Institute for Peace and Justice
Contact: Chris Groth
Phone: (619) 260-4066
Fax: (619) 260-7570
Location: KIPJ Room 121
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
Below is a timeline integrating the Institute for Peace and Justice's work with recent major historical developments in Nepal. The institute's activities are indicated in bold. (Note: Much of the historical material is from the BBC's timeline of the country).
A pro-democracy movement – known as Jana Andolan, or “People’s Movement” – to end the absolute monarchy is coordinated by the Nepali Congress party and leftist groups. Large street protests are suppressed by security forces, resulting in deaths and mass arrests. King Birendra eventually bows to pressure and agrees to a new democratic constitution. The Nepali Congress wins Nepal’s first democratic elections, with Girija Prasad Koirala becoming prime minister.
Koirala’s government is defeated in a no-confidence motion, and new elections lead to the formation of government led by Communist parties. It is dissolved the following year after opposition parties accuse it of corruption and reneging on a promise to pursue a market economy.
A Maoist insurgency – the “People’s War” – begins. The Maoists call for the abolition of Nepal’s monarchy. Political instability continues.
April – The IPJ conducts initial consultations with non-governmental organization (NGO) and community leaders in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan.
June – King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and other close relatives are killed in a shooting spree by drunken Crown Prince Dipendra, who also shoots and kills himself. Prince Gyanendra is crowned king.
November – The Maoists end a four-month-old truce with the government and declare peace talks with the government a failure. They launch coordinated attacks on army and police posts. A state of emergency is declared after more than 100 people are killed in four days of violence. King Gyanendra orders the Royal Nepal Army to crush the Maoist rebels. Hundreds of people are killed in Maoist and government operations in the following months.
December – Nepal is selected as one of four focus countries for the IPJ’s Dedicatory Conference. Nepali representatives from various political parties, civil society, media and the human rights community meet in San Diego to explore the potential for “peacemaking with justice” and the engagement of civil society in transforming or ending the growing conflict in Nepal.
May – Parliament is dissolved and fresh elections are called for amid political confrontation over extending the state of emergency. Sher Bahadur Deuba heads the interim government and renews the state of emergency.
October – King Gyanendra dismisses Deuba and indefinitely puts off elections.
January – By invitation, an IPJ team conducts an assessment in Kathmandu and Gorkha. The team holds meetings with Nepali and international officials and members of civil society to determine how the IPJ could respond to requests for assistance in resolving the conflict.
January – The Maoists and the government declare a ceasefire.
May – An IPJ team – along with Regina Bafaki of Action for Development, Uganda – conducts participatory seminars and workshops with women leaders in Kathmandu.
June – Deputy Director Dee Aker presents at the “Conference on Nepal,” convened by the National Intelligence Council and Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State. She discusses the impact on, and the role of, Nepal’s women in ending the conflict.
August – The Maoists pull out of peace talks with the government and end the ceasefire. The following months see a resurgence of violence and frequent clashes between students, activists, and police.
May – The IPJ conducts a series of programs in Kathmandu, including negotiation training for political party leadership (with conflict management specialists from CMPartners), and a participatory educational seminar and human rights roundtable for women and people from marginalized groups (facilitated by human rights lawyer Lilia Velasquez.) The team visits Dalit communities in the Kathmandu Valley to evaluate human rights trainings.
May – Street protests by opposition groups demand a return to democracy. Royalist Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa quits.
February – King Gyanendra assumes direct control and dismisses the government. He declares a state of emergency, citing the need to defeat the Maoist rebels. Read the IPJ Editorial Statement on the Nepal Crisis.
April – King Gyanendra lifts the state of emergency amid international pressure.
May – The IPJ conducts an assessment in Kathmandu to determine the state of affairs in governance and human rights following King Gyanendra’s royal takeover. Deputy Director Dee Aker meets with representatives from government, political parties, student unions, NGOs, media, security forces, jurists, business and the international community.
