There are strategic planners in the Indian establishment to whom the option of breaking the Left Alliance would come easily. Any such shortsighted move will be a disaster for India’s Nepal policy.
Both India and China are likely to be watching the results of Thursday’s election closely.
While many voters feel that the constitution must be amended eventually, they are excited to cast their ballots for local representatives for the first time since local governments were disbanded in 2002.
Sher Bahadur Deuba called on the Madhesi parties to participate in the second phase of local elections and urged them not to doubt his commitment on passing the constitution amendment Bill.
A round-up of major happenings in Nepal in the last week.
If durable solutions are not found soon, extremist political factions are likely to gain ground as social frustrations increase.
She was once a formidable commander of the People’s Liberation Army but today has a new cause – that of her fellow women fighters who bravely fought a war, but are struggling to survive the peace.
The series of protests in Nepal’s southern plains can be traced back to the long fight for federalism, anger against state violence and the people’s struggle for fair representation.
Calling for a new government, Maoists cited broken promises by Prime Minister Oli, anger in South Nepal over the new constitution and delayed post-earthquake reconstruction.
The longer both sides don’t compromise on the Madhesh deadlock, the more the radicals’ hand will be strengthened.
Many people in Nepal seem to believe that it is important to outlaw ‘hate speech’. But this is a slippery slope. Who is to judge what constitutes hate speech? And how do you suppress it without inviting a terrible backlash?
Increasing public anger at the prime minister has led the Maoists to conclude that he was an obstacle to ending the Constitutional standoff.
If Delhi fails to follow through on its declared policy of insisting Nepal make its constitution more inclusive, the relationship may slide back to the level of the 1980s when Kathmandu tried to counter every Indian overture with matching notes to Washington and Beijing.
Since the constitutional issue is primarily internal to Nepal, Kathmandu has to move towards accommodating Madhes. Likewise, Indian policy makers need to realise that any amount of coercive diplomacy, intended or unintended, declared or undeclared, has its limits.
The indigenous ethnic groups have been shortchanged on their key demands – identity-based federalism, proportional representation, and secularism.
The regime in Kathmandu will need to suspend its triumphalism and realise that fooling people isn’t a sound strategy of either governing the country or doing diplomacy. The constitution was “fast-tracked”. There is no reason why amendments can’t also be.
The gerrymandering of provinces and representation in parliament means marginalised groups will have no say either in Kathmandu or in the regions where they are a majority.
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