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Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse International Crisis Group 2005-02-09

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Asia Report N°91 ~ 9 February 2005
Crisis Group
A. The Maoists 4
B. The Security Forces 6
C. Two Different Wars 7
A. ThePalace 9
B. TheParties 10
A. India 11
B. THEU.S 13
C. The European Union and Others 14
A. Map of Nepal 16
B. The New Council of Mnisters 17
C. About the International Crisis Group 18
D. Crisis Group Reports and Briefings on Asia 19
E. Crisis Group Board Members 21
 Crisis Group
Asia Report N°91
9 February 2005
On 1 February 2005, in a move not only destructive of
democracy and human rights but likely to strengthen
the Maoist insurgents and make Nepal's civil war even
more intense, King Gyanendra sacked Prime Minister
Sher Bahadur Deuba, took power directly and declared
a state of emergency.1 Gyanendra, who has dismissed
three governments since 2002, claimed he was acting
to "defend multiparty democracy". But his move had
every familiar and indefensible coup ingredient: party
leaders were put under house arrest, key constitutional
rights were suspended, soldiers enforced complete
censorship, and communications were cut.
In a televised statement, Gyanendra blamed the
politicians, saying they had discredited multiparty
democracy by "focusing solely on power politics".
Warning that the country was threatened by "terrorists",
he said the security forces would end the nine-year-old
Maoist insurgency in which 11,000 people have died.
Prime Minister Deuba was placed under house arrest,
and other political leaders, including the heads of party
student wings, were detained before the announcement.
Gyanendra's move was widely condemned by the
international community. India, caught off-guard by the
announcement, called it "a serious setback to the cause
of democracy". UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
called for an immediate restoration of democracy, as did
the British and U.S. governments.
The king's takeover came as political tensions were
building in Kathmandu over possible elections. Prime
Minister Deuba had said that he would shortly announce
a date for polls but this was greeted with considerable
scepticism given the worsening security situation, in
which the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist
Leninist, UML), a member of Deuba's government, had
1 This report provides the essential background to the royal
coup of 1 February 2005, describes first consequences on the
ground and reactions in Nepal and abroad, and offers initial
analysis of its implications. Crisis Group will shortly provide
additional analysis and policy recommendations for a way
forward, as well as fuller discussion of related political
subjects including the constitutional crisis.
said it did not support holding an election. The main
Nepali Congress Party had said it favoured restoration of
the parliament elected in 1999 and would not take part
in new polls.
Dismissal of that parliament in October 2002 began
the current political crisis. Gyanendra subsequently
dismissed a royalist government he had hand picked and
brought most of the mainstream political parties back
into power. But Deuba was unable to return the Maoists
to peace talks, and his coalition government was deeply
split over how to proceed. With neither the political
parties nor the king contributing constructively to the
process, little progress was being made in developing the
united multiparty democracy/constitutional monarchy
front that most observers have seen as a necessary
condition for any such talks to be productive.
The last round of peace talks broke down in August
2003, leading to intensified conflict. A significant
build-up of government forces has done little to
improve security across the country. Maoist
insurgents, who have shown themselves able to attack
at will, hold sway over most rural areas and are
increasingly active in towns nominally controlled by
the government. Combining effective guerrilla tactics
with violent intimidation and extortion, they have
built up a nationwide presence, though one founded
more on fear than popular support.
The state has withdrawn from most rural areas. Its
security forces, based in district headquarters and a few
heavily fortified posts, are vulnerable and unable to
protect the population. When they are attacked, their
response has often been indiscriminate violence that
further undermines civilian security. There is
widespread agreement among knowledgeable observers
both inside and outside the country that the insurgency
cannot be defeated militarily, and any solution will
require a mix of military and political strategies. So far
both have been lacking, and there is every reason to
believe that the situation will now get even worse with
the king's assumption of full power:
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page ii
This move will only boost the Maoists by
confirming their view ofthe monarch as opposing
democracy; they may now seek to make common
cause with the mainstream parties against the king.
The political parties, while diminished since the
dissolution of parliament in 2002, retain
considerable grass roots support: any solution
that does not include them is likely to be
opposed by many and would be unsustainable.
Government security forces presently lack the
capacity to defeat the Maoists and cannot develop
it any time soon. Troops are now occupied
controlling politicians and journalists in
Kathmandu rather than fighting the insurgents.
Nepal's terrain, the self-sustaining nature of the
insurgency and its lack of an external backer make
it difficult to put pressure on the insurgents, and
the arrest or killing of a few key Maoist leaders
will not end the conflict.
King Gyanendra enjoys little popular support.
Most Nepalis  would  prefer  a  constitutional
monarchy but calls for a republic have become
louder in the past two years. The king is now
directly exposed to the problems of running the
country: if he does not deliver peace quickly, his
support will sink further.
A worsening ofthe human rights situation with
the suspension of constitutional protections and
an upsurge in violence will likely reduce the
willingness of donors to fund the social and
economic reforms that would necessarily be
part of any political solution.
There is no reason to believe that rule by decree
will mean that corruption and mismanagement
will be any less prevalent than when Nepal was
previously governed by an absolute monarchy
from 1960 to 1991.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 9 February 2005
 Crisis Group
Asia Report N°91
9 February 2005
The conflict dates to 1996 when the Maoists2 began
organising an insurgency in the mid-west of the
country. Regarded as an isolated problem that could
easily be controlled, it received little attention in
Kathmandu until a series of violent police operations
led to a widening ofthe conflict. By 2001, the revolt
had spread considerably, and the army had become
involved. In lune 2001, King Birendra and eight other
members of the royal family were murdered by the
Crown Prince, Dipendra, and the late monarch's
brother, Gyanendra, was crowned king.
In May 2002 Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba
asked the king to dissolve parliament and call
elections.3 When the Maoists announced they would
mobilise against the elections, Deuba requested the
king to postpone the polls for a year. Accusing him of
incompetence, the king dismissed Deuba and took on
executive powers, governing through an appointed
prime minister, Lokendra Chand, a long time loyalist
of the monarchy, who was himself replaced in lune
2003 by Surya Bahadur Thapa. The new prime
minister, another loyalist, was dismissed in lune 2004,
and Deuba was reappointed to lead a cabinet that
included members of his own Nepali Congress (D)
Party and the UML. The main Nepali Congress Party,
headed by a former prime minister, Girija Prasad
Koirala, stayed out of government.4
Deuba made a negotiated settlement his priority,
announced formation of a Peace Secretariat and
convened a High-Level Peace Committee (HPC) of
The Maoists are formally known as the Communist Party
of Nepal (Maoist) or CPN (M).
3 For more background, see Crisis Group Asia Report N°50,
Nepal Backgrounder, Ceasefire: Soft Landing or Strategic
Pause?, 10 April 2003; Crisis Group Asia Briefing N°30,
Nepal: Dangerous Plans for Village Militias, 17 February
2004; Crisis Group Asia Briefing N°28, Nepal: Back to the
Gun, 22 October 2003; and Crisis Group Asia Report N°57,
Nepal: Obstacles to Peace, 17 June 2003.
4 Nepali Congress (D) split from Nepali Congress in 2002 due
to differences between Koirala and Deuba. Hereafter the two
parties are referred to as Congress (D) and Congress.
major party leaders. In September 2004 the HPC called
for the Maoists to return to talks. But the Maoist
leadership repeatedly said it would negotiate only with
King Gyanendra, whom it regards as the real power. The
party chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (commonly
known as Prachanda), challenged Deuba to demonstrate
his full authority or allow his "masters behind the
curtain" to talk.5
Koirala's Congress and three other parties stayed out of
government and refused to join the Peace Committee, a
body that soon proved to be ineffectual. Tensions were
evident within the government from the start, with the
UML eager to move towards talks, even pressing for a
unilateral ceasefire. This was rejected by Deuba, who
set a deadline of mid-Ianuary 2005 for the Maoists to
agree to negotiate. The deadline came and went
without any new response. Deuba announced he would
shortly call elections, but he gave no timetable as his
policy faced opposition both inside and outside the
government. Few believed polls could be held other
than in a handful of towns and district command bases.
The UML has opposed new elections and consistently
urged that priority be given to reaching a peace deal
with the Maoists. Congress also opposed the idea, and
Koirala repeatedly called for the parliament elected to a
five-year term in 1999 that had not been completed to
be reinstated instead.
Tensions between the king and the government were
mounting in December 2004 but when the monarch
suggested he might take over executive powers, he was
firmly warned against such a course by regional and
Western governments, who took the view that the
conflict could best be tackled by a united front of so-
called constitutional forces against the Maoists.6
Gyanendra's contempt for the parties was evident in his
1 February 2005 speech dismissing the government,
which repeatedly referred to their corruption and abuse
of power. Those close to the palace say he is nostalgic
for the type of government his father created in I960.7
The Panchayat period, as this was known, had a highly
5 Maoist press statement, 24 September 2004.
6 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu and New Delhi,
December 2004 and January 2005.
7 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu January 2005.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 2
centralised government with all power residing in the
palace. Elections were held but there were no political
parties or effective opposition. This ended in 1990 with
the development of a democratic but loosely drafted
constitution that provides for parties to contest
elections but also gives the king more powers,
particularly over the military, than is normal in a
constitutional monarchy. King Birendra subsequently
ruled as a constitutional monarch, though he tended to
interfere from behind the walls of the Narayanhiti
Palace. The present king has interpreted a loosely
worded article in that document as giving him the right
to take back full control.8
Article 127 of the Constitution states: "Power to Remove
Difficulties: If any difficulty arises in connection with the
implementation of this Constitution, His Majesty may issue
necessary orders to remove such difficulty and such orders
shall be laid before parliament". The language is imprecise
but the king has never laid any order before parliament. Rule
without elections clearly goes against the spirit and language
of the preamble of the Constitution that states (speaking in
the royal voice): "We are convinced that the source of
sovereign authority of the independent and sovereign Nepal
is inherent in the people, and, therefore, we have from time
to time, made known our desire to conduct the government
of the country in consonance with the popular will". Crisis
Group will deal with constitutional issues in Nepal in more
detail in a forthcoming report.
