Prachanda: On Ending General Strike…. and the Next Moves
Posted by Mike E on May 9, 2010
KATHMANDU, May 8: A day after the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) called off its six-day general strike, the party´s chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal [Prachanda], said the ball is now in the court of the ruling parties and his party would watch their move and take its decisions accordingly.
“We will not negotiate with the ruling parties out of submission. We will see how you (ruling parties) react to the nation and the people, and make the next move accordingly. Now the ball is in the ruling parties´ court,” Dahal said while addressing a rally at the Khulamunch, Saturday.
He also said his party has only changed the nature of its protest — not withdrawn it, and that the strike was just a rehearsal. “The six-day strike is just a rehearsal. We put off the agitation for the time being to make further preparations and give a respite to the people.”
He said the general strike should be construed as preparations for a revolt if the ruling parties do not become ready for consensus and address the Maoist demands. “If a national government is not formed and the constitution not drafted as we have envisioned, we will stage the real show before May 28,” said Dahal. He demanded that the ruling parties immediately take a decision in favor of peace, constitution and the nation.
Journalists, writers humiliated rural folk
Dahal also accused journalists and writers of humiliating the rural folks who have descended on the Valley to participate in what they call Janaandolan-3.
“The shabbily dressed, poor, and hungry rustics who came to Kathmandu were humiliated by the so-called learned. These neat and clean intellectuals will now have to decide whether they want peace or war” he said. “Nepali people have maintained a diary on who wrote what,” he added.
He said when these people came to Kathmandu to participate in the April uprising in 2006, they were not termed “outsiders”, but when they came to Kathmandu for republicanism, federalism and secularism this time round, they had been called outsiders. The Maoists have brought in thousands of people from across the country, especially from districts surrounding the Valley, to heat up the streets.
Dahal was especially angry with middle class Kathmanduties who did not participate in the Maoist demonstrations.
The Maoist chairman also accused the government of deploying “vigilantes” who attacked his party cadres with pistols and khukuris, and the media of disseminating propaganda that locals retaliated against the Maoists for enforcing the strike.
“What could be greater dishonesty than that? History will show the consequences of the hooliganism. People will not spare them,” he said. He also said the peace rally on Friday was infiltrated by vigilantes to incite violence.
“That´s why we requested organizers to postpone the program,” he said. “If that was purely a peace rally why did some march chanting slogans demanding Prachanda´s execution,” he said. He argued that the war is now between those who want to institutionalize rebublicanism, federalism and secularism and those who are against these concepts.
Two reasons for withdrawing strike
The former rebel leader said his party withdrew the general strike for two reasons: Out of its understanding as the largest political party for the sentiments of the people, and the conspiracy to pit people against people. According to him, the party has not retreated, but changed the form of protest. “This mass movement, which we have termed Jajaandolan-3, will not be called off until we reach our goal,” he said. Dahal also urged his cadres not to lose patience and deviate from the path.