News

    US Hopes for New Nepal Election Date Soon, Expresses Caution Toward Maoists

    The U.S. ambassador to Nepal understands the need for a delay in elections in the Himalayan kingdom. In the meantime, he says, the United States will conditionally cooperate with government ministries now being run by Maoists - who had been labeled terrorists by the U.S. VOA's Steve Herman reports from Kathmandu.

    U.S. ambassador James Moriarty says Nepal's government "ran out of time" to hold free and fair elections on June 20. No new date has been set for polling to select a constituent assembly that is to decide the fate of the country's unpopular monarchy.

    Moriarty, in a VOA interview on Tuesday, expressed his desire to see the eight parties in the interim government formed this month quickly set a new election date.

    In the meantime the United States and other foreign governments are dealing with a Nepalese government in which Maoists control several ministries. The United States has designated the Maoists as a terrorist group.

    Ambassador Moriarty says a pragmatic decision has been made to not immediately sever ties with those ministries.

    "We have decided we will not punish the people of Nepal for the sins of the Maoists," he said. "We'll look at the ministries that are controlled by the Maoists, see what we're doing with those ministries, see whether we need to change the way we work with those ministries in order that Maoist ministers don't get the credit for what we end up doing with those ministries."

    Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, sandwiched between China and India. It maintains good relations with both countries, as well as the United States.

    A Maoist victory in an election certified as free and fair would put the United States in a further quandary. The ambassador tells VOA News that Washington would have to accept any outcome of such an election.

    "If they achieve that through a free and fair election, we will welcome it if that's really the will of the people of Nepal," he said. "I tend to have my doubts that's really the case. You don't win peoples' hearts and minds by brutalizing them and that's been the favorite Maoist tool."

    The ambassador, a former senior official of the U.S. National Security Council, says the Maoists have what he calls a frightening agenda of collectivization, mass re-education and nationalization of key industries that would be a "recipe for disaster." Such programs, if implemented, he says, would bring into question whether the United States "in good conscience" could continue to support Nepal.

    Annual support to Nepal through the U.S. Agency for International Development is about $40 million.

    Despite recent statements by Maoist leaders to work for the abolition of the monarchy and other goals through the democratic process, Moriarty says they continue to "use violence on a fairly massive scale every day" in Nepal to shake down merchants and intimidate political opponents.

    The Maoists waged a decade-long violent campaign to topple the monarchy. The violence left 14,000 people dead. In a landmark peace deal last year the Maoists agreed to enter the political process and have sent their militias and arms into camps under United Nations supervision.


    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora