The Red StAr
Nepal's National Magazine
Vol-I, Issue-1, 08-29 November 2007, Rs. 8 /-
Legislature shows the way
By special correspondent
The Interim legislature has instructed the interim government to proclaim Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic and adopt the fully proportional electoral system for the Constituent Assembly (CA). A special session of the legislature that concluded on Sunday ended the current political stalemate and showed the way forward. This historic achievement is the outcome of continued effort of the CPN-Maoist.
In spite of the opposition of the Nepali Congress (NC) Party, the progressive transition is settled due to efforts of the leftist parties, including the second and third largest parties in legislature; the CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala now leads a minority in the legislature, and is facing a moral crisis.
How can the NC, the party that stands against the agenda lead the government at the same time? How will the NC act after the majority of the legislature has directed to advance the country forward? It is a concern for all. It is the obligation of the government to accept the supremacy of legislature. It would be better for the NC to hand over the leadership of government to the parties in the majority to carry out the transition. If the NC president Girija Prasad Koirala is ready to accept a new equation for the government, according to the mandate of the special session of legislature, then there will be a fresh start. But, it will be surprising to expect this from GP Koirala.
Before the beginning of the special session of legislature, the Maoist party by putting forward the 22- point demands, tried to create the foundation of the election for a
meaningful constituent assembly. The CPN-Maoist quit the government as GP Koirala and his party, leading the government, denied the proposal. Maoist created pressure from the street and then from the legislature to compel the government to implement the proposals. Now the demand, ratified from the street, has been accepted by the majority of legislature.
The image of the legislature has become qualitatively different after it ordered the government to proclaim a republic and adopt a proportional representative system. Now people believe that liberating the country from the Shah Dynasty, which reigned for 239 years, is possible, and a new Nepal is not far away. If these two agendas, proposed by the Maoist, passed by the legislature, are implemented by the government, then the democratic process will be smooth. And, the unity of political parties will be intact. But will the NC agree?
The mandate of the 10 years People’s War and 19 days Janandolan is to declare Nepal a federal republic. The expectation of the people won’t be fulfilled if the parliamentary parties still try to consider the election of constituent assembly same as the election in the Panchayat system. If the sovereignty of the people is not addressed appropriately and in time, people will revolt for their right sooner or later. It’s a notable fact that consciousness of the right to rebel is a great achievement of the 10 years People’s War.
Because of the progressive consciousness of the people, the NC is being severely tested at the moment. If it agrees to advance ahead, people will forgive its previous weaknesses and mistakes, if it does not, the NC will be swept away along with the monarchy.
Maoist to hold meetings
CPN-Maoist has publicized the latest programmes to create public opinion in favor of implementing the legislative order. A Maoist Central committee meeting held on Tuesday decided to hold programmes to exert pressure.
Spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara informed that CPN-Maoist will hold comprehensive interaction program in Kathmandu on 16th November (Kartik 30) and nationwide mass meetings on 18th November (Mangsir 02).
Gvt. violates peace accord
There has been much hue and cry blaming the CPN-Maoist of violating the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) by picking up on some minor incidents. But, when the facts are observed and the apathy of the government in carrying out the agreements as made in the accord is looked into, it is shown that the government is not only insincere to the accord but also violating it.
First of all, we should not forget that, as per the point number 10.5 of the accord, with the formation of the legislature parliament, the sole responsibility to enforce the accord and act accordingly goes to the government.
From the humanitarian issue of making public the whereabouts of the disappeared by forming a commission, to the vital issues of state restructuring, the government has not initiated any steps.
The indifference of the government to form a committee to monitor the peace process is nothing but its intention not to abide by the accord. A committee was formed to this effect in September. But the coordinator of the committee Birendra Mishra did not hold the post citing the terms of reference insufficient.
If we see the accord, we find that at least ten major points have been ignored by the government. They are setting-up a commission for establishing the whereabouts of the disappeared, managing treatment and relief for the wounded, providing relief to the families of the martyrs’ of the people’s war. One of the most important issues the accord is to take steps toward democratising the Nepal Army (NA) and integration between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the NA.
Is it not a serious violation of the accord when the government provides a salary of only four months to the PLA, keeping the due of eight months, let alone any steps for the integration?
Where is the policy and programme for socio-economic transformation for the prosperity of the country? Has the government withdrawn all the fake cases registered against the Maoists for political reasons? The answer is a big No.
China concerns over Nepal
China has shown its concern over the recent incidents in Nepal. Professor Wang Hongwei, a Chinese scholar and a specialist for South Asia, was in a six day Nepal visit conveyed China’s concern. Prof. Wang met with leaders of various political parties and intellectuals during the period. Mr. Wang had arrived in Kathmandu on 24th October.
Prof. Wang, who was the leader of the four-member informal delegation of Chinese government, in the meeting with the Nepali leaders said that China was witnessing the ongoing peace process with concerns.
Prof. Wang visited Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, chairman of CPN-Maoist Prachanda, UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal including the scholars in course of the visit to Nepal. Prof. Wang assured Nepalese leaders that China is positive and helpful regarding the question of peace, prosperity and sovereignty of Nepal. He further said China is watching every activity minutely of India and US towards Nepal. He sincerely reminded that international interference would not solve the problem of Nepal.
CPN-Maoist leader Barsaman Pun (Anant) informed that the meeting between
Chairman Prachanda and Prof. Wang was memorable. In this regard he stated his deep concern over the open interference of India and US, which is unacceptable for China. He also expressed this bitter concern in an interview to a national weekly (published on 28th Oct.). He clarified if there is any problem about the sovereignty of Nepal, China won’t stay idle and it is ready to help. India and USA have vested interest towards Nepal and China is clarifying its stand.
