Eleventh International Conference on War Tax Resistance and Peace Tax Campaigns - Woltersdorf near Berlin, Germany 2006

Country Report Nepal

Forum for Solidarity, Equality, Environment and Development (FOSEED)

2006 (in précis form)

(Presented by: Kanhaiya Joshi, on behalf of FOSEED, Nepal)

[pdf version]

1. National Political, Social and Economic situation

1.1 Background:

Since last more than ten years, Nepal has been gripped by the Maoist insurgency (which they called People's War or civil war). The ideological differences among the existing triangular form of forces, that is, King and the monarchy-oriented forces, parliamentary parties and the rebellion Maoist Party have been playing role in the unrest of the country resulting the severely heightened conflict and crisis within the one of the least developed country in the present world.

During these the most critical period in the history of Nepal, millions of dollar worth developmental infrastructures have been destroyed treading the country’ economy retarding towards downtrodden day by day and perhaps the ever most in the whole planet if it continues for another some years. Eventually, the security of people in terms of employment, business, access to schooling, homeliness and familial lives, access to health services etc including right to life is being endangered vehemently. Insofar, the decade long civil war (unofficial) has already costs the lives of more than roughly 15,000 people including civilians, rebellion cadres, government armies and police, party cadres, civil servants and so on and uncountable numbers of people have been directly or indirectly affected.

1.2 Current Situation:

A nineteen days long movement being named as Jana Andolan II (People's Movement II) was held in the month of last April by the Seven Parties Alliance (SPA) with the back up of Maoist rebellion party and civil society. Notably, civil society played a crucial role in motivating general people and advising and giving pressure to political parties to go for agitation against the prevalent feudalism The success of it thrashed out the king's ego and compelled him to restore the House of Representative forcefully which he persuaded to dissolve to the then scapegoat premier in the year 2002.

Since then and currently the coalition government led by Nepali Congress (democratic party ?) comprising six parties (and more) is going on directed by the people's mandate primarily rather than the prevalent constitution. It is so, as the existing constitution favors the royal regime and feudalism in all aspects and deprives people from very many basic rights and the practice of democratic process and good governance as well.

In order to give the solution for enduring peace in the country, two round of formal dialogues have taken place between government higher- level talk team and higher level talk team of the rebellion party and very many series of informal meetings among major seven parties, within parties, bilaterally and group wise.

During these around six months long span of time, interim constitution has been drafted but still there exists many issues to be clarified, settled and agreed officially by both the parties. The issues like interim constitution, formation of interim government including Maoist rebellions, arms management, election of constituency assembly, the decision to be made either declaration of republican set up directly or the referendum on whether to keep monarchy or not or any other alternative ways are the hot issues in the undergone discussions through out the country at the moment. 

Moreover, issue of arms management as earliest as possible has been dominating in the dispute between Congress led SPA government and the Maoist rebellion party. Sometimes, issue of disarmament of Maoist before joining the interim government in the name of arms management has disrupting the peace accord.

2. Scope of Peace Tax Campaign in Nepal

The scope of war resistance and peace tax campaign seemed to be feasible in spite of the existence of immense turmoil and dispute. It is so particularly because Nepali people are calm and warm. However, there exist possibilities in the normal situations also. But generally, it would not be easy task to convince to the majority numbers of political parties and leaders who are the practitioners of the conventional military concepts and proliferation of militarization in the name of peace, defense, nationality and security rather than the reduction or demilitarization. But amazingly and interestingly as per the opinion given by Maoist rebellion supreme leader Mr. Prachanda being telecasted by Kantipur, the private owned television channel regarding the army force to be kept in the future or in the New Nepal, the hope of feasibility of war tax resistance and Peace tax campaign has raised highly. Otherwise, rebellion party (which stands with the arms for the existence and likely to receive recognition also) could also be major blockade in CPTI campaign or movement in addition to the conventional system or mentality.

2.1 Risks and Challenges

The political situation is still in the dilemma. No one can say what would happen finally. Everyone is dubious whether the political process for the longstanding peace process would take place or not. If not the nation and the people of Nepal have to go through the worst ever tragedy in the days to come. Thus, if the currently ongoing peace process would not bring out positive result, our campaign will have to go through more risks and challenges. However, anyway, we being conscientious objectors against the war tax or any form of tax for the war purpose, we are optimistic to pave on our own pace.

2.2 Achievement

In so far, we have been able to disseminate our laid notion on peace tax campaign in the limited spheres so far informally and formally towards individuals and at the groups but there remains a lot of things still to be done so as to be able to allure people as large as possible.

Anyway, we have been able to approach even some Members of Parliament of Nepal. But the problem is the issue of war resistance and peace tax is not taken or considered as major issue in our present situation of Nepal. Thus, we are enforced to wait patiently for the right time to rise in the streets and even in the parliament for the bill to be tabled and passed hopefully.

Future Programs: (for 2007 - 2008)

Conclusion:

In order to make war tax resistance and peace tax campaign more effective in the coming days, CPTI / Nepal would be better platform rather than FOSEED. Although NGOs in other countries are to be registered to get branch ship of CPTI, in Nepal, branch of any International NGO are not entertained for the registration except the local or national NGOs of the country. Thus, for the movement of CPTI in Nepal, on one hand we can go without registration and it would be highly effective also at the same time. Interestingly, just like the currently undergoing political process or peace talks and scenario, peaceful movement for the democratic restoration have been accepted as the model modality through out the world, similarly, CPTI campaign might also be in similar position, perhaps. But anyway, FOSEED is committed towards our goal and we believe we will be enabled to succeed sooner or later.