Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Prachanda’

Talk with Prachanda on Dishanirdesh

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 23, 2012


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An Interview with Dr. Minendra Rijal by Mikel Durham

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2012

Dr. Rijal is a member of Nepal’s recently created Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee, chaired by ex-Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. Dr. Rijal, a member of the Nepali Congress political party, is also a current member of the Constituent Assembly, ex-Minister of Culture and Chairman of Apex College. Mikel Durham interviewed Dr. Rijal focussing on Lumbini issue.

DUNHAM: You’ve recently been appointed as a Member of the Greater Lumbini Development National Steering Committee. Now that the committee has been created, what progress can be reported?

RIJAL: So far, we have not been able to spend as much time as is needed to move the Lumbini project forward. Prachanda is terribly busy with the politics of the country. In some respects, I am also quite busy — nothing compared to his busy schedule but –

DUNHAM: How many members are on the committee?

RIJAL: Right now we are a six-member committee. And then there is a provision to add another eleven members later on.

DUNHAM: Prachanda is Chair.


DUNHAM: What has the committee actually done so far?

RIJAL: We went to New York and saw the Secretary General (SG) of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, in November. And the reason we went was that we wanted the involvement of the UN in the development of Lumbini.

It all started, however, when, earlier, I was the Minister of Culture. At that time, I established contact with Ban Ki-moon’s office and he extended an invitation. I went there. I presented my argument on Lumbini and he was very keen. He has long been interested in helping Lumbini and in realizing its potential. I knew that his mother was a devoted Buddhist and felt that her son, as Secretary General, should do something for Lumbini.

For his part, Ban Ki-moon also feels that it is his obligation on behalf of the larger Asian Buddhist community– he is the second Asian Secretary General – to do something for Lumbini.

That was one reason, last November, that we thought he could be of great help. And the visibility of his office was going to be very important to help Lumbini realize its potential.

We had a very nice conversation. He was the one who told us that Madam Bokova [Director-General of UNESCO] is also very keen to see that Lumbini is developed to it’s potential. She’s very interested in the preservation site.  Read the rest of this entry »

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लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानको अभिनन्दनले प्रचन्डलाई जिम्मेवारी थपिएको महसूस

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 2, 2011

काठमाडौं, मङ्सिर १५- एकीकृत माओवादीका अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहालले नेपालको शान्ति प्रकृया मौलिक ढङ्गले अगाडि बढेको चर्चा गर्दै २१औं शताब्दीमा संविधान सभाबाटै संविधान बनाउने पहिलो देश नेपाल हुने बताएका छन्। लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानद्वारा आयोजित बिहीबार तेश्रो लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस कार्यक्रममा प्रमुख अतिथिको आसनबाट उनले सबै विचार, राजनीतिक दल, सम्पूर्ण धर्मावलम्बी, बुद्धिजीवीलाई एकताको सन्देशसहित शान्ति र समृद्धिको मार्गमा अगाडि बढ्न आह्‍वान गरे।
बृहत्तर लुम्बिनी क्षेत्र विकास निर्देशक समितिका अध्यक्षसमेत रहनुभएका अध्यक्ष दाहालले लुम्बिनी विकासको गुरुयोजनाको जुन प्रयत्न भएको छ, त्यो आफैंमा नेपाल र नेपालीका निम्ति केही गर्ने उद्धेस्यसंग जोडिएको छ भने।
लुम्बिनी क्षेत्रको बृहत्तर विकासका लागि संयुक्त राष्ट्र सङ्घका महासचिव वानकी मुनलाई भेटेर विश्वव्यापीरुपमा सो अभियानलाई अगाडि लैजान सकारात्मक र उत्साहप्रद ढङ्गले कुराकानी भएको उल्लेख गर्दै अध्यक्ष दाहालले उहाँ छिट्टै नेपाल आउने कार्यक्रम रहेकाले पनि यसको महत्व विश्वव्यापीरुपमा स्थापित भएको बताए। शान्ति प्रकृयालाई तार्किक निष्कर्षमा पुर्‍याउन शान्ति प्रक्रियाकै प्रमुख पक्ष भएको नाताले आफ्नो पार्टी हदैसम्मको त्याग गर्न तयार रहेको उनले बताए।
लुम्बिनी-कपिलवस्तु दिवस अभियानको तर्फबाट गरिएको अभिन्दनको सन्दर्भमा अध्यक्ष दाहालले सम्मान आफूलाई गरिएको सम्मानभन्दा पनि नेपाली जनताको शान्तिको चाहना, गौतम बुद्धको शान्तिको सन्देश बिस्वभरि छर्ने र आँफैलाई भन्दा एउटा नयाँ भारी बोकाएको सन्देशको रुपमा बुझेको बताउनु भयो ।  Read the rest of this entry »

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UN Gen Secy agrees to support greater Lumbini development

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011


KATHMANDU: Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal, aka, Prachanda met United

Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal shakes hand with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York.

Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York.

Dahal is in New York as the Chairman of the High Level National Steering Committee for the development of Greater Lumbini, seeking international assistance for the development of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Rupandehi district, about 300 km southwest of Kathmandu.

During the meeting, Dahal briefed the UN Secretary General about the commitment of the Government of Nepal to develop Lumbini as a world peace city as a pilgrimage and a heritage city with inclusive livelihood programs for the people living around there.

Prachanda explained to Ban Ki-moon that the recently formed High Level National Steering Committee reflects strong and long-term commitment of the Government of Nepal to the preservation and development of all aspects of Greater Lumbini with a
multi-stakeholder approach through national and international support.

While urging Moon to form a broader Lumbini development international committee under his chairmanship, Dahal said, spiritual dimension of Lumbini for world peace fits in very well with the noble ideals of peace and justice of the United Nations.

“Lumbini would be developed as an enduring source of international peace, harmony and understanding.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: Acid test for PM Bhattarai

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 8, 2011

N. P. Upadhyaya

Kathmandu: One year after his NOIDA return to Kathmandu, Nepal Maoist Chairman Prachanda, the ferocious of the bygone era, while talking to a local newspaper in Nepal had bluntly stated that “the substantial support from India to Nepal would be no support at all from that country”.

He may have talked in his whims, as he occasionally does, but yet his declarations are partially correct.

He may have preferred to ventilate his ire against India on some personal counts, which could have been made for public consumption in Nepal, but the manner the Indian leadership from all shades and colours and the “affiliated and tamed Indian media” have begun pouring in their inner love and honour for the newly appointed Nepal Prime Minister, Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, do tell that finally it would be these Indian machinations which will enormously damage the very popular credentials of Nepal PM sooner than later. The damage Bhattarai campaign is in full progress.

Thanks the Indian media has so far not made the story that Nepal PM Bhattarai belonged from the Indian origin.

These unessential praise and seductions, that is in its full swing, will ultimately stamp and certify that Nepal Prime Minister Bhattarai was excessively closer to the Indian establishment and that his elevation this time as Nepal Prime Minister must have become a reality only with the Himalayan support that he may have enjoyed from the Indian establishment.

Though Dr. Bhattarai has the right to rebuke these allegations but yet the manner the Indian leadership is exhibiting its beaming mood with his elevation as Nepal PM faintly hints that Bhattarai’s relations with the Indian regime must have been a long time affair and that his “special” relation with the Indian command, hopefully, will bode ill for the overall political and sovereign health of Nepal and may even have a negative impact on Nepal-India relations that is in its lowest ebb ever recorded. Read the rest of this entry »

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China to develop Lumbini in Nepal with USD 3 bln investment

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 9, 2011

From Shirish B Pradhan Kathmandu, Aug 9 (PTI) China today said it has signed a USD 3 billion deal with Nepal to develop Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha by constructing an airport and other facilities in the southern region, adjoining India.Dismissing media reports about having a secret pact with Nepalese authorities, China has clarified that it has signed an agreement with Nepal’s Tourism Minister to launch the controversial mega project. Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yang Houlan told a Madhesi party that they had signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Tourism Minister Khagda Bahadur, also a Maoist leader, regarding the mega project involving construction of airport, roads, hotels and other facilities to develop the area of southern Nepal adjoined to India. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Chinese foundation plans to raise $ 3b to make Lumbini ‘magnet for Buddhists’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 20, 2011

Months after plans of a Chinese private sector company to invest Rs 8 billion to develop Lumbini as an International

Buddha Center hogged media headlines there comes news that a Chinese-backed foundation is planning to raise $ 3 billion to help Nepal develop Buddha’s birthplace.

According to Reuters, the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation plans to raise the aforesaid amount at home and abroad “to build temples, an airport, a highway, hotels, convention centres and a Buddhist university in the town of Lumbini.”

Interestingly, UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is the vice-chairman of the foundation which aims to transform Lord Buddha’s birthplace in southern Nepal “into a magnet for Buddhists in the same way as Mecca is to Muslims and the Vatican for Catholics”, the report adds.

The foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with Nepal government last month to jointly develop and operate Lumbini.

According to the report, the foundation also pledged to bring communications, water and electricity to Lumbini.

“Lumbini will transcend religion, ideology and race. We hope to rejuvenate the spirit of Lord Buddha,” Xiao Wunan, a devout Buddhist who is executive vice president of the foundation, told the news agency.

