Nepal: As the People’s Liberation Army is disbanded, what happens to the warriors?

 [Now, in the last stage of disbanding the Nepalese People’s Liberation Army–five years after the Maoist party abandoned the revolutionary armed struggle and fighters were placed in demilitarized camps–the majority of these people’s warriors have been enticed to accept cash payments for “retirement”, while a minority are being brought into the reactionary Nepali army on an individual, de-politicized basis.  And nearly none have accepted the option of “rehabilitation” (education, job training), as previously “rehabilitated” fighters are deeply critical of the program.  —  Frontlines ed.] ————————

More combatants likely to opt for voluntary retirement

KIRAN CHAPAGAIN, MYREPUBLICA.com

KATHMANDU, Nov 21: With categorization of around 2,000 combatants by Sunday, a few trends relating to the management of ex-Maoist fighters have emerged: majority of ex-Maoist combatants are likely to opt for voluntary retirement, around forty percent for integration and an insignificant number will go for rehabilitation packages.

“Altogether 1,941 combatants, including 1,577 males and 364 females, have been categorized by Sunday. A majority of the categorized combatants — close to 60 percent — have opted for voluntary retirement while around 40 percent have chosen integration,” said Balananda Sharma, coordinator of the secretariat under the Special Committee when asked about the general trend in the ongoing categorization process.

Preliminary data also shows that only a very nominal number of combatants are likely to opt for rehabilitation packages that include vocational training and education. Of the 497 combatants verified over the last two days in the Shaktikhor cantonment, only around 20 combatants have opted for rehabilitation package. Even these combatants have sought time for further consultations and are likely to review their decisions, said Sharma from Chitwan where he is leading a categorization team.

People involved in the verification say a very small number of combatants are opting for rehabilitation packages mainly because of the past experience of rehabilitation of disqualified combatants and lack of trust over implementation of the promised rehabilitation schemes.

“Everyone says they were not happy with the rehabilitation of the disqualified combatants by the UN,” said Sharma. Continue reading