Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for May 2nd, 2009

Bhattarai’s May First Speech

Posted by Mike E on May 2, 2009

nepal_may_first_2009_kathmandu_maoist_central_stageBaburam Bhattarai said on May First in Kathmandu:

“So today in Nepal the United Communist Party of Nepal wants to establish a New Nepal under the rule of the proletariat. In the new Constitution we will make sure that the rights of laborers are guaranteed. To do this we recognise that the revolution is not over, but simply its form has changed. We are not in the peoples war anymore, but we are still in revolution, and we will continue the revolution until the rights of the working proletariat are recognised and guaranteed! This new Nepali Republic should be a Republic for the people, and not for the counterrevolutionaries and feudalists and our party is as determined as ever to continue to fight for all of the peasants and workers.”

“There were rumors that today we would use the mass of people to try and take power by force. This is false. We will win the popular support, but we will not force change on Nepal. We will bring about change by completing the peace process and writing the new Constitution. If there are obstacles put in our way on this peaceful path, then it would leave us no choice but to then pursue the path of revolution.”

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Ben Peterson has sent out the following rough initial translation of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai’s speech to the huge revolutionary rally held in Kathmandu on May first. Bhattarai is one of the central leaders of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

This speech came as a crisis has been intensifying within Nepal — as the most powerful institution of the old order, the Nepalese National Army and its high command, have been openly defying the new anti-monarchist government. In particular General Rookmangud Katawalthe, head of the Army, has refused to step down from his post or submit to civilian control.

Within the government the Maoists have been spearheading the demand for his resignation — as a key part of their demands for the political and social transformation of the old army, and the injection of Maoist commanders from the Peoples Liberation Army. Meanwhile the parliamentary parties (including the Congress party and the UML) have opposed the removal of this notorious royalist commander. In the background are the intrigues of foreign powers: India’s ambassador has openly expressed support for the military high command (which is an outrageous interference in Nepal’s internal affairs), and the U.S. Obama government has announced that it still considers the Nepali Maoist party to be “terrorist.”

In short, there are heavy threats of a counterrevolutionary military coup with powerful internal and international backing. And faced with this lethal danger, the revolutionary forces are openly speaking about the possibility of pressing ahead to a new revolution.

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Bhattarai to Nepal Army: Fire Army Chief

Posted by irisbright on May 2, 2009

This article was originally posted at Nepal News.

Bhattarai reiterates resolve to relieve army chief

Senior Maoist leader and Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai Friday said his party is firm in its resolve to take action against army chief Rookmangud Katawal even if it has to quit the government.

Addressing the May Day function organised by Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF), Bhattarai said the government would take action against the army chief at any cost in order to safeguard civilian supremacy.

The tough-talking Maoist leader also took a swipe at President Dr Ram Baran Yadav for his role in the army chief row. “If the President tries to veto the government’s decision by misinterpreting the constitution he will face the fate of (former king) Gyanendra.” He also warned of “another revolution” if attempts were made to curtail the peaceful political transformation.

Bhattarai, who has been quite vocal in favour of action against army chief Rookmangud Katawal, claimed that his party has confidence in Nepal Army.

The Maoist leader also made it a point to hit at ruling ally CPN-UML and the main opposition Nepali Congress. The Congress, he said, has been trying to block the government’s decisions while the UML has not been forthcoming on the army chief issue because of the “identity crisis” it is facing. May 01 09

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