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FES Nepal in the Press 2009

Maintaining Relationship between China and India on the Basis of equi-distance is challenging <Top>

President of CPN (UML) Jhalanath Khanal has said that Nepal cannot maintain equi-distance relationship between India and China in a programme on Foreign Policy Challenges of Nepal organised by Institute of Foreign Affairs in Cooperating with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. He said that it would be both opportunity and challenge for nice to listen that Nepal maintains equi-distance relationship between China and India - the two most powerful country of the world but it is very difficult to translate into practice. It has both challenges as well as opportunities.

Relationship can be established on the basis of equality but equi-distance is very difficult. Internally we have changed a lot and our foreign policy should be designed in tune with our internal demands. He further said that Nepalese policy should be guided by keeping the changes brought about by globalisation, science and technology, the renaissance of Asia and positive and negative impacts these factors can have over South Asia in General and Nepal in particular. We also have to keep in mind the relationship between the two neighbours while designing our own foreign policy.

Acting foreign secretary Dr. Durga Bhattarai said that foreign ministry alone cannot contribute towards this end and it needs support from all sectors. Executive Director of IFA Dr. Prof. Gopal Pokhrel has said that IFA is continuously holding dialogue on foreign policy issues in the challenged political context.

Dr Shmabu R. Simkhada and former diplomat Madhvji Shrestha presented papers in the programme. The course book for the diplomats and all a book covering all the Agreements/Treaties reached between Nepal and India since 1990s till today have been unveiled by the chief guest Mr Jhalanath Khanal.

Source: Gorkhapatra Nepali National Daily (29 December 2009)


Doubt Over Time Implementation of Constitution <Top>

Minister of Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong has said that the constitution may not be written in time given the current pace of momentum it has taken in a programme organised by National Media Centre in Cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Kathmandu on state-building as a mechanism for conflict resolution.

Although there is no doubt on the competency of CA members but they have failed to rise above the party and this has been reflected through the voting process sin the different CA committees.

The deficit of trust among political parties is the biggest problem said Minister Chemjong. He further elaborated that while UCPN(Maoist) is feared from the fact that army integration process will not be in a way it wanted and constitution writing process will not be accomplished in time if the government is not formed under its leadership whereas other political parties are worried from the fact that if the government is formed under the Maoist leadership they will demoralise Nepal Army and establish one party rule.

The constitution writing process cannot be extended beyond the stipulated time frame said former speaker Daman Nath Dhungana. What can be done, under these circumstances, is the selection of another CA through election but for that they have to prove that the current CA has become "meaningless". The can be done through fresh election only as the current CA was established through election. He further said that in all political parties there are anti peace elements who are working as a catalyst for creating trust deficit in political parties. Dhungana said that constitution can only be written when there are common agendas, common interests within the political parties on the issues of national importance like army integration.

Legal expert Kashi Raj Dahal has said that peace has been destabilised in Nepal primarily because of political instability, weak social movement, and weak state-mechanism. If transitional period is not managed there is a danger that Nepal will become a failure state. Political leaders should rise above the partican interest and focus on constitution writing process, said Dahal.

Dev Raj Dahal, Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office has said that Nepal is moving towards transformation. The increased public participation in politics can contribute to address all sorts of problem.

Source: Gorkhapatra Nepali National Daily (28 December 2009)


House opened after discussion with India <Top>

Kathmandu (Rajdhani Reporter)

Former Speaker Daman Dhungana has claimed that the disruption of the house has resumed after discussing with India in a programme organised by National Media Centre in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung - a German Political Foundation in Nepal. He further disclosed that while drafting twelve point agreements - agreement were reached to delete the point of "democratisation" of Maoists by Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood and CPN(Maoist) Chairman Prachanda . Dhungana further claimed that the thirteenth point of understanding that was reached between mainstream political parties and the the Maoist in 12 November, 2005 was that not to repeat the same mistakes done by the political parties who have exercised parliamentary business in the past and speedy democratisation of Maoists but that point was deleted later. What was written then was only the "democratisation" of Nepal Army and both points - democratisation of Maoists and no repetition of the same mistakes as done in the past by the parties, were delted .

Indian ambassador met Prachanda on Sunday morning and expressed his concerned about possible anti-India movments.

According to the sources, by targeting India, Maoist has decided to go for a movement in favour of national sovereignty and Ambassador Sood also enquired about this but Prachadna has clarified that no such decision has been taken to launch movement against India.

Ambassador Sood has also enquired about the Indian flgh being thrown out in the programme organised in Basantapur on Paush 1st , by Newa Autonomos State. While Prachanda enquired about the recent remarks of the India Army Chief Deepak Kapoor on the position of Maoist combatants. He said that Delhi should made public about the statement made by General Kapoor. Gen. Kapoor in a meeting with Nepali General Chhatra Man Gurung in New Delhi has said that Maoists combatants should not be integrated in Nepal Army.

Immediately after meeting Prachanda, Ambassador Sood flew to New Delhi.

Source: Rajdhani Nepali National Daily (28 December 2009)


Peace can be established through women's participation in decision making level <Top>

Experts have said that peace and development can flourish in the country if women's participation is increased in every decision making level process. In a programme organised by The Telegraph Weekly in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on "women and Peace" experts have said that media can play catalytic role to boost of the capacity of women for the meaningful participation in peace and development process of the country.

Two young women journalist Rukmani Maharjan and Sharada Rijal presented papers in the programme highlighting the issues of women and political process in Nepal. Narendra Upadhyay, Chief Editor, of The Telegraph Weekly spoke about the objective of the seminar.

Dr. Prem Sharma, Tanka Panta, Dev Raj Dahal, NIschal Pandey, NIraj UPadhyay, Mukunda Subedi, Punjita Pradhan, Rabindra Bhattari, VIdya Chapagain, CA meber Nabodita Chaudhary spoke in the programme.

