Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for September, 2008

U.S. Marine Team Trains Nepal’s Reactionary Army

Posted by Mike E on September 19, 2008

A Nepal Army soldier executes a shoulder throw on Staff Sgt. Gregory B. Popejoy, a military police Marine with the Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Provost Marshal's Office Sept. 5 during a martial arts demonstration at a subject matter expert exchange in Kathmandu, Nepal. The SMEE was the second of its kind between the Nepal Army and Okinawa-based Marines. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael A. Bianco).

A Nepal Army soldier executes a shoulder throw on Staff Sgt. Gregory B. Popejoy, a military police Marine with the Marine Corps Base Camp Butler Provost Marshal

Clearly U.S. military involvement with the National Army of Nepal (the reactionary former Royal Army) represents a major provocations — and a threat of U.S. intrigues against the revolution. This article appears on the Marine in Japan website. Another article also appeared. Thanks to hegemonik pointing it out.

Nepal Army, US Marines toss ideas around in Kathmandu 

By Lance Cpl. Michael A. Bianco KATHMANDU, Nepal (Sept. 19, 2008)

A team of 75 Nepal Army soldiers and seven Okinawa-based Marines met in Kathmandu, Nepal, for a subject matter expert exchange Sept. 1-13. The SMEE is the second of its kind in as many years.

During the SMEE, 40 Nepal Army military policemen engaged with four Marine Corps Base Camp Butler military police Marines and investigators with the Criminal Investigative Division. Simultaneously, 35 commanders from various units throughout Nepal and soldiers with the Nepal Army Directorate of Public Relations interacted with three Marines and the deputy director from the III Marine Expeditionary Force/Marine Corps Bases Japan Consolidated Public Affairs Office.

The Nepalese military police used two classrooms, while all 35 officers and soldiers with the Nepal Army DPR were located in a single venue. Investigators with the Nepal Army attended classes with CID Marines. Nepalese security forces interacted with Marines assigned to Camp Butler’s Special Reaction Team.

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Posted in Nepal News | 3 Comments »

Outrage: Convicted for T-Shirts Promoting Radical Groups

Posted by Mike E on September 19, 2008

The following story is an outrage. And it is also a sober insight into the seriousness of the post-911 “anti-terrorist” laws, and the ways they can be used to target supporters of groups that are not, in any real sense, “terrorists.” We urge you to post this article on discussion groups, and invite people to discuss these events. A valuable background piece appeared earlier in the Guardian.

Danish court jails six in terror T-shirts case: Radical chic ends up in prison wear

By Joe Fay (September 19, 2008)

A Danish court jailed five people for selling T-shirts to finance Palestinian and Colombian ‘terror’ organizations yesterday, suggesting the wrong clothing choice could land you in a orange jump suit in the future.

Defence lawyers for the T-shirt floggers said they would appeal the decision, all the way to Europe if necessary.

Six people in all were convicted of selling the T-shirts, and other apparel including caps, which proclaimed support for the Armed Forces of Colombia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both of which are classed as terrorist organizations by both the US and EU.

Five people from the company Fighters + Lovers received sentences of between 60 days and six months for producing and selling the offending shirts, while a sixth person got 60 days for allowing the group to use his server for their website, according to the EU Observer.

A seventh defendant, who promoted the T-shirts on his hot dog stand, was acquitted.

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Images of Nepal Maoists’ Supporters

Posted by Mike E on September 19, 2008

the following photos were gathered on United We Blog by Dinesh Wagle

Pictures from a major event in Kathmandu where Maoist leader Prachanda spoke for the first time.

Maoist affiliated women on the back stage put on make up and do their hairs before going on the state to perform dance. The show clearly belonged to Prachanda because it was organized specially for him. Maoists wanted to make it high sounding and portray the event as a really big thing. They also wanted to portray their leader Prachanda as the Next Big Thing in Nepali politics. Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s introductory note, two minutes before he invited Prachanda on the mike, were full of adjectives and praises for Prachanda. I mean even Prachanda must have felt uncomfortable with such words. All central members of the party seated on the dais were presented with a garland of marigold except Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Prachanda. Dr. Bhattarai had two garlands where as Prachanda had three. Prachanda removed the garlands a few minutes before taking on to the mike.

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Prachanda: Not Towards Parliamentary Democracy

Posted by Mike E on September 17, 2008

Prachanda, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and new Prime Minister of Nepal

Prachanda, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and new Prime Minister of Nepal

There have been discussions on this site over whether the Nepali Maoists still hold to their earlier position of forming a South Asia revolutionary federation (after the seizure of power in various countries.) Here Prachanda returns to that theme, among others. Also of interest is his argument that changes would be needed in the international situation for Nepal to develop a “communist republic” — and the orientation that the Nepali Maoists are seeking a form for developing power for workers and peasants. As at each stage of their revolutionary process, they are not viewing their tasks or plans through the prism of previous models — but from the perspective of advancing toward socialist revolution in accord to what they see the conditions and possibilities are. (Thanks to New Zealand’s Spark for posting this in their discussions.)

