POSSIBLE CIA HAND IN THE MURDER OF THE NEPAL ROYAL FAMILY
(This is a reposting of a Madison IMC article)
CIA involvement is claimed in June 2001 massacre of Nepal's royal family. It paved way for international intervention into the six-year old insurgency in the country and further US and Indian Geopolitical objectives in region.
An article supposedly blocked by the US security apparatus but republished in this September's Monthly Review Magazine to accompany a communication from Baburam Bhattarai, the Convenor of the United Revolutionary People's Council, Nepal, reignites the position that the June 1, 2001, royal massacre in Nepal, which had gripped the mainstream press a year and a half ago, was the work of not the crown prince but a special squad trained by the CIA. Not the blind anger of love, but US and Indian geopolitical strategy in the region are given as the real reasons behind the massacre.
The official story is that the Nepal crown prince Dipendra went on a drunken and drug-induced killing spree because the queen would not allow him to marry his fiancÚ, Devyani Rana.
(Here the author mistakenly says that the queen was against the marriage because Devyani was a commoner, when the actual reason was that she was not from the queen's own sub-lineage. For the last 150 years, members of the queen's Rana family have preserved their aristocratic standing and access to power through reciprocal marriages with the royal Shah family. Sublineages within the Ranas have jealously and sometimes bloodily asserted themselves within this political alliance system, providing a semblance of credibility to the story of a love-stricken crown prince massacring his family due to the queen's truculence.)
The official story immediately came under suspicion in Kathmandu, where most people still believe the real story has not been told. Suspicious circumstances put the king's younger brother Prince Gyanendra out of town and left his own already notorious and hated son, Prince Paras, alive within the palace while all those before them in the succession were murdered; confused initial announcements by the new king such that the deaths were due to an accidental firing of an automatic weapon; the efficient and accurate commando-style shooting juxtaposed against the total incapacity of the crown prince due to drugs and alcohol immediately prior to the killing; the position of the body of the queen on the stairs leading up to her son's room as if she was running up to find him; the hurried cremation of the bodies of the royal family, supposedly according to strict Hindu religious customs that require quick disposal of the bodies, said the international press, although the previous king and even the more recently killed General Secretary of Communist Party (UML) had been kept on ice many days prior to their cremations, allowing proper, if still suppressed (in the latter case), autopsies.
Even now, potential eye-witnesses among the palace staff are said to have never returned home and they continue to remain unaccounted for, including a cook who called home to report that there were "many Dipendras walking about the palace" just before the killing started. Other eye witnesses, such as one of the medical doctors who is reported by a reliable source to have seen bullet holes in Crown Prince Dipendra's back in addition to the single shot to the head by which he supposedly committed suicide, don't speak up for fear of their lives.
Wayne Madsen, a CounterPunch columnist and a former naval officer who used to work for the NSA, argues in his article "Comparisons Between Recent U.S.-Backed Coups: Caracas and Kathmandu" that the massacre has all the markings of a CIA operation such as that in Caracas this last year, except that the CIA succeeded in Kathmandu where it failed in Caracas . He says that a CIA office had been operating next to the present king's palace for some months prior to the killing, in which CIA operatives, contractors and high military personnel were observed going in and out of the office. He says that a Nepal army commando unit trained by US special operations forces did the actual killing. The US special operations forces were accompanied by a US psychological division which he says along with the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency prepared the official story for the deaths.
The real reason for the murders, argues Madsen, is that the dead king was a strong nationalist who refused to allow Royal Nepal Army involvement or outside intervention in the civil war which has been spreading across Nepal starting in 1996. The king was working hard on trying to develop a negotiated solution to the conflict with the insurgents, who above all else are nationalists fighting to maintain Nepal's independence and prevent it from becoming another Indian state like Sikkim. With his death and the installation of the present king, who has large export-oriented business ventures and strong ties with India, along with the pro-India, pro-globalization Congress Party prime minister, the way was opened for outside intervention into the insurgency and the consolidation of US and Indian control over the region.
Madsen says that the US sees Nepal as one more step in its encirclement of China with pro-US governments and military basis. India is interested in extending the British colonial legacy of regional geopolitical and commercial power and asserting its control over the large hydro resources available in the Nepal Himalaya. This year President-select Bush relatively quietly pushed a bill through Congress to fund 20 million dollars of military supplies to the Nepal government, doubling the $20 million economic aid previously given to Nepal (most of that going to extending US corporate values and supporting the development of a special US-friendly urban ruling class). Britain, of course, and India, and more recently the European community, and surprisingly, even China, have or are in the process of promising military support to the regime in Nepal in the country's civil war.
The pro-India, pro-globalization and pro-privatization Prime Minister in Nepal had declared a national emergency following the Royal massacre which suppressed civic rights and a free press and set about mobilizing the army against the insurgents. With 9/11, following the lead of President-select Bush, the insurgents were unapologetically termed "terrorists," opening the way for unrestrained war not just on the insurgents but on the rural population as a whole, along with all dissidents. Amnesty International, and other human rights organizations have been documenting atrocity after atrocity -- rapes, extra-legal killings, abductions, disappearances, burning of villages -- by the military far dwarfing those reputed to the insurgents.
In his communication to Monthly Review, Baburam argues that, given the broad popular support of the insurgency, which was initiated nearly seven years ago and now extends throughout the country, this is not terrorism but a civil war, and that the international intervention is illegal by any standard. Indeed, the war straddles a divide between a relatively small, urban-educated, western-oriented elite, created by a half-century of development and international aid, which is opposed to a large rural population, in a new twist in the old story of urban colonial enclaves such as were the product of French, British, and American rule in Southeast Asia.
Foreign aid and development over the last half century have led to the penetration of colonial-type bureaucratic structures into villages, not so much destroying the old feudal-type institutions as building atop and distorting them for their own purposes, greatly expanding inequality and undermining any vestiges of legitimacy. Supposed modernization of the country has dismantled community institutions that had once allowed villagers to assert some autonomy against the ruling classes, allowing the robbery of local communities of their forests, water and land. It has set up two school systems, one qualifying privileged elite young people for joining the international administrative and professional classes, and the other, using a poor semblance of education that removes children from the land but offers little in return and a nationwide examination system, disqualifying the mass majority of young people for any role in their country, forcing them to search for jobs abroad and forcing over two percent of the country's women into sex bondage, with the direct involvement of many ruling politicians.
Baburam points out that it was the creation of two nations, one of a relatively small number of elites and the other the large majority of villagers and urban laborers, that has created the divide across which rages the civil war.
Comparisons Between Recent U.S.-Backed Coups: Caracas and Kathmandu by Wayne Madsen
Monthly Review September 2002
Originally published on the now blocked website: http://www.spiescafe.com/wm/wmuscoups.htm
A Communication from the Revolutionaries in Nepal on the Current (September 2002) Situation in the Civil War
MONTHLY REVIEW September 2002