About Nepalpolity

A forum for the analysis of Nepal's domestic affairs, Policy Research, Himalayan Asia affairs and International Relations with special focus on South Asia and China.

Politics of Violence: War – People vs. People

Here, a clever trick was successfully applied, that the people’s war was being fought against the King’s rule in this peaceful Himalayan nation.

By Deepak Gajurel, Associate Professor

Deepak Gajurel, Associate Professor

Janata,’ the people are sovereign. They are the supreme who can steer the nation whatever way they wish, and they do away whoever comes their way. Nepali people have proven this capability, time and again, in the past.

Nepali people stood against the Ranas, because Ranas were not Janata, they were rulers, meaning Ranas were above the people. Spontaneously or with the support from without, Nepali Janata launched a successful armed revolt against the Ranas.

That was 68 years back.

Unfortunately, that powerful, capable and sovereign Nepali Janata could not hold on the ‘people’s rule’ for long, and the people handed over the reign of the nation to Shah King, who started party-less Panchayat system. The descendants of the Nepali Nation’s Unifier, Shah Kings ruled Nepal that lasted no less than three decades.

Apparently, any anti-Janata rule could not have survived for 30 years. That’s too long for the people of a ‘twenty-first century modern’ country, as we Nepalis claim to be.

After 30 years of experiences with Panchayat system, reigned by the King in the Narayanhiti Royal Palace, Nepali Janata once again sprung up against the ruler, the King.

The difference this time, from that of 1950 was, rulers were Shah Kings, not Rana Shree Teen Maharaj.

And lo! Nepali Janata proved their omnipotence, and the King was made to bow to introduce multi-party polity in 1990, that was in accordance with the ‘wish’ of the Janaandolan 1. Janata’s wish prevailed, because this time round again, their struggle was against a ruler, and His men at the helm.

At the same time, people’s leaders ‘agreed to disagree’ in the name of how to empower mass Nepali people. Thus, began a destructive bloody civil war, they called ‘people’s war.’ It was interesting that ‘people’s war’ was fought with bullets and bombs against the ‘people’s representatives’ regime seated in Singh Darbar.

The politicians of the Aandolan claimed that 1990 constitution was ‘the best democratic’ one in the world. It is entirely another matter that almost all the provisions of that unfortunate constitution was violated, once or more, by the same democratic leaders during its 15-year life.

Though famous British theory of ‘King can do no wrong’ was the main thrust of the 1990 constitution, the people were made to believe, by the incompetent political parties and politicians, that the King was playing villain.

At the same time, people’s leaders ‘agreed to disagree’ in the name of how to empower mass Nepali people. Thus, began a destructive bloody civil war, they called ‘people’s war.’ It was interesting that ‘people’s war’ was fought with bullets and bombs against the ‘people’s representatives’ regime seated in Singh Darbar.

Please be reminded: the control of Nepal’s fate at that unfortunate period was in the hands of the parties, duly, and of course, democratically elected, ‘people’s representatives’, and not the King.

Here, a clever trick was successfully applied, that the people’s war was being fought against the King’s rule in this peaceful Himalayan nation.

The politicians at the helm of the regime, under 1990 constitution, were playing foul which ultimately took shape of an alliance among ‘democratic’ and ‘revolutionary’ forces.

What factors were behind the formation and handling of that alliance and for what interests are another aspects altogether. The result was not unexpected. The constitutionally acting King was forced to come onto his knees before the ‘people’ and give up all his ‘state authority.’

The Janaandolan 2, 2006 was the extraordinary turning point in the history of Nepal. This not only changed the polity, overthrew Monarchy and empowered Nepali Janata with all ultimate rights, it’s most important ‘achievement’ was proclaimed to be the establishment of ‘people’s rule’ in Nepal.

The net result: for the first time in the history of his Himalayan nation, people is rising up against people. What does this mean? Where does actual problem lie: in the rulers? Or is it Nepali Janata? And who forced this nation into this quagmire? and for whose, what interest?

Currently, that is, since last one decade, Monarchy is absent in Nepali politics. No ‘ruler’ is anywhere in the scene. Everywhere, from the grassroots to Singh Darbar, people’s representatives are in the drivers’ seats.

The country is entirely, and without any doubt, de facto, ruled by the people’s representatives, Loktantra, as proudly claimed by the politicians. There is no room for any ‘ruler’(meaning a person that is above the people) in current Nepal political system.

However, Nepali Janata do not seem satisfied.

A section of people’s representatives are ruling the country ‘legitimately’ having almost two-thirds majority of votes in the parliament, both at the Center, and at the Pradesh as well as local levels.

Another ‘Janata’, led by Teria leaders, in the name of Madhes, are going notorious against the Kathmandu rulers, with not so peaceful means.

Added exertion of pressure is being built up by some fractions of erstwhile Maoists. They seem to be in the preparation of launching some kind of agitation for the unconditional fulfillment of ‘people’s wish.’ Their modus operandi does not smell ‘peaceful’ by any standard, as they are threatening to resort to arms struggle against the government, the Janata’s Loktantra!

Here lies the ‘real politik’.

‘Janata’ proven to have the support of two-thirds of the Nepali voters are in the power, and the rest of ‘Janata’ is signaling, overtly or otherwise, to ignite another devastating and bloody spell of war in the name of people’s empowerment.

The net result: for the first time in the history of his Himalayan nation, people is rising up against people. What does this mean? Where does actual problem lie: in the rulers? Or is it Nepali Janata? And who forced this nation into this quagmire? and for whose, what interest?

It would be interesting to know the logical answer, even if not satisfactory.

* Associate Professor Deepak Gajurel is a Political Scientist.

China and India in Doklam: This can have catastrophic consequences for India

Merely making brave statements that we have good relations with China and resolution is possible through talks can have catastrophic consequences for India.

By Prakash Katoch*

Prakash Katoch

The latest news reports state that Indian Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary (FS) Vijay Gokhale, with several key army and  External Affairs Ministry officials, secretly visited Bhutan two weeks ago to discuss strategic issues, including the situation in the Doklam region.

This joint visit by the COAS, NSA and FS to Bhutan was unprecedented, indicating the seriousness of the issues involved. Rawat had earlier visited Bhutan in April 2017, followed by the foreign secretary at the time, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in October, while the king of Bhutan visited India in November.

