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From The Nepali Press
Tomorrow’s army




JB PUN MAGAR

Are you preparing to go to the barracks?
We have asked the government for Rs 20 million for each of the 28 barracks; that's the minimum. As soon as the government provides for expenses, we will enter the camps.

Is the budget also for salaries?
We have to start paying salaries, which need to be given from the day the agreement is signed.

But the agreement only talks of lodging and food.
All the details will not be mentioned in the agreement.

How were the camp locations chosen?
We proposed [the sites] and the three sides discussed them. The sites have been inspected and we are now building camps. Some locations don't have roads, electricity, or water.

Isn't your recent recruitment drive against the code of conduct?
Yes, we did send our people (PLA) out to organisations-women's, labour, student unions. We have now called them back.

If all your cadres are 'PLA', and all PLA fighters cadres, who goes to the camps?
We have a military and political structure. We select the cream of the force and during war take people from all directions. Normally, they go back to political and organisational work afterwards. All leaders at the central or regional level are soldiers and political workers.

So how do we know who is from the PLA?
Through identity cards. If you're doubtful, you can investigate with the UN people.

So what do we call the Maoist militia?
The militia is also the army.

Will their weapons also be locked away?
The talks were about the regular forces. What to do with the militia's weapons-khukuris, muzzle guns, homemade pistols, grenades-is undecided. For the CA elections, we can't just depend on state security. Our militia and their militia must integrate.

How big is your armed force?
Around 35,000.

What about weapons?
One for every 15-20 soldiers. We'll show whatever weapons are collected next week.

How can we believe that all the weapons will be locked away?
The government team is made of all parties. There's the army, the UN, and we have our own teams. Our army will bring the weapons to be counted at the same time as the head count.

Will the PLA be tomorrow's national army?
Yes, definitely.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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