People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 09, 2006
On Nepalís Journey To Democracy
Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, who has been facilitating the parties in
Nepal to reach an understanding, has expressed confidence that the countryís
journey towards democracy will be fructified in the coming three-odd months.
to INN after returning from Nepal where he held consultations with major
political parties, the government and the Maoists, Yechury said all the parties
were moving jointly towards a successful resolution of the contentious issues.
he met included prime minister G P Koirala, CPN(UML) general secretary Madhav
Nepal, CPI (Maoist) president Prachanda, its ideologue Baburam Bhattarai, and
key personalities in the seven-party alliance including the ministers in the
emphasised that he had gone there on the invitation of the prime minister and
leaders of the seven-party alliance for consultations on the latest developments
in the country. He reminded that all the major players are in agreement on the
four-point formula he had proposed. Immediate restoration of the dissolved
parliament and formation of an interim government have been implemented. The
remaining two points are under implementation, i.e. negotiation with the Maoists
and formation of a Constituent Assembly.
carry forward these two steps, an eight-point agreement has been reached between
the Koirala government and the Maoists. The Maoists have agreed to shun violence
and extortion of money, withdraw from local administration and come to the
people without arms. These are the major steps that are under implementation
now. He expressed confidence that after consultations Nepal would take its own
decision on its way to democracy. The other major issues in the eight-point
agreement are formation of an interim government and an interim constitution
with Maoist participation, dissolution of the parliament after resolving issues
for delimitation of constituencies for Constituent Assembly elections.
other major issue which came up for discussion was that of arms management in
the transitional period. Various alternatives cropped up on this issue such as
UN arms management, merging the two armies, bringing two armies under a single
command, transformation of the Maoist army into a paramilitary force etc. He
said that though there are initial hiccups in implementing the eight-point
formula with the claims of the Maoists and counter claims of the government over
the role played by Maoists in rural Nepal, things are moving in the right
direction. He said Prachanda has conceded the fact that there are some
disturbances at local level, and these would be sorted out speedily.
is unanimity of understanding on the proposal that the arms management of both
armies should be left to a UN commission. With this they are expecting that they
would get international recognition easily. Otherwise there are chances of the
international players pointing fingers against the inclusion of Maoists in a
democratic government. US ambassador to Nepal had already done so. He also said
that after evoking strong condemnation from all quarters in Nepal, the US
ambassador in Nepal has backtracked on his statement. The USA still seeks to
allow the king to play a role in Nepalís future.
also warned both Indian and Nepal media to beware of those forces who donít
want to see this agreement to succeed and are trying to project differences and
splits between the forces seeking democracy while the facts are to the contrary.
also said that whatever decision the Nepali people take will be acceptable to
India which wants peaceful democratic governments in its neighbourhood. In line
with this, it wants the consolidation of democratic movement in Nepal as early
consulting the key players, Yechury expressed confidence that the main
contentious issues would be resolved within the next few months. He said that
the Maoist participation in the interim government is sure and both the present
government and the Maoists are moving in that direction.
He also discussed various alternative forms of Constituent Assembly which must be representative of various geographical, social and religious divisions reflecting imbalances in the society, thereby giving a chance to the respective forces to have their say in deciding their future.