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Archive for the ‘Nepal Background’ Category

Journey to Nepal’s Maoist heartland – Pt 1

Posted by Rosa Harris on September 11, 2011

photo: Jim Weill

This first appeared on Winter Has Its End.

by Jim Weill

In Nepali buses there are seats, and then there are seats. Reclining seats with cushioned headrests – and just about anywhere else a body will fit: in the aisles, on armrests, on benches in the driver’s area, in the doorway, even on top of the bus. One reason for this is, of course, money. Bus operators want to carry as many passengers as possible to acquire as many fares as possible. But Nepalis are also much less squeamish about bodily proximity than European-derived peoples. Complete strangers will lay their heads on each others’ shoulders and it is no offense to lean back against the legs of someone sitting above you.

Furthermore, it seemed that allocation of the proper seats was arbitrary. One could get a ticket for a proper seat, or one could claim a seat early enough, and it was likely the arrangement wouldn’t be contested. So these long bus rides became something egalitarian and communal, with people enduring mild discomfort together, both physically and socially. In a new society, I thought to myself, will everyone have their own cushioned seat, or will everyone share in these minute, everyday struggles together?

Our large coach bus bumped and jostled along the mountain roads, veered around switchbacks and, to my occasional horror, seemed to flirt with the steep edges of the river valley. But eventually, I gave myself over to a different sort of comfort.  The clouds hugged the tops of the green hills, terraced with rice paddies. The popular Hindi and Nepali music poured from the speakers, thick with percussion and broad, powerful voices.

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Nepal: Biplab – The Main Thing is Revolution

Posted by hetty7 on September 8, 2011

Photo Credit: Eric Ribellarsi


This article is from the new Red Star.

Netra Bikram Chanda “Biplab”-  State, Transformation & Peace

“Debates and struggles are running inside and outside of the political parties.  UCPN-Maoist, NC and UML are passing through the process of intense debates. A strange situation has been created whether the running peace process can carry the debate in a smooth way or not. If not, we cannot deny that the struggle will enter into a stage for state transformation.”

3 September 2011: The debate of state, transformation and peace has widened the struggle in two spheres. The first one is among the political parties and the second one among the ideological factions within political parties. Struggle among the political parties is mainly amongst UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC) and UML.  Struggle among the political parties is amongst the ideological factions within Maoist, NC and  UML parties. However, the struggle  among the factions within Maoist party is very important and has historical significance. The struggle can give a new direction and a new mode to the political struggle and peace process.

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A different Bhattarai voice in 2009: “We will complete the revolution”

Posted by redpines on September 7, 2011

Baburum Bhattarai recently became prime minister of Nepal. However his program is in sharp contrast to the revolutionary program and history of his party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). One way to bring that out is to compare Bhattarai’s own political statements from only two years ago with the program he is so energetically articulating and pursuing now. 

The following is a talk Bhattarai gave in 2009,  with the WPRM of the UK in 2009, which was later republished by Monthly Review. In it, Bhattarai praises China’s cultural revolution, unequivocally defends the need to push through to a New Democratic revolution in Nepal, affirms the tactic of urban insurrection–and strangely enough–mentions the need to maintain the PLA.

“The Peoples Liberation Army is still with us, and the arms we collected during that war are still with us within the single-key system, monitored by the United Nations team, but basically the key is with us and the army is with us and we have never surrendered. This shows we have not abandoned the path of PPW. What we have done is suspended that part of the activity for some time and focused more on the urban activities so that we could make a correct balance between the military and political aspects of struggle. After some time we will be able to combine both aspects of Protracted Peoples War  and general insurrection to mount a final insurrection to capture state power.”


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Nepal’s Biplab: Nothing Will Stop the Coming Revolution!

Posted by hetty7 on September 6, 2011

Torch rally against surrender, photo credit: Eric Ribellarsi

The following interview with Biplab (Netra Bikram Chanda), a leading member of the Maoist party in Nepal, was conducted the week before Baburam Bhattarai’s election. At that momentarily the left and right wings of the Maoists were (briefly) working together to weaken the current party chairman Prachanda (obviously for different reasons). That situation ended when  Bhattarai moved to disarm and dissolve the People’s Liberation Army.

Things have changed and events have moved quickly in the days since this interview was given. However it still gives a sense of the struggle over the future of Nepal’s revolution within the Maoist party.

It first appeared on Winter Has Its End (WHIE).

WHIE: Very sharp differences have emerged in your party over army integration. Could you explain those to us?

BIPLAB: We have a two-line struggle going on in our party over the integration of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This struggle has mainly been targeted at Baburam Bhattarai, but at the moment it has become focused on Prachanda. Prachanda is claiming that we can go forward by accepting the integration proposals of the reactionary forces in Nepal.

