Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for June, 2008

The True Character of the “United Marxist Leninist”

Posted by n3wday on June 12, 2008

Nepal is a country where many parties call themselves Communists. But in reality, these parties take very very different stands on the burning issues facing humanity. the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has led a revolutionary war, and is pressing forward in an attempt to transform the old society of Nepal. By contrast, the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist has long been one of the major parties of the country — and revealed itself to be a pro-system party that attempted to focus people’s attentions on slow moving reforms. This article originally appeared in the new Maoist newspaper Red Star.

UML: trailing behind Congress Party?

After their shameful defeat in the Constituent Assembly elections, the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal, United Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) has changed. Yet, the policy and the activities of the CPN-UML have shown that it has not changed essentially. The CPN-UML stands against the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and tail the agenda of the Nepali Congress. It was clearly evident during the debate on the demarcation of power to the President. The CPN-UML is following the same old discredited policies. This raises many questions.

On May 28, Nepal became a Republic by abolishing 239 years of rule by Monarchy. At the same time, the political players of Nepal had agreed to create a presidential portfolio. But the major parties had not reached a consensus on the type of presidential system. In this ‘table-war’ the CPN-UML stood against the CPN-Maoist and backed the Congress agenda. The CPN-UML continues its policy of pretending not to align to either side; but is really following the agenda of the Nepali Congress.

Before the election, the CPN-Maoist published and publicized their Manifesto: a presidential system with executive powers and Chairman Prachanda as the future president of Republic of Nepal. This is normal for a Communist party, as all the Communist governments in the world have exercised this system. But the CPN-UML, pretending to be Communist, followed the Nepali Congress policy to centralise executive power in the chair of Prime Minister. This is a continuation of the failed Westminister parliamentary model that has been copied from India and exercised in Nepal for about two decades.

In the CA election, the CPN-Maoist became the single largest party. In the assembly it holds more seats than the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML put together. But the leaders of those parties are behaving as though they were the ones victorious, and Nepal is their father’s property. Some argue that the Congress, the CPN-UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum have more seats than CPN-Maoist; so the Maoist should follow them. After the election, the role of the CPN-UML is mainly as a tool for Congress and the MJF to attack the CPN-Maoist. This proves that the CPN-UML is serving the anti-communist reactionary forces of Nepal. In the serious debate to shape the country for the coming decades, the CPN-UML has clearly stood against the revolutionary forces and served the reactionaries. This proves that the new leadership of the CPN-UML is no different than the previous one. Many Nepali and international Communist leaders have said again and again that revisionism serves reaction. Isn’t UML proving this to be true, again and again, in Nepal? Perhaps it is time that the CPN-UML changes its name. After all, they are not ‘Communist’, they are certainly not ‘United’, they are definitely not ‘Marxists’, and they are not in anyway ‘Leninists’. By changing their name to something more suitable, they can at last be honest with the people of Nepal and the international community.

Posted in Nepal News | 3 Comments »

Wrapping our heads around the depth of poverty

Posted by Mike E on June 12, 2008

Here is a simple statistic: Per capita income in nepal is about $470 a year.

(Report on United We Blog)

That kind of poverty plunges people, and a whole country into scarcity and desperation to extreme that it is hard to envision its many aspects:

How many people simply see no money at al and live outside the cash economy — simply living on what they can make or grow.

How much the lives of people is without many of the most basic goods that are common throughout the world.

What it means for ability to school children, learn to read or irrigate lands.

* * * * * *

from a survey of Nepali poverty:

About four fifths of the working population live in rural areas and depend on subsistence farming for their livelihoods. In these areas household food security and poor nutrition are still major concerns. Most households have little or no access to primary health care, education, clean drinking water and sanitation services. Rural poor people are generally illiterate, have large families, and are landless or have very small landholdings. Small, fragmented subsistence farming is a characteristic of Nepalese agriculture, and the average landholding is only 0.8 hectares. Life is a constant struggle for survival. The most vulnerable groups are the lowest social castes, indigenous peoples and women.

Rural poor people in Nepal include:

  • destitute people, such as sick or disabled persons, abandoned children and displaced persons
  • extremely poor people, including illiterate or landless persons or those with very few assets
  • moderately poor people, such as those who have small farms but are often heavily indebted
  • people who are ‘nearly poor’, including small farmers who are at risk of slipping deeper into poverty as a result of factors such as conflict, debt and land degradation

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

New Nepal Leaflet by Kasama (Philly)

Posted by Mike E on June 12, 2008

Philadelphia supporters of the Kasama project produced a new leaflet about the Nepal revolution.

