Revolution in South Asia

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Nepal: Prachanda of the CPN(M) makes first address as Prime Minister

Posted by n3wday on August 23, 2008

This article appeared in Nepal News.

Nationalism, republic and socio-economic change; three mantras of new govt: PM Dahal

In his first message to the countrymen as the prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal has laid heavy emphasis on promotion and consolidation of nationalism, republic and socio-economic change.

“Certainly, there are high expectations from the public from the new government. We will fulfill their aspirations by working in objective and planned manner. For which, we have outlined a number of national priority issues,” he said.

“First and foremost is the protection of national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. If Nepal does not exist, then there is no meaning for anything else including the republic. But we have to strengthen the national unity based on full equality among people from Himal, Pahad, Terai and Madhes,” he said.

PM Dahal, who is also the chairman of the CPN-Maoists, said that the new government will strengthen democracy.

“I want to extend full commitment towards modern democratic principles like multi party competition, period elections, rule of law….” he said, adding that the democracy now must become ‘a democracy of people and not become only a formal system.’

“Our attention will be concentrated on addressing socio-economic issues such as poverty, unemployment and so on. We will work to bring about modern industrial economy for which private-public-partnership model will be followed,” he said.

PM Dahal said the new government will encourage foreign investments in priority sectors including ‘agriculture, tourism, water resources and infrastructure.’

“The industrial peace will be maintained by improving relations between labour and employers,” he said, adding that the government will address the problem of high market prices, which is affecting the ordinary people.

“Taking the peace process to logical conclusion and writing constitution on time is the main task of this government,” he said.

Appeal to Army

“This government also has huge challenges. We need the support and cooperation from army, police, administration, international community and general public to meet the challenges,” he said.

The PM also appealed to security organs for their support.

“I appeal to Nepali Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, National Investigation Department to forget the bitterness of the past and extend their support for national unity. There will be no prejudices from our side,” he said.

In the past one decade since 1996, PM Dahal’s party had waged armed rebellion against the state, with his party’s armed combatants directly pitted against state security bodies resulting in the deaths of around 15,000 people.

The PM also asked for support from Maoists’ People’s Liberation Army, families of martyrs and promised them of full cooperation.

PM Dahal has also urged the international community, particularly the neighbouring countries, to provide ‘moral and physical’ support during the ‘historic transition’ of Nepal.

“We will follow the Panchasheel in building our relations with all the countries including our neighbours,” he said. sd Aug 23 08

2 Responses to “Nepal: Prachanda of the CPN(M) makes first address as Prime Minister”

  1. Jose M said

    very good. very interesting.

    Is it correct to say that what we are seeing here is indeed (w/o being too schematic) at least a part of the first substage of the NDR (which includes the creation of the republic, internal peace, and infrastructural development)?

    I am glad this was posted because it raises a very important questions, that anarchists and trots like to get into a lot: Prachanda says:

    “The industrial peace will be maintained by improving relations between labour and employers…”

    Isnt it class collaboration, they would say? Aren’t we showing that we favor capital over labor (left communists say)? ‘

    The answer is no, and I can thanks nando for speaking about this with me, and showing me the deeper complexity of this. Class dynamics are much more complex than simply “bosses vs workers”, and that, in fact, is a workerist, trade unionist worldview. It ignores the reality that revolutions have always been made by a coalition of classes, and that, in nepal’s case, it is extremely necessary.

    The class alliance (embodied by the proletarian leadership of the Maoists) of the proletariat (at the fore), the peasantry, petty-bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie (amongst other strata) is necessary in order to isolate the die-hard reactionaries who are NOT opposed to the destruction of feudalism and the rupture of nepal from the chains of imperialism. In terms of economic growth, the national bourgeois would almost certainly be driven into the enemy camp would they be expropriated right away (which is what trots and anarkiddies want). Why is this wrong? First of all, there is nearly no industrialization in nepal! It is a landlocked nation! If the maobadi were to drive out the national bourgeois, they would drive out the class that holds the key to this industrialization because, at this point in history, the ordinary masses do not know how to industrialize (and this is a left over from the old society). They have not learned how to do this, and socialism needs to be the process by which the masses take increasing control of this process.

    thats my rant for now.

