May 15, 2009
The recent release of hitherto unknown videotapes, dating to January 2008, of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal addressing PLA cadres at the Shaktikhor Cantonment has prompted renewed calls for accountability on the part of the United Nations Mission in Nepal [UNMIN]. In these tapes, the Maoist Chairman, who is now the incumbent caretaker Prime Minister of the Government of Nepal, explicitly states his intention to pursue the following goals:
- a.) To deliberately mislead the UNMIN and the Interim Government of Nepal as to the true size of the PLA forces,
- b.) To defraud the state by redirecting funds intended for martyrs’ families into his party’s own coffers,
- c.) To utilize the PLA forces confined to cantonments for purposes of intimidation and violence against civilians and opposing party cadres,
- d.) To only permit the Constituent Assembly elections to take place if a Maoist victory could be assured,
- e.) To force indoctrinated PLA cadres into the Nepal Army and ensure the ultimate subordination of Nepal’s national army to the Maoist Party.
The very existence of these tapes is an indictment of the UNMIN’s management of the peace process and of the April 2008 Constituent Assembly elections. The UNMIN gave assurances that 32,250 PLA combatants had been registered for consideration for integration into the Nepal Army, of whom 19,602 cadres had been confirmed in the first phase of the verification process as per the agreed-upon criteria. Yet Maoist Chairman Dahal’s own statements reveal that the PLA’s active cadres have never numbered more than 8,000, which means that the UNMIN has “verified” for integration at least 11,000 more cadres than ever existed in the first place!
The United Nationalist Nepalese contends that this appalling lapse in accountability has called into question the entire verification process undertaken by the UNMIN during its two-and-a-half year tenure, and this process now must necessarily be started all over again. The revelations contained in the Shaktikhor tapes have also called into question the integrity of the April 2008 Constituent Assembly elections. Although the UNMIN provided assurances at the time that the polling was both free and fair, the statements made by Mr. Dahal in the Shaktikhor tapes have renewed interest in the allegations of electoral intimidation and fraud which gained wide currency in the Nepalese press at that time.
The trust which the Nepalese people and the international community placed within the UNMIN has been squandered by these revelations. The United Nationalist Nepalese calls on the UNMIN leadership, and most specifically Chief Representative Ms. Karin Landgren and former Chief Representative Mr. Ian Martin, to provide full and satisfactory explanations to the Nepalese people on the following points:
- a.) The vast disparity between the apparent real quantity of PLA cadres and the quantity counted by the UNMIN,
- b.) The widespread reports of Maoist harassment and ballot-booth capturing which purportedly took place in the course of the April 2008 polling, notwithstanding UNMIN assurances of a fair election,
- c.) The abduction and murder by PLA cadres of Mr. Ram Hari Shrestha at Shaktikhor Cantonment under the watch of an UNMIN monitoring team in May 2008, as well as every other report of violence in UNMIN-monitored cantonments.
May Shri Pashupati Nath Bless Nepal!
May Shri Gautam Buddha Bless Nepal!
Signed & Executed,
Ashutosh Shrivastav, Secretary-General
- John M. Kelleher, Deputy Secretary-General and Administrative Secretary
Girish Oli, Treasurer
Sumir Acharya, Spokesperson
Niraz Kshetry, Executive Member and UNN Chief for Nepal
Vipin Bikram Shah, Executive Member and UNN Chief for Europe
Rabin Pradhan, Executive Member
Pramod Devkota, Executive Member
Lopsee Chester, Executive Member