Prof. Wang also went to see the condition of PLA third division temporary camp located in Chitwan. In last year’s visit he went to Kamidanda base camp situated in Kavre District. In course of a week stay in Nepal he also visited Pokhara, a tourist city of Nepal.
Prof. Wang, also a prominent diplomatic policy maker for South Asia, reminded us of Marshal Chen Ye’s 1962 commitment ‘that China would oppose any foreign intervention in Nepal.” He said that there are many anti-Chinese activities in Nepal, if necessary they can be controlled.
Similarly few months earlier, Chinese ambassador to Nepal Zheng Xiangling said that China won’t remain quiet on international intervention on Nepal’s sovereignty.
90 years since the Russian Revolution
Ninety years have passed since the establishment of socialist system under the leadership of proletarian class in USSR, which occupied one-sixth area of the world. It is also known as October Revolution. Russian soldiers, workers and peasants successfully completed the Revolution on November 07, 1917 under the leadership of Com. Lenin. After the building of Soviet power, USSR brought a drastic change in every aspect i.e. social and economic sector. It ended the exploitation over men by men. After the completion of revolution, USSR, a backward country previously, became the most influential country in the world political arena.
During the period of leadership of the Communist leaders V I Lenin and J V Stalin, one third of the world was liberated. After the death of Stalin and Mao, there was stagnation in socialist progress. Following in the footsteps of the Russian revolution, the Proletarian Revolution is a climax in Nepal.
Bolshevik troops began the takeover of government buildings on November 6. Armed workers known as Red Guards and revolutionary sailors moved on the night of Nov. 6 under the orders of the Soviet’s Military Revolutionary Committee. These forces seized post and telegraph offices, electric works, railroad stations and the state bank. A shot rang out from the Battleship Aurora, anchored nearby in the Neva River. At the signal, thousands of sailors and Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace. The Provisional Government fell. The new government of and by the Soviets, led by the Bolsheviks, was ratified not just by votes but by the sacrifice of an entire people. Russian revolution showed the world that workers can build a new society on their own.
US wants Tibetans
US is in the campaign to take 60 thousands Bhutanese refugee from refugee camps in Nepal. Assistant minister of population, migration and refugee affairs was in visit to Nepal to discuss the campaign recently. More than hundred thousand Bhutanese refugees are in Nepal for 18 years.
Bhutanese government is unwilling to take back the refugees. After the refusal of Bhutanese government and the tremendous progress of people’s war in Nepal, US had proposed to take about half of the total refugees to its own country. Assistant minister has visited Bhutanese refugee in different camps during her visit to Nepal.
Some spectators consider that this American step is a game to weaken Bhutanese democratic movement and thus to support the absolute rule of Bhutanese king. Renowned foreign affairs analyst Dhurba Joshi claims that US is applying a trick to repress the Bhutanese democratic movement by luring them. Most of the scholars speculate that US actually wants to carry Tibetans who have fled from Tibet. US assistant minister openly spoke that US is trying to convince Nepal for the purpose.
But many refugee leaders have opposed the proposal to take them to US. They accuse that instead of advocating the right to go back to their motherland, Americans are monotonously spreading propaganda to carry them to US. Teknath Rigal, one of the refugee leaders, says that the refugee problem will not be solved after carrying few refugees to America. Protesting the US proposal Bhutanese refugees had thrown stones at the ex-ambassador during a visit to the camps a few months before. Most of the Bhutanese refugees are against the American step and want to go to their motherland. The most reliable remedy of Bhutanese refugee is to support them to go back to Bhutan by liberating them from the irresponsible manner of Bhutanese government and India.
Maoist leader in Europe Visit
The leader of CPN-Maoist and in charge of international command, C P Gajurel, in course of Europe visit, took part in an interaction program in France organized by the people’s progressive front working there. Maoist leader Gajurel speaking in the program said that the election of constituent assembly should be held to solve the political crisis and economic transformation. He further added that no King has abandoned the throne so easily except Gautam Buddha, so the election of CA is quite impossible so far as the monarchy be in existence.
He informed that he is in visit to Europe to get help and participation of all the migrated Nepali people in foreign land when the Nepali revolution is nearing victory.
Central committee member of CPN-Maoist Kanchan Sharma added that parliamentarian parties are violating the norms of 12 point understanding, comprehensive peace accord and interim constitution in the grand design of monarchy.
The program was held in the chairmanship of Ashok Ghale, president of people’s progressive front of France. Hundreds of Nepalese people, including Turkish and French, were present in the program.
PLA rejects UNMIN notion
The second phase of verification is going on now. But, from the beginning of the verification, UNMIN activities have aroused suspicions and wrath among the PLA members. In addition to monitoring and registering the PLA members, UNMIN is interviewing PLA members. However, neutral and impartial role of UNMIN, as expected earlier, is now covered by unexpected activities and behavior.
After the 2nd phase verification of the division in Kailali, most of the PLA members seem to disagree with the process and procedure of UNMIN notion. They all raised questions about the authority and criteria of UNMIN task.
“In the 2nd phase verification, the civil monitors presented themselves suspiciously. The task of UNMIN is only monitoring, they have no right to decide on “who fits the army and who doesn’t”- says Prajwal, division commander of the Seventh Division of PLA. He further said-”Most of the PLA members have complained about irritating treatment from UNMIN, they have no knowledge about us.”
