Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Badal: PLA Ready to Fight against Foreign Power

Posted by Ka Frank on January 24, 2010

This article was published on eKantipur on January 22, 2010.

Badal warns of mobilisation of Maoist PLA fighters

Bara: UCPN (Maoist) General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ has said that the cantoned People Liberation Army (PLA) combatants could be mobilised against meddlesome foreign forces. “We will direct the PLA fighters to fight a war if any foreign power centre tries to interfere in our internal affairs and encroach upon our territory,” said Thapa at a programme organised by the Maoist party’s Bhojpura-Madhesh State Committee in memory of activists Ram Prakash Yadav, Dara Yadav, Ambika Mahato and Rajesh Mandal, whom unknown armed groups had murdered recently.

“The government, with help from India, is trying its best to make our party LTTE. But we will make the government bite the dust,” said Thapa. He blamed India for protecting the murderers of the four Maoist cadre. He went on to claim that plots were being hatched to derail the peace process and dissolve the elected Constituent Assembly.

10 Responses to “Badal: PLA Ready to Fight against Foreign Power”

  1. Ka Frank said

    This statement by a top Maoist leader demonstrates what is wrong with the new strategy of the UCPN (Maoist). With the spearhead directed against India, the PLA is looking to the south, rather than being readied to do battle with the Nepal Army and the other repressive forces of the state.

    This may also be a way to prepare the PLA to be integrated into the NA in the not so distant future to turn it into a force to safeguard national independence.

  2. Arthur said

    The Nepal Army has already fought a war with the PLA and knows it cannot win without Indian intervention. Pretending that possibility does not exist and failing to prepare for it and deter it would make no sense at all. An army prepared to take on the Indian Army is hardly unprepared to take on the Nepal Army!

    This “criticism” is rather like the brilliant solidarity statement with “advice” to “go underground” and retreat from the cities in fear of an Army takeover when Prachanda resigned as PM. Instead they are advancing vigorously while others stand in the way gesticulating and criticizing (complete with bizarre references to Mao on the peasant movement in Hunan while behaving exactly the opposite to Mao’s recommendation).

    Yes of course it is also part of preparations to integrate the two armies and turn the Nepal Army from a force safeguarding semi-feudalism into a force to safeguard national independence. Naturally the leadership of the Nepal Army is resisting that. Siding with them in that ongoing struggle cannot be be made to smell differently by dressing it up with revolutionary phrasemongering.

  3. Mike E said

    With the utmost respect for Ka Frank, I would like to disagree with the following claim:

    “This statement by a top Maoist leader demonstrates what is wrong with the new strategy of the UCPN (Maoist). With the spearhead directed against India, the PLA is looking to the south, rather than being readied to do battle with the Nepal Army and the other repressive forces of the state.”

    This is exactly wrong, and completely misreads the situation.

    The Nepali Army’s prestige in Nepal has been precisely based on their history of upholding Nepali independence against India. In their moves to isolate and defeat that army, the Maoists (and their Peoples Liberation Army) are claiming that national banner (AWAY from the monarchists’ army) in order to expose, divide and defeat that National army as Indian puppets and collaborators.

    This is not some diversion from the preparations for power — it is one way the Nepali Maoists are dividing and isolating their enemies (and winning over intermediate forces), precisely as they work to sum up a series of dress rehearsals for power.

    To put it as bluntly as I can: The Nepali Maoists are preparing right now (i mean in the next weeks) for what-may-be their final confrontations with the reactionary government and army — that may take place over the next two months.

    They are seeking to mobilize the people (based on the understanding that their enemies will be wanting to act closely with Indian intrigues, and can be isolated by exposing those intrigues.)

    I will be ringing this bell loudly, and more loudly… and I want you to join me in ringing this bell. Everyone we know and meet should start to consider how they can discuss and explain this important revolution in (what may be) its most bold and desperate hour.

    The endgame is now taking shape in Nepal, perhaps in the next month or two, as the Maoists sum up their repeated “dress rehearsals” in Kathmandu and evaluate when (exactly) to go for a seizure of power.