Doklam became a buzzword last year with a 73-day India-China military standoff. China began claiming the Doklam Plateau in the early 1990s, realizing its strategic significance. This was accompanied by claims in other parts of Bhutan that kept inching forward.

China had no ethnic connections in Doklam but the People’s Liberation Army started periodic forays into the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) post in Doklam, telling them to vacate “Chinese territory.” These incidents were mostly ignored by the Bhutanese and Indian media. China then offered a compromise. If Bhutan surrendered the Doklam Plateau to China, it would give up its territorial claims in north-central Bhutan.

The Doklam Plateau is the private property of Bhutan’s royal family. India has had excellent opportunities since the early 1990s to establish an Indo-Bhutanese venture here, or quietly buy this piece of land. This could have been done if the Bhutanese king had been convinced, through bilateral discussions, that this was the best solution to avoid any future confrontation with China.

Diplomacy does not imply ignoring the obvious where national security and other interests are involved. But ironically, none of the governments in India (Congress, Janata Party, BJP) can be credited with credible strategic sense. The Doklam imbroglio is one among many lost opportunities for India.

When the Doklam standoff began on June 16, 2017, China probably did not expect an Indian reaction, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Washington at the time. It was because of corruption allegations – or perhaps the need to find a scapegoat for the Doklam standoff – that General Fang Fenghui, chief of the PLA Joint Staff Department, was fired later.

But the PLA intrusion in Doklam was not a local-level move, as portrayed by China and its state-controlled media. Any trans-border move by China, whether against Bhutan or India, would be monitored by the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping.

In fact, General Zhao Zongqi, commander of the Western Theatre Command, had visited India in December 2016 and met with then-COAS General Dalbir Singh Suhag, vice-chief of army staff Lieutenant-General Bipin Rawat, and Lieutenant-General Praveen Bakshi, who was India’s Eastern Army Commander, perhaps to gauge Indian preparations and resolve.

The Doklam standoff ended on August 28 and was celebrated as a “victory” in India. But China was only taking a tactical pause, in all likelihood to prevent the embarrassment of Modi not attending the ninth BRICS Summit being hosted by China in Xiamen from September 3-5.

But even as the standoff continued, Bhutan issued a démarche to China for violating earlier agreements. But China was not sitting quiet either. It kept reiterating that Doklam was Chinese territory, with Luo Zhaohui, China’s ambassador to India, and his deputy Liu Jinsong warning India against any interference.

China is likely to embarrass India while its attention is focused on the general elections in May next year. This could also be used to undermine the growing India-US partnership.

Luo also held meetings with Indian opposition leaders, while Liu dashed by air to Thimphu to meet with the king and the Bhutanese leadership. This was followed by China’s announcement that Bhutan had conceded Doklam. However, this was quickly denied by Bhutan.

Notably, Luo had visited Darjeeling in April 2017 and met with the district magistrate, perhaps to assess the Gorkha agitation and how China could exploit it.

Immediately after the Doklam standoff being called off, satellite images from September 6 revealed that the China had continued to build its presence close to the contested point. PLA units with heavy and lethal equipment were poised for quick escalation, and reports suggested that nearly 3,000 PLA troops had been deployed. Images depict that a headquarters, a logistics unit, air defense artillery and a mechanized unit were present at the site.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs maintained that there was no change from the status quo, but the imagery said otherwise. On December 11, Indian media reported that 1,600-1,800 PLA troops present in the Doklam area had built two helipads, upgraded roads, and established scores of prefabricated huts and shelters.

On January 17 this year, satellite imagery revealed that the PLA was fully in control of north Doklam with a force of about brigade strength, including two mechanized regiments, two regiments’ worth of tank transporters, and more than 100 large troop/equipment-carrying vehicles, among other vehicles and equipment. There was also a concrete two-story-high observation tower less than 10 meters from the most forward trench occupied by the Indian Army during the standoff.

Another set of satellite images on January 15 revealed that China was building roads and posts in the strategic Shaksgam Valley.

These indicate that China has not given up on Doklam and will continue to push forward its expansionist strategy.

China’s expansionist foreign policy has major strategic implications for its immediate neighbors. The first part of this two-part series showed how a brigade-strength deployment in North Doklam by China has considerable firepower.

It has two mechanized regiments and tank transporters, a two-story observation tower, a large number of fighting posts on every hillock, seven new helipads, and more than 100 large troop- and equipment-carrying vehicles, besides road-construction equipment. This is a fair indication of China’s intentions in the disputed area that is at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China that witnessed a 73-day military standoff last year.

China initially denied that the People’s Liberation Army had built up its presence at Doklam. But later it announced that it was only exercising its sovereignty, which was legitimate and justified, and hoped other countries (read India) would not comment on China’s construction of infrastructure in its territory.

In an interview to China’s Global Times on January 26, the Indian ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale, said the Doklam standoff had been “blown out of proportion.” He stressed that it was important not to change the “status quo” at sensitive points along the India-China border, and that the two countries should hold talks to resolve contentious issues, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

But it is the changed situation in Doklam that obviously prompted a recent joint visit by India’s Chief of Army Staff, national security adviser and foreign secretary to Bhutan.

After the standoff, Beijing may have assessed that the Indian reaction to a Chinese buildup was unlikely to be beyond a jostling match. Therefore, the current massive buildup is hardly warranted and indicates China’s future ambitions.

When Liu Jinsong, a senior Chinese diplomat in India, visited Thimphu during the Doklam standoff to meet the Bhutanese leadership, he stressed Bhutan becoming part of China’s ambitious economic plans as well as dropping subtle hints of the consequences of opposing its strategic interests. The buildup was aimed at putting down the Royal Bhutanese Army, confident that India would do nothing beyond talks, just like the situation in Maldives.

Pressure on Bhutan

There is a distinct possibility that China will increase its pressure on the Bhutanese leadership, forcing it to state that it does not want to get tied up in a conflict zone between India and China. This is similar to what the former president of Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, is now saying. China will continue to pressure Bhutan on establishing diplomatic relations, connecting Doklam with Thimphu by road and rail links, and commencing trade.

China is unlikely to budge from its illegal claims, and likely to undermine any agreement on “not disturbing the status quo while talks are on.” Successive Indian governments have neglected defense, not realizing that diplomacy that is not backed with military muscle means little. The currency of power must be backed by asymmetric and irregular military capabilities, since the economy and bilateral trade are insufficient to establish a sound negotiating position with China.