Although rumours of a royal takeover had circulated for
months, there appear to have been no advance signs of it
happening when it did, and planning was clearly limited
to a small group of palace and army officials. The coup
began early in the morning with the detention of senior
political leaders from all the mainstream parties,
including those previously linked to the king. Several
hundred politicians and student leaders have been
rounded up and are being held under house arrest and
at a number of locations, including police and army
camps.9 State television and radio broadcast the king's
announcement at 10:00 a.m., and over the next hour all
telephone and internet communications were cut.10
Flights were turned back from Kathmandu's international
The palace summoned newspaper editors to impose
complete censorship. Soldiers occupied all media
outlets and applied full control over all publications.
All internet sites hosted in Nepal, including those
operated by media companies and political parties,
were cut. Private radio stations stopped broadcasting
news, while papers were restricted to the king's
statement and a few other reports. lournalists who were
able to communicate with the outside world described
a climate of intense fear, and there were concerns the
military would extend its round-up to media workers
and human rights activists. The only Nepali political
internet site still functioning two days after the coup
belonged to the Maoists.
Kathmandu remained calm, with a limited military
presence on the streets. Troops commandeered any light
trucks that ventured out, so traffic declined but the city
was more active than during the regular strikes (bandhs)
called by political parties. The only demonstration was a
small one in favour of the king's move. Armoured
vehicles were posted throughout the city as a reminder
ofthe military's power. Many people seemed indifferent
to the crisis, reflecting a widespread disillusionment
with politics and a tendency to hope that some sort of
external intervention would solve the conflict.11 There
were reports of protests outside Kathmandu, including
Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, February 2005. See
also the unconfirmed list of detainees compiled by the
Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON).
10 Landline telephone and internet services were only
restored on 8 February, a week after the coup. Mobile
telephone networks were still not working and reportedly
would not be reopened soon. "Communications Restored in
Nepal", BBC News (World Edition), 8 February 2005.
11 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, February 2005.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 3
one by students in Pokhara on 3 February that was
violently dispersed by soldiers.12
Gyanendra suspended key parts ofthe constitution when
he declared a state of emergency.13 There are currently
no effective constitutional limits to his powers, and all
civil liberties have been suspended, in violation of
Nepal's international commitments.14 In what he said
was a step to "defend multiparty democracy" as part of a
monarchical tradition against authoritarianism, the king
has disbanded all aspects of a democratic state and
created what is effectively military rule.
The king appointed a ten-member Council of Mnisters
but not a prime minister because, he indicated, he would
direct it.15 The Council is made up of Royal loyalists,
many of them senior officials during the Panchayat
period of absolute monarchy. It has absolute power,
unfettered by any constitutional restraint, and can rule
by decree. It issued a 21-point plan of action after its
first meeting,16 which was chaired by the king. The
focus was on anti-corruption measures, including the
stripping from politicians of assets allegedly gained
through corruption.
On 6 February, Mnister for Tourism and Culture
Budhhiraj Bajracharya announced to reporters that the
king would soon form a committee to negotiate with
the Maoists. He did not elaborate and did not say
whether the king himself would participate in the
Randeep Ramesh "For Nepal, a Brutal Return to a Feudal
Past", The Guardian 5 February 2005. The first major protest
against the royal takeover occurred on 3 February in Pokhara
at the local Prithvinarayan Multiple Campus, a hotbed of
student politics from which many leftist national-level student
leaders have emerged. Students chanted slogans against the
king and burned tires. The security forces responded by firing
"teargas shells and some rounds into the air", according to the
RNA spokesman, Brigadier General Dipak Gurung.
13 The key rights that were suspended are: Article 12(2)a:
Freedom of opinion and expression; Article 12(2)b: freedom
to assemble peaceably and without arms; Article 12(2)c:
Freedom to form unions and associations; Article 13(1):
Press and publication rights ("No news item, article or any
other reading material shall be censored"); Article 15: Right
against preventive detention (This provision contains an
exception where there is "a sufficient ground of existence of
and immediate threat to the sovereignty, integrity or law and
order situation"; its suspension suggests that the king wishes
to be able to detain arbitrarily.); Article 16: Right to
information; Article 22: Right to privacy; Article 23: Right
to a constitutional remedy.
14 Nepal is not believed to have informed the UN Human
Rights Commission of the state of emergency as obliged by
the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to
which it is a party. Under the terms of that agreement, Nepal
cannot simply abrogate all these rights, but can only reduce
their scope proportionately (i.e., as required by the exigencies
ofthe situation). Many ofthe first measures undertaken, such
as the sweeping arrests of political and student leaders and
the wholesale blackout of all press activities, are patently
unlawful, even in an emergency. Nepal has also been in
violation of its obligations under the Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities by cutting
communications used by foreign embassies.
15 See Appendix B below for a list of Council members and
their biographies.
The Council's first meeting was held on 2 February 2005
but details were not released until 4 February 2005.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 4
At the heart of the crisis is the Maoist insurgency, an
uprising that seems anachronistic in the 21st century but
has presented a shockingly effective challenge to a
weak state that lacks a political response to the many
problems of poverty and exclusion in Nepal. The
insurgency has grown from a local affair in a handful
of districts to a nationwide problem. Maoists are now
active in almost all areas, and the state has mostly
retreated to a few towns and district headquarters that
have large military camps. The Maoists often have a
considerable say in what goes on in towns, intimidating
local government officials or causing them to flee, so
that the insurgents exercise effective control of many
state functions such as administration, law and
education.17 The Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) has
shown very little ability to contain the conflict or
reverse Maoist advances. It does next to nothing to
provide security for civilians; indeed many people
Crisis Group interviewed across Nepal said they were
more concerned by violence from the state security
forces than by the Maoists.18
Civilians have suffered terribly. The Maoists use
extreme violence and have much abused human rights.
The military and police response has in turn been brutal
and indiscriminate. Following the collapse of a seven-
month ceasefire in August 2003, the conflict descended
into its bloodiest phase.19 A Nepali NGO, the Informal
Sector Service Centre (INSEC), reliably estimated in
early lanuary 2005 that 10,985 people had been killed,
7,175 by state security forces, 3,810 by the Maoists.20
More than 6,000 of these deaths have been since 2002.
Among those killed are 289 children. There are no
reliable estimates of other casualties but the increased
use of improvised explosive devices by the Maoists has
brought greater risks for civilians. Nepal now tops
Amnesty International's list of alleged disappearances,
with 378 cases reported since fighting resumed, more
than in the previous five years together.21
There is a wide divergence of estimates of the numbers
displaced by the conflict, but observers agree the
depopulation of rural areas is a worrying trend. Young
men in particular have migrated within Nepal, across the
open border to India and further afield in search of jobs
Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Baglung
and Jhapa, January 2005.
18 Ibid.
19 See Crisis Group Briefing, Back to the Gun, op. cit.
20 See INSEC web site at
21 Amnesty International press release, London. 30 August
and to escape the fighting. In 2002-2003, INSEC
recorded 31,635 cases of displaced people.22 The
National Human Rights Commission estimates that over
34,300 people have been displaced from rural areas.
Little progress has been made on ensuring protection of
basic rights ~ either of civilians or combatants — despite
repeated verbal commitments from both sides.23
A.    The Maoists
Maoist leader Prachanda issued an immediate
condemnation of what he described as the
implementation of "feudal autocracy".24 He called for
RNA soldiers to defy the king's orders and for a two-day
strike in Kathmandu, although media controls and the
cutting of phone lines meant few people in the capital
were aware of this. Despite their public condemnations,
the Maoists are certain to be delighted by the king's
move as it pits them much more directly against the
monarch and removes the mainstream political parties
from the game. The Maoists are likely to consolidate
their position, build alliances with other forces including
political parties in Nepal and India, and maintain
pressure on the military with guerrilla attacks.
Capabilities. In the past eighteen months, the Maoists
have expanded into parts of the country, such as the
eastern lowland Tarai and hill districts, which used to
be relatively untouched. On 31 August 2004, they
announced that their campaign was entering the
"strategic offensive" phase, and since then they have
stepped up activities. This was decided at a Central
Committee plenum that reportedly took place in
western Nepal that month. As a Maoist-supporting
news service put it, "the stage is being set for a very
big jump in the level of fighting in the war over who
will hold political power in Nepal".25
The plenum also announced plans to expand the
"People's Liberation Army" to three divisions, made
up of 29 battalions in nine brigades, including a new
division to be deployed in the central region around
Kathmandu. The CPN (M) further aims to raise a
100,000-strong    "people's    militia".26    Independent
22 INSEC web site.
23 Sustained violations by both sides are documented in
Human Right Watch's report, "Between a Rock and a Hard
Place: Civilians Struggle to Survive in Nepal's Civil War", 7
October 2004.
24 Statement from CPN (M) Central Committee. 1 February
25 "Revolutionary strategic offensive announced in Nepal", A
World to Win News Service, 13 September 2004
26 Ibid.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 5
observers doubt such statements reflect ground
reality: "The Maoists speak of battalions and divisions
but there is no sign that they really have this many
armed cadres", observes a Western security analyst.27
Official estimates still place core Maoist fighters in
the low thousands but there is no reason to doubt the
determination to step up the military offensive,
whatever their exact resources.
Command and Control While the Maoists have been
playing by a standard guerrilla rule book, some of
their activities raise more questions than they answer.
Observers wonder what their goals are and often
doubt whether they have a coherent plan or an
effective command structure. Rumours of leadership
disputes are compounded by questions over attempts
at administration: does all the talk of alternative
government translate into any meaningful action on
the ground?28 How independent are the "autonomous
governments" set up by the Maoists, and what do they
do? And what is the Maoists' real position on
development and international aid?
