalism

January 18, 2011

Re-affirming that Nepal’s power-mongering politicians have long been accepting Indian political intervention in the country, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has arrived in Kathmandu with a clearly stated purpose of representing the Indian role in forming a government in Nepal.

India has apparently sent her to make sure the Indian role would redouble in Nepal after the exit of the UN Mission to Nepal (UNMIN) from Nepal’s peace process monitoring and reporting role three days ago.

The visit is reported to have been concerned with quarrels among Nepali political parties and their intra-party feuds. Continue reading

Nepal: United Nations leans on UCPN(Maoist) to speed up peace deal

UNMIN chief Karin Landgren

Yahoo News India

Kathmandu, Sep 22 (IANS) The UN agency assisting Nepal’s protracted peace process Wednesday asked the major parties in the Himalayan country to speed up the deal, underlining that it will exit in four months’ time.

Karin Landgren, chief of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) that monitors the arms and combatants of the state army as well as the opposition Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said the four-month extension given to the UNMIN by the UN Security Council was not flexible and its mandate would end Jan 15.  “(This) creates even greater expectations that the parties will make rapid and significant headway,’ said Landgren on her return to Kathmandu after briefing the Security Council in New York.

The UNMIN chief said that though there had not been any real progress in the peace process much of this year, the last 10 days showed positive developments.  These are, according to her, the pact between the government and the Maoists to ask the Security Council to extend UNMIN’s tenure by four months, a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between the Maoists and the ruling communists not to take part in the upcoming prime ministerial election that has failed to throw up a new premier even after seven rounds, and reactivating the Special Committee that will decide the fate of nearly 20,000 PLA combatants. Continue reading

Nepal Army says UN mission should leave

[The UCPN(M) leadership is locked into the pursuit of leading a coalition or consensus government with the bourgeois parties, an elusive prospect which requires making a deal to integrate a few thousand members of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army into the army.  The Nepal Army is resisting any integration of PLA soldiers as units into the army and seems to be calling the UCPN(M)’s bluff.  The UCPN(M) wants the UN to stay to help cobble together a deal on the army and to share power.-ed]

Nepal Army Chief Gen. Chatraman Singh Gurung

2010-08-21

Kathmandu – The Nepalese Army told the government not to extend the term of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the first time the army has taken an official position over the political mission’s mandate, local media reported Saturday.

Army chief Chatraman Singh Gurung met Peace and Reconstruction Minister Rakam Chemjong late Friday to convey the army’s stand on the mission, which was created to support the peace process after the government and Maoist rebels signed a peace agreement in 2006, The Kathmandu Post said.

“UNMIN’s term should not be extended anymore,” Gurung said. “There is no conflict in the country, and the premise that there are two sides to the conflict no longer exists.”

Chemjong said the government had yet to make a decision on the mission, whose term was due to expire September 15, and would do so after consultations with political parties were finished. Continue reading

Nepal: Maoists’ lock, India’s door

(In tracing the development of the stalemate in Nepal, the author sketches the miscalculations of all the contending forces, including the UCPNM which has pursued an illusory path to power since abandoning the People’s War in 2006.  The current prolonged stalemate creates a political exhaustion on all sides, she argues, where all may settle for much less. “Perhaps the answer for Nepal lies not in the neo-liberalism that India now so favours, but in something closer to namby-pamby European left-liberalism”, writes Manjushree Thapa.

Will the masses and the revolutionary leaders and members of the UCPNM be able to re-establish the People’s War and the revolutionary road to popular rule?  Or will the masses be left to the side, spectators to their own disempowerment once again?-ed)

2008: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Nepalese counterpart, Prachanda, in New Delhi

By Manjushree Thapa

Open Democracy

Nepal’s path from civil war to a new constitutional and democratic order is proving hard. An influential Maoist movement and a powerful India are at the heart of the country’s stalemated political transition, says Manjushree Thapa.

Nepal’s peace process following the civil war of 1996-2006 tends to be described by international experts as a homegrown affair. Those experts directly involved in it have often expressed such a judgment at turning-points in the process. For example, in the wake of the Maoists’ victory in the constituent-assembly elections [1] of 10 April 2008, Ian Martin – the then head of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (Unmin [2]) – said: “Nepal’s peace process has been truly indigenous: it has not been mediated or managed by any external third party.” A year later, when the Maoists resigned from government, Rakesh Sood – India’s ambassador to Nepal – echoed the view: “It is completely an internal affair of Nepal. I would completely deny that there was any Indian role or involvement.”

A closer look suggests that these remarks are diplomatese: for the international community – and indeed Unmin and India in particular – have shaped Nepal’s peace process, by pursuing a variety of strategies that have not always been complementary. Nepal today is living with the result: a political impasse [3] that offers no straightforward resolution. Continue reading