Nepal: ‘If bourgeois state does not deliver democracy …. we will take up arms’

[While the split in the revisionist-bourgeois UCPN(M) and the formation (re-formation) of the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist has been the focus of high hopes among revolutionary Maoists internationally, the consolidation of the CPN-M has also been a subject of conflicting views and an emerging debate about how complete the split with revisionism has really been. 

Aspects of the emerging line have not yet been spelled out completely, but some signs of an ongoing and developing struggle over political line have been on the surface of public events.  These struggles are further expressed in former liberated (by the People’s War) base areas, among former PLA fighters, and among others who have shown dismay at the urban-centric work plans and diplomatic ties with Chinese, Korean, and Indian post-Mao revisionists.  While these issues will be watched, and debated, by Nepalis and by internationalists who continue to raise the revolutionary road, the danger of a consolidated “centrism” and of uneasy and unprincipled “reconciliation” of revisionist and revolutionary lines is present.  The following article may, or may not, be indicative of this centrism.  The response of others who are undoubtedly advocating a Leninist and Maoist understanding of the class nature of the state, is not yet being reported.  We anxiously await further developments, and hope this new party will be a far more receptive (and productive) place for this struggle than the UCPN(M) in the revisionist hands of Prachanda and Bhattarai has been. — Frontlines ed.]

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“Maoists will take up arms” if…. : Baidya

13890KATHMANDU, Jan 17: The CPN-Maoist on Wednesday warned that the party will take up arms if the state power cannot assure the rights of the people. Speaking at a press meet organized here by the party following the conclusion Tuesday of its seventh general convention, the CPN-Maoist also informed that the time for the revolt will be determined by the political situation.

“Give rights to the people. It the people get their rights, who will take up arms? Nobody. Why is the state conspiring instead of assuring people their rights in accordance with previous agreements and assurances. If rights are not given to people, it is sure that arms will be taken up,” answered Mohan Baidya, newly elected chairman of the CPN-Maoist, when asked about the reason for people´s revolt.

“As far as the date for launching a revolt is concerned, it is not a matter to be announced at present. It will rather be determined by the circumstances. Asked when they would launch their revolt, Baidya said, “We will launch the people´s revolt or people´s war as and when circumstances compel us because no one takes up arms just on the basis of the whim or interests of certain leaders”. “Arms will be taken up by any other force also when the situation so demands, even if we ourselves drop the idea.” Continue reading

Nepal’s CPN-Maoist Party Chairman declares: ‘No reviving people’s govt, people’s courts, army’

REPUBLICA, 18 January 2013
The newly-formed CPN-Maoist party has recently convened its seventh general convention which decided on ´people´s revolt´ as the party´s political line. The convention also elected a 51-member central committee under the chairmanship of Mohan Baidya. 
Republica´s Kiran Pun spoke with Baidya. Excerpts:

You have been elected party head again after 28 years. How do you feel –is there something new or difference, as you have been elected both times during critical periods?

I was elected a central committee member at four general conventions and I was elected party general secretary at the fifth national congress in 2041.
So, I no longer feel any desire for assuming the main leadership post.

I now see very high hills of challenge, challenge for the people and the country. The question is how to move forward facing these negative and positive challenges.

I am now in such a place where both renown as a revolutionary as well ill fame are possible. And I remember a quote from Comrade Mao, that people can fall very far down after reaching very high.

I can go on facing the challenges if I get the help of party cadres and the people. The question is how can I accommodate the line of the masses and the interests of the people.


[Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist Party Chairman Mohan Baidya (Photo: Chandra Shekar Karki)]

Although you were elected both times in very critical circumstances do you feel any difference between the two occasions?

I have always been for the idealist way of revolution. I thought Prachand was also for this. I had thought that I would not again assume the main leadership of the party after the arrival of Prachand in the party´s main leadership. I came into the main leadership unexpectedly. But this was natural, as such things can happen if necessary.

Is it easier to be a leader or to make a leader?

Both are complex.

In the sense that you made Prachand the main leader…

It is a very difficult thing to understand human beings. Prachand was not such a person and how he has changed. We do not know how human beings change. It is a very difficult thing.

You also mentioned that it was a mistake to hand over leadership to Prachand. Why?

