Nepal: PLA commanders denounce “integration of armies” deal as surrender

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Republica:  “PM Defends Integration Model, PLA Labels It As Surrender”
KATHMANDU, Nov 8: Prime Minister and Chairman of Special Committee Baburam Bhattarai has refuted the allegation that the integration modality of the Maoist combatants as envisioned in the seven-point agreement was surrender and stressed that the proposed integration is necessary to complete the revolution.In a meeting with the top PLA commanders held at PM´s official residence at Baluwatar on Monday evening, Prime Minister Bhattarai tried his best to assure the former combatants that the integration model perfectly safeguarded core interests of the PLA and the Maoist party.

“The integration model agreed among the major political parties is not at all a surrender of the PLA, rather it has ensured a dignified integration of the PLA in all respects,” a Maoist commander who attended the meeting quoted prime Minister Bhattarai as saying.

During the meeting, commanders expressed dissatisfaction over the arrangements made in the seven-point agreement for integration without consulting them and labeled the deal as an attempt to delete the history of PLA.

“We were wondering what compelled the leadership to omit the history of the PLA,” Ram Lal Roka Magar, vice-commander of Fifth Division was quoted as saying.

Some of the commanders accused the leadership for trading the dreams of thousands of PLA combatants for power and also opposed the arrangement of releasing the rehabilitation package in two tranches.

Similarly, commanders also raised questions about the bar imposed on age, education and service period of PLA and argued that those criteria fixed for combatants made the integration model not as dignified as being claimed by the leadership.

According to a participant, Raj Bahadur Budha Magar, vice-commander of the Fifth Division dismissed PM´s justification of the deal and said the conditions for integration were discriminatory.

“Who authorized the leadership to decide PLA´s future without consulting us?” the participant quoted Magar as saying.

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