Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

UNMIN Refuses to Help Nepal Government Tracks Discharged PLA Soldiers

Posted by Ka Frank on February 24, 2010

This article appeared in My Republica on February 18, 2010.

In the article the government expresses concern that as much as 40% of the PLA soldiers are operating out of the cantonments where they have been stationed since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2006.

UNMIN refuses govt info on discharged combatants

KATHMANDU: United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has refused to give details about former disqualified Maoist combatants who were discharge recently, questioning the use of such information.

Chief of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) Karin Landgren conveyed her office´s reluctance to share the information with the government during her meeting with Chief Secretary Madhav Ghimire on Tuesday, said the Prime Minister´s Press Advisor, Bishnu Rijal.

“She told the Chief Secretary that her office will not give the government details of the discharged disqualified combatants, questioning the use of such information,” Rijal told about the Chief Secretary´s meeting with Landgren. “She questioned the use of such information to the government.”

The government has been seeking the information – real names, home addresses of the discharged disqualified combatants and where they went after their release — for record-keeping purposes and to monitor whether they have reached their homes following their discharge from the cantonments. The month-long discharge process was completed on February 8.

Moreover, the government is suspicious that the discharged combatants may have been forced to join the Young Communist League and may not have reached their respective homes. It wants to check whether they reached their homes.

“The whole discharge of the disqualified Maoist army personnel and issues related to their rehabilitation is looked after by UNICEF and UNDP. UNMIN does not have the mandate to deal with the issues,” said Kosmos Biswokarma, spokesperson of UNMIN. But the government believes that UNMIN as the UN mission monitoring the peace process, and not any other UN agency, should share the information about discharged former combatants.

The UN political mission´s refusal to disclose details of the discharged combatants with the government comes a day after the Peace Ministry wrote a second letter to UNMIN for information on discharged combatants. The ministry sent the letter Monday after its earlier letter was ignored.

The government has been pressing UNMIN in recent days for the figures and details about both verified and disqualified Maoist combatants as it came to know that around 40 percent of disqualified combatants were not in the cantonments during the discharge process.

The government believes that all 19,602 Maoist combatants may not be in the cantonments monitored by UNMIN much in the way the disqualified were not. But UNMIN, in a statement on Tuesday, said that “it is the responsibility of both parties to provide it with accurate figures of the number of personnel under command”.

Only 60 percent PLA in cantonments

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Tuesday held a meeting with government officials posted at different cantonments to take first hand information on whether all the combatants are living in those cantonments. According to Nepal´s Press Advisor Rijal, the officials reported to the Prime Minister that they believe 40 percent of the combatants are out of the cantonments at present.

The government held the meeting amidst the ruling parties´ doubts that all the combatants are currently living in the cantonments monitored by UNMIN. But UNMIN in a statement Tuesday said neither the Maoists nor the state army have replied to its letter sent last October requesting updated figures on their actual strength.

3 Responses to “UNMIN Refuses to Help Nepal Government Tracks Discharged PLA Soldiers”

  1. tango said

    Why is UNMIN partial
    Well, we all have everyday heard accusations and counter-accusation among the politicians regarding UNMIN’s role in Nepal. The Gov’t seems totally unhappy with UNMIN while the UNMIN and the Maoists seem to have a common conjoint neck that is producing same sound from two different mouths. Well here are some of my observations:
    UNMIN is defining their role as it is suitable to them as per the situation. One can’t see a consistency. For example, when combatants from UNMIN monitored camp is caught outside by Police for be it carrying and flashing weapons, having a drunken brawl, UNMIN is there to the rescue even before you can say UN-MIN. But when it comes to co-operating with government-they have a readymade answer- Its not UNMIN’s job. Is it not UNMIN’s job to supervise the camps? Then how come UNMIN doesn’t know about what goes on inside the camp? When a businessman Ram Hari Shrestha was kidnapped by maoist combatants from the UNMIN monitored camp and killed inside there, what was UNMIN monitoring? And on top of that, one of the accused in the above mentioned murder is safely refuged in the cantonment while gets promoted in the party’s rank and file.
    Secret party preaching and coaching takes place in the cantonment where even the press and the whole media is forbidden.
    Talking of the secret party preaching, we all, last year saw the maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a. Prachanda confessed of having only seven to eight thousand fighters while UNMIN verified almost twenty thousand.
    And, now, again the maoist combatant’s number is in debate. UNMIN wont even tell the population of the actual combatants in the cantonments. Is taking an attendance not a part of monitoring? Or is that again not UNMIN’s job?
    The previous chief of UNMIN, Mr. Ian Martin, was called back because of his partiality and biased behavior, though it is not said so in the general media and forum. He was a known Marxist and a homosexual. According to the talks in the inner circle, in a country such as Nepal where homosexuality is a taboo, he was supplied boys by the maoist. Even when he left, he was successful in getting a replacement of his choice. And after Karen Landgren has become the chief of UNMIN, the violation of the peace pact has only grown higher, and it is not by the government. Also, most of the members of UNMIN are from South American communist country.
    There is always talk of democratizing the Nepalese army, how about democratizing the maoist army first? How about having coaching and preaching to make the combatants appreciate a non-violent path? Does that not sound more logical?

  2. are you paying attention? said

    Has it been mentioned on this website that Congress leaders are calling for the UNMIN charter not to be renewed? Because the UN apparently is abiding by the original agreements signed during the lead up to the constituent assembly?

    That seems news worthy since Nepal’s unelected “democratic” government is importing arms in league with India, and tensions are running quite high.

  3. are you paying attention? said

    I’m also not sure why the first comment that accuses Ian Martin of being a homosexual is highlighted. That also appears to be the kind of grotesque demagoguery that is the stock-in-trade of reactionaries. They have their own press in Nepal.

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