Monday, November 23, 2009

Pictures From A Recent Rally In Thamel

Pictures courtesy RJ McKay, a Brit currently travelling in Nepal. They were taken today at a rally in Thamel, one of the tourist centres of Nepal. Click to view full size.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Witness - From Bullets to Ballots two years on - Part 1 & 2

UCPN (M) for 'package solution'

reprinted from

The Unified CPN (Maoist) has called for 'package agreement' on the issues it has been raising.  A meeting of the senior Maoist leaders held Thursday morning concluded that the issue of civilian supremacy and the demand for rectifying the President's move should be addressed altogether.  Maoist vice chairman Narayankaji Shrestha said the party would push for a package solution in today's three-party meeting.  The leaders of the three main parties are to meet in the afternoon.

According to, party secretary C.P Gajurel, the Nepali Congress and the CPN (UML), which were not ready to change their position on the President's move earlier, have now softened their stance and are more likely to agree on a package solution.

At the meeting today, party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal informed the leaders about his three-day visit to Singapore where he discussed a possible solution to the current deadlock with Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital there.

Immediately after landing in Kathmandu airport yesterday, Dahal claimed that the current 22-party government is going to be toppled within a few days and that a new coalition will be formed. He would not elaborate.

Maoists warn of fresh stir in Nepal

reprinted from

Nepal’s opposition Maoists today threatened to launch a fresh anti-government agitation if their demands, including restoration of “civilian supremacy”, are not met by Friday, even as they favoured dialogue with the ruling multi-party alliance to break the political deadlock

During a high-level meeting of CPN-Maoist, its chief and ex-premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ briefed the participants on his talks with Nepali Congress (NC) President G P Koirala, according to senior Maoist leader C P Gajurel.

Maoists have been demanding restoration of “civilian supremacy” and a parliamentary discussion to rectify President Ram Baran Yadav’s “wrong” move to reinstate the then army chief Rukmangad Katwal following his sacking by the previous Prachanda administration.

Prachanda met Koirala, who is undergoing medical treatment in Singapore, recently and they agreed to resolve the political stalemate by finding a middle path on the President’s reinstatement of Katwal that had led to the collapse of the Maoist government in May.

As NC and CPN-UML, the main constituents of ruling 22- party alliance, “have softened their stand, we hope that there will be some sort of agreement among major parties regarding the key issues,” Gajurel said. “We are also looking at preparing a common resolution for discussion in Parliament.” However, Maoists warned that they would launch the third phase of their agitation if their demands are not addressed by the government within the November 20 deadline, set by the former rebels last week

Al Jazeera: Nepal Maoists in standoff with government

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Maoist Torchlight Procession in Nepal

Nepal: Interview with Comrade Baburam Bhattarai

baburam_bhattaraireposted from WPRM (Britain)
“Protracted People’s War (PPW) is a military strategy to be adopted in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial context, and, in the different context of imperialism, could be applied in a modified form even in imperialist countries. But basically the theory of PPW as developed by Mao was to be applied in semi-feudal, semi-colonial countries. That’s why the military line adopted in the case of Nepal was basically a line of Protracted People’s War, which we developed through the course of our struggle, applying it very creatively in Nepal for ten years.”

WPRM: Thank you for meeting with us today. In your article in The Worker #4 ‘The Political Economy of the People’s War’ you write that “the transformation of one social system into another, or the destruction of the old by the new, always involves force and a revolutionary leap. The People’s War is such a means of eliminating the old by a new force and of taking a leap towards a new and higher social system.” Why then did the Maoist party enter the peace process and attempt to change society through Constituent Assembly elections?
Baburam Bhattarai: This is a very important question related to the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). The basic motive force of history is the contradiction between the existing level of productive forces and the production relations within society. At a certain stage this contradiction sharpens and there is a break with the old relationship and a leap to the new one. We call this social revolution. That leap necessarily confronts a certain force, because every set of productive relations is backed by a state, and the state means basically the organised force of the army. To break with the old mode of production and leap into a new one, you have to break all the relations within the state backed by the army. And that inevitably requires the use of force. This is a law of history and a basic principle of MLM which nobody can revise. If you revise or abandon it then you are no longer a Marxist. There is no question of our party ever ending this basic principle.
By adhering to this basic principle we waged armed Protracted People’s War (PPW) from 1996 to 2006. But after 2006 we made a certain departure in our tactical line. Some people are confused about this and think we have abandoned PPW forever and adopted a peaceful path of social development. This confusion needs to be cleared. What we are saying is that People’s War is a multifaceted war where both the armed and political form of struggle needs to be combined.

