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Website on Nepal and Himalayan Studies

updated: 01/03/2021

View from Hewa Community Centre

View from Hewa Community Centre towards Dudh Koshi Valley, Solududhkunda Municipality 1, Solukhumbu, in March 2020

Recent articles:

Editorial comment (23 February 2021)
Gravierende politische Krise, von Tsak Sherpa. Nepal Oberver 64, 2. Februar 2021
Prime Minister Oli is undermining the constitution: Rule of law and democracy at stake, by Karl-Heinz Krämer. Nepal Observer 63, January 25, 2021 Putsch at the top of the state, 60 years after Mahendra's coup d'état, by Karl-Heinz Krämer. Nepal Oberver 62, December 25, 2020

Political culture in Nepal : Parties and understanding of democracy, by Karl-Heinz Krämer. Nepal Observer 61, September 20, 2020
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Sherwa mi

The following trekking agencies are run by persons from Hewa (Solududhkunda Municipality 1) who invest a lot of time and money in the development of their village. By bringing tourists to Hewa, they contribute to improve the income of the villagers and to sustain the projects:

Himalayan Paradise
Himalayan Paradise Trek & Expedition (P.) Ltd.
P.O. Box 23304, Kapan-8, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Phone: +977-1-4823172, 
Cell: +977-1-9841212248
E-mail: info@himalayanparadisetrek.com
Website: http://www.himalayanparadisetrek.com

Panorama Trekking
Panorama Himalaya Trekking Pvt. Ltd.
P.O.Box: 25301, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Phone: +977-1-2297661, 
Cell: +977-1-9841426784
Website: http://www.panoramatrekking.com, E-mail: pasang2001@hotmail.com , kusang_sherpa2008@yahoo.com


Annapurna Foothills Trek
Annapurna Foothills Treks & Expedition (P.) Ltd.
Boudha Naya Basti 4, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Phone: +977-1-6211187, 
Cell: +977-1-98411579429
Website: http://www.annapurnatreksexpedition.com, E-mail: info@annapurnatreksexpedition.com


Some reasons why Nepal Research does not consider the crisis in Nepal to be over
even 14 years after the end of the civil war

Today's links on the crisis situation:

01/03/2021: Nepal’s Human Rights Commission’s integrity in jeopardy, three international human rights groups say : In a joint statement on Monday, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists, and Amnesty International said that lack of transparency in appointments undermines effectiveness and public confidence (kp) [see common statement of AI, HRW and ICJ: Nepal: Human Rights Commission’s Integrity in Jeopardy : Lack of Transparency in Appointments Undermine Effectiveness, Public Confidence], International rights bodies demand withdrawal of ordinance (ht), NBA opposes recent appointments in constitutional bodies (ht), Oli does not want to quit on moral grounds but instead is talking of horse trading : Implying elected representatives are for sale is disrespecting the House and electorate, lawmakers and analysts say, by Binod Ghimire (kp), Politics becomes more complicated in ways that will exacerbate gridlock : Oli refuses to budge as the Dahal-Nepal faction explores options, only to realise that there are none as of now, by Tika R Pradhan (kp), Graduating wisely : We need a solid post-graduation plan to enjoy the perks of becoming a developing country (kp), Focus on GNI : Nepal must do adequate homework to meet the necessary threshold related to GNI per capita to graduate from a LDC (ht),
see also news programmes of Kantipur TV : morning (English), evening (Nepali)

see more links


Editorial comment

(23 February 2021) Democracy is still alive in Nepal! For a good two months, Prime Minister Oli could pretend that he was an absolute ruler, that he was above the Constitution and any legislation. Like Oli, his closest henchmen and his defenders proclaimed in the Supreme Court that the prime minister had every right on his side. Early elections in April and May would be completely out of the question.

Now the Supreme Court has finally delivered its verdict. In the end, it was very quick and unequivocal: the dissolution of parliament and all of Oli's machinations in recent months were unconstitutional. Parliament must be reconstituted and convened within 13 days.

This is the verdict that everyone convinced of democracy and the rule of law had expected from the Supreme Court. Thanks be to the court for putting all this in such a clear form.

What is missing now is the accounting of Oli as a person. In relation to him, the ruling means that Oli's actions cannot be described as anything other than a coup. This must result in the harshest measures against him personally and also against all those who justified his actions with hair-raising justifications in court. The statements maliciously violated better knowledge.

Let us hope that those responsible at the top of the other political parties finally come to their senses and are able to democratically elect a new government into office. It will be their task in the remaining one and a half years to complete the numerous shortcomings of the Oli government with regard to the implementation of the constitution and a socially inclusive and secular federal state.