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Statement by Gyanendra — the Hated Former King of Nepal

Posted by Mike E on June 11, 2008

Press statement from former His Majesty Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shahdev, King of Nepal [This statement was read by Shah in his press conference today in Narayanhitti palace. Thanks to UWB for posting it.]

Dear Nepalese brothers and sisters,

This country which came into being 240 years back as a garden of four castes and thirty-six sub castes as imagined and established by our ancestor His Majesty, the Great King Prithivi Narayan Shah, is going through a period of very serious and sensitive upheaval. It is well known that the Nepalese Monarchy which has always been activised for the people’s prosperity and progress has always been working together and cooperating with the happiness and woes of Nepalese people. Burning examples of that are unification, preservation of nationalism, democratization, and modernization through the united efforts of the king and national integrity as equivalent to the value of our lives. Our committed energized feelings towards these values and standards have remained constant from the past and are equally strong in the present and will remain so in the future.

I would like to inform everybody concerned that when seven years back because of an unnatural, unexpected and tragic incident while shouldering the responsibility of Head of the state according to the national heritage and ages of old monarchical traditions, I had no other interests except considerations for the sovereignty, independence, national pride, territorial integrity, peace and institutional development of democratic, and overall progress of all the citizens. In the then Hindu kingdom of Nepal, the birth place of Buddha the efforts started, with the best of intention trying to ensure the peace and prosperity in the country were not successful overtime, which I have already accepted earlier. The chain of events and ensuring results are obvious to everybody like an open book.

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Who Fights to Preserve Old Government Army…. and Why?

Posted by n3wday on June 11, 2008

The government army in nepal (formerly the Royal Army) was established over many years to defend the established order in the country and — as is well known — has been the main political pillar of the monarchy. There is great resistance being made to any suggestion that this army must now bend to civilian control (meaning to the leadership of the Maoists who lead the government) — and that this army should allow Maoist forces into its ranks and command structure.

The dispute is taking the form over how the NA (national army) can be severed from its monarchist ties, and how the PLA (People’s liberation army) can be “professionalized” (especially in how its commanders can rapidly raise their capability to lead a conventional national army).

In the long run, the Maoists have made it plain that they do not think it makes sense to maintain the regular army at all. They point out that India has a 1.3 million-man army and China has over 3 million troops. At such condition, the 200,000 Nepalese security personnel are unlikely to oppose any serious attack by conventional means.

One press analysis of these questions quotes PLA Deputy Commander Anant arguing that what Nepal needs is the general military training of its youth (meaning especially the broad ranks of bitterly poor peasant youth throughout the country).

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

PDF Available: 4 Reasons Nepal’s Revolution Matters

Posted by Mike E on June 11, 2008

Download and distribute PDF of “4 Reasons” article
(great for printing and emailing)

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Blazing the way forward, a battle on the cultural front

Posted by n3wday on June 10, 2008

This article originally appeared in the Red Star and contains important information on the Maoists immediate steps in creating a new Nepal, revolutionary culture, and appreciation of Maoism.

Redefining the tasks of the revolutionary cultural movement

– Florentino A. Iniego, JR

At this historic moment, the Nepali people should be greatly proud of themselves rejoicing the end of monarchy and the birth of the New People’s Democratic Republic of Nepal under the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist. Democratic and patriotic organizations, national liberation and communist movements all over the world were in red salute hailing the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist offensive and looking forward for the establishment of a socialist state in South Asia.

The victory of the CPN-M was laid down by the mandate as expressed in a decade of people’s war, its leadership in the nineteen days Jana Andolan, its commitment to the peace process and the result of the Constituent Assembly election. Still the revolution is not yet finished, and as Comrade Kiran, Senior Party Member confirmed that “…the struggle must move ahead to the direction of socialism and communism.” (Red Star, February 16-29, 2008)

Urgently, the CPN-M under the coalition government shall carry on basic democratic reforms on the ailing economy, draft a popular and democratic constitution, proceed with the integration of the PLA and Nepali Army, implement land reform as the main substance of the democratic revolution, and put forward a national industrialization program. It shall also create an independent, peace-loving and development oriented-foreign policy while maintaining an anti-imperialist, anti-expansionist, and anti-globalization stand.

