Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Proposal to Send 6000 PLA Fighters into Forest Security Force

Posted by Ka Frank on March 4, 2010

This article appeared on My Republica on March 3, 2010.

6,000 PLA fighters for forest security force

KATHMANDU:  The cabinet has agreed in principle to form a new national security force comprising posts specially for Maoist combatants who do not want to go into politics or choose rehabilitation. The new National Forest Conservation Corps (NFCC) would accommodate a few thousand of the 19,602 verified People´s Liberation Army (PLA) combatants.

Although such a force would be under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), it will be coordinated by the Nepal Army´s Directorate of Conservation of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves.

The cabinet meeting last Thursday took up a proposal to this effect and forwarded it to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of General Administrations (MoGA) for their approval. “We have proposed to accommodate 6,000 verified Maoist combatants in the NFCC which will be mobilized for wildlife protection and conservation,” Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Deepak Bohara told myrepublica.com.

According to the MoFSC proposal, such a separate conservation corps would comprise 6,000 conservation guards who will then be mobilized in all protection areas, including national parks, conservation areas, the Churiya region and wildlife reserves. “The proposal has been accepted in principle by the cabinet and the final number in the NFCC will be determined once all the necessary procedures are complete and approval from other ministries obtained,” Minister Bohara further said. It has also been learnt that MoFSC held discussions over the proposal with high-ranking officials of the Nepal Army, which has a large number of its soldiers at the national parks and other conservation areas.

As per the plan of action on integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants floated by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the Special Committee on Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation, the government can create new security forces to accommodate the PLA combatants.

However, the UCPN (Maoist) has denied any knowledge of the NFCC proposal. Speaking to myrepublica.com, senior Maoist leader and member of the Special Committee, Janardan Sharma said, “The proposal has neither been discussed in the Special Committee nor has our party been consulted.”

Under the scheme, MoFSC has worked out an approximately Rs 700 million annual package for the combatants. But the state will have to spend almost Rs 1 billion initially.  As per the plan, out of the Rs 1 billion, Rs 600 million will be spent on salary and perks, Rs 100 million on necessary infrastructure and some Rs 300 million for training purposes. The Ministry informed that the Rs 300 million required under the training head would be only a one-time expenditure.

The Finance Ministry, on the other hand, has said that at least Rs 200,000 would be spent per combatant annually for establishing the NFCC. Ministry officials also informed that the letter sent to the ministry does not specifically state that it is for PLA combatants. It simply says the Forest Ministry will mobilize 6,000 security personnel in various protected areas.

The combatants will be hired as other ordinary civil servants, and MoGA would have to create posts equivalent to the numbers proposed.

2 Responses to “Proposal to Send 6000 PLA Fighters into Forest Security Force”

  1. Rajesh said

    Demobilization of PLA is what the government is trying to accomplish. This is waht the Indian government and the American goernments want. The Europian are also interested to acheve the same goal and are contribiting in the same process by contributing huge amount of money. UNMIN is the liquidator of the PLA and sounds symphathetic towards UCPN (Maoist). The creamy layer of the UCPN (Maoist) leadership is more interested to grab high offices rather than continuing the difficult path of radical change. Hence, PLA has become orphan. Now, it is leaderless, bewildered and confused. This is the right time to attack them and their enemies are doing the same. The socalled intigration is the same attack. Talking loud about peripheral issues like ‘civilian supremacy’ and sending the core agenda of people’s power and radical social change has effectively created strategic foundation for PLAs liquidation. Now,Nepalese revolution is in a grave denger of repeating the Indonesian history of 1965 but with difference.

  2. n3wday said

    “Demobilization of PLA is what the government is trying to accomplish. This is waht the Indian government and the American goernments want. The Europian are also interested to acheve the same goal and are contribiting in the same process by contributing huge amount of money. UNMIN is the liquidator of the PLA and sounds symphathetic towards UCPN (Maoist).”

    Some of these statements hold truth to them, but the assessment is ultimately one-sided. Yes, demobilization and fragmentation of the PLA is their goal. But, at the same time its been resisted and twisted by the maoist’s to assist in advancing their own agenda.

    The various processes occurring in Nepal aren’t just the backdoor dealings of politicians. What people see happening has a material effect on their understanding of Nepalese society, and whether the current political set up is acceptable.

    When Prachanda attempted to force Katawal into retirement, and the ceremonial president stepped in and vetoed his decision, it clearly created a dividing line among the masses regarding whether they could accept Nepal’s government in that state or whether they would have to fight for something better. All these events are consciousness changing moments. Calling ‘civilian’ supremacy a peripheral issue expresses a misunderstanding of politics in motion and how those in the middle are won to revolution.

    Civilian supremacy IS an issue of people’s power. The maoists are focusing on the people in urban centers, which before the comprehensive peace agreement were not a social base for them. Precisely because of focusing on the issues that people have on their consciousness, the Maoists have been able to win large numbers of urban dwellers support.

    I’m not so sure the plan for integration is so clear earlier. According to the Himal Mag article, https://southasiarev.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/nepal-an-in-depth-look-at-army-integration-controversy/ – it seems that most PLA are very resolute about their conditions regarding integration. And tactics like integrating as units rather than individuals offers some protection from being over whelmed by the NA as well as providing an opportunity for them to conduct political struggle without being in isolation. Also, placing commandeers at the height of the NA will allow them to be expose and challenge NA leaders, creating rifts in the former RNA’s base membership and amongst their leaders.

    It may even be the conditions put forward by the UCPN are unacceptable to the ruling class and it will never even happen, serving only to offer lessons to those watching lessons.

    The biggest issue I believe is who they are practicing the mass line on. Those in the urban areas require different exposure than those in the countryside. There, they still capture feudal land, have not returned it, apparently the peoples councils exist defacto because there is nothing else in their base areas, their schools still operate, etc.

    I believe Nepal is in a very different situation than Indonesia. The Maoists still have an army with access to their arms, they still train, they still conduct political work. Much of the UCPN PLA was transferred to become YCL members, so they have an entire other section of militants trained in warfare.

    In broad strokes they are doing a damn good job. They’ve consistently expanded their membership and base areas. They’ve managed to keep and army and have vast networks all across the country that can be used if a revolutionary situation occurs. They’ve have arrived at a critical juncture where the future is rather unclear. They are revolutionary, and they’ve covered themselves well so far. Lets see what contingency brings and whether they find the opportunity to make that last push and transform nepal.

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