Source: Nepal Samacharpatra Daily (27 December 2009)


Nepal’s productive labour force going abroad: Experts <Top>

By Suraksha Adhikari

Kathmandu, Dec 25

The economy base of Nepal is fragile with low human development and dominant informal activities due to which the economy has remained least developed with ubiquitous poverty.

Nepal is predominantly a rural society with the exodus of productive labor force abroad. Agriculture is the main occupation of the Nepalese people but the farmers and labourers productivity remained low.

Meanwhile the industrial base is fragile too. Tourism potential of the nation is yet to be utilized and the export is in doldrums.

In short, the fragile economy lingers on with no prospect of becoming vibrant in short run because the investment climate to realize productive investments in both infrastructure and production is pathetic.

Various experts expressed these views in a bid to inform the people about the impact of the global financial crisis on Nepalese economy, the Center for Economic Development and Administration (CEDA), Tribhuwan University in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Nepal, organized a two-day seminar entitled ‘Impact of Global Financial Crisis on Nepalese Economy.’

Inaugurating the seminar, Professor Dr. Arun Sayami, Dean of Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital, said that as whole body is affected with the small illness in the part of the body, similarly the Nepalese economy is also facing the problem because of the global economic crisis.

Claiming that the weaker political system of the country is the main cause of the entire crisis in the country, Sayami said that if the politics of the country is stable then the economic crisis could also be solved easily.

Dev Raj Dahal, chief of FES, Nepal, said that the economy is the determining factor of the prosperity of any country so the management of the economy must be done properly and there should be the improvement in the defective economic policy of the country.

Dahal said that the global crisis can lead our country towards the age of wealth destruction so we, along with other developing countries, must forge cooperation to make the multilateral system for the welfare of the economic aspects of the world.

People need to be transformed into the citizens from the consumers to manage the unemployed population of the country and minimize the livelihood inequality as well as balance the climate change, he added.

Dahal stressed that the economy of the country should be transformed into production based from the existing revenue based.

He said that the global financial crisis is the systematic crisis so we must be aware about its negative impact and should be focussed towards the preventive measures.

Bharat pokhrel, executive director of CEDA, said that this seminar can play a great role in making people aware about the negative aspects of financial crisis on the Nepalese economy.

During the programme, a journal of CEDA, ‘Journal of Development and Administrative Studies’ was also released.

Source: The Rising Nepal (26 December 2009)


Peace in Peril, warns analyst <Top>

Republica, Kathmandu, Dec 18

The deepening division between the UCPN (Maoist) and non-Maoist political parties has threatened to derail the three-year-old peace process, a prominent political analyst warned on Friday.

Dev Raj Dahal, head of FES Nepal, said "The blunder we have repeatedly made is that we tend to adopt the western system without acknowledging our centuries-old-value system,' he said.

Speaking at a discussion program on Conflict Transformation and Peace: Critiques and Choices organised by jointly Asia Media Forum Nepal and FES Nepal.

"Every western expert on conflict draws lessons from Gautam Buddha for resolving the conflict but we have failed to understand the teachings of Buddha as knowledge to resolve the conflict. Unless we embrace our value system, democracy in Nepal will sail in troubled waters as it is happening," he added.

Dahal said peaceful means is a must for peace and stressed on the need to realize the political space each party occupies at the national level.

Over blowing of political issues and lack of commitment among the political leaders have contributed to the current sorry state of politics, he added.

Dahal was of the view that media can only put the peace process on to the right track.

Two dozen senior journalists, including Yubraj Ghimire, Shiva Gaule, Arti Chataut, were present in the program.

On the occassion, Ghimire highlighted the unethical practices in the media because of intense political penetration into the media.

Source: Republica (19 December 2009)


Appeal to Renounce partisan Interest <Top>

Kathmandu, 18 December

Participants in a seminar expressed anxiety over political polarization of parties instead of working on a common agenda to shorten the transition process. In a seminar organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and Asia Media Forum, chief of FES Dev Raj Dahal presenting his paper on "Challenges of Peace in Nepal" said that polarization of National politics between Maoist and non-Maoist forces has made the transition to peace protracted and resolution of the problems of people difficult. The current challenges requires politics of cooperation, not negation. Senior Journalist, Yubraj Ghimire presenting another paper said that the culture of unaccountability among the political parties is mirrored in every section of society including the media. All the stakeholders of society must maintain a culture of tolerance and accountability and more forward. In the current context journalists have great responsibility toward conflict-sensitivity. But, unfortunately this is not seen. In the program 30 journalis were present.

Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (19 December 2009)


Federal State Objectionable <Top>

Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the CA Nilambar Acharya has said that developing federals state from the street by UCPN (Maoist) is objectionable and it has obstructed constitution writing process. Serious issues like this will jeopardise CA writing process indefinitely said Acharya in a programme organised by Centre for Labour and Social Studies. He further said that constitution can still be written in time if political parties force consensus on major issues of national importance and exhibit honesty, though only eight out of 11 CA committees have submitted preliminary report on constitution.

The extension of CA period depends on the "character" of political parties (if they improve it) otherwise it is useless. Acharya was vocal, open and clear on the constitutional process in Nepal and said that constitution cannot be promulgated in time Jestha 14, 2067.

Thematic committees also have not been able to sort out differences and CA knows where the bone of contention lies and should explore opportunities to address them from within the CA. But declaring federalism through street is posing a threat to the CA and constitutional writing process, reiterated Acharya.

Source: Rajdhani Nepali National Daily (18 December 2009)


Statute on time unlikely: Acharya <Top>

RSS: Kathmandu, Dec. 17

Chairperson of Constituent Assembly, Constitutional Committee, Nilambar Acharya has said the drafting of new constitution is not likely to be drafted in the stipulated time.

At an interaction programme organised here Thursday by CLASS Nepal on "constitutional mechanism for peace building", Chairperson Acharya further said this situation has come due to the growing mistrust among the political parties.

