Nepal awaits WikiLeaks’ dossiers with bated breathBy Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
KATHMANDU - Whistleblower WikiLeaks’ disclosure of confidential US documents could cause Nepal’s history of its 10-year insurgency and the transition from monarchy to a republic to be rewritten, once - or if - over 2,000 confidential documents relating to the country are made public.
The Himalayan nation began a vigil Tuesday, awaiting revelations about its own behind-the-scene terrorist, political and diplomatic deals following the discovery that the website had also obtained 2,278 memos sent by the US Embassy in Kathmandu to the US State Department in Washington through a lengthy period of 1996 to February this year.
The Nepal documents are not among the initial 251,287 cables posted by WikiLeaks despite a warning by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the leaks were an attack on the international community.
The WikiLeaks memos on Nepal mainly revolve around the Maoist insurgency, the political upheaval followed by King Gyanendra’s attempt to grab power with the help of an army-backed coup and the subsequent overthrow of his government due to a nationwide uprising.
Also featuring are the issues of the Tibetan and Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and Nepal’s relations with India, its most influential neighbour.
While about 800 of the Nepal documents are unclassified, the rest are confidential with 84 labelled secret.
Nepal’s politics remains shrouded with the deals cut by the parties, the then Maoist guerrillas, the deposed king and even foreign governments remaining mostly secret.
The Nepal documents could throw some light on the opaque deals.
The US Embassy in Nepal has declined to comment on WikiLeaks’ move.
However, the leaks dominated Nepal’s media Tuesday, even the tabloids.
They also sparked a vigil for further details despite the political turbulence at home, including an upcoming meeting of the Maoist party to finalise their future battle strategy.
(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at email@example.com)