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Opposition parties' letter to the United Nations Secretary-General

On September 6, 2005 seven opposition parties in Nepal sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, requesting him to disallow King Gyanendra from speaking at the UN General Assembly. Presented below is the full text of the letter.

His Excellency Kofi Annan
Secretary General
The United Nations

Your Excellency:

Please accept our greetings and highest feelings of appreciation for the keen interest and genuine concern you have taken on Nepal's political affairs. We feel duty-bound as representatives of the seven major political parties of Nepal to report you on the current state of political affairs of our country and to explain why the current council of ministers formed under the chairmanship of King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah has no legitimate authority to represent the sovereign people of our country.

As you are aware, King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah, on February 1, 2005, unconstitutionally appointed himself as the chairman of the council of ministers, usurped all the executive powers of the state, proclaimed state of emergency in the entire country, arrested a large number of political leaders and workers and human rights activists, suspended major fundamental rights of citizens, imposed travel restrictions on political and civil society leaders and curtailed press freedom. The February 1 royal take over in essence represents the ultimate step in the process of consolidating political power by King Gyanendra that he initiated by arbitrarily dismissing the constitutionally elected government on October 4, 2002. The world community has rightly concluded that the royal take over has been a massive setback to democracy and constitutionalism in Nepal.

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990 enshrined the aspirations of the Glorious People's Movement of 1990 that brought the authoritarian Panchayat regime led by absolute monarchy to an end. The constitution ushered in the multiparty democracy based on the principle that sovereignty is vested in the people. In line with modern democratic constitutions of the world, Nepali constitution also explicitly provides for separation of power among three branches of government, establishes various constitutional mechanisms to guarantee civil, political and human rights of its citizens including free press, recognizes the parliament as a supreme body to express the will of the sovereign people, and recognizes political parties as integral and inalienable parts of the political process. The royal take over is in complete breach of all these principles. Following the undemocratic and unconstitutional royal take over. King Gyanendra has appointed his puppet cabinet, destroyed democratic institutions and rule of law, and issued executive orders and ordinances infringing fundamental civil, political and human rights. The King has constituted a supra and unconstitutional body called Royal Commission for Control of Corruption, in parallel to an already existing constitutional body, with the motive of political vendetta against political leaders opposed (to) the royal take over. Likewise, the King has created various illegitimate authorities e. g., regional and zonal administrators with unlimited power vested on them to primarily repress and intimidate the democratic opposition to his absolute regime. The King has nominated his loyalists to otherwise elected positions of district development committees to consolidate

his position. The King's handpicked council of ministers, as it comprises of notorious criminals, perpetrators of human rights violations and willful loan defaulters, is a matter of disgrace and dishonor to the nation. The country is now ruled by the absolute law of force.

King Gyanendra in a desperate attempt to justify his authoritarian rule, has been trying to mislead the world community by portraying the political choice in Nepal as being one between peace and terrorism. he has been insistently and adamantly pursuing a military solution to the problem of Maoist insurgency that our country has been witnessing for almost a decade now. The King, through a series of actions, following the royal takeover, made the chances for the peaceful solution of the violent conflict even more remote.

The international community has made clarion calls to the insurgents to respect the norms of the international humanitarian law, renounce the path of violence and enter the process of dialogue to establish lasting peace in the country. Nepali people have also clearly recognized and many times amply affirmed their faith on a democratic and political solution to this violent conflict. Respecting and recognizing Nepali people's longing for peace and international community's considered opinion, we have been trying our best to explore with all political actors, including the insurgents, the political parameters within which a peaceful solution to the present crisis is possible. We will be failing in our duty, as the leaders of responsible political parties, if we shy away from it. We have, as representatives of seven major political parties, come together and made public our common platform in which we propose the reinstatement of the Third House of Representatives, formation of a government of all party consensus, free, fair and peaceful elections to the constituent assembly following peace negotiations with the insurgent Maoists, and inclusive restructuring of the state as a way out of the current crisis.

We fully appreciate and count on your esteemed leadership of the United Nations to pursue and uphold the ideals of peace, democracy, constitutionalism, rule of law, respect for human dignity, unfettered enjoyment of civil, political and human rights and inclusive pluralistic society for all the people to realize their full potential to make our world a more kinder and gentler place. At this critical juncture in the history of Nepal, we need greater support and understanding of international community to stop our country from sliding towards a failed state. Not just political but also all economic indicators point to our heading in that direction. The positive gains that the country made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during democracy are being reversed after the royal takeover. We ardently hope that the international community understands the moral imperative to reprimand and censure the unabated regression represented by the authoritarian and absolute monarchical rule in Nepal. Hence, we, the undersigned representatives of the seven major political parties that together constituted ninety-five percent of the members of the last parliament of Nepal, would like to convey our strong feeling that the present royal regime and its political representatives have no competence, authority and legitimacy to represent and speak on behalf of the sovereign people of Nepal.

Thank you,

Yours sincerely, (Signed by)

Girija Prasad Koirala, President, Nepali Congress
Madhav K. Nepal, General Secretary, Communist Party of Nepal (UML)
Gopal Man Shrestha, Acting President, Nepali Congress (Democratic)
Amik Sherchan, Chairman, People's Front, Nepal
Narayan Man Bijukchhe, Chairman, Nepal Workers and Peasants Party
Bharat Bimal Yadav, Vice President, Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi Devi)
C. P. Mainali, Chairman, United Left Front, Nepal

Source: Nepal News





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