UNMIN monitoring team is trying to reduce the number of PLA. It failed 50 to 60 percent members per day during registration. But it is hesitating to put the results out. No commanders are willing to sign and give validity to it. “We don’t accept beyond the limits of its mandate, we are people’s liberation Army, and it means we are a political army” –says Suresh Pahadi, brigade commander.
In the agreement of arms and army management, it is clearly stated that-”Both parties have agreed to engage UN civil monitors to ensure both parties’ weapons will not be used against each other and monitor the arms and army management, keeping Maoist combatants in fixed cantonment and Nepal army in its barracks according to the international law.”
SSB murders Nepali citizen
Indian boarder armed police force, Special Security Bureau (SSB), murdered an innocent Nepali citizen, Ramdulare Chamar, 33, Bardiya district, the southern boarder area on 26th October. Chamar, a poor dalit, was coming back to Nepal when SSB gunned him down.
Local people of boarder area protested against SSB and Indian government after the painful message was spread. Indian government deployed the armed force in boarder area to agitate and show the military supremacy. The local protesters demanded dead body of Chamar back to his family.
Indian government, instead of handing over the dead body, carried it to Baharaich, a town of India. The protesters including affected family demanded to take action upon culprits and pay compensation to the family. But the bureaucrats and SSB officers made a forge bond of encounter.
So many unpleasant incidents are happening in the southern boarder area. Indian administrators, army and police officers show their aggression everytime. They prefer not to hear the glorious history of Nepali warriors who sacrificed themselves in Indian Territory fighting against British colonial rule over India. Many brave Nepalis lost their lives to liberate India and gave contribution to make India a new, modern and democratic republic. But after the end of colonial rule, India itself is following the trace of British colonial tradition. If India is real republic, it should abandon bullish manners and behave friendly with the neighbors. It is a remarkable fact that Nepalese people have irrigated Indian-soil with their sweat and blood.
Government of Nepal, which claims itself pro-people and democratic, has no time even to speak a word about the murder of its citizen by foreign security force. Analysts say that government of Nepal has Indian soul and Nepali appearance.
Price hike attracts nationwide protest
Red Star Reporter/Kathmandu
Nepal Oil Corporation with the instruction of the Nepal government has once again hiked the fuel prices. The decision of hefty hiking has received a nationwide protest. The eight students’ organizations are on the street demanding the decision of price hike to be taken back.
After the hike, the price for a liter of petrol has reached up to Rs 73.50 and Diesel Rs 56.25. Similarly the price for Liquidized Petroleum Gas (LPG) has reached Rs 1100 per cylinder. Earlier, the price for a liter of petrol and diesel were respectively Rs 67.25 and Rs 53.15 and Rs 900 per LPG cylinder. The corporation has also hiked the price of kerosene, the basic necessity of majority poor people in Nepal. In kerosene more than five rupees has been hiked by which Rs 51.25 is need to get liter kerosene. But, the price of airline fuel has not been hiked this time.
The Oil Corporation, government and oil mafias had created a shortage of fuel since a long time to justify the price hike. This was a trick to compel people to accept the price increase. And they chose the time when the universities and college are closed and most of the students have been out of the capital. Ironically, mainstream medias not only supported the price hike but advocated it too.
The government and oil corporation always put in front a reason for necessity of price hike. They argue that Cil Corporation is on loss because they are purchasing oil at higher price from India and selling in Nepal at lower price. But they never inform the people the actual purchasing price. A report recently public in Nepali press has exposed the actual game being played with oil. The report says that Oil Corporation purchases petroleum products at a very low cost but the government tax, excessive commission to the dealers and petrol pumps and over staffing along with corruption in the Corporation has resulted in the high price for the consumers. Oil Corporation pays Rs 40.13 for per liter of petrol, 44.90 for diesel and 45.63 for kerosene and Rs 773.91 for a LPG cylinder in India.
The aforementioned facts which show a very wide margin in purchasing and selling price of oil and gas proves that the government and Oil Corporation cannot be justified for the need for increasing the price. The Oil Corporation neither delivers fuel nor distributes through petrol pumps but it has about five hundred staffs which results in Rs 0.44 office expense per liter oil. Similarly, government taxes Rs 25 per liter petrol, Rs 10 for diesel, Rs 2 for kerosene and Rs 202 for LPG.
It is ironic that while being the second largest nation with the possibility of hydro-electricity, Nepal is dependant in expensive petroleum fuel. Nepal will always suffer from this panic unless visionary and concrete plans are made to generate hydropower in large scale to replace the petroleum products.
Victory of progressive forces
Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Spokesperson, CPN-Maoist
The majority of the special session of legislature has directed the government to start the process for proclaiming republic and adopting the proportional electoral system. Are you optimistic that the government will follow the direction sincerely?
The historic decision of the majority of the special session of legislature is the entire decision of legislature. It is the responsibility of all to follow the decision. Political sincerity lies on follwing it. Before taking the decision, it is right to debate, discuss, and disagree but after making decision, there is no alternative than to follow it. This is why, the decision taken by the special session of parliament, related to the declaration of republic and adoption of all-out proportional electoral system should be implemented honestly by the government. NC, which disagreed with the agenda in house, should implement the decision to accelerate the peace process ahead. It is the minimum political sincerity.
Don’t you consider handing over the leadership pf the government to the parties who obtained a majority in the house since the NC has become minority?
Now, controversially the status quoits are defeated and progressive forces are victorious. So we should accept the victorious tendency. Minority should follow the decision made by the majority; it is not to be neglected. Negligence is violation of peaceful democratic political process. It will be unfortunate for the party which considers it more democratic and advocates being so to slander the democratic norms by it. We hope that it will be implemented and NC will not try to create another environment of disagreement.
