“Aid” and the Political Scramble: India vs China in the Nepal Disaster-Capitalist Rush

[Frontlines:  Defensive about the appearance of an “aid” scramble in Nepal for power, influence and control, former Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Zhang Chunxiang said, “We do not have competition with India and other countries. There is no competition in humanitarian assistance.” But, not to miss an opportunity….]

“In post-quake aid rush, Nepal neighbors jockey for position”

Nepalese volunteers unload relief material brought in an Indian air force helicopter for victims of Saturday’s earthquake at Trishuli Bazar in Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. Wedged between the two rising Asian powers of China and India, landlocked Nepal saw rescuers and offers of help pour from both sides within hours of its massive earthquake. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Nepalese volunteers unload relief material brought in an Indian air force helicopter for victims of Saturday’s earthquake at Trishuli Bazar in Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015.  (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) The Associated Press

Wedged between the two rising Asian powers of China and India, landlocked Nepal watched rescuers and offers of help pour in from both sides within hours of an earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people.

India, the traditional power in the region, launched Operation Friendship soon after the quake Saturday. It has sent the most help so far, deploying 13 aircraft and more than 500 rescuers as well as water, food, equipment and medical supplies.

China, increasingly making inroads in Nepal through everything from infrastructure investment to increased tourism, also pledged all-out assistance within hours of the disaster. It has sent 62 rescuers plus blankets, tents and generators and announced plans to send four planes and an additional 170 soldiers.

India’s rival, Pakistan, also has sent four cargo planes full of supplies, including concrete cutters and sniffer dogs.

The largesse of recent days is a microcosm of something much larger. It represents a subtle brand of disaster politics, a curious but understandable focus on strategically located Nepal, one of the poorest nations in its region but — clearly — a pocket of regional importance for powerful neighbors jockeying for position.

Continue reading

Nepal: The Strange Bedfellows of Nationalist Politics

[The following three articles, from the Nepali bourgeois press, describe new twists and turns in the politics of the former kingdom and nascent republic.  The announcement of the move by the leadership of the CPN(M) may have some relation to Baidya’s recent trip to capitalist-imperialist China (countering the UCPN(M)’s embrace of relations with the aggressive-yet-comprador Indian  bourgeoisie). 

And the move also reflects the ongoing urban orientation of the CPN(M).  The masses of peasantry in the countryside will undoubtedly view this with dismay, as a further CPN(M) downgrading of the struggle against feudal relations–a struggle which has been repeatedly downgraded, marginalized, neglected and suppressed since the end of the People’s War seven years ago.  

On the other hand, there are feudal forces (landlords) who have indicated their love of this shift. 

And Baburam Bhattarai, speaking for the revisionist-cum-bourgeois “republicanism,” jumped on it immediately, condemning the “collaboration” of Baidya and Biplav with the king. (see the third article, below). 

With this, what has been characterized as the struggle of a revolutionary CPN(M) vs. a revisionist and neo-comprador UCPN(M) begins to reflect two competing forms of nationalism, one aligned with China, the other with India. 

This turn poses a significant challenge to genuine revolutionaries in Nepal, and to all who support the revolutionary struggle in the Himalayas: May the revolutionary peasantry, youth and former PLA fighters keep their independence and revolutionary mass orientation!   —   Frontlines ed.]

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Business Standard:  “Nepal: CPN-Maoist may join ex-king to protect ‘nationalism'”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of Nepal‘s Unified CPN-Maoist, today said that it could join hands with former monarch King Gyanendra for the sake of protecting “nationalism”.

CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Vaidya said that there could also be collaboration with the former king, “who carries true feelings of nationalism”.

66-year-old Gyanendra’s reign ended in 2008 when the Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a republic and abolished the monarchy.

At a function in Nuwakot district, Vaidya also said that there was no alternative to the formation of a greater front with all the nationalist forces including the former king on this issue. Continue reading

Nepal: Landless peasants and Maoists (CPN-M) struggle for land, against landlord in government

[This struggle for land has been ongoing for years.  Since the abandonment of the People’s War by the UCPN-M, Maoist defenders of the peasant land seizures have continued to hold and seize the lands of feudal landlords.  See the two articles on recent actions, followed by news of an earlier (2011) confrontation in Bardiya. — Frontlines ed.]