They are ready to dissolve, not integrate, the People’s Liberation Army which fought for 12 years, into the Nepal Army.

It is amazing that the Nepal Army has put forward proposal about integration. Their proposal gives them leadership and disintegrates the People’s Liberation Army under it. The PLA is treated not as soldiers of Nepal. It suggests that the PLA step aside into local bureaus, and become unarmed forest guards. Prachanda is accepting their proposal.

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Stirring performance in Nepal: Bring the storm!

Posted by Rosa Harris on September 1, 2011

Defiant. photo: Eric Ribellarsi

She sang:

“We cannot surrender.
We cannot become traitors.
We cannot kill our own dreams.
We cannot give our arms to the enemy.
We cannot betray the revolution.”

This first appeared on the Winter Has Its End site for revolutionary journalism.

by Liam Wright

I lifted my eyes as I wiped a streak of sweat from my face.  The place was packed.  About a thousand people crammed into a theater meant to hold nine hundred.  The center aisle was filled with people perched on impromptu seats all the way to the back row.  Some stood peering through the entryway.  Up top, the balcony was filled to the brim as well.  And… it was hot.

We had traveled overnight out of the mountains, on an eleven hour bus ride to get to Butwal, a small city in the sweltering lowland Terai region of Nepal.  This city is an historic spot.  It is the place where the renowned Nepalese warriors, known as Gorkhas, defeated the British East India Company in 1816, maintaining Nepalese independence.

It seems only appropriate that we would come here, a place where Nepal had fought so decisively for sovereignty long ago, to see a performance organized by a section of the Maoist’s who want to fight to continue their revolution now.  The performance, Samana or Resistance, we were told was, “both a call to the people and a warning to our leaders.”

The whole way over I was excited.  I’d been mulling over this for a bit.  How would the Nepalese revolutionaries go forward?  How would they settle the debate over whether to dissolve their People’s Liberation Army or not?  Would they move to break through?  To go for power?  Or would those among the Maoists party’s leadership who want to consolidate a capitalist democracy win the day?

This program promised to give us a hint of how the revolutionaries among the Maoists planned to tell the people: “We’re going to move.  Be ready.”  We were told that the program is going on tour through forty-five places in all, each with a couple showings.  If each is overflowing like this, they were going to reach a lot of people.

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Nepal – Revolutionary Land Reform: Essence and Aim

Posted by hetty7 on August 24, 2011

This is from The Red Star – Vol. 2 No. 4 Feb 16-28 2009

The Kasama reporting team of  Winter Has Its End is now in Nepal.  In their first article -New Nepal One Year Later: Still Waiting to be Born – they were able to talk to one of the peasant leaders .

“One peasant leader shared with us the  stories  of intense debate taking place over revolutionary land reform within the countries constituent assembly.  The other parties (the UML and the Nepali Congress, the former status quo-ist party and the latter a proponent of corrupt Indian-style capitalism) have fiercely opposed revolutionary land reform.  The revolutionary land reform would include confiscation of large land holdings by a wealthy upper class,distribution of land to those who work that land, and the development of radical forms of collective work among the peasants – pooliing their labor to make it possible to build schools, roads, irrigation and sanitation.”

The following article is from The Red Star – Volume 2, Number 4. Feb. 16-28 2009.

Revolutionary Land Reform: Essence and Aim

Krishna Das Shrestha

The economic problems that are being faced by the feudal and semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries in the world , is basically an agrarian problem. Nepal belongs to the same category of these countries and the main problem that Nepal has to solve in the peasant situation is the land problem. The solution of this problem is the most democratic task, which is a very difficult and painstaking task as well.

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Nepal: Maoists Revive United National People’s Council

Posted by celticfire84 on August 23, 2011

The following is from Republica.

Maoists revive political front, C P Gajurel is head

KATHMANDU, Aug 23: The Maoists have activated their joint political front — United National People’s Council (UNPC) — with CP Gajurel as its head, to mobilize the masses.

The last central committee meeting of the party decided to activate the front that had been lying defunct for the past one year due to internal disputes.

The council was known as United Revolutionary People’s Council during the conflict period. The standing committee meeting on August 16 changed the name to UNPC to make it “acceptable to all”. The council is one of the organs of a communist party, with the army and the party being the other organs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: My Experience With the Peoples Liberation Army

Posted by hetty7 on August 23, 2011

This article is from The Red Star, Vol. 1, Issue 2, January 1-15, 2008.

In June,2011 Mike Ely and Eric Ribellarsi wrote an article for Kasama entitled Nepal’s Crossroads: Without a People’s Army, the People Have Nothing.