People have much expectation with the new constitution, he said, adding though the armed struggle has come to an end but the peace has yet to be established in the country.

He urged all the political parties to move ahead with consensus since the consensual constitution would come only when political consensus prevailed in the country.

On the occassion, journalist Yuba Raj Ghimire while presenting a working paper on the role of press in constitution making said the press should play substantial role in peace building and constitution drafting process.

Source: The Rising Nepal (18 December 2009)


Workshop held Organising DHL and CEPL Workers in Nepal <Top>

Nepal

Organising CEPL workers in Nepal showed positive sign, since many of logistics workers are recognizing necessity of trade union.

During the workshop, Brother Kedar Nath Dahal, President of Nepal Costume and Airport Allied Workers Union, said that the union has confident to organise CEPL workers very soon, since some actions are taking place to contacts with workers who are engaging in these sector.

Followed above postal seminar, FES/UNI-Apro Workshop on organizing DHL and other CEPL companies in Kathmandu Nepal on 27-28 November 2009 where participated around 40 colleagues from CEPL companies including DHL, TNT and post offices.

Mr. Dev Raj Dahal, Head of FES Nepal Office, introduced the role and activities of FES and pointed out how can DHL and postal workers cope with this fast growing sector and reap benefits? How can unions be organized in CEPL sectors to foster worker’s rights and social security provisions?

Brother Roh Joon-hwan, Coordinator for UNI-Apro Post and Logistics sector, stressed the importance of organizing in logistics sector since that is the UNI’s priority for protection of their own interests at the opening.

Mr. Tilak Jung Khadka, Officer Manager of Sushma Koirala Memeorial Study Circle, lectured on basic activities such as how to form union, how to register union, what are the regal aspect including government rules, laws and practical things to do.

Bro. Roh Joon-hwan, made a presentation on the Situation of CEPL companies in Asia and the Pacific and Bro. K. Regavendran, General Secretary of NFPE, also inspired to organize CEPL workers in Nepal through his presentation namely Organising DHL and CEPL.

At the group discussion, participants were identified problems as lack of trade union education, influence of political parties, lack of understanding trade union benefits and job insecurity etc.

Also they concluded awareness campaign, formation of ad hoc committee and organize a national conference etc as their strategies.

For more information, please contact with Brother Roh Joon-hwan jhroh@uni-apro.org.sg


New Constitution is fully a political document: Justice Sharma <Top>

The senior most justice of the Supreme Court Hon. Anup Raj Sharma has said that the upcoming constitution will completely be a political document. He said this in a discussion programme organised on Constitutionalism and Constitution in the capital by the administrative court of Nepal in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. He also warned provoked political parties that if they are really efficient they should write the constitution within the stipulated time-frame.

The upcoming constitution should address all the societal problems including problems related to language, religion,culcutre failing to do so will result in further crisis in the country. This is primarily important for Nepal as many languages are spoken and different religion practiced within one particular region. However, political parties should also address their internal problems only than constitution can be written in time.

Ramchandra Poudyal of Nepali Congress has said that the hangover of "totalitarianism' cannot and will not be helpful to write the constitution. He also blamed that UCPN(Maoist) is coming up with different obstacles merely to appease their combatants and the declaration of "federal state" is one of them.

Ishwor Pokhrel from UML said that if political parties take their own positions , they cannot have compromise. The political interest of one particular political party cannot establish civilian supremacy. We are crossing the boundary of constitution and than talking about civilian supremacy, said Mr Pokhrel.

UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Khim Lal Devkota said that without correcting president's step , constitution cannot be written. Those who cannot protect interim constitution cannot write the constitution., said Mr. Devkota.

Justice of the Supreme Court Bal Ram KC, Dr. Haribansa Tripathi, judge of the Appellate Court of Patan and Constitutional Expert Kashi Raj Dahal presented papers in the programme. Presenting his paper, constitutional expert Mr Dahal said that political leaders should seek for the solution within themselves.

Source: Rajdhani Nepali National Daily (27 November 2009)


The Big Political Parties are engaged in Conspiracy: Poudyal <Top>

In a programme organised by the Administrative Court of Nepal, the political leaders and constitutional experts have said that political consensus among political parties is necessary to write a constitution in time.

Ram Chandra Poudel of Nepali Congress has said that the constitution writing process is experiencing various obstacles primarily because Maoists are changing their words time and again. Maoist's should posit democratic behaviour in a democratic set up. Federal states are being against the spirit of Constituent Assembly and democratic principle said Poudel. He questioned whether India has given the right of self-determination in Kashmir and China in Tibet? Conflict should not be generated in the name of right to self-determination.

In the name of civil supremacy Maoist are trying to establish their own supremacy blamed Poudel. He said that focus should be one the freedom of people and nation and how can a nation progress and federalism should be designed accordingly.

Likewise Ishwor Pokhrel General Secretary of UML has said that there is a huge challenge before political parties of writing constitution in time but the consensus among political parties in jeopardy which is must for this purpose. Democratic Constitution cannot be drafted if disagreement persists among political parties. He further question agreement cannot be found within the disagreement but some of the political parties are working against the agreement reached in the past. He further questioned "is civilian supremacy based on the self-interest of one political party"?

Upendra Yadav of Madeshi Jana Adhikar Forum said that conspiracy is being hatched to halt the constitution writing and federal process and big political parties are engaged in this process. State is still ignoring issues of Madeshi, lamented Yadav.
Khem Lal Devkota of UCPN (Maoist) blamed that polices are being made to isolate Maoists

Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (27 November 2009)


Building bridges for peace in Nepal: A major undertaking <Top>

Hari Bansh Jha

Recently, the Centre for Economic and Technical Studies in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung of Germany organized two-day national seminar at Centre for Constitutional Dialogue, Kathmandu on the theme “Building Bridges for Peace in Nepal.” If the views expressed by the seminar participants representing people from various walks of life including the intellectuals, journalists, academicians and civil society are the reflections of people’s perceptions, it gave some genuine messages for the establishment of sustainable peace in the country.