I left the leadership over the Sector scandal. Dahal also made a mistake. The incident happened in 2043 Bikram Era but I left in 2046. Comrades raised questions in 2046 asking whose mistake it was. I would just say that it was not my personal mistake and it was a mistake to leave the leadership over this scandal. [Ed. note: 2043 Bikram Era = 1996 CE, and 2046 Bikram Era = 1999 CE]

UCPN (Maoist) leaders say that there is in the main no difference between the two Maoist parties. After the general convention, would you say there are differences?

There are various differences. We follow the new democratic revolution but they have left that path. We talk about national sovereignty but they have abandoned it. We have been saying the constitution should assure the rights of women, dalits and ethnic groups. But they have abandoned that also. UCPN (Maoist) is converting itself into a party of the elite classes but we are trying to make ours a party of the proletariat.

These are the main differences. You can see it in the political documents. Continue reading

Nepal: ‘Disqualified’ PLA combatants lay siege to UCPN-M headquarters

[Revolutionary soldiers of the now-disbanded–(mission not accomplished)– People’s Liberation Army, continue to loudly refuse to quietly go away and disappear. — Frontlines ed.]

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HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

Say they will stay put until party addresses their woes

KATHMANDU, 29 November 2012: Hundreds of ‘disqualified’ PLA fighters have been laying siege to Unified CPN-Maoist headquarters in Paris Danda, Koteshwor, since yesterday, demanding that the party address their concerns at the earliest. Security personnel in huge numbers have been deployed to avert any confrontation and damage to the party office.

The ‘disqualified’ fighters, who prefer to call themselves ‘unverified’, today claimed that they have taken the party headquarters under their control. Lenin Bista, who is leading the ‘disqualified’ fighters, said the combatants were ‘not verified in a proper way’ and that they were forced to leave cantonments with only bus fares in their pockets.

The move is the latest one in their series of protests the disqualified fighters have organised in the past. They said the party turned a blind eye to their plight and concerns despite their pressure campaigns several times.

UCPN-M Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai-led government, after several rounds of talks with them, had decided to allocate Rs 600 million in order to give Rs 2 lakh to each of the disqualified fighters. The move was challenged in the Supreme Court and the court in the first week of November issued a stay order, forcing the government to hold back.

Bista claimed that as many as 200 former combatants have been staying put outside the party headquarters while some 150 are on the office premises (inside the gate). The fighters had yesterday padlocked the party office but unlocked it at 3:00pm today following a mutual understanding with party leadership. “We have pitched tents outside the headquarters and surviving on beaten rice and dalmoth (a ready made snack made of golden gram or red lentils). This is the survival technique the party taught us during the time of war,” said Bista. Continue reading

Update: Nepal’s Buddha-“Disneyland” project amid regional contention of India and China

[The revolutionary people of Nepal are once again being set aside as capitalist interests in China and India compete for control of tourism in Nepal, and former revolutionary leader Prachanda reaches for the most lucrative strings of comprador puppetry to hang from. — Frontlines ed.]

Nepal’s Prachanda wants India in on development of Buddha’s birthplace

“Nepal, China and India should come together and form a strategic partnership” through $3 billion tourism initiative, says Maoist leader.
, Global Post, November 9, 2012
 
Buddha birthplace
[Boudhanath, one of the world’s largest stupas, is shown illuminated on the occasion of the 2547th Buddha Jayanti, or Buddha’s birthday, May 16 in Lumbini, Nepal. Stupas are dome-shaped structures that serve as a Buddhist shrines. The village of Lumpini is known to the world’s Buddhists as the Buddha’s birthplace. (Paula Bronstein/AFP/Getty Images)]

Days after reviving a controversial project to develop Buddha’s birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal, with the aid of a China-backed non-profit organization, the former leader of Nepal’s Maoist rebellion has invited India, too, to join in creating what some have derided as “Disneyland for Buddhists.” Continue reading

Nepal: CPN-Maoist on the struggle vs comprador capitalists, Indian expansionism, and US / multipolar imperialist system

 CPN-Maoist names new principal enemy

 by KIRAN PUN, MYREPUBLICA.COM

Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya

KATHMANDU, Nov 1: In a major policy shift, the CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the UCPN (Maoist), has named a combination of political, bureaucratic and ´comprador´ capitalist elements ´protected and guided by Indian expansionists´ as its principal enemy.