The border infrastructure in India’s northeast remains pathetic. Projects under way are inadequate, as the recent Chinese intrusion into the Tuting area indicated. This requires holistic review and immediate action by the government of India.

China has 24/7 satellite surveillance along the border. India has nothing of that sort, even though it regularly launches satellites successfully. The Indian Army’s Battlefield Surveillance System is moving at a snail’s pace, while the Battlefield Management System was recently foreclosed for lack of funds, even as the PLA is digitizing its troops at dizzying speeds.

There is a danger of Chinese intrusions in India’s northeast, with Beijing having repeatedly stated that it does not recognize Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India. We have a self-inflicted gap, perpetuated by successive Indian governments over the years, with troops sitting scores of kilometers behind the Line of Actual Control.

Election distraction

China is likely to embarrass India while its attention is focused on the general elections in May next year. This could also be used to undermine the growing India-US partnership. The Indian government may attempt to whitewash PLA intrusions, describing them as “transgressions,” but these will likely become permanent this time, the recent disengagement at Tuting notwithstanding. Political compulsions may lure policymakers to maintain there is “no change in the status quo,” with areas inaccessible to the media.

But ground realities can’t be hidden for long, just as in Doklam. The Shyam Saran report (not made public) handed over to then-prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2013 reportedly talked of some 645 square kilometers lost to China incrementally over the years. According to Indian diplomat Phunchok Stobdan, 400 square kilometers has been lost in Ladakh, a region in Jammu and Kashmir state. Yet the defense minister at that time, A K Antony, misled Parliament by stating, “We haven’t lost an inch of territory to China.”

But this time, the danger is much greater, with Chinese President Xi Jinping pulling out all stops to realize illegal claims. In areas where the Indian Army is sitting way behind the lines, perhaps permanent mobilization is the answer, at great discomfort to the army. Merely making brave statements that we have good relations with China and resolution is possible through talks can have catastrophic consequences for India.

*The author retired as lieutenant general from the Indian Army’s Special Forces.

Courtesy: www.atimes.com

Will America Choose Its Children Over Guns?

As surely as there are camels’ backs and straws to break them, moments arrive when citizens say they’ve had enough, when they rise up against political leaders who do not speak for them and whose moral fecklessness imperils lives. We may be witness to such a moment now with the protests by American teenagers sickened — and terrified — by the latest mass murder at the hands of someone with easy access to a weapon fit for a battlefield, not a school.

These kids have had enough. They’ve had enough of empty expressions of sympathy in the wake of the sort of atrocities they’ve grown up with, like last week’s mass shooting that took 17 lives at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Enough of the ritualistic mouthing of thoughts and prayers for the victims. Enough of living in fear that they could be next in the cross hairs of a well-armed deranged killer, even with all the active shooter drills and lockdowns they’ve gone through. Enough of craven politicians who kneel before the National Rifle Association and its cynically fundamentalist approach to the Second Amendment.

They are asking in what kind of country are children sent off to school with bulletproof book bags strapped to their backs — capable, one manufacturer, Bullet Blocker, says, of “stopping a .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, 9mm, .45 caliber hollow point ammunition and more.”

“I was born 13 months after Columbine,” a 12th grader named Faith Ward said on Monday, referring to the school massacre in Littleton, Colo., in 1999, the dawn of the modern wave of school shootings. Ms. Ward spoke to a television reporter at an anti-gun demonstration outside her school in Plantation, Fla. “This is all I have ever known,” she said, “this culture of being gunned down for no reason, and this culture of people saying, ‘Oh, let’s send thoughts and prayers’ for three days, and then moving on. And I’m tired of it.”

So are we all.

It is too soon to tell if this righteous anger augurs a sustained youth movement for gun sanity, going beyond the occasional protest. We hope it does. It’s time, once again, for America to listen to its children. Who among us have more at stake than they?

Sensible young people have it in their power to make their senseless elders take heed — and act. We saw it happen during the Vietnam War half a century ago. Young people, initially reviled by establishment forces as unwashed, longhaired traitors, energized an antiwar movement that swept the country and, even if it took years, ultimately ended America’s misguided adventure in Southeast Asia.

Courtesy: www.nytimes.com

बेवास्ता गरिएको राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा

दामोदर कोइराला, राजनीति शास्त्री

दामोदर कोइराला

राष्ट्रको सुरक्षालाई अत्यन्त ठूलो महत्व दिनु पर्ने हुन्छ । सेना, प्रहरी मात्र हैन, मुलुकको सामाजिक, आर्थिक, साँस्कृतिक, धार्मिक, कूटनीतिक, राजनीतिक लगायत हरेक क्षेत्र र पक्ष सवल रह्यो भने मात्र राष्ट्र सुरक्षित रहन सक्छ । यी मध्ये कुनै एउटा पक्ष मात्र पनि कमजोर भयो भने राष्ट्र अप्ठ्यारो अवस्थामा पर्ने खतरा हुन्छ ।

राष्ट्रलाई सवल तथा प्रभावकारी बनाउन मुलुक सञ्चालकहरूले / शासकहरूले राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति बनाएर त्यसलाई सही ढङ्गले कार्यान्वयन गर्छन् । त्यसैले जुन सुकै मुलुकले पनि राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीतिलाई ठूलो महत्व दिएको पाइन्छ ।

नेपालको सन्दर्भमा, पृथ्वी नारायण शाहले नेपाल राष्ट्रको एकीकरण आरम्भ गरे देखि, राणा शासन काल, २००७ सालको राजनीतिक परिवर्तन र त्यस पछिको एक दशक सम्म नेपालले पृथ्वी नारायण शाहको मार्ग निर्देशन र उनको दिव्य उपदेशको आधारमा राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति अवलम्बन गरेको थियो । ‘राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति’ का रूपमा लिपीवद्ध छुट्टै कुनै दस्तावेज नभए पनि त्यो काल खण्डमा नेपालका शासकहरूले यो राष्ट्रको सुरक्षा प्रभावकारी रूपले गरेको पाइन्छ ।

राजनीतिक दलहरूलाई काम गर्न नदिइएको, निर्दलीय पञ्चायती शासन व्यबस्थाको समयमा राष्ट्रिय नीति तयार पारिएको थियो । त्यही लिपीवद्ध, व्यबस्थित नीति अन्तर्गत राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति सञ्चालन गरिएको थियो । र २०४६ सालको परिवर्तन सम्म नेपालले राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षाका दृष्टिले प्रभावकारी काम गरेको थियो ।