Major themes that were discussed during the six sessions of the seminar covered wider issues related to peace in Nepal like the constitution as a mechanism of peace, religion and peace, federalism and economic development, strengths and weaknesses of peace process, challenges of journalists and the role of media in peace process.

Many of the participants in the seminar held the leadership in major political parties of the country incapable to give a new direction to the country. People in leadership positions had neither vision nor dedication for the welfare of the state. Petty vested interests dominated the field of politics. People’s representatives were more involved in the game of for dropping or forming the governments. They behaved in a way as if the people were for them and not that they were for the people. This was also due to the fact that the political parties in general turned into an industrial ventures rather than institutions of cadres willing to work for the welfare of the country.

Like in any other commercial ventures, many of the people in positions in political parties in general think and act with ‘investment’ and ‘profit’ motive, which is posing danger to the nascent democratic system and long-term peace in the country. Can there be more ominous scene than this that certain percentage of Constituent Assembly members got innings in the Assembly elections in 2008 solely by greasing the party leadership through money?

The sole purpose for which the Constituent Assembly was created was to write constitution in which people should have developed a sense of ownership. Does the behaviour of major political parties show if at all they were interested in producing such constitution to the people? Issues other than writing the constitution are in priority for them. The 601-member of Constituent Assembly is more a liability rather than asset for many of the Nepalese as they are not proving worth for writing the constitution.

However, it would not be justified to hold the political actors responsible for all the ills in the country. They had made certain efforts in addressing the decade-long insurgency movement beginning from 1996, abolishing monarchial system and paving way for the restructuring of the state and formation of federal states. And they were successful in meeting some of these goals.

There are many hurdles in the country that need to be resolved to give concrete shape to the concept of federalism. One of such hurdles is that there has been no consensus among the political actors on the criteria of forming the states and sharing of resources between the centre and the states. However, considering

the present situation it would be difficult to restructure the states if the criteria are based on linguistic and/or ethnic factors. In the present situation, it would be most appropriate if the states are formed on the basis of geo-economic factors. In that case, there should be provision for the formation of only three states in Nepal i.e. the Terai state, the hill state and the Himalayan state.

In each of the three states, there could be provision for the formation of at least five sub-autonomous regions. The nation might reap the benefits of comparative advantage if there are three states and fifteen sub-autonomous regions. Such a provision will satisfy all those who advocate for the formation of states east to west on ecological basis and also those who favour the formation of certain units north to south. The states would be formed east to west and the sub-autonomous regions will be formed north to south.

In order to make the peace process sustainable, the agreements made by the governments with the rebel groups or other conflicting groups needed to be implemented. Anomalies created in the implementation of agreements might create confusion and erase people’s faith in the government and their own representatives.

It was concluded that the failure of the political actors in Nepal was a major challenge for all those who wished to give a new direction to the country and make the life of the people in the country better. However, it was felt that the vacuum created in leadership in various political parties might be filled by the intellectuals, academicians, journalists, civil society groups and all those who really loved Nepal and the Nepalis by forging an alliance.

Dr. Jha is Professor of Economics and Executive Director of Centre for Economic and Technical Studies in Nepal.

Source: The Himalayan Times (12 November 2009)


Political Parties should Unite - Constitutional Expert Dahal <Top>

Constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal has said that political parties' unification is necessary to write a constitution in time. If political parties failed to unite, constitution cannot be drafted in time said Dahal in a two-day seminar organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on State-building and constitutional question in Rajbiraj. Political parties are engaged in mathematical game to stay in power and have put aside constitution writing agenda.

Speaking in the same programme chief justice of Rajbiraj Appellate Court Ali Akbar Mikrani also underlined the need of consensus among political parties. Chief District Officer of Saptari Ram Prasad Ghimire, Chief of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, and Nepal Office also spoke in the programme.

Source: Rajbiraj Daily Newspaper (31 October 2009)


Doubt over the promulgation of Constitution on time <Top>


Constitutional experts and political scientists agree that it is difficult to promulgate constitution in time because senior leaders are setting aside main issues of the nation and indulged in power struggle. This doubt was exposed in a two-day seminar organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung on "Building Modern State and Constitutional Questions" at Rajbiraj.

Speaking at the occasion Constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal said that if constitution is not made in time state may move towards failure. Political parties must be alert on time. Constitution is essential for strengthening sovereignty and territorial integrity. Out of 11 Thematic Committees only six committee have submitted their concept papers. Consensus has not been reached over federalism, governance, human and fundamental rights and the inclusive democracy. The six committees have submitted their reports on the basis of majority rather than consensus. If constitution is not made on time the political parties might face legitimacy crisis.

In Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor etc countries due to weakness of state institutions, state failure is occurring. In Nepal also deteriorating human rights conditions and culture of impunity are affecting the political institutions. We are not failed yet says Dahal but increasingly becoming weak. Before CA political process has been operating under consensus but now after it moving into confrontation and majoritarian way.

In the same seminar political analyst Dev Raj Dahal said that the constitution must muster the consensus of all identities and groups. Consensus should be the rule. Political stability has been affected by the lack of consensus.

Chief guest of the seminar Chief Justice of Appellate Court of Rajbiraj Ali Akbar Mikrani expressed doubt over the drafting of constitution because of power struggle of leaders. He said that on federalism even German and Indian scholars could not satisfy him. Leadership's greed for power has weakened the state. It is remittance that is helping the Nepalese economy. Due to open border with India people are sustaining their lives. The success of the constitution of one state cannot be an example for another.

Source:News Today Rajbiraj (31 October 2009)


Political Mechanism to break deadlock <Top>

Gorkhapatra Correspondent
Kathmandu, October 6

President of Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi Devi) Sarita Giri said that due to semi-democracy in the country conflict is escalating. She said this in a seminar on "Building Bridges of Peace in Nepal" organized by Center for Economic and Technical Studies (CETS) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Kathmadu.

