CSC is now PCSC
As it was initially conceived and planned for all purposes, the Conflict Study Center (CSC) has now been renamed as the Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCSC). This also reflects the fact that the primary focus of Nepal and Nepali people has now shifted toward consolidation of peace efforts. PCSC believes that all its activities need to be concentrated toward sustainable peace, harmony and security. It is a part of PCSC's support for peace process to provide quality training to highly capable Nepalis to become dedicated professionals in the fields of peace, security and human rights. At the same time, however, PCSC will continue its activities to minimize eruption of conflict and violence and to disseminate information and research findings for resolving conflicts and consolidating peace. PCSC welcomes ideas and suggestions from all quarters that may enable it to contribute more qualitatively in the country's strenuous journey toward peace and security.
Tarai-Madhes: Searching for Identity Based Security
Situation Update 88
October 14, 2009
Bishnu Pathak, PhD and Devendra Uprety
Peace, justice and freedom must be major components of any future security in Nepal. However, Nepal’s transition is deepening in crisis due to the growing ranks of rebel forces, particularly in the Tarai-Madhes. While the State fails to deliver security to the ordinary people, particularly in countryside, the peace process of Nepal is endangered, justice is delayed, and freedom is restricted. The migration of hill-and-mountain dwellers out of the Tarai-Madhes has not stopped. The people who remain in such places have had much to fear. The cases of extra-judicial killings, forceful disappearances, torture, extortions, rapes and so forth continue. To understand this unfortunate state of affairs, it is necessary to delve into a brief history of the region.
Understanding the Tarai-Madhes
Nepal is divided into three areas topographically; Mountains, Hills, and Tarai-Madhes. The Tarai-Madhes, though the flattest and most accessible part of the country, remained isolated until the mid 20th century due to malaria-infestation. This area stretches from the Indo-Gangetic plains to the Himalayan foothills and connects the plains culture to the hill culture. Constrained between the Mechi River in the east and Mahakali River in the west, it makes up about 23 percent of the total land area of the country. With an average elevation of less than 100 meters (in sharp contrast to the highest Mountains in the world), the average length and breadth of the Tarai-Madhes are about 900 km and 70 km respectively. The Tarai-Madhes incorporates 20 out of 75 districts, including close to half the 26 million population of the country. The region was annexed into Nepal during the unification period, beginning in the mid 1770s, by Prithivi Naarayan Shah. However, much of the ancient Tarai-Madhes areas, ruled by various kings and principalities for centuries, are now in the Bihar and Uttar Pradesh states of India.
|Tarai-Madhes: Searching for Identity Based Security|
Federalism: Risk Assessment
Situation Update 86
July 15, 2009
Bishnu Pathak, PhD
Today, 40 percent of the world population lives under the rule of a federal state, but 60 percent under unitary. 30 (16% out of 192 UN members) matured, emergent, and micro-federations practice federalism. They are comprised not only of powerful and developed nations, but developing countries as well; namely, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the USA, etc. Similarly, most of the 162 (84% out of 192 UN-member) nations such as China, France, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Israel, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordon, South and North Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, etc. are unitary states. Federations are found both in advanced industrial nations (European American, or otherwise) to multi-cultural states (Asian nations such as India, Malaysia, and United Arab), to post communist European nations such as Czechoslovakia and former Yugoslavia to Asian Muslim countries like Pakistan. However, former communist countries such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and Pakistan are said to be failed federations due to balkanization or ongoing deep-rooted identity based conflict. Despite the considerable national importance and political exertion over this very issue, research in Nepal comparing federal and unitary state systems has been thus-far severely lacking. Comparison of information advantageous and disadvantageous toward federalism taking into account unitary state alternatives has been given below:
|Federalism: Risk Assessment|
Federalism: Lessons from India
Situation Update 85
June 21, 2009
Bishnu Pathak, PhD
India became independent in 1947. Its parliament, also serving as a Constituent Assembly (CA), drafted the new constitution that came into effect on January 26, 1950, establishing the federal union of India. India is the 7th largest country by geographic area, 2nd most populous, 4th largest in GDP (Purchasing Power Parity), has the 3rd largest military force, and is the 12th largest economy in the world. India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven unions with a parliamentary form of democracy. A country the size of a continent, with an area of 13,654,000 sq. miles, India is comprised of 16 percent Dalits, known as scheduled castes. Around 8 percent of the population belongs to one of 461 indigenous adivasi groups. Many Indians speak more than one language. The Indian census lists 114 languages (22 of which are spoken by one million or more persons) that are further categorized into 216 dialects (mother tongues) spoken by 10,000 or more speakers. There is significant cultural diversity within the nation, as 40% of the population belongs to disadvantaged groups; i.e. the scheduled castes (11.6%) and scheduled tribes (31.8%).