“We are neither going towards parliamentary democracy, nor trying to revive any traditional form of democracy in Nepal. In the current international political scenario, we have to make a breakthrough on the basis of revolutionary and reactionary political tradition of the 20th century, right from the October revolution to Chinese revolution.”

Prachanda dreams of a new kind of democracy
(Abhishek Srivastava, ET Bureau, 17 Sep, 2008)

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushp Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ says that his nation would not follow traditional parliamentary democracy. He is continuously experimenting to restructure the country’s socio-economic fabric towards a new form of democracy aimed at peasants and workers. Prachanda was addressing a delegation of Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum at the Nepalese embassy. Excerpts :

What will be the exact nature of your new democracy?

We know that formation of a communist republic is not possible in Nepal due to the current international scenario. Neither will we maintain a status quo in parliament. We are in constant search of a structure aimed towards workers and peasants. If we fail to do so, it will be unfortunate not only for Nepal, but also for India, South Asia and the whole world.
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Posted in Nepal News | 12 Comments »

India: A riot of red flags

Posted by n3wday on September 17, 2008

This article was published in the Himal Southasian. Posting this piece does not imply agreement. However thisarticle contains information on the developing  Maoist struggle in India.
The riot of red flags
By: Ajai Sahni

The strategies and tactics of the Naxalites are there for all to see, but the Indian establishment is yet to understand this agenda of ‘protracted warfare’.

India’s Naxalite movement – to which contemporary Indian Maoists directly trace their lineage – emerged as a wildfire insurrection in 1967 in the Naxalbari area of North Bengal. After a few years of dramatic violence, however, that movement was comprehensively suppressed by 1973, with the entire top leadership of what was then the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), either jailed or dead. What little remained of its splintered survivor organisations was destroyed during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency of 1975. It was with the formation in 1980 of the People’s War Group (PWG) – under the leadership of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, an erstwhile Central Organising Committee member of the CPI (ML), in the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh – and the reorganisation of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in Bihar in the mid-1980s, that the movement resurfaced in some strength.

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The Red Star: Two Armies, Two Systems

Posted by n3wday on September 17, 2008

This article appeared in the Red Star. 

‘New defence policy soon’

The newly elected government is forming a new defence policy suitable to the new Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’, the new Minister for Defence told The Red Star that the new defence ministry would work to create a new defence policy.

Badal also said that the primary agenda of the government is to integrate the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Nepal Army, formerly the Royal Nepal Army, into one force, a new National Army. This is following the Comprehensive Peace Accord-CPA, signed in 22 November 2006, between the previous government and the CPN-Maoist. He further stated that no one could go beyond the boundary of the CPA and the decisions made by the Constituent Assembly.

‘The National Defence Council will form a special committee to set the standards for the army integration’, Minister Badal said. He further added that the integration process should conclude within three to six months. He said that the Defence Ministry is aware of the sentiments and morale of both the PLA and the NA. He said the NA may have problems, but these would be solved in the coming days.

Responding to the rumours that NA will not support the new Maoist-led government, Minister Badal, also a senior leader of CPN Maoist, said that government, the NA and the political parties are accountable towards the interim constitution and the CA; so the rumours that there will not be cooperation are untrue.

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AWTW: India Bans Doctors Without Borders from Rural Areas

Posted by Mike E on September 14, 2008

India: Doctors without Borders banned in Chhattisgarh villages

8 September 2008. A World to Win News Service. In what is conceived as a counter-insurgency action, the government of the state of Chhattisgarh in central India, where Maoists are leading tribal peasants in armed rebellion, has told Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans frontiers – MSF) to stop providing medical and humanitarian aid to tribal villages, the Asia Tribune said 8 August, following reports by the Daily Chhattisgarh newspaper. Instead, the authorities want the organisation to provide aid solely in the camps run by the Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored paramilitary movement.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has been active in the tribal (Adivasi) belt and elsewhere in India since the early 1970s. The growing strength of the armed peasant movement in the remote forest areas has been faced with a serious challenge since 2005 when the Salwa Judum appeared. Since then, tens of thousands of indigenous people have been forced to abandon their villages and forests to live in the squalid and prison-like camps along the roads under the watchful eyes of the authorities. This system is modelled after the “strategic hamlets” the U.S. used to try to “drain the ocean” of peasants where the Vietnamese revolutionaries “swam like fish” and drew much of their support.