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Baidya cadres seize Regmi land

KAMAL PANTHI , The Kathmandu Post

BARDIYA, APR 03 – Workers of the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist have captured around 6.7 hectares of land belonging to Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi in Khairichandanpur VDC-7 in the district.
Around 25 Maoist activists led by district secretary Drabya Shah announced the seizure by hoisting the party’s flags on the land on Tuesday night. They shouted anti-government slogans and demanded Regmi’s resignation. The party claimed it captured around 23 hectares of the land belonging to the Regmi family. Shah said they captured the property as per the party’s policy.
Chief District Officer Dhruba Raj Joshi said the land was registered in the name of Regmi’s wife Shanta.
Police reached the site on Wednesday morning and removed the flags from the land. Continue reading

Indian reactionaries have high hopes for Nepali revisionists, but not sure they will last

[Nepal’s UCPN(M), led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai, has now consolidated their abandonment and renunciation of the Nepali revolution and People’s War, in a Convention which declared their adoption of capitalism.  Recently, revolutionary activists have broken with the UCPN(M) and its capitalist road, and re-established the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which in ITS recent re-founding meeting struggled over how to re-set the Nepali revolutionary course — amid sharpening differences between advocates of re-starting People’s War in the countryside, and those who advocate peoples revolts (protest demonstrations and, possibly, strategic urban insurrections at some time in the future).  The “people’s (reform and) revolt” line prevailed over the “people’s (revolutionary) war” line at the recent meeting, but the struggle between these lines continues.  The Indian reactionaries’ views, reported below, are assessing the prospects of UCPN(M)’s capitalist consolidation. — Frontlines ed.]

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India’s Nepal hands watch Maoist shift

While some say the party’s change in the political line is positive, some argue that the change could hurt the party if it fails to clean internal issues like corruption and cadres’ problems

NEW DELHI, February 12, 2013–The change in the UCPN (Maoist) ’s political line, adopted during the party’s seventh General Convention in Hetauda, is being observed with great interest by neighbouring India .

Describing the change as a “huge and significant shift” in the party’s principles, India ’s Nepal hands claimed that the development would “undoubtedly have a positive impact on improving the New Delhi-Maoist relationship.”

The recently concluded jamboree of the largest Nepali political force endorsed Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s political document, which envisages embracing a ‘capitalist revolution’ by abandoning its previous line of ‘people’s revolution’. Continue reading

Nepal ex-Maoists declare “We will follow ‘the path of capitalism’ to achieve ‘communism'”

[Seven years after abandoning the revolutionary People’s War and dismantling the emerging liberation political powers in the countryside, and ending the revolutionary challenge to feudal and semi-feudal relations, and the People’s Liberation Army, the former Maoists led by Prachanda and Bhattarai are now shedding their “Maoist” cover.  A good number of purported revolutionaries who supported these revisionists soon after their abandonment of the revolutionary road–(some even called Prachanda and Bhattarai the “creative Maoists” of our time, and the leaders of 21st Century Communism)–will now be challenged to sum up their promotion of these anti-revolutionaries, and help those they may have influenced to understand how to avoid such retreats in the future.  The world of revolutionary Maoists will be watching.  We encourage our readers to comment on these developments.  Frontlines ed.]

Nepal Maoists to change ideology, hint at giving up anti-India stance”

Friday, Feb 1, 2013
 By Shirish B Pradhan | Place: Kathmandu | Agency: PTI
In a major policy shift, Nepal’s ruling Maoists will adopt a new path to socialism through capitalism and may also give up their anti-India stance at the upcoming national convention of the party.

Some 2,500 delegates of the ruling UCPN-Maoist will attend the six-day general convention, to take place after a gap of over 20 years, starting on Saturday in central Nepal’s Hetauda Municipality in an attempt to revamp the guerrilla group-turned-mainstream political party.

“We will follow ‘the path of capitalism’ to achieve communism instead of pursuing ‘New Democracy’ as propounded by chairman Mao Zedong,” said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, vice-chairman of UCPN-Maoist and deputy prime minister. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia to hire 100,000 Nepali migrants in next 4 months

Himalayan News Service, November 29, 2010

Nepali workers in demand

KATHMANDU: Nepalis joining overseas jobs may rise in 2011 following the increased demand from destination countries. “Current demand trend shows there will be a sudden boost early next year,” said Manohar Khanal, director at the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) that has been issuing around 1,000 prior approvals a day.

According to the department, prior approvals have increased from 23,512 in Asoj (mid-September to mid-October) to 30,902 in Kartik (mid-October to mid-November).

Saudi government’s decision to hire 100,000 Nepali workers in next four months will also boost up Nepali migration to overseas jobs. Continue reading

Al-Jazeera: Nepali migrant workers feel pain of economic downturnd

Foreign workers are bearing the brunt of the current economic downturn – they’re often the first to lose their jobs. With migrant workers sending home remittances of almost 400 billion dollars last year the subsequent loss of income could be devastating for many.

There are 2 and a half million Nepalis working overseas and the money they send home is the country’s biggest source of foreign exchange.

Al Jazeera’a Subina Shrestha reports in October 2009 from Nepal where migrant workers are beginning to return home.

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[Below is an excerpt from a report by the Deputy Manager of Nepal Bank Limited.  It a useful source of facts on the hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants who are driven by oppressive economic and social conditions in Nepal to migrate to India and other countries in the Middle East and Asia;  the important role that remittances from these overseas workers play in propping up the Nepali economy and state; and the 60,000 Nepali troops that are part of the Indian Army.–Frontlines ed] Continue reading