A Monthly Journal of the IDSA
Understanding Nepal Maoists’ Demands: Revisiting Events of 1990
Padmaja Murthy *
The Maoist insurgency which began in February 1996 is the major security challenge facing Nepal, having affected almost all the 75 districts of the country. The Maoists’ core demands-an interim government, an elected Constituent Assembly to frame a new Constitution, a republican state-revolve around issues which seemed to have been settled in the 1990 Constitution. This Constitution was promulgated following a people’s movement marking a transition from a party-less panchayat system to a multi-party democracy with Constitutional monarchy and sovereignty resting with the people.
The paper raises the question-why are the Maoists opening these issues now? Why do they have a problem in accepting the 1990 Constitution? The paper argues that to answer these questions it is necessary to revisit the events of 1990. The findings show that the Maoists’ demands have similarities with the grievances articulated in 1990 by various political parties and ethnic groups.
The paper concludes that the Maoist insurgency is just one ‘face’ of instability. Unless corrective measures are taken, Nepal will witness more of these. Secondly, and more significantly, the gap between the myth and reality of ’Constitutional monarchy’ needs to be objectively examined-not just in the context of the Maoists’ demands but in the larger frame of the evolution and stability of the Nepali political system.
The Maoist insurgency in Nepal which began in February 1996 with over 40 demands to the government covering social, political, economic and foreign policy issues, 1 has presently become the major security concern for Nepal. It began in three or four mid-western districts but has now spread to almost the entire country and has since 1996 claimed thousands of lives. The Maoists indulged in arson, looting banks, abducting individuals, businessmen and police personnel and then demanding ransom. Apart from this, the Maoists have set up parallel governments in many places denying the government its legitimate control. 2
Given the importance of the issue, various studies have very succinctly brought out the social, economic, political and strategic dimensions of the Maoist insurgency. 3 Among other aspects, these studies point out that the Maoists strongholds in the western hills are also the poorest regions in Nepal. Overall poverty, negative effects of structural adjustment programmes and the numerous educated unemployed youth have also contributed to the rise of the insurgency.Ethnic and tribal minorities who constitute 35 per cent of population also form an important support base for the Maoists. Among political reasons are the failure of democracy to meet people’s expectations, failure of political leaders and antagonisms between various political parties. Some opine that a section of the palace establishment saw the Maoists as tools for getting at the leaders of political parties.
In finding a resolution to the Maoist issue, three rounds of government-Maoists talks were held beginning in August 2001. 4 The Maoists have remained quite persistent on three core demands which pertain to the formation of an interim government, an elected Constituent Assembly to frame a new Constitution and a republican state. All these issues were thought to have been settled with the promulgation of the 1990 Constitution which marks the transition of Nepal from a party-less panchayat system to a multi-party democracy with Constitutional monarchy where sovereignty vests in the people. There exists a national consensus among the major political parties that these issues are non-negotiable. However, the government was open to have discussions with the Maoists. But the talks failed when the Maoists unilaterally ended a four-month ceasefire on November 23, 2001. Following violent attacks, a state of emergency was declared throughout the country on November 26, 2001 and the Maoists were branded as terrorists. Further, the government at an emergency meeting of ttroversy. It tried to make a distinction between the King and the ills of the panchayat regime. While criticizing the latter, NC kept the former out. On occasions even the ULF maintained this distinction. However, a close look shows that the NC was very much aware that the King did command lots of power and wanted the King to voluntarily give up power without being pushed to a corner.The King, on the other hand, resisted relinquishing power and gave in only whenpeoples’ pressure increased.
It would be pertinent here to focus on the dynamics of the movement and the process which resulted in the Constitution being promulgated and not in the contents and the provisions of the Constitution as such.
