Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Tharu-led Strike Ends With Proposed Legal Changes

Posted by irisbright on March 15, 2009

This was originally found at xinhuanet.com.

Nepali gov’t, agitating ethnic groups ink deal

KATHMANDU, March 15 (Xinhua) — Agitating Tharus and other indigenous organizations have withdrawn their protest programs following a six-point agreement with the government signed late Saturday.

The two sides agreed to amend the constitutional and legal provisions which “overshadowed” the independent identities of indigenous nationalities, including Tharus, Madhesis, Dalits (people belonging to lower caste), Muslims and other minorities, local newspaper The Rising Nepal reported Sunday.

“We have withdrawn all the protest programs with this agreement, but we will wait and see whether the government will be sincere in its implementation,” president of the Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee Laxman Tharu told journalists after signing the deal.

Laxman Tharu, on behalf of the Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee and Indigenous Organisations, Raj Kumar Lekhi of the Tharu Welfare Council, Baburam Chaudhary of the Nepal Loktantrik Tharu Association, Pasang Sherpa of the National Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, Indrajit Tharu of the Tharu National Liberation Front-Nepal and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Janardan Sharma signed the agreement.

The talks were held in the presence of Prime Minister Prachandaat his residence at Baluwatar in Kathmandu.

Terming it as an important agreement, Prime Minister Prachanda said, “It is natural for all castes, ethnic and indigenous nationalities and others to seek their distinct identities. The agreement has addressed the demands and voices of all people.”

He said that human casualties and loss of property would not occur if the concerned stakeholders had sincerely taken dialogue as a means to solve the problem as he had mentioned in his recent address to the nation.

The Prime Minister urged all to concentrate on the national agenda of drafting the new constitution and leading the ongoing peace process towards a logical conclusion.

Lekhi, general secretary of the Tharu Welfare Council said, “We will wait for the implementation of the agreement by the government, and this is the new phase of our struggle.”

The agreement came after hours of negotiations.

On Friday, the Tharus had announced that they would hold talks only with the Premier after several rounds of talks with the government talks team led by Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Janardan Sharma failed to find an outlet.

Earlier, the agitating groups had announced that they would enforce a general strike across the country starting from Sunday in case the government did not address their demands.

According to the agreement, the acts relating to police, armed police, army, education, development, health service and Nepal special service promulgated through ordinances will be amended to ensure proportional representation of these groups.

The government will declare Kamal Chaudhary, Bipin Chhetri, RamPrasad Chaudhary and Prakash Chaudhary, killed during the Tharu movement started from the beginning of this month, as martyrs. Their families will be given due financial support.

The government will arrange treatment for those injured during the movement and provide compensation for the loss they incurred.

The government has instructed the Home Ministry to release the detainees arrested in course of the protests.

The 22 districts in the country’s south are crippled because of the strike called by the Tharus for the last 13 days till Saturday. Schools, industries and market areas in the districts have been closed due to the protests that erupted after the government enlisted Tharus and Terai-based janajatis (indigenous peoples) under Madhesi category.

Tharu claimed they are indigenous people in south Nepal, Terai plains, while the Madhesi people mainly refer to the Nepalese, socio-culturally close to neighboring Indians living also in Terai.

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22 Responses to “Tharu-led Strike Ends With Proposed Legal Changes”

  1. emil said

    check out this article by Roshan Kissoon that says that the PLA are getting paid by the world bank! also a good poem.

    http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2009/03/question-for-a-leading-comrade/

  2. n3wday said

    Emil,

    That statement in and of itself means nothing. Situate it within the context of the economic situation in Nepal and suggest an alternative. In other words, make an actual counterargument rather than finger wagging and drive by posts.

  3. emil said

    i am only saying check out this article. sorry you are so offended, but the pla getting paid by the world bank would seem to suggest they have sold out. i think you guys just have dreams, and when someone points out it is just a dream, you cannot take it.

  4. n3wday said

    See, this is exactly my point.

    You link a poem that makes assertions with no analysis what so ever, and imply something yourself, but won’t make a substantive argument. You simply assert it.

    I’m merely asking for debate, not drive-by-comments.

    When I ask something perfectly reasonable, you assert that I’m somehow filled with illusions and offended. But, you won’t make an argument as to what those illusions are. You just say they exist and I have them.

  5. artemi0 said

    I checked out the article.

    I read the poem.

    Both were thought provoking. What was thought provoking to me about both- was there is a revolutionary moment happening in a corner of the world. There is a revolutionary party- with a right wing and a left wing- with different sections, factions, and different political lines- even at the top levels of leadership and organization- manifested in distinct personalities.