The article says:

“The disarming and dissolution of the People’s Liberation Army would represent a grave danger to the revolution and to all who have thrown their lives and hopes into that cause.  It would mean that Nepal’s oppressed classes and the Maoist revolutionaries would lack the most basic means of preventing a non-revolutionary consolidation of power. They would no longer have the ability to defend themselves and their leaders from determined and vicious enemies.”

The following article was published in Red Star newspaper in 2008.  The Kasama Project printed it in January 2008.

My Experience With the PLA

by Roshan Kissoon

I have been a frequent visitor to the PLA cantonment in Chitwan over the past five months, where I also give English classes to PLA commanders. There is so much disinformation in the Nepali and international media regarding the PLA, based on ignorance and prejudice.  Here are some things I have seen. Read the rest of this entry »

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Janamaitri Hospital: A Model for Healthcare in a Future New Nepal

Posted by Rosa Harris on August 20, 2011

Intensive care in Janamaitri Hospital, photo credit: Eric Ribellarsi

From Winter Has Its End

The following is a report about the radical model hospital, Janamaitri. Janamaitri is a model of a new socialist healthcare system in Nepal, and what could become possible throughout the country if the old exploiters and oppressors are overthrown.

By Eric Ribellarsi

Janamaitri Hospital has a way of catching ones attention. It stands as a six-story tall glass building, one of the nicest looking buildings in all of Kathmandu. This is the second time I have visited this hospital.

When I stepped into a clean marble entry-way last year, and explained I was a journalist to the reception, I could tell the receptionist had mixed emotions. Clearly, there was excitement that journalists wanted to talk about this hospital, but there was also a fear. I would later learn that this sprang from a number of attacks by right-wing press on the hospital, claiming the role that the Maoists had in initiating the hospital was a reason to suppress its ability to get funding.

During my visits, I introduced to Dr. Rabindra Prasad Rajbhandari, the hospital’s Executive Officer, and the Managing Director, Krishna Sharma. Dr. Rajbhandari took a look at a rash I had free of charge. He and two other doctors laughed at me and gave me a hard time when they determined the diagnosis: lots of mosquito bites.

Dr. Rajbhandari shared a great deal of information about the hospital. Janamaitri Hospital is Kathmandu’s first “model hospital” that views itself as the beginning of a new kind of healthcare system in Nepal. It is not associated directly with the Maoist party, but the Maoists were key in initiating it. It is free or cheap for those who cannot afford health-care and for the families of martyrs of the revolution, and bases itself off a completely non-profit model.

Serve the People

Janamaitri Hospital literally translates to “friends of the people hospital.” Unlike other hospitals which are only available to the wealthy, or which are tied to foreign powers, grants, and NGOs, this hospital is based completely on donations and volunteer work by doctors who accept less pay for their work, out of a sense of “serving the people.”

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Nepal: Martyrs Memorial Residential School

Posted by celticfire84 on August 6, 2011

Special thanks to Thomas Van Beersum and Krishna Tamu for this report.

“Of course the students that have lost their fathers and mothers have experienced very hard times. In a society where there are many difficulties, where there is massive exploitation and oppression it is a good thing that the Martyrs Foundation Nepal, the UCPN(M) and the teachers have taken their time and effort to help the children.”

Photos by Thomas Van Beersum

Martyrs Memorial Residential School

The people’s war has achieved great accomplishments, but it also has seen many comrades who have become martyrs in their heroic struggle. The Martyrs Memorial School was established to give education to the children of the people who have given their bodies for the sake of the nation, and the ones who have become disappeared, injured and disabled during the people’s war.

All over Nepal there are 5 Martyrs Memorial Schools where there is place for 1400 students in total. These schools are run by the Martyrs Foundation Nepal. I made a visit to one of these schools in Pokhara. When I arrived the students had just finished their exams and they were playing on the playgrounds and watching television. Read the rest of this entry »

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Women’s Liberation and Nepal’s Revolution: An Interview with Sahm Janagharti

Posted by celticfire84 on July 19, 2011

In case you missed it, Revolution in South Asia site is re-circulating this important video. Please share it with friends: send it in emails, twitter, g+ and facebook.

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Nepal’s balance of forces & the future of Peoples Liberation Army

Posted by Mike E on June 23, 2011

Democracy and Class Struggle published this report from Peter Tobin, a correspondent who is currently in Nepal. It offers background and analysis of extremely important controversies that have sharpened within Nepal, and within that country’s revolutionary Maoist forces, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Balance of military forces in Nepal –
In relation to PLA integration into the Nepal Army

by Peter Tobin

Before reporting on arguments around the integration into NA [formerly royalist Nepal Army], (as per terms of 2005 CPA [Comprehensive Peace Accords]) of approximately 20,000 PLA cadre [Peoples Liberation Army], it is necessary to understand the overwhelming logistical and numerical apparent superiority of the military available to the reactionary parties through the state apparatus.

