Kathmandu: The newly accredited British Ambassador to Nepal, Dr. Andrew Hall, in his perhaps maiden speech made to a large gathering of Nepali academicians and intellectuals, February 14, has underlined the two important areas where Nepal can enjoy British partnership which were, namely, supporting conflict resolution and peace building initiatives, and tackling global poverty.
He was talking at a program organized by the Nepal Council of World Affairs.
Andrew Hall, who is considered to be a
“We recognize the devastating impacts that poverty and conflict can have”, added the Ambassador who obliquely preferred to link poverty as to be one root cause for the escalation of conflicts.
Perhaps he was hinting at the Nepal’s Maoists uprising which indeed took a Himalayan dimension well within a short span of ten years or so whose one of the root causes had been the prevalence of poverty in many parts of the country.
On a positive note, the British dignitary welcomed the last November Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in between the State and the Maoists and alerted all concerned political actors to “seize the opportunity” provided by the said agreement.
In a surprising political overtone the British envoy cautioned the Nepalese political actors to lead the peace process on their own. Andrew Hall’s remarks can be compared with what a Danish dignitary visiting
Should this mean that
The Ambassador is right when he says that the processes initiated by Koirala and his colleagues as regards peace must be led and owned by Nepalese themselves. However, this is not forthcoming. Take it for granted Dr. Hall!
Should this further mean that
Dr. Hall during the course of his lecture also hinted that his country would be more than happy to work together with the
He, however, said that the army should be brought under civilian control which would be in the larger interests of the army itself.
“We will support the government to ensure that an inclusive, effective and accountable army is developed”, said Dr. Hall adding, this will involve promoting democratic accountability through the strengthening of the ministry of defense, supporting future disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the DDR scheme, and supporting longer term professionalism and capacity building initiatives.
Dr. Hall in the process does not spare the Maoists and says, of course we recognize that the Maoists too have committed numerous HR violations and indeed they account for the great majority of abuses since the ceasefire of May 2006. According to Dr. Hall, the Maoists continue to carry out what he calls, “widespread violent intimidation and abduction, and extortion which has reached extreme levels”.
This is not all for the Maoists from his side.
Look how he chides the Maoists.
“This must stop. Maoists, like everyone else need to accept the rule of law and comply with it. Their attacks on business are undermining confidence, they will certainly deter investors and tourists, and the economy is suffering as a result. It is the common people, who the Maoists profess to be working for , who will be the losers”.
Dr. Hall appears to have been talking the voice of the American Ambassador who has been lambasting at the Maoists time and again. Now Moriarty has got one “ally” in the midst of the friends who beg to differ with him on the count of the Maoists.
At least it appears that now for a while the
On a negative note, Dr. Hall emphatically but in a roundabout manner alleges the ruling kathmandu elites, the political leaders at the center to have deliberately ignored the issues and the problems of the women, the dalits, Janjatis and the madhesis in a systematic manner.
Look how he speaks in favor of those neglected so far by the state.
“Large groups of people have been systematically disadvantaged in terms of political decision making and development”; Dr. Hall remarks.
In his thinking, it is in the areas where inequalities are widest the conflict has been most intense-and inequality continues to rise.
Dr. Hall warns the Nepali establishment not to ignore the demands of the excluded groups for he fears that “some excluded groups, in particular the young, resorting to armed violence if they do not see the change favoring their cause”. If that does happen, Dr. Hall, predicts that such sad events might pose a threat tro