Protester slaps Nepal’s Maoist leader in the face

November 17, 2012 — The leader of Nepal’s 10-year Maoist insurgency was left shaken on Friday when a former supporter slapped the ex-guerrilla across the face, smashing his glasses. Police dragged away 25-year-old Padam Kunwar during the angry confrontation with Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal – better known as Prachanda, or the Fierce One – at a reception in the capital Kathmandu.

“We have arrested him but he is undergoing treatment at hospital after he was beaten up by Maoist members,” police spokesman Keshav Adhikari said, adding Kunwar would be questioned later. The attacker, said to be an alienated former party member, grabbed the 57-year-old’s hand and slapped him hard on the cheek, breaking the former revolutionary’s spectacles, during a tea-drinking ceremony.

Kunwar was whisked away by police drenched in blood after Prachanda’s supporters mobbed him and rained blows down onto his head and face. Barshaman Pun, finance minister in the Maoist-led caretaker government, described the incident as “very unfortunate” and said it raised doubts over Prachanda’s security. The Maoists waged a revolt against the state from 1996 until a cease-fire in 2006, during which an estimated 16,000 people died.

Prachanda’s followers swept him to power in 2008 elections and he was briefly prime minister before standing down following a row over the dismissal of an army chief. Prachanda is Nepal’s third senior politician to be assaulted recently by members of an increasingly frustrated public who have protested violently against a lack of political progress in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

In January last year, a 55-year-old man slapped the chairman of the opposition Unified Marxist Leninist party at an event for new members. In May, a Kathmandu tea shop owner hit a Maoist lawmaker across the face, saying the country’s political leaders had “betrayed the people”. “We have taken this as an anarchic act. This has given a wrong message. It has cast doubts over the security of our leaders,” Pun told reporters.

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Prachanda Slapped by Maoists Cadre at Tea Reception Party

By on November 16, 2012 in News

Prachanda SlappedMaoists Chairman Puspha Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda was slapped today by a young Maoists cadre attending the tea reception program organized by Maoists in Kathmandu today. Prachanda was slapped by 25-year-old Padam Kunwar who hails from Baglung. It’s believed that Padam Kunwar served as a Maoists Army until last year.

Prachanda was slapped bit toughly and even his specs were broken of the slap. Padam Kunwar in return was severely hurt by the Maoists cadres before taken into custody by the police. Here’s the video footage of padam Kunwar taken into custody after slapping Prachanda as reported by News24 channel.

UCPN (Maoist) had arranged the tea reception to exchange greetings on occasion of the festive season. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha were also present at the event.

Previously, Jhalanath Khanal was Slapped in Public more than a year ago and Sushil Koirala was attacked nearly a month ago.

Salute the daring Maoists Cadre who slapped Prachanda amidst their chiya-paan program! One seriously needs guts to do that!!

Image via Onlinekhabar and Video from News24

Nepal: Prachanda’s combatants embittered and educated by his trail of betrayal

 The ultimate deception

KIRAN PU, MyRepublica, October 14, 2012

DISTRESS IN PLA

With the dissolution of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA), many people thought Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had successfully tackled the most complex issue of the peace process and led the party to the political mainstream. Last April, he deployed the Nepal Army to disband the PLA in a humiliating manner and accepted the recruitment of a few hundred combatants into the army as a face-saver. With that move, he sufficiently addressed the criteria set by the international and domestic actors to become a “civilian party”, and allayed the widespread fears of the Maoist design to capture state power through violent means.

The question, however, is: Has Dahal been relieved of his responsibilities to the combatants who sacrificed themselves for his political career? If Dahal believes he has left his past behind and can disassociate himself from all that, he is naive.

A cunning politician, Dahal realized the limitation of the protracted ‘people’s war’ leading to a state capture, and began to look for alternatives to ascend to power. The failure of the second Khara attack (2002) was a turning point for the Maoist party. It was a massive offensive on the Nepal Army base camp and Dahal himself, for the first time, had observed it from a nearby village. Unfortunately, his first direct command of a military attack also became his last one. The abortive attempt on the army dented his confidence and ‘forced’ him to jettison his revolutionary zeal altogether. He began to look for other ways to ensure his party’s entry into mainstream parliamentary politics. Thus, the PLA, which had been the backbone of the party, became redundant.

It is not that the combatants were unfamiliar with the political dishonesty of Dahal, but they were just helpless. Their request to not be used as bargaining chips for power only fell on deaf ears. And finally, the seven-point deal (between the four main political forces on Nov.2, 2011 on integration) made it clear to the combatants that they had been duped into the war not for revolution, but to advance Dahal’s political career. Continue reading

Nepal: New Maoist Party and many former Liberation Army combatants forming new military structure

[See the two news reports, below.  Frontlines will post new information as it becomes available and confirmed. — Frontlines ed.]

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CPN-Maoist to unveil military wing!

