Nepal in the Press - 2011
dwell on climate change <Top>
KATHMANDU: Climate change experts have stressed on awareness
of each citizen for maintaining the environmental balance
in the light of the adverse impact of climate change already
becoming visible in people's life and the nature.
Participants of a workshop on impact of climate change
organized by the Telegraph Weekly with support from the
Frederic Ebert Stiftung here today pointed out that mosquitoes
being seen in the high mountainous district of Mustang
and the drying up of apple trees in Rasuwa district, another
mountainous district were because of the impact of climate
Deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Germany in
Kathmandu, Hansen Henning said even a country like Nepal
that is yet to take on the path of industrialization has
felt the impact of climate change.
Deforestation and over-utilization of the natural resources
has resulted in environmental disturbance, he reasoned.
Henning also said that the landslide occurred in Rukum
couple of months back is also caused by the adverse impact
of climate change. He stressed that it would be difficult
to tide over such challenges without putting in concerted
Country Director of FES, Devraj Dahal also stressed the
need of collective efforts for environment conservation.
Chief Editor of the Telegraph Weekly Narendra Upadhyaya
said the workshop has been organized with the objective
of informing the general public about the adverse impact
of climate change and expressed the belief that the conclusions
drawn by the workshop would help the government in formulation
Different working papers will be presented and discussed
at the day-long workshop.
Himalayan times online (23 December 2012)
New policy for
higher education stressed <Top>
2011-12-12 5:15 PM
KATHMANDU: Educationists have stressed on the need of
making new policies to run the higher education in more
systematic and effective way in the changed context.
They said that amending the current education policy
to make the higher education practical is the need of
the hour, and stressed that the Ministry of Education
should cooperate on it.
Speaking at a discussion organised by the Tribhuvan Universitys
International Relations Centre in Lalitpur on Monday,
the participants suggested on systemising higher education
rather than controlling it.
Inaugurating the discussion, Chairman of the Tribhuvan
University Grant Commission Prof. Dr. Ganesh Man Gurung
said there is a need of new definition of higher education,
and added that monitoring is required in the colleges
rather than to give permission to open campuses haphazardly.
Pointing out the need to improve the higher education,
Representative of the Frederich Ebert Stiftung Dr. Devraj
Dahal said making the higher education useful for life
is the need of the day.
Vice-Chancellor of Lumbini University Dr. Triratna Manandhar
said that the government should prepare a clear draft
for running the higher education.
On the occasion, Dr. Tirtha Khaniya, Bidhyanath Koirala,
Pushkar Bajracharya and Basudev Kafle had presented separate
working papers on higher education.
Source: The Himalayan Times (13 November 2011)
stay off power-centred politics <Top>
The Himalayan Times
TANSEN: Kashi Raj Dahal, legal and constitutional expert,
on Saturday has said the task of constitution drafting will
not take up unless the consensus is forged among the political
Speaking at a national workshop titled, Social
Democracy and the Role of Youths in Nepalese Politics,
jointly organised by Public Policy School and Fredrik
Ebert Stiftung today at Tansen in Palpa, Dahal stated
the political leaders cannot carry the national building
task ahead if they do not stay off the power-centerred
Leaders including youth leader Gagan Thapa, Thakur Gaire,
Lekhanath Neupane, Yubaraj Pande had expressed their views
on the occasion.
The programme was chaired by Pratap Poudel, coordinator
of the workshop.
Source: The Himalayan Times (26 November 2011)
youths striving for social transformation <Top>
By Our Correspondent
Bandipur, Nov. 20, Approximately 100 miles away from
the capital city, Bandipur, one of the historic towns
in the country has its own features to be proud. Though
it is neglected, some tourism entrepreneurs and local
people have done a lot to maintain its virginity. It is
still serene, unpolluted, and rich in tradition.
Tourists having their dinner in candle lights in some
restaurants also give an impression of the bars in Rome
or London. Restaurants, bars and lodges in this hilly
town are always packed.
However, it is said that common people in this historic
and hilly town are still unaware of their rights. Though
majority of the population in this place is literate,
they seem to be ignorant about the value of democracy
and individual rights. Moreover, youths and women between
the age of 18 and 40 seem unresponsive to the politics.
They either prefer to go abroad to earn money or stay
in the capital city. This trend has made Bandipur locals
more frustrated, says a shopkeeper.
Nevertheless, there is a big hope amidst frustration.
Some aspirant educated people like Bikram Piya, campus
chief of Bandipur College are committed to do something
in the society.
With a view of generating awareness among the youths
and women in Bandipur, a Kathmandu based NGO - Nepal Foundation
for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) recently organised an interaction
programme on Civic Education for Consolidating Relations
between People and Local Self Governance" in which
local people expressed their views that they were frustrated
even in democracy (Loktantra).
Responding their views, sociologist Shiv Raj Dahal said
that youths should come to the forefront of politics.
Politics should be in the hand of youths those who are
genuine and honest. Presenting a paper on Civic Education
for Consolidating Relations between People and Local Self
Governance he said that youths should be imparted moral
Todays education is baseless. It lacks organic
knowledge. Hence our youths across the nation are deviating
from the goal national building. Youths should be given
civic education so that they would know the real essence
of the society and the development process, he said.
Youths should be able to distinguish what is wrong and
what is right. If they are deviated the society cannot
a take a course as a result of which the entire society
Prof. Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma, while speaking at the programme
noted that youths should be economically empowered. Youths
are the most of productive element in the society, if
they are misguided, the society will suffer to a large
Former vice chairman of the National Planning Commission
Prof. Sharma the (NPC) also spoke about the impact of
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
(BIPPA) between Nepal and India.
Prof. Sharma strongly claimed that BIPPA will have more
serious impact in the countrys economy. The BIPPA
has reinforced the1950 Treaty between Nepal and India
which is in the interests of India.
Prof. Dr. Ram Kumar Dahal, while talking about the need
for political awareness said that youths should not be
kept aside of politics. They should be a part of politics
and social activities.
Prof. Dahal stressed the need for generating awareness
among youths. They should be informed that politics is
not a dirty game. They should be encouraged to do politics
for right cause. Knowledge without ideology becomes useless
hence the youths should be genuinely encouraged took take
part in the politics for good reason.
Chandra Dev Bhatta, programme officer at Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES) highlighting the objectives of the programme,
said that youths should be encouraged to come to the mainstream
of politics. Political dialogue, social dialogues among
youths should be encouraged for social justice. If youths
shy away who is going to take part in the politics for
Prof. Ananda Sharestha, chairman of the NEFAS said that
civic education among youths plays a great role in strengthening
democratic values and maintain discipline in the society.
The prime objective of the programme was to collect views
at grass-root levels and give input to the policy makers.
Bikram Piya, from the chair noted that Bandipur youths
were striving for social transformation and development.
Civic education and social awareness programme is must
for the youths in the present context.
It is to be noted that NEFAS has been continuously working
in the field of civic education. It has been organising
programme in different parts of the country for the last
six seven years.
Source: The Rising Nepal (21 November 2011)
Authority Of Party Leadership <Top>
Ritu Raj Subedi
In a functional democracy, the political parties have
a key role to bridge between the society and the government.
They carry the diverse agenda of the people and implement
them upon going to power. This is to ensure that general
will is well reflected in the governance system.
The parties offer informed choices to the citizens about
ideologies and programmes so that a vibrant democratic
and civic culture evolves to the satisfaction and participation
of all members of the society. According to political
scientist professor Dr. Thomas Meyer, the parties hold
central role in the political decision making process
as they mediate between social interests and state action.
In the Nepalese context too, the political parties are
always at the forefront of bearing and executing the public
agenda. As they are central agents of political changes,
they also play their pivotal role to implement the crucial
decisions that have larger implications in the society.
However, the competence of political leadership in Nepal
has come under close scrutiny as the country passes through
a turbulent transition phase. Its decision making power
and implementing efficiency continues to erode with the
rise of new pressure groups and intra-party conflict.
The recent political events suffice to highlight the increasing
tension between the party establishment and its opposition,
and between the central leadership and the emerging subversive
groups. The major political forces surrendered to the
newly created janajati (ethnic) caucus and could not get
the statute amendment bill endorsed by the parliament.
After janajati lawmakers from the Maoist and UML threatened
to defy the whip, the government was compelled to pull
out the amendment bill aimed at forming the experts
panel to suggest on state restructuring. This was a severe
blow to the seven-point deal signed by the top leaders
of UCPN-Maoist, CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and United Democratic
Madhesi Front. The parties had to tread on the same path
where they were hesitant to move for years. They finally
agreed to form the state restructuring commission under
the bizarre political maneuverings marked with threats,
humiliation and helplessness.
The leadership of Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Prachanda and UML chair Jhala Nath Khanal was bruised
as they were unable to handle their resepctive parliamentary
parties at the crucial moment. In the Maoist PP meeting
Friday, Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai continuously requested
the chairman to issue a whip to the Maoist lawmakers to
vote for the amendment bill but Prachanda turned a deaf
ear to his plea. He dragged his feet as he knew that his
chief whip Dev Gurung, the frontline leader of Baidhya
faction, and a large number of janajati lawmakers were
sure to flout it. So, he opted to end the meeting in indecision
and inaction to the satisfaction of Baidhya faction. It
was a political loss to the PM and Prachanda himself and
this will further encourage the Biadhya faction to undermine
them in the days to come.
Khanals managerial capacity in the party was also
challenged as he became a hostage to the demand of the
janjati CA members, most of them his loyal. He also tested
the limit of his leadership thanks to the emergence of
new force in the ethnic line.
The creation of janajati caucus in the CA has not only
debilitated the decision-making power of top leadership,
this has also exposed weak ideological foundation of the
The success of janajati caucus has sent another message:
if united, even bigger force is compelled to recoil. Now
what will happen if more caucuses come to the fore on
similar grounds? Women lawmakers could form their caucus
in the parliament and hamper the CAs proceedings.
The women have their century old grievances and could
storm against the male-dominated parliament to frame more
woman friendly law. The Madhesi lawmakers can do the same.
They can squeeze the House to revenge the decades of discriminations
against them by the past hill-origin ruling class. Not
only this, even the lawmakers from Khas Chhetri and Brahmin
community could form their own caucus and bring the CA
business to a sheer halt, demanding that the federal units
could not be structured on the ethnic lines. This might
overturn the success of janajati caucus. This is possible
because the number of lawmakers from Khas Chhetri and
Brahmins far exceeds the other groups in the House. However,
the need of the hour is not to carry politics on parochial
line. Not any group should be guided by the historical
grudges and vendetta.
Why does the leadership fail to take the party on the
ideological path? Why do the lawmakers from ethnic background
still smell conspiracy that unitary system and Brahmanism
will again be imposed in the country although the nation
has already decided to adopt a federal system? There is
certainly the problem of deficit of trust. To perceive
things from ethnic lens erodes the basis of common ideological
ground that sticks the people having diverse values and
principles together. At the same time, the rising ethnic
voices offer opportunity to the leadership to pursue inclusive
policy so that the disadvantaged communities also get
adequate space in the new political set-up. There is a
need of launching social dialogue among the different
communities for confidence building, harmony and broader
political consensus. The political parties must follow
realistic approach instead of rhetoric and populist ones,
which only harm the nation in the long-term.
