Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Prachanda on the People’s Liberation Army in a Changed Situation

Posted by irisbright on February 25, 2009

Photo: Tomas van Houtryve

Photo: Tomas van Houtryve

This Red Star (Vol. 2, # 4) article was originally posted by Maoist Revolution Digest #1618.  It is being made available on Banned Thought.

This talk took place in the context of demands by reactionary parties that Prachanda not attend the celebration of the People’s Liberation Army and the people’s war — saying that attending would  legitimize this revolutionary army and delegitimize the reactionary National Army (which the civilian government also formally heads.)

“Many people still are not ready to accept a decade long People’s War to be the foundation of the declaration of republic. They hesitate to accept the truth that republic has been established on the strong foundation of PW. Therefore, the present situation is sharper than before.”

Opinion: Changed role and responsibility of PLA

by Prachanda

I am not in the same responsibility of supreme commander on this auspicious occasion of 14th anniversary of People’s War and 8th People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Day. I am feeling that the continuity of the past has been disconnected. I, on this occasion, am feeling pride of being the first elected Prime Minister of republic Nepal. I am feeling a deep responsibility.

We are in period of the peace process. Big challenges are before us to carry the peace process into a logical end for the bright future of Nepalese people. We have spilled our blood mostly for the election of the Constituent Assembly. We are now in the government, on the occasion for writing a new constitution. A deep responsibility is upon our shoulders.

I am speaking before you as the responsibility of a prime minister. Many different opinions and the some of the people have too many questions about Unified CPN (Maoist) and PLA if they are really in favour of peace process and they contribute to the peace process. They are raising so many questions at a time if Unified CPN (Maoist) is ready to write a constitution with multiparty competition, where there will be a political freedom, freedom of press, human rights etc.

In this historical occasion, I want to say that we have been transferred into the responsibility to legalize PLA for the protection of nation and the freedom of the People. The process has already been started from the Comprehensive Peace Accord. I repeat our commitment on the issue of fusion and rehabilitation of PLA both in the national security policy and national security sector according to the aspirations of the people and the necessity of the country. An army integration special committee (AISC) has been formed under my leadership. The AISC has decided to build a technical committee for army fusion and rehabilitation and make a proceeding for it. The AISC has decided more about the fusion, rehabilitation, mission for operation etc.

The most important question is that according to the spirit of interim constitution and the agreements held before between the political parties, PLA will not be directly under the Unified CPN (Maoist). PLA will be directly under the leadership of AISC. Theoretically PLA is already under it. We will be connected for a long time contemplatively, that is another thing. However, PLA will not be under unified CPN-Maoist anymore, morally and theoretically. In the situation of a legal state power and the transitional period, PLA will accept the leadership of AISC and follow its directives. PLA has been a part of the state legally since the day AISC has been made.

From the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the chairman of AISC, I inform you that the role and responsibility of PLA has been new. The chain of command will be as it is now. The command control will be from chief of PLA, Deputy Commander, Division Commander, Division-Vice Commander and Brigade Commander and so on. The directive, policy, plan and program will be made by AISC and not by Unified CPN-Maoist.

I request you all the commanders and the warriors to accept the changed responsibility honestly for the sake of peace, change and aspiration of the people, the nation and republic. I hope you will accept and should accept too. You all will accept your new responsibility with a full respect and honest. I believe, we the PLA, are the most responsible, devoted and dedicated power of all the exploited class, caste, gender and region from Himalaya to Madhesh and East Mechi to West Mahakali for the war for peace. We, the most devoted force in war and in peace, should express our commitment and implement it in our behaviour. The fusion will not take a long time. We will have to win the war for peace within a few months. We must win. The peace process cannot be succeeded without help, discipline, unity and devotion of PLA.

Many people still are not ready to accept a decade long People’s War to be the foundation of the declaration of republic. They hesitate to accept the truth that republic has been established on the strong foundation of PW. Therefore, the present situation is sharper than before. You are winning different wars and battles. Settle under the cantonment is also a People’s War. You have won it and you have to win the war continuously. Therefore, for the guarantee of the war for peace, you should follow and implement the directives of AISC unconditionally. Some people are making pretensions in accepting the leadership and implementing the directives of the elected government. If the PLA follows the directives of AISC fully, the war will be won by you.

We have come to see some criminal activities these days. We will make them weakened. We have no individual interest. We are ready to sacrifice for the people, change, nation and the ongoing peace process. I want to assure that we are ready to sacrifice ourselves even in Baluwatar if necessary. You have seen that my personal secretary, and our party PBM Shakti Basnet, has been attacked by criminal groups. They have attacked after I addressed the nation and its people by accumulating the experience of five months in the government. Handful feudal regressive and criminal elements will not be able to terrify the leadership of the government. We can defeat and abolish these criminal gangsters by accumulating the experience of PW, People’s Movement and the experiences of the people into an ideology. The leadership and the people will not surrender before them.

The other challenge before us is to write a new constitution. We must write a new constitution on time. Some criminal elements are in plan to blame us by spreading communal violence. Unified CPN-Maoist has its deep relationship with the historical process of writing a new constitution.
(Unofficial translation of the speech of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, given on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of PW and 8th PLA Day at Hattikhor, PLA Cantonment.)

Special Appeal

“On this occasion of 14th anniversary of PW and the 8th PLA Day, I would like to request you all for helping to write a new constitution for the logical end of the peace process. PLA will express its dedication, devotion and commitment as well as its committed power for peace, prosperity and independency of the nation. We are in an ordeal test and we have to pass the test. On this occasion, I would like to request, except PLA, the commanders and the soldiers of the Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and the Police, their commanders and the constables, not to be affected from any where. We all together have to win the War for Peace. A new Nepal is possible only through the agreements and the common efforts of all. I, again, appeal to get together for writing a new constitution under the leadership of the elected government.”

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