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Posted in Nepal Background, Teach-in Materials | Leave a Comment »

Eyes on the Maobadi: 4 Reasons Nepal’s Revolution Matters

Posted by Mike E on June 8, 2008

Help us circulate this essay widely. Please post it on websites and email it. Print it up, distribute it, and send us a pdf version to post.

Eyes on the Maobadi: 4 Reasons Nepal’s Revolution Matters

By Mike Ely

Something remarkable is happening. A whole generation of people has never seen a radical, secular, revolutionary movement rise with popular support. And yet here it is – in Nepal today.

This movement has overthrown Nepal’s hated King Gyanendra and abolished the medieval monarchy. It has created a revolutionary army that now squares off with the old King’s army. It has built parallel political power in remote rural areas over a decade of guerrilla war – undermining feudal traditions like the caste system. It has gathered broad popular support and emerged as the leading force of an unprecedented Constituent Assembly (CA). And it has done all this under the radical banner of Maoist communism — advocating a fresh attempt at socialism and a classless society around the world.

People in Nepal call these revolutionaries the Maobadi.

Another remarkable thing is the silence surrounding all this. There has been very little reporting about the intense moments now unfolding in Nepal, or about the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that stand at their center. Meanwhile, the nearby Tibetan uprisings against abuses by China’s government got non-stop coverage.

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Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Bastola Interview: Achievements gained thru People’s War

Posted by Mike E on June 8, 2008

Interview with Dharmendra Bastola, Central Committee Member, Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
THE RED STAR, No. 9,  June 1-15, 2008.

Monarchy has been abolished and Federal democratic has been established. But why does it seem that political process is not going ahead?

Political process is not going ahead smoothly, though political process is going ahead anyway. You see how the process going ahead, that from 12-point understanding to the date of CA election and aftermath to the date of the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly to implement the Federal Democratic Republic, the political process has remained really painful. It has advanced ahead, but not smoothly. The character of the parliamentary parties was to drag the history back to the monarchical system and the character of our party has always remained to smash it. Similarly, in the present context, the parliamentary parties want to amend constitution, so that obstacle could be created in writing a new constitution that has to usher the way forward towards New Democratic Revolution. The parliamentary partiers want to keep semi-feudal semi-colonial mode of production at any cost. Our Party has been struggling to smash them. These are reasons why it seems that the political process is not going ahead.

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Posted in Nepal News | 3 Comments »

Maoists willing to accept a President “from the Civil Society”

Posted by Mike E on June 8, 2008

After campaigning on their intention to elevate their leader Prachanda to the top leadership of the country, the Maoists have (for now) accepted a compromise that will allow a non-political figure to take that post (a post that may be greatly weakened by some constitutional proposals). These discussions are emerging because reactionary parties are frantically trying to prevent the Maoists from taking leading government posts after their april 10 victory. This is obviously an attempt to present a series of obstacles in the way of radical social change — including the agrarian revolution that forms a centerpiece of the Maoist political program. A deadlock is unfolding in front of the eyes of the people — in which millions are learning more about the nature and intentions of the competing political forces — as events may escalate toward sharp conflict and decision. (Thanks to Democracy and Class struggle.)

Chairman Prachanda – Nepal Govt formation, power sharing pact by Jun 11th

In Nepal , Chairman of the CPN-Maoists, Prachanda on Friday said that a political understanding on government formation and power-sharing will be reached by the 11th of this month. Addressing a programme in Katmandu on Friday, the Maoist Chairman clarified that the party has proposed the President from the civil society, claiming that electing a political personality could affect the power-sharing process.

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Prachanda on Relations with China and Japan

Posted by Mike E on June 8, 2008

Chairman Prachanda interview with Japanese Newspaper

Kazuo Nagata / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

KATMANDU–The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the largest number of seats for a constitution-drafting assembly after its success in the country’s April election. Following is the text of a Yomiuri Shimbun interview with party leader Prachanda, 53, conducted at his residence in Katmandu on Friday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun: What happens to the [deposed] King? How soon does he have to evacuate the palace? Is he welcome to stay in Nepal?

Prachanda: The whole situation is quite clear. It seems that he has already agreed with the decision of the Constitutional Assembly. If you respect the will of the people, I think he should stay here. He should not go into exile. He should do his business and help his country. We prefer him to be here. He can form a party and he can contest in the election. There’s not any barrier.

Do you intend to become prime minister or president?

