The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung-FES, Nepal Office, in association with Ex-Police Organizations’ organized one day high-level national seminar on Civil Military (Security) Relations in Nepal on 12th April, 2012 in Kathmandu.
The seminar was well attended by the high-ranking serving and retired security personnel, civil servants, academicians, journalists, members of civil society and other stakeholders.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Head of FES Nepal Dev Raj Dahal said that state’s outreach in society can only be extended when the relationship between citizen and public institutions are improved. He further said that the reasons of the state can only be realized by the people, when there is a rule of law in society. And security agencies play vital role in strengthening the rule of law. The tendency to deconstruct state-centric security with the help of non-state-actors has generated feeling of insecurity in society.
Speaking at the inaugural session, former IGP D B Lama said that the morale of security agencies needs to be upheld in order to maintain sustainable peace in the society. He also required the government to periodically consult retired officials as they are in touch with the people and can provide vital information needed for security.
Likewise, while presenting his paper former AIGP Rajendra Bahadur Singh said that Nepal Police has been continually used as a tool of repression by the government at the helm of power and this has strained relationship between the people and the police. Singh also pointed out that various scandals mediated by the political parties have also tarnished the image of Nepal police. The classic example to this end is the Sudan Darfur APC Scandal where the then ruling government misused police department for their benefit.
Lt. General (Retd.) Sadip Shah said that the civil-military concept that has been floated in our society is completely a Western notion and may not be suitable for us. He was of the view that the civil-military relations in Nepal are not that bad as it has been propagated by the media.
Another presenter, Col. (Retd) Ratindra Chhetri said that civil-military relations in Nepal is in the transition phase but the same has to be understood in a different note unlike the recent debate that has raged this sector.
He recommended that new national security policy should be developed and it should include coordination of all security related agencies, joint training of politicians and security officials about national security challenges, strengthening of public relations unit and institutionalization of National Security Council which can draw the prevailing security scenario in the country and later formulate rapid response mechanism accordingly.