Would the will of Nepali people be honoured?

Source: http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/07/03/news0432.htm

Shamsuddin Ahmed

The surprise victory of Maoists in the election in Nepal has given to rise some speculations. Rabindra Nath Sharma, an elderly politician in Kathmandu, has predicted turmoil in the country leading to army take over, which would be supported by India and International community. Wang Hong Wei, a Chinese expert on Nepal, viewed that India wants to turn Nepal into a second Bhutan or Sikkim. The election results have made Indian leaders uneasy at the prospect of spilling over the influence of the Maoist rule in Nepal to the comrades well organised in the neighbouring northeaster states of India. Some of the political pundits in India and BJP leaders sounding security risk have suggested the government to take ‘appropriate measures’ in Nepal.

The election was held on April 10. But the Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) that won majority in the constituent assembly has been struggling to take over the power. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala of the Congress Party staking for the presidency has long refused to step down on pretext of one reason or other. Only a couple of days ago he agreed to hand over the power only after election of the President by the constituent assembly through consensus.

But then came the three small Madhes Terai parties with the demand for constitutional guarantee of autonomous province for their region. Maoist felt that One Madhes is a threat to national integrity and dismissed the demand. The region borders India and its leaders are believed to have been prodded by India to raise the demand. Madhes leaders are in favour of railway link to Kolkata via Bihar.

It is no surprise that Prime Minister Koirala and his party supported Madhesi demand. The Madesi members obstructed the proceedings of the constituent assembly to a standstill for five consecutive days this week. Finally with Koiral’s active support they succeeded in making the majority party agree to amend the constitution providing for Madhes an autonomous province.

On the other hand, the current strike in Darjeeling and adjoining northern districts of West Bengal has not lost attention of the analysts. Gorkha Janamukti Morcha has renewed its movement for a separate state of Gorkhaland for the Nepalese speaking population of the region.

Gorkha land is for achieving a separate national identity for the Nepalese origins. The move might have been encouraged by the Maoist victory in Nepal election.

Rabindra Nath Sharma, who resigned as president of Rashtriya Prajatantra Party of Nepal, in an interview carried by Nepal News this week, viewed that Nepal has been passing through a very critical phase.

All forces are trapped in a mess There is possibility of internal clashes among various factions.

Sharma, known for his wide contacts and deep political observation said India shares a long border with Nepal and “Indian policy makers do not have that kind of luxury to make mistakes.”

He added: If the situation goes out of control, the army will take over to restore the law and order. At that time India and other international community may support the army with a mandate to hold the election under a civilian government. If the situation goes out of track, India and America will decide which track Nepal needs to follow.

But the Chinese expert on Nepal Wang Hong Wei dismissed the prospect of army intervention in Nepal. “It is impossible for the army to try to capture power through a coup in Nepal. People will not support it.”

Wang, 72, professor of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies in Beijing in an interview with Kantipur News of Nepal said, “China knows very well that India wants to turn Nepal into a second Bhutan or Sikkim. Moreover, Nepal may enter the process of Sikkimization. But China must not let this situation occur.”

The professor recently visited Kathmandu and had meetings with Nepalese politicians including Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahala, popularly known by his nickname Prachanda. He said China will always lend its support to keep Nepal sovereign, free and united.


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