The Nepalese Army has 95,000 active personal. It has been well-armed by India, US, UK, Russia and Israel. Its officer caste are trained in India, US and UK, and its high command is profoundly anti- maobaadi (viz 2008 coup against Prachanda-led coalition).

Last year Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal – the unelected UML, GS, and Delhi’s placeman after Prachanda – threatened to unlease the forces at his disposal against any “Maoist attempt to seize state power”, during the May manifestations. There is no doubt that NA general staff would have complied.

It receives $1.7 billion from US though the EMET programme which is jointly funded by Defense/State Departments, and funnelled through, the euphemistically titled: EIPC (Enhanced International Peacekeeping Capabilities)

Further military networking and synching occurs through OCD (Office for Defense Co-operation) convened under CINCPAC (US Commander-in Chief – Pacific).

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Nepal: Maoists Discuss Army Integration with People’s Liberation Army

Posted by celticfire84 on June 21, 2011

The People's Liberation Army has been a mighty force for liberation. They have defended they many victories of the ongoing Nepalese Revolution, including fighting for the rights of women. The PLA is composed of nearly 40% women.

This article originally appeared on enkantipur.com. Nepal’s revolutionaries are approaching serious and important questions about the nature of their revolution and its continuation, including whether or not to advance the revolution and seize state power, or to integrate with the current alliance of forces to form a bourgeois republic. Central to this is the future of the People’s Liberation Army — the beloved PLA — to what kind of future Nepal holds. The South Asia Revolution team is currently discussing these events and their meaning for revolutionaries around the world. A public statement will be forth coming.

Maoist leaders to hold crucial PLA meet

KATHMANDU, JUN 07 – The UCPN (Maoist) is holding consultations with senior members of the PLA on Wednesday in a bid to give the combatants an ownership of the ongoing peace process.

Over 200 senior PLA commanders–ranging from the PLA chief to the sub-division commanders and other leaders–will attend the meeting.

PLA Spokesperson Chandra Prakash Khanal, ‘Baldev,’ said they will discuss the PLA integration process and the party’s latest decisions.

The meeting has been called to take the combatants into confidence on the integration process and read their minds on the peace process and the party’s decisions on integration.

The Maoists have taken important decisions on the integration issue such as accepting the Nepali Army’s modality, agreeing to integrate 8,000 to 10,000 combatants and ending the dual security system of Maoist leaders.

The hardliner faction led by senior Maoist Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya has written a note of dissent on some decisions taken by the party on the integration issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: Words From the Maoist PLA

Posted by hetty7 on June 16, 2011

This is from www.myrepublica.com

What Maoist Guards Say

“I have been working as a body guard for our senior leader Mohari Baidya for the last 5 years. I am very proud of being part of the security system provided to the leadership. If the integration  process is beneficial to the people and the country, we will never be an obstacle. I am yet to decide whether to join the government forces or go for politics. I am still consulting my friends and colleagues.” Keshav Subedi (Dolakha)

Republica

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) members  deputed for the security of Maoist leaders are to begin returning to their respective cantonments from Sunday. They recalled to Republica’s Kiran Pun their experience of being part of the security team with Maoist leaders for many years.

These are excerpts:

Yubaraj Dulai ‘Sharad’ (Sindhupalchowk), security guard for party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal:

I have been working with the party chairman for the last 5 years. It is natural that I’m feeling very uncomfortable parting from the leader. I always felt proud while providing security  to such an important national leader, who consistently led the struggle representing our own class.

Setting aside the sentimental aspects, I’m ready to abide by the party’s instruction and act accordingly. I am ready to be integrated into a government security agency if there is a chance to transform the entire national army into a modern and democratic force. But I wouldn’t accept the offer if it will be no more than just a job.

I also plan to summit Mt. Everest in the coming season to give continuity to the bravery and courage that we used to show when we were at war.

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Nepal Peoples Army commanders stand up!

Posted by celticfire84 on June 9, 2011

We don’t have independent confirmation of these events — so we warn readers not to assume its veracity. Details and quotes in an article like this are unreliable. But if it is true that resistance has emerged against the reactionary plans of integration and disarmament then these are certainly positive and exciting developments.

Mao Zedong expressed an important truth that bears repeating and reflection: “Without a peoples army, the people have nothing.”

This originally appeared on myrepublica.com.

PLA-men refuse non-combatant role

KATHMANDU, June 9: Commanders of the Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) have demanded that their party reject the Nepal Army (NA)´s integration modality that has proposed turning them into a non-combative force. Read the rest of this entry »

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