Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prachanda, Katawal and more

The dictates of foreign master had to be stopped somewhere before this country becomes a total satellite

Basanta Lohani

I support the government’s decision to sack the Army Chief Rukmangat Katawal not because he deserved to be chucked out but because the dictates of foreign master had to be stopped somewhere before this country becomes a total satellite. The foreign intervention has been too much over the years. Enough is enough.

Katawal has become a casualty, partly because of his obstinacy. So is the Maoist government, as the major coalition partner Nepal Communist Party -United Marxist Leninist has pulled back from the government. As it appears, a new UML led government with Nepali Congress support is likely to replace the present Maoist government unless the Maoist are able to pull out pigeon from the cap.

The contradiction between the latent and manifest design of the Maoists became yawning after the rebels catapulted to the government. Politics turned into brinkmanship plunged the new republic into uncertainty of change. This has put the country in the whirlpool of confusion and chaos, robbing off the people of their peace and country of its peace process. The conflict assumed a different dimension. A law-abiding citizen became vulnerable, as those who could fire the shots did not abide by law. The setting largely changed from gun to muscle power.

The parties started disputing to dispute over issues, many of which were nonissues. This is the crux of the feud between the Prachanda led government and Katawal led Nepali Army. In the process, loads of distrust, hatred and animosity piled up like the garbage in Kathmandu. National politics of consensus that made Nepal a republic fragmented further both at psychological and organizational plane. This, in turn, prodded intra party cleavages. Thus, the otherwise uneasy inter party relationship came to peril. More than the government, the very peace process seems to be at stake

The president is ceremonial but has the responsibility of safeguarding the constitution of the country. The solo onslaught of the Maoist, while the coalition partners boycotted the cabinet meeting, may not, however, infringe the sanctity of government decision. A decision made by the prime minister when is put in the minutes by the chief secretary becomes the government decision. Katawal is out unless it is reversed by the government or by the court.

The Maoists have shown remarkable courage. Even when they were almost isolated, they defied and did not allow the foreign interference to prevail this time. A decision has to be from within, even realizing that nobody is ‘autonomous ‘in the present world. Their latent design is not in line with peace process. Katawal is not to be a casualty. Again, this country is but ours. The elected government makes its decision that it deems fit. Why should any outsider run from pillar to post to load his decision? Let the constitutional mechanism prevail.

Lohani is a Kathmandu based writer. He can be reached at buba@wlink.com.np

(Editor’s Note: Nepalis, wherever they live, as well as friends of Nepal around the globe are requested to contribute their views/opinions/recollections etc. on issues concerning present day Nepal to the Guest Column of Nepalnews. Length of the article should not be more than 1,000 words and may be edited for the purpose of clarity and space. Relevant photos as well as photo of the author may also be sent along with the article. Please send your write-ups to editors@mos.com.np)

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