(3 February 2021)  Even 45 days after the dissolution of parliament by Prime Minister KP Oli and President Bidya Devi Bhandari, the proceedings on the constitutionality of this action continue in the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the submissions of the lawyers of the plaintiff sides have been completed. Since Monday, the lawyers of the government side have had the floor.

It is striking that the latter, in contrast to the lawyers of the plaintiff side, hardly refer to the constitution in their justification of Oli's and Bhandari's action. This is probably due to the fact that the Constitution does not really provide a justification. Thus, the defenders of the Oli government declare that such action is perfectly normal for a parliamentary democracy. Or they claim that Oli's action was necessary to preserve Nepal's sovereignty and nationalism.

One has to think several times about what lies behind these arguments. According to the constitution, Nepal's sovereignty lies with the people. The representatives legitimately and democratically elected by the people are the members of the House of Representatives. They therefore represent the sovereign people in Nepal's parliamentary system.

Dependent on this House of Representatives is the executive power. The representatives of the people elect a Prime Minister, who then forms a Council of Ministers to carry out and coordinate the official business of the country. To be elected, the prime minister needs the approval of a majority of the MPs within the House of Representatives. If a party has a clear majority in the House of Representatives, that party's top candidate is usually confirmed as prime minister, as provided by Article 76 (1) of the Constitution. If no party has an absolute majority, the candidate additionally needs the votes of one or more other parties, according to Article 76 (2).

When KP Oli was elected Prime Minister in February 2018, his CPN-UML did not have an absolute majority in the House of Representatives. Oli was therefore elected under Article 76 (2) as he was also still elected by CPN-MC MPs who had already formed an alliance with CPN-UML in the elections. Therefore, as required under Article 76 (4), Oli faced a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives within 30 days, in which he received almost 75 per cent of the votes. This whopping majority was further consolidated two months later when the two parties merged to form the NCP.
Now, in a parliamentary democracy, it can happen that over time the approval a prime minister receives from parliament or even within his own party changes. This is a perfectly normal democratic process. The reason may be, for example, that the prime minister has pursued bad policies and has not fulfilled his duties in the necessary manner. It can also be that inner-party rivals have their own claims to power and therefore question the office of prime minister. These are all processes that occur in every democracy.

In such a case, it is the task of a prime minister to prove that he or she still has the confidence of the representatives of the sovereign people. In accordance with the basic principles of a democracy, this is done by the prime minister asking the House of Representatives for a vote of confidence. If he wins this, he automatically remains in office and his opponents have failed. If he loses the vote, he is automatically voted out and another candidate must seek the majority of MPs. In addition, his political opponents can also bring a vote of no confidence in parliament on their part. If a prime minister sees no chance of winning the vote of confidence in parliament from the outset, he can of course resign right away. These would have been the only options for the hard-pressed Prime Minister Oli in December 2020 at the latest. In fact, he should have faced these democratic options much earlier in order to avert greater damage to Nepal's state and society, especially in times of pandemic.

But Oli seems to understand and interpret the constitution and democracy differently. He probably sees parliament as representing the sovereign people only until they have elected the prime minister. After that, sovereignty passes to the latter. This is evidenced by Oli's dealings with parliament over the past three years. When parliament was active, important laws were often simply not passed. Time and again, Oli bypassed parliament by issuing ordinances in close cooperation with the president when parliament was not in session. This was easier for him, because then he was not bound by any votes and could push through what he liked.

The amendment to the Constitutional Council's decision-making procedure on 20 December was tantamount to a constitutional amendment by ordinance. The dissolution of the House of Representatives just five days later was a stab in the back for Nepal's fledgling democracy. It turned the constitution's provisions on sovereignty upside down. The Prime Minister, dependent on Parliament and accountable to it in every respect, dissolved the elected body of representatives of the sovereign people to preserve his personal power and impose policies that marginalised his political opponents. The argument of Oli's lawyers now before the Supreme Court that he had no other choice to preserve sovereignty, which is actually that of the people, is probably understood only by himself and his most adamant supporters. And the argument of preserving nationalism bodes ill. For months, Oli has presented himself as a Hindu fundamentalist. That would be the last thing Nepal needs now.

Oli and Bhandari undoubtedly bear the main responsibility for the escalation of the political and constitutional situation. But one should not absolve Oli's inner-party opponents, as well as the top politicians of opposition parties, from a more or less large share of the blame. In particular, in the context of the disputes on the streets and in the media, no real separation is discernible on all sides between the question of the legitimacy of Oli's steps and their own respective ambitions for power.


