Nepal Maoists at a crucial point: Confirm the peaceful road, or return to people’s war?

[This week, the long delayed and much awaited Central Committee meeting of the UCPN(M) is being held.  Pressures from the other Nepali political parties and from the US,  India, and the UN have grown, demanding that the Maoists not only verbally renounce the possibility of returning to armed struggle, but sever all relations with the People’s Liberation Army,  and not include anyone from the PLA in their party leadership talks.  How the UCPN(M) Central Committee will respond and act is one question. How their political base–among millions of peasants and workers, the 19,000 PLA soldiers who have been cooling their heels in camps for 4 years, and others who have placed their hopes with the Maoists–will react is another question, and this  will mark the coming days and months. — Frontlines ed.]


The US ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi met with the Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) of Unified Maoists' Party

Sever Ties with PLA: U.S. to Maoists

Kathmandu Nov. 18:   The US has urged the UCPN (Maoist) to sever its relation with ex-combatants if the party wants its commitment to democracy and peace unquestioned, while calling on the other parties to assure the Maoists of integration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants on “fair terms”. The US has also asked the non-Maoist parties to assure the Maoists that they will not be excluded from national politics.

The US urged the UCPN (Maoist), “whose role is central to the peace process”, to let the integration and rehabilitation of their ex-fighters move forward so that the process is completed “as early as possible.”

“Unless they cut their links with their former insurgent military forces, their commitment to peace and democracy will be questioned and others will not feel confident enough to make the necessary compromises on critical issues of constitution drafting and power sharing,” US Ambassador to Nepal Scott H. DeLisi said addressing a function at the Central Department of Political Science at Tribhuvan University on Thursday.

DeLisi said the Maoists do not need a military force to pursue their political agenda and they cannot “credibly engage in a democratic political dialogue” while they continue to have one. Continue reading

Nepal: On the eve of UCPNM CC Plenum, Bhattarai’s meeting with party cadres blocked

UCPNM Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai

MyRepublica, October 29, 2010


BIRATNAGAR: In apparent manifestation of brewing conflict among the top party leadership, the UCPN (Maoist) Kochila State Committee has barred party Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai from holding meetings with party cadres in its area.

Kochila State Committee In-charge Haribol Gajurel issued verbal directives to party cadres not to hold a meeting on Thursday shortly after party leaders and cadres under the state committee were asked to attend a Jaycees function on Saturday at Tankisinuwari, Morang.

The move comes after Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya objected to such meetings, saying Dr Bhattarai was trying to solicit support to consolidate his ´hold´ at the party plenum. Leaders close to the two senior leaders said party leaders cannot hold meetings on individual basis.

Chairman Dahal and Vice-chairmen Bhattarai and Baidya presented three separate political papers on the party´s future course, at the central committee meeting in August. As unanimity on any of the papers was elusive, the central committee decided to table three papers at the plenum to finalize the party´s course.  Continue reading

Nepal: Important UCPN(Maoist) Meeting to Discuss Separate Papers

UCPN(Maoist) Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya {"Kiran")

Republica, October 14, 2010

Kathmandu: The Maoists have decided to take separate political documents  prepared by the top three leaders — Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice chairmen Mohan Baidya and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai — to the party plenum, scheduled to begin November 14 in Gorkha district, for debate and discussion. A meeting of the top office bearers took a decision to this effect recently.

The last central committee meeting of the party had decided that Chairman Dahal  would accomodate the views expressed in the separate documents prepared by Baidya and Bhattarai and prepare a new one for presentation at the plenum.  As per the decision, the vice-chairmen duo will present their documents at the plenum if they are not satisfied with Dahal’s new document.  “The leaders agreed to take the separate documents to the plenum as that would be more democratic,” said Maoist politburo member Narayqan Sharma.

In the past, party chairman Dahal mixed the lines floated by Baidya and Bhattarai, but both leaders have strongly pushed for their own line this time around and are against the “fusion of ideas”.

“The plenum will consider all the lines floated by the leaders.  The line that gets a majority will be the official line of the party, while the views that fall in minority will also be recorded in the  party’s history,” said Sharma, who is close to Baidya.

Leaders say the plenum, slated for November 14 in Gorkha, holds special significance as Baidya and Bhattarai  are preparing to challenge Dahal’s new document. “Both Baidya and Bhattarai are against diluting their views, and have so far rejected the idea of fusing them,” said a leader close to Bhattarai. Continue reading

Nepal: UCPN(M) seeks US assistance in drafting new constitution

(For further background on these events, please take a look at–ed.)

Nepal News, June 25, 2010

The Unified CPN (Maoist) has decided to call back its three leaders who are currently on a visit to the United States.

The party decided to call its three leaders – C.P Gajurel, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and Pampha Bhusal – back to the country after politburo member Angi Sapkota, who was in the list of CA members visiting the US, had to cancel his trip in response to pressure created by some international human groups against him, citing wartime human rights abuses.

In a press statement, Maoist spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said that his party had taken the incident as a move intended to malign the image of his party.

Along with the Constituent Assembly members of other major parties, the three Maoist leaders, who are also CA members, had flown to the US to take part in a workshop on constitution-drafting in Boston. They are on a ten-day visit.

This is for the first time the US administration is hosting a group of Maoist leaders. Prior to this, Maoist standing committee member and party’s foreign department chief Krishna Bahadur Mahara had visited the US at the invitation of the State Department.

The recent gesture from the US government is seen as an indication of its improving relations with Nepali Maoists although it still puts the former rebels in its terrorist watch list.