According to a political document presented at its central committee meeting by party Chairman Mohan Baidya this past week, the main contemporary contradiction of the Nepali people is with compradors, bureaucrats and capitalists guided and protected by Indian expansionists.

The newly-formed Maoist party also said that a significant change in the political and social situation seen during the past two years had compelled the party to redefine its principal enemy.

Defining of a principal enemy in a communist party´s official document carries special significance because all the activities of such a party are designed and executed to defeat the “principal enemy”.

According to commentators, this latest process of redefinition floated by the CPN-Maoist demonstrates a major shift from a policy adopted two years back when the UCPN (Maoist) party was united. The party had then defined Indian expansionists blended with domestic reactionary forces as the party´s principal enemy.

Further explaining the nature of the presence of the principal enemy in different state organs, the CPN-Maoist said that a section of all major political parties including the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and Madhes-based parties are protected and guided by Indian expansionists. Continue reading

Prachanda’s Path toward a Buddhist-APEC “Himalayan Switzerland”

[Several years ago, revolutionary leader Prachanda reversed course, and led the Maoist party to abandon the People’s War which had for years advanced the people’s struggle for liberation from semi-feudal, semi-colonial bondage. With this, and the adoption of a bourgeois republican road to power, a prosperous future “Himalayan Switzerland” was promised.   Only a month ago, Nepal’s now-former revolutionary leader announced a program of “people’s war tourism” (see “Nepal: After dismantling the revolutionary struggle, Prachanda turns People’s War into Tourist attraction” at https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/nepal-after-dismantling-the-revolutionary-struggle-prachanda-turns-peoples-war-into-tourist-attraction/).  And now, in partnership with China and APEC, Buddhist tourism will be another step in this Swiss dream…..Meanwhile, the revolutionary people throughout Nepal are re-organizing the struggle against the still-present, still-oppressive semi-feudal, semi-colonial system. — Frontlines ed.]

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Nepal’s Prachanda inks Lumbini deal with Chinese NGO: Report

Maoist leader Prachanda signs $3 billion deal to develop Buddha’s birthplace with China’s Asia Pacific Exchange Cooperation Foundation
, November 8, 2012
151844441

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (R), also known as ‘Prachanda’ pays respects to controversial politician Ramraja Prasad Singh in Kathmandu on September 12, 2012. (Prakash MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the former military commander of rebel Maoist forces in Nepal and now the chairman of the Unified Communist Party, has reportedly inked a deal with the China-backed Asia Pacific Exchange Cooperation Foundation that will bring in $3 billion to develop Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini into a “world-class city attracting tourists and pilgrims from across the world.”

According to the Indian Express, the agreement was signed by Linus Xiao Wunan, executive vice chairman of the APEC Foundation and Prachanda in his capacity as chairman of Nepal’s steering committee. But members of Nepal’s other political parties challenged his right to sign the deal unilaterally. Continue reading

Nepal: CPN-M’s direct challenge to PM Bhattarai’s hydroelectric deal with India

[See the two articles, below. — Frontlines ed.]

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Telegraph Nepal, Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nepal PM Bhattari’s India Utility: Until Koshi High Dam?

The World Bank (WB) is providing loan for the construction of high-dam to India….The research carried out by the Indian government in 1981 had proposed the construction of a 269m tall dam in the Koshi river. The current project is based on that proposal.

Three days after Chairman Mohan Baidya Kiran led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist declared in Kathmandu that their immediate objective is to save the country from India’s direct intervention in Nepal’s hydro power resources, some three hundred cadres of the party reached the proposed construction site of Sapta-Koshi Multipurpose High Dam, November 3, 2012.

The NCP-Maoist has been claiming that the project is not in the interest of Nepal and Nepali people.

The Party’s newly formed Youth wing called ‘National Youth Volunteers’ (NYV) had organized the protest program.

The Maoists have been claiming that some 84 VDCs of Saptari, Sunsari, Udayapur, Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha and Panchthar would be directly affected by the project.

To recall, Indian minister for Water Resources Pawan Kumar Banshal had forwarded the proposal for the construction of the project in Kathmandu, July 12, 2009.