Source: The Rising Nepal (20 November 2011)
key to effective diplomacy <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Nov 15
Politicians, experts and diplomats Monday said that political
and economic stability was vital for the effective diplomacy.
"Stability, sound economy and improved governance
are prerequisite to vigorously pursue economic diplomacy
abroad," they said at a seminar Emerging Challenges
of Nepals Foreign Policy jointly organized
by the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Friedrich-Ebert
Stiftung in the capital.
They concurred that all political parties should come
to closure for framing a common foreign policy.
Former foreign minister Dr. Ram Saran Mahat said that
foreign policy was the extension of the domestic policy.
Nepal is one of the oldest nation states in the world
and is in the advantageous position when it comes to its
ties with international organizations like United Nations
and NAM, he said.
"But, Nepal is unable to pursue strong diplomacy
largely due to the political instability and weak economic
position. Without sound economy, the country cant
play role in pushing economic diplomacy," added Dr
He said that quality of governance must be improved while
the best and the bright people should be brought into
"Foreign policy does not only address the political
issues. Neither does it solely come under the privilege
of Foreign Ministry. Finance and Commerce Ministries have
also equal role while dynamically pursuing the economic
diplomacy," he said.
Chinese ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan said that foreign
policy should reflect the aspirations for the domestic
"Political stability and interconnectivity are preconditions
for the successful execution of the foreign policy,"
Stating that India and China secured rapid economic growth,
the Chinese envoy suggested that Nepal should reap the
benefits from this situation.
"I believe that China and India should provide opportunities
to Nepal for its economic development," he said.
He said that China, India and Nepal should strive for
mutual cooperation, which would be beneficial to all.
"Along with political stability and conclusion of
the peace process, Nepal will embark on the path of prosperity,"
Houlan suggested harnessing immense hydropower potentials
for the economic growth.
He reiterated that China was committed to stability and
continued economic support to Nepal.
Tika Jung Thapa, executive director of the Institute
of Foreign Affairs, said that Nepal should push for effective
diplomacy as the world passing through turbulent moments.
"Nepal could not afford to be static as its two
neighbours - India and China- are achieving spectacular
economic growth," said Thapa.
He said that Nepal should seek its own way so that it
moved ahead keeping its national security, sovereignty
and independence intact.
Thapa also noted that Nepal should vie for positive ties
with the global power as the world politics was witnessing
Experts Binod Bista and former secretary at the Foreign
Ministry Kedar Bhakta Shrestha presented their working
papers on Nepals foreign policy and its challenges.
Source: The Rising Nepal (16 November 2011)
key in social transformation <Top>
By Our Correspondent
Parbat, Kusma, Nov 15
The local people here have expressed a serious concern
that the number of youths going abroad for employment
have been sharply increasing for the last couple of years.
Majority of youths in this hilly district either prefer
to go Kathmandu for higher education or opt to go to the
Middle East countries for employment. They are almost
unaware of the countrys politics, said local intellectuals
and political activists.
Expressing their concern, they said that the youths in
the district were in dire need of imparting moral education
so that they can feel their responsibilities and respect
social and cultural values.
Speaking at an interaction programme on "Civic Education
for Consolidating Relations between People and Local Self
Governance" organized by the Nepal Foundation for
Advanced Studies (NEFAS) recently; they underlined the
need for institutional development of democracy (Loktantra).
Consolidation of democracy is not possible without active
participation of youths. Hence youths should play proactive
role for democracy and development, they said. Participation
of youths in social and political activities is a must
to make the society dynamic and forward looking for that
youths need to be made aware of their individual rights
and responsibilities, they added.
Presenting a working paper on "Civic Education for
consolidating Relations between People and Local Self
Governance" Shiv Raj Dahal from NEFAS underlined
the need to transform people into citizen. Citizens represent
the country, which is not possible without active participation
of youths in political and social activities that take
place in the society.
Whatever the political ideologies they have, the youths
should be encouraged to take part in the social activities
Navraj Gurung, leader of Nepali Congress in Parbat expressed
doubt about the drafting constitution and conclusion of
peace process. Youths are misguided and values of democracy
are being misinterpreted. Therefore, youths should be
encouraged to get involved in development activities.
Bikash Lamsal, representative of the CPN- UML Parbat
district committee underlined the need to involve youths
in the mainstream politics. Youths should be given responsibility
and make them feel about their duties.
Speaking at the programme, Prof.Dr. Gunanidhi Sharma
said that more and more youths should be involved in productive
areas. The overall trend of going abroad for employment
ultimately hampers the countrys future.
Prof. Sharma, who is also a former vice chairman of the
National Planning Commission (NPC) drew a gruesome picture
of the economy and said that no democracy can be sustainable
without promoting economic activities.
Sharma, former vice chairman of the NPC strongly claimed
that BIPPA will have more serious impact in the countrys
economy. The BIPPA has reinforced the 1950 Treaty between
Nepal and India which is in the interests of India.
Prof. Dr. Ram Kumar Dahal, while talking about the need
for political awareness said that youths should not be
kept aside of politics. They should be a part of politics
and social activities.
Prof. Dahal stressed the need for generating awareness
among youths. They should be informed that politics is
not a dirty game. They should be encouraged to do politics
for right cause.
Chandra Dev Bhatta, programme officer at Friedrich Ebert
Stiftung (FES) highlighted the objectives of the programme
and said that youths should be encouraged to come to the
mainstream of politics. Political dialogue, social dialogues
among youths should be encouraged for social justice.
Bhatta also pointed out the need for generating awareness
among the youths as what is right and what is wrong. Chairman
of the NEFAS Prof. Ananda Shrestha highlighted the objectives
of the programme.
From the chair Bir Bahadur C.K underlined the need for
creating opportunities for youths. It is obvious that
youths look for economic opportunities; hence the state
should design programmes for youths.
The NEFAS has been organizing civic education programme
in different parts of the country with the objective of
generating awareness among youths. The programme was organized
with the assistance of FES, the official sources at NEFAS
Source: The Rising Nepal (16 November 2011)
Non-Linearity of Peace Processes: Theory and Practice of
Systemic Conflict Transformation <Top>
Editors Daniela Körppen, Norbert Ropers and Hans
J. Giessmann, Berlin: 2011. Price: Euro 33. Pages: 273,
Barbara Budrich Publishers, Opladen / Farmington Hill.
Dev Raj Dahal, FES Nepal
Conflicts open the possibility to innovate scientific
concepts. Resolution of changing nature of conflict entails
new systemic awareness, constant learning of the context
and finding pathways for its constructive transformation.
As conflict operates in an open environment, it expands
horizontally and vertically across many generations and,
therefore, a viable transformation of conflict needs the
engagement of all those affected. In this context, this
book adds fresh tools to cope with uncertainty, contingency
factors and rapid structural change and tells policy makers
not to alienate any actor from the outcome of peace as
it is also a part of the same system. Systemic conflict
transformation aims to secure stable peace by preventing
the outbreak of violence in society and creating condition
under which root causes of conflicts are transformed.
In the process of dealing with multi-layered conflicts,
two sister organizations--Berghof Foundation for Peace
Support and Berghof Conflict Research got engaged in systemic
discourses to glean critical insights from a spectrum
of disciplines and find suitable means for the transformation
of violent conflicts into liberal peace. Systemic thinking
perceives conflict not as an isolated phenomenon but a
part of the whole system where its interacting components
are closely interwoven. This thinking process has updated
the current theoretical debates on peace building adding
a number of systemic properties, such as liberal peace,
non-linearity of conflict dynamics, bridging the gaps
in analysis, collaboration between action research and
reflection on peace practice and innovation of systemic
theory. It is mediated by inter-subjective knowledge and
practical experience learned from various types of conflicts
of Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Guinea-Bissau, South Africa,
Israel/Palestine, Georgia-Abkhazia and Kosovo arising
out of geopolitics, ethnicity, identity, culture and governance
The first part of this book covers articles by Daniela
Körppen, Norbert Ropers, Hans J. Giessmann, Sirin
Bernshausen, Thorsten Bonacker, Peter T. Coleman, Robin
Vallacher, Andrea Bartoli, Andrzej Nowak, Lam Bui-Wrzosinska,
Oliver Ramsbotham, Dany Burns, Dirk Splinter and Ljubjana
Wustehube. They are engaged in conceptualizing systemic
thinking from a variety of lenses--sociology, political
science, organizational development and systemic constellation,
the last one infuses human feeling and emotional intelligence
in its method. The second part includes case studies by
Luxshi Vimalrajah, Suthaharan Nadarajah, Norbert Ropers,
David Peter Stroh, Robert Ricigliano, Peter Woodrow and
Diana Chigas, Oliver Wolleh, Juba Khuzwayo, Berenice Meintje
and Usche Merk. Their experiences of the crisis zones
tots up insights into the implementation aspect of systemic
thinking. A lucid Foreword by Hans J. Giessmann condenses
the main arguments underlying the entire discourse while
an Introduction by Daniela Körppen and Norbert Ropers
presents comparative strengths of systemic conflict transformation
into peace building.
The book adopts in its framework network structures,
dynamic frames, contextual learning about solution from
the conflict system, formulation of co-dependent perspectives,
analysis of human impulses and their learning processes.
Sustainable peace requires a non-linear, post-Cartesian
knowledge of conflict and consciously guided social change
at multi-track levels where the source of conflict and
indigenous resource for its transformation are embedded.
The underlying value addition of systemic conflict transformation
are: First, conflict is a complex system embedded in context
with changing needs, aspiration and relationship of actors
whose ties are concurrently adversarial and symbiotic.
Linear approach is, therefore, inadequate to respond to
multi-layered conflict. Second, actors' interest in conflict
and peace is determined by the incentives originating
from its inter-action among themselves and with macro
and micro environment. In this context, engagement of
all stakeholders enables dominant actors to know the legitimate
interest of others and optimize their own. Likewise, internalization
of non-violent socialization, feedback, reflection and
social learning about conflict dynamics shapes and modifies
actor's behavior. Third, liberal values of human rights,
democracy and social justice are keys to enter into compromise
of interest, identity and ideology as they foster reciprocally
civilized behavior among all actors, including the hidden
one and a tolerance to opposing views of social and political
actors. Democracy offers the possibility for feedback
loops where rival actors can communicate and engage in
a dialogue for mutual adjustment of their concerns. And
finally, rational solution based on systemic conscience
can make actors-actual, potential and left out-relatively
satisfied. It helps to expand the scope for all actors
to exercise their rights and share power and resources
in the same space and foster peace building activities.
Dissatisfaction of actors often generates a tension and
deviation from the collective goal of negotiated peace.