The search for clear answers is hampered by the fact
that Maoist commanders in different areas operate
different policies and often claim great independence.
Before jumping to the conclusion that this reflects a
breakdown of discipline, it is worth recalling Mao's
In guerrilla warfare, small units acting independently
play the principal role, and there must be no excessive
interference with their activities ... In the case of
guerrilla warfare, [centralised command] is not only
undesirable but impossible. Only adjacent guerrilla units
can coordinate their activities to any degree ... there are
no strictures on the extent of guerrilla activity nor is it
primarily characterised by the quality of co-operation of
many units.29
Nevertheless, Mao insisted on strictly disciplined
adherence to overall political goals and warned that
"unorganised guerrilla warfare cannot contribute to
victory".30 In short, the flexibility allowed to local
commanders is entirely permitted by classical Maoist
"Our staff have encountered more than one local
commander who has bluntly told them that whatever
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, 8 June 2004.
28 Maoist administration will be the subject of a future Crisis
Group briefing.
29 Mao Zedong, On Guerrilla Warfare (1937), available at
30 Ibid.
the central policy, they feel no need to follow it ~ they
are the little emperors of their own small domains",
observes one development worker.31 The Maoist
leadership has admitted to some cases of indiscipline.
For example, it apologised for the 16 August 2004
killing of Dailekh-based journalist Dekendra Thapa,
claiming it was an unauthorised action by local cadres.
Such problems are compounded by the youth of local
Maoist leaders and their frequent transfer, according to
a UN official:
It's not that we haven't had problems with the state
security forces but there you can at least go to the
relevant commander, and they will take effective
action to rectify things. With the Maoists there's
no one senior to complain to, and even when the
leadership has announced decisions, we encounter
local commanders who have either not heard
them or refuse to recognise them.32
Such inconsistency cannot simply be blamed on poor
communications. "Certainly at the outset the Maoists
faced huge problems of keeping in touch with cadres
dispersed across difficult terrain", says a journalist with
good contacts among both the rebels and the RNA. "But
these days army officers are jealous of the Maoists'
communications equipment — even low-level commanders
can be seen with mobiles and satphones".33 In certain
areas the rebels have also published their own newspapers
and run local FM radio, moves which should enhance
the dissemination of central policy.
The creation of regional "autonomous governments"
along ethnic lines seems to have caused more serious
political challenges to the unity of the movement.
Unconfirmed reports from the August Central
Committee plenum suggest there was heated debate
over the degree to which these should submit to central
control. The Tarai Liberation Front and Kirat Workers
Party have publicly split from the CPN (M). But it is
regional bodies that have recently been at the forefront
of attempts to exert greater influence over development
work. In Bardia district in the mid-western Tarai, the
rebels have ordered NGOs and INGOs to register with
the "new regime".
"Obviously registering with the Maoists in any way
whatsoever is completely out of the question", is a
typical aid agency response.34 But the Maoists have
sown some confusion. "The agencies subscribing to the
basic operating guidelines know that in practice their
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, September 2004.
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, September 2004.
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, September 2004.
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2004.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 6
local staff are constantly having to deal with Maoists",
says a European humanitarian official. "It is impossible
to pretend otherwise, however diplomatically convenient
that may be".35 The European Union has generally been
well received by the Maoists ~ "a bit embarrassing", an
EU official put it, "but not entirely negative: we can
work in Maoist-affected areas".36
Local NGOs have, nevertheless, had to deal with the
Maoists more directly. In Bardia a representative
committee sat down for several rounds of negotiations
with leaders of the "regional government". "They're
clearly trying to make a political point and insist that we
recognise them formally as a force", said a spokesman.
"But much ofthe discussion was very detailed and quite
bureaucratic".37 Indeed, the Maoist position papers were
prepared in standard official jargon and dealt in detail
with topics such as recruitment procedures, clearance of
project proposals and budget oversight.
The most obvious effect of the expansion of Maoist
activities, however, has been to draw even more
civilians into the conflict. School teachers and students
have been abducted ~ thousands at a time — to attend
political camps.38 Although there are no reports oftheir
being used in frontline fighting, the Maoists have also
been giving military training to children in many oftheir
base areas. The launch of a "strategic offensive" will
probably lead to more violence in urban areas.
Kathmandu and other towns are already becoming
accustomed to frequent small explosions and shootings.
Government-appointed local officials will continue to be
threatened and killed. Aid projects will be disrupted and
may have to be suspended. (Major bilateral agencies
have halted activity in some western Tarai districts since
early September 2004.) And the Maoists will seek to use
the rhetorical threat of Indian expansionism and U.S.
imperialism to recruit more fighters and further intensify
their violent campaign.
B.    The Security Forces
The RNA has been much more closely involved in this
coup than in earlier royal dismissals of governments.
The belief is widespread in the capital that the military
leadership pressed the king into taking this step. It has
felt under growing pressure from critics of its human
rights record and its failure to provide security for
civilians in the face ofthe insurgency.
35 Crisis Group interview, Brussels, July 2004.
36 Crisis Group interview, Brussels, July 2004.
Crisis Group interview, Gulariya, June 2004.
38 Crisis Group interviews, Jhapa, Pokhara, Dankuta, Baglung,
Kathmandu, January 2005.
Troops moved rapidly to arrest political leaders and
student activists in Kathmandu and elsewhere. Officers
were stationed in all newspapers and broadcast media
offices to control access to information. The king made
it clear that he sought an expansion of the war against
the Maoists unless they came to the table, although he
did not say how this could be achieved. The RNA is
likely to find itself increasingly burdened with
maintaining law and order in cities. There are believed
to be two army divisions in Kathmandu.39
Capabilities. The RNA has expanded rapidly and has
sought further increases in recruits and arms. Before it
was first deployed to counter the insurgency in 2001, its
strength was around 52,000 and its main experience in
international peacekeeping operations abroad and
ceremonial activities at home. Following rapid
recruitment, it is at 78,000 and aims to reach 100,000.40
The Ministry of Defence has submitted plans to the
Ministry of Finance for the first step of expanding to
85,000.41 Expansion has been accompanied by some
restructuring: there are plans to post a brigade to each of
Nepal's fourteen zones, with a divisional headquarters in
each development region.42 Along with at least a
division dedicated to securing the Kathmandu Valley,
this would mean a total of six divisions, and possible
even larger corps-level groupings.43
Under the "unified command" structure introduced in
November 2003, the RNA also directs the 15,000-strong
Armed Police Force and the 46,500-strong Nepal Police
in counter-insurgency operations. This hastened the
withdrawal of police posts from many rural areas and
encouraged consolidation in fewer, but better protected,
bases. At the same time, former Prime Mnister Surya
Bahadur Thapa announced that civilian militias would be
formed to defend villages. That flawed policy, however,
was never widely implemented.44 Not counting other
bodies such as the National Investigation Department,
state security forces total approximately 140,000.
Soldiers are equipped with a range of weapons, including
self-loading rifles, Indian INSAS rifles and American M-
16s. The Air Service operates at least nineteen
helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft, with further
Crisis Group interviews, February 2005.
40 Sitaram Baral and Sharad Adhikari, "Ghamasan tayari",
Samay 17-23 September 2004.
41 The Himalayan Times, 10 October 2004.
42 Jane's Sentinel - South Asia, No. 12, 2003, and Jane's World
Armies, June 2003, estimated RNA strength at five infantry
brigades with fourteen to sixteen battalions.
43 These plans were approved at a cabinet meeting on 6 July
2004. Baral and Adhikari, op. cit.
44 See Crisis Group Briefing, Dangerous Plans for Village
Militias, op. cit.
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advanced light helicopters promised by India45 The
government also plans to buy a fifth MI-17 helicopter.46
C.    Two Different Wars
The intensification of military operations has been
driven by very different strategic considerations and
tactical techniques. In effect, the Maoists and the RNA
are fighting two quite distinct campaigns. The Maoists
are following a guerrilla warfare plan in which territorial
control is of minimal significance, while the state has
devoted most of its resources to static defence of towns
and key infrastructure. The Maoists claim that the
"strategic balance" phase of their campaign has
established them as the "new regime" in most of the
countryside. This now demands their extension into
urban areas, though not by direct military assault.
The RNA points to the Maoists' inability to exert
exclusive control over territory as evidence of inherent
weakness. The major RNA advance into the insurgents'
heartland of Rolpa in luly 2004 was cited as a
significant blow. But as a senior Indian security analyst
points out, "the rebels are just following the most basic
of Mao's military tenets --'when the enemy advances,
retreat'"47 Boasts that the Maoists have been unable to
overrun and hold any district headquarters are similarly
dismissed by military experts as irrelevant48 The
conflicting Maoist and RNA assessments of their
relative strengths have been characterised by one analyst
as a "dichotomy of assertions that may turn this conflict
into a never-ending struggle".49
As long as the two sides are fighting different wars, is
there any way of judging prospects? Much has been
made of Maoist claims to control 80 per cent of Nepal's
area but such "control" is clearly not exclusive. There
are no frontlines, and the RNA's repeated assertions that
there are no "no-go" areas for its soldiers are true. But
no one can deny that the rebels have become stronger
and the state's political disarray has helped them.
Without clear political will and planning, it is not
surprising that the military response has been confused.
The light helicopters are to be unarmed and used for troop
transport. The RNA's only helicopter gunships are four
Lancers. The exact nature of military aid was not specified in
the joint press statement issued by the Indian and Nepali
governments on 12 September 2004.
46 The Himalayan Times, 24 September 2004.
47 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, September 2004.
48 Crisis Group interviews, Delhi and Kathmandu, September
49 Nishchal Pandey, "The Crisis in Nepal", Institute of Peace
and Conflict Studies, Issue Brief No. 26, New Delhi, September
As Nepali foreign policy and security analyst Nischal
Pandey observes:
Maoists have emerged today as an alternative to the state.