As per the Indian proposal, the construction of a 269-metre high dam on the Sapta Koshi River at about 400 meters upstream from the Barah Chhetra Temple shall be carried out to generate around 300 MW of electricity and irrigating thousands of hectares of lands. Continue reading

Nepal: Prachanda’s combatants embittered and educated by his trail of betrayal

 The ultimate deception

KIRAN PU, MyRepublica, October 14, 2012

DISTRESS IN PLA

With the dissolution of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA), many people thought Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had successfully tackled the most complex issue of the peace process and led the party to the political mainstream. Last April, he deployed the Nepal Army to disband the PLA in a humiliating manner and accepted the recruitment of a few hundred combatants into the army as a face-saver. With that move, he sufficiently addressed the criteria set by the international and domestic actors to become a “civilian party”, and allayed the widespread fears of the Maoist design to capture state power through violent means.

The question, however, is: Has Dahal been relieved of his responsibilities to the combatants who sacrificed themselves for his political career? If Dahal believes he has left his past behind and can disassociate himself from all that, he is naive.

A cunning politician, Dahal realized the limitation of the protracted ‘people’s war’ leading to a state capture, and began to look for alternatives to ascend to power. The failure of the second Khara attack (2002) was a turning point for the Maoist party. It was a massive offensive on the Nepal Army base camp and Dahal himself, for the first time, had observed it from a nearby village. Unfortunately, his first direct command of a military attack also became his last one. The abortive attempt on the army dented his confidence and ‘forced’ him to jettison his revolutionary zeal altogether. He began to look for other ways to ensure his party’s entry into mainstream parliamentary politics. Thus, the PLA, which had been the backbone of the party, became redundant.

It is not that the combatants were unfamiliar with the political dishonesty of Dahal, but they were just helpless. Their request to not be used as bargaining chips for power only fell on deaf ears. And finally, the seven-point deal (between the four main political forces on Nov.2, 2011 on integration) made it clear to the combatants that they had been duped into the war not for revolution, but to advance Dahal’s political career. Continue reading

Nepal: Maoists to form youth groups at grass roots

KATHMANDU, Oct 12: National Youth People´s Volunteer (NYPV), the youth wing of the CPN-Maoist, has decided to form teams of youths in every village and city across the country and also mobilize such teams in all sectors, such as education and industry, to stop cultural and economic irregularities.

Winding up its first national convention in the capital on Friday, NYPV also decided to mobilize youths in entities like cooperatives and collective farms, and for development activities and the campaign of national sovereignty. “We will fight against all social injustice and expose all corrupt officials,” said Udaya Bahadur Chalaune, newly elected NYPV chairman.

People from the former People´s Liberation Army (PLA) and former Young Communist League (YCL) are involved in the NYPV. Chalanue was a PLA third division vice-commander. Yubaraj Acharya and Sabitra Dura were elected vice-chairpersons of the 95-member NYPV central committee while Nep Bahadur Chaudhari is general secretary and Prakash Khanal and Bishnu Maharjan are secretaries.

http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=43468 Continue reading

Nepal protest of Army war criminal’s promotion–Maoists and human rights activists attacked, injured and arrested

Police charging baton on a man, who was protesting a recent government decision to promote army officer Raju Basnet, in front of the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, on Tuesday.  Basnet has been investigated and accused of systematic enforced disappearances and having personally committed acts of torture at Bhairabnath Battalion headquarters in Kathmandu in 2003.

Nepal: 12 Maoist cadres injured during anti-govt protest

Kathmandu, Tuesday, October 09, 2012: At least 12 cadres from a breakaway faction of Nepal’s ruling Maoists were injured in a clash with police outside Premier Baburam Bhattarai’s residence Tuesday when they were protesting against the government’s decision to promote a Colonel accused of human rights violations.

The protesters belonging to hardline leader Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist party were demonstrating against last week’s Cabinet decision to promote Colonel Raju Basnet, who is accused of involvement in conflict-era torture, to the post of Brigadier General.

Basnet was in charge of Bhairathnath Battalion of Nepal Army, which was allegedly responsible for disappearance and torture of 49 Maoist cadres during the conflict period.

The CPN-Maoist cadres were baton charged by police when they were staging a sit-in in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar. At least 12 of them were injured, local media reported.

Meanwhile, the United Society of Family of Disappeared submitted a memorandum to Bhattarai against Basnet’s promotion. The government has come under attack from almost all quarters over its controversial move to promote Col Basnet. International human rights watchdogs have also voiced their concern over the government’s decision.  PTI

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Govt cracks down on protest against Basnet’s promotion

2012-10-07

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: The government today cracked down on various civil society members and victims who were staging a sit-in protest against the promotion of Colonel Raju Basnet. At least 13 protesters were arrested in Baluwatar.

