CNDN-SANSAD Nepal Forum : Report and Resolutions

An open Forum on “Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal: Challenges and Opportunities” was held on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at Café Kathmandu (2779 Commercial Drive) in Vancouver, BC.

The forum was organized by Canadian Network for Democratic Nepal (CNDN) and South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD).


The panelists on the forum were Dr. Ramjee Parajulee, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, Mr. Derrick O’Keefe, Co-Chiar, StopWar.ca, and Dr. Hari Sharma, Professor Emeritus SFU, and president SANSAD.
Ramjee Parajulee, a member of the Nepali diaspora, hailed the formation of the Constituent Assembly, the end of the Monarchy and the departure of the King from the Palace on June 10. He lamented the fact that the political parties that had united in bringing about the Constituent Assembly were now engaged in blaming each other and in political brinkmanship. They were focused on sectarian and not national interest; and were fostering a culture of violence, rooted in the feudal traditions. If the parties could not bring the unity back and form a consensus government, Dr. Parajulee said, a historical opportunity to take Nepal on the path of democracy and economic development could be lost.

Derrick O’Keefe brought the global anti-imperialist perspective to view the developments in Nepal, and the challenges its people face. He cited many examples of how international corporate capital and countries like the USA and Canada, including outfits like the Canadian International Development Agency, interfere in the internal affairs of countries that try to move toward independent economic development and political sovereignty. The gains Nepali people have made so far are important not only for them, but also for the people around the world, and it was important that these gains were not thwarted by the forces of reaction and imperialism.
Hari Sharma viewed the current situation in Nepal in the larger context of communist movements and National Liberation Wars. The abolition of the Monarchy and the electoral victory in the Constituent Assembly could not have occurred had there not been the highly successful ten-year long protracted people’s war and the agrarian revolution in the countryside; a process which also won the support of large sections of the urban population. The last two years, after the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) changed its course, have been tumultuous. The imperialist forces, headed by the USA, and the ruling establishment in India, as well as the Monarchist-cum-Hindutava forces in Nepal, created one barrier after the other for the due process to unfold. Even though the much-delayed elections to the Constituent Assembly have already given a leading edge to the Maoists, every effort is being made to prevent the government to be formed thus preventing the Maoists to be in the leading position. The question of the integration of the Maoist Army with the Nepali Army, and who would become the President of the Republic and thus control the Armed forces, has been a major point of contention. Additionally, the three organizations of the Madhesi people in the Terai region (an area which has heavy penetration of India-based Hindutava forces) have been stirring agitation and disrupting the functioning of the Constituent Assembly. Although the people of Terai region have some legitimate concerns about the future political dispensation, the two demands they are agitating about – autonomous Madhesh province for the entire Terai region, and “group entry” of the Madhesis into Nepal Army – are contrary to the Republican Constitutional framework already adopted, and are clearly aimed to disrupt the process of revolutionary transformation Nepal has been going through. The outcome of the present stalemate is still hanging in air.

The three presentations were followed by a productive discussion; at the end of which the house-full meeting at Cafe Kathmandu adopted the following resolutions:

1. We celebrate the victory and achievement of the Nepali people in abolishing the monarchy and establishing the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

2. We appreciate the many difficulties that besiege the Nepali people as they pass through the transition from monarchic and feudal rule to the life of a modern constitutional democracy and express our sympathy for their suffering.

3. We recognize the most urgent task of the moment to be the formation of a government and urge the political parties to work in the national interest to form this government and establish the rule of law.

4. We are aware of the foreign forces engaged in destabilizing and sabotaging the national work of forming a government and integrating the army and we demand that they keep their hands off Nepal to let the people decide their future.

5. We deplore the fact that the CPN (Maoist) continues to remain tagged as a “terrorist” organization by the US government; and express our hope that the democratic people of Nepal, along with people all over the world, will succeed in their just demand that this “terrorist’ listing be removed.

6. We are aware of the vulnerability of Nepal to the exploitative agenda of international capital, and demand from the Government of Canada, and all other international agencies, that all developmental aid to Nepal is geared toward empowerment of people through participatory principles involving masses at the grassroots level.

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Canadian Network for Democratic Nepal (CNDN)

and

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy( SANSAD)

invite you to an open Forum


Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal:
Challenges and Opportunities
Panelists:
Mr. Derrick O’Keefe, Co-Chiar, StopWar.ca (Vancouver’s leading anti-war, anti-imperialist organization)
Dr. Ramjee Parajulee, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Hari Sharma, Professor Emeritus SFU, and president SANSAD
Sunday, June 29, 2008
2:00 to 4:30pm

Cafe Kathmandu, 2779 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC


The King is gone; so also the Kingdom. In a historic move, the newly elected Constituent Assembly voted overwhelmingly on May 28 to eliminate the Monarchy in Nepal, bringing to an end the 240-year long feudal reign of the Hindu monarchy, a system of rule that had been an obstacle to the socio-economic development of the country.. The long-cherished desires of the Nepali people were finally realized when the country was declared a Federal Democratic Republic.
Uncertainties still hang in the air. As of today, the new government has not been formed. The Constituent Assembly remains suspended, indefintely. Negotiations between the three leading parties have been marred with threats and counter-threats.
The June 29 Forum will attempt to examine the political dynamics of the unfoding drama, and the major political-ideologic al forces in play. The role of Indian hegemonism in the region as well as that of the USA (which has yet to recognize the new Republic) would be reviewed. What challenges lie ahead for the people of Nepal in their quest for a modern, secular and just society? And what lessons the progressive people around the world can draw from the experiences of the Nepali people?


Please come and share your views and participate in the discussion
Due to limited space, kindly book your seat in advance by calling at (604)506-9259

visit our old site.

A meeting of Nepalis and friends of Nepal called by the Canadian Network for Democratic Nepal (CNDN) in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on December 10, 2006 unanimously adopted the following resolution.

Resolution for a Democratic Republic in Nepal

This meeting hails the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2006 signed between Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) led government of Nepal to end the civil war, establish a democratic government, and elect a constituent assembly, as truly historic not only in the context of the specific history of Nepal but also in the global history of people’s struggle for democracy and freedom.

We congratulate the people of Nepal whose suffering and struggle has produced this victory and we congratulate all the parties in this agreement for their wisdom in bowing to the wishes of the people for peace, liberty, democracy, human rights, social justice, and prosperity.

The agreement is a document of the noblest aspirations of the Nepali people, and indeed, it could be the expression of the highest desire for social justice and political liberty by any people on earth. It holds the promise of a peaceful, prosperous and modern Nepal governed by the democratically expressed will of the people, in which people fully enjoy human rights and civil liberties, and in which the rights of women, marginalized communities, and other oppressed people are maintained with particular care. We wish the people of Nepal success in achieving the goals set down in the document.

There are always many forces, both internal and external, against the aspirations of a people for liberty, equality, and social justice because the forces that wish to maintain the existing hierarchies of power are very strong. To bring to fruition the aspirations expressed in the agreement will require a great deal of vigilance and determination from the Nepali people. Nepalis living in the Diaspora and the friends of Nepali people must stand with the people of Nepal in making sure that the hope that they have achieved after many years of struggle and thousands of lost lives, is not betrayed.

We pledge our support to the people of Nepal in their aspiration for a democratic republic that is modern, peaceful, prosperous, representative and just.

To visit our news archive before May 27, 2006 visit the link below:

[ ARCHIVE FROM PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC FORUM NEPAL ]

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