Revolution in South Asia

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Prachanda: Maoist capture state power Thru Peace Process & Army Integration

Posted by n3wday on May 28, 2009

Nepal_Maoist_Prachanda_UCPNThis article was published on eKantipur.com. Thanks to Red Road for pointing it out.

Dahal on Maoist road to power
Kantipur Report

KATHMANDU, May 25 – Chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday said Maoists would capture state power only through the peace process, new constitution and after Army integration.

“We will not capture state power through arms as widely speculated,” said Dahal at a programme at the general assembly of Nepal National Industries’ and Commerce Association. “We will not be provoked, but the fight for civilian supremacy will continue through the streets and parliament.”

Feeling betrayed by CPN-UML and its leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, Dahal said, “I thought I worked hard to nurture the elixir of life, but I think I had planted poison.”

14 Responses to “Prachanda: Maoist capture state power Thru Peace Process & Army Integration”

  1. emil said

    is the revolution over?? seems, repeat seems, like it is over and has come to this.

  2. Ka Frank said

    Prachanda says that “Maoists would capture state power only through the peace process, new constitution and after Army integration.”

    This is not a strategy for capturing state power, but a strategy for staying mired in a failed attempt to restructure the bourgeois state by peaceful means. State power can only be captured by a renewed revolutionary upsurge by the masses, not by constitutional means.

    Prachanda also reassures the reactionaries and the forces of the status quo, ““We will not capture state power through arms as widely speculated.” This renounces any intention to actually seize state power. How else have popular revolutions ever succeeded?

  3. emil said

    but if the revolution has failed, (altho it is too early to say this but things do point in this direction), then hasn’t MLM shown itself to be a dead end? my intention in saying this is not because i am a revisionist or reformist, but only i believe there should be a new revolutionary theory, the old ML has only come to this. i dont think there will be any future revolutions based on MLM. Shining path has failed, nepal maoism has not failed, but it has not been successful, the indian and filipino maoists have been fighting for some 30 40 years and have not made any substantial breakthroughs. this is also why i really liked that article in the red star, Kissoon’s ‘negation of the negation’ because the first line and the whole article suggested this also.

  4. 2mv said

    It appears to me that Prachanda is a revisionist. I hope he proves me wrong.

  5. sam said

    Frank, why do you assume that this sound bite is an insight into their actual strategy.

    Let me be blunt: I think they make these statements to put the burden of the coming conflicts onto the reactionaries. And they have known all along that they would either seize power by force, by defeating the army, or they will not seize power.

    This is a movement with an army, that has been building militia in the urban areas, whose rank-and-file chant about armed uprising in the mass rallies — and who has orchestrated a mounting confrontation that has exposed the army high command’s royalist intentions.

    Both Lenin and Mao proclaimed their intentions to attempt peaceful transition in the period they were maneuvering for broad support, and I don’t believe either one of them was sincere in that.

    You seem to be fixated on such tactical statements (that have the purpose of shifting blame for war on the army) and dont’ even consider that it is not intended as a serious strategic statement.

    But do you miss that the party’s documents and spokespeople are pretty open about continuing the revolution, seizing power, etc.

    You may not think it is correct or principled for communist leaders to make tactical statements that offend your sense of rigid principles, but isn’t it clear that the UCPN(M) thinks it is quite fine and necessary.

    And shouldn’t we perhaps debate that, instead of acting “shocked! shocked!” every time they imply that they are trying to pursue peaceful changes, and that the reactionaries are blocking that in increasingly open and threatening ways?

    Do you imagine that you can launch a second civil war without putting the onus of the war on the reactionaries? How do you imagine that should be done?

  6. red road said

    This article may relate to the question: what is intended, and what is being prepared?
    ——————————————
    HEALTH-NEPAL: Baby Boom in Maoist Army
    By Renu Kshetry

    KATHMANDU, May 29 (IPS) – At the annual military parade of the People’s Liberation Army, Nepal’s ex-guerrillas, curious bystanders saw a young woman clad in military fatigues kiss and cuddle a baby before handing her back to an older woman.

    The PLA soldier, Shanti Kala Kumal, 19, attached to the Fourth Division headquartered in Hattikhor, Nawalparasari district, central Nepal, was on security duty at the 14th PLA Day parade.