    Can you imagine a revolution taking on any other form? Can you even imagine a formula, a doctrine, a prescription for the process?

    If you can imagine it, great- let’s hear your ideas???? If you want to make a prescription out of it… I’m going to at least get a second (and third) opinion.

    That’s what’s comforting about the SA rev site. We can bounce ideas about living revolution’s off one another. We can talk about it.

    Emil says,”

    but the pla getting paid by the world bank would seem to suggest they have sold out.”

    Ughhh- yeah- I guess that is 1 suggestion.

    Here are a few other suggestions;

    1. If you are concieveing a serious revolutionary strategy- anywhere and everywhere-that is actually in the real world contending for power- I’d suggest that on principle one should seek to lie, cheat, and swindle the bourgeoise.

    2. If you are concieveing of a revolutionary strategy- where “you” are honest and truthful with “them”- you are seriously underestimating them and their power. By reciporacal- you are seriously underestimating your own potential strengths. To spell it out in no uncertain terms; The proletariat should almost always and everywhere seek to bamboozle the ruling class whenever it is to our benefit.

    3. In the real world- it could be as Emil suggests; The PLA has gotten financing from a nefarious source. This alone, this ALONE- divorced from their history and experience- DOOMS them and the class they represent, to betrarayl.

    4. In the real world- it could be as others suggest- The PLA has gotten financing from -directly or indirectly- a nefarious source? What’s wrong with TAKING the world banks money? Isn’t that kind of the broad general goal? i.e to have a political trend which commands the firepower that say’s to the bourgeiousise, ” Stick em Up- Motherfucker!”

  6. emil said

    but if they are getting paid by world bank, then whose interests are the maoists serving?? also, i doubt they are bamboozling the bourgeoisie, more likely the nepali maoists have been bought out like in gautemala. why i say this? i have some friends, from france, who work in ong in nepal. not political people, but they also say nothing much has happened and the maoists are not different from the other parties. i think revolution in nepal is over.

  7. nando said

    where is there any evidence that “the PLA is paid by the World bank”?

    you state it, then repeat it. Take some responsibility for what you claim. discuss and document this claim.

    then saying “I know some people from nepal, they say the Maoists are not different.” do you have any idea how superficial that is?

  8. emil said

    i think it is well known that the pla are getting paid by the world bank in nepal. it is not controversial and has been discussed in the nepali bourgeois papers. i think you guys are being fooled big time. check this out:
    http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?nid=155958

    i find the attitude in kasama is not critical. you desperately all want to believe in something, far away in nepal because you cannot really do anything in your own country.

  9. emil said

    i think that mike ely and the kasama bigwigs know this already, but are covering it up.

  10. emil said

    also check this out:

    http://beacononline.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/world-bank-comes-to-nepal-maoist-guerrilla-armys-aid/

  11. Green Red said

    Not knowing is ignorace.

    Knowing and denying it ignoring it is a crime.

    Along the same thought,

    In the middle of imperialist world without knowing the quality of third world people’s lives, misery, etc. is ignorance.

    But in the middle of capitalist, imperialist countries with few national liberation and communist movements in the world, putting focus of one’s criticizms on revolutionaries and believing revolution’s opponent is serving the imperialism. doen’s matter one gets paid by them, or couldn’t find anything else to criticize or, any positive news of revolutionaries to believe in.

    comrades, please make your criticizm more productive and based on more serious and valid sources of your news so we don’t loose faith in each other’s sincerety. Please remain comrades and, present valid resources.

    And if revolutionary parties dare to let criticizm in their own magazines, take it as attempt to crate workers democracy. Telling editors to not let others in is easier but, when marxists are evoluting, trying to undo negative past policies, appreciate it and, look support them more. Of course if cynicism bypasses your hope for a revolution, there are other fields to spend your energy on.

    With kept respect Green Red

  12. Mike E said

    moderator note:

    Emil writes:

    “i think that mike ely and the kasama bigwigs know this already, but are covering it up.”

    This kind of personal attack on other participants steps outside the guidelines for this site and discussion. Not because it is aimed at me (or other participants from Kasama) but because it personalizes the discussion in ways that detracts from substance.

    And obviously, this site has been wide open to emil’s comments — and his views have not been suppressed in any way (so the charge of “cover up” seems wrong on the surface.)

    Emil: please adhere to this site’s approach to discussion… keep your posts substantive and refrain from personal attacks.

  13. nando said

    Ok, emil, I know know what you are referring to.