As a Constituent Assembly member President Giri said that unless political mechanism is developed and political parties are united it would be difficult to solve the problems of the nation.

The leader of Nepali Congress and former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Chitra Lekha Yadav said that unless leaders are capable of translating the commitments made during elections to the people into action it would be difficult to draft the constitution.

Chief Guest of the seminar Swami Chandresh added that despite people desire for the establishment of peace leaders of various political parties are playing with their own rhythm and putting the people in illusion. For peace leaders have to struggle very hard because it is a difficult process. In the two-day seminar Director of CETS Dr. Hari Bansa Jha, Dr. Uma Shankar, Keshav Chaulagain presented various papers on various themes.

Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (7 October 2009)


Democracy, Post-Conflict Governance and National Security <Top>

Author: Ananda P Srestha and Hari Uprety (Eds)
Publisher: Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS)
Price: Rs 200
Pages: 132

The book is a compilation of the proceedings of a two-day seminar hosted by the NEFAS in co-operation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. The book is a useful contribution to the discussion of post-conflict democratic governance in Nepal.

Dev Raj Dahal talks about the dynamics of public security scenario in Nepal in terms of political discipline and the problem of the commons. Bishnu Raj Upreti discusses the need for review of the peace process, strengthening transitional mechanisms and framing a long term security policy.

Other articles cover areas like democratic institution building by Jan Sharma, Nepal’s national security policy by M R Josse, inclusive democracy and public security by Ram Kumar Dahal and economic dimensions of security by Keshav P Acharya and Neelam Timsina.
Unfortunately, one of the essays constitutes a flagrant case of plagiarism. The paper ‘Economic dimension of security in Nepal’ by Keshav P Acharya and Neelam Timsina lifts paragraphs word-by-word from Prof Dhruba Kumar’s 2003 article published in CNAS journal, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, without citing, attributing or paraphrasing his language and ideas.

Source: The Himalayan Times (4 October 2009)


Attempts are being made to make court useless <Top>

Kathmandu: Chief Justice Min Bahadur Rayamajhi has expressed his resentment, as attempts are being made to make court "useless" . Justice Raymahji made this remarks by referring to the decisions being made by the judicial committees of the Constituent Assembly. He cautioned that merely on the basis of "power" attempt should not be made to spoil our judicial system as it neither promoted democracy nor delivers justice. He was speaking in a programme organised by the Administrative Court of Nepal in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office. He further said that democracy can only be strengthened by the concept of constitutionalism and independent judiciary and we should be united work towards this end.

Likewise, he has drawn attention of those who are involved in the constitution writing process that merely by taking few incident in consideration, the independent judiciary should not be victimised.

With the majority from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Madesh based Party, provisions are being made to include in the upcoming constitution to define constitution, appointment and punishment of the judges of the court through the judicial committee of the house. Most of the speakers spoke against this provisions in the programme and termed it a decision taken in haste.

Senior most judge Anup Raj Sharma said that the patient should not be killed merely because he is suffering from the disease; he should be treated and equated this with the current situation of the court.

He further said that by curtailing the rights of the court, there is no way that the rights of the legislative could be protected. He was presenting a paper on "Constitution Writing Process and Judicial Rights". In terms of appointment of the judges of the court, we could have representative from the legislative, suggested justice Sharma.

Purna Kumai Subedi - Deputy Speaker of the Constituent Assembly has said that judiciary is not service oriented. Mr Nilambar Acharya - Chairman of the Constitution Writing Committee, said that the challenges of writing constitutions are increasing.

Source: Kantipur Daily (12 September 2009)


One Madesh-One Pradesh is Dangerous for National Unity <Top>

Parsa, 26 Shrawan:
The two-day discussion programme [workshop] on democratic has socialism started from today in Birganj. The programme was organised by Martyrs Memorial Foundation with the support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office. Speaking in the inaugural session of the programme, General Secretary of the Nepali Congress Bimalendra Nidhi said that demand for "one Madesh, one Pradeseh" is not possible as it will lead to the disintegration of the state. He further said that serious intellectual discussion with experts and members from all political parties is required before we go for federal system or craft federal states for that matter. He also blamed United Communist Part of Nepal (Maoist) for disrupting parliament and the street agitation (movement) it has started in the name of various issues which are not so important. He appealed to them that its high time to focus on army integration and thereby paving the way to write a constitution in time, he appealed. The General Secretary of the Martyr Memorial Foundation Khilanath Dahal said that all the martyrs since B.S. 2007 have to be recorded and the state should make a clear direction in this regard. Likewise, those injure during the movement should be treated as martyr and the name of the martyrs there incidents of taking advantages from the government and this has to be discouraged.

Source: Prateek Daily (11 August 2009)


Discussion on Democratic Socialism Begins <Top>

Parsa, Shrawan 26
The two-day discussion programme [workshop] on democratic socialism and its relevance in Nepali context has begun in the Chamber of Commerce complex in Birgunj. The programme was organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office in association with Martyrs Memorial Foundation. Speaking in the programme, chief guest and General Secretary of Nepali Congress, Bimalendra Nidhi said that the proposed federal system in Nepal needs to be widely discussed with experts, intellectuals and members of all political parties. Different political parties have different opinions on the models of federalism in Nepal which has created a great deal of confusion in society. This confusion needs to be bridged-up by uniting all stake-holders and societal members. He blamed that CPN (Maoist) is working against the spirit of "peace agreement" and it would be in the interest of state to stop radical activities in the country as this will provide some sort of solutions to the current political deadlock. Speaking in the same programme Khilanath Dahl said that the state has not done enough for 'martyrs'. He opined that those who had laid down their life in different political movements for the cause of democracy should be identified and their statute be erected. State should also provide compensation to their families. The programme was chaired by Dhundi Raj Shashtri , a veteran socialist. Ajayay Dwibedi, Om Prakash Sharma, Keshab Bhatta, Nijamuddin Saman, Dr. Dev Raj Dahal expressed their views on social democracy and its relevance in Nepal as well as other contemporary political issues.