    Witnessed by the PLA’s top brass and hundreds of civilians, the military ceremony was for her an opportunity to snatch a few moments with her mother and two-year-old daughter, who had travelled from their village in Chitwan, some 45 kms away, to see her.

    “My job is my first priority but being a mother sometimes distracts me,” Kumal says almost guiltily. But quickly regaining her composure, she adds, “I have not given anyone a single chance to complain about me!”

    The number of new mothers in the PLA has shot up dramatically since the end of the civil war in 2006, when the guerrilla army returned to new Maoist cantonments, and many marriages were solemnised.

    Of the 700 women in Hattikhor alone, 198 are new mothers and 40 others pregnant. There are some 2,000 new mothers among the 23,610 combatants in seven main and 21 sub-Maoist cantonments in Nepal.

    “Most (female) PLA personnel were between 18 and 20 when they entered the cantonments,” says Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. “Now they have reached the prime age and most of them have given birth.”

    Facilities in the cantonments, including housing and health, are poor because of an acute shortage of funds. “We have not been able to provide special care for new mothers and babies,” Bhattarai admits.

    Even post-natal allowance, for instance, for those who choose to stay outside the cantonment, is a mere 26 dollars for up to six months. (The exchange rate is one U.S. dollar to 85 rupees.)

    Nepal’s 2007 interim constitution promises every woman the right to reproductive health and other reproductive rights. In addition, no woman shall be discriminated against in any way on the basis of gender.

    The PLA has introduced paternity leave for its soldiers. “We know that new mothers need utmost care,” Chandra Dev Khanal ‘Baldev’, deputy PLA commander told IPS. “A month’s leave for the father is a revolutionary concept in Nepal.”

    Since January 2009, government-run hospitals and health centres are providing free delivery services. The policy change was introduced with the aim of bringing down Nepal’s alarming maternal mortality rate of 281 per 100,000 live births.

    Women soldiers are permitted three to six months maternity leave to nurse infants. In addition, they are “exempt from any kind of physical work, including exercise,” says Bina Lama, platoon commander of the Third Division who swears the PLA takes care of new mothers and their children.

    The truth may be that most women soldiers, indoctrinated to hide pain and behave like they are made of iron, are not claiming their rights, says a government doctor who spoke to IPS after a visit to Hattikhor. He insisted on anonymity.

    He says most nursing mothers in cantonments are not provided the special post-partum diets that are essential for their recovery. Instead, they are fed the same spicy food that is cooked for everyone. “They will suffer in the long run,” the doctor confides.

    During the 10-years of armed conflict in Nepal, 40 percent of PLA personnel were women. Since the November 2006 peace deal, many female soldiers have quit voluntarily, and their numbers have gone down by more than half.

    “I requested my commander not to give special treatment to 25 pregnant women as we overheard some male commanders complaining that they were being forced to eat ‘jwano’,” says 23-year-old Muga Limbu, a PLA soldier in Shaktikhor Maoist Division. Jwano is a medicinal herb with a pungent smell that is added in food given to pregnant women as it is believed to cure flu and build up resistance.

    Dr. Yasovardhan Pradhan, spokesperson in the Ministry of Health and Population in Kathmandu, told IPS that the government has tied up with the U.N. population agency, UNFPA, and Nepal Society of Obstetricians, to send doctors to the Maoists cantonments.

    The government is finalising a plan to have a doctor and nurse visit a cantonment once a week for pre- and post-natal check-ups.

    “This is a positive sign,” says Dr. Sudha Sharma, a gynecologist at the Maternity Hospital in Kathmandu and secretary in the Ministry of Health. “PLA soldiers too have the right to reproductive health.”

    Nepal’s Maoist cantonments were created as temporary shelters made of canvas and tin for the former guerrillas. These are not places to bring up children in, the acting coordinator of the central cantonment management office, Dinesh Hari Adhikari, asserts.

