Nepal: ceasefire ends revolution continues

FRFI 175 October / November 2003

In the last issue of FRFI we reported on the current ceasefire and negotiations between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN(M)) and the monarchical reactionary regime of Nepal (FRFI 174 ‘Communist revolution on top of the world’). The seven-month ceasefire finally broke down on 27 August and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has now resumed its armed struggle.

The CPN(M) sat for three rounds of talks with the Royal Regime, concluding on 17-19 August 2003. The CPN(M) proposed a three-point plan: the convening of a round-table conference, the election of a Constituent Assembly and the formation of an interim government. This was to be the basis for replacing the feudal autocratic monarchy backed by the reactionary Royal Nepal Army (RNA).

In response the government brought forward its own ‘Concept for forward-looking reforms in the state system’. This was an empty package of measures contrived to undermine any substantial concrete change. This closed the door on the possibility of a negotiated political

Imperialist intervention
These political decisions were not just the product of the Nepalese government. They have been influenced by Western imperialism, and by the US in particular. The US made sure that King Gyanendra and the RNA were brutal in their dealings with the CPN(M). At the very start of the third round of negotiations on 17 August the RNA brutally massacred 19 political activists at Doramba in eastern Nepal, an event which precipitated the end of the ceasefire.

The US has also sought support from the neo-fascist BJP government in India to help deal with the ‘Maoist spectre’. Christina Rocca, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, on a visit to India on 11 September 2003 said: ‘The US and India can help Nepal defeat the ruthless Maoist rebels’, continuing: ‘India’s historic, cultural and social ties with Nepal continue to make it the most important outside influence on events in that country’. The Indian government has so far been warm to the idea of co-operation, seeing intervention in Nepal as in line with its own expansionist interests.

Armed struggle
The Nepalese workers and peasants are increasingly siding with the CPN(M) though. This has been demonstrated by mass rallies of hundreds of thousands across the country and by recent polls that put the CPN(M) and its leadership much ahead of all the political parties and their leaders in the country.

Military actions have also taken place across the country on an increasingly frequent and effective level. Dozens of guerrilla actions have taken place in almost all of the 75 districts of the country in the form of sabotages, ambushes and commando raids. The campaign has targeted not just the army but also the government hierarchy. On 28 August, Colonel Kiran Basnet, the highest ranking military officer to have been targeted so far, was killed in Kathmandu in broad daylight. The same day the head propagandist of the RNA was also shot and wounded. The next day, Devendra Raj Kandel, an ex-Minister of State for Home Affairs who gained notoriety for his outrageous remark, ‘Come with a bag full of Maoists’ heads and go with a bag full of money’, was also shot and seriously wounded. At the same time, over 10 million rupees were captured from government-owned commercial banks in Tulsipur and Chitwan, located just a few hundred metres away from RNA barracks. On 7 September there was a major confrontation between the PLA and a 150-strong RNA force in Korchawang (Rolpa province) which resulted in the retreat of the RNA.

However, these successes have brought further brutal repression from the government. It has been killing dozens of unarmed civilians and political activists in fake military encounters. An inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission into the 17 August massacre corroborated this. The response of course from imperialist leaders such as Bush and Blair has been to turn a blind eye to such atrocities and to denounce the just armed struggle against the military as ‘terrorist’. For our part we side completely with the risen people of Nepal.
Victory to the Nepalese revolution!
Andrew Alexander

Quotes in this report were taken from the Maoist Information Bulletin No 4, publication of the CPN(M).


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