Friday, March 02, 2007

American University event on Nepal

Talk program was organized in American University, Washington college of Law on “Building Democracy in the face of Nepal’s mounting crisis.” Program was jointly organized by Centre for Human rights and humanitarian law and South Asian Law student association. Supreme Court advocate from Nepal, Dinesh Tripathi was invited to deliver a speech on the topic. Advocate Dinesh Tripathi underlined that: Nepal is passing through enormous crisis, upheaval and challenges. There are enormous and huge challenges toward building a full and genuine democracy in Nepal. The People’s will and aspirations could be materialize only through accountable democratic institution. Only full fledge democracy with socio economic justice could be the basis for lasting and genuine peace in Nepal. The election of the constituent assembly could be the only legitimate vehicle for creating new constitional and new democratic order. It will create a framework for the participation of common man in the constitution making and democracy building process in Nepal. The Common man’s direct participation in the constitution building process is vitally important, because it will establish the ordinary citizen’s sense of empowerment and ownership on the constitution. Nepalese people do not want imposed or given constitution any more. The people of Nepal are aspiring for full and genuine sovereignty and complete justice and freedom. Formal and procedural democracy is not enough. Nepalese people all over the world allow to participate and vote in the constituent assembly election. The era of kingship has gone. The people of Nepal do not want monarchy in any form. The republican form of government shall be the basic feature of the new the constitution. It is a proven fact of Nepali history that monarchy and democracy could not go together in Nepal. The palace of Nepal always acted against the will and aspiration of Nepalese people and always dismantles and subverted democratic institution with the help of military. That’s why Nepalese people want to do away with monarchy forever. The king of Nepal is extremely unpopular and hatching conspiracy against the upcoming constituent assembly election. The constituent assembly could be the only legitimate vehicle to exercise sovereign rights of the people. The recent statement of king is the biggest insult of people’s struggle for democracy and self rule. The king has no authority or right to issue a statement in the present changed context. It goes against the very spirit and mandate of people’s movement. His recent statement reflects his dangerous and evil mind set which is serious threat for democratization process of Nepal. Immediate action should be taken against king and political actor of Nepal should take this statement very seriously. The democratization process of Nepal is under severe threat. The anti- democratic and anti people element of the country does not like the notion of constituent assembly. They do not want people’s supremacy and sovereignty. The holding of the election of constituent assembly in due date is one of the most crucial task and it must be held on due date at any cost; otherwise it would be damaging and disastrous for democratization process. There should be no excuse for the delay and postponement of the constituent assembly election at any cost. New constriction shall chart a future course for new Nepal. Nepal has to restructure the feudal and undemocratic structure of the state. It shall establish the basis for social, economic and political democracy. The periodical election and right to vote is important and central to the democratic governance but it is not enough in itself, People of Nepal are also aspiring for economic and social democracy and justice. The new constitution of Nepal must address the problem of vast exclusion, marginalization and exploitation. It has to build an inclusive democracy. The backward, exploited, madhesi and dalit, janjatis should get equal rights and dignity. The issue of exclusion needs to be address immediately and coherently. The biggest threat for democracy building in Nepal is the undemocratic character of military. Currently it is the most undemocratic institution. The democratization or effective and actual civil control on the military is the central issue of the democracy building process in Nepal. In order to build genuine democracy military must be brought under civilian control.

The culture of the impunity is the biggest obstacle for democracy building process in Nepal. There is no transitional justice mechanism in the place in Nepal. Not even single perpetrator of human rights violation has brought to the justice. Nepal should immediately ratify the Rome statue of international criminal court and all the perpetrator of human rights violator should be brought to the justice. The culture of impunity should not allow to continue. The culture of impunity creates a vicious cycle of human rights violation. The king of Nepal also brought to the justice because he is responsible for massive and serious human rights violation in Nepal. No crime should go unpunished. Nepal also needs a process and mechanism for truth and reconciliation. The problem of internally displaced people must be address immediately and urgently.

Deepa Padamnavan gave a brief introduction of guest speaker in the program.

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