They have re-grouped and strengthened their position
with each round of peace negotiations. Even with more
than 10,000 people killed, there is no immediate
likelihood of any durable breakthrough in the foreseeable
future either militarily or through a peaceful dialogue ...
the fight against terrorism requires sustained, coordinated
effort at all levels, a high moral position in which to
continue the campaign and enhanced intelligence and
logistical capability — a step ahead of the rebels.
Somewhere, somehow the national will went missing in
the conundrum ofthe power struggle among the different
constitutional forces in the country.50
Although it has not been a major feature of their
campaign, the Maoists have launched occasional large
scale offensives. Early in 2004, attacks on the district
headquarters of Bhojpur and Myagdi undermined RNA
assertions that they had been fundamentally weakened.
The 21 March 2004 assault on Beni, Myagdi's
headquarters, was particularly damaging to the
government's image. The Maoists were not wholly
successful ~ failing, for example, to overrun the army
barracks ~ but RNA protestations that they had fallen
into a trap were met with incredulity. As a Western
diplomat recalls, "At the start of the year there were
still some who believed the army when it said the
rebels had their backs to the wall. But Beni
demonstrated clearly that the Maoists were still capable
of mounting major attacks and coordinating thousands
of fighters and supporters".51
At the same time the insurgents have steadily increased
use of other tactics, notably strikes, lengthy blockades
and landmines or other improvised explosive devices.
The killing of 22 armed police in a single landmine blast
on the main highway in Banke district on 14 lune 2004
was shocking at the time but such attacks have been
repeated with deadly regularity. For example, a
landmine explosion and ambush on the Pokhara-
Baglung road in Parbat district on 26 lanuary 2005
claimed eight lives, including one civilian.
The combination of unorthodox Maoist tactics and
confident proclamations from senior RNA officers has
confused many analysts. The blockade of the
Kathmandu Valley in late August 2004 was met with
bafflement but illustrated key features of the conflict.
This was a "blockade" enforced solely through
intimidation: there were no significant physical attempts
Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2004.
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to cut off roads nor any notable deployment of
guerrillas.52 In a battle of perceptions, the power of
Maoist threats was pitted against public faith in the
state's ability to ensure security. The latter was initially
found wanting but the calling off of the blockade was
cited as a collapse of Maoist strength. However, even
the most conservative military analysts fear that the state
has yet to understand Maoist tactics and develop a viable
counter. As a senior regional security expert put it:
The Maoists are following a very simple but terribly
effective manual. You only need to glance through
Mao's writings on guerrilla strategy to realise that they
are largely going by the book. And unfortunately we
know that this is a proven formula. The government
desperately needs to establish security on the ground,
even if only in a few districts at first, and show that it
can reintroduce order and get a functional civil
administration back up and running. This is the only
way to regain the initiative and to restore faith in the
state. But just now I fear that the government doesn't
have a plan at all.53
Observers of all backgrounds voice such concerns
repeatedly. "No matter how well India equips the
Nepalese security forces, they are far away from being
capable of dealing with the Maoists", writes S.D. Muni,
the former ambassador widely recognised as India's
leading academic authority on Nepal. "India's own
experience in the northeast and in areas affected by
Naxalite Maoist guerrillas is that military methods may,
at best, help, but cannot deliver a solution to internal
revolts and insurgencies".54 Lessons that could be
learned from regional experiences of counter-insurgency
do not seem to have sunk in at all. A retired Indian
general with longstanding Nepal connections comments:
"I'm still shocked by the incompetence of the
RNA and by its dangerous tactics. For example,
in this day and age we would never use
helicopter gunships in counter-insurgency work —
helicopters for transport, sure, but this is a war
that can only be fought on the ground level.
Firing into jungles from a thousand feet up has
no real military benefit and is bound to be
counter-productive when innocent civilians end
up as victims" .55
Most of those calling for a peaceful solution recognise
that a military element to the state response is justified.
But even the most sympathetic observers are alarmed by
the failure of current tactics. Not only have the Maoists
been allowed to extend their sphere of influence, but
increased security operations have not made civilians
feel any more secure. At a gathering of local journalists
in Nepalgunj's bazaar — including representatives ofthe
mainstream dailies and the government media — not a
single person felt the military presence made them safer.
A journalist observed:
Here we have the RNA's divisional headquarters
and large police and armed police forces. But just
call out from the rooftop here and the Maoists
will be there ~ they're all around us, and the
security forces can hardly protect themselves. As
long as they sit cowering behind their barbed wire
waiting to be attacked how are they going to
make the public feel secure?56
A shutdown of industrial targets was similarly enforced by
the token bombing of the Soaltee Hotel and the threats of a
new, Maoist-affiliated trade union.
53 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, September 2004.
54 S.D. Muni, "Political Pilgrimage in Search of Security",
South Asia Intelligence Review 3 (9), 13 September 2004.
55 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, September 2004.
1 Crisis Group interview, Nepalgunj, June 2004.
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Political leaders were rounded up as the king took
power and have not been able to make any public
statements. Senior leaders are under house arrest while
others have been held on military and police bases. The
crackdown on communications and the media has
meant the new government has so far been able to limit
any protests by supporters ofthe political parties.
A.    The Palace
Relations between the king and political parties have
been troubled since Gyanendra took the throne. In his
statement on 1 February, the monarch flayed the parties:
Even when bloodshed, violence and devastation
has pushed the country to the brink of destruction,
those engaged in politics in the name ofthe country
and the people continue to shut their eyes to their
welfare. Tussles for power, abuse of authority on
gaining power and unhealthy competition in
fulfilling personal and communal interests at the
expense ofthe nation and citizenry contributed to
a further deterioration in the situation.
Nepal's political parties do have a sorry record since the
introduction of multi-party democracy in 1990. They
have been based around personalities rather than
policies, and leaders have been corrupt, seen as elitist
and remote, and have failed to develop any mechanisms
of internal democracy that might have allowed the
parties to reform themselves. Political instability has
been the norm: there were ten governments between
1991 and 2002.
Much of the blame for the current situation can be
legitimately pinned on the parties but not all of it.
Birendra and Gyanendra constantly interfered in politics
from behind the scenes, creating a tendency for political
leaders to look upwards to the palace rather than
worrying about popular support for policies. The
previous king's heavy hand in shaping the 1990
constitution has meant that civilians have never
controlled the military. Gyanendra's dismissal of three
governments since 2002 has only worsened the situation.
The king has long been known to favour what might be
called "The Musharraf Option" ~ the idea that
government might be best run by one man with only the
thinnest veneer of democracy.57 While this has hardly
' Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, January 2005.
been the success that many claim in Pakistan itself,58 in
Nepal there is a widespread view that it is likely to be a
complete disaster:59
□ The RNA lacks the capacity to maintain military
rule and wage a successful campaign against the
Maoists. It could never be the alternative state
that the military has become in Pakistan. The
campaign against the Maoists is likely to be
further weakened if the RNA's most competent
officers are occupied in Kathmandu guarding
political prisoners and censoring the media.
□ Political parties still have considerable support.
Despite much frustration over their behaviour,
about a third of Nepalis maintain an affiliation
with a party.60 Recent polls indicate that 60 per
See Crisis Group reporting on Pakistan including Crisis
Group Asia Briefing N°12, Pakistan: The Dangers of
Conventional Wisdom, 12 March 2002; Crisis Group Asia
Report N°36, Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Military,
29 July 2002; Crisis Group Asia Report, N°40, Pakistan:
Transition to Democracy?, 3 October 2002; Crisis Group Asia
Report N°49, Pakistan: The Mullahs and the Military, 20
March 2003; Crisis Group Asia Report N°73, Unfulfilled
Promises: Pakistan's Failure to Tackle Extremism, 16 January
2004; Crisis Group Asia Report N°77, Devolution in Pakistan:
Reform or Regression?', 22 March 2004; Crisis Group Asia
Report N°84, Pakistan: Reforming the Education Sector, 7
October 2004; and Crisis Group Asia Report N°86, Building
Judicial Independence in Pakistan, 9 November 2004.
59 See, for example, a commentary circulated by prominent
Nepali editor Kanak Mani Dixit: "In castigating the political
parties, King Gyanendra preferred to hark back to the
Parliament dissolved three years ago, while keeping silent
over [the] interim period and rule through palace-appointed
prime ministers. This is the period when the peace and
security of the country's populace plummeted more than
previously". Kanak Mani Dixit, "Royal Takeover in Nepal:
Drastic and 111-Advised", circulated on the International
Nepal Solidarity Network website at
60 A recent nationwide survey concluded that more than 28 per
cent of people were not afraid to say they were close to a
mainstream political party, in spite of continuing Maoist
violence and intimidation, Crisis Group interview with Krishna
Hachhethu, Kathmandu, 4 October 2004. This poll, which
involved 3,249 respondents interviewed from 6 August 2004 to
20 September 2004 in 31 urban and 132 rural areas, found that
two thirds of Nepalis believed that "democracy is preferable to
any other form of government" and three quarters believed
"democracy is suitable in Nepal". Another poll found 41 per
cent of respondents willing to affiliate with a mainstream
political party, Greenberg Qufnlan Rosner Research Inc., "Faith
in Democracy Endures, In Spite of Disappointments: Report on
the Baseline Survey and Focus Groups", Washington, 16
August 2004, p. 6.. The methodology of this poll has not been
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Page 10
cent consider a democracy under a constitutional
monarchy the best form of government.61
□ Even if talks are held between the Maoists and
the king, no agreement negotiated without the
support of the mainstream political parties is
likely to endure.
□ Peace is unlikely without a broad national consensus
on the problems of poverty, ethnic and caste
exclusion and corruption that plague the country
and fuel the conflict. This is unlikely to develop
if the political stage is occupied only by the far
left Maoists and the right-wing monarchists, who
are drawn from the upper echelons of Nepal's elite,
a group that has been conspicuously unresponsive
to social issues in the past.
□ Coming to the throne unexpectedly in his 50s, the
king has little political experience and few solid
international connections. He lacks many high-
level contacts in Delhi or elsewhere and has
shown little feel for diplomacy or governance.
B.     The Parties
Because the leadership of all the main parties ~ the
Congress of G.P. Koirala, the Congress (D) of ousted
Prime Minister Deuba, the United-Marxist Leninists
(UML) of Madhav Nepal and the Royalist RPP of
former premier Lokhendra Chand — is under arrest and
communications have been restricted, there has been no
coordinated response to the coup. However, statements
made by, or on behalf of, the leaders of major parties
have been smuggled out and communicated to the
international press. Initial reports indicate that several
hundred senior party figures are being detained.
The main parties were widely divided before the coup.
Congress (D), the UML and the RPP were part of the
ousted government but Koirala's Congress remained
aloof from the coalition and refused to support Deuba's
call for elections, preferring reinstatement of the
previous parliament. The political parties already were
seriously weakened during the past two years, when the
king wielded power from behind the scenes. They are
very much centred on their leaders, particularly in both
branches of Congress, and could be crippled if those
leaders remain completely isolated. There are real risks
of splits in all parties as some members try to work with
61 A July 2004 nationwide poll found that 60 per cent of
respondents favour a democracy with a constitutional
monarchy; 17 per cent democracy without a monarchy; 9
percent a return to the Panchayat system, and only 2 per cent
an absolute monarchy, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
Inc., op. cit, p. 6.
the king and military, and others oppose the coup. The
UML has long-standing plans to go underground but
these are unlikely to be fully implemented.
The Maoists have already appealed for a united front of
political forces against the king and army and are likely
to pursue this, particularly with party officials outside of
Kathmandu. While cadres ofthe UML, Congress and a
small Marxist party, lanamorcha Nepal, have up to now
been targets of Maoist violence, and many bitterly
oppose any alliance with them,62 Nepali parties tend to
be opportunistic rather than strongly ideological, so
some improbable alliances are possible. If alliances do
emerge, they probably will end up being led by the
Maoists, who are now the only well-organised,
disciplined political force in the country.63
Middle ranking politicians are apprehensive of the
Maoist call for a united front. "We have been their
primary target all along. How can we trust them now?"
asked a Congress leader. But other Congress politicians
have already been quoted as urging the Maoists to join
them in opposing the king and refusing talks. The UML
also views the rebels with suspicion. One UML
functionary said that an alliance with the Maoists is
out ofthe question at least in the near future ~ "but if
they renounce violence against the parties, then some
sort of ideological alliance cannot be ruled out".64
The senior leadership ofthe Congress parties and the
UML have accepted the concept of a constitutional
monarchy up to now but calls for a republic have been
growing among the student wings of the parties for
two years. Republicanism ~ once a taboo ~ is now
likely to feature in discussions in all the parties.
Reports appeared in the newly controlled Nepali press
on 4 February that the king would display the wealth
of political leaders ~ private property is no longer
protected after suspension of parts of the constitution
~ in order to discredit them. Corruption charges are
likely to be used to continue detention of politicians.
Corruption is certainly a huge national problem but
politically motivated prosecutions would do nothing
to cure it. The palace and the military are no less
corrupt than any party and have never been subject to
democratic oversight.
Crisis Group interviews with party cadres, Baglung, January
63 There is constant talk in Kathmandu about splits in the
Maoist movement. There surely are some differences in policy
but much of this talk is wishful thinking. For nine years, the
Maoists have consistently shown themselves to be the most
disciplined, least divided force inNepal.
64 Crisis Group interviews. Kathmandu. February 2005.
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The king's coup clearly caught the international community
by surprise. The main countries involved in Nepal
believed they had headed off such a move in December
2004 by strongly warning the monarch against taking
absolute power and were reasonably confident — if not
certain ~ that he would stop short of such a step.
Immediate reaction was almost universally one of dismay,
with many diplomats and analysts warning that the
move would only boost the Maoists and undermine the
A.    India
The Indian government, with the most direct interests
and influence in Nepal, was completely unaware of the
king's move. Its initial reaction has been strong: first a
sharply critical statement65 and then cancellation of the
visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka for a
summit of the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) that King Gyanendra had said he
would attend. The army chief, General J.J. Singh, turned
down an invitation to Kathmandu. A potentially
crippling freeze on military assistance has been reported
in the Indian press.66 Nepal is deeply reliant on India in
every sphere, and the king has taken a serious gamble in
annoying New Delhi.
India was clearly shocked that the king flouted its
advice so openly and undiplomatically. A senior Indian
analyst with close contacts in both capitals said:
People in Delhi are angry, very, very angry. The
last time Nepal went against India so openly was
under the Ranas in the 1950s and look what
happened to them.. .the king has deliberately gone
against clear advice. By doing this he has made
India, if not an enemy, then an opponent.67
"We have always made clear our belief that constitutional
monarchy and multiparty democracy are the twin pillars
of the state of Nepal", a senior Indian Ministry of
Ministry of External Affairs, "Statement on Developments
inNepal", 1 February 2005.
66 "India to suspend military aid to Nepal but rejects direct
army intervention", South Asia Tribune, 7 February 2005.
67 Crisis Group interview, February 2005. The Ranas,
hereditary prime ministers who ruled Nepal while keeping
the Royal Family in a subservient position, were forced from
power, in part by Indian pressure. Indian economic and
political pressure also played a role in the democracy
movement in 1990.
External Affairs officer affirmed just days before the
coup. "We have consistently urged the palace and the
parties to work together to confront the Maoist threat".68
India's foreign secretary and former ambassador to
Nepal, Shyam Saran, has often reiterated the established
India has publicly stated that we do not believe
that a purely military solution is possible to this
problem and that [a] peaceful solution should be
pursued. The question is what really are we
looking at in terms of the peace solution? Our
view is that the pursuit of any political objective
through violence is something that we do not
accept. We have also stated that any pursuit of a
peace settlement must be within the parameters
of the preservation of multiparty democracy in
Nepal and also within the parameters of
constitutional monarchy.69
King Gyanandra's willingness to go so directly against
New Delhi's advice is all the more surprising because
the Indians were becoming increasingly concerned
about the impact ofthe civil war and strongly supportive
of the the Nepali government. That concern grew
considerably in the second half of 2004. While there is
no great unease about the Maoist political agenda as
such, officials in New Delhi are increasingly
preoccupied at the prospect that an armed insurgency
might overthrow a neighbouring government.
The developing perception that Maoist links with Indian
insurgent groups threaten domestic security has also
inevitably generated some anxiety. The Indian Ministry
of Home Affairs has expressed concern that the Maoists
are collaborating with the Communist Party of India
Marxist-Leninist (People's War), or CPML-PW, and the
Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC-I) to
coordinate an extensive insurgency:
The prime motive behind the expansionist designs
of CPML-PW and MCC-I together with the
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is to spread
into new areas to carve out a "Compact
Revolutionary Zone" spreading from Nepal
through Bihar and the Dandakaranya region to
Andhra Pradesh.70
Officials describe a "symbiotic relationship" between
the CPN (M) and home-grown Naxalite groups and
68 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, 28 January 2004.
69 Media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs, 10 September
2004. Transcript at
70 Ministry of Home Affairs, "Annual Report 2003-2004",
p. 41.
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claim the MCC-I has provided the Maoists with arms,
shelter, manpower and military training.71 News reports
claimed some ofthe 1,000 submachine guns and 150
rocket launchers intercepted in the Bangladeshi port of
Chittagong in April 2004 might have been heading to
Nepal.72 Since the unification of India's Maoist parties
under the banner of the Communist Party of India
(Maoist) on 14 October 2004 and the collapse of talks
between the rebels and the Andhra Pradesh government
on 17 January 2005, these concerns have fuelled further
Several Maoist leaders have been detained in India.
At the end of March 2004, senior ideologue Mohan
Baidya was arrested near Siliguri in north Bengal and
charged with offences against the state. Reports of his
interrogation have been used to claim further links
between the CPN (M) and north eastern groups and
attempts to exploit Indian territory. A senior civil
servant said, "we now know that Mohan Baidya was
not only organising among Indian Nepalis but also
negotiating arms deals with ULFA [United Liberation
Front of Asom]".73
There are some less alarmist assessments ofthe nature
and extent of these links. "The so-called 'Compact
Revolutionary Zone' seems to be the creation of Delhi
security experts", observes a Kathmandu-based
human rights worker. "The Maoists never speak of it,
and there are no signs that it features high on their list
of priorities".74 Indeed, the Maoists go out of their
way to mock it as "a figment of imagination by some
journalists (or intelligence agencies?)".75 The
solidarity of Maoist and Naxalite movements is also
fragile despite a loose coordinating committee. A
veteran Kolkata-based and above-ground Naxalite
says, "The MCC and PW have a history of internecine
warfare, and there are plenty among them who have
little sympathy for Nepal's Maoists. The only thing
we can be sure of is that ifthe CPN (M) ever came to
power, the first thing it would do would be to sever
any links with Indian revolutionaries".76
Others are more directly critical ofthe CPN (M). "The
Nepali Maoists are on the wrong track", insisted a
Siliguri-based leader of a legal Naxalite party. "They
must realise that their current campaign of violence will
not achieve their stated goals".77 Sceptical Maoist
sympathisers add, "there is a long history of bad blood
between ULFA and Nepali political groups. After all,
ULFA was only allowed to set up camps in southern
Bhutan on the understanding that it would wipe out the
last remnants of Nepali democratic and communist
Nevertheless, concern in New Delhi is palpable. Security
along the open border has been strengthened by
deployment of armed Special Security Bureau/Sashastra
Seema Bal (SSB) battalions.79 Maoist Central Committee
members Matrika Prasad Yadav and Suresh Ale Magar
were arrested in February 2004 and handed over to
Nepali authorities before their detention became public.
Indian human rights activists allege the summary
extradition was illegal; their whereabouts in Nepal have
not been revealed.
On 21 September 2004 a meeting in Hyderabad of
representatives of Naxahte-affected states chaired by
Home Mnister Shiva Raj Patil decided to reinforce
border security arrangements.80 Cooperation has been
facilitated locally. For example, on 23 September
security and administration officials from neighbouring
Indian and Nepali districts in Uttaranchal state formed a
joint security task force. Heightened border security and
further efforts to arrest Nepali Maoists are likely to
remain prominent features of Indian central and state
government responses.
India has been concerned about the involvement of other
powers in the conflict, rejecting any efforts at third party
mediation and even raising concerns about some
military aid. Under the 1950 Treaty of Peace and
Friendship, Nepal must seek Indian authorisation to
import weapons from a third country, and Delhi has
traditionally seen itself as almost the sole source of the
country's arms. While it eventually approved the U.S.
grant of 20,000 M-16 rifles, independent military
analysts are critical. "M-16s are very dangerous, fully
automatic weapons that are simply not appropriate for
internal counter-insurgency operations", cautions a
retired general. "Poorly trained young recruits will be
encouraged to spray more bullets around, while the
worry for us is that these guns will rapidly find their way
into the hands of the Maoists and then onto the Indian
illegal arms market".81 Indian military assistance has
71 Ibid, p. 42.
72 See, for example, Haroon Habib, "A deadly cargo",
Frontline Magazine, 8 May 2004.
73 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, July 2004.
74 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, September 2004.
75 The Worker, Organ of the Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist), No. 9, February 2004, p. 66.
76 Crisis Group interview, Kolkata, June 2004.
77 Crisis Group interview, Siliguri, April 2004.
78 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, September 2004.
79 These are forces controlled by the Home Ministry that
handle border security issues.
80 Kantipur, 22 September 2004.
81 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, September 2004.
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Page 13
included its own standard-issue INSAS rifle, mine-
protected vehicles and helicopters.
The king's coup has sharpened India's worries about
Nepal. The question now is whether it will conclude
that despite its unhappiness with Gyanendra's actions,
it has no viable option other than to support him ~ or
whether it will use some of the levers it controls to
press him to retreat.
B.      THE U.S.
The U.S. government expressed concern through the
State Department's spokesman but refrained from a
higher-level condemnation ofthe king's move. The king
made a blatant appeal to U.S. preoccupations in his
announcement by repeatedly mentioning terrorism. U.S.
anxieties have centred around fears of a Maoist victory
and what that might mean for the people of Nepal, and
Washington's statement emphasised that the king's action
"will undermine the Nepali struggle with the Maoist
insurgency, a very serious challenge to a peaceful and
prosperous future for Nepal".82 Policymakers have
frequently raised concerns that, should they achieve
power, the Maoists might behave in the extremely
violent manner of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.83
Although the Maoists have been very violent, there is
little suggestion they plan a Khmer Rouge-style "Year
Zero".84 During the 2003 ceasefire, the U.S. designated
the CPN (M) a supporter of terrorism.85 On 31 October
2003, it announced it was freezing Maoist assets for
national security reasons.86 These measures bar almost all
dealings with the CPN (M) or its members.
Richard Boucher, "Statement on Dismissal of Government
and State of Emergency in Nepal", U.S. Department of State,
1 February 2005. By contrast, the statement ofthe European
Union (see below) emphasised that there is no military
solution to the conflict, and negotiations are needed with the
insurgents. The U.S. statement called for the Maoists "to
abandon their armed straggle and to join the political
mainstream through dialogue".
83 For more background on U.S. responses to the conflict,
see Crisis Group Report, Nepal Backgrounder, op. cit.
84 Nepali Maoists have exhibited great flexibility on many
ideological points, often saying, for example, they accept
that Nepal is not ready for socialism and must "complete the
bourgeois democratic revolution" first. In areas under their
sway, they have introduced few controls over the economy,
preferring to allow people to run businesses while they extort
money from them to finance their fight.
85 Executive Order (EO) 13224; see U.S. Department of
State, "Patterns of Global Terrorism", 2003.
86 Congressional Research Service, "Terrorism in South
Asia", updated 9 August 2004.
The bombing ofthe American Center in Kathmandu on
10 September 2004 — although not claimed by the
Maoists ~ drew the U.S. deeper into the situation. While
reiterating its commitment to a peaceful solution to the
insurgency, the U.S. gave an additional $1 million in
security assistance, announced its intention to seek
additional funding for the fiscal year beginning 1
October 2004 and suspended the Peace Corps program.
It subsequently approved $2.2 million in military aid and
$40 million in economic aid .87
The U.S. has given significant military aid to Nepal,
including weapons and training — more than $20 million
worth since 2002, with some anticipation that a much
larger budget request of around $24 million will be
made for fiscal year 2006.88 There is much scepticism
about the effectiveness of this assistance given the
RNA's performance and the worsening human rights
abuses carried out by the armed forces.89 "Of course the
RNA needs to be effectively armed", says a senior
security analyst. "But it needs cheap, sustainable, local
solutions rather than an injection of high-tech weaponry
that it will find hard to deploy and which will only raise
the stakes in the fighting".90 U.S. officials dismiss such
doubts. "The M-16 is a proven weapon which any
soldier in the world would be glad to use", insists a
senior diplomat. "Nepali soldiers deserve to be decently
armed to fight the Maoists, and of 15,000 rifles supplied
so far they have only lost one".91
Given this history of growing support for the
government's counter-insurgency activities and the
relatively low key manner in which the U.S. reacted to
the coup, there is speculation in Kathmandu that the
king may have given its embassy advance word of his
intentions.92 Washington's actions in the coming weeks
will be watched carefully for clues. Several senators
U.S. embassy press release, Kathmandu, 13 September
2004. More than 4,000 volunteers have served in the Peace
Corps program in its 42-year history.
88 Most of the assistance comes under four programs: Foreign
Military Financing (FMF) that provides for equipment
including weapons; Enhanced International Peacekeeping
Capabilities (EfPC) that trains peacekeepers for operations
outside Nepal; International Military Education and Training
(DV1ET) for training; and Joint Combined Exchange Training
89 The U.S. has consistently claimed that its assistance has
helped the RNA reverse Maoist successes but this is belied
by reports from outside Kathmandu where civilians report
little military presence and a complete lack of security or
state functions. Crisis Group interviews, Baglung, Pokhara,
Kathmandu, Jhapa, January 2005.
90 Crisis Group interview, Delhi, September 2004.
91 Crisis Group interview, Kathmandu, July 2004.
92 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, February 2005.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 14
from both parties have issued their own statements of
concern and begun to consider whether military
assistance must be cut off under a provision of U.S. law
that bars assistance to a government that has overthrown
an elected head of government or should be restricted as
a matter of policy. There is little doubt that much
tougher conditionality than in the past will be added by
C. The European Union and Others
European Union. An EU statement expressed grave
concern about the king's ending of multiparty
democracy and urged the immediate release of those
detained. It also emphasised that, "the EU firmly
believes that a negotiated and democratically-based
solution is the only acceptable and sustainable way to
end the current conflict. The EU continues to judge
that there can be no acceptable military solution to
Nepal's problems and that any search for a solution by
military means by either side will only add to and
prolong the suffering ofthe Nepalese people".94
For the past few years, concern has been rising among
some EU member states that as the king undermined
democracy, his government was being given too
unconditional political support and too much military aid
~ governance, human rights and accountability issues
were forced to take a back seat to security issues even
though most analysts were warning that there was no
effective political and economic strategy to counter the
Maoists. European diplomats have engaged with the
Maoists in the field in order to ensure continuation of
development projects. The EU and its member states
give Nepal more than €100 million a year in assistance.95
The EU has consistently urged negotiations between the
Maoists and a multi-party government in Kathmandu. It
has also expressed concerns about human rights abuses
on both sides, a theme likely to be reemphasised in the
present situation.
The United Nations. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
expressed concern in a statement issued immediately
Section 508 of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act. See
statements by Senator Richard Lugar (Republican), Chairman
of the Foreign Relations Committee, 3 February 2005, and
Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat), "A step backward in
Nepal", 2 February 2005.
94 "Declaration by the European Union on the royal takeover
in Nepal", 2 February 2005.
95 Press Release following an EU Troika visit to Kathmandu,
15 December 2004.
after the coup.96 UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights Louise Arbour, who had visited Kathmandu
shortly before the coup, issued a statement reminding
the king of his pledges to respect human rights and
warning that basic rights could not be suspended under
any circumstances, "not even during a state of
emergency".97 A group of nine UN human rights
experts and special rapporteurs put out a joint
statement calling on the king to respect basic rights.98
The United Kingdom. The UK expressed "grave
concerns",99 and the Nepali ambassador to London was
summoned to the Foreign Office. Britain has a substantial
array of security, aid and business links to Nepal and is
unlikely to turn against the monarchy but the king's move
runs against all advice offered over recent years and will
no doubt inspire much frustration in Whitehall. The UK
provides some non-lethal military assistance. Its military
has long-established links with Nepali counterparts and
has tended to downplay concerns about the RNA's
behaviour and the extent of its likely support for a return
to absolute monarchy.100 However, the Foreign Office
statement explicitly noted that, "the British Government
will have to assess the impact of this move on our
security and developmental assistance".
China. Beijing had no comment on the king's move
beyond saying it was an internal affair. Coming shortly
after the closing of the Dalai Lama's office in
Kathmandu that provided relief services to Tibetan
refugees ~ Crown Prince Paras was pressed on the issue
during a recent trip — the suspicion has been raised that
the king made some sort of deal with China.101 The mere
suggestion of trying to play China and India off against
each other would incense New Delhi and be extremely
risky. In general the Chinese have stayed out of the
conflict but they are clearly concerned about instability
in Nepal and have a general preference for the monarchy
over democratic rule. "So far the Chinese have indicated
that they would be satisfied if we can use our influence
to contain and resolve the conflict", a senior Indian
diplomat observed, "but there can be little doubt that
"Annan concerned about dismissal of government in
Nepal", UN statement, New York, 1 February 2005.