Will you take any step to change the status quoits’ leadership of the government?
We don’t want to raise the question to change the leadership of the government now. We want the government to follow the decision of the house. PM Koirala stood himself neutral at the time of voting. He didn’t vote for or against the agenda. It means that the decision taken by the majority of the legislature is acceptable to him. If the government is ready to follow the decision, let’s prepair for CA polls and fix the date. If not a serious question will rise over the leadership of the government and it will be unsuitable for the government to be in power. At that time we will look for an alternative.
Will the unity of the seven political parties remain intact in coming days?
There is no alternative than to journey together. Either there should be political polarization or a kind of conflict, where one to be victorious and another be defeated will be created. Otherwise, all should be honest to the decision of house. Progressive outlet has no alternative. No one has the right to push the political situation into an uncertainty.
Is the cooperation with UML in legislature is the beginning of a leftist front?
A larger front has not been made now. But the left forces have come to the same platform. Not only had the left forces, RPP also voted for the agenda of all out proportional electoral system. So this is the question of agenda. It is necessary to polarize all the democrats, progressive and revolutionary forces in favor of people, progressive outlet and republic. One of them the unity of the leftist who are faithful to the revolution, progress and change, has created an optimistic base and a belief: the leftist are ready to carry other forces together in coming days.
The decision of the house still needs support of two-third majority to obtain legality. Will the election of the constituent assembly fall into ambush, if it is prolonged in the name of legality?
The political situation is different now that the house has taken the decision. One should follow the decision after it is made. NC should follow the decision respectively. The need of two-third majority is not necessary if the NC follows it honestly. If the two-third majority is needed and the NC seemed disinclined to follow it, the decision of the house would be violated and the whole process of legislature would be considered as violated.
OUR FIRST STEP
Welcome to the first issue of The Red Star! We are happy to publish the first issue on the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. We hope to publish news and information about the Nepalese revolution from the viewpoint of the oppressed people of Nepal, and to counter the disinformation of the big mainstream media. Most foreign journalists do not know much about Nepal; they just stay in their big hotel rooms, their elite bars and restaurants, and report or repeat what they read in the English language papers published in Nepal. As for the existing English language newspapers in Nepal, they are owned by big business and express the world view of the big businessmen. They do not and cannot provide an objective account of what is currently taking place in Nepal – they do not even pretend to.
We do not have the millions of dollars of the big mainstream media, but yet we feel that we need to express our view, as it is the view of millions of people whose views never get expressed. Furthermore, we believe that the Nepalese revolution is not only for the people of Nepal, but is for the poor and oppressed people everywhere in the world.
The journalists of The Red Star are not native speakers of English, and we may not communicate with the level of fluency that the reader may be used to. As in our Nepali publications, we gratefully welcome all your suggestions, comments, and feedback.
False reports against Maoist leadership
There has been recent propaganda regarding a major and unhealthy inner party struggle within the Central Committee during and after the Fifth Plenum. It is necessary to say a few words about this recent propaganda, put forward by different quarters.
First of all, let us examine the International Crisis Group’s (ICG)detailed report (no. 132 on May 2007) entitled ‘Nepal’s Maoist’s: Purists or Pragmatists’. The article portrayed our party leadership in a negative light, alleging that a purist and a pragmatist faction are struggling in the party. Taking the context of the Chunwang party meeting, it alleged that Prachanda had agreed to Bhattarai’s political line, and Bhattarai accepted Prachanda’s leadership. Some other newspapers deliberately exaggerated this report. Similarly, Sunchari, a daily published from Siliguri in India, carried news entitled ‘Maoist leaders Prachanda and Baburam under the influence of hardliners’ and mentioned Com. Badal, Kiran and Biplav as the hardliners.
Recently, in Kantipur Daily (24th October), Kanakmani Dixit published an article on the party leadership entitled ‘The cloud tears!’ The essence of his article was an attempt to distort the ideology and line of the party, and to propagate the idea that there is an unhealthy type of two line struggle. By circulating the fabricated propaganda, Mr. Dixit has served the interests of imperialism. According to him, the CA polls were postponed due to the ‘radical nationalist’ stand of Ram Bahadur Thapa and Mohan Baidhya.
However, in reality, this is extremely biased and prejudiced. Objectively, the CA poll was not cancelled due to the so called ‘radical nationalist’ stand of the Maoists, but due to the one party dictatorship, undemocratic practices, short sighted political thinking and tendency of the Nepali Congress Party.
Mr.Dixit preaches to the CPN-M and says that: “Due to the lack of democratic thought, the pluralist principle is not well rooted within the party’. But Mr. Dixit totally fails to understand that the Maoists uphold a dialectical and historical materialist world view, and did not enter the peace process to surrender these views for a pluralistic one. Dixit further says – “It will not be good for the country as long as the hardliners in the party are strong. We have an idea to strengthen the democratic line in the Maoist party. It is the unity between Nepali Congress and UML.” Under the direction of imperialists, he attacks the so called hardliners in the party, and not only attacks, but also spits venom against the whole Maoist party. In his ideas, one can smell the imperialist dollars. The main aim of imperialism is to cause a split and destroy the relationship between the Maoist party and UML, and to prepare the ground for intervention.