|Federalism: Lessons from India|
Nepal-India Relations: Open Secret Diplomacy
Situation Update 84
July 15, 2009
Bishnu Pathak, PhD
The United Maoist-led Government resigned as of May 4, 2009 and its resignation has been accepted. Almost three weeks back, the senior UML leader, Madhav Kumar Nepal, who failed to win people’s trust in two constituencies he challenged in the last Constituent Assembly (CA) election, was unanimously elected as the second Prime Minister of republican Nepal on May 23, 2009. The largest party with 238 members out of 601, the united Maoists, boycotted the election, protesting against the move of the president. The ceremonial president reinstated the CoAS to let him continue in his office despite the executive decision. India has now become the butt of controversy among all players – political parties, media, civil society, etc. – both in and outside the land. This article attempts to address India’s role in Nepal, its next-door neighbor in the central Himalayas.
|Nepal-India Relations: Open Secret Diplomacy|
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Who we are
Founded in 2006, The Conflict Study Center is comprised of a group of preeminent experts and scholars in related fields united with the vision of a peaceful and fully democratic, inclusive Nepal that upholds the rule of law and respects human rights.
It is committed to the process of conflict transformation through peaceful means, a concept that stands apart from others such as conflict resolution and conflict management in that it seeks to mitigate the underlying causes of conflict by transforming the societal relationships that support violence.
Police Station Visitors’ Week 2011
The Police Station Visitors’ Week (PSVW) 2011 was organized by the ALTUS Global Alliance from October 31 to November 6, 2011. It was a global initiative organized in 21 countries, namely Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda in Africa; Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan in Asia; Latvia and Russia in Europe; Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru in Latin America; and USA in North America. It covered all the continents stretching from Bangladesh to Brazil, Maldives to Mexico, and Russia to Benin. Altus is a global alliance working across continents with a multicultural perspective to improve public safety and justice. Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCSC) is one among the local partner organizations of Altus Global Alliance to conduct the PSVW event in Nepal, which was held two times earlier in 2009 and 2010. The event incorporates ten police stations in Kathmandu Valley situated at Balaju, Bouddha, Bhaktapur, Gaushala, Hanumandhoka, Kalimati, Lalitpur, Maharajgung, New Baneswor, and Singhadurbar. During the event, small groups of citizens visit the local police stations to produce comparable scores on five dimensions, namely Community Orientation, Physical Conditions, Equal Treatment (of public without bias based on age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, minority, status, or sexual orientation), Transparency and Accountability, and Detention Conditions. Thus, the police stations are expected to improve their quality of services provided to the civilians in comparison to previous years and to strengthen transparency and accountability of police toward local citizens whom they are supposed to serve, thus promoting their humanitarian standards as well.
For more, please read the following reports:
Police Station Visitors Week 2010
Between October 18th to 24th 2010, Altus had organized Police Station Visitors’ Week (PSVW) in 21 countries, namely Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda in Africa; Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan in Asia; Latvia and Russia in Europe; Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru in Latin America; and USA in North America. It tried to cover all the continents stretching from Bangladesh to Brazil, Maldives to Mexico, and Russia to Benin.
Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCSC), one of the local partner organizations of the Altus Global Alliance for PSVW, had organized the event for the second time in Nepal. The event incorporated ten police stations in Kathmandu Valley situated at Balaju, Bouddha, Bhaktapur, Gaushala, Hanumandhoka, Kalimati, Lalitpur, Maharajgung, New Baneswor, and Singhadurbar.
In the PSVW event, the visitors observed and assessed through five dimensional objectives, namely Community Orientation, Physical Conditions, Equal Treatment of the Public, Transparency and Accountability, and Detention Conditions. The event was aimed to assess the quality of services delivered in police stations by identifying some of the best practices being used by the police in order to strengthen their accountability toward the local citizens by ensuring national, regional, and international human rights standards.
For more, please read the following reports:
Police Station Visitors Week 2009
Police Station Visitors’ Week (PSVW) was organized from October 26th to November 1st, 2009 by the ALTUS Global Alliance (www.altus.org). In the PSVW event, small teams of residents visited their local police stations in 20 countries to assess certain aspects of the services that they provide to the public.
The Conflict Study Center (CS Center), one of the local partner organizations of the Altus Global Alliance for PSVW, had organized the event for the first time in Nepal, which incorporated ten police stations in Kathmandu Valley situated at Balaju, Bouddha, Bhaktapur, Gaushala, Hanumandhoka, Kalimati, Lalitpur, Maharajgung, New Baneswor, and Singhadurbar.