97 "High Commissioner for Human Rights Expresses Concern
over Situation in Nepal", UNHCHR statement Geneva, 1
February 2005.
98 "United Nations human rights experts express concern
about situation in Nepal", UN statement, Geneva, 8 February
99 "Britain 'gravely concerned' by Nepal developments", Foreign
and Commonwealth Office press release, 1 February 2005.
100 Crisis Group interviews, London and Kathmandu, February
101 "Nepal closes Dalai Lama office in Kathmandu", Agence
France-Presse, 28 January 2005.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 15
they will not stand idly by if the situation deteriorates
into complete instability".102
Japan and other donors. Japan is a major aid donor
but plays little political role in Nepal. Tokyo has
called for a restoration of democracy and for the
Maoists to negotiate a peace agreement. There has
been little response from the International Financial
Institutions. Two days after the takeover, the Asian
Development Bank signed a 1.8 billion rupee ($26
million) loan agreement with the government.
King Gyanendra has backed himself into a comer.
Soldiers who should be fighting insurgents are acting as
jailers for the country's democratic leadership. Political
parties are now likely to line up against the monarchy.
The people's clear preference to combine constitutional
monarchy and parliamentary democracy has been
defied: if the king's dismissal of the government truly
had popular support, it would not be necessary to
imprison politicians, cut communications and censor the
media. Nepal's friends, with India in the first rank, are
increasingly anxious. Only those who want a return to
an absolute monarchy, and the Maoists, are pleased.
The Maoists stand to gain most from the king's move.
They have long accused him of operating from
"behind a curtain" but now he is out in front and a
clearer political target. They have little incentive to
negotiate at a time when the state is unravelling, and
the constitutional forces are divided. They are also
aware that the military can put little pressure on them
and that they can cause considerable economic
disruption by declaring blockades and strikes. Even if
they were to come to the table, it is hard to see what
sort of compromise could be reached between the
opposite poles of Nepali politics without the help of
the mainstream parties.
Gyanendra has gambled that countries will be reluctant
to cut support as long as the Maoists are a threat. But
blindly supporting a monarch who undermines democracy
will only aid the Maoists and do nothing to reduce the
risk of them coming to power. A concerted effort to
bring the constitutional forces together and develop a
package of constitutional, social and economic reforms
is the only way to regain some ofthe state's losses to the
Maoists in recent years. The Maoists are unlikely to
negotiate a peace agreement unless they are under some
pressure. The only way to achieve that would be through
effective military action that provides security for
civilians and for the state to adopt a political strategy
that undercuts their positions. Neither will be possible
without a broad-based government in Kathmandu. But
that is a prospect that has, for now, been destroyed by
the 1 February royal coup.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 9 February 2005
: Crisis Group interview, Delhi, July 2004.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 16
N       Jjumaringbo
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Courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 17
Ramesh Nath Pandey, Mnister of Foreign Affairs ~
Began career as a journalist. Was close to Congress
leader B. P. Koirala when he was thrown in jail by
King Mahendra in 1960. Koirala later accused him of
being a spy for the king. Served as minister during the
Panchayat period. Was appointed communication and
information minister in the Chand cabinet by King
Gyanendra after the Deuba government was dismissed
in October 2002. Played a key role, along with
cabinet colleague Narayan Singh Pun, in bringing the
Maoists to the negotiating table in early 2003.
Publicly fell out with Pun over those negotiations and
was instrumental in causing the king to backtrack on a
key provision ofthe ceasefire with the Maoists (the five-
kilometre perimeter agreement). Had a nervous
breakdown and was hospitalised when the Chand
government was sacked by the King in June 2003.
Political affiliation: strong royalist and opportunist.
Radha Krishna Mainali, Mnister for Education and
Sports ~ One of the original Naxalite revolutionaries
in the Jhapa uprsing ofthe early 1970s, he is also a
founding member of the CPN-ML, now UML.
Served as the public face ofthe ML during the 1990
people's movement. Cabinet minister in the UML
minority government, 1994-1995. Fell out with his
party's general secretary, Madhav Kumar Nepal, and
its leader, K. P. Oh, over the 1996 Mahakali River
Treaty with India. Joined forces with his brother, C. P.
Mainali, and Bamdev Gautam to split the UML in
1998 and found the ML. Rejoined UML in 2002
when the two parties reunited, but fell out with the
party leadership in early 2004 for advocating a softer
approach towards the king. Was expelled from the
party in early 2004 as a result.
Dan Bahadur Shahi, Home Minister ~ Key
functionary during the Panchayat, when he served
progressively as chief district officer, zonal
commissioner and Home Secretary. Not much heard
of during the democracy years. Known to be aligned
with ultra royalist Sharad Chandra Shah.
Buddhiraj Bajracharya, Mnister for Tourism and
Culture ~ UML background. Served as mayor of
Patan on UML ticket, but switched to royal affiliation
some years ago.
Durga Shrestha, Mnister for Women, Children and
Social Welfare ~ Hails from Tanahu district. Central
Committee member of the royalist party, RPP. No
previous experience in government.
Tanka Dhakal, Minister for Information and
Communication — Entered politics during the
Panchayat. Closely connected to Kamal Thapa and
Sharad Chandra Shah. No previous experience in
Madhukar Shumsher Rana, Mnister of Finance ~
Known as a development expert. Served in various
donor agencies, including as advisor at the UN
Development Program (UNDP) Nepal country office.
Also served as advisor in the Foreign Mnistry during
the premierships of Chand and Thapa in the late 1990s.
Ram Narayan Singh, Minister for Labour and
Transport ~ Hails from Saptari district in the Tarai.
Known as a staunch royalist.
Krishna Lai Thakali, Minister of General
Administration ~ Member of the ethnic minority
Thakali community (a janjati group) but otherwise
not much known about his background.
Khadga Bahadur GC, Minister for Local
Development ~ Former communist leader co-opted
by the Panchayat, during which period he served as a
zonal commissioner.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 18
The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an
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 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 19
The IMU and the Hizb-ut-Tahrir: Implications of the
Afghanistan Campaign, Asia Briefing N°ll, 30 January 2002
(also available in Russian)
Central Asia: Border Disputes and Conflict Potential, Asia
Report N°33, 4 April 2002
CentralAsia: Water and Conflict, Asia Report N°34, 30 May
Kyrgyzstan's Political Crisis: An Exit Strategy, Asia Report
N°37, 20 August 2002
The OSCE in Central Asia: A New Strategy, Asia Report
N°38, 11 September 2002
CentralAsia: The Politics of Police Reform, Asia Report N°42,
10 December 2002
Cracks in the Marble: Turkmenistan's Failing Dictatorship,
Asia Report N°44, 17 January 2003
Uzbekistan's Reform Program: Illusion or Reality?, Asia
Report N°46, 18 February 2003 (also available in Russian)
Tajikistan: A Roadmap for Development, Asia Report N°51,
24 April 2003
CentralAsia: Last Chance for Change, Asia Briefing N°25, 29
Apnl 2003
Radical Islam in Central Asia: Responding to Hizb ut-Tahrir,
Asia Report N°58, 30 June 2003
Central Asia: Islam and the State, Asia Report N°59, 10 July
Youth in Central Asia: Losing the New Generation, Asia
Report N°66, 31 October 2003
Is Radical Islam Inevitable in Central Asia? Priorities for
Engagement, Asia Report N°72, 22 December 2003
The Failure of Reform in Uzbekistan: Ways Forward for the
International Community, Asia Report N°76, 11 March 2004
Tajikistan's Politics: Confrontation or Consolidation?, Asia
Briefing N°33, 19 May 2004
Political Transition in Kyrgyzstan: Problems and Prospects,
Asia Report N°81, 11 August 2004
Turkmenistan: A New Plan for A Failing State, Asia Report
N°85, 4 November 2004
Taiwan Strait I: What's Left of "One China"?, Asia Report
N°53, 6 June 2003
Taiwan Strait II: The Risk of War, Asia Report N°54, 6 June
Taiwan Strait III: The Chance of Peace, Asia Report N°55, 6
June 2003
North Korea: A Phased Negotiation Strategy, Asia Report N°61,
1 August 2003
Taiwan Strait IV: How an Ultimate Political Settlement Might
Look, Asia Report N°75, 26 February 2004
North Korea: Where Next for the Nuclear Talks?, Asia Report
N°87, 15 November 2004
South Korean Attitudes Toward North Korea: Brother From
Another Planet, Asia Report N°89, 14 December 2004
Pakistan: The Dangers of Conventional Wisdom, Pakistan
Briefing N°12, 12 March 2002
Securing Afghanistan: The Need for More International
Action, Afghanistan Briefing N°13, 15 March 2002
The Loya Jirga: One Small Step Forward? Afghanistan &
Pakistan Briefing NT 7, 16 May 2002
Kashmir: Confrontation and Miscalculation, Asia Report
N°35, 11 July 2002
Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Military, Asia Report
N°36, 29 July 2002
The Afghan  Transitional Administration: Prospects and
Perils, Afghanistan Briefing NT 9, 30 July 2002
Pakistan: Transition to Democracy? Asia Report N°40, 3
October 2002
Kashmir: The View From Srinagar, Asia Report N°41,21
November 2002
Afghanistan: Judicial Reform and Transitional Justice, Asia
Report N°45, 28 January 2003
Afghanistan: Women and Reconstruction, Asia Report N°48.
