Today is the sixth day of closure in Nepal and the peace assembly had been organized by non political group. Initially the program was to be the peace rally but as Maoists threatened the organizers the rally was cancelled so only peace assembly was held. At 9 am one of the world's heritage site, Basantapur Durbar Square was filled with tens of thousands peace loving Nepali. Under strict police protection the program proceeded where the only demand kept by Nepali was to restore peace and come into political consensus. Their appeal was not only to one political party but to all; including the Government of Nepal and the rebelling party. But only Maoists party had problems with this rally, so many questions that arises here is why the Maoists party had problems with the rally when it was only for peaceful reason, which is also one of the demands of Maoists. The peace assembly has given two days mandate for the political parties to come into consensus but looking at the current situation the consensus looks like a farfetched dream
The Maoists party not only threatened the organizers but also obstructed general public to walk in the road. They stopped people from FNCCI Lalitpur in Kupondole to go to the rally and there were clashes between the peace rally participants and Maoists cadres. Even the top leader of Maoists and CA member, Ms. Pampha Bhushal, tried to stop her cadres to let those people move towards the assembly but the cadres did not seem to accept her orders. This show that the Young Communist League (YCL) aka cadres are not in control of Maoists, the party which cannot maintain discipline within their own party, will they be able to lead the country is the another question that arises now.
The peace assembly successfully ended but the general public risked their lives and preceded the rally too. The rally was meant for peace restoration in Nepal and was not targeted against any political party. At some places during the rally there were clashes between peace rally and the cadres as the latter threw stones on the former and then the police was compelled to fire tear gas to both the parties. What is most surprising is that they don’t even recognize their country's flag as one of the demonstrator asked which organization's flag was that. This incident shows that how patriotic the YCL cadres are as they don’t even know what their country's flag looks like. I am ashamed to say that they also account up to the Nepalese population.
The other surprising fact is that why are they attacking the civilians and if Maoists are intended to attack the civilians then their strike is just to come into power and nothing else. In Patan, another world heritage site, the YCL entered the house of civilians and attacked them as the civilians were outraged who were obstructed to participate in the peace assembly attacked the vehicles of Maoists and three cadres brutally.
Moreover, the remarks of YCL, Kathmandu Incharge, Sagar left every participants of the rally agitated. He alleged that all the participants of the rally were paid by the Government and is the conspiracy against Maoists. According to his statement, Nepalese are those who abide by their ideologies and those who have ideologies different than them are not a Nepali. They claim that they are fighting for the people's right and democracy but their action and words both says the exact opposite story. The allegation that the participants of the rally were paid says their story that they are bringing the participants by paying them.
Amidst all these scenarios, a woman has been alleged to mix poison on the waters of Maoist cadres in one of the main junctions of demonstration in Kathmandu. The alleged woman though claims to have bought that poison to kill her but the demonstrators has seen them mixing it on water bottles that she sold to Maoists. The two holes in the bottle of the poison shows that she has used that and if she intended to kill herself then why haven't she used it till then and why had she created a hole in it to pass the poison when she had intended to kill herself later. People have also claimed that two men had given her NRs.20,000 (around $274) to mix poison in the water. The demonstrators brutally beat her up in the presence of security forces and human rights activist though they tried to protect her from them. At last she fainted and the human right activist took her to the hospital and is under protection of security force and human right activist. The whole story is expected to be verified once she gets conscious.
With all these incidents taking place in the capital city shows that the country is moving towards the state of terror and posing the threat of civil war as civilians are being attacked by Maoists. The civil war can break at any point as civilians are out of ration and stuffs that are required on a daily basis and now the Maoists are obstructing their freedom of speech and to move freely.Maoist party of Nepal has called for indefinite closure from May 2nd but the country has remained closed since May 1st with the demand of resignation of the Prime Minister. United CPN- Maoist came to the main stream politics after the decade long war was called off in the year 2006 after the famous People's Revolution II. During that period, continuous 19 days the country's overall activities were called off and curfew was common then. But they came to consensus by signing the Comprehensive Peace Accord and overthrew the King, and consequently Constituent Assembly election was held after postponing the date of election twice. After the CA election Nepali were delighted that finally the Peace zone will be peaceful, but the ongoing bargain among the political parties does not give any hope to Nepali and they continue to live their life awe.
