The deadline for the Nepali constitution recently passed – it prompted my move from the east of Nepal to the capital, and then finally out of the country to Cambodia. Given the political vacuum the country finds itself in now, there has been a media storm this week over whether Nepal should be considered a “failed, or flailing” state.
- First there was this piece in the New York Times - “If the culture of impunity is not uprooted, neither the elections nor a new constitution can deliver Nepal from slipping further into civil chaos, poverty and lawlessness.”
- This was counted by a letter to the editor from Nepal’s permanent mission to the United Nations: “We categorically reject the notion that Nepal is on the brink of collapse. We are on the verge of restructuring and institutionalizing the state within a democratic, republican and federal structure.”
- And finally , then finally the hitback from the Kathmandu Post: “Nepal looks like a failing state from outside because this country has not been successfully coping with the challenges of the modern times. My own feeling is that Nepal is not heading towards being a failing state. The problem is we have short historical memories. What is happening so far is debate, peaceful albeit heated discussions about the structure and modus operandi of the political process, elections, reviving the CA or holding fresh elections. This is a very democratic process. The “ferocious” guerrillas have worked hard with the ‘parliamentary’ parties and disarmed themselves; together they have solved many complex problems. People from different origins and geographical setting are not fighting with each other. They are putting fresh ideas about equality and harmonious state restructuring. A democratically minded President is making calls to parties to work together and find a way out of this impasse. Equally, the other subject of great importance is that Nepal’s big neighbours India and China want these political parties to find their own solutions. They are not putting trade embargos or supporting any groups with money or arms. They are encouraging a return to normalcy. “