The Movement for Restoration of Democracy
The Nepali Congress in its National Conference in January 18-20, 1990 decided to launch a peaceful and non-violent movement from February 18 and its minimum demands were stated as the formation of an interim government and free and fair elections based on the multi-party system. 7 Many leftist groups called for a joint front and unity of action against panchayat dictatorship. The NC and the ULF formed a coordination committee to steer the movement which was christened as National Peoples’ Liberation Movement. 8 They were supported by other groups too though they did not join the NC-ULF alliance. 9 Both the NC and ULF were aware of their differences on various issues but realised that they needed to act together for they shared the same political goal of termination of the party-less panchayat system and restoration of the multiparty democratic system. 10 To overcome their differences on the role of the monarchy in future, the ULF clearly stated that “ . . . we have kept the monarchy totally aloof from all agendas of political debates for the time being. We are not prepared to accept the evil activities of Panchas aimed at undermining the glory of the Crown.” 11 Apart from the political groups, support came from students’ organisations too, 12 the bar association, teachers groups, etc. 13 Some other political parties decided to launch a separate movement without being part of NC-ULF alliance. 14 The movement saw violence and atrocities by the state forces.
The leaders of the movement also asked called the international donor agencies to stop their assistance to the government as money was being used to suppress the movement. Many people from all walks of life were involved and it was able to attract international attention too.
Movement Called off
The movement was called off on April 8, 1990 following His Majesty’s announcement that the ban on political parties was lifted and the word ‘partyless’ had been deleted from the 1962 Constitution. His Majesty’s address said he was interested in restoring democracy and had introduced political reforms. 15 The pro-democracy movement launched on February 18 was called off. The leaders of the NC-ULF did clarify that the minimum demand for multi-party system had been fulfilled and that this paved the way for further fulfilment of demands, the ultimate being democracy. 16 It said that the struggle would continue in a different form. Ganesh Man Singh said that the NC reserved the right to determine the nature of struggle until the objectives were achieved. 17 The NC wanted to be acknowledged as steering the movement. It stated that an interim government composed of people who had taken part in the movement and a Constitution conducive to public interest to be framed by the people themselves. The United National Peoples’ Movement (UNPM), one of whose members was Baburam Bhattarai, demanded that the movement be continued and charged the leaders with having betrayed the people. 18 He reaffirmed the determination of his front to continue with the movement. Similarly, Mohan Bikram Singh, General Secretary of the NCP (Mashal group) criticized the NC-ULF for adopting a policy of compromise. 19
The Interim Government and the Constituent Assembly
Though initially the King resisted, he agreed to the formation of the interim government. 20 On April 19, 1990 an interim government was formed with K.P.Bhattarai as Prime Minister from the NC. It had four members from the NC, three from the ULF, two independents and two nominees of the palace. 21 Ganesh Man Singh said that His Majesty had agreed to accept the role of a constitutional monarch. 22
The interim government was tasked to prepare the Constitution and conduct free and fair elections. The inclusion of palace nominees, however, brought criticism from the UNPM that reactionary forces were getting back their lost position. It did not agree to the formation of interim regime. 23 While the NC’s view dominated, and the ULF was undertaking a compromise tone, other leftist organisations took up a confrontationist path. The UNPM called for a broad-based political conference representing all political parties and peoples’ organisations 24 that played an active part in the pro-democracy movement. They said that this would enable them to draft an interim Constitution and make other transitional arrangements wherein elections could be held within a year for a Constituent Assembly which would frame a new Constitution. 25 The demand for elections to a Constituent Assembly was reiterated when a delegation, including Baburam Bhattarai, met the interim Prime Minister and threatened to launch a movement if the demand was not fulfilled. 26