Likewise, a national weekly ‘Sanghu’ (published 29th Oct.) published an article commenting on the ICG report, entitled ‘ICG against Badal’. The article comments-”ICG in its report no132 (18th May 2007) has prepared a special document about the Maoist movement in Nepal. In this report, it has stated there are two lines in the party. Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai represent the moderate line, and Mohan Baidhya, Ram Bahadur Thapa and popular young leader Netra Bikram Chand represent the purist political line. The ICG has called for the moderate group to be supported, and the hard line group to be marginalised. …Through the influence of the report, people like Mr. Dixit have started to write against the Maoist leader Badal.” By these comments, we can understand Mr. Dixit’s intentions.
Now people can ask; is there really a struggle between pragmatists and purists, soft-liners and hardliners in our party? Or, are these kinds of contradictions created intentionally from somewhere? These are very serious questions.
The CPN-M is a radical communist party. Internal debate and two-line struggle are signs of a living party, and through debate and struggle the party achieves a greater unity on a new ground, and progresses to a new height. This is a universal rule and character of dialectical materialism. Our party is no exception to this rule; it cannot be. Firstly, this should be understood. Secondly, there is so much hyperbole and exaggeration regarding the struggle between the ‘two lines and tendencies’; this is complete nonsense. Our party is proceeding firmly with the leadership of Chairman Prachanda, nobody should try and disrupt this. Thirdly, there is a conspiracy behind these kinds of false propaganda, and this seems intentional. It is necessary to be serious, and expose these conspiracies in our stride.
These attempts to discredit our party are worthy of contempt; while labelling a group as pragmatist and purist, as soft liner or hard liner, playing one group off against the other is in essence an attempt to discredit the party in the eyes of the people. These are conspiratorial designs to destroy the party.
The CPN-M is struggling night and day against feudalism to establish a federal democratic republic in Nepal. In addition, our party is consciously fighting to safeguard national sovereignty against imperialism and expansionism. Likewise, our party is trying to make a New Nepal, by restructuring it to solve the problems of class, of nationality, of different regions, and of gender.
Imperialist, expansionist, and reactionary forces are trying to destroy the good reputation our party has achieved through revolutionary ideas and struggle, peoples’ courage and sacrifice, as shown in the People’s War and the Janandolan, in order to put their puppets in power. A handful of bought off intellectuals are trying hard to bring this about.
This kind of disinformation and propaganda in not limited to our party. Furthermore, these are strongly connected to the conspiracy of open interference in Nepal’s internal politics, a serious danger to our national sovereignty and a severe obstacle in the path of making a New Nepal. All genuine patriotic, democratic and leftist forces should be extremely vigilant.
(The writer is a senior leader of CPN-Maoist)
Election of constituent assembly and viable options
Election of constituent assembly, which was an agenda only of CPN-Maoist (CPN-M) before 6 years, has become the agenda of the nation and central political question of today’s politics of Nepal. The election of the constituent assembly stipulated to be held on the mid-June 07 has been repeatedly postponed and there is serious doubt among the people of Nepal and abroad whether it will really be held or not. Who is responsible for repeatedly postponing the election? When the election is being postponed for several times as a result of the underhand play of the regressive elements within the country and their foreign mentors, they are able to further use this opportunity to hatch further conspiracies either to create a situation for indefinite postponement of the election or to use it for the restoration of the lost paradise? Thus the constituent assembly has taken the centre stage of Nepalese polity.
It is not an isolated process
Some political parties are deliberately spreading a wrong notion that election of constituent assembly is the one which solves all the problems of the people and state of Nepal. They are explaining this question in a way as if it is above every-thing including the peace process. They go to the extent that the election should be held in the fixed date by hook or by crook, even by using the Nepal army which has now been confined into the army barracks. By so doing they do not care even about the breach of the code of conduct of the peace process. But the major question is whether the election of the constituent assembly is the part of the peace process or the peace process is itself part of the election of constituent assembly. The first is true but not the second. The election of the constituent assembly is not an isolated process. It is part and parcel of the peace process. To consider the peace process subordinate to the election of constituent assembly is a big blunder which can pave the way for endangering the peace process by breaching the accepted norms and code of conduct.
What the election should fulfill?
People who are talking too much about the election of the constituent assembly preach that the election should be held and it must be held. They explain that the sole role of the political parties is to hold the election. When asked about the aim of holding the election their explanation is that they do not know about it. Only the result will say what its aim is. They are trying to project themselves as the champion and most loyal to the election and all others are not. They like to take the credit of being number one pro-election party. Most important thing in this regard is to understand what we are going to achieve through the election. If only the “election” can solve the problems, why so many “elections” that were held in the past could not solve the problem? Why was it necessary to boycott the “elections”? One should remember the historic fact why all the political parties of Nepal decided to boycott the “local level election” organized by the royal government during its last tenure.
It is necessary to understand one very important fact that it is not like a periodical election. This election has definitely a specific aim that has to be fulfilled. It is mandatory for this election to fulfill the mandate of the popular Mass Movement-2. The heroic people of Nepal have already acquired democratic republic from the street and assigned the responsibility to the political parties which they considered as the leaders of the mass movement to institutionalize what they already achieved. Therefore the aim of this election has already been determined by the all powerful Mass Movement-2 which grew basing itself on the ground laid by the ten years of the People’s War. Going against the mandate laid by the Mass Movement is definitely a regressive step which the Nepalese people will not like. If the mandate of the Mass Movement is violated or defied, it will only invite the fury of the Masses. In such a situation it will simply be impossible to give a forward looking solution to the society, establish perpetual peace and pave the way for a new Nepal.
Why the two points’ demand?
