of Armed Conflict in Nepal
Published Year: 2005
Published by: Nepal Foundation
for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Editors: Ananda P. Srestha
& Hari Uprety
Price: Not mentioned
reveal that the armed conflict has frustratingly aggravated
poverty in the country in the recent years. The cost of
war has become unbearable day by day.
The country's economy would already
have gone into quagmire in the absence of remittances
(over 72 billion rupees a year through the official channel
alone) that the nation receives from youths working abroad.
However, the economy in the recent months,
according to some economists has reached to such a dire
straight that it will not sustain even for next few months.
The cost in every respect is pilling up on the soldiers
of each Nepali.
A survey conducted by Nepal Economic
Association (NEA) some one and half years before had disclosed
that the cost of insurgency had exceeded over 60 billion
rupees. This excludes the cost of human casualties. None
of the studies have yet calculated the cost of human casualties.
Referring to a research finding, Prof.
Bishwombher Pyakurel says that there has been a two per
cent loss in the GDP because of the Maoist Violence. Another
study, according to him, talks about 8-10 per cent loss
in the GDP. A number of studies have been carried out
by the national and international organizations so far.
It sometimes appears that the study of cost of conflict
has been a common trend among the NGOs and their preferred
Conflict in a sense has given a good
paying job to a number of so-called researchers and economists.
There are different kinds of research reports on conflict,
but the book entitled Cost of Armed Conflict in Nepal
is written/edited in different perspective.
Comparing other books on the ongoing
conflict, the book is looks more informative and analytical.
The book under review is the collection of working papers
presented in a seminar organized by the NEFAS.
This is the third publication on conflict
by NEFAS. Conflict Resolution and Governance in Nepal
and Critical Barriers to the Negotiations of Armed Conflict
in Nepal were two other books, which mention the reasons
of conflict and its various dimensions relating to negotiations
between the conflicting groups.
The present book contains five chapters
authored by five different writers. The first chapter
written by M. R. Josse is about "Nepal's Conflict
and National Security". Josse's working paper vividly
explains the political situation that developed after
Josse a well known journalist has put
forward the entire situation in chronological order so
that the readers can easily take hold of the political
development and draw the conclusion themselves. However,
Y. K. Silwal's comment on Josse's paper outlines some
Silwal has pointed out the role of UN
and declined the possibilities of Sikkimization. The first
chapter gives the idea about the cause of the Maoist movement.
Josse blames the political parties for
creating such a situation. Corruption, bad governance
and political instability, according to Josse, were the
root causes that vented the frustration of people through
the Maoists movement. In his writing Josse has failed
to mention a single word about the conspiracy theory being
hatched by some political elements.
The second chapter is about Nepal's
Conflict Displacement: Causes and Consequences. Bihar
Krishna Shrestha in his paper has attempted to highlight
some of the causes of conflict. Shaubhagya Shah's view
in this chapter supplement the opinions put forth by Shrestha.
Similarly, in the third chapter, Keshav
Acharya has presented the consequences of conflict in
the economy. But he has not mentioned what sector of the
economy has been marred by the violence and conflict.
Literal presentation of data does not speak anything about
the quantitative aspect.
The fourth chapter written by Khagendra
Prasain does not contain any new ideas. For general readers,
it is difficult to differentiate Prasain's other working
papers with this particular paper. Editors should have
been careful about his language as well.
The fifth chapter written by Geeta Sangraula
Pathak is not that analytical.
Above all the book would be worth reading
for understanding the on going conflict phenomenon in
An institution like NEFAS while publishing
a book should be careful about depth of knowledge of the
resource persons. It should understand the fact that an
institution can no longer function effectively as long
as individual interest prevails. Readers would anticipate
unbiased approach at least from NEFAS. It should no longer
encourage such biased attitude.
Above all the NEFAS has done a tremendous
job by publishing such a book. The book is worth reading
and useful for researchers and economists. Efforts of
NEFAS are surely appreciable.
Source: The Rising Nepal, Friday
Supplement (10 February 2006)