INDIA'S FORGOTTEN WAR – blogging naxalism.

Nepal Plunging Back Into War? (4)

with 4 comments

08lookThe news from Nepal is coming at a frantic pace and none of it is good. Nepal’s post-conflict constitution, her government and her very viability as a state is in question. The latest is that PM Prachanda has resigned his post, taking the CPN (Maoist) with him. Nepal  effectively has no functioning government.

The resignation was immediately precipitated by the crisis over the demanded resignation of Nepal’s army chief, General Katawal. More broadly, the resignation and the crisis is the latest act in an ongoing power struggle over control of the state’s institutions, particularly the army.

Here are the key events of the past few days:

May 1: Contrary to expectations, the United States does not remove the CPN (Maoist) from its list of terrorist groups, sending a clear message to the party that it opposes the removal of Katawal.

May 3: In spite of tremendous internal and external pressure, PM Prachanda demands the resignation of Katawal. The largest ally of the CPN (Maoist), the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), quits the government in opposition to the dismissal.

May 4: President Ram Baran Yadav of the Nepalese Congress Party refuses to accept Katawal’s resignation, claiming that Prachanda’s actions have been unconstitutional.

May 5: Intensified street protests by supporters of the various political parties in Kathmandu. Reports (unconfirmed) that Yadav is refusing Prachanda’s resignation claiming that it is also unconstitutional (will verify).
So there you have it. It doesn’t look good for the stability of the country nor is it easy to be optimistic for the people of Nepal. Nepal is facing its first post-conflict constitutional crisis in an atmosphere of poisonous tension and hostility.

A coup may have been avoided by the President’s decision to block the dismissal of the army chief. A dangerous precedence has been set. One might dislike the idea of the Maoists in control of the army, however, in order for Nepal to succeed as a democracy the civilian government must have full control over all organs of the state regardless of which party is in power. The army, with the help of the opportunism of the opposition parties, has flexed its muscles to the detriment of democracy building in Nepal.

Is Nepal’s experiment in post-conflict state building dead? It looks as if it might be. There are 19,000 Maoist soldiers confined to their cantonments and the process of integration between them and the army seems to have failed. The major parties are locked in a high-stakes game for power and seem unwilling to make difficult compromises for the sake of the country. The Nepalese army, in co-operation with the Nepalese Congress, has indirectly deposed the elected Maoist government. The Maoist Young Communist League continues to function as a violent militia that intimidates its opponents. The peace agreement is dead. It is now up to Nepal’s political power brokers to pull the country back from the brink.


Written by Michael

May 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Just came across your blog. v. interesting.

    have you seen the satp site? they have a ton of naxalite stuff. Here’s a sampler:

    The interview with the CPI Maoist Gen Secy is fascinating. (first link).


    May 14, 2009 at 5:53 am

    • Cheers! Glad you like the blog and I hope you’ll keep coming back for more. Will check out the link later today. Is it something you’re involved in?



      May 14, 2009 at 4:12 pm

  2. Damn… South Asian Terrorism Portal. I’ve been reading their stuff for a few years. My bad for not putting up a link on my site. Great stuff. Solid research and a very user friendly site. Am going to link to them now.


    May 14, 2009 at 7:59 pm

  3. […] Nepal Plunging Back Into War? […]

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