    Hence, even PLA rules prohibit soldiers from keeping children older than three in the cantonment. Most infants, like Kumal’s, are left with their grandparents – a common practice in Nepal and other developing countries where there is a tradition of large-scale migration of adults in search of jobs. (END/2009)

  7. Green Red said

    Revisionist or whatever, here is what they are doing in the countryside:

    http://www.telegraphnepal.com/news_det.php?news_id=5504

    Nepal Maoist revive Parallel State Structure
    TGW
    Enraged and pretty annoyed by their disrespectful departure from the government structure, the Maoists party has begun reactivating the people’s local government and people’s court that had been dismantled by the party’s high command after the party became a part of the main-stream politics more so when it formed the government.
    The Maoists Party Central Secretariat meeting of the Dharan City Committee, Sunsari District, stated on Thursday May 28, 2009, that the move was aimed at confronting the government based in Kathmandu that is formed ignoring what is called the peoples’ supremacy.
    The Maoists party had constituted the parallel structure at time of the peoples’ revolt that was kept in a dormant state after the party became a part of the main-stream politics.
    “The Dharan Committee meeting also assured that the party will continue to fight for restoring peoples’ supremacy and provide justice to the needed ones.”
    “It is not a Peoples’ Court in the strictest sense of the term but it is yet in its embryonic stage”, said Dharan district in-charge Mr. Chotlung.
    2009-05-29 09:05:42

  8. red road said

    To sum up: Frank asserted that Prachanda’s statement appeared to mean what it said. Sam accused Frank of rigid and doctrinal inflexibility, and asserted that Prachanda’s statement, in keeping with the clever and wry traditional revolutionary deceptions of other greats like Lenin and Mao, in fact means the opposite, and is designed to deflect onto the reactionary monarchists the blame for the renewal of armed struggle, which UCPN(M), Sam continues, has carefully prepared in clandestine fashion, under the cover given by Prachanda’s deception. And Sam asserts that this stance of his is based on creative and flexible appreciation of the revolutionary propaganda arts.

    In fact, Sam’s view reflects his wishful thinking that only those who move by faith, not by light, will get it. Sam’s criticism of Frank turns his own fantasy into dogma.

    The “Health Watch: Nepal” article (in comment #6 in this thread) provides essential information which should not be ignored. The PLA, having lost half its women cadres in departures from the cantonments, now has thousands more either pregnant or having recently given birth since their placement in the cantonments. If there were serious attention being given to combat-readiness and to heightened preparations for insurrection, political and military training of the troops would have received the highest priority, and strict measures of birth control would certainly have been instituted. That thousands of births in the camps have taken place is proof that such measures were not taken.

  9. emil said

    but can anyone answer me. am i correct in assuming that the nepali revolution is over?

  10. red road said

    No, you are not correct in assuming the Nepali revolution is over. The revolution of the people of Nepal is larger and will continue long after the strategy of the moment is summed up and replaced. Once the path to successfully win state power is clarified and implemented, and after state power is won, the revolution will continue through the period of socialism, will continue in the struggle to put the Nepal revolution at the service of the world revolution, and will continue until communism is achieved and a new era for humanity begins.

  11. 1) Emil- No its not over. It wont be over until an equilibrium within the class forces can be established- and this *hasnt happened yet*. At the moment, there are still masses of people in political motion around what shape the new Nepal and the new Constitution will look like. The questions of federalism, “state restructuring” and the “peace process” are not solved, and cannot be peacefully solved as there are two options which are contradictory. There is a revolutionary solution to these questions (being championed largely by the Maoists) and the reactionary/status-quo “solutions” brought up by the NC/UML. It is true that there is no sure way it will go- maybe we will look back and see that the high point of the revolution has passed, but that isnt a judgment that can be made now, because it is still in play. The revolution at present has two forces in a struggle to the death and it wont be over until one of these forces overcomes the other, weather its revolution or reaction only time will tell.

    2)Ka Frank- my friend- stay strong!
    quote: Prachanda says that “Maoists would capture state power only through the peace process, new constitution and after Army integration.” This is not a strategy for capturing state power, but a strategy for staying mired in a failed attempt to restructure the bourgeois state by peaceful means.

    If it was a petite bourgeois populist saying these things then we should be really worried, but we are talking about a revolutionary who understands history and the dynamic of revolution (which is not peaceful at all).

    The thing is after winning the election the peace process, the new constitution and the army integration are all on the Maoists terms. According the bourgeois law the Maoists now have the right to do all these things peacefully. We know as Marxists it cant happen like that. The Maoists also themselves know it cant happen like that. And the ruling class of Nepal sure as all hell knows that they WONT LET that happen. But importantly, the people of Nepal don’t necessarily know that.

