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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07KATHMANDU675
2007-04-02 10:19:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

NEPAL: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST DEMANDS LAW AND ORDER

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PHUM  NP 
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FM AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5459
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RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 5867
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RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5190
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1239
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA PRIORITY 3319
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1579
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2559
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000675 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/02/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM NP
SUBJECT: NEPAL: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST DEMANDS LAW AND ORDER

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).

Summary
-------



1. (C) On March 29, Sushil Pyakurel, a Nepali human rights
activist, told the Ambassador that if the Government of Nepal
(GON) did not begin to effectively enforce law and order, the
country was in danger of falling into chaos. In the name of
bringing the Maoists into the mainstream, the GON and civil
society had ignored other groups with legitimate complaints,
creating a fresh round of violent protests. The peace
process thus far had been too secretive, and had been
hijacked by the political parties, at the expense of the
common Nepali. The GON had allowed the Maoists to do
whatever they wanted anywhere in the country with no
repercussions, while arresting other protesting groups and
stopping them from participating in rallies. Pyakurel
worried that there was no strong leadership to save the
country from impending disaster.

Where Is Law and Order?


--------------------------





2. (C) Prominent Nepali human rights activist and former
National Human Rights Commission commissioner Sushil Pyakurel
told the Ambassador March 29 that if the GON did not begin
enforcing law and order, the country was in danger of falling
into chaos. Maoist excesses had continued, and everyone
(government, civil society, and the police) seemed to be
condoning or ignoring those abuses for fear of derailing the
peace process. The GON needed to crack down on Maoist
violence immediately if there were to be any chance for a
free and fair Constituent Assembly election, he warned.

Ignorance is not Bliss


--------------------------





3. (C) Pyakurel complained that the GON had focused only on
solving the Maoist problem, and had ignored all the other
political and social issues Nepal faced (including unrest in
the Terai, other ethnic and regional issues, and the rights
of dalits and women). If the government continued along such
a path, it was likely that the current violence in the Terai
would continue and spread to other areas and sectors of
society as well. Even Pyakurel's own civil society
colleagues were not taking these other issues seriously, with
many of them stating that bringing the Maoists into
mainstream politics was Nepal's only pressing challenge.

Peace Process Hijacked


--------------------------





4. (C) Pyakurel worried that the peace process had been
hijacked by the political parties, which were not interested
in the best interests of the Nepali people. Most of the
parties' decisions had been made in private, behind closed
doors, with the results made public only after the parties
had signed agreements. Until the process became more

inclusive, incorporating the views of all Nepalis, the peace
process would not solve the country's problems and place it
on the track toward progress, the human rights activist
predicted.

Double Standard in Law Enforcement


--------------------------





5. (C) Pyakurel stated that one of Nepal's biggest problems
was the double standard the GON's security forces applied to
the Maoists versus other groups. The Maoists had been
allowed to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted,
with no repercussions. In many parts of the country, Maoist
violence, intimidation, extortion, and abduction were
commonplace, and the police had done nothing to stop these
abuses. Regrettably, many of Nepal's civil society groups
had supported this GON policy. However, when groups such as
the Terai-based Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) or other
ethnic or civic organizations attempted to hold mass meetings

KATHMANDU 00000675 002 OF 002


or enforce their general strikes, the police had immediately
issued curfew and prohibitory orders, and sometimes exercised
excessive force. This double standard was bad for the GON
and bad for the police, Pyakurel said.

Who Will Save the Country?


--------------------------





6. (C) The human rights activist asked the Ambassador in
exasperation, "Who will save the country?" The Ambassador
responded that he shared many of Pyakurel's concerns, but was
unsure what could be done to fix the situation. Pyakurel
stated that it was time for the international community,
including the Government of India, to take a strong, unified
stand against Maoist abuses. He urged the U.S. to push the
GON to enforce law and order effectively and rapidly. He
noted that it would be particularly important in the run-up
to the Constituent Assembly election for the international
community to have numerous observers on the ground to monitor
the situation. The Ambassador agreed, and added that the
international community also needed to be ready to call the
legitimacy of the election into question if the election
turned out to be other than free and fair. Pyakurel
concurred.

Comment


--------------------------





7. (C) Human rights activist Sushil Pyakurel has a
well-established record as a critic of King Gyanendra and the
Seven-Party Alliance. In the past, he was not one to
criticize the Maoists. Thus, his apparent conversion to the
view that there should be no double-standard for the Maoists
is all the more striking. We gather Pyakurel is not alone in
experiencing this change of heart. With luck and
encouragement, he and his civil society colleagues will start
to make their views about the need for law enforcement,
including against the Maoists, public.
MORIARTY