is not the only nation experiencing war and disorder at the moment. The
political temperature of the whole world is increasing simultaneously
with Global Warming. As the average air temperature continues to rise
everywhere the chance of a major war appears to grow with it. A year ago
the prospect of nuclear bombs being used in open warfare by the Western
powers was virtually zero. But today both Britain and America are seriously
considering their use against Iraq. Similar threats have been made against
Iran, Libya and North Korea. Even China and Russia are listed as possible
enemy targets by Western military planners. President Bush has declared
that an 'axis of evil' exists among these nations and the 'free world'
must act quickly to destroy it.
Meanwhile the Arab world has finally settled its
differences and stands firmly behind Iraq. France and Germany show little
enthusiasm for supporting another invasion and the great global alliance
formed in the 'war against terror' only a few weeks ago appears to be
falling apart. The United Nations has once again ordered Israel to withdraw
from the Palestinian land it took in the 1967 war. Even America has supported
the Arab demand but none of the powerful Western powers are prepared to
enforce it. And Israel has completely ignored it.
In retaliation against a series of highly effective
suicide bomb attacks, Israel has instead sent thousands of soldiers and
armoured tanks to occupy Palestine and establish military rule. This very
powerful nation has been seriously threatened by a group of young fanatics
who are prepared to die for their cause. Last week a sixteen-year old
Palestinian girl strapped explosives around her waist and calmly blew
up an Israeli supermarket full of shoppers. Nearly a hundred Israeli civilians
have been killed by such attacks and the army is powerless to prevent
them unless every person is physically searched almost continuously. And
of course that is both hugely expensive and politically dangerous for
any elected government.
Consequently the army is forced to search out those
suspected of organising the suicide bombers. Nearly a thousand Palestinians
have been arrested and subjected to unknown interrogation methods over
the past week. Untold numbers have been killed. The entire population
of several major towns and cities has confined to their homes. Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat and his aides have been isolated in two rooms of
their headquarters and completely surrounded by a massive Israeli force.
Hundreds of Palestinian fighters are besieged in various important Christian
temples as vicious fighting spreads across the land.
It is a sadly familiar story to every Nepali. During
the past month nearly 500 people have been killed in our own civil war.
Our government has also been forced to search out those responsible for
organising terrorist style attacks. Hundreds of our citizens have also
been arrested and subjected to unknown interrogation methods. An international
human rights organisation has even accused the army of shooting suspected
Maoists when they might have easily been taken prisoner.
Although the history and origins of each conflict
may appear different, the governments of both Nepal and Israel effectively
face the same problem. A small group of very determined people can produce
such chaos and terror that the State must resort to force and military
action as the only apparent solution. America has faced the same problem
since the famous destruction of the Word Trade Centre. It seems that every
nation must spend more and more of its resources fighting a perpetual
struggle against ruthless rebels.
There appears little appetite for dialogue in any
of these conflicts. The American led war against Afghanistan has encouraged
a strong military approach everywhere else. Every government seems to
believe that killing terrorists is the best way of dealing with them.
A recent Internet opinion poll indicated considerable feeling against
any further talks with the Maoists. It seems that we have all become accustomed
to fighting and killing. The world is rapidly hardening into two distinct
camps; those who support the current international system against those
who are determined to change it.
Fifty ears ago, after the Second World War in which
40 million people died, the United Nations was especially created to prevent
another tragic international war. Politicians and citizens were united
in their horror of repeating that experience. But today that lesson seems
to have been forgotten. The great powers are spending ever more money
on weapons and military technology and threats of bloody retaliation have
replaced the language of diplomacy and compromise.
It is therefore essential that Nepal must settle
its own problems before various international forces become more involved.
In the event of international war it is certain that opposing foreign
powers will wish to support each side of our own civil war. Neutrality
will be impossible if our own people are fighting each other. Nepal would
be drawn into an international conflict that will ultimately result in
a loss of independence. We would become absorbed into another political
system - whichever side won.
There can be no easy way of solving this struggle
because neither side is entirely right or wrong. Change is a necessary
aspect of life but the old established order cannot simply be replaced
by a new experimental system overnight. Both these forces must therefore
find ways of working together so that mutually agreed objectives are achieved
within a sensible time schedule. At the moment there seems no chance of
achieving even a consensus in Parliament let alone across the nation.
The ruling party is still fighting itself and large numbers of MP's regularly
walk out of debates.
Such national dissent at a time of grave crisis
is dangerous. This is no time for petty rivalries inside Government or
even inside Parliament. The Prime Minister cannot be changed every few
months in the vain hope that someone else can solve this crisis any bettere.
Only a firm alliance of all democratic forces can successfully meet the
threat against democracy. This is a time for national consensus and the
demand for that must come from everyone in Parliament. Otherwise how can
there ever be peace?
my best wishes to you all,