Tag Archives: Nepal

Nepal Maoist PM Bans Dowry And Caste Hate

Nepal’s new Maoist prime minister has admitted it was one thing to fight a guerrilla war and another to actually understand how to run a nation. “We had no experience of running a government and we had limitations and complexities” because he headed a coalition government which had differing ideas. But, Prime Minister Prachanda finally got things on track by announcing the institution of dowry was now illegal as well as discrimination against those in lower castes. “A week from today, the dowry system will be completely banned.” Anyone who pays a dowry or receives one will now become a criminal.

The prime minister may not be the right leader for Nepal at this time, but merely admitting he had made mistakes in governing is a refreshing admittance, particularly for those of us in the United States who lived under the Bush administration which never admitted a mistake,

Hopefully, ending the dowry institution will free many young girls from being married off to men who had the money or land to demand their hand in marriage.

Nepal– Budding Democracy-Or Headed For Violence?

Lost in daily reports concerning terrorism and the Middle East are interesting developments taking place in the small country of Nepal. In a rather unusual twist of events, a Maoist prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahai, has been sworn in an prime minister and the first act of the new legislature was abolishing the 239 year old monarchy. During the past decade the country has been torn between a Maoist led rebellion and a monarch who wanted to control all power. King Gyanendra from 2005 on tried to rule with an iron fist only to encounter a popular uprising by ordinary citizens who forced him to accept a democratic legislature in 2006. Women, who had limited rights under the monarchy now constitute one third of members of the legislature.

The Maoists still retain their army and it is questionable if they will integrate that armed force into the regular army. A helpful sign is that all parties, including the Maoists, have asked the United Nations to continue assisting the transition to democracy. Will a Maoist government continue adhering to democratic principles is an interesting question.

Bye Bye King Say People Of Nepal!

The world’s last Hindu kingdom became the newest secular republic as the people of Nepal celebrated in the streets the end of a monarchy that had lost the confidence of its subjects. Thousands of people marched, danced and sang in the streets of Katmandu awaiting the vote of the assembly which decided it was time for King Gyanendra to depart to another place of residence. The vote to end the 239 year-old monarchy was 560 to four. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala declared Nepal’s rebirth as a republic. “We have entered a new era today.” The King was given 15 days to quit the palace and move to another of his places of residence.

Nepal has endured a decade of violence including the 2001 palace m asscre in which a gunman, allgedly the crown prince assassinated the late King Birendra and much of the
royal family before killing hmself. The event may have created an uneasiness about the very nature of royal family.

Th communists are now in firm control of the nation and have pledged to continue its capitalist way of life. They are still struggling to establish a government and then will face the more difficult process of governing a nation.

Nepal To Abolish Monarchy

The Nepal monarchy is not expected to be part of the nation’s ruling elite much longer than a few weeks as a newly elected Assembly meets to formally end the kingdom of Nepal which has been in existence for 239 years and proclaim a republic. The government has banned all demonstrations in and around the royal palace and the private homes of King Gyanendra in order to avoid any incident of violence against him by a population which has grown to distrust his rule. The radical Maoists won a surprise election in April during which they campaigned to remove the king.

However, Dinanath Sharma, a senior leader of the Maoists said “we have urged the people to come to the st reets on that day(voting to abolish the monarchy) to celebrate the republic day.’ The Maoists have a day of celebration but then must turn to many problems that will face the new republic including dealing wth poverty and creating a viable democracy.

Nepal’s Revolution Leaves Female Abuse Untouched!

The Maoist movement has gained electoral power in Nepal and will, most probably, force the King to exit the stage of power. But, lost in the revolutionary developments within Nepal is the story of a society in which some estimates believe about 95% of women are victims of political, economic and domestic violence. Among the most oppressed female groups are the women who belong to the Dalit minority. Some studies indicate less than 10% are literate and the drop out rate in school for girls is extremely high. They continue to be caught in caste roles of being submissive and prevented from entering many occupations.

The Maoist revolution offers Nepal woman an interestng opportunity to assert their rights and to demand equal treatment in all aspects of society ranging from jobs to places in school. There is need for new legislation to ensure women can not be physically abused, and that slots in business and schooling be set aside for women. It might also be necessary to set aside seats in parliament for female candidates in order to break the historic cycle of female submission and powerlessness.

Nepal Communists-Mao Or Gorbachev?

The dramatic triumph of the communist party in last week’s elections raises interesting questions as to whether this marks the emergence of a communism devoted to creating a democratic Nepal in which people of all socio-economic backgrounds can move forward, or will this be another Maoist example of brutality in the name of the state. There is no doubt the people of Nepal were disgusted with its corrupt and inefficient monarchy and wanted the dawn of a new age in which all sectors of society would benefit, but in selecting the Maoist leadership have they entered on a new era of oppression?

The Maoists can digest a form of capitalism much as Chinese Communists have adopted one, but if their neighbor to the north is any example, the Nepal Maoists may find indigestible the components of a democratic society. Most probably the professional Nepal army will soon be transformed into a people’s liberation force dedicated to the proposition the Maoist run government can not surrender power in any such thing as a democratic election.

To sum up: its Mao, not Gorbachev.