    We need to be preparing ourselves (here in the U.S.) for a political offensive of popularization and exposure — with teach-ins, outreach, and the active organization of all who can be won to such an effort. And for us to play our role, we need to clearly understand that we may (from now to spring) be facing the key time for “speaking on another plain” (as the Maoists own actions push them into the headlines).

  4. Arthur said

    Teach-ins, outreach etc can also be used to learn from following closely what is ACTUALLY going on regardless of preconceptions. Such teach-ins are also learn-ins and would also be useful if (as I think more likely) the result of preparing for confrontation turns out to be a retreat by the reactionaries, acceptance of civilian supremacy and another formation of a Maoist led coalition governnent presiding over integration of the two armies and drafting of a compromise constitution rather than an actual seizure of state power in the next few months.

    That too would be a Maoist action pushing them into headlines. It was in fact the initial formation of such a Maoist led coalition that first attracted worldwide mass public attention to them (and ought to have led to more close study and less pronouncements and criticism).

  5. Ka Frank said

    Arthur writes re the preparation of the PLA to confront the Indian Army:

    “Yes of course it is also part of preparations to integrate the two armies and turn the Nepal Army from a force safeguarding semi-feudalism into a force to safeguard national independence.”

    This is exactly my point. The UCPNM now defines the main enemy of the Nepalese revolution as the Indian Army, and the way is being paved to integrate the PLA into the NA and eliminate it as an independent military and political force.

    It is deadly to suggest that the integration of 15,000 PLA members into the 90,000+ Nepal Army will turn it into a “force to safeguard national independence.”

    Mao and the CCP refused to integrate the Red Armies into the KMT forces during the War of Resistance against Japan, as well as during the 1946 peace negotiations at Chunking. The Chinese revolution would have been stopped short of victory if army integration had taken place. This historical experience cannot be ignored.

  6. NSPF said

    I think the figure of 15000 is overly “optimistic”.
    There are indications and leaks of a secret deal on 3 to 5 thousand. The rest are to be disarmed and demobilised.

    Frequently on this site, Arthur who supports the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan accuses others who oppose the dis-“intigration” of the pla as “siding with the enemy”. If this logic (which was first used by c. Prachanda, albeit less offensive,)was correct then we might ask why is the EU and UN and even Israel staunch supporters of intigration? Have they recently become supporters of revolution and liberation or have they become so stupid as not realising what they are doing?

    A more plausible explanation, however, is that India, U.S., China and the EU are engaged in fierce rivalry and clashes of interest, even while they all agree on Nepal staying a dominated and dependent country.
    India is going solo and against everyone because they refuse to let others in as senior partners-in-crime in what they perceive as their backyard. In a sense, India is doing in Nepal exactly what the u.s. is doing in Haiti. They all want a refreshed and renovated reactionary state. Where they differe is how to achieve that and this is closely linked to how they could penetrate deeper into Nepal.

    The local reactionary politicians and the army have their own particular concerns. All had come to realise that the state could not function in the same old way and there is a need for some sort of change without real change. At the same time none of them are prepared to be sidelined and sacrifised in order to achieve that. The army top brass is opposed to the so called intigration because they see this as a step towards making them answerable and accountable to politicians; something they are not used to at all. As things stand, even the defense ministry does not how the army spends its budget, for example.

    All the above could be substantiated in detail with facts and figurs and some people know this but choose to either ignore it or deliberately hide it.

    In short, it is incorrect and hypocritical to accuse people who oppose pla dis-intigration of siding with the enemy.

  7. Nando said

    Ka Frank writes:

    “Mao and the CCP refused to integrate the Red Armies into the KMT forces during the War of Resistance against Japan, as well as during the 1946 peace negotiations at Chunking. The Chinese revolution would have been stopped short of victory if army integration had taken place. This historical experience cannot be ignored.

    The historical experience is far more complex than described here.

    The communist forces were, in fact, integrated in some important ways into the KMT armies during the anti-japanese war. They changed their names from People’s Liberation Army to the 8th Route Army (of the KMT National Army). They were ordered to remove the red star from their caps (an order that was resisted in some units, who threw their hats away rather than remove the red star). Uniforms were changed to conform with the KMT standards.

