Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Sharpening Power Struggle between Maoists and Reactionary Army

Posted by Mike E on April 21, 2009

Chief of Army (CoAS) Staff Rookmangud Katawal

Chief of Army (CoAS) Staff Rookmangud Katawal

A series of events have sharpened the confrontation between the Maoists of Nepal and the high command of the National Army (which is the reactionary army formed to serve the now-overthrown monarchy.) The Nepali government, headed by Maoists, has demanded that the National Army submit to civilian control (and to a program of transformation and “democraticization”). This has been resisted at each point, exposing the Army’s class character and its anti-revolutionary intentions to a wide section of the public. Now, the Maoist government is pushing the matter — seeking to remove die-hard generals, and setting a date this summer for the completion of the demanded transformation. We may be in the opening moves of a crucial confrontation — with ongoing importance for future events.

Here are a series of short but relevant articles (pending more substantive analysis and statements from the revolutionaries themselves). They were originally gathered at Nickglais’ Democracy and Class Struggle blog.

The Unified CPN (Maoist) has advised the government to suspend General Katawal from the post of army chief if his clarification is not convincing

The ruling Unified CPN (Maoist) has advised the government to suspend General Katawal from the post of army chief if his clarification is not deemed convincing.

A meeting of the party’s Central Secretariat held today morning at the Prime Minister’s official residence to discuss the government’s decision to ask General Katawal to furnish clarification had reached to this conclusion.

The meeting also concluded that the government had the constitutional rights to seek clarification from its army chief and also decided to hold a mass meet in the capital city today in support of the government’s decision to ask General Katawal to furnish clarification on the controversial issues related to the army.

* * * * * *

MoD issues 24hr ultimatum to army chief to clarify on thorny issues

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Latest News: Lt General Kul Bahadur Khadka is soon to replace Rookmangud Katawal as the Chief of the Nepal Army say sources.
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The Ministry of Defense has given a 24 hour ultimatum to Chief of Army (CoAS) Staff Rookmangud Katawal to furnish clarification on three controversial issues related to the army.

The Defense Ministry has given this ultimatum in a letter it sent to the CoAS Monday seeking clarification on issues related to recruitment in Nepal Army (NA), retirement of eight army generals and boycotting of National Games by NA.

The letter has been formally registered at the NA Headquarters in Bhadrakali, Kathmandu, a ministry source said.

Accusing the CoAS of challenging people’s supremacy by repeatedly disobeying the government orders, a cabinet meeting on Sunday had decided to seek clarification from CoAS Katawal.

The defense secretary had personally called up the CoAS to acknowledge the receipt of the letter, according to reports.

The cabinet decision comes as part of a plan of the Maoist led government to relieve Katawal from his position, it is learnt.

According to a military by-law, the government can relieve the CoAS from his position if the latter does not furnish clarification within 24 hours or if the government is not convinced with the clarification.

The CoAS is normally appointed for three years, but the government can retire him if it deems necessary, the by-law states. However, the CoAS should be given a chance to furnish clarifications on the charges he is accused with.

CoAS Katawal had called on Prime Minister Pushpa Prachanda on Sunday. The PM asked the CoAS to quit and offered to appoint him as an ambassador or the security advisor to the PM if he quits voluntarily, reports say. CoAS Katawal refused PM’s offer, it is learnt.
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Pokhrel of the UML added said his party has not been informed formally what clarification Katawal has been asked to furnish by the government.

He further said Nepal Army, as an arm of the government, should obey to orders of the civilian government without condition.
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On Monday, India’s ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood met Prime Minister Prachanda after indications that the government was planning to fire the current Nepal Army (NA) chief, Gen Rookmangud Katawal.

Katawal, a graduate of India’s National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy is due to vacate post in August but becuase of defiance of Government has been asked to leave early.

* * * * *

Chief of Army (CoAS) Staff Rookmangud Katawal and Supremacy of the People’s Government
Prime Minister Prachanda has informed the Nepal President of the letter to Army Chief and Army chief has responded today with clarification of his defiance of government.

The Army chief went ahead with the recruitment of some 3,000 personnel despite the government directive to freeze recruitment

The Army chief asked eight retired generals, whose case is sub judice in the Supreme Court, to continue in office

The Army chief ordered the Army boycott of the National Games to protest PLA participation – again in defiance of the directive from the prime minister, who is patron of the National Sports Council

* * * * * *
Dr Baburam Bhattarai has warned that the Chief of Army Staff would be sacked if he failed to furnish clarification for defying government
Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has on Monday warned that the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) would be sacked if he failed to furnish clarification for defying a series of government orders.

The Maoist-led government has already asked general Katawal to produce clarification for recruitment of 3010 soldiers, reinstatement of the eight retired brigadier generals sans the approval of the Defence Ministry and boycotting the National Games by 10 am Tuesday.

Dr Bhattarai, who is also a senior leader of United CPN (Maoist), told media persons in Nepalgunj that if the CoAS failed to defend himself against the charges for “grossly” defying the government orders, he would be relieved of his duty.

The rebel-turned-minister also accused CoAS Katawal and few other Army generals of mocking the people’s sovereignty by going against the law and the constitution.
* * * * *

Civilian control of the Army is the issue

Republica in Nepal , Blaze in USA and some Indian Media are out to create confusion about the situation in Nepal.

The Nepalese Army has consistently ignored the orders of the civilian government and the UCPN Maoist have recently recieved further endorsment of their policies by the people in by elections.Without the army being under civilian control democracy in Nepal is a mockery.

You would not hear any of this in the rants that come from Italy, USA and India but truth will out and the army will come under civilian control and Nepal will build New Democracy.

One Response to “Sharpening Power Struggle between Maoists and Reactionary Army”

  1. read the current situation of nepal. in india or in pakistan, where democracy is in existance the army generals are controlled by the democratic head may be prime minister or president. so, in nepal the govt. has come in existance thru ballot box, i.e. by democratic process. so, it is the duty of army general or any top govt. servant to follow the orders of democratic head. in case he feels that he can not obey the order, then he or she should resign from his post and go to the people and put his point in the people’s court. the judiciary in nepal also shold not ignore the changing situation in the nation and they should co-operate the elected head. in case if they feel something is wrong with them, then they should also leave their judicial post and go to the people for the same. for peace and democracy safety in nepal, entire govt. machinery should co-operate people’s representative.

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