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South Asia Peace Initiative

Values Education Counters Maoist Insurgency in Nepal

During an October 28, 2003 consultation in New York, a proposal was placed on the table to use universal values education material to address the problem of Maoist resurgence in Nepal. Based on the positive feedback at the New York meeting, Dr. Christopher Kim and Dr. Robert Kittel visited Nepal together for four days, November 10-13, 2003 and, at their invitation, met the Inspector General of the Armed Police Force along with several top generals.

During the 2.5 hour meeting it was proposed that the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace work closely with the Armed Police to develop an educational program that could be taken to the schools and villages throughout the Hindu Kingdom.

Importantly, this program would be taught by Armed Police personnel, placing them not only in the policing role, but equally important the role of teacher and parent while building excellent community relations. And since Maoist cadre are primarily drawn from young people, this education program would be, in one sense, an intellectual inoculation. It would not only expose the philosophical errors of militant materialism, but also be based on universal values that can be used to develop conscience and character.

The idea was well received as the Armed Police. In fact, they requested the educational information immediately so they could start translating it into Nepalese. The following morning a Nepalese Consultative Committee was convened by prominent Nepalese to develop this material in the shortest possible time.

Meeting with the Armed Police


Two PowerPoint presentations were given. First Dr. Kim spoke about the importance of Heart Leadership in the 21st Century. He touched on the absolutely critical role of leadership in this technological age and highlighted the foundation which the federation has throughout Asia and in Nepal particularly. Dr. Kittel addressed three issues related to Marxist-Leninism: 1) the role of religion in developing conscience and character, 2) critiquing the notion that conflict was necessary for progress, and 3) the idea that alienation or hatred comes from economic injustice.

Military power, it was noted, was justified when used for self-defense and to protect the innocent but it fails to speak to the original grievance often aggravating the problem because it fuels revenge and resentment.

Thus, one vital line of reasoning referred to the recently concluded 2-day Heart Leadership workshop. Eight distinguished guests and nearly 200 young members attended both days. The focus was on developing and strengthening the conscience, and subsequently, the need for an absolutely clear distinction between good and evil. Without such a standard, the conscience cannot develop.

The lack of such a value system becomes a problem because the conscience plays a critical role in self-regulation, in character develop, in understanding that our lives should be lived for others — more than for self, as well as the sexual purity during teens years and fidelity between husbands and wives after marriage.

The key point was that the 200 young Nepalese who had just concluded the workshop would more than likely never be involved in the insurgency movement. It became clear that this point touched the hearts of these generals deeply. We were not only solving the Maoist problem before it became violent, but building the heart, character and conscience of Nepalese youth.

Heart Leadership Seminar


Before meeting with the Armed Police Force of Nepal, Drs. Kim and Kittel co-taught a workshop where nearly 200 young Nepalese attended. Dr. Kim's "sound and light show" was animated with graphics, audio, and bullet points. He gave an overview of the role that heart plays in leadership.

He said there were three quotients that need to be developed: intelligence quotients (IQ), social quotients (SQ) [also called RQ or relationships quotients], and the most critical for this century of global interactions, CQ. Conscience quotients, therefore, had to be based on universal principles from which universal values are derived. Only then can a world of peace and prosperity be created.

The minds of these young people were filled with universal values, such as:

  • Everything exists in pairs thus individualism cannot bring fulfillment.
  • Subject-and object-partnerships are complementary and mutually beneficial therefore good and evil are not part of this complementary pair system.
  • The partnership of pairs interacts harmoniously that through give and take action hence violence conflict and struggle cannot create harmony.
  • The fundamental nature of the paired relationship is mutual giving therefore lives should be lived for the sake of others.
  • Survival of the fittest, used to justify violence revolt, is a distortion of living for the greater good found in nature's food chain and is fundamentally different in spirit and makeup human war.
  • The positions of subject-partner and object-partner determine areas of responsibility--not value; position does not determined value, value is created through unity.

Consultation

On the morning of November 13, eight people met for the firstl Consultation. Participants from the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP) included Dr. Robert Kittel, Assistant Secretary General; Dr. Christopher B.W. Kim, Continental Director for Asia; and Mr. Ek Nath Dhakal, National Leader of Nepal. Other participants included Dr. Kamal Krishna Joshi, Former Vice-Chancellor of Tribhuvan University; Mr. Narayan Sharma Gajurel, Principal of Holy Vision School and Secretary General of IIFWP-Nepal; Mr. Raj Kumar Thakuri, Principal of Bhanu Bhakta Higher Secondary School, Secretary General of the Private School Association in Nepal and President of TARP-Nepal; Dr. Kishor Kumar Rajbhandari, Lecturer of Tribhuvan University and Vice-President of IIFWP-Nepal, Prof. Dr. Shreeram Prasad Upadhyaya, Professor of History, Tribhuvan University.

Dr. Joshi gave a brief overview of the situation. He looked at the mediating role Norway is playing in the Sri Lankan crisis and questioned if the federation could do the same for Nepal. Dr. Kishore noted that the 12 years of Nepal's experiment with democracy actually increased corruption and instability.

Action Steps

  • The following action steps from this IIPC-Nepal Consultative Committee meeting were:
  • IIFWP would set up a Consultative Committee to create an educational program that the Armed Police could teach in the schools and villages of Nepal.
  • The central person for this committee would be Dr. Kishor.
  • Dr. Kittel would provide an outline for this curriculum and support from the US side by meeting Nepalese Diplomats in New York and Washington DC.
  • One representative from the Armed Police Force should be asked to join this Interreligious and International Peace Council-Nepal Consultative Committee.
  • Teacher training program could be set up at the Peace Embassy.

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