    A few points:

    1) The ceasefire agreements of 2006 made it difficult for the Peoples Liberation Army to provision itself (as before) from the support of the people and the taxation of other forces in the many liberated areas. Once the PLA was in bases, the old logistics system was not in operation.

    2) As a result of this, one of the provisions of the agreement was that the revolutionary soldiers would receive income and provisions from the government (a government that is now led by the Maoist party).

    3) In fact, before the Maoists won the April elections, this support was not arriving to the soldiers and one of the forceful demands (of the Maoists and the soldiers and the revolutionary sections of the people) was that the government live up to its obligations, and provide decent food and provisions for the revolutioanry soldiers.

    4) The government is now providing those supports. And you are pointing to news reports that report on how the Nepali government is supposedly paying for this.

    5) Some of those reports make it sound like the World Bank is paying the guerillas, and your own posts (Emil) make it sound like there is something suspicious going on here — and that somehow the Maoist soldiers are on the take from world imperialists (as if they are paid agents of some kind and therefore can’t be a revolutionary army).

    6) But in fact, these payments are a concession to some intense struggle — are part of a negotiated arrangement (conducted on the basis of the peoples war), and something wrung out of the government (in the sense that it recognized the Maoist fighters as a legitimate army in Nepal, not as “terrorists” and “subversives” etc.)

    Does that help clarify the situation?

  14. emil said

    mike ely- ok, but this is how communist organisations work in my experience. cover up, publish only good news etc. but no personal attack intended, so i am sorry for that. but you understand why someone can think this?

    Nando- frankly no, it does not clarify anything. but why not discuss the fact that the pla are getting paid by world bank openly? the ‘question for a leading comrade article’ suggests very strongly the maoists have sold out, and that is by an ex red star guy.

    green red- i am not sure what you are saying. but the articles i posted, the kathmandu post etc are credible.

  15. emil said

    further- and this is why i dont accept nando’s comments, is that it is an excuse. if the world bank are paying the pla as part of a UN peace process, then i do not see how it is any kind of victory for the proleteriat. however, i think if what i am saying is right, (and i hope in some way it is wrong), then presumably this will come to light more and more as things go on.
    Nando- ‘5) Some of those reports make it sound like the World Bank is paying the guerillas, and your own posts (Emil) make it sound like there is something suspicious going on here —’

    yes, this is what i am saying, there is something suspicious going on here.

  16. nando said

    Emil:

    Have you looked through history? Do you imagine that in the complex twists and turns of history revolutionary armies have never received logistical support and payment from imperialists?

    Just some examples:

    During the 1920s, the Soviet Union made a special deal with Weimar germany — the soviet union helped Weimar circumvent the versailles treaty by training on Soviet soil, and in exchange, the Soviet Red army received training at the hands of the german professional officer corps (which was often manned by aristocratic Junkers).

    Later, during the 1940s, the soviet red army relied heavily on “lend lease” resupply by the U.S. during its war with Nazi Germany.

    Similarly, the chinese 8th route army (led by mao) received considerable (and highly strategic support) from the U.S. imperialists for their war with Japan. At that time Mao’s army merged into the KMT (they changed their name from Peoples Liberation Army to 8th Route army), they adopted nationalist uniforms and took the red star off their hats. (was there, in your opinion, something suspicious here too? How did that next of paradoxes resolve itself in 1949? Wasn’t the issue whether the revolutionaries kept a clear political line and independent means of waging warfare, not the fact that they accept aid and provisions from the imperialists for particular conjunctural reasons?)

    * * * * * *

    Those historic situations are very different from Nepal today. And I am not advocating a whateverist method that says “If Mao did it, it is ok. If Mao didn’t do it, its not ok.”

    But i am indicating that if someone (at virtually any time in history) had your approach in looking at the actions and tactics of revolutionaries in real-life situations, they would have said “something suspicious is going on.”

    Your view of the world (and of this particular set of contradictions) is rather simplistic and non-materialist. Your method does not require any real analysis or investigation — you simply have “gut-level” reactions to one or two factoids (presented in sensationalist and misleading ways in the bourgeois press).

    The world is more complicated than you imagine. Contradictions erupt and resolve themselves in paradoxical ways.

    Yes, in this case, a compromise settlement (setting the stage for the Constituent Assembly elections that put the Maoists at the top of the new republic) involved the Maoist fighters entering bases and (like the troops of the formerly royalist army) receiving regular pay and provisions. this was a concession that the government made to the peoples war — based (on their side, of course) on hopes that the revolutionaries could be convinced to abandon their army, and give up the means to wage armed struggle. This was widely seen as a legitimization of the revolutionary army (after years of portraying them as “terrorists” that deserved only extermination)
    — and such legitimization plays a role on the political battlefield where the Maoists are struggling to develop conditions for the final overall seizure of power.