The development of Lumbini will also help boost government revenues, create jobs and improve infrastructure in the impoverished corner of Nepal, the report cited the memorandum as stating. Read the rest of this entry »

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A report card on Nepal’s peace process

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 17, 2011

By Prashant Jha

A fortnight after Nepal’s Constituent Assembly’s term was extended for three months, there is good news from Kathmandu. All parties have shown a degree of urgency and seriousness, which was missing in the past two-and-a-half years. The peace process, largely understood as settling the future of Maoist combatants through a process of integration into security organs and rehabilitation into society, is finally moving forward. And the political class has been mature enough not to immediately get into another round of wrangling for power, but focus on the bigger picture.

But there is a caveat. Difficult decisions regarding the details of the peace process have yet to be taken. The same urgency is not quite visible in the constitution-drafting exercise. And a new power-sharing arrangement will have to be worked out at some point. All of this is complicated by the inner divisions within the Maoists, the key driver of the process.

Ending dual security

Within a week of the extension, the Maoists delivered on an informal commitment they had made to the other parties during the negotiations when the Assembly’s term was ending. Top leaders of the party had continued to be protected by both state security personnel and combatants of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA). More than 90 weapons owned by the party, registered by the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) in 2007, were outside the containers for the protection of these leaders. The non-Maoist political class had demanded that the Maoists give up this “dual security” system. While the Maoists did not feel secure enough, relying exclusively on personnel of the “old regime” they had fought, the other parties saw in it remnants of the parallel state that the Maoists had maintained during the insurgency. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘We want to strengthen the relationship with India’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 29, 2011

As head of Nepal’s most powerful party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Pushpa Kamal

PUSHPA KAMAL DAHAL PRACHANDA: ‘We are not anti-Indian. Relations between India and Nepal are unique on the basis of history, culture, geography, and economy. No one can think of weakening this.' — PHOTO: REUTERS

Dahal Prachanda’s position holds the key to the political developments in the republic. On April 26 (Tuesday night), Mr. Prachanda spoke exclusively to Prashant Jha to discuss the state of transitional politics in Nepal, internal party divisions, and relations with India. Excerpts:

 Will Nepal have a new constitution by May 28?

We should have been able to conclude the peace process and promulgate the statute by May 28. But the absence of an agreement between political parties has limited that possibility. I won’t say it is impossible, because we have often made historic decisions at the last minute. As the largest party in the CA, and as the force that pushed the agenda of the Constituent Assembly, republic, federalism, secularism, social justice, inclusion, proportional representation, we are committed to taking the peace process forward and creating a unified draft of the constitution before May 28 so that the Nepali people believe these tasks will be completed. They themselves would happily give us time after that.

Why did the parties fail to come to an agreement?

The first reason is that we were in a movement against the last government, since they were trying to isolate the biggest party in the CA. Our claim was that Maoists should lead the government, but others did not accept our legitimate claim. Then we went in for elections in parliament, but could not elect a PM for seven months. The disagreement between parties was one reason for this, but we also felt that various other forces tried to create obstacles in government formation. We then sacrificed our claim, but it was too late to take the process forward.

In the earlier stages, it was agreed that parties would move ahead together, in consensus. But after the Maoists emerged as the strongest party in the CA, other parties developed suspicions that Maoists would be in power forever — they had not anticipated the widespread popular support for the Maoists, and got terrorised at this prospect. They broke the agreement to move ahead consensually, creating difficulties.

Internal party dynamics

Can you tell us the exact nature of the debates within the party?

There are three kinds of thought in the party. One school believes that instead of emphasising peace and constitution, we should go in for a people’s revolt to get power. The second school believes that we should focus on peace and constitution at whatever cost. And the third school, which I lead, is that we should focus on peace and constitution, but if there are conspiracies, then there may be a need to get people on the streets to revolt. At the end, the party adopted a line that we should focus on peace and constitution, but also make people aware to make these conspiracies unsuccessful. Read the rest of this entry »

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Krishna holds ‘useful’ meetings in Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 23, 2011

Mr. Krishna strongly conveyed concerns that the Maoist party was stoking “anti-Indian” sentiment, disrespecting and attacking the Indian ambassador, and harassing Indian investors.

Mr. Dahal is learnt to have replied that the party was not anti-Indian and instead wished to improve relations between Nepal and India “on a new basis.” He also cautioned the Minister about a rising “interference” by India in Nepal’s internal affairs.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna wrapped up his three-day visit to Nepal on Friday. During his “useful and cordial” meetings with Nepal’s top political leadership, the Minister conveyed a range of concerns, emphasised the importance of completing the peace process, and expressed India’s commitment to assist Nepal in its “transition to a stable, inclusive, multi-party democracy”.

In his final political meeting with Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda on Friday morning, Mr. Krishna strongly conveyed concerns that the Maoist party was stoking “anti-Indian” sentiment, disrespecting and attacking the Indian ambassador, and harassing Indian investors. Read the rest of this entry »

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रिमोट कण्ट्रोल

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 24, 2011

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Jhalanath Khanal elected PM of Nepal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 5, 2011

Plagued by a “sleepless night” and fears that “lawmakers would not be able to venture out on the streets due to people throwing shoes at them”, Nepal’s Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda decided to make a “sacrifice” and bow out of the 17th round of prime ministerial election Thursday.