Our party has put forward a charter of 22 points demands. Among them 20 points are related to those demands which were agreed upon by the government to fulfill during various agreements and understandings. There are two major political issues which we think is necessary to be fulfilled as prerequisites for the conducive atmosphere to hold the election. Some people are engaged in accusing our party that the election of the constituent assembly has been thwarted because of these demands. But the real story is entirely different.
The whole agreements including the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) were based on the objective of holding the election of constituent assembly by June 15, 2007. We compromised even in serious issues solely relying on the parties that the election will be held on the stipulated date. In spite of the broad agreement reached among the 7 parties and our party the election was not held at the excuse that some technical preparations were not properly accomplished. It was obvious that the conspiracy of aborting the process of election succeeded in its objective. Who is really responsible for the abandonment of the election should be determined by the facts mentioned above?
Some people suggest that the king has been weakened after the promulgation of the interim constitution so much that he can not play any negative role even if he wants to disrupt the process of election of constituent assembly and so on. But it is far from being true. Though some rights of the king have been curtailed but still monarchy has not been removed and it is continuing and using its authority in different ways. King is definitely not simply an individual. Rather it is an institute and represents a class of gentry and the corrupt people who also shared the looting by misusing the state. Many of the top rank officials of the Nepal army, whose suffix only has been removed from Royal Nepal Army, are still expressing their loyalty to the king. The Bush administration and the Hindu fundamentalist organizations of India are actively supporting the king’s bid to come back. Therefore it is either naïve or deceptive to preach that king has no clout to influence election process or the political process of Nepal. It is an open secret that the king is behind the organized criminal activities in some district of Madhesh in which many innocent people have lost their lives, lost their properties and have become victims of communal violence. The bomb explosion which claimed the lives of three innocent people in Kathmandu and the communal violence in Kapilbastu that claimed the lives of over 50 innocent people and made thousands of people homeless are the tragic events in which the king is suspected behind. How the king went to take the blessing from the Kumari as a king and head of state during the traditional festival is well known.
The separatist elements, which are spreading terror in Madhesh, have used the emotional issue of full proportional electoral system to create trouble. If the political parties failed to address the genuine demands of proportional election the same secessionist elements will utilize the Madhesi masses to create further chaos and disruptive activities and communal violence. Janajati people, dalits, women are also demanding that they want proportional election for their proper representation in the constituent assembly. Some ministers suggest that the election must be held but the army should be deployed. This is undoubtedly a historic election which has a very big responsibility to resolve the political crisis which prevailed in Nepal for the last many many years, it has to give a forward looking way out and it should pave the way for making a new Nepal.
Given the circumstances as mentioned above our party has genuinely put forward the two major points as the pre-requisites of the election for constituent assembly, namely ‘the republic should be declared from the legislative parliament and that the electoral system should be proportional. Some people blame us for raising the new issues. But one who has even little knowledge of the peace process can easily understand that, while submitting our proposals in making new interim constitution, has mentioned these two demands. It is true that relying on the pledges of the other political parties, especially the Nepali Congress (NC), we suspended these demands temporarily, which we think now as a mistake. We have now rectified the mistakes of the past and we also make a plea to all other parties for the same.
Therefore we like to make it clear that these demands have been raised to create conducive atmosphere for the election and not at all to disrupt the process of the election.
Whether consensus can be achieved?
In our initiative, 87 members of the legislature have filed a special petition on October 11, 07 to call the special session of the legislature parliament in our demand that ‘republic should be declared’ and ‘the electoral process should be fully proportional’. There was intensive discussion among all the political parties and especially among the major political parties during the two days gap but no way out was at hand. Again the date for the discussion on the proposal in order to find the consensus has been extended for two more days. There is no such imminent possibility to reach at the consensus until these versions have been written. However, the efforts are on. It looks like Nepali Congress party will not accept the terms. Because, they think once the election is held at the mode of proportional electoral system, they will lose their seats considerably. There is also wide spread fear among the parties of Nepal and abroad that the Maoist will bag majority of seats if the election is held under the proportional mode of election.
Nepali Congress is reluctant in fulfilling these demands. It is quite understandable. But the role of UML is quite strange. UML claims that it has inborn quality of being ‘republican’. As far as the question of ‘full proportional election’ is concerned, they claim themselves as the champion of it. But when the time has come for its implementation, they take different position in the pretext that it will hamper the process of election. If UML supports the demands raised by the Maoist party in the legislature parliament, the leftists will be in the majority. It will not be so easy for the NC to reject it out-rightly. In that case, it may be possible to reach at a consensus, which will pave the way for the peaceful and timely election.
The internal parleys may or may not be able to bring the parties to the consensus. The political reality in the given situation of Nepal is such that we should move with the consensus. So, the unity among the parties is necessary until new constitution is written. Taking the reality into account, our party will try its level best to maintain unity among the seven parties and strive hard to achieve the consensus.
What are the options?
It is obvious that our first priority is to reach at a consensus at the two major political demands put forward by our party. If ‘republic’ is not declared and the full proportional electoral process is not decided to be adopted from the current special session of the legislature parliament, there is no other option left for our party other then taking to the streets. We are very sincerely and seriously studying the mood of the masses. The heroic people of Nepal are still ready to take to the street but are not ready to give up the demand that republic should be institutionalized through the election. The people of Madhesh, jatis and janajatis, women, lower caste people will only be satisfied when their major demands of full proportional election is fulfilled. So, we have kept both the options open. In both the cases the election of constituent assembly should be held either with the consensus of the seven parties and by the decision of the legislative parliament or by the success of the mass movement. There is no doubt that the people of Nepal should win.