(10 January 2021)  The unresolved legal situation continues unchanged, while PM Khaga Prasad Sharma Oli continues to intensify his campaign for the new elections he has called for the House of Representatives.  He accuses the four former chief justices, who had clearly declared themselves on the unconstitutionality of the dissolution of parliament, of interfering in an ongoing court case and attempting to influence the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, he himself continues to claim every right to call his action constitutional; that the House of Representatives will not be reinstated under any circumstances and that the elections will be held as announced. But such words from the mouth of the Prime Minister, of course, have nothing to do with influencing the decision of the judiciary.

At the same time, Oli is trying to keep the state apparatus under his unrestricted control. Thus, in order to preserve the appearance of democracy, the winter session of the remaining parliamentary chamber, the National Assembly, was convened on 2 January, but on 10 January Oli had the session ended again after only four meetings. The fact that he spat on the floor of the National Assembly on this occasion makes it clear what he thinks of this democratic institution. Also, why does Oli need a legislature at all when Nepal has such an able and powerful PM? This way, Oli can pass laws, as he wants them, by ordinance and have them signed by his president. He has repeatedly used this as an ideal way in the past almost three years of his tenure.

Meanwhile, demonstrations against Oli's unconstitutional actions (here called so with no hidden agenda of influencing the court out of full conviction) are taking place in all corners of the country. Meanwhile, Oli also likes to have such demonstrators arrested by the police. At his own election rallies, the wearing of black masks is strictly forbidden, as this could be a symbol of protest. Even black breathing masks have to be removed. What does Oli care about protective measures against the spread of the pandemic? Any other kind of demonstration is also prevented at such events. In Dhangadhi, for example, a group of young people were arrested because they wore appropriate shirt inscriptions to remind people of the continuing lack of investigation into the rape and murder of Nirmala Pant and demanded justice. Since the crime, there have been accusations that the highest political circles are deliberately preventing the investigation.

Finally, the camp of the advocates of a return to monarchy and the Hindu state must unfortunately also be addressed. The anniversary of Prithvinarayan Shah's birth is a welcome occasion to remember the founder and military unifier of modern Nepal. While it is true that Nepal owes it to this Shah king that it still exists today as an independent state and has not been absorbed into the Indian Union, it must also be remembered that the policies of Prithvinarayan Shah and his successors are responsible for the system of patriarchy, inequality, exclusion and discrimination that makes it so difficult today to transform Nepal into a modern democratic state.

Significantly, ex-king Gyanendra once again spoke out today, pretending that his main concern was the preservation of the country. What is meant by this was made clear by Kamal Thapa, the chairman of the RPP, when he once again called for a return to monarchy and the Hindu state. Criticism of today's supposedly democratic politicians is made easy for the monarchists these days. Oli and the other so-called top politicians are well on their way to destroying the country. But they are only completing what the monarchy could not complete before. Only a younger charismatic generation of politicians from among Nepali citizens with a commitment to inclusion, democracy and secularism and an aversion to theocracy and overrated political ideologies can save the country!


(8 January 2021) How similar things are: When the US president incites his most diehard supporters to initiate a coup from above against the state and democracy for the purpose of retaining power, statesmen all over the world condemn his action.  Not so PM Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and his government in Nepal. Why should they, Oli has behaved similarly to Trump after he could no longer hold on to power through democratic means. Trump has the American parliament stormed, which was about to confirm his ouster, Oli dissolves the Nepalese parliament so that the democratically elected representatives of the sovereign people there cannot deprive him of executive power.The latter, by the way, is a legitimate democratic right of parliament. Yet Trump in the US and Oli in Nepal have, in four respectively three years of failed politics, provided ample grounds for voting out or removing from executive power.

What is missing in Nepal is a binding decision by the Supreme Court. Despite numerous shortcomings, the Nepali constitution speaks clearly about Oli's actions. Numerous constitutional experts and leading jurists have taken a clear stand. Objections and justifications have already been explained. Why does the Supreme Court not come to a judgement immediately? Every day seems valuable in this case.

Democracy and the nascent federal state are in danger of collapsing if the constitutional issue is not resolved quickly. The political parties are already in an election mode, so to speak. Although they continue to protest pro forma against Oli's actions, this seems more like a means to an end. Ultimately, the leaders of the different party-political camps are concerned with personal power. They have always been willing to use any means to achieve this.

Thus, Oli travels the country and declares to his remaining supporters at mass meetings (What does he care about the pandemic?) that everything he has done has been done on the basis of the constitution; the new elections are coming as he ordered; this cannot be reversed at all. Thus, Oli also decides on the rule of law of his actions. He does not need a Supreme Court for this. His current journey through the country is already pure election campaigning. Let us hope that he will at least pay for the costs of the trips and the events; they have nothing to do with his PM office.