September – The IPJ is awarded a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant, “Building Constituencies for Peace and Democratic Development in Nepal.”
November – Maoist rebels and the main opposition parties to the monarchy agree to work together to restore democracy.
November – An IPJ team holds trainings in Kathmandu with policymakers and members of political parties and civil society including women leaders, members of marginalized groups, and emerging leaders. The team is joined by human rights lawyer Lilia Velasquez and democratization expert Dana Eyre.
January – The IPJ, along with conflict management specialists from CMPartners and Sri Lankan Woman PeaceMaker Shreen Saroor, conducts trainings in Kathmandu with emerging young leaders, as well as with women and marginalized groups.
April – King Gyanendra agrees to reinstate parliament following weeks of strikes and protests against direct royal rule. The movement becomes known as Jana Andolan II – the second people’s movement since 1990. Maoist rebels call a three-month ceasefire.
April – An IPJ team, in partnership with CMPartners, facilitates roundtable discussions in Kathmandu with political party leaders, young emerging leaders and women leaders from political parties and marginalized groups to discuss their roles in conflict transformation and the transition to democracy.
May – Nepal’s parliament votes unanimously to curtail the king’s political powers. The government and Maoist rebels begin peace talks, the first in nearly three years.
July – The IPJ convenes the “Democratic Essentials Summit” in Kathmandu for political parties, policymakers, women, marginalized groups and emerging leaders. Site visits and consultations are held with NGOs promoting women’s human rights, social support and micro-credit assistance for sexually-abused women and single women (widows), and the inclusion of Dalit concerns in the constitution; enhancing communication between rural and remote districts to the capital; and fostering youth participation in decision making. The team included representatives from CMPartners, and the Honorable Annette Mukabera, a former member of the Ugandan parliament.
August – In partnership with South Asia Partnership-Nepal (SAP-Nepal) and Equal Access, six segments of the IPJ Peace Radio Project are produced in Kathmandu. The segments cover negotiation techniques, communication skills, women victims’ rights and experiences, NGOs’ contribution to peace, the role of emerging leaders in Nepali society, and a five-year reflection on the prospects for sustainable peace in Nepal.
November – The government and the Maoists sign the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, declaring a formal end to the 10-year rebel insurgency.
November – The IPJ’s USAID grant “Building Constituencies for Peace and Democratic Development in Nepal” concludes. Read the executive summary and project report or success stories and participant profiles.
January – Maoist leaders enter parliament under the terms of a temporary constitution.
April – The Maoists join the interim government, a move that takes them into the political mainstream.
April – The IPJ and SAP-Nepal travel to Kathmandu, Pokhara and Bhairahawa to conduct participatory seminars and roundtable discussions with emerging leaders, civil society leaders, members of the Inter-Party Women’s Alliance, and representatives from marginalized groups. Topics include democratic development and transition, and increasing youth participation in the peace process. The team also evaluates the impact of the IPJ Peace Radio Project in rural, conflict-affected communities.
September – Three bombs hit Kathmandu in the first attack in the capital since the end of the Maoist insurgency. The Maoists quit the interim government to press their demand for the monarchy to be abolished. Constituent Assembly elections, which had been scheduled for November, are postponed.
November – Collaborating with district and village-level community organizations, the IPJ extends its conflict resolution and peacebuilding trainings to rural and historically isolated constituents in Humla and in villages in the Western Region. The IPJ team holds community dialogues and a regional forum ondeveloping facilitation skills and sharing new information on peacebuilding and conflict resolution among participants. The team meets with Nepali political party and civil society leaders, U.S. embassy and U.N. officials, and international NGO representatives to assess the potential for sustaining the tenuous peace in Nepal, as well as the next steps to promote transitional justice and human security in the country. The institute is joined in Kathmandu by Lesley Abdela, a gender expert and consultant with the United Nations.