Systemic rationality, therefore, elicits coordination
of means and end of peace and enforcement of accountability
of actors and stakeholders so that spoilers cannot upset
the effort of the drivers of constructive change. The
entry points and leverage for peace building are crucial
strategies to bring diverse actors into common ground
for legitimate interest representation and comprehensive
The linear conflict resolution approach based on power
equation cannot offer sustainable resolution of conflict
because it deprives the defeated and weaker ones and supports
the winner's instinct for status quo. Old solution to
new problems has simply become passé. For example,
there is no linear path to resolve climate change, nuclear
issue, terrorism, food insecurity, energy crisis, political
conflict or family therapy. In this context, systemic
thinking offers insights into multiple causes and consequences
of conflict, their inter-linkages, underlying interests
and driving actors. As conflict moves from simplicity
to complexity, it perturbs earlier causes and earlier
effects. The inadequacy of traditional conflict resolution,
conflict mitigation and conflict management schools to
cope with this perturbation gave birth to systemic conflict
transformation and invented non-violent pattern of social
cohesion and system integration. Likewise, the inclusion
of underlying diversity of belief, behavior and relations
of various actors and their vital interest and stakes
in the systemic framework of peace building evoke a synergy
for healing and justice to constructive changes for state-society
This book stores up immense usefulness. First, it is
written by inter-disciplinary team of scholars enriched
by theory and experience of many non-linear conflict contexts.
Second, it seeks to bridge the gap between rational, spiritual,
emotional and scientific knowledge and builds cycles of
peace ranging from early warning, planning, intervention,
monitoring and evaluation of peace process. Third, multiple
perspectives including cultural one weaved into a systemic
whole has made the book amply broad to capture multi-track
mediation, intervention and peace building activities.
As the book is a pioneer effort integrating systemic thinking
into peace building theory and practice, it is useful
to political leaders, policy makers, conflict experts,
teachers and students in broadening their understanding
about peaceful transformation of complex conflicts into
Source: Published in The Reporter Weekly (6 November
peace in Nepal <Top>
HARI BANSH JHA
A congenial environment would have to be created within
the country to provide livelihood support to the people
for which comprehensive long-term strategy would have
to be adopted. The policy makers planners and government
must implement some of the crucial suggestions as put
forward by the participants of the seminar. Many of the
problems facing Nepal today are the outcome of the decade-long
armed conflict, beginning 1996. Over 16,000 people were
killed, and nearly 450,000 family members of those killed
were directly affected. The conflict was also responsible
for making 5,800 people disabled, 71,200 people internally
displaced, 25,000 children orphaned, and 9,000 women widows.
Besides, 1,350 persons were disappeared and property of
11,000 people was damaged.
However, the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed
between the government of Nepal and the CPN (Maoists)
in June 2006 proved a turning point in the history of
Nepal. Following this development, the Ministry of Peace
and Reconstruction (MoPR) was established in April 2007
to play a constructive role in conflict management, relief,
rehabilitation, reconstruction and cantonment management
(7 main and 21 satellites). The Local Peace Committees
were formed in 67 out of 75 districts in the country.
And, now the political parties have arrived at a consensus
to allow 6,500 Maoist combatants to integrate into the
security forces, but those who would opt for rehabilitation
would be entitled to an amount between Rs. 500,000 and
As a silver lining, the two-day national seminar organized
recently by the Centre for Economic and Technical Studies
(CETS) in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung of
Germany on "Track Three Approaches to Sustainable
Peace in Nepal" in Kathmandu was able to bring out
useful ideas not only for resolving the present conflict
but also for restoring sustainable peace in the country.
Such views could prove important to the policy makers,
planners, government and all the stakeholders interested
in establishing peace in Nepal. It was revealed during
the seminar that peace is not important in itself. What
is more important is the restoration of satoguni peace
and, if possible, brahma peace in the society. Of the
four categories of peace i.e. tamoguni peace, rajoguni
peace, satoguni peace and brahma peace, the tamoguni peace
is the result of inaction and toleration of injustice.
On the other hand, the rajoguni peace is the end result
of action; while the satoguni peace is the result of activities
performed for the welfare of all. Most importantly, the
first three categories of peace are perishable; while
the fourth category of peace called brahma peace is achieved
when a person develops oneness with all the instincts
in the universe. Also, it was accepted that dharma should
become a guiding force in the yet to be drafted constitution
Without adequate food security, peace cannot be guaranteed.
Other livelihood base through industrialization, constructive
activities, etc., which got to be affected due to the
labour problems, strikes and forced donations would have
to be improved. Of course, some efforts have recently
been made to strengthen the livelihood base of the people,
particularly through the implementation of High Mountain
Agribusiness and Livelihood Improvement (HIMALI) project
in 10 districts in the mountain region. Similarly, additional
efforts have been made through the Livelihood Recovery
for Peace (LRP) project to extend livelihood support to
the people in three districts in Terai region. But some
of these efforts are just piecemeal exercise and their
contribution in overall improvement of livelihood prospect
of the people is questionable. Another pre-condition for
peace is the feeling of justice among the people.
Dignity and values of the women are primarily important
for restoring peace in a society. Unfortunately, many
of the women in our country who had little to do with
People's War unleashed by the CPN-Maoists were victimized.
In fact, the women were victimized more than the men.
They became vulnerable to all forms of violence, including
torture, rape, mass rape and trafficking. Yet, the perpetrators
of the crime have not been punished due to the delay in
the formation of High Level Truth and Reconciliation Commission
together with the formation of the Commission on Forced
Finally, sustainable peace is ensured only in a situation
in which all the sections of the society are benefited-
irrespective of gender, caste, class and ethnicity. Discrimination
with the communities, if any, would have to be removed.
Justice needs to be given to all. People's aspirations
have to be reflected in the constitution. Economy of violence
has to be transformed into economy of peace for which
law and order situation would have to be improved. Youth
have to be engaged in productive employment and a sense
has to be created among them that they would benefit more
if they are engaged in peace enterprises.
A congenial environment would have to be created within
the country to provide livelihood support to the people
for which comprehensive long-term strategy would have
to be adopted. If the policy makers, planners and government
of Nepal implement some of these crucial suggestions as
put forward by the participants of the seminar, there
is no reason why sustainable peace and prosperity cannot
be established in the country.
Source: The Himalayan Times (3 November 2011)
State is weak
because of political failure <Top>
Ratnanagar, political analysts point that due to weak
politics Nepal's state system is bordering on weakness.
This is said in the two-day program organized at Ratnanagar
municipality on "Role of civic education on building
modern state." Experts said that political parties'
leaders seemed appeared weak to steer the nation in right
direction. Politics has left "policy making' duty
as a result public aspirations have not been materialized.
There is security vacuum in such context it is hard to
maintain and promote peace.
The Chief of FES and political analyst Dev Raj Dahal
said that the current weakness is mainly because of power
orientation of leaders devoid of public interest. The
all-around crisis is mainly caused by the abdication of
public policy by leaders. Nepal needs national leaders
capable of thinking in national perspective. The constitutional
crisis arose because of unaccountability to agreements
they signed. Democracy is a means to resolve conflict
by compromise by non-violence. The growth of violence
has weakened the base of democracy. Therefore, there is
a need to rebuild state-society relations and reconstruct
economy. The increasing dependence on foreign aid has
diminished policy sovereignty and weakened the writ of
state. Tax base of the state must be strengthened to make
In the program Senior journalist Yubaraj Ghimire said
that there is a problem in transition management. To defend
the nation citizens should themselves come up and take
up conscious role. To remove constitutional vacuum and
to safe the country from it, civil society must mobilize
people. He also spoke on federalism, local governance
and civic education. The program was participated by party
leaders, INSEC representative, Mukunda Dahal, Satya N.
Chaudahary, Advisor of Needs, Shibu Chhetri, Director
of Pancha Kanya Bidya Mandir, and many others. Dev Raj
Dahal moderated the program
Source: Chitwon Post Daily News (8 September 2011)
Program of FES <Top>
Ratnanagar, FES began its two-day program on "Role
of Civic Education in Building Modern State". The
program discussed about the weaking of Nepali state following
the failure of politics. Political parties are working
against public policy. No state can achieve self-reliance
if tax base of the state can be expanded says chief of
Nepal office of FES.
Gokarna Malla, campus chief of Martyr Memorial Multiple
Campus, Mukunda DAhal of INSEC, Shiba Chettri, Satya N.
Choudhary, Bidur Subedi of NC also spoke on the occasion.
The Capacity building of state rests on "active citizenship"
and their loyalty to democracy and the primary of national
identity over the subsidiary and economic development.
Without education democracy cannot become stable and build
Source: Loktantra Sandesh Daily (8 September 2011)
Role of civic
education in state-building <Top>
Bhim Rawat, Bhadra 1, Kolhapur
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nepal Office has organized
a two-day seminar on the role of civic education in state-building
in Kohalpur, Banke on 18th and 19th August, 2011. Dev
Raj Dahal, Head of FES Nepal spoke about the nature of
Nepali state, model of governance, and economic, social
and cultural dimension. Speaking about the economic condition
of the country, Dahal said that the contribution of tax
to national GDP is 12 percent and we are forced to look
beyond resources of the state to meet additional expenses.
Under such a state of affairs, there is no way that we
can have functional democracy in the country. Obviously,
if donors contribute more to the national budgetary system,
they will also have influence in national politics. Nepals
national economic is heavily reliant on remittance and
every year 400000 people leave the country. But what is
true, however, is that economy based on remittance cannot
be sustainable. We have to bear in mind that we are losing
productive manpower to other countries and this will have
negative impact on our national productivity said Dahal.
State should adopt policies that can maintain peoples
loyalty towards it.
Associate Professor of Tribhuvan University, Lal Babu
Yadav and C.D. Bhatta of FES also presented their papers
in the seminars. Yadav spoke about local government, federalism,
and model of government while Bhatta spoke about democracy
and its contents. The programme was followed by followed
by floor discussion. People from different walks of life
such as academicians, journalists, government officials,
NGO and rights activists, and members of civil society,
political leaders, students, and businessmen participated
in the programme. The programme was chaired by the president
of the school administration committee of Bageshwori Public
Campus Hari Prasad Rawat. Dev Raj Dahal shed light on
the objectives of the programme and also introduced FES,
Chief of the Mid-Regional Educational Office Dhanpati
Bhetwal , Narayan Sigdel also spoke. Shiv Raj Dahal moderated
Source: Mission Today Daily (19 August 2011)
of South Asia in Kathmandu <Top>
Kathamandu: About three dozens South Asian Journalists are
assembled in Kathmandu. To strengthen the association of
South Asian media workers International Federation of Journalist
has (IFJ) has organized this three-day workship on "Local
Struggles, Regional Solutions." The workshop has begun
on Friday. The workshop is organized by IFJ-Asia-Pacific
Office in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).
