CPN-M militants seize prime minister’s land
A profound legitimacy crisis has emerged for the anti-revolutionary forces of Nepal. As we go to press, 33 political parties, led by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, are launching a national general strike (known as a bandh, a tactic where workers and militants surround and force the closure of all businesses) throughout the entire country beginning tomorrow, April 7. Let’s rewind a bit and understand the root of these strikes and the crisis surrounding them.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries on the entire planet. It is one of the few places in the world that has never been formally colonized. Its monarchies more or less prevented a direct British conquest of the country (losing two-thirds of its territory in the process). The ruling army of Nepal is unlike the state of other oppressed countries where the state is usually directly integrated into global imperialism. In Nepal, the state has historically been of a feudal-nationalist type (one that bitterly oppressed the people while resisting integration into the imperialist world system).
Through a ten year long protracted people’s war (liberating 80% of the country’s territory!) and torrents of revolt in the capitol city of Kathmandu, the old monarchy of Nepal was toppled in 2006. The leading revolutionary party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), emerged as the largest political party in the Constituent Assembly elections (a post-revolutionary electoral body) following that rebellion. While this was viewed as a victory inside of the party, there were very different lines inside of the party about how to approach this victory.
Some viewed the Constituent Assembly as a place to expose the limits of this form, and to prepare the minds and organization of millions of people for a new national armed insurrection. They based themselves on the millions of poor peasants and Nepal’s small urban proletariat, organized in dozens of mass organizations and the All Nepal Trade Union Federation (Revolutionary). Others, notably Bhattarai and Prachanda (two counter-revolutionary leaders of the party), viewed the Constituent Assembly as an end in itself, and aligned themselves with powerful international imperialist forces, NGOs, and urban middle classes.
The movement split in 2011 after a deal that brought Baburam Bhattarai to the position of prime minister in Nepal. Bhattarai had gone to the state of India (and the United States), and promised India increasing ownership of Nepal’s natural resources and industries in an agreement known as BIPPA. He had promised the Indian state to integrate 10,000 fighters from the south of Nepal (Terai) where many are pro-India secessionists. This was meant to curtail the feudal-nationalism of the Nepal Army and place it more directly under imperialist control. He ordered the handover of the arms of the People’s Liberation Army, and the dissolution of that revolutionary army. And yet, in the face of all of this, the revolutionaries of Nepal have regrouped.
They have regrouped into the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. They have been in preparations for a new “People’s Revolt” – a national armed insurrection aimed at bringing about a new revolutionary road in Nepal. This strategic orientation has been the plan of their party when it entered the cities from the countryside, and they are creatively innovating and investigating how to make it a reality.
The BIPPA agreement did not go well for the Bhattarai regime. This agreement was even more reactionary than anything ever proposed by the old bourgeois political parties of Nepal, who were not fully on-board with it. The Bhattarai regime’s central promise to Nepal was to write a new constitution and stabilize the country. Two years later, it has failed, providing only a new corrupt bureaucracy. The CPN-Maoist describes the new form of oppression as neo-colonialism, meaning a colonized society ruled by local oppressors (like South Africa). There is no new constitution, the country is in chaos, and Bhattarai has been exposed as a counter-revolutionary who has betrayed the people on a profound level.
In this context, Bhattarai’s ruling party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), handed over the government to Nepal’s chief judge, Khilraj Regmi, who is now the completely unelected prime minister of the country. Regmi along with the political parties that handed power to him claim that this is a preparation for “fair and democratic elections.” But millions of people say it is a part of a larger coup, meant to impose a new, even more reactionary form of oppression on the people. They point out that these elections do not even claim to guarantee the replacement of Regmi as Prime Minister of Nepal.
CPN-Maoist militants have seized the land of the prime minister, and re-distributed it. They have, together with 33 other political parties, brought the country to a halt. They say this is a preparation for “People’s Movement III.” People’s Movement I was a national rebellion that forced Nepal’s monarchy to hold elections in 1991, and People’s Movement II was the country-wide revolt that toppled King Gyanendrah in 2006. More militant actions and confrontations are coming.
