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Impact of Conflict

Nepal's Conflict and Its Impact on Public Policy

Published Year: 2006

Published by: Nepal Foundation for Advanced Studies (NEFAS) & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Edited By : Ananda P. Srestha & Hari Uprety

Price: Not mentioned, Pages: 129



Ever since the country embarked on new political atmosphere after the restoration of democracy in 1990 (though the People's moment-I seems to be submerged in the oblivious state) people had harboured much expectations that democracy would do something to improve their economic and social condition. The voice of people had been gagged by a handful of people for years. In fact, the 1990 movement had played a crucial role in empowering the people. However, political parties and their leaders failed to realize the sentiments, which after a few years culminated into armed revolution.

'There is nothing dangerous like a person who has nothing to loose.' In fact, this proverb came true in many respects. The economic disparity between rich and poor further widened and the people reeled under abject poverty had no alternative other than fighting against the establishments. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) cashed on the people's frustration in the late 1990s by waging an armed revolt.

It would be unjust to say that the armed movement had begun with the objective of making 'new Nepal'. As a matter of fact such logic holds no ground at all. The conflict had begun purely on the economic background and it was initiated by the deprived section of the society.

After the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), Nepal has entered into a new political phase. The interconnections between public policy, pace and development have been well recognized by the attentive public writes Dev Raj Dahal in the forward section of the book entitled ? Nepal's Conflict and Its Impact on Public Policy. 'But the preservation of peace, together with the resolution of systematic conflict is crucial for the promotion of human rights as well as elimination of root causes of conflict that is linked with a myriad of grievances located at various sub-systemic levels.'

The book published by NEFAS in support with FES (though it is the collection of seminar papers) has helped outline the overall situation of conflict taking place in the country. The book highlights how conflict affected the formulation of public policies. It contains four working papers written by experts in various fields.

In the first chapter Pradip P Upadhya describes how conflict affected the overall situation of political governance during the past ten years. Upadhyay has presented a clear picture of governance from the bureaucratic perspective. However, he has failed to mention the other side of the story that how the Maoists movement contributed to educate people about their political and economic rights.

P.R Ligal's paper on Impact of Conflict on Public Policy also gives a brief account as how the conflict affected the economic activities in the country. While talking about Bharat Bahadur Karki's paper on the Impact of Conflict on Dispensation of Justice, he has tried to equate with various political situation. Nonetheless Karki's paper gives a clear picture of justice dispensation during the period of conflict.

The other paper presented by Lal Deosa Rai also gives overall information about the media policies during that period. But his paper seems to have missed many information. In sum, the book is very informative to understand how conflict affected different dimensions of policy formulation and implementation.

The efforts of NEFAS and FES should be appreciated for publishing such a worth-reading collection of seminar papers.

Source: Friday Supplement, The Rising Nepal (23 February 2007)

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