Source: Narayani Dainik (11 August 2009)


Forming States by including Himal-Pahad-Terai is extremist approach: <Top>

The Maoists movement is irrelevant, this will only make Katwal a Hero. The General Secretary of Nepali Congress, Bimalendra Nidhi, has said that formation of federal states by including or linking Himal-Pahad and Terai is driven by narrow thinking and will not serve broader national approach. Nidhi said this in a two-day programme organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in association with Martyr Memorial Foundation on Democratic Socialism in Nepali context. At a time when we are moving towards federal system, it is not compulsory to be abided by the argument that federal should be drawn by including Himal-Pahad-Terai. Likewise, the idea of one Madesh-one Pradesh is also driven by narrow thinking. In fact this is not a time to get involved in such types of debate, in contrast, this is a time to have serious discussion with expert, intellectuals, political parties and other stake holders as what type of federal system would best serve the interest of the state and society. This issue should be made national and discussion is required from all stake holders of society for its legitimacy said Nidhi. He said that for not having legitimate approach, the Indian states such as Assam and Bihar are still demanding for the separate states within the state. Still there is a tendency to separate from the existing states in India.

Source: Birganj Report Daily (11 August 2009)


The Risk of State Failure: Says constitutional Expert Dahal <Top>

Speaking at a seminar organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Nepal Office) constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal said that political parties should be activated to prevent the state failure of Nepal. He pointed the indicators such as deteriorating security, unstable government, ineffectiveness of parliament and people's representatives, non-responsiveness of government to the people, denial of peaceful lives, lack of service delivery and excessive corruption. He added that bureaucracy and judiciary must be impersonal, fair, neutral and autonomous as democracy is based on rule of law, not the rule of individuals. If these problems remain unaddressed like other states of the world Nepal would face the same fate of failure. He also said that public interest institutions should not be politicized. Since the resolution of the complex problem of the nation requires strong political will we have to stimulate political parties to forge consensus and play constructive role in drafting constitution.

Chief District Officer Bed Bahadur Karki stated that all the citizens must engage actively in the drafting of new constitution. Speaking on the occasion head of FES Nepal office Dev Raj Dahal argued that conflict reward the powerful and penalizes the weak. Therefore, conflict should be managed as soon as possible through democratic means. He said the state effectiveness rests on legitimate monopoly on power, taxation, loyalty of people and international recognition. Nepal is facing deficits in all these areas and is unable to perform core state functions. The two-day seminar will stress on state-building, constitutional questions and principles and practices of democracy.

Source: Bardiya Times (27 July 2009)


Federalism is the Spirit of the Age <Top>

Dhanagadhi, Saturday 25.

The participants of a seminar on "State Building and Constitutional Questions" argued that federalism in Nepal must be attuned with the spirit of the Age. The discussion was organized by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Nepal office. Speaking at the seminar political analyst Dev Raj Dahal argued that Nepali nation-building must be based on the fusion of third wave of democracy, human rights, sovereignty and technology. Building state capacity requires blending democracy and nationalism. He added that the state can perform effectively if it has legitimate monopoly on power and citizens build trust on its institutions. Dahal said that weakness of Nepali state has been caused by competitive violence, erosion of policy sovereignty and incapacity to steer governance functions. He added that competing loyalty of subsidiary groups has also eroded national identity. This is the reason external meddling has become frequent.

Dahal argued that after the termination of Maoist's People's War new conflict lines are manifested at class, religion, regional and ethnic level. Wihtout political consensus on the rules of the game it would be difficult to resolve multi-level conflict and set the nation in constitutionally trodden path. The consensual politics is veering into competition and confrontation. There is no alternative to collective choice. Debating on Dahal's paper participants argued that federalism should be based on vertical division of geography. Officer of National Human Rights Commission Jhankar Rawal stated that due to a lack of clear perspective political instability is deepening. Former Chief of Kailali Bar Association Bir Bahadur Jethara discussed about the need to establish good governance in the country through the application of democratic principles. Constitutionalism requires rule-governed behavior of both ruler and ruled. This is also essential for the accountability and transparency of rule. The program was chaired by Dr. Hem Raj Pant. Assistant Chief District Officer Bharat Luintel also spoke on the occasion.

Source: Seti Samachar (25-26 July 2009)


Constitutional behaviour is necessary for Constitutional State <Top>

Dhangadi, Friday, July 25, 2009: Political Scientist Dev Raj Dahal, while speaking during the inaugural session of the two day programme on Statebuilding and Constitutional Dynamics organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Dahngadi, said that when boundaries of constitutional behaviour needs to be strengthened and respected as this will help to establish constitutional state which will guarantee governance and social justice. He further said that political parties and civil society groups are the arenas where people can express their desires without any coercion; they, themselves, are not the source of legitimacy. As such Civil Society and Political Parties should provide platform when people can speak/express freely about politics, policy and other issues that concern them most. When Political parties are able to strike a balance between law and politics and civil society between right and duties (responsibilities), then only citizens at large can have 'common identity'.

This will also help to establish political system that upheld freedom and promotes equality. Similarly, media should endeabour to win confidence of people towards public institutions. Democracy gains legitimacy from election, people's belief and its ability to deliver justice successfully to the society, said Dahal.

The programme was chaired by Dr. Hem Raj Panta, Campus Chief of the Kailiai Multiple Campus. Mr Bir Bahadur Jethara, former president of Kailali Bar Association, presented a paper on Constitution and its underlying components. He emphasized on the fact that rule of law, duty-bound state with the help of people can assist to establish democratic political culture.

