Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for February 9th, 2010

Disqualified PLA Fighter: “I Don’t Need Rehabilitation”

Posted by Ka Frank on February 9, 2010

This appeared in Irin News on February 5, 2010.

Shanta Karki: “I don’t need rehabil-itation”

SINDHULI – Shanta Karki was barely 13 when she volunteered to be a child soldier for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Maoists’ military wing in Nepal, in 2003. 

She was one of around 3,000 soldiers who were disqualified from the PLA for being an underage combatant when the Maoists signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 2006, ending a decade-long conflict. 

Now 20,

Shanta was part of the first batch of former child soldiers to be released from Maoist army cantonments in January 2010. Returning home for the first time since joining the PLA, she will participate in government and 

UN rehabilitation programmes, but told IRIN she was unsure of her prospects: 

“After seven years of my life with the PLA, I feel very bad for being expelled like this. I have been deprived of helping to liberate my people from this ongoing repression. 

“I don’t know whether my family or village will accept me or not. I have yet to find that out. 

“I joined the war when I was still in school. I witnessed a lot of repression of the poor [and] this provoked me to do something when I was still a young girl.

I have been to the battlefield with a gun. I will continue my life with the Maoists until we have total liberation. 

“I’m not keen on rehabilitation. I don’t need rehabilitation. I’m already standing on my own two feet. The UN rehabilitation package is not going to make things better for me. They want to train us to weave baskets and make candles. They want to sponsor my schooling, but I am already educated. 

“I don’t want to spend my life making baskets. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Bhattarai Calls for Military Training for Millions of Nepalese

Posted by Ka Frank on February 9, 2010

This article appeared on Telegraph Nepal on February 7, 2010

Military training to Nepal Citizens a must: Senior Maoist leader Bhattarai

The Unified Maoists’ Party that has been demanding formation of a new government under itsr own command has threatened that the constitution drafting process will not see timely conclusion unless their demand were met.

The former rebel party has also demanded that at least Millions of Nepalese must be provided with Military training to keep Nepali sovereignty intact.

“The local and foreign reactionaries have wrongly presumed that keeping Unified Maoists’ party having 40 per cent seats in the CA out of government the constitution could still be drafted…they are wrong in their calculations”, said the Unified Maoists’ Party vice chairman Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai while talking to journalists in Nepalgunj of Banke, Saturday February 6, 2010.

He also said that neither will the peace process see the desired conclusion nor the constitution drafting process amicably end by keeping our party out of the government structure. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

The Rich Revolutionary Life of People’s March Editor Swapan Dasgupta

Posted by Ka Frank on February 9, 2010

Swapan Dasgupta(19 April 1949—2 February 2010)

Swapan Dasgupta, the editor of Bangla People’s March, published from Kolkata, died in jail custody as the first political prisoner to die as a UAPA/Unlawful Activities Prevention(Amended) Act of 2008 prisoner.

He breathed his last on 2 February 2010 in the ITU, Mackenjee ward of SSKM hospital, Kolkata as a result of physical and mental torture in the police lock-up since his arrest on 6 October 2009 and utter negligence on the part of the government to give him proper medical treatment both inside Presidency Jail, Kolkata as also in the SSKM hospital.

Many people and democratic forums described his death as murder and sections of urban literati have raised the demand for enquiry about the circumstances leading to his death. Swapan Dasgupta was the editor of Bangla Peoples’ March since its inception in August 2004 and carried on his task to the best of his ability with courage, dedication and sincerity. Even when the English People’s March was banned by the government, he continued to publish the journal disseminating revolutionary ideas and news about revolutionary struggles in different parts of the country and also beyond, braving all odds. Intimidation from the state could hardly make any impact on his mind.

Swapan Dasgupta’s case is a case of deliberate brutal state-sponsored murder in custody. The following information about his life and his days under detention has been collected from the members of his family as also his friends who stood by his side till he finally closed his eyes at the age of 61 and was cremated at Keoratala crematorium. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News | Leave a Comment »