Tenth International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Brussels, Belgium 2004

Nepal 2004

4.5

A. Background

Parliamentary Regime

The wave of democratic system erupted in 1990s throughout the world could not skip Nepal being untouched also by throwing out the 30 years long establishment of partyless feudal system called Panchayat System. There came many instable governments due to the problems within the ruling party resulting mid poll and the hung parliaments and also the problem among the coalition parties.

Eruption of Maoist insurgency

During the hung parliament soon after the mid poll, one of the factions of the split Communist Party of Nepal called United Peoples' Front decided to be underground and launched the civil war unto the parliamentary system calling it the reactionary regime.

Ascent of Present King after the Royal Palace scandal

The present king took over the enthronement after the Royal Palace scandal as the only remaining privileged prince to be crowned as the king of the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. 

The scandal happened in the beginning of June 2001, the whole family of the then king was killed in a scandal in the Royal Palace in the mid night. Regarding the shoot out it is still a matter of controversy. However, the then crown prince and later entitled as king at the serious stage in the hospital was officially declared as the culprit. 

No Parliament

Due to strengthened ongoing civil war and soon after the failure of the dialogue between the government the rebel Maoist party, the current premier dissolved the House and declared the state of emergency. As the general election fixed earlier seemed to be at large, he recommended the postponing of the already fixed dates of the election to the king. The enraged present king dismissed him after the rule of emergency for about 6 months and took over the authority of ruling the state declaring elected prime minister as the disqualified administrator of the government.

Puppet Premiers

Since then the king appointed one of the leaders as the premier from the loyal and royalist party giving assignment as to maintain peace and social security, holding the election, forming the government with other parties and peaceful dialogue with the Maoist group.  He appointed another leader from the same party as the next prime minister as the former could not fulfill the given task in around 6 months of period. But the latter king appointed prime minister also could not fulfill the assignment but just stayed in the power for around 9 months. 

Parliamentary Parties' Movement Against Regression

Meanwhile, during the reign of the puppet premiers the 5 parliamentary main parties launched movement against the regression. It prolonged for more than a year till date. However, recently, one of the major parties CPN (UML) withdrew from the movement and supported the current prime minister and his party in order to be in the coalition government. The current ruling party namely Nepali Congress (Democratic) was the faction being split from the then ruling party called Nepali Congress, which ruled for more than a decade in around 12 years of parliamentary practice after the restoration of democratic system after 30 years of autocratic reign. 

B. Present scenario:

It has been a month ago present premier is being nominated by king giving him assignment to perform the same duties given to the former nominated premiers. But just recently he was able to expand his cabinet with other 3 parties. Now at the street there remain 4 major parties while 4 in the government. He was able to extract one major party called CPN (UML) from the Movement against Regression. Whatsoever, the present premier and his government is also not free from the controversies – politically and constitutionally. There are lots of people saying this government as the continuation of the regression and named it as the puppet government and such criticism cannot be said as wrong also. Further, the dialogue with the Maoist group and conflict resolution peacefully by this government is also doubtful. As most of the parties and the leaders seemed to be more chair oriented than the actual solution of the national problems, the country is still at alarm and will be for the indefinite time. Hence, king has been able to play the games using these weaknesses.

The condition of country was definitely bad during the then system exclusively in terms of the economic aspects. It is not a matter to worthy mention about the deprivation of fundamental rights due to the nature of the system. But it is a matter of pity to mention that even in the democratic system like the current system, there prevails alarming condition in all the spheres.

The corruption is at stake still through out the country. The political leaders are the most corrupted. Bandhs (shutting downs) are the most common way to show the power or give pressures to the government from all sectors, specially by the political parties.

There is no social security all over the nation. Anything could happen to anyone and at any time. The economic situation is worsening day by day. The human rights are being violated extremely from both sides (government and rebellion group) and especially from the government as it is more reckless than the Maoist group in fulfilling the duty in contrary to the born responsibility and officially accountable to the people. 

C. FOSEED

Since the inception as an organization, it has been engaged in running the various types of activities like interaction programs, weekend work camps (including plantation programs- environmental), workshops, seminars, rallies, trainings, production and publications (as the tools of lobbying and campaigning) etc. as per laid objectives of the organization, namely Peace, raising Human Rights and Volunteerism

Activities exclusively in terms of COMT:

Since the contact with CPTI in the mid 2000 and welcome to FOSEED to join the global movement, efforts have been done to raise awareness on COMT in our country Nepal to some extent despite the difficulties due to various reasons. But in spite of the hazards, we are in the confidence that we would be able to do as expected in the days to come.

But for that, we have to had enough literatures as much as we would be able to manage, more the documents more the spices for the canvas. 

Insofar, we have produced and published the stickers and T- shirts and hand- bill (in our Nepali language) as a part of campaigning and even reproductions and reprints of them for more circulation. We are able to raise inquisitions to some extent on COMT to hundreds of people. Attempts have been done to clarify what the COMT is and CPTI as well to those keenly interested. The task is not easy as ours is one of the poorest countries in the world. Apart from that we have been doing informal meetings with the individuals or groups of civilians and political activists, leaders etc. 

In the recent times, we have been approaching to Members of Parliament (dissolved more than two years) individually and been able to hold some informal meetings with them individually and now we are planning to organize group meetings with them. After that we will be organizing formal meetings but prior to that we had to have enough materials and publications of the materials should be done. But mostly, they should be in Nepali language as most of the MPs cannot understand English. 

D. Conclusions

Lastly, despite the chaos and socioeconomic conditions of our nation, we are in the belief that we would be able to launch this campaign or, at least we could play the supportive role in addition to the Peace Movement the chief goal or the framework of our organization.

Further, we would like to put forth our some opinions at the conference:

  1. Definitely, fund raising is not an easy task, but efforts should be attempted for the fund raising as much as possible.
  2. CPTI should be made to have wider coverage from more and more countries from different continents.
  3. There should be provision of recognition or affiliation categorically like that of branch, contacts or groups or partner organization. It is for the further expansion and consolidation of the movement and also for the convenience to the organizations already in contact and also participated the international conference representing their respective countries). They should be recognized as the authorized organization ( like a branch) of CPTI, for example, FOSEED in (or from) Nepal. Then only, such organization could move freely in their country without any hindrance. 

Joshi Kanhaiya Prasad, FOSEED Nepal, Kalimati, Kathmandu, Nepal

ranjani@who.org.np