The Nepal Goodwill Party leader said that no community would have any cause for complaint if an elected Constituent Assembly was formed to frame a new Constitution. 27 The NCP (ML) said that the demand for a Constituent Assembly would remain as long as monarchy existed and that his party which was part of ULF was not bound by constitutional monarchy and that it aims at socialism and communism. 28 The ULF was clear that Constitution was not a gift from the King for it was a culmination of the pro-democracy movement. It opined that the new Constitution should vest sovereignty in the people. The ULF did agree that the demand for a Constituent Assembly only helped reactionary elements but said that full powers needed to be given to the people. 29
The NC did not want an elected Constituent Assembly. 30 It was of the opinion that the issue was not raised in the pro-democracy movement. The NC made it clear that the new Constitution would guarantee all the rights of the people under the constitutional monarchy. It said that the new Constitution should preserve rights that exist. The intellectual luxury of a Constituent Assembly is not necessary. Ganesh Man Singh asked people to beware of elements that were underground during the movement and were now asking for a Constituent Assembly. 31 He said that the Constitutional Recommendation Commission would keep the King within the limits of the Constitution and a new Constituent Assembly is not needed for this purpose. 32 There was an accompanying apprehension that a Constituent Assembly and such other provisions would postpone the general elections and hamper the fulfilment of the aspirations of people. 33
The UNPM started a series of demonstrations and mass meetings in different parts of the country to mobilise support for a Constituent Assembly. They felt, that though the NC and the ULF had called for the movement for democracy, the struggle was made successful by the entire Nepalese population. They said that, “ . . . the right to a Constituent Assembly which had been acquired through the 1950 revolution was taken away in 1958. If the right is not granted even now, the sovereign power of the King cannot be transferred to the people.” 34 Mohan Bikram Singh said that Nepal is a semi-colonial and semi-feudal nation and an armed struggle is necessary for the final victory of the revolution. For the time being, they would work within the multi-party system. He believed that the demand for a Constituent Assembly was meant for ensuring the success of the multi-party system. 35
During this time the demand for an interim Act vesting executive as well as legislative powers in the government was made by the NCP (Fourth Convention). It said that army and police were to remain loyal to the interim government. 36 The ULF too demanded abrogation of the Panchayat Constitution and introduction of an interim charter. 37 The NCP (M-L) said that the interim charter should safeguard the interests of all castes, communities and languages. 38 The ULF President, Mrs. Sahana Pradhan said that a democratic interim Act must be promulgated to guide the interim government according to the feelings of the people. 39
However, Ganesh Man Singh of the NC said that there was no justification for an interim Act as the Council of Ministers had received all executive and legislative powers. 40 He said that the demand for an interim act and a Constituent Assembly was the beginning of a controversy against democratic rights. 41 In the same vein, G.P. Koirala said that the need for an interim Constitution was there to obtain power from the King. However, as all legislative and executive powers had been obtained from the King and had been granted to the interim government, there was no justification for an interim Constitution. 42 Significantly, Prime Minister Bhattarai said in a radio programme, “The King cannot be tied with a scrap of paper for the King has a 35,000-man army and police behind him. Blood will be shed if we try to do so in the present situation. We can tie the King only by framing a Constitution and holding elections immediately thereafter. We should also try to change the King’s heart by reminding him of the factors that have now compelled him to hand over power to the people.” 43
Differences on this issue threatened the unity of the movement. 44 Leaders of the NC and the ULF emphasised that the issue of an interim Act should not undermine unity and differences should be resolved through a negotiated settlement. If the alliance broke, the entire democratic movement would suffer. 45 However, the constituent units of ULF emphasised and aggressively argued the need to have an interim Act promulgated. 46 Some constituent units of the ULF emphasised that the new Constitution should be endorsed by the Council of Ministers first and then the Royal seal should be affixed without amendments. 47 Though the issue of an interim Act was debated a lot, the view of NC finally prevailed. There was no interim Act or an interim Constitution dealing with the powers of the interim government.