The results of CA election were surprising as the rebelling party was able to secure more votes and thus made them the biggest party of Nepal. But still there was a lot of struggle to balance power within the cabinet and was settled later on. Then again the Maoist party targeted the Chief of Army and that is when the whole story of power balance collapsed and Maoist left the government thus deserting the peace process and constitution making process.
Now after one year they have declared the revolution against the government and it is the fifth day that they have been on streets. The people on the streets are brought from various districts to the capital and most of them do not have any idea why they are here in the capital. Moreover, they do not have money or food so they are eating beaten rice and staying in the streets for the whole day. On 30th April, almost all the shops of the city area were closed so as to prevent them from forced donations as asked by the Maoist party but they have denied the fact of asking donations with the general public time and again.
The new constitution should have been drafted by May 28th but with no efforts from the political parties the country has entered into the state of political vacuum. Most of the Nepali people are in the state of awe and are ignorant about what will happen next. Recently getting out from a decade long armed conflict and the terror of getting into again in the vicious cycle of conflict has further terrorized the mind set of each and every Nepali.
It had been three days since I was stuck at home due to indefinite closure called by the United Communist Party of Nepal- Maoists (UCPN-M) and it was same for most of the people in Nepal. I tried to convince my parents for the last three consecutive days to let me out of the house but never got through. They are scared that if the crowd gets violent the situation might get worse from bad at any moment. Their concern is also valid as the people involved in decade long armed conflict which resulted in 13,000 casualties were on the streets demonstrating. But I could not confine myself within the four walls of my house as I felt that my country needs me at this time of crisis.
We all were discussing about the current political process on facebook, but we could not come into consensus about what would be our next step. So we decided to meet somewhere at the centre point of the city. I took my camera and informed my parents that I was finally leaving after much struggle and moved towards my destination. My house is at the countryside of Kathmandu and the meeting point was almost 6 kilometers away from my house but it did not stop me to move.
After walking for about 10 minutes I met people who looked at me suspiciously and their gesture told me that they were surprised to see a girl walking all alone in this uncertain situation. Then I crossed pass the group of men discussing the same political uncertainty in Nepal and a woman listening to them sitting behind them, this reminded me that woman are still not participating in debates and discussion that concerns them.
I saw people looking with eyes filled with hope whether few shops were open so that they could buy vegetables for their evening meal and there were children playing badminton at the middle of the road. I stopped and talked to them whether they like this closure, bandh, they all laughed and said yes but they said they are missing their schools and friends too. It had been four days since everything has closed down and if this trend continues then what will be the future of the children of this country? We just got out from the decade long conflict but the struggles of power balance between the political parties are posing a severe threat to this nation and its citizens.
During my visit I saw many people in the street walking towards their destination with much difficulty. There were children playing, women learning cycling and time and again ambulances blowing their siren moved from one place to another. The vehicles that could only be seen today in the busy streets of Kathmandu today are of ambulances, police vehicles, development agencies, press and those of human rights defenders. The Maoists' cadres popularly known as Young Communist League were threatening cycle riders too. In one of the places I saw them threatening a boy of around 10 years to crash his bicycle; the innocent child was so scared he rode back so quickly it left me alarmed. I looked at those cadres and saw there is a rage within them and don’t know whether they will outbreak and the nation will enter into the civil war.
Four of us met at the centre of Kathmandu and planned to unite to address the current crisis of nation in our own way. We decided to form groups of non political youth who are neither represented nor are allowed to participate in the state's development process. We are the unheard voices who have been struggling to make difference in the society. We decided to contact youth like us through facebook and has gathered a big number of youth to address the current issues and pressurize the government and the rebelling party to come into consensus as soon as possible and draft the constitution within the given time frame. The group met today at the same place as that of yesterday and discussed at length about their role in this situation. This group will act voluntarily and will not seek any financial support from any group as this group believes that they need to contribute to their nation and if we fail to act now we will be failure throughout our lives.
The people of Nepal has suffered a lot during the process of conflict and its transition phase but now what a simple Nepali dreams about is the country where they can move freely, work without threat and live their life peacefully. They don't aim for lavish life and are satisfied with what they have so it is the time to respect the feelings of Nepali and restore peace in Nepal.
Every night I pray to god that the other day when I wake up, I wake up in peaceful Nepal as it was when I was a child but now I am scared that my dreams will never be fulfilled. Nevertheless, I haven’t lost hope as sometimes the last key in the bunch will open the lock.
P.S. If you have any suggestions on how to proceed on this, please let us know, thanks, your suggestions will help us make Nepal a peaceful country