ReviewNepal.com, October 8, 2012

Though the UCPN-Maoist led government seems [satisfied at its – ed.] management of its former combatants by integrating in the Nepal Army (NA), its splinter faction CPN-Maoist has began to revive ‘people’s war’ days through the announcement of military structure of the party. The military structure of CPN-Maoist is going to be announced formally under the name of Rastirya Yuwa Swayamsewak Bureau from the national conference scheduled to be held in Dhulikhel on October 10-12.

It is said that the party secretary Netra Bikram Chanda led the military structure is also proposed to name as National Youth Volunteers Bureau. The party has called the national conference with intent to fix the name of the structure and discuss about the future activities, clams a reliable source close to the party. Though the party leaders have a claim that they have no immediate plan to launch armed struggle, it is suspected that the party would launch another ‘people’s revolt.’

Some leaders have repeatedly been threatening that they would take up arm if their demands are not addressed. It is claimed that the military wing has already acquired about 10 dozen guns registered in the name of the UCPN-Maoist including some arms used in the security of leaders. Likewise, it is also claimed that about 1000 armed trained former PLA combatants, who opted for voluntary retirement after last year’s peace deal and disqualified fighters who were discharged from cantonments in 2010, have already reunited under the military structure of the party.

Conference to expose corrupts The CPN –Maoist has said that it is going to expose leaders and cadres of the UCPN-Maoist, who amassed wealth illegally after the party joined mainstream politics in 2006. Revealing about the plan of the purposed national conference party secretary Chand had said his led wing, National People’s Volunteer Bureau, will next week start a campaign to expose the corrupts of the country including his former party’s leaders. However, Chand dismissed the report about the plan to form a military structure.

“We have no plan to expose the military wing now but we will openly declare the formation of a People’s Liberation Army if Nepali politics so demands,” he said on Sunday while addressing a press conference. However, he revealed that significant number of former PLA combatants who are dissatisfied with the “move of the UCPN-Maoist have joined the volunteer’s bureau. Continue reading

Nepal: After dismantling the revolutionary struggle, Prachanda turns People’s War into Tourist attraction

3 October 2012

BBC: “Nepal ‘Maoist’ leader Prachanda opens ‘guerrilla trail'”

Cover of the Guerrilla Trek guide book Prachanda hopes the trek will give tourists an insight into the insurgency

Former Nepalese Maoist insurgency leader Prachanda has launched a new tourist trail and guide book, giving walkers the chance to see routes and hideouts used by the guerrillas.

The trek – which lasts up to four weeks – stretches across several districts of central and western Nepal.

The aim is to attract more tourists to the impoverished Himalayan nation.

About 16,000 people died in the 10-year war, before a 2006 peace deal and elections won by the Maoists in 2008.

The civil war culminated in the king relinquishing his absolute powers and being forced to give up his throne in June of that year.

Prachanda derived his inspiration from Peru’s Shining Path rebels and dreamt of setting up a communist republic to address the plight of the rural poor and bring an end to Nepal’s ceaseless political bickering.

The former agriculture student and teacher went on to be prime minister of his country from 18 August 2008 to 25 May 2009. He remains chairman of the main “Maoist” (sic) party in Nepal. Continue reading

Economic and Political Weekly (India) on “Nepal’s Maoist’s” lost compass, derailed

[Note from Frontlines: The author of the article below appears to assume that integration of the PLA would have “neutralized”
the Nepal Army, which was not even plausible.  The reverse was the case, and this is exactly what has happened with the integrated section (about 6,000) of the PLA that did not slowly leave the cantonments over the years or accept cash/retraining payments, who have been or are preparing to be consumed and digested by the NA.  Unfortunately, the unclarity on this issue led even Kiran and his allies in the newly-formed Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist to upheld integration until relatively recently.]
Vol – XLVII No. 38, September 22, 2012

With so many unfulfilled aspirations, the recent divide in the Maoist party in Nepal is depressing.

Tremendous hope coupled with so many unfulfilled aspirations had drawn the Nepali people to the Maoists, but their dreams now seem to be in the process of being prematurely shattered. Washington’s decision on 6 September to remove the Maoist party from its list of “terrorist organisations” had been on the anvil for the last two years, and it came just when the party seems no longer in a position to upset the status quo any further. The “two-line struggle”, underway within the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN(M)], reached a point earlier this year when the party’s central committee reconciled itself to the reality of “one party with two lines” and it was only a matter of time when the faction led by the party’s erstwhile vice-chairperson Mohan Baidya “Kiran” would form a new party, which it did on 19 June. The new Maoist party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [CPN(M)], hopes to rekindle the aspiration of a people’s democracy – a democracy that takes into account the interests of the workers, the poor peasants, the oppressed nationalities and ethnic groups, women and dalits.