The international medical and humanitarian aid movement Doctors without Borders provides urgently needed medical assistance to anyone who needs it in remote villages where the government itself is not present and is not providing medical or other services. This, apparently, is their crime.

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Posted in India News | 1 Comment »

Nepal Maoists Abolish Slavery

Posted by Mike E on September 11, 2008

Slavery criminalised in Nepal (from Radio Australia)
Nepal’s Maoist-led government has abolished the slavery-like Haliya system by freeing 20,000 people from the hands of moneylenders and landlords.

Under the system, prevalent for decades in nine districts in western Nepal, moneylenders force poor villagers who borrow money to farm their land until they repay their debt.

Peace and Reconstruction Minister and former Maoist commander, Janardan Sharma, says from now on anyone who practises the system will be punished.

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Nepal: A Country With Two Armies

Posted by n3wday on September 11, 2008

This article was published in the Nepali Maoist newspaper Red Star. Will the previous national army agree to operate under the leadership and control of the new Maoist government. Or will the struggle over power erupt in a new civil war (or perhaps a reactionary coup) where the question of power is decided by armed force between opposing armies?

“The Nepal Army (NA) has a history of protecting the nation by fighting against British colonialist intervention and against Tibetan invasion in the earlier periods of the unification of Nepal. … However, there is also the negative aspect that it has always been used to crush the people’s movements and the people’s war. The NA should review its misdeeds of the past.”

Essentials for fusing two armies

by Chetan Kunwar

There is a serious debate about fusing the two armies. Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic (FDR), and we have to concretize the peace process to carry it to the logical end. The fusion of the two armies is compulsory. However, no other parties know anything about the out-line and plan of fusing the armies except the CPN-Maoist. Rather, the parliamentary political parties are misusing the issue of fusing the armies only as a bargaining card for power sharing. These political parties should try and be sincere if they are mature and honest in politics. The popular phrase ‘according to the virtue and vice’ should be the basis of fusing the armies. This will be the one of the principal basis of the fusion.

Logic without essence is only logic to pass time over trifling issues that can only create problems. The Nepal Army (NA) has a history of protecting the nation by fighting against British colonialist intervention and against Tibetan invasion in the earlier periods of the unification of Nepal. The NA has a history of dedication, sacrifice and devotion for the protection of the nation and the nationality, including its tasks in peace keeping under United Nations in many different countries of the world. However, there is also the negative aspect that it has always been used to crush the people’s movements and the people’s war. The NA should review its misdeeds of the past.

On the other hand, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has a new unprecedented record in the history of Nepal. The sacrifice, dedication and devotion of the PLA have liberated the nation and the Nepalese people from the chains of injustice, exploitation, repression and discrimination and the external interference. It has fought for the establishment of a new glorious history of Nepal.
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Nepal: The lost battles of Khara and Pili

Posted by Mike E on September 9, 2008

 

 

This article is by a retired British general. An article like this may well contain disinformation and it may be intended to play on existing contradictions within the current political seen. For those reasons and more, reposting it here is (obviously we hope) not an endorsement of its analysis or its factual claims.

At the same time this widely circulated piece discusses matters that are of interest to our readers — including crucial current political issues about the relations and relative strength of the revolutionary People’s Liberation Army and the governments National Army. There are other accounts and analyses of these events — and we urge you to post links to those links here.

This article originally appeared in Himal South Asian magazine.

By: Sam Cowan

Despite the importance of the clashes at Khara and Pili in turning the trends of Nepal’s decade-long war, both sides have worked to bury the memory of these battles.     

The 10 years of the Maoist conflict in Nepal, 1996-2006, cost just over 13,000 lives. About 8000 were killed by the security forces. Many of those who died were civilians, and some thousands were extra-judicially executed or ‘disappeared’ – again, the great majority by the security forces. An unquantifiable number of combatants were killed in battles and genuine encounters between the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) and the armed wing of the Maoists, the ‘People’s Liberation Army’ (PLA). About 350 of these individuals were killed in two battles that took place in 2005: at Khara, on 7 April, and at Pili four months later, on 7 August. The battles are notable for their significant political consequences, as well as for the fact that the two commanders-in-chief were personally involved in the instigation of deeply flawed plans that led to humiliating disaster and significant loss of life. Both sides, therefore, have a continuing strong vested interest in drawing a veil over what happened during these battles, and why.

This analysis is based mainly on a study of readily available Maoist-produced videos, which cover both battles; and, in the case of Pili, by personal research that confirms and amplifies what is seen and heard on the videos. Tularam Pandey, a journalist with the Kathmandu Post, visited the Pili camp six days after the battle, and his reported accounts also tie in very closely with those from other sources.

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Challenge to Maoist CC: How Will Party Consolidate Around Revolutionary Headquarters?