  2. arthur said

    There is nothing new about communists not expropriating the national bourgeoisie in a developing country.

    Nor is there anything new about communists taking the initiative in and leading a united front with former and future enemies against current enemies.

    Both were central to the development of Maoism in opposition to other lines in the Chinese Communist movement. The New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army were formally under the supreme command of national leader Chiang Kai-shek in the war of resistance to Japanese aggression. (At one stage Chiang Kai-shek was even an honorary member of the Executive Committee of the Comintern – and probably did less damage to the Chinese revolution from there than some of its other members did!)

    What’s new is the establishment of a coalition government with reactionary forces under communist leadership. Mao advocated that in “On Coalition Government” but the Kuomintang, with US support, rejected it. The Communist Party itself remained internally something of a communist-nationalist alliance and the communists were eventually defeated.

    In Nepal the Congress party is currently staying out of the coalition, but the Maoists certainly proposed including them, even though they are semi-feudal rather than national bourgeois.

    Currently the CPN(M) will be leading, but not dominating, the coalition government. At the same time the party and mass organizations outside the government will be leading the popular struggle for social change – not just in the hills, which they already dominate, but also in the Terai and Kathmandu.

    This will be a complex situation that other revolutionaries in bourgeois democracies should learn from. We have no experience with actual mass mainstream politics just as we have no experience with actual armed struggle. Both involve tactics and strategy, retreats and compromises as well as advances. Neither has ever relied on mere propaganda, let alone winning debates with trots or anarchists.

    Here’s the currently expected distribution of Ministries among the 3 major parties in coalition:

    Nepal Communist Party (Maoists)

    * Ministry of Defense
    * Ministry of Finance
    * Ministry of Information and Communication
    * Ministry of Labor and Transport
    * Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
    * Ministry of Commerce and Supplies
    * Ministry of Culture and Tourism
    * Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs
    * Ministry of Land reform

    Nepal Communist Party (UML)

    * Ministry of Home Affairs
    * Ministry of Local Development
    * Ministry of Water resources
    * Ministry of Youth and Sports
    * Ministry of Women and Children
    * Ministry of Forest

    Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF)

    * Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    * Ministry of Physical Planning
    * Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
    * Ministry of Education

    There are also 4 other Ministries to be allocated to 4 minor parties.

    Each of these positions is a Ministry. ie an organization staffed by a bureaucrat bourgeoisie with semi-feudal characteristics and a profoundly fatalist mentality that has proved itself incapable of developing Nepal.

    Holding the key posts of Prime Minister, Defence, Finance and Information and Communication as well as Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs means that the Maoists can set the agenda both in the Government, the Constituent Assembly and public opinion and paralyse resistance to restructuring the state as a Federal Democratic Republic and carry out land reform far more smoothly and with less risk than by prolonging the armed struggle.

    But the revisionist UML party also holds key portfolios, including both the key Home Affairs Ministry and vital economic Ministries like Water Resources, Forests and Local Development. The revisionists are not just a “national bourgeois” party. But its certainly better to be competing with the revisionist line as opposing parties united around a minimum (bourgeois democratic) program than have all the revisionists inside the revolutionary party.

    The MJF is also far from being “national bourgeois”. It isn’t very “national” but rather close to Indian expansionism which is what Nepalese are talking about when they refer to “imperialism” as an enemy. Its mass base arises from supporting democratic rights, including autonomy for the Madheshis in the Terai but its leadership is drawn from the semi-feudal landowners previously organized in the Congress.

    It too has important Ministries. Leaving them with Foreign Affairs is no problem (far better than having to pander to sectarians or endlessly explain issues to trots and anarchists). Tourism will actually be more important for breaking out of isolation. But the UML control of the important Ministries in charge of Infrastructure, Agriculture and Education will certainly be an obstacle to transformation.

    Both the UML and the MJF are thoroughly corrupt. They will have great difficulty complying with their agreement on principles for Ministerial conduct. But they will also have great difficulty getting away with not doing so…

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