Constitution Recommendation Commission (CRC)
A nine-member CRC was formed under Justice Bishwanath Upadhyaya of the Supreme Court. It was to hold consultations with various parties and different sections of society and prepare a draft Constitution within three months. 48 While NC welcomed the CRC, the NCP (Marxist) leader, Man Mohan Adhikari said its terms of reference were vague and objected to it being a CRC. The NCP (M-L) said that a new Constitution should be formed rather than amend the Panchayat Constitution. 49
Interestingly, the CRC chairman observed that the suggestions put forward to the Commission by various political parties and organizations dealt primarily with the question of religion, language, and community and not the institutionalisation of democracy. 50
Various political parties also put forward their demands. 51 They highlighted that new Constitution should be based on constitutional monarchy, multiparty system, democracy and socialism, sovereignty of the people and placement of defence and security establishments under the government. Each party defined its perception of constitutional monarchy; some spelt out the need for an interim Act and relations with India. Interestingly, some constituent units of the UML expressed strong views on the monarchy and said that it had no place in the dictionary of the party. 52
The draft of the new Constitution was presented by the CRC chairman to His Majesty on September 10, 1990. The monarch in turn handed over the draft to Prime Minister Bhattarai asking him to take suggestions of parties not represented in the CRC. 53 This became a subject of controversy and the monarchy’s intentions were doubted. 54 Members of the ULF wanted the draft to be promulgated immediately without any delay. 55 The NCP (Mashal) clearly said that though they disapproved the interim government, the party stood for a republican form of government while considering constitutional monarchy a step forward. 56 The Party Unity Convening Committee regarded the Constitution as one step ahead of the old Constitution but still regarded it as a reactionary document. 57
Controversy arose that the draft provided scope for amendment of the basic constitutional structure. As a result, sovereignty, multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy would be subjected to amendment. NC President, Ganesh Man Singh said that, “ . . . if the sovereign people so wish tomorrow, they can change these structures in the same way as they changed the Panchayat Constitution.” 58
After the draft Constitution was finalised by the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Bhattarai submitted it to the King. The King too made some changes, which again led to controversy. Prime Minister Bhattarai said that the Palace has the right to express its view on the new Constitution but denied that the royal draft had been prepared in consultation with him. 59 The NCP (Mashal) said that the conspiracy of the palace justified its demand for a Constituent Assembly. 60 It was at this time that some communists said that the present impasse would not have arisen had a political conference been held soon after the pro-democracy movement to discuss the question of holding elections for a Constituent Assembly. 61 It asked for elections to be held for Constituent Assembly. 62 NCP (Mashal), which was still underground, spelt out its strategy of capturing local authority by spearheading the rural class struggle and decided not to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. 63
However, discussions were held between the NC, 64 the Left parties and the King. 65 The final draft was presented by the Council of Ministers to His Majesty on November 5; on November 9, the king promulgated the new Constitution. 66
Reactions following Promulgation of Constitution
Though the Constitution was promulgated, the demand for a republician government existed among sections of people and parties. The Constitution, thus, cannot be termed as a consensus document because even the ULF that was a constituent unit of the interim administration was in favour of an elected Constituent assembly. Interestingly, most of the ULF constituent units accepted the Constitution with reservations. 67 The NCP (Fourth Convention) said that they partially accept the new Constitution; that it should have been passed by an elected Constituent Assembly rather than the King promulgating it and that his party would continue to struggle for a republican Nepal. 68 Man Mohan Adhikari of the NCP (Marxist), while describing the Constitution as a victory for the people, said that it did not properly reflect the feelings expressed by the people during the pro-democracy movement. He further said that the Constitution leaves enough scope to ‘play’ with democracy. 69
Dissenting notes were expressed by Prachanda of NCP (Mashal) who at present is the Chairman of the NCP (Maoist). His statement said that the army was still under the King’s control, feudal tendencies were retained by describing the King as a symbol of national unity and made an appeal to the people to struggle against reactionary and revisionist forces of all categories and march ahead towards a new people’s revolution. 70 Mohan Bikram Singh of the NCP (Mashal) said that had the movement gone ahead, the issue of the abolition of monarchy would have been fulfilled. 71 On another occasion the Mashal Group of NCP, in a meeting where Baburam Bhattarai was present, reiterated its demand for a Constituent Assembly to frame a new Constitution. It stated that the Nepali people must have the right to decide whether or not to retain the monarchy. They said, “ . . . . We are not in favour of a Constitutional monarchy; instead, we want a republic.” 72 It further said that multi-party democracy could not be safe in Nepal as long as the monarchy remains in existence and the claim that the new Constitution places the King under the Constitution is hollow. It pledged to work for the limited rights provided in the Constitution and strengthen the capitalist multi-party system while taking ahead the new peoples’ revolution. 73 Dissenting notes were presented by many ethnic and communal organizations also. 74
