It may seem like an overdue stay for UNMIN, yet the peace process with the particular focus on the rehabilitation and integration of the Maoist combatants in the cantonments numbering around 19,000 has seen no progress. It is not that UNMIN has been doing its task, but the off and on controversies have often led to disputes about its role. Its presence had led to expectation that the peace process in Nepal, after an end to the Maoist insurgency, would materialize. But, unfortunately, despite the extensions time and again, the end result has belied the country. The Maoist combatants are still in the cantonments with no sight of any deal among the parties as regards their destiny, for which an agreement stands to date but the modalities have proved to be elusive. The road block has been hit all because of the adamant stance of the UCPN (M) that is dilly-dallying on a final road map. Of course, for a party to have an army still loyal to it is unreasonable. Hence, it is of urgency to untie the knot bust the Maoists, who remain the major stakeholder, do not want to let go their control off, as was seen with the cantonment residents making it to the Maoist plenum despite objection from all around, including the government. This speaks for the delay in getting an important part of the peace agreement to reach fruition.
A mere six weeks remains for UNMIN’s tenure in Nepal to end. To accomplish an overnight miracle, the major parties have to come to a common meeting ground, but that seems a far-fetched expectation. The adamant stance has put the whole peace process in a fix, together with it the statute-writing task has also come to a standstill. Now, the visit of UN Under-Secretary General B. Lynn Pascoe to Nepal was with the intention of highlighting UN’s concern about the lack lustre performance as regards the rehabilitation and integration of the Maoist combatants with only a month and a half remaining for UNMIN to unwind its stay. He wanted the political parties to move very quickly to resolve the outstanding issues. Now, for that to happen by 15th January, 2011, it is not possible with the present stand offs continuing between the political parties. Of course, if the political leaders want it can be done. With no extension coming to UNMIN’s tenure, as per the government’s standpoint, there has to a mechanism in place to oversee the tasks that had been handled by it.
Herein, one thing has to be remembered is that if there is commitment to join hands for the task, the political parties can bridge their differences and
sort out the contentious issues. But, the crux of
the problem is that no political party wants to go for a solution, and particularly the UCPN (M) seems to have an agenda to let the problem linger on. Now, even if another mechanism hopefully comes up, there is not going to be an end to the stalemate over the Maoist combatants’ fate. Hence, the political leaders instead of bickering over trivialities ought to think of the combatants who should receive fair treatment. And, the UCPN (M) ought to think on a broader plane rather than holding on to its former fighters for leverage.
The pristine Himalayan environ is now coming under threat from the global warming induced climate change. Dolpa, a district in the north, is now feeling these effects, and the climate there is not as it used to be. The effects of climate change are already evident here, and it not as cold as previously, and there are new types of vegetation in this area that thrive in warmer localities. Furthermore, the rains have become hard to predict here. The denizens of Dolpa are not accountable for this phenomen, and what more they are the ones who suffer the most from it. It is because of the spurt in global emissions that the inhabitants that Dolpa is now reeling in their aftermath. Since these effects are not reversible, the people must learn to live with them and become aware about the damages that is taking place.
It is necessary to mitigate the ill-effects of climate change with special provisions for the vulnerable groups like women, children and the marginalized. Undoubtedly, it is high time that we came up with action to tackle climate change which is inevitable, by according priority to measures to contain its effects like protecting forests.