    The question here is whether the revolutionaries have independent armed means for continuing revolution, or whether they don’t.

  17. Mike E said

    emil writes:

    “this is how communist organisations work in my experience. cover up, publish only good news etc. but no personal attack intended, so i am sorry for that. but you understand why someone can think this?”

    You have previous experience with “communist organizations” that were unprincipled and deceptive (and self-deceptive). Ok. Me too.

    but why does that mean that kasama is doing the same thing? In fact, Kasama was formed to adopt (precisely!) a different approach — to create and encourage open debate and exposure of contradictions. The evidence is right there in front of you.

    Do i “understand why someone can think this”? Yes, if they have a very mechanical method.

  18. Green Red said

    Hi Comrade Emil,

    I can sympathize with part of the past being in groups with deception.

    But Kasama tries to be different and, relatively has posted enough un favorable statements re Nepal as well.

    What hurts me is to see a comrade criticize them, without counting their positive aspects, from giving lands to some landless peasants up to getting rid of the Hindu king / god, only count the negative or potentialy negative aspects.

    I’ve seen such groups who only talk of self (or their big brothers be it Deng, Breznev or Hoxa) with pure positivism. But in revolutions in third world countries such as Nepal, where we are not in their shoes, how could we fail to see their other aspects? A critical thinker cannot act one sided.

    Thanks to Nando (once i named him our portable Maoist Wikipedia!) for giving historical experiences of Soviet, etc., S/he is also great in digging into peoples’ argument and summing it up well.

    But Emil, do you recal what Nepalese revolutionaries said about first worlder self proclaimed revolutionaries busy criticizing other people’s revolutions by sticking to old, classical 20 century Lenin, others’ writings? As if they know it all?

    See on the Kasama site what rcp ites have said about why, Nepal’s revolution is under question mark. After their wrong moves in regard to Guzman’s arrest, this time they want to stay away from it to see what comes out of it.

    They called that Dogmatism.

    Ely sympathized with your past bad experiences and said he’s gone through it too.
    We haven’t formed a party yet and now start calling it like this and like that?

    Although, my ideal form of party would be one with a general line but, having all sorts of variances that are different attempts for the cause, i.e. socialist revolution.

    Perhaps for different instances, different tendencies can bring about successful results.
    Let’s build it comrade and, please be more optimist.

  19. emil said

    green red- ‘a criticical thinker cannot be one sided’, true, but to ignore something as big as the world bank paying the pla seems even more one sided. also, maybe not kasama, but most communist support is totally one sided. ( i had a similar problem years ago when i went to cuba!, and it is good, but not the kingdom of heaven) but i am not saying i have the final answer,but i think this thing should be brought to light and discussed by people who care. really tho, the thing i am interested in and i believe worth discussing, and which has been very silent, is the UN and their role. i have a little experience with UN, which is why i do not believe that there has been any revolution in nepal.

    nando- i hope you are right, but this is one view of communist history, there are others also. i think what has happened will come to light in the coming years.

    Mike- i have apologised, and you are correct, kasama does publish many things, which is good. i dont know if i am mechanical or no, probably.

  20. Green/Red rev said

    Cool Emil, at least you see the difference between Kasama and many, many, other organizations and parties proclaiming to be workers’ leader of a sort or, one way or another revolutionary…

    On UN, the group i am originaly from has made similar (to your) argument.

    Take a look at the Kasama site and, download the new “pamphlet” that has rcp’s protracted criticiam and Maoists of Nepal’s responses. It is worth reading since, their answers open new lights to our sight.

    But X or Y is paying the PLA people. They used to be fed by countryside peoples for whom they made great changes, granted them land, etc., plus for example taking from tourists but, what touched me very much was, they’d give the tourist revolutionary receipt, i.e. they’ve paid their part and next time they run into another guerrilla group, they show it and are counted as revolutionary legal tourists!

    But who should feed them now? who should pay them now? any money from enemy is fine! take it and use it for most revolutionary path you can think of.

    Be well Ka Emil

  21. I just spent a week with the PLA- and while the world bank has bankrolled them temporatily in the names of the peace process, i can ganrantee you that there is no luxury there, and that they are still very much the political force they were a few years ago. I can say from the experiance of being there that there was no sell out.

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