Speaking at the inaugural function Head of Nepal FES Dev
Raj Dahal said, "The common problem of all the South
Asian journalists is their personal insecurity." The
Chief of IFJ for South Asia J. Park said that the workshop
will discuss about the problems of South Asian media workers
Source: Annapurna Post (30 July 2011)
Budgeting in Local Governance <Top>
Dev Raj Dahal, Head, FES Nepal Office
The humanization of consciousness expanded the space for
freedom and self-rule. It is the basis of participatory
democracy and the endorsement of equal citizenship rights
and duties to both male and female. Gender-responsive
policies, however, came with the consideration of women
the same nationality under constitutional dispensation
and same humanity under Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. Equality of law, however, does not mean factual
equality. This gap between laws and facts inspired women
as claimants of rights to wage social struggles for inclusive
participation, voice, equality and justice and move their
status beyond the recipient of welfare benefits. Nepal's
gender policy too moved in tandem with the progress of
global change seeking to bridge the gap between women
and the state.
From paternalistic welfare approach to Women in Development,
Women and Development, Gender and Development to empowerment,
gender discourse moved women to makers, shapers and owners
of public goods and services. Adopting these narratives
and resolutions of various women's conferences including
CEDAW, Education for All, ILO Core Labor Standards and
public international and humanitarian laws, Nepali state
has gradually reformed its laws, practices and institutions.
Greater awareness of gender equality contributed to redefining
women's relationship with the state, political parties,
economic institutions, civil society and family and building
their capacity for peaceful social change. The global
frames of MDGs, aid effectiveness, public sector reforms
and financing for development have encouraged Nepalese
women to move from the social labor of child rearing,
care for the elderly and household affairs to a space
of conscious political choice with the ability to contest
the rationality of their subordination. This has expunged
the bourgeoisie separation between the public and the
private sphere as the state monitors even families in
cases of child abuse, domestic violence, suicide, discrimination
etc. An admission to public sphere guided by internal
vigilance is the prime condition for full-fledged citizenship-women's
own sense of personal efficacy, self-determination and
voice. Democratic politics prevents the conversion of
security, law, education, health, family and ecology into
a commodity and enables citizens to adopt policies and
institutions suitable to their freedom and dignity.
Nepalese women's movement for power, resource and identity
and international efforts are transforming Nepal's political
practices and narrowing the historically existing gender
gaps in the entire life-cycle. The Interim Constitution
of Nepal 2007 deconstructed the belief in the intrinsic
inferiority of women to legitimize equal power relations
between women and men and expanded the concept of citizens'
rights from civil and political to social, economic, cultural
and ecological domains. The country is declared secular,
federal democratic republic. The peace accord signed in
November 2006 promised the restructuring of Nepali state
to address historically existing gender, caste, class,
ethnic and regional disparities for the renegotiation
of a new social contract. By granting the right to education,
health, work, livelihood, social justice, etc Nepalese
leadership is aspiring to create a social state. But the
resource-strapped and institutionally deficient Nepali
state cannot implement these rights. For example, tax
contributes only 12 percent to GDP, economic growth barely
balances population growth and ongoing high political
dynamics has confiscated the capacity of the state to
fulfill the demands generated by political parties, civil
society, rights-based groups and militant non-state forces
engaged in anomic, angry and extra-constitutional participation.
Public Participation and Accountability in Local governance
Participant political culture rooted in internal vigilance
is the foundation of civic culture. Participation-conformist,
reformist, transformational and emancipatory-aims to influence
polity, expand the domain of public space and modify perspectives
through opinion and will-formation. Participation also
means exercise of constitutional and human rights in real
life-world situation and the role occupation in public
life. Representation and participation are two different
terms-one is prescribed by laws which help to mediate
the interest between the state and citizens while the
other through conscious political choice of citizens aiming
to bring the government closer to them. Citizens require
participatory resources-information, knowledge, skills,
technology, resources and dense web of institutions to
exercise meaningful choice. Inequality of resources buffets
the democratic quality of the polity. Local municipal
governance essentially requires bottom -up process, down-ward
accountability and direct involvement of citizens in various
institutions of governance in knowledge building, decision
making, public policies and concrete plans, programs and
budgets. The wards, VDCs, municipalities and DDCs form
the core of local self-governance. They are the foundation
of local democracy and development in Nepal. Local Self-Governance
Act 1999 and its By-Laws have increased the representation
of 20 percent of women and also marginalized groups in
local self-governance. The Interim Constitution has further
increased women's representation to 33 percent in the
CA but at the district level the sense of proportional
representation is missing. Symmetry in political representation
of women at all levels can change the face of Nepalese
politics and entitle them to fetch budgets to fulfill
their rights and realize benefits from health, drinking
water, education, micro-credit, vocational training and
reconciliatory measures for victims of domestic violence
including civil conflict.
The analysis of gender relations in society, economy and
the state, application of gender lenses and understanding
gender as a vehicle to open to social change are keys
to address Nepal's problems of gender and transitional
justice, reconciliation, peace and address the unfair
disposition of power, control and ownership in Nepalese
society. Participation of women to choose leaders and
engage in political process and polices has increased
their civic competence. This has attendant effects on
the development synergy. Only active citizenship of male
and female can make leaders and mechanisms of governance
efficient to implement gender-sensitive policies and programs
from peace building to climate change. Only informed citizenry
is capable of bridging the gap between assertion of rights,
public participation and enforcing the accountability
of institutional responsiveness to the weaker part of
the public through constant monitoring and collective
action by evoking right to information act embedded in
Right to development endorsed by Nepal is inclusive of
gender rights. Budget is the vital aspect of political
action mirroring the social, economic and political power
relations of the state with the social classes including
women. Implementation of binding gender budgeting and
outcome-oriented budget management can foster democratic
equity and create a vibrant public sphere to codetermine
(not self-determine) shared welfare gains. Gender responsive
budgeting in municipal governance is also expected to
create an enabling environment in the cities to implement
Nepal's international commitments, align government's
priorities with them, increase the transparency and accountability
of public administration in allocating resource and foster
society-centric understanding of duties. These measures
are the keys to address transformational aspirations of
Nepalese citizens--both male and female.
But gender-budgeting equally requires similar policies
and practices in the cases of donors, INGOs, NGOs, CBOs,
civil society, local bodies and the institutions of good
governance. Recognizing the equality of men and women
in society and opportunity for equal life-choices, it
seeks to analyze whether the distribution of budgetary
outlay has equal positive outcome in their lives and made
a difference. Participatory development and democracy
requires the engagement of women in all the institutional
resources of the state and access to labor market. It
is not exclusively women's money as gender-responsive
budgeting aims at reducing gender gaps in society from
birth, education, participation and retired life. Nepali
state has adopted this methodology four year ago in various
ministries and departments seeking governance reforms.
The problem is how to coordinate the state, non-state
and international resources to address the diversity,
use budget creatively to bring multiple levels of structural
change and improve the quality of democracy in Nepal.
An edifice of peace can be built on the shared experience
of those who love to hate structural injustice and work
for a rationalized life by improving the workings of structures,
interest, ideology, culture and power and rectify entrenched
Regular dialogues between policy makers, scholars and
practicenors' reflection will allow measuring the functions,
strengths and weaknesses of gender-responsive budgeting
in municipal governance from multiple perspectives and
addressing the existing gender gaps in Nepalese society
seeking inclusive process of change towards greater social,
gender and inter-generational justice. The practice-oriented
reflection will also help to reform the methodology and
knowledge through continuous feedbacks, reforms and adaptation
and generate democratic equity in the Nepalese polity.
Source: The Reporter (24 July 2011)
Call for quality education to all <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 2
Education experts Saturday called for
imparting quality education to both the rich and the poor
at a regional workshop in Lalitpur.
They were of critical of handing over
education system to private sector in the name of public-private
Education International (EI), an international
trade union organization working for the professional
welfare of the teacher and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES),
Nepal provided the forum where trade union activists and
teachers from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are
The three-day workshop is being conducted
under the title of Trade Union Skills Development.
The main objective of the workshop is
to enhance the capacity of both male and female teachers
and acquire perspectives on equality to be on the intrinsic
components of human and trade union rights.
Sashibala Singh of EI said that the
biggest challenge for South Asia is to develop mechanism
to provide quality education to all rich and poor.
"But in the name of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)
the governments of the region are handing over education
system to the private sectors and we do not know where
will it land us?"
Dev Raj Dahal Head of FES said that
the economic model of education that is being floated
in the South Asian countries had created more fissures
in the society and this needed to be rectified to live
up to the slogan "education [quality] for all"
in a real sense of the term.
He further said that an integrated South
Asia could not be created by free play of market forces
alone. "Wider participation of citizens from different
walks of life including women would be necessary to establish
Source: The Rising Nepal (3 July 2011)
Sumit Sharma Sameer
JUN 22 -
World Trade Organization Director-General, Pascal Lamy
in his speech Whither Globalisation at the
Council of United States and Italy Conference in Venice
on June 4 gave an impression that he has realised the
importance of the values enshrined in fair trade.
He accepted the legitimacy of concerns and questions raised
against a one-sided view of globalisation
forwarded by neo-liberals. However, he still seems to
be hesitant in accepting the importance of national interest;
thereby placing the agenda of reforming international
systems and practices as a panacea to a nations
liberation and prosperity. The purpose of the present
article is to argue that globalisation is a multi-faceted
issue and has deeper and wider repercussions on
any nation state. Focusing only on reforming the international
system without taking stock of national issues as put
forth by neo-liberals, cannot uproot the negative repercussions
of globalisation. The shrinking of time and space and
the fluid borders is not a new and planned process as
put forth by anti-globalists, but a natural process of
human civilisation which can serve the values enshrined
in humanism. This is provided that globalisation is localised
to fit the interest of local contexts.
Gabriel Wolter, a young university student who participated
in the International Summer School organised by Kassal
University and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung with me, said:
Germany has achieved the zenith of development,
but our society is fragmented. There is a dilemma and
inter-generational disconnection. We young people do not
exchange and interact with our elder generation. There
are indeed benefit packages for the deprived ones, but
fewer people exploit the opportunity as those who claim
the benefit packages are considered failures and are looked
upon as societal waste. New technologies and
development have connected us far and wide, and yet we
live an isolated and fragmented life failing to live life
in its totality. Gabriels statement aptly
captures the larger picture of globalisation and suggests
that growth oriented development and distribution that
merely provides a welfare scheme to the deprived class
does not necessarily connect them with wider society.
There is a need to reflect on the economy based on the
theory of greed and extra maximisation and accumulation
of wealth at all costs. Classic economy has come to a
point of exhaustion and there is a need to reexamine the
issue while being sensitive towards the entire system.
As put forth by Ludwig Feurbach, there is a need to transform
the concept of human-being to the species-being
where it is necessary to visualise that the collective
emancipation of species can only guarantee the liberation
of human beings. Equally there is a danger in viewing
and analysing the issue from a particular disciplinary
approach as it confines and limits understanding. This
does not however, necessarily mean that an issue can be
analysed outside of a specific framework. Without a larger
framework that takes gender, society, ecology, economy
and politics into consideration, analysis is likely to
undermine the natural foundation of life, where all species
are interconnected with each other for survival and prosperity.
