Nepal: Maoists Plan to Integrate Disqualified PLA Members into YCL
Posted by Ka Frank on December 2, 2009
My Republica, November 30, 2009
Maoists likely to discharge disqualified unilaterally
KATHMANDU: Following a longstanding deadlock over proposed rehabilitation packages, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is likely to unilaterally discharge the disqualified combatants.
The Maoists have refused to accept the rehabilitation packages designed by the Peace Ministry and the UN country team, which include formal and informal education and vocational trainings to the combatants. The Maoists have been demanding that the disqualified also be offered cash incentives.
“We are going to discharge the combatants on our own since the government and the UN [country team] are not ready to address our concerns,” Maoist politburo member Chandra Prakash Khanal told myrepublica.com on Sunday. “The top leadership of our party will take a decision to this effect in a day or two.”
The Maoists have maintained that the proposed rehabilitation schemes do not ensure the combatants job security after training and education. “Hence, we are going to discharge them on our own. They fought for the country in the past and are ready to sacrifice themselves for the country once again,” Khanal said, “They will then join Young Communist League [the para-military force of the Maoist party].”
The government has given the Maoists two choices with regard to discharging the 4,008 disqualified combatants. “They should either accept the government´s rehabilitation package and plan or discharge the disqualified on their own,” said Peace Minister Chemjong.
The discharge and rehabilitation of 4,008 disqualified combatants (minors and late recruits), which began on October 11 had been thrown into limbo after the Maoists demanded cash incentives for the combatants. The first phase of the process has already been completed, while the second phase was to begin on November 22. The government has planned to complete the process in six phases.
On Sunday, Minister Chemjong and Maoist leader Khanal discussed the deadlock over the discharge process in the presence of representatives from the UNMIN and the UN country team. The meeting has given the Maoists two days to either accept the government´s rehabilitation package or to opt for unilateral discharge, according to Minister Chemjong.
“Even if the Maoists unilaterally discharge the disqualified combatants, government should be allowed to witness the process,” said Minister Chemjong.
In recent days, the Maoists have been pushing for rehabilitation packages, which include employment opportunities for the combatants for two to three years. Earlier, the Maoists had demanded one million rupees initially and later land for apple farming or cows to support the combatants´ livelihoods.
UNMIN and the UN country team are also against cash-involved rehabilitation package. Citing their experiences in other countries in the past, the UN agencies have maintained that cash is not the solution to ensure successful future life and social reintegration of the combatants.