Meanwhile, the government has demanded that the CPN-Maoist’s security officers hand over the remaining arms that are used to protect the party’s leadership. Responding, CPN-Maoist General Secretary Thapa said, “We don’t’ need the old rusted weapons, we will submit it and take new ones to the houses of people… New arms are being made in the factory… They will come to the homes of the cadres.”
Let’s be alert, and prepared to stand in solidarity with Nepal’s revolution if future revolutionary openings (or extreme repression of revolutionaries) emerge.
Trivandrum , Kerala, India: Opening day of the 3rd All India Women’s Conference on crimes against women, organized by All India MSS, January 29, 2013.
Top: the dias; middle left: Comrade Sita Polkhrel, former member of parliament, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) addresses the opening rally; middle right: conference attendees; bottom: Mallika Sarabhai presents a dance recital on women’s empowerment.
Photos by Ajanta Sinha Ghosh
KATHMANDU, Jan 17: The CPN-Maoist on Wednesday warned that the party will take up arms if the state power cannot assure the rights of the people.
Speaking at a press meet organized here by the party following the conclusion Tuesday of its seventh general convention, the CPN-Maoist also informed that the time for the revolt will be determined by the political situation.
“Give rights to the people. It the people get their rights, who will take up arms? Nobody. Why is the state conspiring instead of assuring people their rights in accordance with previous agreements and assurances. If rights are not given to people, it is sure that arms will be taken up,” answered Mohan Baidya, newly elected chairman of the CPN-Maoist, when asked about the reason for people´s revolt.
“As far as the date for launching a revolt is concerned, it is not a matter to be announced at present. It will rather be determined by the circumstances. Asked when they would launch their revolt, Baidya said, “We will launch the people´s revolt or people´s war as and when circumstances compel us because no one takes up arms just on the basis of the whim or interests of certain leaders”. “Arms will be taken up by any other force also when the situation so demands, even if we ourselves drop the idea.”
The general convention endorsed the launching of a people´s revolt on the foundation of the decade-long people´s war as the party´s political line. The foundation of the people´s war is people´s government, people´s court and people´s liberation army, according to the party line.
Kathmandu, Nepal: Supporters of the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist march to to Singhadurbar to hand 70-point demand letter to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, September 10, 2012.
Photos by Bikkil Sthapit
CPN-M was constituted following a break-away with the UCPN-M, of which Dr Bhattarai is the vice-chairman.
Before submitting 70-point charter of demands to PM in Singh Durbar after 1pm, CPN-M organised a street rally from Shantibatika in Ratnapark at 11 am.
A squad led by C P Gajurel handed over the 70-point demands to PM Bhattarai as per the decision taken by the central committee of the party.
Some of the demands forwarded by CPN-M include:
a. To make an alliance with pro-republicans, pro federalists, leftists and nationalist forces.
b. scrapping of BIPPA(Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) between India and Nepal
c. ending corruption in all sectors of society
d. ban on Indian number plate vehicles in Nepal, among others.
For CPN-M, the leaders of the three major political parties are responsible for the present political chaos and legal hurdles in the wake of the demise of the Constituent Assembly (CA).
CPN-M leaders said they would take to the street with the same 70-point demands.
CPN-M has said that it will organise protest programmes in Butwal on Spetember 26, in Janakpur on September 30, in Pokhara on October 1, in Kathmandu on October 20, in Kanchanpur on October 16, in Surkhet on October 18.
Political turmoil continues in Nepal after the break-up of the main party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Mohan Vaidya ‘Kiran,’ former senior-vice chairman of the party, tells DW about his political plan.
Asked by sabbatticalwithoptions
As I posted recently, it’s been hard to get a grip on events in Nepal from here in the U.S.
