Archive ref no: NCA-21006
Time for National Unity
An Address to the Nation by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba
27 November 2001 ( English Translation)
Respected Ladies and Gentlemen
The nation is experiencing a difficult period. Public life has been disrupted by the violence, murder and mayhem unleashed by the terrorist in the garb of Maoism. His Majesty's Government attempted all possible measures to bridge the differences and find a peaceful solution to the problems facing the nation by inviting them for dialogues. Such efforts reflected not only the desire of the government, but the hope and aspiration of the entire nation and the people. Unfortunately, the Maoists continued on with their violent and murderous activities, thus ignoring not only the popular aspiration of the people for a peaceful resolution of the problems, but also creating an atmosphere that threatened the security and national integrity of the nation.
You are all aware that the Government has always been liberal in its treatment to the Maoists, who for the last six years are involved in the expansion of terrorist activities. We listened to their demands and expectations with a hope that they would join the national political and social mainstream. For that, at times we even went out of our way to accommodate the group's demands. We showed these gestures because we believed that the existing crisis could only be resolved through dialogue and mutual trust.
You know that we have performed our best to resolve this crisis, but our positive gestures were not responded appropriately. Our commitment to peace and ideals of non-violence and our belief that the response to violence is not counter violence were badly shaken by their brutal acts. The government's sincerity and the aspirations of the people for peace were utterly dishonoured by the terrorists. They ignored and undermined our repeated efforts for peace. All their activities have left us with no choice but to mobilise the entire security forces of the state to quell the acts of terrorism.
We did our best to restore peace and establish a violence-free civic society. In order to pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the problems, we created an atmosphere conducive for meaningful talks by accommodating several of their propositions. Time and again we showed our accommodative nature by yielding to their demands. All this was done with a hope that they would join the national mainstream, and stop their destructive activities. The government, committed as it is to democratic values and culture did not treated them as enemies, even though the terrorists targeted our people and our democracy. The government's repeated efforts to win them back to national mainstream have been responded by repeated acts of violence and terrorism.
The Maoists continued with their heinous activities of murder and violence even after an agreement for truce was signed. They continued to plunder crops from farmers' homes. Acts of terror, intimidation, and murder followed even during the cease-fire period. They attacked our religious and cultural sites, and forced people to abandon their beliefs and faiths. They resorted to an undignified assault on the revered institutions of constitutional monarchy, multiparty democracy, and human rights of the people. To sum up, they tried to destroy the social cohesion, national unity and territorial integrity of our nation. Despite their reprehensible acts, we were positive that peace could be established through dialogue. We were flexible and accommodative towards them because the people and the government had confidence and hope in a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The nation was hopeful that the peace talks would bring decisive results. We had already completed three rounds of talks and were getting ready for the fourth and conclusive meeting. However, at this point, the Maoists abruptly and unilaterally broke the peace talks and, ignoring the goodwill of the people and the government, perpetrated violence and heinous crimes upon the common people, political workers, and government officials. By attacking the Royal Nepal Army and Nepal Police personnel, they dared to undermine the national security and territorial integrity of the nation.
Given the prevailing conditions, His Majesty's Government decided to declare a state of emergency in order to prevent further deterioration of the situation. Under the present circumstances, our primary duty and need is to restore peace and order by mobilizing the security forces of the country. The situation would, no doubt, cause some inconveniences to the public, but such inconveniences would be negligible.
A government responsible to its people is forced to take such a decision only under an extremely difficult and unusual situation. But I am confident that political parties and civic societies will appreciate and acknowledge the gravity of the existing condition, and co-operate with the government's efforts to bring peace to the nation.
Despite the emergency, the government will be mindful of the civil liberties. Although there will be some inconveniences to the people, the government will take necessary legal arrangements to minimize the impact of emergency on civil societies and political parties, while they exercise their constitutional rights in peaceful manner.
At this critical moment, we must remain united and express our commitment to defend our symbol of national unity, the Monarchy, the present constitution, multiparty democracy, and work for the well-being and prosperity of the people and the nation. I am confident that, despite some inconveniences, we will focus our attention to establish peace and good governance, and express our commitment to root out terrorism from this nation.
We are aware that at the time when the nation is facing difficult challenges, the people are with the government, because the government is part of the people; it is the executive body of the people. The primary responsibilities of the government are to secure the life and property of its citizens and to defend the national unity and territorial integrity of the nation. To successfully accomplish these duties and responsibilities, I would like to sincerely appeal to all Nepalese sisters and brothers to focus their strength and attention in the nation's fight against terrorism.
Maoists' violence, murder and terror have severely harmed our nation. As we have observed and experienced the serious damage done by the Maoist activities, we should all come together and declare-any encouragement to terrorism, in any manner or fashion, is a serious crime against the nation, people, and democracy. Any individual, group, or organisation involved in assisting the terrorist by providing them with arms, financial aid, information, and publicity will be brought to justice. In this national campaign against terrorism, I hope to get proper guidance and co-operation from political parties, media, and civil societies and others who have expressed their commitment to peace and democracy.
I want to assure Nepalese sisters and brothers that His Majesty's Government is committed to expose the Maoist and punish them in accordance with the prevailing laws. I also want to assure you that our highly competent and active security forces will bring an end to the existing violence and terror, forever.
Along with the security arrangements, the government, in consultation with other political parties, will initiate social and economic reforms. In these matters, too, I am hopeful of a co-operation from civil societies and political parties. I want you to know that our friendly nations and international organizations, which have always expressed their goodwill towards Nepal and Nepalese democracy, and have always supported in the welfare and development efforts of the country, have expressed their support and solidarity with the people of Nepal and His Majesty's Government in our war against terrorism.