The programme was attended by the members of political parties of this region, members of civil society, teachers, lecturers, government officials, human rights activists, journalists, women, local administrators and security officials of the district. Speaking from the Chair Dr. Panta said that there is an urgent need to strike a balance and for this coordination is required between state, market and society to address challenges brought about by the transitional politics. If we failed to address these challenges honestly, there are chances that peace process may falter-away down the road, said Dr. Pant.

Khadak Raj Joshi from INSEC, Surya Subedi from Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-United), Janak Raj Joshi from Nepali Congress, Padam Nepali, Jhapat Suwal from Human Rights Commission , among others commented, in programme. Likewise, Ghanshyam Bhattarai, Rabi Bhatta, Dev Bahadur Bam from GEFONT, Lawyer Ram Bahadur KC, Journalist Lukcy Chaudhary, Ritu Bohara, Saraswati Pandey also commented in the programme.

Source: Shree Nepal Times Daily (25 July 2009)


State is Bordering on Failure due to Incapacity <Top>

FES Nepal office has initiated two day discussion on state building and constitutional questions. On that occasion political analyst Dev Raj Dahal said that if the state is not strengthened the state-society relations will face tensions and conflict. Only a strong state can performance core governance functions-security, rule of law, voice, civic participation, service delivery and non-violent resolution of conflict. Political parties must evolve a consensus on "common ground" and allow the state to function in an impersonal manner.

CPN-UML leader Ram Bahadur Chanda stressed the need for the preparation of state framework before the constitution is drafted. Maoist leader Surya Subedi blamed civil society for acting in a partisan way and not taking into account the interest of public. He said that civil society should oversee the functions of political parties and the state. Assistant Chief District Officer of Kailali district Bharat P. Luintel, Khadga Joshi, Coordinator of INSEC for Far -West, Ghanasshayam Bhattarai of CPN-ML and a number of participated shared their views. FES has organized this seminar to inform and educate the people about national affairs and enable them to make informed choices on constitutional issues.

Source: Dhanagadhi Post (25 July 2009)


Democratization of Society in Nepal with Inner-Party Democracy: Experts <Top>

TGW

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) has organized a two-day residential seminar on July 18-19 on "Social Democracy and Inner-Party Democracy." Over 50 central committee members and youth leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist), Left front and independent scholars took part in the meeting. Four papers were presented on various themes from party leaders and intellectuals that were intensely commented by the participants.

Chairing the inaugural session Prof. Dr. Chaitanya Mishra said that "Social democracy can be a basis of governance for all political parties in Nepal because it moderates capitalism and increases cooperation between the capital and the labor. The main challenges for Nepal are how to increase the competitive strength of capitalists and workers and increase cooperation between them.

Social democracy is essential to increase the stake holding of people in the democratic system through their empowerment."
The Keynote Speaker Modnath Prasrit said, "National characteristics of Nepal must be identified before adopting a polity.

Political parties should take into account the historical account of nation-building before applying any theory, Prashrit said.
Our society is too diverse. Therefore, while formulating vision national leaders have to identity comparative and competitive advantages of the nation and the areas where we need cooperation from friendly nations", Modnath Prashrit, the UML leader continued.

He stressed on party reforms and a culture of learning from the society and people without forgetting our historical tasks laid down by our forefathers.

Nepali Congress (NC) leader Surendra Panday argued that when "Marx said that freedom cannot be exchanged for equality," wherein lays our difference with left parties. Another NC leader Ramesh Lekhak stressed on taking three fundamental values of social democracy, "freedom, social justice and solidarity together" and apply them in the internal life of political parties. He defended property rights for wealth creation and investment.

Pradip Gyawali of CPN-UML compared people's multi-party democracy with social democracy and argued that we need to refine concepts to fit into our needs.

The leader of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Devendra Paudel (Sunil) commenting on the paper narrated the causes of global economic crisis and asked "What are the choices left for us?" Expressing happiness over the discussion on social democracy and party reforms which he said if first of its kind argued that "we must end the capitalist oriented rationalization because it is a threat to citizenship and nationality. The state has to play certain role in both well being of citizens to emancipate them from necessity and promote the sphere of freedom. And the discussion about the inner-party democracy should be taken to the people. This kind of debate is essential for all of us to go together."

On inner-party the main challenges debated were: lack of representation of gender, Dalits and young people in the central and district committees, minimum time allocation for debate on agendas in the national convention, growth of extra-party political participation, factionalism breakdown of connection with local committees, erosion of ideology, politics of negation, incongruity between constitution and party programs, and centralization tendency. Participants agreed that social democracy strengthens the social base of politics and helps to democratize party structures and political culture.

Head of FES Nepal welcomed the participants and underlined the importance of the topic of the seminar.

Source: The Telegraph Weekly (20 July 2009)


Those who see power in Bullet are afraid of the press <Top>

Kathmandu, Jestha 13: Speaking in a programme organised by Nepal Press Union on its 18th years of establishment Vice President of Nepal Congress Ram Chandra Poudyal urged journalist to be more vigilant particularly during the constitution writing process as attempts are being made to curtail rights of the press under various guises. Attempts are underway to ban the parties, organizations and activities whose principles are not liked by the few sections of the society. Such proposes have been submitted to the Constitutional Committees of the Constituent Assembly.

He argued that Maoist who claimed to be democratic are now engaged in proposing laws to ban political parties, ideology, organizations, activities that do not fit or clash with their interest/ideology. This type of working style of CPN (Maoist) does not fit with the reality of the 21st century. This "double-standard" nature of behavior of CPN(Maoist) is putting the peace-process at jeopardy. He lamented that few civil society activists have become mere spectator while attempts are being made to hijack the freedom. Maoists who see power through bullet and violence are also afraid of the press, these we all have realized now and the need of the hour is to strengthen media in order to make it more effective and efficient.