Meanwhile, unity talks were taking place among some of the communist parties who believed in a republic for Nepal. They called for a strong Communist Party to launch the New People’s Movement and called on all leftists supporting Marxism, Leninism, and Maoism to join the new Party. 75 On the other hand, four of the seven components of the ULF withdrew from the Front and thus from the interim government. They said that the ULF had come with a particular objective of abolishing the panchayat system and achieving multi-party democracy. These objectives had been fulfilled with the formation of interim government and achieving multi-party democracy. They expressed the view that the Front was now not able to come with an advanced programme. 76 All this brought a certain crisis within the ULF in particular and the interim government in general. The UNPM said that there was no fundamental difference between the present government and panchayat government. Citing various problems which the Constitution did not address, it said that these could be settled only through a people’s movement and that it was therefore essential to take ahead such a movement in an organised manner. 77
Cracks in 1990 Consensus: Pointers to Events Ahead
The study of the events of 1990 gives an indication of the cracks in the 1990 consensus. The elected governments since 1991 should have paid heed to these warning signals and brought the dissenting elements into the mainstream. If they had done so, the insurgency would not have garnered the support and sympathy it did. But, with the change of government over ten times in eleven years, they have only alienated more people and to a certain extent negated the gains made in 1990.
i) Maoists Demands in 1996: Similarities with Grievances of 1990
It clearly emerges from the study that there were dissenting notes in 1990 in Nepal on various crucial issues like the movement for restoration of democracy, the interim government, need for a constituent assembly, the final provisions of the Constitution, the role of the monarchy, the demand for a republic and the manner in which the Constitution was promulgated. These came not only from sections outside the interim government but also from within the constituent units of the interim government. Clearly, the Constitution which was being termed as a product of consensus actually had dissenting notes. This is very essential to note since the political debate within a significant section of Nepal begins with questioning the logic of discussing issues which were ‘settled’ in 1990.
It also emerges that the demands put forward by the Maoists did not emerge for the first time in 1996 and their roots could be located in the political debates of 1990. In fact, one of the spokespersons of the UNPM, Baburam Bhattarai, has consistently demanded that Nepal become a republic and an elected Constituent Assembly be formed to frame a Constitution. He was one of the leaders of the Maoist insurgency which began in 1996. So is the case with Prachanda, who as part of NCP (Mashal), spoke in similar tones, and is now leading the Maoist insurgency.
While the government-Maoist talks focus on three issues, the support base has increased due to socio-economic demands. Many organisations dealing with demands of ethnic groups and backward classes had expressed their grievances upon promulgation of the 1990 Constitution. Thus, demands for a republic, Constituent Assembly, equal status for all languages, end of exploitation based on caste, autonomy in areas having majority ethnic group, secularism, assistance to backward areas, and removal prejudice towards terai and hilly regions, decentralisation of all issues that form part of the Maoists’ list of demands since 1996 as well as the demands of other groups.
ii) Constitutional Monarchy: Myth and Reality
Even though the Constitution enshrined constitutional monarchy, it is known that all political parties, including the NC, were aware of the power potential of the monarchy and their suspicions towards it usurping power continue to remain. After the Constitution was promulgated, Prime Minister Bhattarai and other political parties responsed the need for the armed forces to remain out of politics.
The Maoists’ core demands in essence are not three separate demands but are inter-related and would result in limiting the power of the monarchy. There is some ground for the spentation that the palace-or at least a section of it-saw the Maoists as a means for getting at the leaders of political parties. 78
With continuing instability after more than a decade of the people’s movement, there are many who look upon the monarchy as the only institution that stands as a stabilising force and call for an assertive and active role by the King. 79 Certain statements of King Gyanendra have also given rise to a debate regarding his intentions. 80 Many statements from the army have given rise to doubts as to where their real loyalties lie. The Army Chief Prajjwal Shumshere said that the army could be deployed only with a consensus among political parties. This was viewed by some as an act of challenging the elected government’s authority over the army. 81 Recent statements by the army has been critical of government ministers and politicians for taking the country to have ruin. 82
Looking Ahead - Instability Continuing
The study indicates that there were cracks in what appeared to be a consensus on crucial issues among the various political parties regarding the 1990 Constitution. Further, the demands (social, political, economic) of the Maoists as articulated prior to the 1996 insurgency have existed in the political discourse in 1990 itself.