Expectations had run high ever since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of November 2006 and when the Maoist party emerged as the largest constituent in the April 2008 Constituent Assembly elections – mainly about integration of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the Nepal Army (NA) and the making of a people’s democratic, federal, republican constitution. Regarding the former, the prospect was of the integration of the PLA combatants with the chain of command intact, thus leading to “democratisation” in the leadership and structure of the NA. The combatants of the PLA had, after all, significantly contributed to the creation of the secular democratic republic that Nepal is today. The commanders should therefore have been treated on par with their counterparts in the NA, so also the soldiers; they should have been automatically absorbed into the NA without any process of selection. Was not integration supposed to have been a merger of the two armies? What has actually transpired is an insult to the dignity of the PLA’s commanders and other combatants. Indeed, it should not have surprised anyone that the 12 April 2012 military takeover of the PLA cantonments along with their weapons was the last straw for the veterans of people’s war period (1996-2006).

What of the promise of a people’s democratic, federal, republican constitution? To deal with this question politically, one needs to go back to the 2005 Chunbang meeting of the central committee of the Maoist party where a decision was taken to strive for a “democratic republic” in the immediate term. This was a significant tactical shift, a turning point as it soon became evident, but at that time it was merely seen as a transitional tactic in the path towards a people’s democratic republic. The 12-point agreement of 22 November 2005 with the seven parliamentary parties followed from this. From thereon to the 8-point agreement of 16 June 2006, the CPA, and the 18 June 2008 deal, all of which, taken together obliged the Maoist party to conclude the armed struggle and ultimately disarm. Its logic made them join the bandwagon of competitive multiparty politics, dissolve the people’s governments and the people’s courts that had been formed in the countryside and integrate the combatants of the PLA with the NA. From this followed the return of property, including land, of the landlords that had been confiscated as part of the radical land reform programme. In effect, the Maoists gave up the people’s war and the struggle for new democracy.

The UCPN(M) has thus become no more than a reformist left party. The tactical shift made at Chunbang in 2005, it was argued by its proponents in the Maoist party, would enable the creation of a strong revolutionary base in the cities, which would then make possible mass insurrection to seize political power at the centre. But without the PLA, the base areas, the people’s governments in the countryside, that is only a daydream now. Continue reading

Nepal: Bhattarai and Dahal declare end to internal factional struggle in UCPN(M)

[Over the last six years (since the abandonment of the People’s War) the CPN(M) merged with several revisionist and electoral parties, and so the composition of the membership was changed.  It changed its name to UCPN(M), and a prolonged line struggle ensued, between veteran revolutionary Maoist cadres and the old members and new recruits who were adhering to the electoral and constitutional road which Party Chairman Prachanda and Prime Minister Bhatterai were  leading.  The opposition to the ‘peaceful road’ — which continues to advocate for the revolutionary People’s War (details now unclear and undefined) — has left the UCPN(M) and formed the new Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist.  Those remaining with Prachanda and Bhattarai in the UCPN(M) have declared the internal struggle over, and that factions will no longer be permitted. — Frontlines ed.]

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Plenum’ll end factionalism in UCPN (Maoist): Bhattarai

Ekantipur Report

KATHMANDU, JUL 11 -

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is also a UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman, on Tuesday said that the party’s plenum beginning July 16 will end factional politics in his party.

Speaking at a programme in the Capital, Bhattarai said there was no need for factional politics in the party. “Factions were formed in the party as history demanded. Now such politics is irrelevant,” said Bhattarai.

Bhattarai’s statement comes a day after party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal presented a political document to the party’s politburo, proposing an end to all factions within the party.

Even with the defection of the Mohan Baidya faction, there still remain three visible factions within the UCPN (Maoist)—one led by Dahal and the other two led by Bhattarai and another Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

Bhattarai also said that he shares a cordial relationship with Dahal and that media reports about a rift between them were untrue. The prime minister added that in the party’s history there has been more reconciliation than dispute with Dahal.

“The party will move ahead only if Prachanda and Bhattarai come together,” he added.

Posted on: 2012-07-11 08:34

Nepal: Maoist factions agree to embrace (at arms’ length) for 60 days

by Bhola Rana, in Nepal Today

MAOISTS TO REMAIN ‘UNITED’ AT LEAST UNTIL END OF MAY
Kathmandu, 29 March: – Despite sharp ideological and political differences, UCPN (Maoist) will remain united at least till May 27 as an informal meeting of the Central Committee members of establishment faction on Wednesday recognised the parallel functioning of party’s hard-line faction led by party’s Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
Though the establishment faction led by party’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was all set to hold an official CC meeting, they held only the informal meeting in the request of Baidya faction and unveiled a separate policy and programme to “create an appropriate environment to conclude peace and constitution writing processes”.
The meeting also decided to organise a separate programme to mark party establishment day on April and a grand mass meeting on May 1 in Kathmandu for peace, constitution and labour rights. The meeting also decided to declare a union of those disqualified combatants and who opted for volunteer retirement and to initiate a campaign for peace and constitution within the deadline.
The hardliners few days ago had unveiled their own policies and programmes highlighting the need of revolt to ensure people’s constitution.
With this, the rival factions will function separately with their respective policies and programmes. The establishment faction led by Dahal and Bhattarai will work for peace and constitution while hard-liners will make preparations for possible revolt. Continue reading