त्यस बेलाका शासकहरू मुलुकलाई आन्तरिक मामलामा मात्र होइन, अन्तरराष्ट्रिय मञ्चमा समेत नेपाललाई एउटा सक्षम् तथा सशक्त राष्ट्रका रूपमा स्थापित गर्न सफल भएका थिए ।

तर, २०४६ सालमा जब नेपालमा बहुदलीय शासन प्रणाली आरम्भ गरियो र राजनीतिक दलहरूको चाहना अनुरूप देश चलाउन थालियो, नेपालको राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षालाई गौँण बनाइयो । २०४६ को परिवर्तन पछि लामो समय सम्म राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति नै नरहेको अवस्थालाई मुलुकको सुरक्षालाई पटक्कै महत्व नदिइएको प्रमाणको रूपमा लिन सकिन्छ ।

राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा जस्तो सम्वेदनशील विषयलाई महत्वहीन तरिकाले, जहिले पनि संक्रमणकाल जस्तो गरी व्यवहार गरियो । धेरै वर्ष यस्तै भद्रगोल रहे पछि २०६६ सालमा बल्ल राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति बनाउने प्रयास गरियो । तर त्यो प्रयास सफल भएन । मुलुकले राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा सम्बन्धी कुनै नीति पाउन सकेन । फेरि पनि देश तदर्थ शैली मै चलाइराखियो, राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षाका दृष्टिले समेत ।

साढे दुई दशक भन्दा वढी समय राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति विहीन रहेको नेपाल राष्ट्रले, २७ पर्ष पछि, २०७३ सालमा बल्ल राष्ट्रिय सुरक्षा नीति बनायो । सरकारले अनुमोदन गरेर यस बेला कार्यान्वयनमा रहेको सो नीतिको प्रभावकारिताको परीक्षण चाहिँ हुनै बाँकी नै छ ।

 

KP Oli and His Geostrategy

where’s the evidence that Oli won’t be a changed man this time around as far as his geostrategic orientation goes?

By Maila Baje

If Khadga Prasad Oli’s return to the premiership was inevitable after his party’s sturdy performance in last year’s elections, the timing of his ascension appears to have been conveniently crafted.

While the ‘China’s gain, India’s pain’ narrative will be assiduously held, New Delhi appears to have ensured sufficient safeguards against any significant ‘contrariness’ from the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) chairman this time around.

Not long after Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj invited herself to Nepal to give him that so palpably asphyxiating embrace, Oli finds himself at the helm of a minority government. The much-ballyhooed grand leftist unity is still marred by almost willful obfuscation from the principal protagonists. The Maoists could have sent a minister or two as a confidence-building measure. 

Ideology, power sharing, personal predilections, or any number of other things could be standing in the way. For now, all we hear is the word ‘inevitable’. Beijing might be happy at the change of guard in Kathmandu, but it will certainly be hard-pressed to identify what there is really to cheer about.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the most formidable opposition to the UML-Maoist Center unification is emanating, not from so-called ‘national and international conspirators’, but from within the two parties. Of course, the distinction may be feebler than it sounds. But you cannot disregard the reality that others get to play only because those within allow them to.

If Oli is facing antagonism, if not outright insurrection, from factional chieftains like Madhav Kumar Nepal, the Maoists are not in exactly pristine form, either.  Once-acquiescent lieutenants like Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Ram Bahadur Thapa, Barsa Man Pun, Janardan Sharma and Top Bahadur Rayamajhi are becoming more assertive in the organization as the aura of chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal continues to fade. The fact that these second-rung leaders come from different directions and have yet to fully pursue their own rivalries only complicates matters.  

On the other hand, caretaker prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba seems to have taken enough care to ensure that Oli’s journey would be anything but smooth. How many decisions will the new prime minister have to undo before he can start taking his own ones. And, then, who really knows how many – and what kind of – other ‘inopportune’ decisions the Deuba cabinet might have taken that have not hit the headlines.

Then there’s that innately human element. Oli had really stuck his neck out long and hard northward last time. What did the Chinese do for him when the inevitable backlash arrived? He was thrown out like a door mouse. More importantly, how many of us who ceaselessly commended his ‘nationalist’ stand during the Indian blockade do to bolster him in his hour of need?

To cut a long story short, where’s the evidence that Oli won’t be a changed man this time around as far as his geostrategic orientation goes? Dahal’s 180-degree flip was softened to an extent by the distance between his two premierships. The relative closeness of Oli’s tenures will perhaps make any such somersault more extraordinary, but it will certainly be no less explicable.

Source: www.nepalinetbook.blogspot.com

Threats to Nation Building in Nepal

By Dev Raj Dahal*

Prof. Dev Raj Dahal

The modern nation-building of Nepal demands a shift from pre-modern divide and rule to modern politics of cooperative action; linear growth-based economy to sustainable development; tribalism of people to a rational and resilient modern society of equal citizens; rote education to reflective learning able to address human condition through policy and productivity means; and colonially consigned buffer or semi-colonial narration of state to a site of transmission belt of great civilisations of South Asia and China. Nepali scholars, versed in the historical psychology of citizens, reject this self-inferiority and cite the struggle of people against the intrusive empire. The nation has spread the spiritual values of Shivaism and Buddhism, pagoda art and cultural heritage of tolerance. This discursive wisdom has formed the basis of statecraft. Nepali state is space-bound but its people (nation) are extrovert, extended in many nations. They sustain Nepali identity, but they are non-citizens. The recovery of state’s muscle to sustain historically resonant “unity in diversity,” multi-spheric justice and its equal status in the world can restore its dignity.

Democratic nation-building mends the bonds of Nepalis in sharing the burden of life and shores up ownership in national institutions. Modernity, democracy and human rights have fused the nation into the state to lift the spatial pivot of its history. The pre-political union of organic traits of place, language and ancestry that make up the nation is now mingled into the political nation-state defined as a union of emotion and feeling of citizens to precise sovereign space and its polity feeding equal opportunity for citizens. Nepali nation consists of free citizens with “common aspiration,” “national interest” and “prosperity” able to defend national integrity, sovereignty and state’s unity. This infuses delight in the Constitution, polity’s integrity, settlement of dissents in a democratic frame and transition of the nation from the community of scores of genetic and societal origins into a state of equal citizens.