The Dahal-Nepal faction of the NCP continues to pretend that its primary concern is the withdrawal of the dissolution of parliament. In keeping with the media, its leaders position themselves in a strictly hierarchical order at the forefront of the sit-ins on the streets. However, since it became clear that the other parties are not willing to join them in protest actions, the focus for Dahal and Nepal has also shifted more towards new elections. The visible sign at the moment is the effort to be recognised by the Election Commission as the legitimate NCP with a view to the future.

Although the main opposition party NC continues to protest against the dissolution of parliament independently of the Dahal-Nepal group, its leader Sher Bahadur Deuba has already repeatedly expressed that he is hopeful of becoming prime minister for a fifth time through possible new elections, after all he has only failed miserably four times. Meanwhile, Oli as well as Dahal and Nepal are courting Deuba, as new majorities are needed to form a government in the event of a restoration of parliament.

One party whose votes could also play a role in this is the Janata Samajbadi Party - Nepal (JSPN), as the third strongest faction in parliament so far. This party is also protesting against Oli's actions, but is also shying away from joint action with the other demonstrating parties.

Of the other parties, the RPP should be mentioned here, although this party seems completely insignificant in view of the election results of 2017. The problem is that this party of die-hards is trying to use the chaos caused by Oli and the NCP to promote a return to monarchy and the Hindu state through mass demonstrations.  Their leaders are proving that they have clearly not understood the history and society of Nepal. The demand for such a step backwards is unlikely to be successful, but it further exacerbates the current chaos. (Tsak Sherpa)



(6 January 2021) The political crisis continues. Today, the Supreme Court began hearing the 13 constitutional petitions that followed the dissolution of parliament by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Of the 5 judges of the Constitutional Bench, Hari Krishna Karki has retired. He had been accused of bias as he had served as Attorney General during the first Oli government. The trial is scheduled to resume on 13 January 2021.

Meanwhile, both infighting between the two factions of the NCP at all levels of the federal system and protests by other parties continue unabated. Both NCP groups are showering accusations on each other and trying to damage the other group and push it out of power. For a long time now, this dispute has been endangering the very foundations of the entire state, especially since the leaders of the two factions seem to be mainly interested in their personal ambitions for power.

PM Oli is continually escalating into a defence of the legality of his actions. In the meantime, he is even claiming that this was a purely political measure on which the Supreme Court is not even entitled to judge.

One can only hope that the Supreme Court will reach a verdict on the constitutionality of the dissolution of parliament as soon as possible. In a democratic state, a prime minister has only two options if his government loses its majority: resignation or at least a vote of confidence in parliament. The elected representatives of the sovereign people sit in parliament. Oli owes his office only to the election by this Parliament, which alone has the right to deprive the PM of legitimacy. The dissolution of the House of Representatives, avowedly for Oli's personal retention of power, is therefore tantamount to a coup d'état.

But even if the Supreme Court reverses the dissolution of parliament, there remain legitimate doubts that this parliament will last much longer. The top politicians of the two factions have already destroyed Nepal's democratic system too much. There will be no stable governing majorities either at the central level or in the provinces after a possible restoration of parliament. In any case, the question of legitimacy remains. At the top of all the major parties are ageing leaders, some of whom have already failed several times or whose legitimacy to exercise power is at least questionable because of their political past. As a logical consequence, even if the House of Representatives is reinstated, there will probably be early elections sooner or later. However, with the current, largely over-aged party leaders, even these could be forgotten. Given the large parliamentary majority, the Oli government would have had a unique opportunity to stabilise Nepal politically and advance the country's development. Oli has miserably squandered this opportunity.

Meanwhile, the Corona pandemic continues to affect all aspects of life. But that does not seem to interest the politicians of all parties at all. The daily announced case numbers may seem low compared to western industrialised countries, but the value of the numbers mentioned is doubtful in view of the extremely low number of daily tests. While in most countries of the world the numbers of infections and deaths are steadily increasing or at least have remained at a high level for weeks, the numbers in Nepal continue to fall unabated. And this despite the fact that the Oli government continues to do absolutely nothing to control the spread of the pandemic.

Economically, too, there is hardly anything that can be glossed over. So the comments on the revival of the all-important tourism sector seem like a nice dream. Reports on the death of hotels speak a clearer language. In view of the current world situation, Nepal should rather assume that 2021 will remain another lost year for international tourism. (Tsak Sherpa)

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National anthem of Nepal
Adibasi Song
Verein Nepal-Inzlingen - Hilfe für Kinder in Nepal, Inzlingen, Germany
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Népal et Vous, Montataire, France

German-Nepal Friendship Association website
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