Hence, reforming the international system as proposed
by Pascal Lamy without taking national interest into consideration
is not likely to reshape globalisation, but would rather
create more crisis in the international system. This is
because questions will arise which will be severely contested:
Who defines the international system? What values and
ethics does a nation have to compromise in order to catch-up
with the international system? What if the procedures,
norms, values and ethics prescribed by the international
system directly collide with communities and national
identity? To sum up the argument against Pascal Lamy,
it is important to remember what a German economist, Friedrich
List said in the nineteenth century: it is very
common clever device that when anyone has attained, the
summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which
he has climbed up in order to deprive others of the means
of climbing up after him.
On the other hand there are anti-globalists who view
globalisation as a planned and new phenomenon which began
alongside global democratisation and further believe that
mere distribution of wealth can guarantee prosperity for
all. This would be an equally naïve view. New imaginations,
new inventions and wealth brought forth by globalisation
have transformed the capacity of the nation state to negotiate
their national interests at the global level. This can
be seen in the cases of China, India and Brazil.
Furthermore, globalisation is not a planned process;
it is not a process injected by the fist world countries
to capitalise on the wealth of the third world countries.
Indeed modern economic globalisation took place with the
vested interest of wealth maximisation at the cost of
other countries. For example, the Britain gave up its
deplorable agricultural protection (the Corn Law) and
other remnants of old mercantilist protectionist measures
in 1846. Neverthless, the transfer of culture, religion
and civilisation dates centuries back and has not always
been synonymous to vested personal interests. In the case
of Nepal, transfer of religion, culture and migration
began two thousand years ago when migrants from both north
and south travelled and settled in Nepal not only to expand
their vested interests, but to help emancipate common
miseries with culture and religion.
Thus, on the one hand there is a need to realise the
positive aspects of globalization. On the other, globalization
needs to be reshaped to be workable for all. A synergy
needs to be built between wealth and other facets brought
forth by the friction between localisation and globalisation.
And for social democrats, it is important to realise that
wealth is just one means of achieving the end. However,
there still remains a large challenge in defining what
it really means to achieve the end. Debate on the reshaping
of globalisation once again must be centred on questions
What is my end? And where is my end? And what are essential
features of our lives that entail our end?
Source: The Kathmandu Post (23 June 2011)
Media Help to Implement 5-pt Deal <Top>
Kathmandu, June 9: Parliamentary Party leader of Nepali
Congress Ram Chandra Poudel said the press sector should
help implement the five-point agreement signed by the
three major parties.
Congress is committed to implement the past agreements
signed among the parties, he said while addressing an
interaction organised by Nepal Press Union in the Capital
Thursday in cooperation with FES.
Constitution drafting is on the back burner because peace
process has been overshadowed, he said stressing the need
to implement the five-point pact to conclude peace process.
At the function, senior journalist Harihar Birahi, referring
to the attack by Youth Force of CPN-UML on a journalist
in Biratnagar, said cadres of the party in the government
are attacking media persons, making the development of
journalism a tough task.
Former President of Federation of Nepali Journalists
Dharmendra Jha said Press Union should fight for the rights
of working journalists.
Other speakers said action should be taken against those
involved in attacks on journalists and the Working Journalist
Act should be implemented.
On the occasion, senior journalist Ram Krishna Regmi
and former FNJ President Taranath Dahal presented separate
working papers and highlighted diversity in media as well
as challenges for the professional development of journalism.
Source: The Rising Nepal (10 June 2011)
only through respect to the dignity of work <Top>
Kathmandu, June 9
Vice President of Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Poudel
said that the country can move to democratic socialism
only when the work of every individual is respected. He
said this in a seminar organized by Nepal Press Union
in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) on
"Role of Media in Highlighting Trade Union Issues
in Nepal." "The society should appreciate the
work of workers. Without this country's development cannot
be achieved. Poudel also said that promulgation of constitution
without the conclusion of peace process would be meaningless."
According priority to the peace process the tenure of
Constituent Assembly has been extended three more months
with the consent of Nepali Congress. Whether this three
month would be productive or not depends on the behavior
of Maoists. As a leader of parliamentary party of Nepali
Congress Poudel said that press freedom depends on the
security and safety of the rights of media workers where
Press Union can play creative role.
Vice-President of Nepal Trade Union Congress -Independent
Ganesh Niraula expressed solidarity to the Press Union
for the protection of trade union rights and interests
of media workers. President of Nepal Press Union Kiran
Pokhrel expressed commitment to make Press Union a genuinely
representative union of all journalists. Former President
of Federation of Nepalese Journalists Dharmendra Jha said
that democracy will not be safe without the safety and
security of journalists. He suggested Press Union to lead
a campaign for the protection of professional rights and
security of journalists. Head of FES Nepal Dev Raj Dahal
unless freedom and social justice are secured in the country
professional rights cannot be protected. Senior journalist
Ram Krishna Regmee highlighted on the problems of professional
journalist on editorial autonomy and Tara Nath Dahal,
former president of FNJ highlighted on the role of Press
Union. Both of them presented papers.
Source: Annapurna post (10 June 2011)
and Press Freedom are complementary to each other
Kathmandu, June 8, 2011
Leaders of major political parties argued that the best
measuring rod of the state of democracy is whether or
not there is press freedom in the country. Speaking at
a one-day national seminar organized by Press Chautari
on "Media and Democratization" they said that
we cannot conceive of democracy without freedom of the
Speakers of Constituent Assembly Subash Chandra Nembang
argued that since press and democracy complement one another
in the absence of one, other remain weak. He added that
the paper presentor's remark that the soul and heart of
press belong to the hand of advertisers stir his whole
body. Despite so much sacrifice if the soul and heart
of press do not belong to media persons and they have
to work under the shadow of fear we should work together
to bring press to its own place. He also suggested the
leaders to work seriously in drafting constitution as
the crisis has only been postponed not solved. He added
that political parties have to be serious about national
consensus for drafting constitution and concluding peace
process within three months.
Vice-President of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Dr. Baburam Bhattarai believed that full flourishing of
democracy rests on the evaluation of press freedom. Press
freedom and democracy are two parts of the same coin.
He added even during absolute monarchy and people's war
mass media have suffered. He expressed that his party
is in favor of full press freedom.
The main spirit of five-point consensus are peace, constitution
and power-sharing. Therefore, it should not be narrated
of the convenience of oneself. Since deadlock accused
in power-sharing among leaders, Dr. Bhattarai argued that
the country can riggle out of this situation if leaders
are ready for national consensus.
Central Committee member of Nepali Congress Party Dr.
Minendra Rijal said that for politicians media freedom
is indespensable as "media is water and politicians
are fish". He added one is forced to tolerate most
of misinformation reported in the press. Dr. Rijal believed
consensus did not evolved because of a vision of communist
totalitarianism. "Maoist could not become honest."
The NC even does not trust as to whether five-point agreement
The Communication Department of CPN-UML Pradip Gyawali
argued that it is ironical that after drastic political
change press is in distress. The threat to media comes
from non-state actors, not the state. There is a need
to make media dignified, not controlled. He also said
that national consensus government is needed to finalise
peace and constitution in time.
Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dev Raj Dahal said that
state is the guardian of people. Since it is not secure
people are also suffering. Media should transform partisan
perspective into national perspective through democratization.
Democracy cannot flourish without democrats. It cannot
be imposed. He requested the leaders to internalize values
and institutions of democracy.
Organized under the Chairmanship of Press Chautari Gagan
Bisht, during interaction Chairman of Federation of Nepali
Journalists Shiva Gaunle, Secretary General Om Sharma,
Chairman of Press Union Kiran Pokharel, Journalist Gopal
Budathoki, Shambu Shrestha, Pramod Dahal Bishnu Rijal
spoke about the creation of conducive environment for
press freedom. Senior journalist Tirtha Kiorala presented
the paper on "Media and Democratization in Nepal".
Source: Translated from Gorkhapatra Nepali daily
(9 June 2011)
Resign in favor of national Government: Bhattarai <Top>
Kathmandu, June 8.
Vice-President of UCPN (Maoist) party Dr. Baburam Bhattarai
said, "For consensual national government and to
expedite peace and constitution drafting Prime Minister
Jhala Nath Khanal has to resign immediately." He
said while addressing a seminar organized by Press Chautari
on "Media and Democratization." Formation of
a national unity government is indispensable to forward
national agenda. He also said that there is a danger of
wasting even three month's extended time for CA if 5-point
agreement is misinterpreted. Since these points are related
to peace, constitution and power-sharing all these should
be implemented simultaneously.
"The spirit of five-point agreement between mainstream
parties is related to peace, constitution and new government,
the question of sequencing does not arise here" Bhattarai
said. Parties main concern is the distribution of power.
Admitting his party's role in weakening press freedom,
he said that in the future his party will be committed
to press freedom.
In the program Speaker of Constituent Assembly Subash
Nembang also stressed on the need to implement five-point
agreement. He said, "The crisis is not averted, not
postponed. The only option to solve this is to implement
five-point agreement." CPN-UML leader Pradip Gyawali,
Central Committee member of NC Dr. Minendra Rijal, President
of Federation of Nepalese Journlists Shiva Gaunle, Senior
journalist Tirtha Koirala, Head of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Dev Raj Dahal, President of Nepal Press Union Kiran Pokhrel
and other spoke about several dimension of press freedom
and the practical and theoretic interrelationship between
media and democratization in Nepal.
Source: Rajdhani Daily (9 June 2011)
Must Be Cornerstone Of Democratic Republic <Top>
Ritu Raj Subedi
As the youngest republic of the world,
Nepali is on the course of carving out its own unique
socio-economic landscape following the abolition of monarchy
three years ago though such a journey for the creation
of equitable system is not without dangerous challenges
and obstacles. After years of 'disastrous' experiment
with multi-party system wherein its leaders sought only
cosmetic reforms, today's Nepal is crying for inclusive
and proportionate democracy that would recognize Nepalis
as empowered citizens, not just passive masses that consider
their duty being fulfilled by merely casting votes in
periodic elections. The republican set-up has indeed given
birth to spirited citizens with bundles of competitive
demands and claims but they need to be equally aware about
the poor capacity of the country. The denizens of the
new brave world must learn to balance their rights and
responsibility as well as their soaring ambitions and
the state's limitation to deliver goods.
In fact, secular and federal democratic
Nepal attempts to collectively emulate the values of liberalism,
social democracy and Marxism by internalizing them in
the typical Nepalese context. In doing so, however, the
clashes with conservative ideology have not ended. The
conservative system rests on the supremacy of tradition,
order, authority, religion, national unity and hostility
towards radical changes. Liberal democracy stresses on
dominance of rationalism over tradition, civil liberties,
property rights, rule of law and desires for timely reforms.