Irrespective of the Maoist insurgency, stability is unlikely to return to Nepal unless these grievances are satisfactorily addressed. They are likely to manifest in other forms led by the aggrieved sections if the political system is unable to handle discontent legitimately.
For stability to return, Nepal needs to revisit the constitutional issues and, if necessary, bring in amendments. However, amendments in themselves are not a panacea. The focus should be on strengthening democratic institutions. The elected leaders who are engrossed in personality clashes cannot overlook their role in the present instability. For the people, speedy implementation of socio-economic reforms is the real agenda. Thus, while being militarily involved with the Maoists, the government should focus on the multiple grievances of the people and initiate various measuresh to ameliorate them.
More significantly, the study indicates that the 1990 democracy movement did not completely resolve the issue of the power and role of the monarch in a multi-party democratic system. There are gaps in the constitutional monarchy as enshrined in the 1990 Constitution. Nepal’s intelligentsia and political class need to objectively examine to what extent constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy can together lead to strengthening of the polity. Further, under what conditions can real ‘constitutional monarchy’ be implemented?Unless these issues are debated and addressed, demands for a republic and a new Constituent Assembly are bound to arise.
India and Nepal are taking independent and joint measures to tackle the security challenges from non-state actors. However, these need to be intensified and implemented on the ground. On the political front, India to advance. The Common interest should take a realistic account of the influence wielded by both the civilian leadership and the monarchy in policy formulation.
The author thanks Dr Smruti S Pattanaik, Research Officer, IDSA for her comments and inputs while writing the paper, and also, the anonymus refereces for their suggestions.
Note *: Padmaja Murty was associate Fellow at IDSA. She received her M.Phil from the South asian Studies Division of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, her area of research is South Asia. She has written on the security and economic issues impinging on both the bilateral and regional relations among the countries of South Asia. She has also extensively written on SAARC and issues relating to regional groupings.
She was awarded the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Visiting Research Fellowship to Geneva for six months beginning from November 2000. Back.
Note 1: For the forty demands put forward by the Maoists see Barbara Adams in The People’s Review, 07/05/1998 at http://www.nepalresearch.com/politics/background/maodem.htm. Back.
Note 2: For details on strategy of the Maoists refer , “Advance in the great direction of creating base areas” at www.maoism.org/misc/nepal/worker5/worker5_01.htm. Also refer to the interview with Dr.Baburam Bhattarai by Nepali newspaper The Independent, 5 (41), December 13-19,1995at www.maoism.org/misc/nepal/interview.htm Back.
Note 3: For details on the many dimensions to the Maoist insurgency refer Deepak Thapa, Day of the Maoist. Himal. May 5, 2001, 14; Bertil Lintner, Nepal struggles to cope with diehard Maoist violence. Jane’s Intelligence Review, June 1999; C K Lal, Nepal’s Maobaadi. Himal, 11 November,2001, 14 39-47; Rohan Gunaratna, Nepal’s insurgents balance politics and violence. Jane’s Intelligence Review. October 2001; S.D.Muni, The Maoist Challenge in Nepal. Aakrosh January 2002, 5.(14) Also refer ‘Nepal’s Maoist Insurgency- A monarchy under threat. Strategic Comments. October 2000, 6 (8). Back.
Note 4: For details of first round of Government-Maoist Talks refer Nepal Press Digest. 2001. 44 (36). For details of second round of these talks refer Nepal Press Digest. 2001. 44 (38). For details of the third round refer Nepal Press Digest. 44 (46). Back.
Note 5: Nepal Press Digest. 2001, 44 (48). Back.
Note 6: The seven constituent units of the ULF were NCP (M-L), NCP (Marxist), NCP (Manandhar), NCP (Amatya), NCP (Fourth Convention), NCP (Varma), Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Organisation. Back.