Before the election we clearly mentioned in our manifesto we will be the first president of the new republican system. People gave us votes in favor of our position. But intensive debate is going on between the political parties and it has not been settled. Because we don’t have a majority, and in that situation it is important to have a consensus. Ultimately we should have consensus and we decide who will be the president. Within one week it will be clear.

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Full April Statement: Indian Maoists on Nepal

Posted by Mike E on June 8, 2008

The following is an important public statement made by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) Central Committee after the victory of the Nepali Maoists in the April 10 Elections for the constituent assembly. (thanks to Ka frank for uncovering it, thanks to Democracy and Class struggle for the picture.)

Press Release: April 24, 2008

The verdict in Nepal is a verdict against feudal monarchy, Indian expansionism and US imperialism; it reflects the growing aspirations of the Nepalese masses for land, livelihood and democracy!

Oppose the moves of the imperialists, particularly US imperialists, and the Indian expansionists to meddle in the affairs of Nepal!!

The election results in Nepal have proved once again the overwhelming anger of the masses against the outdated feudal monarchic rule in Nepal, against the Indian expansionist’s bullying and domination of Nepal, against US domination and oppression, and are a reflection of the growing aspirations of the Nepali masses for democracy, land, livelihood and genuine freedom from imperialist and feudal exploitation. It is these aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the masses that had completely trounced the parties that had either supported the King and/or the Indian ruling classes or hesitated to come out strongly against feudal, imperialist oppression and Indian intervention in Nepal.

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India’s Maoists proclaim First Revolutionary Government in Bases

Posted by Mike E on June 7, 2008

Kasama has not yet seen confirmation of this claim from other sources.

By Sanjay Basak, Asian Age, London Edition.

New Delhi May 30: Taking control of the entire tribal belt stretching from Abujhmar, Bastar and Dandakaranya, the Maoists in Chhattisgarh have announced the formation and functioning of their first-ever parallel “revolutionary government”. This “government” has also announced the formation of “ministries” of agriculture, finance, judiciary, health, school and culture and forests.

The Chhattisgarh government appears to have completely lost control of this remote tribal-dominated region, over which soldiers belonging to the dreaded Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) hold sway. While the Maoist health ministry is creating awareness on family planning and hygiene, the education ministry has come up with its own version of “revolutionary history.” Attacks on the government-sponsored “Salwa Judum” movement is a part of the “red” syllabus.

A top central committee member, Comrade Sonu, told this newspaper: “We have rejected imperialist history and are teaching tribals about the revolution and of great heroes from their tribes.” The outfit plans to set up similar revolutionary governments in other Maoist-infested states like Jharkhand and Orissa. Though there is no “foreign ministry” as such, the highest policymaking body, the central committee, maintains links with the coordination committee of Maoist parties and organisations of South Asia.

In a telephonic conversation from Raipur, Chhattisgarh director-general of police, Mr Vishwa Ranjan, said, however, that the state police had been successful in “smashing” the Maoist bases and that the Naxalites were on the run. He claimed that the “so-called parallel government” had been made “defunct” by the police onslaught. He said that apart from forming a special task force, the state police was also coordinating with the Greyhound force of the Andhra Pradesh police in its battle against Maoists.

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Reports from the Revolutionary bases of India

Posted by Mike E on June 7, 2008

We have just received the CPI (Maoist) Information bulletin #1 — a 24 page newsletter. This kind of detailed reporting is an exciting development in understanding the revolutions of South Asia. This first Bulletin is dated March 31, 2008.

PDF version (3 meg)

Here a few of the items contained:

  • How guerrillas took on 3
  • Press Release on the call for peace talks in Orrissa 4
  • How the rulers plan to…. 5
  • From Battlefield 7-11
  • Somen’s arrest 15
  • Pamedu fake encounter 16
  • Books & articles 22

Posted in India News | Leave a Comment »

U.S. back away from terror policy as Monarchy crumbles…

Posted by n3wday on June 6, 2008

This article originally appeared in Google News

US changes terror policy in dealing with Nepal’s Maoists

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Years after being a top supplier of weapons against Nepal’s Maoist rebels, the United States acknowledged it has made a turnaround to talk to the guerrillas set to assume government control after sweeping elections.

US diplomats have spoken twice to Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal since his Communist Party of Nepal notched a convincing victory in April elections, but Washington for the first time said Thursday it has switched longstanding policy of not negotiating with the once feared insurgents.

But the United States is not prepared yet to remove the Maoist group from US terrorist blacklists, under which party officials are barred from visiting the United States and their assets are frozen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Evan Feigenbaum told reporters.
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