Saturday, May 28, 2011

Proposals for Post-28 May 2011

Let us observe the Fourth Republic Day of Nepal, 29 May 2011, appropriately by starting a 'Thappadtantrik' initiative, since 'Loktantrik' has not worked.

Simple procedure for this initiative - (a) spot a CA member who voted for this futile 3 months extension; (b) ask him/her why he/she voted in that manner; (c) if you are not satisfied with the answer, SLAP the honourable member (number of slaps to be determined by the level of stupidity of the answer).

Be prepared to be arrested. The arrest will be your badge of honour.

Besides civil protests, whether they be on cheeks or from the streets, let us also now MONITOR every member of the CA on their performance, on a daily basis. A "CA Watch" needs to be urgently established for this purpose. Let us not take this travesty of democracy and peoples' rights lying down. They are there to serve us, the People, let us make sure they do so.

Thoughts in the morning of 28 May 2011 (as written in FaceBook)

7.15 am in Kathmandu. CA term lapses at midnight today. A soothing rain is falling, an auspicious sign in Nepal. RPP-N rally begins at noon. Listening to 103.6 FM interview programme. Deadbeat politicians implying that non-extension of the CA, per se, would create an Emergency thereby allowing 6 months extension. They MUST NOT get away with fooling us, the PEOPLE, again!!! Lord Pashupatinath watches us closely today.

"Ma mare' pani mero Desh banchi rahos" playing on the radio. Something to think about very seriously today.

"जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपी गरियसी” (जन्म दिने आमा र जन्मभूमि स्वर्ग भन्दा पनि प्यारो हुन्छ।) Do the leaders of the 3 big parties remember this as they continue chattering away fooling us that they are trying to reach consensus? They had three years to reach consensus. The next 15 hours will make no difference. CA cannot be extended legally. Period. Stop your consensus talk, go home, and enjoy your Saturday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

25 May 2011

"Verdict of the Supreme Court of Nepal on Writ No. 066-WS-0056 submitted by Bharat Mani Jangam along with the Constitution Assembly Secretariat" (Summary)

1. The Interim Constitution Article 64 specifies that the Constitution Assembly’s (CA's) term is for two years. It can be extended for a period of six months only, should there be an emergency situation in the country. It cannot be extended indefinitely.

2. Given the above stipulation of Article 64, it is not possible to extend the CA for more than 6 months simply stating that the constitution could not be readied for various pedestrian reasons, as was done in May 2010.

3. Therefore the one year extension of the CA last year, 8th amendment to the Interim Constitution, was illegal. Since that extension ends in three more days, there is no practicality in overturning it at this late stage. (This may yet be challenged by anti-extension advocates.)

4. Article 83(1) of the Interim Constitution specifies that the CA must not confuse its constitution drafting functions with its legislative ones, since it serves as the legislature also. This confusion has prevailed extensively.

5. Conclusion: There cannot be an indefinite extension of the CA as has been occurring and as has now been further requested by the government. A 6 months extension is possible if emergency is imposed on the country, with valid reasons. (This may yet be challenged by anti-extension advocates.)

On 26 May 2011, Mr. Jangam has submitted another writ arguing that another extension of the CA is simply not possible. There is no emergency; and last year’s one-year extension has already over-stepped the 6 months extension allowed by the Interim Constitution.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This morning I received a Press Release from UNN (United Nationalist Nepalese), a non-profit organisation registered in Houston, Texas, with a world-wide membership of nationalist Nepalis and others who support Nepal. The web site is

UNN is not alone in its call to restore the 1990 Constitution. That constitution was a democratic one, considered one of the best in the world. Ironically, our ex-PM, Madhav Kumar Nepal, was also one of the architects of that constitution. The current Constitution Assembly has failed, even after 3 years, to come up with a constitution. The Government, led by the Maoists and UML, is tabling a proposition today before the CA to extend the CA for another year. A 2/3 majority in the CA would get the proposition through.

As of now, the Nepali Congress and 2 of the Madhesh parties are opposing the extension. A 2/3 majority in the CA without them is not possible. But, knowing how politics works here, there may already be backroom horsetrading among these major parties (Maoists, NC, UML and MJF) and everyone will agree to the extension at midnight 28 May 2011. Perhaps there is already a deal where CA will be extended and a new government formed with a NC Prime Minister? (just guessing)

The people of Nepal are fed up with this CA. How can this extension be prevented? Legally, should the Supreme Court rule that an extension is not legal, given that CA extension can only occur if there is a 'national emergency'? In the streets - mass protests with the potential always of violence?

What is the way out? Presidential rule from 29 May with elections within 3 months? As the old adage asks, 'Who will bell the cat?' All fine and good for someone like me to sit comfortably in my study and spew out the above words, but who really will bell the cat? Should the CA cease to exist as of midnight 28 May, which government institution remains with any legitimacy? I can only think of the Nepal Army. Ideally, an army does not govern. It, simply put, has the express purpose of eliminating those considered enemies of the State. But there have been cases, in Africa and elsewhere, where the Army stepped in to restore democracy (e.g. Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings' coup in Ghana).

Post-28 May, whither Nepal? Do we continue with our complacency and the fabled "ke garne" attitude? Or do we take our fate in our own hands and let this CA know: 'Enough is enough. You were elected to draw up the constitution within 2 years. Even after 3 years, you have failed. You cannot keep extending yourself indefinitely. Neither an extension of 6 months nor of 1 year will give us a constitution. You have shown us clearly that the constitution is not your priority - staying in power and making money is. So go home. We will elect a new parliament/CA that truly represents our aspirations. GO HOME!"

Jai Pashupatinath!