Poudel further said that journalists are the best guards of freedom and your contribution as good "informer" is noteworthy. Likewise, Taranath Dahal former President of Nepal Journalists Association said that Nepali Journalists have not been able to fully exercise the full press freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of 2047. The programme was held under the chairmanship of the Press Council, Samir Jang Shah . Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Central Member of Nepal Congress, speaking in the programme said that the upcoming constitution will make every effort to guarantee full press freedom. He underlined that Press Freedom is not only for the journalist it will also benefit people at large. Likewise, Shovakar Parajuli, the founding member of Press Council and CA member of Nepali Congress said that united has played crucial role for the press and time has come to expand its role.

Dharmendra Jha, President of Nepal Journalist Association, said that attempts are being made to "control" press in the name of press freedom. The unabated attack on journalist in different parts of the country is continuing but appealed that we should remain alert to safeguard our professional rights in order to fulfill our duties honestly.

Harihar Birahi, Senior Journalist said that state should play more proactive role in media in the days to come.

Source: Gorkhapatra Daily (28 May 2009)


Maoists are bent on making undemocratic constitution: Vice President Paudel <Top>

Rajdhani Correspondent

Kathmandu May 27

Vice-President of Nepali Congress Ram C. Paudel blamed Maoists for attempting to make undemocratic constitution. He said this in a seminar organized by Nepal Press Union on "Role of Working Journalists in the New Constitution." He added that the draft of the constitution it prepared has provision to control party and press and their activities generated fear in the minds of other parties. He also suggested accepting the democratic values of 21st Century and jettisoning archaic ideas. He also blamed that it is dreaming to capture state power through combatants in the cantonment, integrate Maoists into the army thus forgetting the values of democracy. Samir Shah, president of NPU, said that political parties approach in press varies during their stay in power and outside. Many Congress leaders Dr. Prakash S. Mahat, Shovakar Parajuli, Harihar Birahi, Dharmendra Jha spoke on the occasion.

Source: Rajdhani Daily (27 May 2009)


The step of President is based on his rights to maintain checks and balance <Top>

Lalitpur, May 18, The senior leader of Nepali Congress Party and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba supporting the step of the President said that the provision of president is inserted in the constitution to prevent the abuse of power by the Prime Minister. In order to maintain checks and balance and abuse of power independent institutions such as court, Public Service Commission, Attorney General Press and opposition party have been created. This remark was made by Deuba in a seminar "Democratic Socialism" organized by Martyrs Memorial Foundation in Cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Nepal office. He also added that the step of President to order the Army Chief to continue his post was constitutional aimed at protecting the constitution and democracy. He added since the case is there in the court all should respect its verdict.

Vice-Chairperson of CPN-UML party Viday Devi Bhandari stating that the step of the president is historical and bold added that Maoist combatants can not be put into equal footing with Nepal Army which is national in character.

Source: The Gorkhapatra Daily (19 May 2009)


Education for Women Empowerment <Top>

Kathmandu, March 7, Rajdhani Correspondent

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Kedar Prasad Giri said that a lot has to be done to empower Nepalese women. He said this during a seminar "Inclusion of Women's Rights in New Constitution," organized by Modern Girl Multiple College in cooperation with FES, Germany. Women of Nepal lagged behind due to social transcript of society. The Secretary-General of CPN-UML Ishwor Pokhrel argued that women's organizations must be alert about the inclusion of their rights in the new constitution. He even warned of the serious consequences to peace if women are deprived of their legitimate rights. Political parties must work together to achieve the goals of peace accord.

Nepali Congress leader Mahesh Acharya said that social equality must be established in the constitution by eliminating discriminatory laws and domestic violence against women. They need to be guaranteed right to reproductive health and provided access to income generating activities. Prof. Dr. Indira Sharma opined that women require gender mainstreaming, proportional rights and empowerment in every aspect of human life. Lack of evaluation of domestic work done by women is the major factor of discrimination. It should be reflected in the national account system.

Campus Chief. Ram Prasad Dahal stressed on the need for women's education seeking their participation in all aspects. Women of urban areas too need to go to the rural areas to mobilize rural women and support their education and rights. Planner Dr. Goivind Bahadur Thapa presented a paper on women's status in Nepal and inclusion of their rights in the new constitution while journalist Arati Chataut presented on women's rights. The organizers informed that they will submit their report to the Constituent Assembly.

Source: Rajdhani Daily (8 March 2009)


Seminar on State-Building and Constitutional Questions <Top>

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi, February 21

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Nepal organized a two-day seminar to debate on various questions of constitutions, such as state-building, public consultation on constitution, federalism,form of government and the peace process. Constitutional expert Kashi Raj Dahal initiated lively discussion on the various models of constituional democracy and federalism. Head of FES Dev Raj Dahal explained the necessary elements for state, condition of Nepali state and its links to democracy. He argued that Nepali state's monopoly on power, tax, loyalty of citizens and international recognition is eroding. It must restore all these elements to escape from being a failed state, construct sovereignty and modernize nation-building process. Another speaker Khagendra Prasai debunked Nepal's various social myths and argued for the need of scientific and rational outlook to internalize the principles of democracy and human rights in the life of society.

Source: Kayakairan Daily (21 February 2009)


Seminar on Constitution <Top>

Sankhu, February 9, Monday: Friedrich-Ebert-STiftung (FES) Nepal organised a one-day seminar on "Initiative for Democracy Building: State Building and Constitutional Question"social organisation, schools, politicians and opinion makers are initiated to participate.

Kashi Raj Dahal spoke on key questions of state restructuring and constitution, such as role of Constitution Assembly committees, federalism, forms of government, integration of Maoists combatants and peace building.

Chandra Dev Bhatta explained the principles of democracy and initiated discussions.

Dev Raj Dahal responded the questions of floor discussion and explained the key features of modern state.

Attended by 71 local participants FES also distributed books on HAndouts of Democracy and Building Modern State and Constitutional Questions.

Source: Paramarsa Weekly (9 February 2009)

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