1 December 2011News in Brief

Peace News keeps an eye on the ìpeace processî that has been staggering along in Nepal since the end of the civil war in 2006.
The former insurgents, the Maoists, formed the first post-war government, resigned, and are now back in charge as part of a coalition government.

One of the thorniest problems in the peace process has been the fate of their 19,600 armed followers, who have been living in demilitarised cantonments since the end of the war, waiting either to be integrated…

20 October 2011Blog entry

<p>O. Bertin, M. Gurung, N. Tegmo and&nbsp; S. Rai write from Kathmandu.</p>

If one does a search on the entrance of Genetically Modified (GM) food and crop products into Nepal, there really isn’t much written on the topic. According to a Food Research Officer for the Government of Nepal Yakindra Timilsena, resident of Kailali district, “Till now no published data was found about the GM food and crop products which enter Nepalese market” [sic]. This was posted in his personal blog on 20th March, 2011.

This small article wishes to highlight the impending doom…

1 October 2011News in Brief

Peace News is tracking Nepal’s peace process which has been staggering along since the end of the civil war in 2006. The party of the Maoist guerrillas became the largest party in the new parliament, and formed the government in 2008. Having retired to opposition in 2009 after disputes with the Nepali army, the Maoists are now – astonishingly – back in charge. On 28 August, the Maoists’ chief strategist Baburam Bhattarai received 340 votes in the 601-seat parliament, after winning the…

1 September 2011News in Brief

The long-running and crisis-prone Nepali peace process was lurching into a new danger phase as PN went to press, with plans for the election of a new prime minister – in parliament, not through a general election, on 28 August. Jhalanath Khanal resigned on 15 August, after only six months in office, three weeks before the constituent assembly (which doubles as a parliament) was due to wind up.

According to the November 2006 comprehensive peace agreement (CPA), the constituent assembly…

13 August 2011Feature

Kosh, sub-editor, mid-20's: I am from a lower middle class family; I joined the protests and got beaten up several times and arrested once. Change takes time. People who were suppressing their desires so far have openly started putting their ideas forward. This is the beauty of democracy. Hopefully, things will improve soon.

Dinesh, 22, (ex-member of the revolutionary wing of the students' union Akhil Krantikari): Now I can freely go to other areas in Nepal, which…

13 August 2011Feature

Sareena Rai interviews a young Nepali on politics and the constituency assembly elections held in April in Nepal.

Karl Marx saw the red flag with Che Guevera’s silhouetted face on it on my bedroom door. Looking surprised he said: “Che. I read about his life. Tapain leh maanuhuncha? Do you respect him?”

I said yes, I did “respect” him. The question was so sincere that I didn’t feel right to add that Che had also become an over-hyped pop-art icon. It was kind of nice that this young man had no idea about that. Usually kids know the face without knowledge of the revolutionary stuff.


13 August 2011Feature

How would you describe the state of democracy in Nepal one year on from the jana andolan II?

Symbolically, people-power triumphed, thus giving way to some semblance of a democratic dispensation. Structurally, at least on paper, the interim parliament has almost dismantled the old order that derived much of its powers from the palace. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, in terms of their aspirations, attitudes and behaviours - the grassroots signs of a democracy in…

1 July 2011News in Brief

1 June 2011News in Brief

As PN went to press, the Nepali peace process was lurching towards another deadline, another confrontation and (possibly) another extension of the period allowed for agreeing a new democratic constitution (it has already been extended for a year to 28 May 2011). The Nepali Congress party is demanding that the 19,600 Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fighters be concentrated in seven camps, brought under the control of an all-party “special committee” and that almost all of them should be…

1 May 2011News in Brief

With the (extended) deadline for concluding a new constitution for Nepal rapidly approaching (28 May), attention is focusing on the internal debates within the Maoists, as the chair of the party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (“Prachanda”) swings away from the option of “people’s revolt”. A paper put to the Maoists’ politburo by Prachanda on 20 April argued: “As the largest party in Constituent Assembly (CA), we should work to consolidate the progress made so far and move ahead being even more…

1 April 2011News in Brief

The political crisis in Nepal’s faltering peace process continues to stagger on. On 3 March, Nepal’s Maoists, the largest party in parliament, agreed to join the new government headed by Jhalanath Khanal of the United Marxist-Leninists (UML).
Khanal is locked in a battle with his own party after winning the premiership on 3 February by secretly promising the Maoists that they would hold the home ministry in a new coalition government. It was reported on 17 February that Khanal had…

1 March 2011News in Brief

After a long period of drifting, Nepal’s peace process is now in a dizzying tailspin. After seven months without a government, Jhalanath Khanal, the head of the (conservative) communists of the United Marxist -Leninists (UML), was voted prime minister on 3 February with the backing of the former guerrillas, the Maoist communist party. This support came after Khanal reached a secret seven-point agreement with the Maoist leader-ship, which he kept from his own party.
Once sworn into…

1 February 2011News in Brief

Nepal news

Nepal’s political parties have begun to remove one of the biggest blocks in the peace process – the stalled integration or rehabilitation of fighters from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). On 22 January, 19,600 former Maoist guerrillas were ceremonially handed over to government control at Shaktikhor PLA cantonment in Chitwan district.
The issue has not really been resolved, however, as the PLA ex-combatants have not been integrated into the Nepali security forces…

1 December 2010News in Brief

At the end of November Nepal’s political parties marked the fourth anniversary of the end of the civil war with an undignified scuffle in parliament and continued political deadlock.

Just days before the anniversary of the signing of the comprehensive peace accord which brought Maoist guerrilla leaders into parliament, Maoist MPs physically blocked the caretaker finance minister in the parliament building and seized a briefcase containing his proposed budget.

An interim…

1 November 2010News in Brief

As PN went to press, the Nepali parliament was drifting into its fifth month without a government largely because of the obstinacy of the Nepali Congress party. The political deadlock is causing a financial crisis because a caretaker government cannot legally pass a budget.
On 19 October, the Maoists announced that they would only agree to the passing of the budget once the formation of a new government had been agreed with the other parties.
However, they indicated that they…