A Cabinet meeting had promoted Basnet — who was accused of committing crime against humanity by enforcing the disappearance of 49 Maoist youth from Bhairavnath Battalion during the conflict — to brigadier general last Thursday. Continue reading

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

Maoist diktat says no Hindi Films in Nepal

Nepali cinema
Maoist leaders allege that Hindi movies create hatred against Nepal.

India Today:   Lucknow, October 3, 2012

The Maoists have succeeded in preventing the supply of Bollywood films to Nepal after blocking all traffic via Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh. As a result, there is no cinema hall in Nepal showing a Hindi film at present.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a radical faction of the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by Mohan Kiran Vaidya had threatened last week that supporters would attack cinema halls if they continued screening Hindi films.

Simultaneously, several Maoist groups owing allegiance to Vaidya established their camps in Nepal’s border area of Bhairahwan near Nautanwa in Maharajganj on the UP side and stopped all vehicles from plying between the two countries.

Vaidya had alleged that Hindi movies created hatred against Nepal. “They show Nepalis as servants only and portray us in bad light,” he said.

Raj Kumar Rai, president of Nepal Film Producers Association, was quoted as saying that cinema halls across Nepal will incur a loss of several crores. “Since most of the people go to cinema halls to see Hindi movies, they are now deprived of entertainment here. But since there was also a demand to encourage Nepali films, we have decided to agree to them and asked the cinema hall owners to show only Nepali films for 10 days,” he said. Continue reading

Nepal: After dismantling the revolutionary struggle, Prachanda turns People’s War into Tourist attraction

3 October 2012

BBC: “Nepal ‘Maoist’ leader Prachanda opens ‘guerrilla trail'”

Cover of the Guerrilla Trek guide book Prachanda hopes the trek will give tourists an insight into the insurgency

Former Nepalese Maoist insurgency leader Prachanda has launched a new tourist trail and guide book, giving walkers the chance to see routes and hideouts used by the guerrillas.

The trek – which lasts up to four weeks – stretches across several districts of central and western Nepal.

The aim is to attract more tourists to the impoverished Himalayan nation.

About 16,000 people died in the 10-year war, before a 2006 peace deal and elections won by the Maoists in 2008.

The civil war culminated in the king relinquishing his absolute powers and being forced to give up his throne in June of that year.

Prachanda derived his inspiration from Peru’s Shining Path rebels and dreamt of setting up a communist republic to address the plight of the rural poor and bring an end to Nepal’s ceaseless political bickering.

The former agriculture student and teacher went on to be prime minister of his country from 18 August 2008 to 25 May 2009. He remains chairman of the main “Maoist” (sic) party in Nepal. Continue reading

Nepal: former Liberation fighters’ disappointing prospects in Nepal Army integration

[Years after the abandonment of the revolutionary people’s war, in exchange for false promises, the illusory “gains” have proven empty and are losing their remaining adherents. — Frontlines ed.]

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The Kathmandu Post:  “993 combatants choose integration in 3 days”

KATHMANDU, SEP 08 – Altogether 993 former Maoist combatants have filled up forms for integration in the seven main cantonments by Saturday. The selection process began on Thursday.
Many of the 3,123 ex-fighters, who were initially waiting for integration, have complained that the age criteria set by the Special Committee forced them to change their priority. The Special Committee has said only those combatants who were born before May 24, 1988 are eligible to opt for integration.
So far, 202 ex-combatants, including 12 females, have filled up integration forms at the Third Division based in Chitwan. Similarly, 171 have expressed desire to go for integration at the Fourth Division, Nawalparasi; 234 at the Sixth Division, Surkhet; 106 at the Fifth Division Rolpa; 99 at the Seventh Division, Kailali; 82 at the First Division, Ilam and 99 at the Second Division, Sindhuli, according to the Directorate of Public Relations of the Nepal Army. The former fighters willing to join in lower ranks can fill up integration forms until September 30 and the result will be announced on October 7, according to the Special Committee Secretariat. The selection for commanders eyeing the officer ranks in the Nepal Army will start on September 12 in Chitwan. 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