Nepal: UCPN(Maoist) proposes to integrate 10,000 of its 19,000 PLA members into the Nepal Army and security forces, and ‘rehabilitate’ the rest

PLA soldier being discharged from a UN-supervised camp and offered "rehabilitation"

Himalayan News Service, 2010-12-02

Integrate half of combatants: Maoists

Kathmandu: Unified CPN-Maoist revealed on Thursday that the party had proposed to the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants to integrate half of the total number of combatants living in the cantonments into different security forces.

Politburo member and deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Janardan Sharma said his party had proposed to integrate only half of the UNMIN-verified combatants and rehabilitate the remaining. He was addressing an interaction.

Frontlines comment:

While UCPN(M) Vice-Chairman Mohan Baidya and other leaders and rank-and-file members have opposed integrating PLA soldiers into the former royalist Nepal Army, Party Chairman Prachanda has been a vocal advocate of the integration plan. Now the UCPN(Maoist) has announced that it will send 10,000 of the 19,000 PLA members to join the 96,000 member US and Indian-backed Nepal Army and other security forces. This is the same Nepal Army  that committed tens of thousands of atrocities against civilians in a futile attempt to stop the advance of the revolutionary people’s war from 1996 to 2006.

The other security agencies mentioned include the National Armed Police Force, the Border Patrol and the Forest Security Force.  The remaining PLA men and women would be given a “rehabilitation” package that includes education and job training. A number of PLA members interviewed by journalists have stated that they don’t need to be “rehabilitated” and  want to continue the revolutionary struggle.

Thus, the People’s Liberation Army that liberated 80% of the Nepal countryside in 10 years of people’s war, inflicted repeated defeats on the Nepal Army and was going over to the strategic offensive, is to be split up and dispersed. This is the direct result of Prachanda’s political program of calling off the people’s war in order to become an electoral party implementing a peaceful, reformist path to “socialism”.

In order to put a “revolutionary” face on his political and military capitulation, Prachanda has stated that the PLA soldiers who join the Nepal Army will create a situation in which “the Nepal Army and police are going to be our real strength now, and we are going to introduce at least 10,000 of our combatants into the security outfits soon.”  Prachanda exhorted them to “be ready to capture state power.”  In reality, these revolutionary soldiers will soon be in the most difficult position they have ever been in since they were sent into the cantonments 4 years ago. They will be trying to survive in the barrack-lairs of the enemy.

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