14 March 2003 (also available in Dari)
Pakistan: The Mullahs and the Military, Asia Report N°49,
20 March 2003
Nepal Backgrounder: Ceasefire - Soft Landing or Strategic
Pause?, Asia Report N°50, 10 April 2003
Afghanistan's Flawed Constitutional Process, Asia Report
N°56, 12 June 2003 (also available in Dari)
Nepal: Obstacles to Peace, Asia Report N°57, 17 June 2003
Afghanistan:   The Problem of Pashtun Alienation,  Asia
Report N°62, 5 August 2003
Peacebuilding in Afghanistan, Asia Report N°64, 29 September
Disarmament and Reintegration in Afghanistan, Asia Report
N°65, 30 September 2003
Nepal- Back to the Gun, Asia Briefing N°28, 22 October 2003
Kashmir: The View from Islamabad, Asia Report N°68, 4
December 2003
Kashmir: The View from New Delhi, Asia Report N°69, 4
December 2003
Kashmir: Learning from the Past, Asia Report N°70, 4
December 2003
Afghanistan:  The Constitutional Loya Jirga, Afghanistan
Briefing N°29, 12 December 2003
Unfulfilled Promises: Pakistan's Failure to Tackle Extremism,
Asia Report N°73, 16 January 2004
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 20
Nepal: Dangerous Plans for Village Militias, Asia Briefing
N°30, 17 February 2004 (also available in Nepali)
Devolution in Pakistan: Reform or Regression?, Asia Report
N°77, 22 March 2004
Elections and Security in Afghanistan, Asia Briefing N°31, 30
March 2004
India/Pakistan Relations and Kashmir: Steps toward Peace,
Asia Report N°79, 24 June 2004
Pakistan: Reforming the Education Sector, Asia Report N°84,
7 October 2004
Building Judicial Independence in Pakistan, Asia Report
N°86, 10 November 2004
Afghanistan: From Presidential to Parliamentary Elections,
Asia Report N°88, 23 November 2004
Indonesia: The Search for Peace in Maluku, Asia Report
N°31,8 February 2002
Aceh: Slim Chance for Peace, Indonesia Briefing, 27 March 2002
Myanmar: The Politics of Humanitarian Aid, Asia Report
N°32, 2 April 2002
Myanmar: The HIV/AIDS Crisis, Myanmar Briefing N°15, 2
April 2002
Indonesia: The Implications ofthe Timor Trials, Indonesia
Briefing N°16, 8 May 2002
Resuming U.S.-Indonesia Military Ties, Indonesia Briefing
NT8, 21 May 2002
Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia: The case of the "Ngruki
Network" in Indonesia, Indonesia Briefing N°20, 8 August
Indonesia: Resources and Conflict in Papua, Asia Report
N°39, 13 September 2002
Myanmar: The Future of the Armed Forces, Asia Briefing
N°21, 27 September 2002
Tensions on Flores: Local Symptoms of National Problems,
Indonesia Briefing N°22, 10 October 2002
Impact of the Bali Bombings, Indonesia Briefing N°23, 24
October 2002
Indonesia Backgrounder: How the Jemaah Islamiyah
Terrorist Network Operates, Asia Report N°43, 11 December
Aceh: A Fragile Peace, Asia Report N°47, 27 February 2003
(also available in Indonesian)
Dividing Papua: How Not to Do It, Asia Briefing N°24, 9
April 2003
Myanmar Backgrounder: Ethnic Minority Politics, Asia Report
N°52, 7 May 2003
Aceh: Why the Military Option Still Won't Work, Indonesia
Briefing N°26, 9 May 2003 (also available in Indonesian)
Indonesia: Managing Decentralisation and Conflict in
South Sulawesi, Asia Report N°60, 18 July 2003
Aceh: How Not to Win Hearts and Minds, Indonesia Briefing
N°27, 23 July 2003
Jemaah Islamiyah in South East Asia: Damaged but Still
Dangerous, Asia Report N°63, 26 August 2003
The Perils of Private Security in Indonesia: Guards and
Militias on Bali and Lombok, Asia Report N°67, 7 November
Indonesia Backgrounder: A Guide to the 2004 Elections, Asia
Report N°71, 18 December 2003
Indonesia Backgrounder: Jihad in Central Sulawesi, Asia
Report N°74, 3 February 2004
Myanmar: Sanctions, Engagement or Another Way Forward?,
Asia Report N°78, 26 April 2004
Violence Erupts Again in Ambon, Asia Briefing N°32, 17
May 2004
Southern Philippines Backgrounder: Terrorism and the Peace
Process, Asia Report N°80, 13 July 2004
Myanmar: Aid to the Border Areas, Asia Report N°82, 9
September 2004
Indonesia Backgrounder: Why Salafism and Terrorism Mostly
Don't Mix, Asia Report N°83, 13 September 2004
Burma/Myanmar: Update on HIV/AIDS policy, Asia Briefing
N°34, 16 December 2004
Indonesia: Rethinking Internal Security Strategy, Asia Report
N°90, 20 December 2004
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 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 21
Leslie H. Gelb
President Emeritus of Council on Foreign Relations, U.S.
Lord Patten of Barnes
Former European Commissioner for External Relations, UK
President & CEO
Gareth Evans
Former Foreign Minister of Australia
Executive Committee
Morton Abramowitz
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Turkey
Emma Bonino
Member of European Parliament; former European Commissioner
Cheryl Carolus
Former South African High Commissioner to the UK; former
Secretary General ofthe ANC
Maria Livanos Cattaui*
Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce
Yoichi Funabashi
Chief Diplomatic Correspondent & Columnist, The Asahi Shimbun,
William Shawcross
Journalist and author, UK
Stephen Solarz*
Former U.S. Congressman
George Soros
Chairman, Open Society Institute
William O. Taylor
Chairman Emeritus, The Boston Globe, U.S.
Adnan Abu-Odeh
Former Political Adviser to King Abdullah II and to King Hussein;
former Jordan Permanent Representative to UN
Kenneth Adelman
Former U.S. Ambassador and Director of the Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency
Ersin Arioglu
Member of Parliament, Turkey; Chairman Emeritus, Yapi Merkezi
Diego Arria
Former Ambassador of Venezuela to the UN
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Former U.S. National Security Advisor to the President
Victor Chu
Chairman, First Eastern Investment Group, Hong Kong
Wesley Clark
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Pat Cox
Former President of European Parliament
Ruth Dreifuss
Former President, Switzerland
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
Mark Eyskens
Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Stanley Fischer
Vice Chairman, Citigroup Inc.; former First Deputy Managing
Director of International Monetary Fund
Bronislaw Geremek
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland
Former Prime Minister of India
Carla Hills
Former U.S. Secretary of Housing; former U.S. Trade Representative
Lena Hjelm-Wallen
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Sweden
James C.F. Huang
Deputy Secretary General to the President, Taiwan
Swanee Hunt
Founder and Chair of Women Waging Peace; former U.S.
Ambassador to Austria
Asma Jahangir
UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary
Executions; former Chair Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Senior Advisor, Modern Africa Fund Managers; former Liberian
Minister of Finance and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for
Shiv Vikram Khemka
Founder and Executive Director (Russia) of SUN Group, India
James V. Kimsey
Founder and Chairman Emeritus of America Online, Inc. (AOL)
Bethuel Kiplagat
Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya
Wim Kok
Former Prime Minister, Netherlands
Trifun Kostovski
Member of Parliament, Macedonia; founder ofKometal Trade Gmbh
Elliott F. Kulick
Chairman, Pegasus International, U.S.
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Novelist and journalist, U.S.
 Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Crisis Group Asia Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Page 22
Todung Mulya Lubis
Human rights lawyer and author, Indonesia
Barbara McDougall
Former Secretary of State for External Affairs, Canada
Ayo Obe
Chair of Steering Committee of World Movement for Democracy,
Christine Ockrent
Journalist and author, France
Friedbert Pfluger
Foreign Policy Spokesman ofthe CDU/CSUParliamentary Group
in the German Bundestag
Victor M Pinchuk
Member of Parliament, Ukraine; founder oflnterpipe Scientific and
Industrial Production Group
Surin Pitsuwan
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Itamar Rabinovich
President of Tel Aviv University; former Israeli Ambassador to the
U.S. and Chief Negotiator with Syria
Fidel V. Ramos
Former President ofthe Philippines
Lord Robertson of Port Ellen
Former Secretary General of NATO; former Defence Secretary, UK
Mohamed Sahnoun
Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Africa
Ghassan Salame
Former Minister Lebanon, Professor of International Relations, Paris
Salim A. Salim
Former Prime Minister of Tanzania; former Secretary General of
the Organisation of African Unity
Douglas Schoen
Founding Partner of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, U.S.
Par Stenback
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Finland
Thorvald Stoltenberg
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
Grigory Yavlinsky
Chairman ofYabloko Party and its Duma faction, Russia
Uta Zapf
Chairperson   of   the    German   Bundestag   Subcommittee    on
Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation
Ernesto Zedillo
Former President of Mexico; Director, Yale Center for the Study
of Globalization
Crisis Group's International Advisory Board comprises major individual and corporate donors who contribute their advice and
experience to Crisis Group on a regular basis.
Rita E. Hauser (Chair)
Marc Abramowitz
Anglo American PLC
John Chapman Chester
Peter Corcoran
Credit Suisse Group
John Ehara
JP Morgan Global Foreign
Exchange and Commodities
George Kellner
George Loening
Douglas Makepeace
Anna Luisa Ponti
Michael L. Riordan
Sarlo Foundation ofthe Jewish
Community Endowment Fund
Tilleke & Gibbins
International LTD
Baron Ullens
Stanley Weiss
Westfield Group
Yasuyo Yamazaki
Sunny Yoon
Crisis Group's Senior Advisers are former Board Members (not presently holding executive office) who maintain an association
with Crisis Group, and whose advice and support are called on from time to time.
Oscar Arias
Zainab Bangura
Christoph Bertram
Jorge Castaiieda
Eugene Chien
Gianfranco Dell'Alba
Alain Destexhe
Marika Fahlen
Malcolm Fraser
Max Jakobson
Mong Joon Chung
Allan J. MacEachen
Matt McHugh
George J. Mitchell
Mo Mowlam
Cyril Ramaphosa
Michel Rocard
Volker Ruehe
Simone Veil
Michael Sohlman
Leo Tindemans
Ed van Thijn
Shirley Williams
As at February 2005


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