Several Maoist groups that tend toward ultra-leftism (including the Kasama group in the U.S.) have trumpeted the “revolutionary faction” led by Kiran and Baidhya, which is now forming the new Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist), as against the “right” and “centrist” factions of current Prime Minister Bhatterai and former PM and Party chair Prachanda, respectively, who are accused of selling out to the bourgeois reformists.
From here it seems like the “revolutionary faction” are indeed the ones upholding the revolutionary cause, such as protesting the dissolution of the People’s Liberation Army and the handover of weapons to the UN.
However, we should remember that Mao also maneuvered quite a bit with the Kuomintang in the years before the triumph of the Chinese Revolution. Prachanda in particular has shown a great deal of strategic flexibility over the years as leader of the revolution against the monarchy, and reaching out internationally to revolutionaries who are not Maoists. (It is not clear whether the “revolutionary faction” shares this perspective.)
The bulk of translated material is coming from the “revolutionary faction,” so it is unclear even what Prachanda and others are actually saying about it — everything is filtered through their opponents or the bourgeois media.
I share your concern about what this division will mean for the Nepali revolution, which faces formidable enemies internally and externally.
Kathmandu, Nepal: The national convention of the dissenting faction of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPNM) met to formalize the long-developing split and announce the formation of a new party, June 16-17, 2012.
The new formation’s name has appeared in translations as either Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist) or Community Party of Nepal-Maoist. June 16-17, 2012
Photo: The Red Star
Kathmandu: The dissenting faction of Unified CPN- Maoist, which had established a separate structure within the party, finally announced a vertical split after years of inter party struggle.
The three day national convention held at the hall of Sherpa Sewa Kendra, Bouddha, decided to split from the UCPN-M.
The new party has been named after the then Communist Party of Nepal, Maoist and Mohan Baidhya, formerly the senior UCPN-M Vice-chairman, has been elected as the chairman of CPN, Maoist.
Ram Bahadur Thapa and CP Gajurel will hold the same position as they did previously with UCPN-M — General Secretary and Secretary respectively.
They new party has claimed that as many as 53 central committee members have left the UCPN-M with some reservations of PBM Sonam Sathi.
The gathering of the National Cadres’ Convention has entrusted the central committee members to finalize the portfolios of leaders and allocation of work division among the leaders.
Concluding the three-day national gathering, CPN, Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya said they will be shouldering a new responsibility as a new history has just begun.
He, however, said there was no need not take action against UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai as they had severed all ties with them.
Baidhya further said his party would not close the door for talks on unification with the UCPN-M if they wished to transform. He said they were forced to sever ties because neo-revisionism had dogged the party leadership.
The gathering endorsed Baidhya’s political proposal that the nation should find a way out with a round-table conference involving all sides and formation of a national consensus government.
CPN, M will adopt the party’s line as directed by the extended meeting of the UCPN-M held at Palungtar — urban revolt based on the decade-long people’s war.
Earlier, the standing committee meeting of the establishment faction of UCPN-M had concluded that there was no point in urging the radical faction for dialogue as Baidhya had informed them that there was no use of holding talks without the transformation of guiding adopted by the establishment faction.
Splitting the United Maoist has also formed division among the leaders and cadres.
UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal [Prachanda] on Saturday claimed that Nepal Army (NA) is in grip of Maoists and that it will abide by the party’s orders.
Speaking at a program organised by Maoist aligned Tamsaling Rastriya Mukti Morcha in the capital, Dahal claimed that the Maoists have taken complete control of the national army.
“The Nepal Army is in grip of Maoists,” Dahal said.
He also said that the Army supports his party because “it agrees with the Maoist agenda”. Dahal’s didn’t elaborate.
The Maoist strongman further added that if anyone thinks that they will keep Maoists in check with the help of Nepal Army, then they are just “daydreaming”.
Saying that the disbanded People’s Liberation Army of the Maoist party only submitted its old and obsolete weapons to the government, he said it would be wrong to think that the Maoists have been completely “disarmed”.