Paradoxically, separate group rights stabilised into national commissions and their autonomous paths pose risks to the solidarity of national life. In a diverse society like Nepal national will alone can beat parochialism, ethnocentrism, territorialism and class or caste-determination of policy and construct national identity. An imperative of a robust statehood can manage sub-national aspiration, abolish privileges and clientalism from public policy and protect itself from the abuse of tribalism. The crash individualism which debases Nepal’s historicity and synthetic sources of many cultures or post-modernism which shields group recognition, affiliation and identity erase national consciousness and the virtue of constitutionalism. Democratic nation-building provides scope for law based economy aided by feedback loops between endogenous and exogenous factors of progress. 

The sovereignty of Nepali state and its citizen is coterminous. They peddle national-self-determination. But the twist of national will for partisan benefit bred a spar between the national state and partisan politics evoking ego-inflation of leaders while their auxiliary bodies, moving beyond constitutional spirit and civic culture, are stoking parochial loyalty to inflate political base. Enhancing national capacity is vital to conquer globalisation’s appetite to rollback Nepali state through the commercialisation of all spheres of life-nature, security, law, family, health, education, music, art, citizenship, sports, etc. and its decay by fuelling centrifugal forces of society. These forces demand direct foreign help to local bodies to smudge national loyalty, create external dependence, flag local institutions and fritter away all the money in training, not community-driven progress. It stifles the gear of social modernisation of pre-modern solidarity and move to civic nationalism and scientific temper which are critical to harness the nation’s post-traditional traits: syncretic culture, which fuses modernity and democracy; record of national freedom which acquitted it from chauvinism and protected asylum-seekers; heritage of tolerance of diversity; and overlapping values among social classes which supplied bonding social capital for nation-building. 

Nepali language satisfied communication needs even before the country was unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah. It unites Nepalis all over the world. Many rituals, poems, songs and narratives circulated in the arteries of polity to build the centre, Kathmandu and enabling citizen express one Nepaliness adoring motherland. Education and political acculturation sought to beat blind faith and social evils and imbibed views, values and interests of all sides. There are other strategies:

Crafting national identity: Nepali identity has roots as deep and ancient as the Atharva parisista, evolved from diverse experiences of the public of Himalayas, mountains and Terai, in the face of all outer physical, cultural and institutional walls. Nepal Mahatme, Dibya Upadesh, Babu Ram Acharya’s Nepal’s Cultural Tradition and Rishikesh Shaha’s Heroes and Builders of Nepal, inter alia, embody seminal works narrating Nepal’s identity. But they fall short to trace its epigenetically varied genealogy and complex roots to Himabat Khanda and how its culture survived and radiated to the world. Leadership vision and spirit of love of sages and citizens had set life condition for security, livelihood and peace. Laxmi Prasad Devkota’s article Is Nepal Small echoes strong pride and love to the nation. Now nation-building adopts many traits yet there are also darker forces haunting to subvert destiny. It is now shaped by fleeting social contract based on power equation or ideological lens of atomized leaders. 

Fusion of nation into constitutional state: Nepali state is place-bound while the nation is place-surpassing yet spiritually and culturally embedded. Its power monopoly is defined by citizenship rights and duties. The nation is based on a culture of consensus ensuring the enduring survival of state. Now, Nepal faces a wide gap between the vernacular speaking, spiritually leaning rural society and the English-stressing materially-oriented urban sub-society. This gap, amplified by education, health, wealth and technology, has exposed them to varied socialisation, disposition and orientation to the nation. New communication and transportation infrastructures can integrate periphery to the geopolitical centre, Kathmandu and reduce its isolation. Diffusion of cultural memories and social and gender justice are critical for political acculturation. Its style props up norms to sustain social order. Nepali state has nationalised the family but its capacity to integrate parties, civil society, economy and media is slanted. It clogs the prospect for cultivating national loyalty. Limiting donors’ stakes of interaction with the identity groups and citizens’ clientalisation demand national affinity and social cohesion stitched by shared values.

Social Inclusion: The civic competence of Nepalis realises their voice and visibility. The right to information has made them conscious of their 31 rights, issues and source of their judgment. Attentive citizens’ letters to the editors offers neat analysis of causes, options and potential for their solution. More rights and fewer duties have turned politics aspirational offering a space for radicalism, not contributing to the moderation of society for political stability and self-governance. Self-governance is based on the affinity to space, language, culture, ancestry, history, religion and self-sustaining institutions that make up the nation. Democratic nation-building de-tribalises the society and transfers primordial loyalty to statehood. The “autonomy” of local bodies from interest groups and “capacity” supported by its own resources can spread democratic virus to their lives. But the haughty economic ambition and pre-Freudian human nature bent on tribalisation, ethnicisation and regionalisation of politics by consultants linked to geopolitical loop and their inability to imbibe civic spirit risks social cohesion and dent national will to manage natural and post-national risks. 

Nation-building calls for a balance between the inputs and output functions of Nepal’s democratic institutions and building society around national virtues. It musters their loyalty to Nepali nation-state and ramps up its ability to unify diverse citizens to tread along centripetal direction. Closing the knowledge gap can transform social formation into national structure, moderate rival views about national issues and bring the nation to the middle path. Building Nepali states back better demands social cohesion, political stability, institutional consolidation, infrastructural investments and mobilisation of administration, business, civil society, citizens and international community. 

Awareness about national tasks fosters socialised choice and trounces varied use of politics. Civic nationalism can accommodate other identities such as Madhesi-Nepali, Dalit-Nepali, Khas-Nepali, Janajati-Nepali, etc. avert fundamentalism’s tendency to trigger social cleavage and stoke multiculturalism dubbing patriotism as a reactionary ideology, not social solidarity. Nepal now suffers from cultural cringe, economic distortion and geopolitical manoeuvres and delayed resilient rebuilding. Democratic prospect requires enduring hope of citizens they can reconstruct national identity through re-socialisation. Nation-building calls for an interacting public sphere to mediate national issues and moderate the behaviour of actors. It improves the health of democracy and renews the society and the state to bounce back to a better condition for robust nation-building.