December – Parliament approves the abolition of the monarchy as part of a deal to persuade the Maoists to rejoin the government.
January – A series of bomb blasts kill and injure dozens in the southern Terai plains, where activists have been demanding regional autonomy.
April – Interim Executive Director Dee Aker joins The Carter Center’s election observation mission to support “political efforts to create an environment that is conducive to conduct an electoral process, to include the voices of Nepal’s diverse communities, and to deliver constituent assembly election results that enjoy credibility in the eyes of the Nepali people.”
April – Former Maoist rebels win the largest bloc of seats in elections to the new Constituent Assembly, but fail to achieve an outright majority.
May – Nepal becomes a federal democratic republic.
May – An IPJ team returns to Nepal to conduct trainings in Kathmandu and the Western Region. Participatory seminars are held with women leaders in politics, policymakers, and political leaders from the newly elected Constituent Assembly. The IPJ convenes a forum for emerging youth leaders, a roundtable with participants from the security sector and civil society, and community dialogues in several Village Development Committees to discuss how people can remain engaged in the political process following the elections. The institute is presented with the Everest Summit Award, from Today’s Youth Asia, by Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal (“Prachanda”) in recognition of its eight years of peacebuilding work in Nepal.
June – Maoist ministers resign from the cabinet in a dispute over who should be the next head of state.
July – Ram Baran Yadav becomes Nepal’s first president.
August – Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal (“Prachanda”) forms a coalition government, with the Nepali Congress party going into opposition.
April – An IPJ team – assisted by CMPartners representatives and Maj. Jason Ruedi, assistant professor of naval science at the University of San Diego – conducts an assessment of army integration challenges in Nepal. In two participatory seminars, they bring security sector actors together with political and civil society leaders for negotiations training on security issues.
May – Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (“Prachanda”) resigns in a dispute with President Yadav. The Maoists leave the government after other parties oppose integration of former rebel fighters into the national army. Veteran Communist Leader Madhav Kumar Nepal is named the new prime minister.
January – The IPJ works with local partners in Kathmandu, Janakpur and Siraha (the latter two in the Terai region) for a series of roundtable sessions and interviews with diverse communities. Meeting with political and business leaders, lawyers, journalists, human rights advocates, intellectuals, youth leaders, and school teachers, the institute seeks their perspectives on how they would overcome exacerbated tensions in the southern Terai region.
May – The governing coalition and the Maoist opposition agree to extend the deadline for drafting a new constitution to May 2011.
May – In response to requests from young, discouraged leaders in the Terai region, women from smaller parties who are newly engaged in political activities, and a range of professionals from media, academia, business and civil society, a series of interactive programs are facilitated by the IPJ in Janakpur and Kathmandu. These programs bring together actors from diverse sectors to build experience in community collaboration and to develop skills in peacebuilding.
June – Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigns.
November – The IPJ holds interactive workshops with community and youth leaders in Pokhara and Janakpur, a workshop with women political leaders and members of the Constituent Assembly Women’s Caucus in Kathmandu, and a participatory roundtable in Birgunj. The team also travels to several rural villages to assess the long-term impact of the IPJ’s Peace Radio Project, which concluded in 2006.
January – The United Nations special mission in support of the peace process ends.
January – The institute launches the Women PeaceMakers Asia Regional Network, with its first summit in Nepal hosted by Women for Peace and Democracy-Nepal (founded by Shobha Shrestha, alumna of the Kroc School). The IPJ team and Women PeaceMakers carry out a series of roundtable discussions and workshops with local women politicians, civil society leaders in Kathmandu, and peacebuilders in Makwanpur. Deputy Director Dee Aker and peacemakers Milet Mendoza, Mary Ann Arnado, and Shreen Abdul Saroor are featured on Nepal Television Plus in celebration of International Women’s Day.
February – Jhala Nath Khanal, who was one of the delegates to the IPJ’s Dedicatory Conference, is elected prime minister, ending a seven-month stalemate during which Nepal had no effective government.