Social democracy stands for welfare state with direct
taxation to support equality, redistribution of wealth
and social justice. Marxism calls for the social control
of means of production, revamping the state, equal opportunity,
and full employment to the workers. There are also the
voices of feminists, who demand the equal parental rights,
citizenship, opportunity and easy access to decision-making
levels. Ethnic, Dalit, Madhesi, marginalized and minority
groups have come to the front and are putting mounting
pressure on the major political actors for social justice,
equal opportunity and access to resources as the nation
is in the middle of constitution writing and the peace
processes. In principle, the parties agreed for incorporating
these rights in the constitution but they face other extra-constitutional
glitches to issue the main law of the land in time.
State of flux
The state is in a high-flux because
the things have not yet fully settled. The liberals and
communists are still clashing and have not struck a new
social contract. Pro-royalist forces, who represent conservative
viewpoint, have come to the streets before the liberal
democrats and leftists negotiated the tricky agendas of
new Nepal. The regional forces have also made their effective
presence in the scene though they suffer from perpetual
splits. Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal has challenged
the Constituent Assembly's (CA) historic decision to end
the 240-year old Shah dynasty. This party, populated by
the supporters of ex-king, calls for referendum on monarchy,
Hindu religion and federalism. The reason behind the emboldened
face of pro-monarchical forces is clear. The reformist
and radical parties are divided over the framing of the
constitution and concluding the peace process. They are
equally split on the form of governance and federalism.
This has led to the unanticipated slowdown in the statute
making despite extending CA's term beyond its set deadline.
For a sustained and strong federal system
that Nepal aspires to be, the centre and federative units
must work in tandem with rational sharing of powers. One
bigger challenge of federal Nepal is the fragmented nationalism.
The rising ethnic, regional and other subsidiary identities
put threat to the coherent national identity. People today
tend to introduce themselves not as Nepali but as Madhesi,
Dalit, Rai, Magar, Khas Chhetri, Tamang, Gurung, Newar
and so on. Ethnicity-based politics often undermines common
national values that keep the people together for the
"Absolutisation of singular identity
can threaten democratic decentralisation and peace-building
intentions of federalist states," write conflict
experts Tone Bleie and Dev Raj Dahal. So, there is a need
to explore common bond of citizenship, constitutional
solidarity and shared future. The people should adopt
democratic methods of solving the social problems. They
must develop the culture of listening to one another through
dialogue and negotiations, and must stop the indiscriminate
use of strike, blockages, violence and rumours to fulfill
their vested interests.
On the positive side, most of the Nepalese political parties
accepted social democracy and realized that social justice
must be delivered. This is because of the switch of liberalists
towards the socialist economic values and radicalists
towards the pluralistic political system. However, abject
poverty, massive disparity and meager national income
do not allow the nation to realise social democracy overnight,
which ensures economic, social and cultural rights of
the people. It offers institutional support to the needy
and oppressed and creates a level playing field for equal
participation and opportunity for all. Unlike the liberal
political system, social democracy does not create winners
Freedom and social justice should be
central thrust of new democratic republic Nepal while
people's rights to basic needs - food, housing and cloth
- must be non-negotiable provisions in the new constitution.
However, the new political system does not survive on
mere rhetoric. What it requires is the political stability,
democratization of political institutions, sustainable
economic growth, redistribution of vital resources, the
development of critical development infrastructure, sufficient
job creation, investment on public health and education,
support for the weak segment of society and heightened
ecological awareness. The remnants of violence must be
ended for durable peace. A culture of negotiation, compromise
and collaboration should guide the competing forces so
that new republican set-up takes its root and fares better
for the well-being of the Nepalese.
Source: The Rising Nepal (29
must be guaranteed prior to extension of CA term
Lalitpur, May 26 - CPN-UML and Nepali Congress (NC) leaders
Thursday said that the peace process must be guaranteed
before the extension of Constituent Assemblys (CA)
"UCPN-Maoist must sever ties with their arms and
combatants," they said at a seminar entitled Democratic
Socialism in Nepalese Perspective in Lalitpur.
They noted that the Maoists had to create a basis for
the completion of the peace process by submitting arms
to the government. "This task can be done within
one or two days. For this, the Maoists will have to sacrifice
arms, not their posts."
They also held unanimous view that Nepali-version of
social democracy should embrace the rich tradition of
local knowledge, culture and civilization existed and
practiced since the ancient time.
NC leader Bimaledra Nidhi said that the arms from the
seven cantonments could be submitted to the government
within one or two days.
Nidhi said that most of the issues included in the 10-point
proposal of his party could be addressed in a day one
"If the Maoists give up arms, their image will soar
up and they will further grow in the masses," he
He asked the Maoists to be honest to the peace process.
Nidhi said that democratic socialism, which combined
the virtues of capitalism and socialism, had become an
form of political system universally.
UML leader Pradeep Gyawali said that the CAs term
needed to be extended by guaranteeing the peace process.
"There is the crisis of confidence because of the
parties past activities. The Maoist should sacrifice
and demonstrate willingness to integrate and rehabilitate
their combatants," he added.
He warned that the achievements of past political revolutions
were in the risks of being lost if the CAs term
was not extended.
The UML leader stressed on developing socialism with
the Nepali characteristics.
"It should entail inclusiveness, social justice
and freedom," he added.
Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun said that the parties must
launch debate for the search of the new political stream
that incorporated the ingredients of both loktantrik and
"Todays politics reflects a situation in which
the communist forces switch towards pluralism and the
democratic forces towards social justice," he said.
Pun said that the ideological differences among the parties
obstructed the peace and statute writing processes. "So,
there is the need of convergence of ideologies, giving
a birth to a new social contract on the basis of negotiation,
consensus and collaboration."
The Maoist leader called for setting modality, number,
norms and timetable for the quick integration and rehabilitation
of the Maoist combatants.
FES-Nepal head Dev Raj Dahal said that there should be
the balanced role of capital, labour and the state so
that the spirit of social justice and inclusiveness could
be maintained in the society.
Dwelling on the principle of social democracy, Dahal
said that it viewed human being as un-alienated and creative
social creature well-disposed to engage in cooperative
"Social justice, the prop of social democracy, requires
substantial democratization of political power, communication
and institutions, investment in job-creation, health,
education, disabilities and development necessary to fulfill
basic livelihood," he added.
He said that current crises the country is facing were
due to the parties sought changes by going beyond
Socialist thinker Dhundi Raj Shastri pointed out the
need of focusing on the poor and rural economy for the
creation of just society.
Sahid Smriti Pratisthan general secretary Khila Nath
Dahal said that martyrs were now forgotten while those
wounded in the political movements were living a difficult
The two-day seminar was jointly organized by FES-Nepal
and Pratisthan. Experts from different disciplines also
presented their working papers.
Source: The Rising Nepal (27 May 2011)
Two day seminar
Tikapur,12 Baishak/ Two day seminar titled "Promoting
Active Citizenship for Building Modern State" started
in Tikapur, Kailali.
Political Analyst, Dev Raj Dahal presented a paper on
the challenges of making modern state and Lal Babu Yadav
Presented on improving the relation of civil society &
Academics, Lecturers, teachers, civil workers and respresentatives
of different political parties from Tikapur region were
present in the seminar organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
The seminar was inaugurated by Umadevi Badi, leader of
Source: Tikapur Nepali Daily (26 April 2011)
should build pressure for constitution <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Mar 27: Intellectuals and experts Sunday called
to invigorate the civil society to execute the historic
tasks of statute and peace building.
Most of the participants were critical of the role of
civil society in Nepal but they were unanimous that it
must press the political parties for writing the pro-people
constitution, restoring lasting peace and achieving prosperity.
They lamented that the civil society was highly polarised
and fragmented, and now it was stagnant at a time it needed
to play a robust role to
facilitate the stalled political process.
Some criticised that it was donor-driven while others
insisted that the civil society leaders turned an instrument
of the given parties and, therefore, failed to transcend
the partisan agenda.
They shared their views at function jointly organised
by Pragya Foundation and FES-Nepal. Its theme was 'Replenishing
the Roots of Civil Society: Building Peace, Development
Kashi Raj Dahal, chairman of Administrative Court, said
that the past constitutions failed as the institutions,
envisaged by the constitution,
could not become effective and functional."The statute
must reflect the reality of the nation and the parties
must not try to cram everything in it," added Dahal.
Nepal Hariyali Party leader Kuber Sharma took a swipe
on the civil society and accused its members of being
agents of NGOs and political parties. "They are mostly
guided by the donors and parties' agenda."
FES-Nepal chief Dev Raj Dahal said that the civil society,
as the embodiment of reason and capable of achieving self-consciousness,
instill historical awareness to respond to the changing
aspirations of the Nepalese citizens, not only just for
the interest of present generation
but also for the inter-generational justice.
"The organic formation of civil society in Nepal
is essential to free itself from borrowed existence and
open a debate in the public sphere about the democratisation
of state power, economy and international system and exhort
the leaders to execute the people's mandate's for a new
Pragya Foundation chief Ananda Aditya said that the civil
society in Nepal did a lot in the country's democratization
but it was fragmented and
"Civil society could do what the private sector and
government can not do alone to render the state peaceful,
safe, secure and stable for the
Tone Bleie, Academic Director of University of Tromsoe,
Norway, asked the elite to engage in socio-economic transformations
and create space for the deprived citizens.
A number of other speakers dwelt on the various dimensions
of civil society and pointed out the need for its members
to rise above the partisan interests.
Source: The Rising Nepal (28 March 2011)
country as a Fief: Prof Mathema <Top>
Reporter News Service
Noted educationists and some Ex-Vice Chancellors are
worried about the deteriorating academic climate and political
interference leading to the collapse of Tribhuvan University,
the oldest university in the country.
"We are extremely worried about it, and we have
met the Prime Minister and others as part of our exercise
to save the university", Prof Kedar
Bhakta Mathema, one of the most respected intellectuals
in the country and a former Vice Chancellor Tribhuvan
University, revealed in a
seminar organised by Public Policy Pathshala with the
support of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)--on Social Democracy
and role of Youth
"Look at what has happened. T U is getting weaker,
and may collapse all together. It has a glorious history
and it's a pillar of equality. But the present regime
has used T U and other government institutions like their
fiefs, filling up top posts with people who are not qualified,
he said, criticising the youths for having kept silent
when entire country is treated as private property by
the political parties.
"People's faith in the system and ability of political
parties to govern is on the wane. I have traveled to parts
of Terai. The condition of school infrastructure there
is worse than it was during the Panchayat regime",
Prof Mathema said drawing pin drop silence from all sides
. The programme was attended by youth leaders from three
major parties--Maoists, UML and the Nepali Congressbesides
independent youth and students.
Prof Mathema prescribed access to quality education to
all saying "those who get good education are not
interested in Nepal and those who are interested on Nepal
do not get to go to good schools', and such a problem
should be issued, and 'public school system must be
saved from being destroyed.
