Updated–Breaking News from Nepal: “Major Protests Against Disarming of People’s Army”

[Update: “We have just learned that the Prachanda and Bhattarai factions have announced that the will not step down from the moves to disarm the PLA. Not only will they hand over the keys, but they will also begin moving the countainers out of three of the cantonments. Kiran, Dev Gurung, and Biplab boycotted the meeting.”]

Kathmandu, September 2

By Eric Ribellarsi, Winter has Its End

One of many blockades throughout the country. Photo by Eric Rebillarsi

Today, the Kiran faction of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has launched a major protest program against the disarming of the People’s Liberation Army being led by Nepal’s new Prime Minister, Baburam Bhattarai. The Maoist rebels are demanding the immediate reversal of the decision to disarm People’s Liberation Army, a process which has already begun.

So far, this programme has included:

1. A nation-wide one hour blockade of major roads and intersection throughout the country. We have heard this took place at roughly 50 locations in Kathmandu, including Kalanki, the main road used for entrance into Kathmandu.

2. A boycott of major party meetings, including today’s Standing Committee meeting.

3. Torchlight marches throughout Kathmandu and in other cities throughout the entire country, beginning tonight at 6:00 PM.

We will keep you posted as we learn more.

We condemn liquidation of People’s Liberation Army: Full text of Comrade Mohan Baidhya’s Press Statement.

September 2nd, 2011, The Next Front

A leader of the revolutionary Maoists in Nepal, Comrade Baidhya

(The Next Front:  “The design and mission of Prachanda and Baburam, who had long been planning to disarm, dissolve and liquidate the People’s Army under various pretexts, have finally come to fruition. They have handed over the keys of the containers, in which weapons of the People’s Liberation Army have been locked, to the Army Integration Special Committee without the consent of party’s vice chairman Mohan Baidhya’Kiran’ and even without consultation with general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ who is the in-charge of the party’s army department. The keys of the containers have been handed over to the government against the spirit of the party’s official decision. This decision is a kind of design to liquidate the PLA. We, therefore, condemn this kind of capitulationism. Following is the statement issued on behalf of revolutionaries on this issue.”)

Our party has been committed to carrying the tasks of constitution writing and army integration to a meaningful conclusion in accordance with the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). We have made it clear that both of these responsibilities have to be accomplished simultaneously. There can be no divided opinion about the fact that army integration is an important part of the peace process.  It is known to all that we have been advancing the issue of army integration with consensus.

It is also clear that the meetings of our party held at different levels and on different occasions have taken the decision to integrate the army in a dignified manner. Despite the formal decision of the party to agree on the regrouping of the PLA members only after settling the issues concerning the modality of integration and rehabilitation package, the sudden and surprise decision to hand over the keys of the containers and weapons is against the decision of the party’s standing committee and central committee. This decision is a ploy to dissolve and liquidate the People’s Liberation Army by disarming it.  We strongly condemn this type of decision and also appeal to all concerned people and sectors to immediately terminate this suicidal decision.

Mohan Baidhya ‘ Kiran’

Vice Chairman

Unified Communist party of Nepal (Maoist)