April – The IPJ, along with representatives of CMPartners, conduct a series of communication and negotiation trainings with the Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, civil society and political representatives in Kathmandu, and with youth and community leaders in Birgunj in the Terai region. The trainings provide skills while also affording participants the space to begin conducting conversations and collaborating on resolving conflicts in the community.
May – The Constituent Assembly fails to meet the deadline for drafting a new constitution.
August – Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal resigns after the government fails to reach a compromise with opposition parties on a new constitution and the fate of former Maoist fighters. The Constituent Assembly elects Maoist vice chair Baburam Bhattarai as prime minister. He vows to forge a cross-party consensus over the new constitution and the integration of former combatants.
November – An IPJ team facilitates conflict resolution workshops with members of civil society, the security sector (Nepal Police and Armed Police Force) and political parties. Joining the team in Nepal is Dr. Donald Gragg, a specialist in addiction medicine, who conducts a training with staff members who work on the Action for Addiction program run by local partner organization Sano Paila. The institute holdsinteractive programs with staff from Raksha Nepal in Kathmandu, members from a women’s organization in rural Nichuta village (Parsa District), and with officers from the Nepal Police in Birgunj. In the Western Region, the IPJ conducts community dialogues/assessment visits in two rural communities that originally participated in the IPJ Peace Radio Project.
April – The IPJ conducts a two-day workshop with emerging leaders in Ghorahi in Dang District, and two workshops with village leaders, government officials and local police in Nichuta and Birgunj in Parsa District.
May – Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai dissolves the Constituent Assembly and calls for elections in November after politicians miss a final deadline to agree on a new constitution. Bhattarai remains in charge of a caretaker government.
September – The IPJ supports the action taken by the U.S. State Department to revoke the designation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, and as a “terrorist organization” on the Terrorist Exclusion List. The IPJ continues to encourage and promote peaceful dialogue and engagement among all political parties in Nepal.
November – In Kathmandu, the institute holds negotiation skills trainings with members of the Nepal Police, and with women security leaders from the Nepal Armed Police Force and former Maoist combatants. In the Terai region, the team facilitates a community policing workshop with members of the Nepal Police from Bara and Parsa Districts, and a training with women leaders in Sunsari District that focuses on developing strategies for increased community engagement. The IPJ also participates in World AIDS Day events with local partner organization Sano Paila.
March – Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi is appointed head of an interim government.
April – The Supreme Court suspends a government plan to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate crimes committed during the civil war, citing concerns that it could allow amnesties for serious crimes.
May – The institute partners with Today’s Youth Asia to conduct negotiation skills trainings in Dolakha with community leaders from civil society and political parties. In Kathmandu, the team holds roundtable discussions on forced labor trafficking with journalists from four major news outlets, two workshops with women leaders in the capital and Chitwan, and discussions on the peace process with youth from Today’s Youth Asia.
November – Interim Director Dee Aker and Program Officer Chris Groth join The Carter Center’s International Election Observation Mission as Short-Term Observers for Nepal’s Constituent Assembly elections. Following two days of training on election preparation and security issues, 66 Carter Center observers from 31 countries deploy to 31 districts across the country to observe voting. Both Aker and Groth deploy to the Terai region of southern Nepal, with Aker in Bardiya District and Groth in Kapilvastu District. The Carter Center releases a Preliminary Statement and a Post-Election Statement regarding the election.
November – The Nepali Congress party wins the most seats in the Constituent Assembly elections. The Maoists initially dispute the results, but later agree to take their seats in the assembly, which is tasked with completing the drafting of a permanent constitution.
February – The Constituent Assembly elects Nepali Congress party leader Sushil Koirala as prime minister.
February – The institute conducts workshops with women leaders from civil society in Kathmandu and the districts of Dhanusha and Chitwan. The trainings focus on women’s rights, leadership, and translating personal and community concerns into actionable plans.