* Professor Dev Raj Dahal is a Political Scientist

Source: The Rising Nepal

‘लोकतन्त्र’ का नाममा अप्रजातान्त्रिक चरित्र

दीपक गजुरेल

सहप्राध्यापक, त्रिभूवन विश्वविद्यालय

प्रजातन्त्र दिवस् :

# ७ दशकको राजनीतिक अभ्यासले हामीलाई कहाँ पुर्यायो ? 
# नेपाल र नेपालीले “प्रजातन्त्र” पाए ?
# त्रुटी कहाँ भयो ? 
# गल्ती कसको ?
# किन, कसरी ?
# समस्याको चुरो ?

राजनीति शास्त्री, सहप्राध्यापक दीपक गजुरेलको विश्लेषण

नेपालमा चीनको स्वार्थ

‘नेपालको सार्वभौमसत्ता रक्षाका लागि चीनले सहयोग गर्नेछ’ भन्ने अभिव्यक्तिलाई सन् १९६२ मा चीनका विदेशमन्त्री चेन यीले दिएको चेतावनीसँग जोडेर हेर्नु मनाशिव हुन्छ ।

दीपक गजुरेल

सह–प्राध्यापक, त्रिभूवन विश्वविद्यालय

Deepak Gajurel, Associate Professor, Tribhuvan University

वर्तमान विश्व शक्ति संघर्ष र त्यसका विभिन्न आयामका कारण नेपाल प्रति चीनको चासो र सतर्कता बढ्दै गएको छ ।

अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय शक्ति समीकरणमा चीनको बढ्दो प्रभाव, एशिया – खासगरी दक्षिण एशिया, दक्षिण पूर्व तथा सुदूर पूर्वी एशिया – मा चीनको शक्तिशाली उपस्थिति, चीन विरुद्ध हुन सक्ने सम्भाब्य नकारात्मक दबाव र बेइजिङ्गको प्रभाव विस्तार गर्ने रणनीतिको परिणाम हो चीन हिमालय दक्षिणको क्षेत्र प्रति बढी सम्वेदनशील बनेको हो ।

विगत् केही वर्ष यता नेपाली भूमिमा बढ्दो राजनीतिक अस्थिरता तथा भारतीय र अमेरिकीको यहाँ चुलिँदो हैकमका कारण नेपालमा चीन-प्रतिकूल वातावरण बन्ने चिन्ता बेइजिङ्गलाई छ । चुपचाप काम गर्ने चीन यतिबेला खुला रुपमा आउनु भनेको ‘अब अति भयो’ भन्ने सन्देशका रुपमा बुझ्नु उपयुक्त हुन्छ । ‘नेपालको सार्वभौमसत्ता रक्षाका लागि चीनले सहयोग गर्नेछ’ भन्ने अभिव्यक्तिलाई सन् १९६२ मा चीनका विदेशमन्त्री चेन यीले दिएको चेतावनीसँग जोडेर हेर्नु मनाशिव हुन्छ ।

नेपालको विकासको लागि जस्तो सुकै मद्दत गर्न चीन सदा तत्पर छ जस्ता औपचारिक धारणा त चीनवाट बेलाबखत आइरहन्छन् । तर कैयौँ पटक ‘नेपालको सार्वभौमसत्ता रक्षाका लागि’ चीनले सहयोग गर्ने भन्ने गरिएको छ बेइजिङ्गबाट । कूटनीतिक दृष्टिले यो अत्यन्तै गम्भीर अभिव्यक्ति हो । यसको अर्थ नेपालको सर्वभौमसत्ता गुम्ने र नेपालको अस्तित्व नै नरहने खतरा छ भनेर चीनले विश्लेषण गरेको हो भनेर बुझ्नु पर्ने हुन्छ ।

यस्ता अभिव्यक्ति हाम्रो उत्तरी छिमेकीबाट किन आउँछ ? चीनले नेपालमा चलिरहेको सत्ता सँघर्ष र वर्तमान दक्षिण एशियाली शक्ति समीकरणलाई कसरी हेरिराखेको छ ? र नेपालको सार्वभौमसत्तासँग चीनको के-कस्तो स्वार्थ जोडिएको छ भनेर हेर्नु जरुरी छ चीनको बढ्दो चासोलाई बुझ्न ।

नेपाल प्रति चीनको चासो अलि धेरै बढ्नुमा नेपाल राष्ट्रको भौगोलिक अवस्थिति एउटा कारण हो । यसका साथै विगत् केही वर्ष यता दक्षिण एशिया र यस वरपरका क्षेत्रमा विकसित रणनीतिक परिदृष्यले पनि चीनलाई हिमाल पारी बढी सचेत हुदै प्रभावकारी कदम चाल्न बाध्य पारेको छ ।

नेपालमा चीनको स्वार्थ, उसले चाहेको वातावरण र उसले भावी दिनमा चाल्न सक्ने कदमलाई दुई मुख्य आधारमा विश्लेषण गरिनु पर्छ । पहिलो, आत्मरक्षा – चीनको अखण्डता अक्षुण राख्दै आफ्नो रणनीतिक स्थितिलाई अझ सुदृढ पार्दै लाने, र दोश्रो, एशियाका साथै सिँगो विश्व शक्ति सँघर्षको रणभूमिमा आफ्नो प्रभाव शक्तिशाली ढँगले बढाउँदै लाने ।

चुपचाप काम गर्ने चीन यतिबेला खुला रुपमा आउनु भनेको ‘अब अति भयो’ भन्ने सन्देशका रुपमा बुझ्नु उपयुक्त हुन्छ ।

आत्मरक्षाको चीनियाँ स्वार्थ:

अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय शक्ति समीकरणमा चीन अहिले सम्भाव्य महाशक्तिको रुपमा माथि उठ्दैछ । पश्चिमाहरुले सुतेको बाघ भन्ने गरेको चीनको शक्ति बिस्तार रोक्नु र उसलाई कमजोर पार्नु विश्वको एक मात्र महाशक्ति अमेरिकाका लागि अनिवार्य छ, आफ्नो विश्वव्यापी प्रभूत्व कायम गर्दै अझ व्यापक पार्न ।

दलाई लामालाई उचालेर तिब्बतमा उथल पुथल मच्चाउने र यसका लागि नेपाली भूमि समेत प्रयोग गर्ने रणनीति व्यापक पारिएको छ । सन् १९७० दशकको मध्यतिरको खम्पा विद्रोह पछि काठमाडौँका सडकमा भैराखेका फ्री तिब्बतको नारा-जुलुस र अनेक गतिविधिलाई ‘अखबारको दावी’ भन्दै ठाडै अस्वीकार गर्न सकिने अबस्था छैन ।