(The writer is in-chanrge of international command, CPN-Maoist)
FrOm THE History
Problems in rural works
At present, there have appeared in Chinese society grave and sharp contradictions in the class struggle.
The numerous facts that have now been exposed prove that the above assertions respecting the class struggle are correct.
I) The overthrown exploiting classes landlords and rich peasants always attempt to stage a comeback, and they are waiting for an opportunity to counter-attack and settle accounts in the reverse, to carry out class reprisal and to strike blows at the poor and lower minded peasants.
II) The overthrown landlords and rich-peasants elements devise all ways and means to corrupt the cadres and to usurp the leadership. The leadership is actually in their hands in some communes and production brigades and teams, and there are also their agents in some links of other organs.
III) In some places, the landlord and rich-peasants elements carry out activities to restore feudal and clan rule, make counter-revolutionary propaganda and develop counterrevolutionary organizations.
IV) The landlords and rich-peasant elements and the counterrevolutionaries utilize religion and the reactionary religious sects to hoodwink the masses and carry out criminal activities.
V) Various kinds of sabotage activities perpetrated by reactionaries – e.g. sabotage of public property, theft of information, and even murder and arson – have been discovered in many places.
VI) The practice of speculation and manipulation in commerce is very serious and such activities are quite rampant in some places.
VII) The phenomena of exploiting hired labor, usury and buying and selling of land have also occurred.
VIII) Beside those old bourgeois elements who continue with the practice of speculation and manipulation, there also have emerged in society new bourgeois elements that rely in speculation and exploitation to make a fortune.
IX) A number of corrupt elements, thieves, speculators, manipulators and degenerate elements have emerged in the organs, and they do evils in collusion with the landlord and rich-peasant elements. These elements are either part and parcel of the new bourgeois elements or the ally of the latter.
(Decisions of the CCP central committe on PROBLEMS IN PRESENT RURAL WORKS (draft) 20th may 1963)
PLA Fulfilling Its Duty In Every Aspect
Eleven months have passed since Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) fighters have been staying in temporary cantonments. Thirty one thousand PLA members are staying in seven main and 21 satellite temporary cantonments spread in various parts of the country. The condition of PLA cantonments has always been appalling. They don’t have enough to eat, enough cloths and other basic needs such as proper shelter, clean drinking water, sanitation, health check-up etc. They purchase food grains on credit from the businessman. The commanders of PLA camps have informed that these debts have crossed millions.
In the agreements made between government and CPN-Maoist it is stated that both armed forces of the nation will be equally treated. But this agreement has not been maintained. On one hand, Nepal Army’s recruitments, promotions, buying military logistics, arms and armors are as usual and their salary and bonus are increasing. But on the other hand PLA members are not even supplied enough to eat, wear. The government had agreed to provide RS 60 per day as food allowance and three thousand rupees as monthly allowance to the PLA. The CPN-Maoist and PLA have time and again raised the issues of implementing these provisions. Few months before, after their central meeting PLA deputy commanders and all seven division commanders submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister that including their problems.
In the last rainy season, most of the PLA members suffered from various diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice etc but the government didn’t pay enough attention. Their tents were damaged by the heavy rain. With the lack of enough sleep and exhaustion PLA members got ill. Most of the temporary cantonments are in or near forests which make them suffer not only from excess temperature but also by the deadly creature like snakes, scorpions and mosquitoes etc. Two soldiers were killed by a falling tree in last autumn in Kailali’s cantonment. The fighters injured during the conflict are not getting proper medication which has resulted in many PLA disables.
United Nation Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) which is monitoring both the armed forces in Nepal has repeatedly said that the living standard of the cantonment is deprived. UNMIN chief Ian Martin has traveled in the cantonments frequently and has drawn attention of the government officials to them. Many human right organizations and personals of civil society have time and again stated that the condition of cantonments is very poor. Many say that the condition of their living portrays the camps as a ‘modern jail’.
At present, Nepal is heading towards republic. This situation has come from the foundation of people’s war and people’s movement. In the past, PLA struggled to bring change in the country and they succeed with their courage and sacrifice. When PLA was fighting for the republic, Nepal Army was busy suppressing the political parties and their leaders. Also, Nepal Army had played a vital role in detaining the present Prime Minister and ministers during the April 2006 movement. The Rayamajhi high level commission setup to find out the culprits of April movement has recommended that many top-level NA officials to be punished. But the government has always treated NA as its own child and PLA as step.
Despite the improvised condition in the camp, PLA has been staying in the cantonments with discipline. The second phase of verification is going on and PLA is fully supporting the process. UN has bitter experience in the process of monitoring in various parts of conflict-hit nations. On the contrary, UN has said that they are feeling extremely comfortable in Nepal. PLA soldiers are obeying their party decisions and easing the political process. In the past, they prepared their shelter by themselves in. In addition they ran different academic and technical education classes where computer training, handicrafts and language classes were included. These days they are having harsh military training to upgrade their professional skills. Although they have not enough nutritious food, they are having it with full enthusiasm and encouragement. PLA fought a life and death battle against their enemy in the past which made possible the country enter into republican agenda. Today, when the tough political battle is being fought in the capital Kathmandu, PLA is fulfilling its duty despite hunger, diseases and scarcity.
16 police killed in India
Chhattisgarh: Eleven policemen of Pamedu police station fell prey to the guerrilla tactics of the Maoists on Friday evening.
The police party, returning from Charla to its headquarters, was taken unawares by the attack. Many of them, though armed with sophisticated weapons, died without firing a single shot in retaliation. The raid was suspected to be the handiwork of the young cadres of the left wing extremist group undergoing training in the vast timber reserves of the Bastar region.