While advocating that deprived castes and regions must
be raised at par with others, 'over stetching' the caste
issue will fragment or destroy the country.
Source: The Reporter, Issue 10 , published on
March 27, 2011
youth power properly <Top>
By A Staff Reporter
Lalitpur, Mar 25: Participants at a seminar Friday called
for giving space to youth to consolidate the achievements
of political revolutions and carry out the development
works in the country.
They said that the youth were often left in the lurch
after they were used in the political upheavals. As
a result, the parties failed to manage the outcomes of
They shared a forum entitled Social Democracy and
Role of Youth in Nepali Politics, jointly organized
by Public Policy Pathsala and FES, Nepal
Former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University Kedar
Bhakta Mathema said that the Nepalese youths were suffering
Youths should not be carried away by populism but
strive to strengthen institutions and put system in place,
He said that public institutions in Nepal declined owing
to over-politicisation and high dose of union activities.
Tone Bleie, Academic Director of Centre for Peace Studies
at University of Tromso, Norway, drew differences on the
concept of youth leadership in politics in Nepal and her
She called for enhancing inner democracy in the political
parties so as to give chance to young generation leaders.
FES-Nepal Representative, C.D. Bhatta said the parties
had abused the youth in Nepal as they discarded them after
using in political movements.
The youth have no say in decision making. They
are also deprived of social and economic security,
He said that social democracy offered space to the youth
to increase their stake in the society.
Writer Sumit Sharma said that the programme aimed at
providing insights on practical politics to the youths.
Sharma asked the youth to carry struggle to enable the
state, not to weaken it.
Public Policy Pathsala chairman Dilli Ram Subedi said
that the seminar highlighted the role of youths in social
He stressed on public education for the youth.
Youth leaders from major parties Gagan Thapa,
Yogesh Bhattarai and Lekha Nath Neupane had presented
their working papers on various aspects of youth role
in the Nepalese context.
Source: The Rising Nepal (27 March 2011)
for an integrated army in Nepal <Top>
By JOSHI RATALA DINESH PRASAD
Special to The Japan Times
BEPPU, Oita Prefecture Be it the Nepali Congress
Rebellion in 1950-51 and 1961-62 or the movement for democracy
in the 1990s, such events have had profound impacts on
the political and socio-economic condition of the country.
Thanks to these struggles, political awareness has greatly
risen among civilians. In the early '90s when disparity
in the name of class, caste and region was rampant in
every ward and village of the nation, one of the communist
factions of the country commonly known as the Communist
Party of Nepal-Maoists (CPN-M) found the perfect
opportunity to challenge the ruling system. It started
a political struggle to express people's dissatisfaction
with the government. Since then, their "peoples'
war" has become the longest and most devastating
battle in the modern political history of Nepal.
"The nine-year-old Maoist insurgency and counterinsurgency
operations by the state in Nepal have weakened the authority
of the state and eroded the space for democratic politics,"
writes Dev Raj Dahal in his working paper.
Some social reforms like equal representation of minorities
at the national level were observable in Nepalese society
within a decade but at the cost of immense human suffering.
According to Dinesh Tripathi, author of "The New
Dynamics of Conflict in Nepal" (2009), the war cost
13,000 lives. Approximately 500,000 people were disabled,
and property and infrastructure worth billions of dollars
During this Maoist upsurge, kidnappings, murders and
extortion became daily occurrences in Nepal at the local
and national levels. The decade-long conflict not only
stimulated people's desire for peace but also encouraged
the creation of a "New Nepal" in the minds of
political leaders. Eventually, the civilian uprising made
possible the unity of various political parties with the
CPN-M despite differences over ideologies, priorities
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed Nov. 21,
2006, by the Maoists and the government's seven-party
alliance. The historical pact formally declared the end
of violent conflict in Nepal. People assumed that improvements
in national security would restore peace. They also expected
that a coordinated political mechanism would revive the
Parliament, which had been dysfunctional since 1999,
was reinstated on April 24, 2006. The Constituent Assembly
(CA) elections proved successful on April 10, 2008, and
the Maoists became the leading party with 220 of 601 seats.
The Maoists' journey, which had been initiated with bullets,
was finally able to lead in democratic competition directly
associated with ballots at the national level. With this
triumph, the Maoist-led government was charged with the
responsibility of taking serious peace-building initiatives
Peace building was not as easy as it seemed at first
because the understanding of peace differed among the
various stakeholders in the process. The other reason
why peace building remained a challenge was that it had
to deal with one of the most sensitive issues the
integration and rehabilitation of former fighters. Four
years have passed, and 19,602 verified Maoist combatants
remain in seven main cantonments across the country.
The Maoist-led government constituted a high-level special
committee for army integration on Oct. 28, 2008. Supervision,
reintegration and rehabilitation of ex-Maoist combatants
remained the primary mission of the committee. Parallel
to this, another committee was formed to address the democratization
of the Nepalese army. These committees have made little
headway in their action plans. The overemphasis on priorities
and the addition of conditions after an agreement between
the political parties had been reached brought about the
failure to forge a national consensus.
In postconflict Nepal, two governments formed after the
CA elections have already taken office and the third one
is on trial. But the trend shows that unless and until
the parties agree to compromise, the integration of Maoist
ex-combatants is unlikely. No matter how many governments
may topple, the integration process will be successful
only after responsible stakeholders learn to coordinate
their political moves.
There is no doubt that the process of army integration
remains a major challenge to the peace-building process
in Nepal. But this is all due to the lack of action on
the part of Nepal's big three parliamentary parties. They
should perceive the increasing number of verified combatants
who ditch their cantonments as a threat to social order.
At first, they should be able to convince the fringe
parties that the integration issue is a common problem
for all. Then they should come forward to resolve their
differences, inviting the army and Maoist representatives
to a single table to discuss the number and modality of
Because of the present political volatility and lack
of a common framework for integration, Maoist fighters
face an uncertain future. And the people face another
long and painful wait for a prosperous Nepal.
Joshi Ratala Dinesh Prasad is a fourth-year student at
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in international strategic
Source: The Japan Times online (Tuesday,15 March
UNI Nepal LC MEI Interaction Forum
UNI NLC Media Affiliates convened an interaction and
interactive forum for media workers and trade unions as
part of the building effort to providing trade union and
UNI NLC held an interaction program on Media Workers
and Trade Union on 5th March of 2011 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The program was organized with the aim of forming an umbrella
union of all media workers in Nepal known as UNI MEA.
UNI MEA is an initiative of UNI NLC Nepal.
The program was attended by more than 50 workers from
different media organizations in the country. During the
program, they had their say about UNI MEA. All of them
appreciated UNI NLCs effort to form an umbrella
union and pledged to join it.
Mr. Christopher Ng, Regional Secretary, UNI APRO addressed
the program as a chief guest. He said that UNI APRO is
always ready to support workers in their effort to form
a union. He also said that he never wanted to impose anything
on workers but let them have their own choices to implement
the best course of actions as the context that unions
operate in are very different. He expressed confidence
for the unions to bring out innovative and brilliant ideas
to grow unions.
Another key speaker in the program was Dr. Dev Raj Dahal,
Head of FES Nepal. He presented his paper which dealt
with the relationship of trade union and society reinforcing
the argument that trade unions is one of the key players
in social transformation where in good practices of unionism
brings prosperity to a country.
The other key speakers to address the program were Dr.
Sharan KC, South Asia Coordinator SASK Finland and Mr.
Rajendra Acharya, Director, UNI DOC Nepal. Both of them
promised to support the workers in their organizing effort
from their respective positions. The program was chaired
by Mr. L P Burlakoti, President UNI NLC.
Source: 03/16/2011 Nepal
A fine Balance
FEB 10 -
The neo-Gramscian literature of the 1980s perceives the
role of the state as hegemonic protected by the
armour of coercion, and that of civil society to
be the torchbearer of democratisation and the agent of
setting limits on state power. But we really dont
know much about state-civil society relations in Nepal,
as they are seldom discussed. How do the Nepali state
and civil society view each other? Much of the discussion
has focused on NGOs and their relationship with the government
and the state. But it would be interesting to know where
each stands vis-à-vis the other.
Every state constructs its own state-civil society
relations. Whatever the case, they cannot be divorced
from each other as civil society organisations (CSOs)
require a political and legal framework to function, and
the state provides that base. This is how the state and
society go ahead harmoniously. The state, therefore, has
the power to set the terms of reference to what kind of
CSOs it wants to promote. Civil society, for its part,
enjoys rights to oppose the states activities only
as defined by the law.
However, if they cross the boundary of the set principles
both encounter a legitimacy crisis. When we look at state-civil
society relations in Nepal, all is not well. State-civil
society togetherness is largely the prerogative of the
regime in power which collaborates with its clients in
civil society and contributes to developing a state based
on clientelism. Part of the blame goes to the Washington
Consensusa model which is hostile to the state,
but welcomes the market as its friend. Over the years,
this process has consolidated patron-client relationships
and developed a civil society which is closer to the patron
than to citizens. Civil societies thus formed are closer
to political parties, governments, and others (e.g. donors
and the market) but not to the state and sovereigns. This
is the reason Nepali civil society lacks peoples
confidence. The entrenched patron-client relationship
and hijacking of the public sphere compelled broader society
to turn against the regime. Some scholars blame the whole
process for blocking the real change required for the
transformation of society, resulting in a lack of trust
between the state and civil society.
The advocates of civil society regarded both the state
and its institutions as their arch-enemies resulting in
a low-level of interaction and collaboration between them
on a number of important issues. The myth that considers
civil society as a symbol of virtue and the
state as the incarnation of evil seems to
have prevailed here. Those who subscribe to this school
of thought point out the states weaknesses in a
number of areas over the years and squarely blame it for
not addressing problems faced by the poor and the powerless.
This has paved the way for civil society to come forward
as their messiahthe weapon of the weak. Civil society
seems to have missed two things herefirst, they
have failed to understand the state and second, they have
failed to introspect on their own roles.
On many occasions, civil society seems to have gone against
the state considering it evil. Much of their advocacy
in recent years is influenced by this heroic notion where
oppositional politics is believed to be necessary to challenge
the state. But another set of scholars argues that the
oppositional politics over the years have virtually put
democracy itself virtually in crisis.
Civil society has also earned a sizeable numbers of critics
as it has failed to work for those it purports to help.
In many cases, it is blamed for jeopardising state-society
relations. During the transition period, the goal of much
of civil society should have been to play the role of
watchdog and advise the government. But this has not been
the case. Most CSOs are aligned with political forces
which is weakening capacity of the state to perform its
role. Some CSOs who supported political parties during
the movement to get them into the helm of power have turned
against their erstwhile patrons feeling betrayed, while
others continue to act to protect their own interests
In recent years, the state has put in place an adequate
legal framework for CSOs to work on diverse issues, but
their occasional conflict with the former have reduced
chances of collaborative work. The numerical expansion
of CSOs did not necessarily lead to what Habermas calls
societalisation of the state. The proliferation,
in fact, has produced surplus elites who tend to dominate
and control society on their own terms. In Nepal, there
is no clarity on where the states role ends and
that of civil society begins. Neither is clear about the
proper boundary between civil society and political society.
