An “exhausted” Unified Maoists’ Party finally, evening May 7, 2010, ended the indefinite strike that had brought the country to a standstill for the last six days.
However, the former rebel party’s abrupt decision to pull-out the unusually peaceful protest has remained a mystery as yet.
What was the hidden agreement that Nepal’s failed political leaders once again reached at and on whose behest the strike was called off remains yet a matter of debate?
Nevertheless, the Maoists’ decision to withdraw the “claimed” peaceful indefinite strike that was slowly but surely heading towards confrontation must be taken as a welcome move by all means.
One thing that has come to the fore and perhaps substantiated the fact that it is only when Nepali political forces fight with each other for their petty political gains, the foreigners become visibly active.
The Western envoys unusually though were found excessively active in mediating the political dispute here though they have reasons to get panicked by the miserable state of Peace Process. They had reasons to get panicked because they wanted to see positive results in the peace process where their tax-payer’s money has been involved.
The envoys of the US and the member states of the European Union tried hard to end the political dispute here, they met with virtually all top political actors and requested them personally to end the political dispute.
On Day 6 of the Nepal Closure, still there were no sign that the Maoists’ would pull out their indefinite strike, at least it was not presumed until the ‘Peace Activists’ who were heading for a peace rally in Basantapur area of Kathmandu and elsewhere from various locations had to face disturbances from the Maoists’ cadres.
The peace activists and the Maoists’ cadres at various locations of the country confronted with each other violently during the day. The Maoists’ cadres were certain that those who were heading for the peace rally were none other than the cadres of the ruling parties but under the garb of ‘peace activists’.
In between something very interesting happened.
Some leaders of top three parties, Nepali Congress, United Marxist Leninist and Unified Maoists were invited at the private residence of a foreign envoy somewhere in Kathmandu. This time it was not in Lainchour as it used to be, where Indian Embassy in located. Rather, it was at the private residence of Mr. Thor Gislesen, the Norwegian Ambassador in Bhaisepati, Lalitpur.
The Norwegian stake in Nepal’s peace process is perhaps the highest of all the European countries and it is not hidden to anyone. In fact, it had became wide and clear since a Norwegian minister, Eric Solheim to be more precise, had met with some Maoists’ leaders in New Delhi when the Maoists’ leaders were taking refuge in India and their cadres were fighting with the state back home.
Nevertheless, at the meeting held at the private residence of Ambassador Gislesen, Nepali Congress leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Poudel were present. Similarly, C. P. Gajurel and Krishna Bahadur Mahara represented the agitating Unified Maoists’ party. And, Bharat Mohan of the United Marxist Leninists was also there.
The US Ambassador Scott H DeLisi and Ambassadors of France, Denmark, Germany and Finland were also invited at the meeting.
In the meeting that lasted for 45 minutes, the US and EU envoys repeatedly urged the Unified Maoists Party to withdraw strike and hold talks with the ruling parties. They hoped that Nepal’s political leaders are self capable of bringing the peace process on track. A satire indeed.
“We assured the foreign friends not to lose hope and that we will come up with some solution in the near future”, said Ram Chandra of Nepali Congress after the meeting.
Interestingly, the Nepal parties in conflict were assuring the foreign dignitaries not to panic.
However, what sort of understanding the leaders reached during the meeting was not known.
Nevertheless, the Unified Maoists’ Party has ended its indefinite Nepal closure which could be seen as a good beginning until they resume their fight with the state once again.
Finally, sidelining Nepal’s immediate neighbors, India and China, will any agreement made on the US and European behest survive for long?
Or, does it mean that the European and the US influence has substantially increased in Nepal to the utter dismay and chagrin of the Indian regime which considers Nepali affairs as her own internal affair. A befitting lesson for India and China as well.
The other side of the coin will be made public soon.