THT 10 years ago: Prachanda’s note of dissent to Annan

Kathmandu, July 24, 2006

Maoist supremo Prachanda today wrote to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan protesting strongly against certain clauses in the letter the government had sent to the UN.

He has taken strong exception to the government request that the UN monitor and decommission the arms of the Maoists’ Peoples Liberation Army (PLA).

The government had sent a letter to Annan on July 2 requesting the UN to “assist in the monitoring of the combatants of the Maoists and decommissioning of their arms” and “ensure that the Nepali Army stays inside barracks”.

“The letter was written and sent unilaterally and secretively without consulting us in utter violation of the spirit of ongoing negotiations between the Government of Nepal and the CPN (Maoist),” Prachanda has said in the letter.

He has also said the Maoists came to know about the letter only through the media, that too nearly three weeks later. Prachanda has also drawn Annan’s attention to the 8-point agreement signed, among others, by him and prime minister Koirala.

He has drawn attention to clause three of the eight-point agreement which reads:

“(We agree) to request the UN to assist in the management of the armies and weapons of both sides (emphasis added) and to monitor them for a free and fair election to the constituent assembly.”

Prachanda has emphasised the points 3 and 4 of the letter sent by the government.

He has charged that the letter was in complete violation of the 12-point understanding of November 22, 2005 and the 8-point agreement of June 16, 2006 reached between the Maoists and the seven-party alliance.

Military Secretariat is now history

The government today dissolved the Military Secretariat inside the Narayanhity Royal Palace after a the meeting of the cabinet held at the official residence of PM GP Koirala.

The PM attended the meeting for eight minutes. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been told to work out the nature and composition of the coordinating committee and it will be decided in due course.

It will be forming a coordinating team to take care of royal palace security and other functions. However, the cabinet did not finish the discussion on slashing the palace budget.

The announcement to this effect was made by the Minister of State for Information and Communication, Dilendra Prasad Badu.

The body was considered as an instance of the army wielding control over the political establishment even as it centralised military power in the hands of the monarch. “The main decision is that we have dissolved the Military Secretariat today,” Badu said.

But he added that “there will, however, be a coordinating office under the MoD.” The meet also outlined the composition of the same.