Nepal: Comrade Gaurav speaks on Democracy and Cultural Revolution

Reposted from WPRM (Britain)

Comrade Gaurav has recently been made one of the secretaries in the new Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN[M]) leadership structure. WPRM (Britain and Ireland) activists met him at the party office in Paris Danda (Hill), Kathmandu, where we tried to get deeper into the issue of democracy, specifically the UCPN(M) concept of 21st century democracy, of holding elections under New Democracy, and how this relates to the theory and practice of Cultural Revolution. Following is the transcript of this interview:
“If they don’t change their ideological-political line, we don’t envision that they will be able to take part in those elections. The New Democratic system will not allow this if they don’t change their ideological-political line and behaviour.”
WPRM: In the current situation when the UCPN(M) has its sights set on New Democratic Revolution, it seems more important than ever to understand the party’s idea of 21st century democracy, competitive elections under New Democracy and socialism, can you explain this concept to us?
Comrade Gaurav: Yes we are now in the stage of completing the New Democratic Revolution. The New Democratic system is not a socialist system. It is a bourgeois democratic system. The difference is that the revolution is made under the leadership of the proletariat. The old type of bourgeois democratic revolution took place under the leadership of the bourgeoisie, but the New Democratic Revolution will take place under the leadership of the proletariat. When it is led by the proletariat it will lead towards socialism and communism. On the other hand, if the bourgeois democratic revolution is being led by the capitalist class, it will either consolidate capitalism or, if it develops at all, it will develop towards imperialism. That is the difference. So New Democratic Revolution in this sense is not a socialist revolution, it is a bourgeois democratic revolution but it is led by the proletariat. And, when the proletariat leads this revolution and the revolution is completed, then immediately it will move towards socialism. It will not consolidate bourgeois democracy, it will move towards socialism. This debate was seriously carried out during 1956 in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). People like Deng Xiaoping said that since it is a bourgeois democratic revolution, it is the time to consolidate capitalism. But, Mao said that it should not be consolidated, it should go forward to socialism. This is the basic division between New Democracy and socialism. And, the question of which class is leading is the fundamental question.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Maoists picket local government offices


A day after torch-bearing Maoist leaders and cadres hailed the start of their second phase of nationwide protests, the main opposition party Unified CPN (Maoist) has picketed all offices of the local government across the country on Monday.

The party cadres had gathered at all VDC offices and municipalities from early morning restricting the government employees from carry out their work. The demonstrators are chanting slogans against the coalition government.

In Kathmandu, public transport has been disrupted in several places as Maoists gather in front of the municipalities and ward offices restricting employees from entering their offices.

According to party plans, the programmes to picket the government offices will continue till evening today.

The Maoists had on Oct 22 announced a two-week protest programme stating that the government and political parties were not serious about their demands which includes correcting the "unconstitutional" move of the President vis-à-vis the former Army chief and other civilian supremacy issues.

The former rebel party had given a nine-day deadline to the government and political parties to come to a consensus on those issues, which ended on Sunday.

Maoist spokesperson Dina Nath Sharma said that even though the second phase of protests have started, the party will not close the door for consensus as it will continue to hold talks with political parties.

Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had inaugurated the torch rally yesterday evening in Kathmandu participated by nearly 20,000 Maoist cadres.

The rally of torch-bearing Maoist leaders and cadres began from Old Bus Park and traversed through Bagbazaar, Putalisadak and Shahid Gate before congregating at Basantapur.

The capital's traffic was thrown out of gear for about an hour due to the Maoist torch rally.

Earlier in the day, the Maoist chairman had warned of a revolt if the government resorted to use of force to suppress their "peaceful protests".

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ramesh Chand Thakuri has directed police personnel deployed in the streets during the Maoist protests to exercise maximum restraint and not use unnecessary force to quell the demonstration.

Maoists take over Dhankuta municipality

Coinciding with their party's protest programme at the local bodies across the country, Maoist cadres on Monday captured the Dhankuta Municipality, 'appointing' the office-bearers of the municipality including the mayor and the deputy mayor.

According to reports, the Maoist party declared Ganesh Bista as the mayor the municpality and Kabita Rai as deputy mayor. They also appointed chairmen in 9 wards in the municipality.

The party declared that its team would look after the entire matters with the municipality.

This was probably the first major step as part of the UCPN-Maoist's plan to declar 'autonomous states' and revive the insurgency era 'people's governments' at the local level.

Maoist cadres picketed the offices of municipalities, disitrict development commitees and VDCs across the country today, preventing works in these bodies during the protest.