The naxalites, who spearheaded the attack, may not have numbered more than five to six. Taking positions behind a huge rock, they sprayed bullets from a light machine gun.
They also used a short weapon and a country-made gun. They fired some 80 rounds on the police party passing by without giving them any scope to retaliate.
Some militant members of the CPI (Maoist) had spread out themselves in the jungle posing as cattle grazers. They pounced upon police constable Shankar Rao who, however, managed to escape.
Ten members of the police party strayed into the jungle after escaping the wrath of the Maoists. Nine of them reached Pamedu police station at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Another constable Ramu retreated to Charla to give a first-hand account of the incident.
He said the naxalites took positions from a vantage point and opened fire on the police party without giving them any chance to fight back. The Maoists took away one LMG, an AK 47 rifle, five SLRs, two Insas rifles and two 303 rifles. The Maoists were also aware of the fact that the police party ventures out of Pamedu village on either the second or third of every month to receive the “barthan party” - a team of police personnel which comes to Charla with pay packets.
The Maoists could have launched the attack either for the sake of the weapons or the money. The police officials at Pamedu, however, denied they had lost any money.
A press team from Khammam district was the first to arrive on the spot at 8 a.m.
The police at Pamedu mobilised some 300 civilians and sent them to the spot around noon. The bodies were later brought out of the jungle in a tractor. They were shifted to Charla in an ambulance.
Previously, on October 29, five policemen were killed on Monday and three seriously injured and 12 others are missing after naxalites surrounded a police party in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh and opened indiscriminate firing, police sources said.
About 200 naxalites surrounded a 20-member police party from all sides and opened fire killing five special police officers and wounding three others, about five km. from Bijapur district headquarters, police told PTI.
The incident took place when the police party was proceeding from Bijapur to Pallabaya on a road opening operation, they said.
Twelve policemen are missing following the confrontation that took place about 425 km from the state capital, sources said adding naxalites have also decamped with some weapons of the security forces.
The seriously injured include a constable and two special police officers, while the team consisted of four constables and 16 Special Police Officers, they added.
Armed policemen have been rushed to the spot.
thehindu.com and PTI
Pervez imposes emergency
General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, has imposed emergency rule in the country.
Shortly afterwards, Iftikhar Chaudhry, the supreme court chief justice, was told his “services were no longer required” and replaced by a new chief judge. The decision to impose emergency on Saturday came after an extraordinary meeting chaired by Musharraf which was attended by senior government and security officials.
Musharraf, who is also chief of the army staff, issued a provisional constitutional order declaring emergency.
Justice Chaudhry and eight other judges of the supreme court refused to endorse the order, but Musharraf’s government rejected their ruling.
Chaudhry has been placed under house arrest.
There have been several arrests across the country, including that of Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician.
Witnesses said paramilitary troops had been deployed at state-run television and radio stations.
Transmissions by TV networks, other than state-controlled Pakistan TV, remained off the air in major cities on Sunday morning.
Under emergency rule, Musharraf has banned the media from publishing anything that defamed, ridiculed or brought him, the armed forces or government into disrepute.
He also stopped media from carrying statements from Islamic groups or their pictures, the official state news agency, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister who is currently in exile in Saudi Arabia, said Pakistan was heading towards anarchy and described Musharraf’s decision to invoke emergency as worse than martial law.
Sharif said the imposition of emergency was unprecedented.
Benazir Bhutto, another prime minister, has returned to the country from Dubai where she had gone to visit her family. Al Jazeera
Premiers of SCO vow to enhance cooperation
TASHKENT: Prime ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states met on Friday in the capital of Uzbekistan to discuss ways to further enhance their partnership.
The SCO has become a platform for exchanges, greatly promoting peace, security, stability and development in the region, Premier Wen Jiabao told a joint press conference following the Sixth Meeting of Prime Ministers of Member States of the SCO.
The signing of a customs cooperation treaty on Friday is a great step forward in the development of the SCO and it will help standardize and facilitate trade between member states, Wen said.
He also suggested that SCO members improve regional cooperation in four fields - speeding up the implementation of treaties already signed, establishing a legal protection mechanism, expanding collaboration in sectors such as road construction, energy, high-tech and agriculture, and providing financial support to bilateral or multilateral projects.
The premier said he hopes that member states will start drafting investment environment reports so as to facilitate cooperation, especially between small- and medium-sized enterprises in the region.
In Moscow, he will attend the 12th regular meeting between the prime ministers of China and Russia and the closing ceremony of the Year of China in Russia.
Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India holding observer status.
In August, the six members conducted their biggest-ever anti-terrorism exercises, “Peace Mission 2007”, in Russia.
Tensions escalate in Lanka
Sri Lankan government tightened security in the capital Colombo as LTTE pledged retaliation after the killing of their de facto number two and political wing leader- brigadier Tamilchelvam- by SL Air Force bombers in Killinochi, in the LTTE held north in the island, last Friday. Many political leaders in south India have condemned the attack. SLAF attack comes as retaliation against a previous attack, on 29th, led by Black Tiger commandos on a SLAF air base destroying eight aircraft. The latest round of violence comes after the successful operations carried out by SLArmy to retake the LTTE controlled areas in the east.
In the mean time, the breakaway rebel leader Col. Karuna was captured in London while travelling with a fake passport. Col. Karuna was the LTTE commander of the east before he changed sides and was a major asset in the government side during their operations in the east. His faction has been widely condemned for child recruiting and various criminal activities in the east. -tamilnet.com