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: Kiran reiterates, ‘no hope for parliamentary system’

Telegraph Nepal, Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nepal: NCP-Maoist is not follower of parliamentary system

Nepal--KiranMohan Baidya-Kiran (Pokhrel)–Chairman, NCP-Maoists, Nepal

TG — Q1: Paradoxically as it seems that your party, the NCP-Maoists has been voicing for the demand of a new government whereas the parliamentary parties too have been making similar claims. Tell us that isn’t the entire talks emanating from various parties were revolving around formation of a new government? The talks appear to have centered on the periphery of the government only?

Baidya:  It can be interpreted in two ways. The first one is apparently centered on having a government only for the sake of government by replacing the incumbent one. The second one is that when we demand a new government then it has some theoretical and ideological premise. What we feel is that if a new government is formed under the command of the revolutionaries then something substantial could be done for the country. This is our theoretical base on which our demand stands.  But yet what we have begun observing of late is that things are becoming more and more grave. Even if we conduct yet another poll for the Constituent Assembly, we feel that such a body could not provide the nation with a new constitution.  At this juncture and with the prevailing situation, what is for sure is that we see no chances of the formation of a government under the command of the revolutionaries.  This is what I am talking on practical terms. The State authority is the same old one. More over the bureaucracy too remains the same. So when everything are old in place then whatever comes to the surface will be nothing more than a goiter in the neck. What we wish to stress here is that if you in all earnest desire to transform the nation then the NC, the UML and even Bhattarai’s continued presence in government will have no impact or whatsoever. The problems will remain as it is. That is why we prefer the formation of such a government which is revolutionary in nature and be commanded by the revolutionaries. Continue reading

Nepal: CPN Maoist says a new war has begun

A march in Kathmandu of the CPN-Maoist’s National People’s Volunteers, on October 10, 2012

by Shreedeep Rayamajhi    October 10, 2012
Kathmandu, Nepal October 10, 2012: Making their way to the streets for the first general convention of the party’s National People’s Volunteer, the Mohan Baidhya led fraction of the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist  announced the party military wing  to be formed soon here at Basantapur Kathmandu on Wednesday. The announcement was made by Chairman Mohan Baidhya during the inauguration of the general convention of the party’s people’s volunteer bureau.

During the program the Netra Bikram Chand sectary of the fraction party said, “We are not here to be ignored, we will fight for our rights where we will not let the sacrifice of 16000 Nepalese go in vain. The current government and its leaders have forgotten their values. We declare a new war against that ideology which is corrupt and lack to understand people’s voices and sentiments.”

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

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: Chairman of new Maoist party, CPN-Maoist, details their situation, 19 June 2012

Comrade Kiran (Mohan Baidya) answered the questions raised by journalists during the press conference.

These questions and answers are from the press conference that was organized on the 19th of June 2012 by the newly formed Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which finally ruptured from the then Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) after a 2 day long National Convention held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Chairman of the newly formed CPN-M, Comrade Kiran (Mohan Baidya) answered the questions raised by journalists during the press conference. There is a minor edit for clarity.

The uncut-hour long audio of the press conference question and answer session can be found on the link http://soundcloud.com/ignitemagazine/cpn-maoist-first-press-meet-1 . Only useful to Nepali listeners.
Thanks to Comrade Pooja ( http://kalishakti.info ) for taking her time to make this speech available in English.
Q: – How do you justify the formation of the new party? How should general people understand this?
A: – Communist party is a party for the benefit of the proletariat and the people. In the case of Nepal, the aim of a communist party remains to move forward, raising the issues of safeguarding national sovereignty; people’s democracy and livelihood then ultimately leap towards socialism and communism. This is self-proven. In the process of attaining this aim we went through people’s war, and did considerable amount of work among and with the people. We built our base areas, practiced our newly formed people’s power but then conciliation took place amidst as we moved forward to build a new Nepal.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t compromise, we should but while compromising, the act of abandoning our entire basis (achievements) has happened. The act of slipping down from our mission and objectives has happened. The dream we carried was of a constitutional assembly but where is the constitution? How did the constituent assembly function? Talking about people’s livelihood, how has the corruption been mounting-up? That fact is clearer. In the process of making a constitution there was an agreement to move forward institutionalizing the rights of the working class, indigenous people, ethnic minorities, women & dalit; including the rights of all oppressed class, region and gender but ditching all these primary issues of constitutional thematic committees it is apparent that ex-chairman, Prachanda surrendered everything to Congress & UML by forming a dispute resolution sub-committee under the constitutional committee.
In the process of making a constitution the question of ethnic-identity-based federalism is extremely important. Our party takes the decision of an ethnic-identity-based federalism while in process of restructuring the state Prachanda & Baburam joined their necks together with Congress-UML and agreed up on eleven anonymous federal states. The situation was that they were forced to take their decision back, as we and all others in the constituent assembly carried-out a signature collection campaign against their decision. They have failed to institutionalize ethnic-identity, it is important for us to do it.  Continue reading