Note 7: Statement made by Ganesh Man Singh at a press conference at the end of National Conference of Nepali Congress on January 20, 1990. For details refer Nepal Press Digest.1990, 34 31 and48. Back.
Note 8: Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 3442. Back.
Note 9: Mohan Bikram Singh, General Secretary of the Mashal Group of the Communist Party said that his group would support the movement launched by the Nepali Congress. It was not however part of the NC-ULF alliance.For details refer Nepal Press Digest, 1990, 34 33. For example, seven peoples’ organisations formed a Democratic Movement Coordination Committee etc and supported the movement even while expressing their reservations towards the ULF and the NC. For details refer Nepal Press Digest, 1990, 34 43, 44. Back.
Note 10: Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34 57for the reasons due to which the ULF and the NC felt that thetime was ripe for movement. Back.
Note 11: Nepal Press Digest, 1990, 3449. Back.
Note 13: Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34 57. Back.
Note 14: The two Mashal Groups, the Proleterain Workers Organisation, Krishna Das Shrestha, Shambu Ram Shrestha and Nand Kumar Prasai formed a separate Leftist Front to launch a movement for the establishment of the multi-party system without being tied to the NC. For details refer Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34. Back.
Note 15: Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34 136. Back.
Note 16: For more details refer Nepal Press Digest.1990, 34 148. Back.
Note 17: Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34 149. Back.
Note 21: Ibid. p. 158. Also refer p.159 for details on Ganesh Man Singh’s directives on the task ahead for interim government. Back.
Note 22: Nepal Press Digest, no. 20. Back.
Note 24: By political conference it meant meeting of organisations representing different political idelogies, languages, religion, classes and communities . N.K. Parasai a member of UNPM threatened to form a parallel government and launch a peoples liberation war . For more details refer Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34 206. Back.
Note 25: For details refer Nepal Press Digest. 1990, 34 162. Their other demands include release of political prisoners , erection of memorials for martyrs of the movement, national of assets of panchayats and class organisations, fulfilment of the just demands of the people and professional and occupational groups, repeal of unequal 1950 Treaty with India and conclusion of a new Treaty based on Panchsheela. For the constituent of the UNPMrefer Nepal Press Digest, no. 25. Back.
Note 26: Ibid. pp.183-184. The demand was reiterated by Mohan Bikram Singh of the NCP (Mashal) a constituent of the UNPM. At the same time his party said it would support any step of the interim government taken to broaden the base of democracy and check despotism of the King and transferto the people thepower to frame the Constitution. Back.
Note 27: no. 25, p. 238. Back.
Note 28: Ibid. p. 227 for more details. Back.
Note 30: For details refer Ibid. p. 185. Back.
Note 33: Ibid. p. 260. For Rishikesh Shaha’s view on the need for a Constituent Assembly, refer pp 350-351. Back.
Note 34: Ibid. p. 224. For other views and this debate of need or against a Constituent Assembly, refer pp 224-225. Back.
Note 35: For details of the views refer Ibid. p. 287. He further said that the interim government worked in interests of Soviet-India alliance. He said that the panchayat dictatorship had been sustaining itself by exploiting the dispute between India and China. He also expressed views on China and India. He said that Nepal fear Indian expansionism more than from China or any other country. Back.
Note 36: no. 24, p. 226. Back.
Note 41: Ibid. p. 269. He said this while addressing Nepal Bar Association who could not conclude in their deliberations whether CRC or a Constituent Assembly should frame a Constitution. Back.
Note 42: For details of the statement refer Nepal Press Digest. no.25, p. 270. Back.
Note 43: Refer for details Ibid. p. 297. These remarks were made in a discussion for a radio programme. Back.
Note 44: For set of views for and against the interim act refer Ibid. pp 271-272. Back.
Note 46: Ibid. pp 318, 319. Back.
Note 48: For details of the members of commission refer Ibid. Back.
Note 51: For details refer Ibid. pp. 283-290; 298-302; 309-311. Back.
Note 58: For details refer Ibid. pp 422-423. For views on delay of promulgating Constitution, role of King refer pp.429-443. Back.