नेपालसँगको एक हजार किलोमिटर सीमा क्षेत्रबाट चीनको अभिन्न अङ्ग तिब्बत यस अघि जस्तो अब सुरक्षित रहेन भन्ने बेइजिङ्गको विश्लेषण देखिन्छ । ‘नेपाल-तिब्बत सीमामा हाम्रो सेनाको सँख्या र क्षमता वृद्धि गरिँदैछ’ भन्ने जनाउ बेइजिङ्गबाट आइसकेको छ निक्कै अघि र सोही अनुरुप चीनले काम गरिराखेको छ पनि चीनले ।

अन्यत्रको भन्दा चीनको नेपालसँगको सीमा तुलनात्मक रुपमा तिब्बत विरुद्ध प्रयोग गर्न सहज छ, भौगोलिकका साथै कूटनीतिक तथा राजनीतिक हिसाबले । नेपाल एउटा स्वतन्त्र, अखण्ड राष्ट्र रहिरहेको खण्डमा, तथा नेपालमा सशक्त शासन प्रणाली रह्यो भने नेपाली सीमाका तर्फवाट चीनलाई सुरक्षाको चिन्ता कम हुन्छ भन्ने कुरा विगतले प्रमाणित गरिसकेको छ ।

नेपालको हैसियत / स्थिति सिक्किम वा भुटानको जस्तो हुन पुगेको अबस्थामा चीनलाई गाह्रो हुनेछ, रक्षाका दृष्टिले । त्यसैले, नेपाल अखण्ड राष्ट्रका रुपमा रहनु र माठमाडौँमा सशक्त शासक रहनु चीनका लागि आवश्यक छ । अहिलेको जस्तो अन्यौलपूर्ण, अराजक तथा भद्रगोल अबस्था लामो समय रहनु चीनका लागि चिन्ताको विषय हो । सिक्किम विलयलाई चीनले अहिले सम्म औपचारिक रुपमा मान्यता नदिनु र ‘मान्यता दिने पनि छैन’ भनेर बेइजिङ्गबाट सूचित गरिएको सन्दर्भ यहाँ स्मरण गर्नु वुद्धिमानी होला ।

विगत केही वर्ष यता, खास गरी सन् २००५ को परिवर्तन पछि, नेपाली भूमिमा बढ्दो राजनीतिक अस्थिरता तथा भारतीय र अमेरिकीहरूको यहाँ चुलिँदो हैकमका कारण नेपालमा चीन-प्रतिकूल वातावरण बन्ने चिन्ता बेइजिङ्गलाई छ । चुपचाप काम गर्ने चीन यतिबेला खुला रुपमा आउनु भनेको अब अति भयो भन्ने सन्देशका रुपमा बुझ्नु उपयुक्त हुन्छ । यस सन्दर्भमा सन् १९६२ मा चीनका विदेशमन्त्री चेन यीले दिएको चेतावनी स्मरण गर्नु सान्दर्भिक हुन्छ ।

आउँदा दिनहरु चीन केन्द्रित हुने र नेपालले विचित्रको, तर गम्भीर अबस्थाको सामना गर्नुपर्ने हुन सक्छ ।

चेन यीको चेतावनी लगत्तै चीनले भारतमाथि आक्रमण गरेको थियो – सन् १९६२ मा । नेपालमा राजा महेन्द्रको शासन प्रति नयाँ दिल्लीले त्यसबेला अपनाएको नीति चीन-भारत युद्ध पछि १८० डिग्रीमा घुमेको र त्यो झण्डै तीन दशक सम्म जारी रहेको यहाँ स्मरण योग्य छ । कोदारी राजमार्ग बनाउने सम्झौताको विरोध गर्दै नेपालमाथि भारतले लगाएको नाकाबन्दी चीनियाँ आक्रमण लगत्तै फुकुवा गरेको पनि स्मरण गर्नु मनासिव होला यतिबेला ।

नेपाली भूमि बाहेक, चीनको पूर्व–दक्षिण र पश्चिम दिशामा भैराखेको विकासलाई पनि हेर्नु आवश्यक छ । ताइवानको सैन्य सुदृढीकरण, भारतीय शासकहरुले दलाई लामालाई दिँदै लगेको बढी छुट, अफगानिस्तान लगायत खाडी क्षेत्रमा बढ्दो अमेरिकी सैनिक उपस्थिति, किर्गिस्तान लगायत केही पूर्व–सोभियत गणराज्यमा भैराखेको चीन लक्षित अप्रत्यक्ष गतिविधि, तिब्बत समेत पश्चिमी चीनको मुस्लिम बाहुल्य क्षेत्रमा फाट्टफुट्ट देखिन थालेको गडबडी जस्ता विकासक्रमले चीनलाई उत्तेजित पार्दैछ ।

नेपाल बाहेक अन्यत्रका सन्दर्भमा चीनको रणनीति फरक ढंगले जाने देखिन्छ । तर नेपालमा स्थायित्वका साथै सशक्त राष्ट्रवादी तथा स्वाभिमानी शासनको अपेक्षा चीनले गरेकोछ भन्ने सन्देश बेइजिङ्गबाट आइराखेको छ । चीनको यो चाहना सँगै उसको खुला कूटनीतिक व्यबहारलाई नेपाली शासकले मात्र होइन नेपाली भूमिमा हैकम देखाउने अन्यले पनि बेलैमा बुझ्नु श्रेयष्कर हुनेछ ।

प्रभूत्व बिस्तार गर्ने चीनियाँ रणनीति :

अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय शक्ति समीकरणमा प्रभावशाली शक्तिका रुपमा उदय हुँदै गरेको चीन अव प्रतिरक्षात्मक मात्र होइन आक्रामक रुपमा आफ्नो प्रभूत्व फैलाउन खोज्दैछ । भारतले अमेरिकासँग आणविक सम्झौता गरे लगत्तै चीनले पाकिस्तानसँग गरेको सामरिक सम्झौतालाई कम महत्व दिइनु हुँदैन । यो सम्झौताको असर आगामी दिनमा हिमालयन एशिय (दक्षिण एशिया र चीन समेतको क्षेत्र) मा देखिनेछ । दोश्रो विश्व युद्ध पछिको शीत युद्धकालीन दुई ध्रुवीय शक्ति समीकरण फेरिइसकेको छ भन्ने यहाँ नेर सम्झनु आवश्यक छ, पाकिस्तान-अफगानिस्तान-भारतको सन्दर्भमा चीनको रणनीतिका दृष्टिले ।

