Friday, November 20, 2009

No Foreign Interference on Nepal Army!

Nepal is perhaps THE country where foreign interference has reached a level of absurdity. Every politician of note heads south of the border before taking any decision. A certain ambassador has taken on the role of Governor General. Squeezed between two giant nuclear powers, we get it from north and south, though much more heavily from the south. The laughable irony is we - the Nepali Government - has allowed foreign interference in this country's internal affairs to be the modus operandi for all and sundry. Though never colonised, we have a grovelling approach to anything foreign. And when certain foreign countries line the pockets of our corrupt politicians, we might as well hand over our independence to anyone who wants it.

Currently the Nepal Army (NA) does not have an official second-in-command. Major General Toran Jung Bahadur Singh's promotion to Lieutenant General is being delayed by the hue any cry of so-called human-rightists. 49 Maoist detainees allegedly disappeared from the NA's Bhairavnath barracks in 2003-2004. The NA has established the whereabouts of 12 of them. It is common knowledge that detainees routinely gave false names. Upon release, they carried on with their real names. So, arguably, the 37 "missing" detainees may have followed this exact practice. The NA's internal investigations have cleared Gen. Toran, under whose Brigade Command Bhairavnath Battalion was at the time. The current Defense Minister, and of course the NA, has stood by Gen. Toran's eligibility for promotion.

On the other hand, the US, UK, the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the National Human Rights Commission are creating a brouhaha that this General has been implicated in human rights violations and can be promoted only at the risk of the country's "democratic credibility". Our dilly-dallying Prime Minister has yet to take a decision on this matter, ignoring his Defense Minister's advice. Apparently, the PM is shaken by visits from the military attache's of the countries mentioned above. Nepal must be the only country where junior diplomats - and military attaches are just that - have direct access to the PM and can sway his judgment.

While the Maoist militia have come out of their cantonments on many occasions, directly violating the Peace Accords, not once has the NA ventured out of its barracks except to help with humanitarian needs such as floods and earthquakes. Further, what is good for the gander should be good for the goose too. It may be remembered here that the NA has investigated so far 72% of all allegations received against it and 175 personnel have actually been punished for rights violations. How many from the Maoist militia have been punished? Or did the so-called PLA not murder and pillage, among civilians, in the countryside? Instead, the supremo of the PLA has come and gone as the Prime Minister of this country! Where were these human-rightists looking then?

Beyond the shadow of a doubt, the NA is the only institution that is keeping this country from total anarchy. The Maoist guns stored in the cantonments are fossils. The real weapons are buried deep in various parts of the country. Maoist leaders still talk of state capture, urban warfare and dictatorship of the so-called proletariat. They tried to politicise the NA by arbitrarily sacking the previous Chief and are now making a big issue of "civilian (or even people's!) supremacy", all the while pretending that they do not have a private "army", the PLA, and their youth wing, the YCL, which is primarily staffed by militia who should be inside the cantonments.

So, foreign parties, leave the NA and its internal matters alone. You have done enough harm already by meddling in Nepal's internal affairs.


Anonymous said...

I fully agree with your last sentence ,Birat.No interference from our neighbors.
Our feckless political leaders are primarily responsible for this mess.Ke garne?

Anonymous said...

Someone the other day was remarking that the good weapons the Maoists were hiding outside the cantonments have suddenly disappeared - they have gone southbound to arm another insurgency there. Good for us!

Akash Bhairab said...

"The Maoist guns stored in the cantonments are fossils. The real weapons are buried deep in various parts of the country." This is the best sound bite I have heard recently. Many human rights activists basically found a job in Nepal. Finally, I could not agree more that lawless as this place is, it would be many times more lawless and an autocratic Maoist regime if not for the army!! I think even those who used to dispute this have seen the light.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This article should be sent to all foreign embassies. With a note, asking as to why all the atrocities of the Maoists have been exonerated by them ....... to up hold democracy and Human rights ?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sending me this very interesting blog. I did not realize that things are turning quite badly in Nepal.

Anonymous said...

We may point our guns towards foreign interference, but should we also not pay any attention towards the politics in Nepal Army and the rumors that some generals are actually conspiring against Toran Singh?

Horatio said...

Anon 10:24,there is "office politics" everywhere, whether it is the NA, the UN or, say, even the White House. There are some (Generals) who will benefit if Toran Singh is not promoted, and they will do what they can for their own careers.

Foreign interference in the internal matters of the security apparatus of a government is a whole different kettle of fish - stinks a lot more!