Note 61: Ibid. p. 449. For press reports on issue refer to pp. 450-452. Some blamed the monarch, some were critical of the NC-ULF alliance. Some felt that all this distracted from the inadequacies of the interim government. Back.
Note 63: Ibid. p. 453. Prachanda was part of this statement. Back.
Note 64: Ibid. p. 445. The NC leaders said that there was no disagreement on the basic structure of the Constitution. These were constitutional monarchy, multi-party democracy, sovereignty of people, human rights. Back.
Note 65: Ibid. pp. 445-46. Back.
Note 66: For main features of the new Constitution refer Ibid. pp. 457-463. Back.
Note 67: For details refer Ibid. pp.468, 469, 470. Back.
Note 68: This was made by the NCP (Fourth Convention). Went to the extent of saying that his party in favour of abolishing monarchy. For more details refer Ibid. pp 468-469. Back.
Note 69: Ibid. p. 49 for more details on his views. Back.
Note 70: Refer for details Ibid. p. 470. Back.
Note 71: For details of the statement refer Ibid. p. 226. He says that the King is a force, rather than an individual. That even if the force became inactive today, this does not mean that it will not raise head tomorrow. Stated that they have no faith in the King. That at the moment they are not ready to start an armed struggle. Back.
Note 73: Ibid. p. 471 for complete text of his statement. Back.
Note 74: For example: The Nepal Rashtriya Janajati Party decided not to accept the new Constitution and launch an armed movement as it had recognised Nepal as a Hindu state and the interim government had ignored that the country be divided into 12 provinces and also neglected the ethnic communities. The Mongol National Organisation held demonstrations saying that they were not Hindus and was determined to establish a Mongol State in Nepal. They said that they would boycott the elections if the new Constitution does not protect the interests of the Mongols. M.S.Thapa of the National People’s Liberation Front described the Constitution as “vague, undemocratic and revivalist” Nepal Rashtriya Dalit Jana Vikas Parishad pointed out the the new Constitution contained no provisions to promote the interests of the depressed class people, who constituted 20 per cent of the population of Nepal. The Nepal Goodwill Party declared that by rejecting the demands for a Constituent Assembly, the interim government had undermined the efforts to maintain a balance among different classes, ethnic groups, and communal forces in the country, and said that the Constitution had failed to reflect the aspirations of half of the population as of ethnic groups in the hills and no attention had been paid to their demand for a federal state. The Nepal Jana Jatiya Mahasangh (Nepal Ethnic Groups’ Confederation), a central organization representing fifteen ethnic organizations criticized the new Constitution for having granted special recognisation to one region (Hindu), one language (Nepali) and demanded that Nepal be declared a secular state. The Utpidit Jatiya Utthan Manch (Oppressed People’s Upliftment Front) regretted that the demands submitted by the front to the CRC had been ignored. They deplored the attempt to maintain the untouchable status of the depressed communicate by making Nepal a Hindu state. Ibid. pp. 471-475, 482, 492. Back.
Note 76: Ibid. pp 505, 515, 516. For press reactions refer Ibid. p. 517. Back.
Note 78: Lal, C.K., no.3. Back.
Note 79: Lohani, Mohan, Nepalese Monarchy:A Stabilising Institution. Rising Nepal. July 7, 2002. Back.
Note 80: Refer interview by King Gyanendra to The Times of India, New Delhi. For full text of interview refer www.yomari.com/p-review/2002/06/27062002/1am.html Responding to a question the King said ‘ . . . ..as far as I’m concerned , I’m very clear on my Constitutional role. At the same time let me assure you I intend to fulfil that role in the interest of Nepal and Nepalese people.’ Back.
Note 81: Thapa, Deepak, Day of the Maoist. Himal. 14 May 5, 2001. Back.
Note 82: For details refer to a report of Kathmandu Post in POT Nepal, April 25, 2002, pp 317-318. Some even opine that the emergency was ratified under pressure from the Chief of Army Staff of Nepal. For details refer POT Nepal, May 15, 2002. Back.