    In other words, officially, the PLA was integrated into the KMT armies — while Mao fought to maintain command and strategic independence. I say “fought” because this was a struggle.

    A very powerful line in the Chinese Communist Party and the Comintern was (what Mao described as) “everything through the united front” and “everything for the war against Japan” — which, in effect, meant abandoning both independence within the united front, and abandoning the larger goals of the communist revolution.

    There was sharp struggle over how fully to be integrated into the KMT forces. And then over whether to push forward the revolution in the wake of Japan’s defeat.

    I’m not making an argument here for subordinating revoltionary forces to their enemies. Obviously. But I am making an argument that things are not as simple as they sometimes appear in history books. We should understand the complex pull and tacking of revolutionary forces fighting for power in complex riptides. And not think their difficult decisions can be clarified by simplistic and formulaic assumptions.

  8. Arthur said

    Eu and UN are not “the enemy” in Nepal and Israel is irrelevant. Both the reactionaries in Nepal and India who are indisputably the enemy are openly hostile especially to UNMIN, but also to ICG and EU embassies for remaining neutral and wanting the peace agreement carried out. Their theory is that that UNMIN and EU/ICG have “become so stupid as not realising what they are doing”. Whatever the truth about that, there is no excuse for siding with the reactionaries in Nepal on a central issue in their fight with the Maoist party based on some complicated theory that the Maoist party leadership has sold out or “become so stupid as not realising what they are doing”.

    [moderator snip]

    The Nepalese party has demonstrated an understanding of who its enemies are and how to fight them that has not been demonstrated by its critics.

  9. Ka Frank said

    Nando distorts what is a very clear historical record on this question.

    He claims that changing the names and uniforms of the Red Armies during the anti-Japanese war meant that “officially, the PLA was integrated into the KMT armies.” This is either a misleading use of the word “officially” or just short of ridiculous.

    KMT generals did not take over command of the PLA, and there was certainly no physical integration of the two armies. While formally in a united front against Japan, the KMT armies spent more of their efforts attacking the PLA and the communist base areas than fighting against the Japanese. There were constant large scale battles between the PLA and the KMT from 1937 to 1945.

    The only thing that Nando gets right here is that there were powerful forces in the CCP–supported by Stalin and the Comintern (who did not believe that the Chinese communists could defeat the KMT)–that advocated integration of the two armies under KMT command, giving up the base areas and forming a KMT-led coalition government in exchange for legal status for the CCP. However, Mao and his allies were not debating “how fully to be integrated into the KMT forces”–he opposed it and defeated Wang Ming and the other capitulationist forces in the party.

    For a detailed study of this question, see “The Political, Military and Negotiating Strategy of the Chinese Communist Party (1937-1946) and Recent Developments in Nepal.” http://www.mlmrsg.com

  10. prakash said

    Comrades,
    UCPN (maoist) leaders were used to giving statements like re starting war, ready for war, now PLA is ready for war etc, often and often. at the same time they gives clarifications like ‘do struggle in so called democraratic ways’, we will come to power through such struggles. we are bind still now, by seven party peace agreements under UN supervision ( even though those parties are violating openly)like. At the same time merging the PLA with nepal army,(disarming the PLA) is also going on.
    Nepali ruling class, indian exansionism and imperialism is fully on the nepali political, economic and military fields.
    Is it not their crisis of strategy in the guise of tactics. Are these are not proving their grave mistakes of abandoning the people’s war hugging the peace process with reactionaries,( not even national democrats) cancelling revolutionary people’s governments? The utter failure of much projected prachanda path, which, they told suitable in 21st century.
    Why these leaders are giving blunder statements rather doing what needed to protect nepali revolution, at least now itself.Is it for enthusing cadres falsely or intention of keeping morale in futile methods? If not, then for confusing the people and cadres.
    Nepali revolutionary cadres and people must act now with immense courage and faith to set right things properly. World revolutionary forces should fight vigourously in support of nepali revolution. Otherwise loss becomes greatest.
    –prakash

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