Posted by n3wday on September 8, 2008

This article was published in The Red Star. The original title was “Formation of the government and public concerns.”

by Dharmendra Bastola (Central Committee Member, Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist)

As seen unexpected by many people, our glorious party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has formed government, a national coalition government. Many other political developments had taken place as miracles, as Chairman Prachanda usually says. There was less hope to many people that the CA election would take place. Similarly, there was not much hope that the CA would have announced the implementation of the Democratic Republic of Nepal. The ousting of the king from the palace, the expropriation of the palace property and putting them for the public welfare were also challenges. But all these works have been done miraculously.

Along with these miraculous developments, some public concerns are mounting up. Questions are being raised from different quarters what will be future of Nepal, while the political interventions are constantly imposed from different power centres. How will the PLA be fused with the Nepal Army? What will be the future of the government itself while the second largest Party the Nepal Congress is at the opposition? Similarly, what will be the fate of the new constitution to be written while the parliamentary parties are divided? Moreover, the revolutionary people have concern about the fate of the proletarian revolution, the political power in the hands of the people and the exercise of the dictatorship of the proletariat having smashed the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
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Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | 18 Comments »

Subjective Forces Needed for Nepal’s Revolutionary Transformation

Posted by n3wday on September 6, 2008

Interview with Mohan “‘Kiran” Baidya (a senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist)

“In this critical situation, it is necessary to analyse how to fulfill the strategies of the Peoples Republic and what the tactics will be to reach the destination…

“The objective situation for revolutionary transformation is very suitable. However, there are not subjective forces suitable to identify and handle the contradictions correctly…. Analysing the situation to this point, the traditional and status quo forces will be against the constitution written according to the aspirations of the people.”

“.…the responsibility to write a new constitution in upon our shoulders. The responsibility of political, social, economic and cultural change is also upon us….

“The present government is an interim government. The transitional period is being prolonged. Foreign intervention is not only in rather the sectors afore mentioned; it is in the politics, economy, society, culture and others.”
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Nepal’s Prachanda: ” I do not feel the need to repent”

Posted by n3wday on September 5, 2008

This interview was published by the BBC.


Prachanda’s first interview as Nepal PM

Nepal’s new Maoist prime minister, Prachanda gives his first interview since taking up the post. Excerpts from the interview, with Rabindra Mishra editor of the BBC’s Nepali service, are reproduced here.

In the past Maoist leaders had vowed not to keep any private property. They handed over their private properties to the party. Now, what will you do to your salary that you will be drawing as prime minister?

That (money) will go to the country and the people. It will be deposited in the party treasury. Except some amount for the general upkeep, the salary will be deposited in the party treasury.

Then, how can one be assured of the right to private property under your government when you are yourself are not keeping private property?

We do not believe that private property should be abolished. But we believe that the leadership must keep away from making money to ensure that the properties of the people are protected and promoted.
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Nepal: Class struggle in the factories

Posted by n3wday on September 4, 2008

This article was published on Neil’s Nepal.

Maoists shut down Dabur factory in Nepal

Kathmandu: Even as Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal sought more foreign investment and assured full security to industries, Maoists on Tuesday forced the closure of Indian ayurvedic giant Dabur’s subsidiary in Nepal.

After stopping the Dabur-sponsored annual beauty pageant a few weeks ago, the Maoists-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation Revolutionary on Monday forced shut, indefinitely, Dabur’s main factory in Bara district, 250 km south of Kathmandu.

The union is demanding 10 per cent bonus for the workers and other benefits. The closure has jeopardised employment of over 700 people.
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Nepal: The Common Minimum Program

Posted by n3wday on September 4, 2008

This article was published on Neil’s Nepal.

Is New Nepal Heading Toward People’s Republic?

Situation Update 76

On August 21, 2008, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), CPN (UML) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) agreed on the Common Minimum Program (CMP), Code of Conduct (CoC), Modus Operandi of the Government (MOG) and the formation of a Political Coordination Committee (PCC). The documents were signed by Prime Minister and President of the CPN (Maoist) Puspa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), UML General Secretary Jhala Nath Khanal, and Forum chair Upendra Yadav. The 50-point CMP is divided into: (i) Nationalism, (ii) Federal Democratic Republic, (iii) Peace and Security, (iv) Relief and Reconstruction, and (v) Socio-Economic Transformation.

The excerpts of CPMs are:

(i)Nationalism concerning unity and promotion

-Nepal’s sovereignty, national unity, independence and integrity shall be preserved, giving national importance to self-respect.

-National security, foreign policy, utilization of water resources, and mobilization of foreign assistance shall be based on Nepal’s sovereignty, independence, and welfare. Unequal treaties and agreements shall be reviewed.

-The foreign policy regarding neighbors shall be based on national interest, the UN Charter, non-alignment and the theory of Panchasheel.
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