    The people of Nepal are now seeing why the system needs to be overthrown. They supported the Peoples War because they saw that as the only means to bring change- and they were desperate for change. But now through the Constitution writing process they -rightly- see the opportunity for peaceful change.

    The issue for the ruling classes is that this process is dominated by the revolutionaries. They need to go outside this process to reinforce their grip on the power structures. And this pisses people off! More people are being pushed into the Maoist camp because they are now seeing that the elites wont give up their power and don’t give a shit about any Constitution or agreements. (case in point was the illegal coup by the president)

    This experience is invaluable for the Revolutionary Movement. Its one thing to explain the Marxist theory of state and revolution to people- but this whole experience shown openly and blatantly to everyone in Nepal the reality of what needs to be done. People have learnt more about the state and about imperialism from the Maoists term in government then a million peaches would have.

    So whats next? Well i don’t think Prachanda is lying when he says that the Maoists will stick withing the “peace process”. But that process is a revolutionary one. After the election results this process has the legitimacy to restructure the state. But this process will need to be defended and fought for- and the Maoists have no illusions about that. They will fight and continue to struggle to protect this process- as it is revolutionary- and thats what the people support.

    3) The PLA. Yes there are alot off kids there. When you plant 20,000 young men and women in close proximity- its bound to happen. Especially when the war situation has ceased. Its a peoples army- made up of regular people, and everything that comes with that. Its a Peoples Army, not a Peoples Jesuit Order.

    This does not mean they are not battle ready however. They train everyday- they maintain their weapons. They have regular roll calls ect. women and children is a reality of society. Whether its in a village, town or in the cantonment, where ever the Maoists were, they were with a community, and fought with that community. Also many of them already had families back in the villages but left to join the army. At any rate- they are still professional, still armed and still training.

    But i don’t think we should be too militaristic and think that the PLA is going to storm out of the camps and defeat the Nepali Army. They play a massively important role- without the PLA for one the revolution wouldn’t have happened, and for two if they were disbanded then there would be a massacre, Nepal would be a Himalayan Chile.

    But they are still much smaller, and more importantly much less armed then the Nepali Army. Yes they could win guerrilla war, with ambushes, or bringing tremendous forces together in certain places and then dispersing, but a frontal position battle and assault on Kathmandu- they just don’t have that capacity.

    Thats not to say the PLA wont play a role in any insurrection. If the army does try and drown the revolution in blood- they will of course come out. If there was a mass movement and the troops were massacring civilians, then maybe, but the more decisive role will not be them- but the masses across the country. (think Venezuela in 2001).

    Cheers.

  12. n3wday said

    regarding the question of new mothers, i think there are also larger issues tying into the question of women’s liberation here that haven’t been mentioned, and need to be addressed.

    among the immediate goals of revolution, things like the right to marry for love, and have control over their own reproduction were and are major issues. i think it would be a difficult thing for the party to ‘order’ women not to have children, especially when things like birth control may not be readily available, which could amount to forced abortions if such decisions were made. as ben has mentioned, these soldiers are people too. they should have discipline, but there are material questions at play regarding semi-feudal countries.

  13. red road said

    The earlier comments on the article on the baby boom (as well as the massive reduction of women PLA fighters) in the cantonments were focused entirely on how this development provides insight into the claims of combat readiness of the PLA and especially to the claims of heightened military preparations for insurrection which several comments have made or implied (in many places on the kasama and southasianrev sites). It is not credible to maintain such claims when the army has been severely changed by such trends.

    Of course, if combat readiness and heightened preparations for insurrection or other forms of armed struggle are not on the agenda, at least not in any prioritized way, then the rights which soldiers have, freed from the constraints of urgent military priorities or preparations, become open and important questions.

  14. Green Red said

    Thanks Ben for lucid and understandable language and, being there.
    The most fascinating matter is the fact that letting people see it themselves that even when the revolutionaries have democratically been chosen by them and still the old regime doesn’t let so called democracy rights practiced, is truly important and historic.

    I see lot of difference between telling the people that if you are not with us the rich and imperialists won’t let us do a thing for your betterment and, when the people find out themselves that they must stand for their revolutionary party to make things happen – rather than taking order from them. It is the people’s party and army then, when it directly but patiently and wisely acts for their interest.

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