However, it was more a defeat for India than the two losing politicians. Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao’s recent visit to Nepal had not envisioned the possibility of such an opportunistic poll alliance between the Maoists and the communists and as Prachanda indicated in his exit speech, it was an act of defiance against “Indian interference”.

KATHMANDU: Plagued by a “sleepless night” and fears that “lawmakers would not be able to venture out on the streets due to people throwing shoes at them”, Nepal’s Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda decided to make a “sacrifice” and bow out of the 17th round of prime ministerial election Thursday. The surprise exit paved the way for the Maoists’ last-minute poll ally, the ruling communists, to sail to a facile victory with their chairman Jhalanath Khanal pipping his remaining two contenders, Ram Chandra Poudel of the Nepali Congress, and this election’s surprise contender, Bijay Kumar Gachhedar, who was backed by an alliance of regional parties from the Terai plains of southern Nepal.

The election, that started almost three hours behind schedule and continued for nearly five more hours, protracted by long speeches by the contestants, recriminations and counter-recriminations, saw the 61-year-old Khanal, a former information and communications minister, poll 368 votes, more than the simple majority needed. Poudel, who had fought 16 earlier rounds of fruitless elections for the last seven months, polled 122 votes while Gacchedar, the sitting deputy prime minister, got 67 votes.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: The President’s Call

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 4, 2011

By Yubaraj Ghimire
Nepal’s three major political parties — the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist — never get tired of advocating the politics of consensus, but they have failed to come even to a minimum understanding of electing a prime minister in the past seven months. Grilled, booed and jeered by the people, the three parties finally took recourse to amending the law on the election of the PM by the parliament. Those who get the lowest votes will be eliminated and “neutral voting or abstaining” will be prohibited. When only two candidates are left, the winner will be decided by a simple majority. If all goes according to schedule, the country will have a new PM by February 3.
But people who feel let down by the current set of leaders are sceptical of the effectiveness of such a PM, given the fact that he would be more a product of the compelling law than of an agreed agenda and political understanding.
Over the past two weeks, after President Ram Baran Yadav had renewed the election process — first by giving 10 days to the House to explore a consensual approach and then, on its expiry, asking them to go by a simple majority process — political parties failed even to decide on their candidates. Madhav Nepal continues to remain the caretaker PM for a record eight months.
In the midst of all this, Yadav left for India — Kolkata, Chandigarh and Delhi — on a 10-day visit beginning January 27. The visit was on an invitation of the Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, and the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, from where he got his MBBS and postgraduate degrees respectively. The visit was meant to be a private one. But the government of India volunteered to make it “official”. This gives enough hint that India, concerned about the lack of progress in the constitution-making process in Nepal and the absence of a full-fledged government all these months, will begin a serious “review Nepal situation”. This is a time when the president is under pressure from some political quarters at home to assume executive role, since a caretaker PM cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. India seems to be weighing that option and its likely implication for the peace process. Read the rest of this entry »

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Brihat Shanti Samjhauta: A New Beginning

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 4, 2011

[With the signing of BRIHAT SHANTI SAMJHAUTA (comprehensive peace agreement) on November 21, Nepal entered a new phase of its political history. The 10-part agreement envisons an end to war and a new beginning. We need to remember this history and hence reposted here.]

The following is the English text of the historic agreement signed by PM Girija Prasad Koirala and Prachanda on November 21, 2006:

Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Nepal Government and Nepal Communist Party (Maoists)

(This unofficial translation is by

Brihát Śhānti Sámjhautā, 2006 (Comprehensive Peace Agreement)

Respecting the people’s will in favor of democracy, peace and progress as expressed by the Nepali citizens via historic struggle and mass movements before 2006 B.S. until this day, Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal’s sex symbol is Maoists’ new face

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 18, 2010


“I will endure fire but not injustice,” she says stoutly in her Facebook account. “I will endure thirst but not abuse. I am

Rekha Thapa: New avatar

the daughter of Nepal, who will never falter.”

It is not the kind of message one would expect from a silver screen star and sex symbol.

However, it fits Nepalese actor Rekha Thapa like a glove in her current avatar – the new Maoist gal on the block.

The 20-something sensual lass from eastern Nepal, a household name for her skimpy outfits and power to generate controversies, is the new publicity weapon of the former guerrillas, hobnobbing with their top leaders to spruce up the formerly underground party’s public image.

Rekha, who shot in the limelight by doing her own stunts, picking up a fight with Bollywood bad man Shakti Kapoor and ruffling the feathers of a Hindu organisation with her backless blouse, is now on a new publicity arc after having formally joined the Maoist party. Read the rest of this entry »

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