सिक्किमलाई हामी मान्यता दिँदैनौ भन्ने चीनको जनाउसँगै बंगलादेश, श्रीलङ्का, माल्दिभ्स र म्यानमार तुलनात्मक रुपमा वर्तमान नेपाली शासक भन्दा बढी सशक्त देखिनु संयोग मात्र होइन ।

अव चीन दक्षिण अमेरिकी तथा अफ्रिकी महादेशमा समेत अझ बढी शक्तिका साथ उपस्थित हुदैछ । सुडानमा चीनको उपस्थितिको परिणाम त विश्वलाई ज्ञात छँदैछ । त्यसैले आउँदा दिनहरु चीन केन्द्रित हुने र नेपालले विचित्रको, तर गम्भीर अबस्थाको सामना गर्नुपर्ने हुन सक्छ ।

 

The Looming Uncertainty in Nepal

As political uncertainty looms, the army is assuming a visibly pro-active role.

By Yubaraj Ghimire

Yubaraj Ghimire

Post-election settlement in Nepal is moving forward at a snail’s pace, mainly because of the lack of clarity in the constitution. The absolute majority won by the Left Alliance comprising the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre raised the hope of political stability in the country. However, personal and party interests involving actors and political forces have worked against any settlement.

Although the Left Alliance has come to an agreement on power-sharing in six of the seven provinces — the UML will lead in four and the Maoists in two — with 70:30 share in the government, the two have not been able to strike a deal regarding government formation at the Centre. A stumbling block is the proposed merger of the two parties, a decision taken by leaders of the two parties before the elections. While Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal has agreed to accept UML chief K P Oli as the prime minister, Oli and his party are yet to agree to Dahal’s precondition that he be allowed to head the unified party.

The army chief, Rajendra Chhetri, has hosted at least five army chiefs — of Myanmar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and India — besides the US Pacific region’s four-star general in the past two months.

The disunity is not limited to the Left Alliance. A face-off involving the Nepali Congress and its allies on the one hand and the Hindu nationalist forces on the other seems in the offing. The latter have also rejected the present constitution.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is set to summon the newly-constituted parliament within a month. The new government is expected to be formed a week after that. The issues and differences among the various parties regarding the constitution will have to be amicably settled before these processes begin.

Last week, the former king, Gyanendra Shah, made an unusual comment before his supporters and the media at the Tribhuvan International Airport prior to his departure to Puri. “Yes, the leaves and branches may have fallen, but I will make every effort to save the roots,” he said. He was clearly implying that though the constitution declares the country a secular republic, he has not given up on efforts to revive the Hindu kingdom. The cause he espouses increasingly has takers among people who are fed up by the rising corruption and poor governance by the major parties. There is enough traction now in the Hindu cause that it will need be listened to when a political deal is negotiated. Excluding this section from the power structure could make the constitution’s future uncertain.

As political uncertainty looms, the army is assuming a visibly pro-active role. The army chief, Rajendra Chhetri, has hosted at least five army chiefs — of Myanmar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and India — besides the US Pacific region’s four-star general in the past two months. He has also been consulting his predecessors and others on the role of the army should the constitution fail to establish a secular democratic order. The chief of the Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat, who is also an honorary general of the Nepal Army, is being invited to be the special guest on the Nepal Army Day, which is celebrated every year on Mahashivaratri day. Interestingly, it appears that the defence and foreign ministries are not involved in planning these visits.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s day-long visit two weeks ago continues to fuel intense debate and speculation. She had termed it a goodwill visit. In fact, she did make efforts to mend fences with the prime minister in waiting, Oli. However, a section in the CPN-UML believes that she was in Kathmandu to push Dahal’s claims to lead a united Communist Party of Nepal. Such a perception will surely have some impact on the merger talks. There are compelling reasons to take Swaraj’s outreach to Nepali leaders at face value. From government agencies affiliated with the Indian embassy to the ever-growing RSS network here, many had wrongly concluded that the Nepali Congress was set for another term in office.

For now, Oli looks set to become the prime minister in a few weeks, with or without the merger of the two communist parties. However, the Maoists may limit their role in the government to supporting it from the outside if Dahal’s demand for the unified party’s leadership is not met. That will certainly hamper the implementation of the constitution. In the coming days, the actors aspiring to assume office would be forced to recognise that power will need to be shared among all the forces to achieve political stability, which has eluded Nepal for over a decade.

Source: http://indianexpress.com

Snow leopard is declining in Langtang National Park

By Nepal Polity desk

Snow leopard population is declining in Langtang National Park of Nepal.

Talking to Associate Professor Deepak Gajurel, for Nepal Polity, University of Washington Biologist, Professor Dr. Randall C. Kyes says that the population of snow leopard has gone down.

“There are indications in recent years that snow leopard is declining, since we started monitoring this endangered cat species in early 2000’s,” Professor Kyes says.

Deepak Gajurel and Randall Kyes

“A survey we conducted in 2002 had recorded at least 5 cats in Kenjing area alone. But recent studies have revealed less number of its population. However, it is not clear whether the species is facing trouble in survival or are migrating to other places due to pressures,” he adds.

Tribhuvan University Professor Dr. Mukesh Chelise and Professor Kyes had jointly studies on snow leopard in Langtan National Park, nearly two decades back.

This team of two wildlife scientists was the first to record the existence of snow leopard in Langtang National Park. “To the best of our knowledge of documented records, we (Dr. Chalise and Dr. Kyes) are the first to record snow leopard in Langtang,” Prof. Kyes claims.

Though small scale survey studies have regularly been done on snow leopard at some areas of Langtang National Park, detail study is yet to be carried out. “An extensive research on habitat, prey species’ availability, possibility of migration, human encroachment, outside pressures on wildlife and other vital aspects is required,” says the American wildlife expert.

During his research trip to Nepal in February 2018, University of Washington Professor Dr. Randall C. Kyes spent few minutes with Tribhuvan University Associate Professor Deepak Gajurel for Nepal Polity and shared his knowledge and information on this endangered species of wild animal.

The video record of the same follows.