This is important because we could see people from the
political sphere negotiating with NGOs for resources,
programmes and employment for their constituencies. People
from the civic sphere also expect favours from the former.
There is nothing wrong with this as it happens in a majority
of the aid-recipient countrieswhere people in the
political sphere need support to strengthen their capacity
as well as to push political processes ahead. But both
parties must bear in mind that the benefits accrued must
be utilised for social welfare.
If politics is seized by salaried political classes
and civil society by careerist activists, then it becomes
part of the problem as both thrive on political instability
and societal problems. The duty of the state is to correct
this flaw and keep state-society relations intact. The
state should define how it wants CSOs, NGOs and INGOs
to operate and in which areas aid should be disbursed.
Civil society groups, for their part, should realise that
its the state that provides them space and should
collectively engage in strengthening its capacity and
that of its institutions.
Bhatta is associated with FES Nepal.
Source: The Kathmandu Post (11 February 2011)
Barriers in Creating a Functional State <Top>
By Dev Raj Dahal, Head, FES Nepal
The modern state is based on constitutional and cosmopolitan
foundation and its effectiveness is based on legitimate
monopoly on power, taxation, loyalty of citizens, and
international recognition. A democratic constitution,
moreover, unites the general will of all citizens into
a sovereign power to abolish the state of nature and reduces
the risk of eternal fear and anarchy in society fomented
by irrational human nature, nature of state, and the state
of anarchy that characterizes the international system.
In Nepal, the peace accord signed by Maoist rebels and
the government defines the normative, institutional, and
operational framework of peace to transcend the partial
interests of the signing parties envisioning a democratic
constitutional state just outlined above and include all
those affected by the shortfall of peace. The democratic
peace postulated by the peace accord and the judgment
built on it aim to reduce conflict by eradicating the
structural injustice of society, brining social transformation,
and setting off post-conflict peacebuilding process to
eliminate the future source of conflict. One can, however,
see a clear disparity between the public expectation of
post-conflict peace dividend, and the leaders capacity
to deliver peace and create public order. The domination
of entire governing structures from local self-governance
to the cabinet by all-party committees and extension of
patronage in all areas of public life indicate that leaders
are more comfortable in arbitrating laws through a patrimonial
system of governance which has subordinated the national
integrity system of polity to control corruption, impunity,
and geopolitical cross-pressures.
Sociologist Andreas Wimmer argues that the modern nation-state
is the "product of four closely interconnected processes
of institutional closure, such as a political one (democracy
tied to national self-determination), a legal one (citizenship
tied to nationality), a military one (universal conscription
tied to national citizenship) and a social one (the institutions
of the welfare state linked to the control of the immigration
of foreigners)." The cosmopolitan requirements, however,
have increased the institutional opening of all states,
with Nepal no exception, to external environment, commitment
to human security, and the transformation of ethno-based
nation into a demo-based constitutional state with the
ability to complement governance effectiveness including
its role in the balance of regional and global geopolitical
interests. In such a context, the constitutional state
of future Nepal has to be designed in a way to lower transaction
costs enabling its governance to realize its goalsnational
security, rule of law, voice, civic participation, service
delivery and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
To be truly functional, Nepali state has to render itself
free from the dominant interest groups of society, uphold
sufficient capacity to mobilize tax and human resources,
maximize the standards of human rights, democracy and
rule of law and embed itself in a robust ecology and the
general interest of all citizens, and muster the legitimacy
of its statehood. Today, however, it is facing several
institutional gaps: vision gap between the demands of
the changing yug dharma and traditional mode of statecraft;
power gap between the states juridical international
status and its actual political capacity for internal
social cohesion and system integration; development gap
between the starkly divided and unequal classes of society;
and legitimacy gap between the claims of its leaders to
govern and their capacity to fulfill legitimate aspiration
of citizens for liberty, property, justice, peace, and
pursuit of happiness. These are the gaps that continue
to divide the state and society and the possibility to
address the distributional struggle of the left out sections
The deviation of leadership from state-bearing institutions
and their bids for exclusive executive power have begun
to erode the nations civic spirit itself undermining
national polity on many fronts: constitutional vision,
institutional vitality and political harmony. As a result,
one can now see continuous deadlock over power-sharing,
constitutional issues, and diminishing outreach of state
in society delaying the possibility of transforming negative
peace into positive peace because neither the Maoists
nor the others are willing to concede to inspire confidence
in each other for the vision of a common good and address
the anarchy of armed outfits who oppose state sovereignty.
Informed dialogues among the leaders of major parties
have so far failed to open up a common ground and provide
room for each others legitimate interests to work
for a shared outcome that could liberate all Nepali citizens.
There is a truth in what Nietzsche says: The degree
of suffering is determined by the position in hierarchy.
The intense craving of Nepali citizens for a release from
their suffering remains ignored as their voice remains
unheard and unheeded in the corridor of power. In the
situation of utter contempt for the powerless, state building
requires reduction of the transaction costs imposed by
hierarchy by activating multi-track dialogue, offering
peace dividends, curtailing the menace of violence, and
democratizing the pyramids of undemocratic structures.
But this ultimately means that Nepalese leaders have to
be accountable to politics as a public responsibility
and link the society to the public sphere rendering it
active and articulate more openly. But this would be possible
only by fostering an active citizenship aligned
with the public spirited actors, institutions, networks,
Building productive relationship with the cultural industries
such as media, civil society, public intellectuals, and
intermediary institutions and movements can alone awaken
the leaders to their accountability towards drafting a
social contract, structural reforms, and sustainable peace
through rational consensus. All this can also help to
weaken the confidence of the spoilers of peace. A rational
consensus based on peace accord shuns the concept of winner
and loser and renders leaders accountable for the benefit
they frantically enjoyed from democratic deficit. It is
possible to overcome this situation if intermediary institutions
nurture social capital across various empirical divides
of the nation and socialize their leadership in the virtues
of peace as a common good to revitalize the national economy.
The challenges before the upcoming state lie in building
bridges across the gaps between the state and society,
system and life-world, center and periphery, and groups
and individuals through healing and reconciling with the
spiritual, social, economic, and political resources of
the nation. This, however, requires a self-reflective
learning of the leadership about the wisdom of ordinary
folk, public opinion, and cultural heritage of the nations
tolerance of diversity nurtured by its sages, statesmen,
and citizens for long. Now, national identity of Nepalese
formulated on the common background condition, socialization
and mutual expectation of a shared future has to be beefed
up by shoring the national spirit and the fortitude of
Dahal is Head, FES Nepal Office
Source: New Spotlight (21 January - 3 February
By the people,
for all people <Top>
C. D. Bhatta
JAN 31 -
With the signing of the Compreh-ensive Peace Agreement
(CPA), Nepal principally entered into a post-conflict
phase. However, all is not well. A great
deal of fear is lurking, particularly regarding the fate
of the peace process since major issues are not yet resolved
and the constitution writing process is at the crossroads.
Dissenting voices are increasing by leaps and bounds and
no mechanism has been developed to address their grievances
and bridge widening societal gaps.
In fact, the uphill task of taking the peace process
to a logical end has become even more difficult
during this time of transition. There are many reasons
for this, among them, the fact that the peace process
itself has produced winners and losers. But peace is public
good, and it cant afford to have winners and losers.
Since the signing of the 12 point agreement, many other
agreements have followed but, to our dismay, all of them
were and are used to serve personal interestsnot
those of the people at large or to genuinely push the
peace process forward. The Nepali state is encircled by
organisations which are promoting a rights-based culture.
Though protecting rights is important, these organisations
are putting too much pressure on the transitional statesomething
that limits opportunities to strengthen the capacity of
the state. As a result, all the approaches adopted to
install peace, from those taken up by the political parties
and their leaders, citizen-led initiatives, government-led
initiatives to international attempts, have produced meagre
During the last 60 years, people have witnessed six constitutions
and an equal number of political movements. Even after
the April uprising of 2006, we have had three prime ministers
and an extended race for the next over the last eight
months. The Interim Constitution has been intermittently
amended. All these illustrate the severe political and
constitutional crisis looming large, similar to the one
in the 1990s when Nepal saw more than a dozen prime ministers
in less than 15 years. If the same governance crisis continues,
which is likely, consolidation of democracy may be next
But why is there perpetual political instability in Nepal?
Perhaps, over the years, political movements have merely
altered societys power equations, but
not the power structuresomething that
has resulted in little change for those who remain outside
of the equation. Here are three possible reasons for this:
First, despite frequent regime changes, we have continued
with the same essence of governancewe have recycled
people and policies. James Scott of Princeton University
argues that recycling does not bring real
changes into peoples lives. Second, we have developed
a mechanism to rule the people, but never developed a
system for them to govern themselves. And last, we have
failed to strike a balance between politics and the laws
outlined in the constitution. Instead, they have all been
used to play the power game. Constitutions have been used
for the benefits of those who could manipulate them in
the courta place where laws have dissolved into
politics and vice-versa as deemed necessary. For example,
during the 1990s, the dissolution and subsequent reinstatement
of the Parliament by the Supreme Courtwhich opened
doors for long-term political instability and eroded the
authority of the lawis a classic example.
Historical instability in the constitutional system has
contributed to the failure to establish consensual rule
in Nepal. The Constituent Assembly (CA) election authorised
citizens to become authors of the law and bring about
a durable peace, with an end to different kinds of injustices.
This braided law and politics into a single rope; we have
to utilise this opportunity for the benefit of the state
and society. But for this to happen, the constitutional
process must be completed in time and it should reflect
the aspirations, voice and vision of the people. The constitution
and all other laws and by-laws should be based on popular
A durable solution will require creation of a constitutional
state, formation of an efficient service delivery mechanism,
an embedded economic policy, and distributive justiceall
of which depends on the future polity we adopt and political
decisions we make. Inequality results not only from economic
activity itself, but from political decisions about the
distribution of gains from economic activity.
In the 1990s, we failed miserably when it came to distributive
justice. Despite constitutional provisions for an egalitarian
society, state-adopted economic and social policies produced
more classes rather than bridging the class
gap. More precisely, the state produced two types of citizensprivate
and publicas we had two types of social
polices. An egalitarian society is only possible when
there is an equal playing field for all citizens. This
can be done by giving the less fortunate more access to
resources and opportunities.
Ensuring a common identity between those who draft the
constitution and those for whom it is written is important.
This has not been the case in the pastwe wrote the
constitution for the people but failed to
define who the people were. The poor people
living in remote regions or those who reside in the urban
centres with all possible facilities at their disposal?
The drafting of the new constitution also provides us
the opportunity to bridge the gap between people
and citizensa chance to transform multiple
identities into one national identity.
Bhatta is associated with FES Nepal.
Source: The Kathmandu Post (31 January 2011)