Nepali Times
PRASHANT JHA
Plain Speaking
Letting go


PRASHANT JHA


Despite last week's retreat, and the alienation of a section of the Kathmandu population, the Maoists remain the most powerful political party in Nepal.

And that is the problem. Unless they are weakened, they will not be allowed to govern the country, for their agenda is too dangerous to be allowed a free reign. The past year has essentially been a battle to this end. Non-Maoists are trying to weaken the Maoists by stoking their internal divisions and co-opting sections of their social base. The Maoists are countering this by expanding their organisation on the ground, keeping up popular agitations, and creating one enemy after another to keep the flame of 'revolution' alive.

To expect a political force to become weaker voluntarily is naïve, but in the liberal democratic framework, espousal of non-violence and the rule of law are two tools used to keep parties in check, ensure the destructive impulses of large groups are controlled, and slow down the process of political change.

The Maoists derive a degree of their strength through their coercive apparatus. The logic of the peace process was that they would have to give up these structures, primarily the PLA. The Maoists feel they have done so by keeping them in cantonments. They claim that their support is totally based on popular mobilisation rather than force, and accuse other parties of not keeping their promise on integration. The non-Maoists feel that it is by keeping the PLA intact through state resources that the former rebels have become stronger, and allege that Maoists do not want to move on integration themselves.

The constellation of anti Maoist forces – the president, NC-UML, Nepal Army (NA), and India – means that until the Maoists make substantive movement on the PLA question, they will not be given space in the formal state apparatus.

It is an interesting moment, for the same leaders who till six months ago were insisting that there could be absolutely no integration of the Maoists now emphasise that integration must happen. They have become extremely flexible on numbers: from talking about 3,000 in the security forces, NC leaders now privately speak of how 8,000 former combatants can be taken in and a generous rehabilitation offered to the rest.

For the Maoists, this concession by others is a victory. The fact that the PLA is not in fact their core source of strength (rather than its fraternal organisations and the YCL) is allowing them to be flexible, as Prachanda's speech demonstrated on Wednesday.

But they face three problems. They are being asked to move on integration at a time when they are the most insecure. The Maoists are isolated domestically and unsure of whether the constitutional process and their agenda will be implemented, so do not know whether this is the best time to give up the PLA. This is why they are seeking credible guarantees on other issues through a package deal.

Secondly, the question of the PLA, for the Maoists, ties in with the 'democratisation of the NA', which in their estimation has not taken place at all. Integration was a method to change the structure and character of the NA and make it a 'friendly force', but that is not possible anymore given the balance of power.

And thirdly, the PLA ties in with the internal power balance in the party. Certain leaders do not care much for the PLA anymore as their support comes from elsewhere. But there are leaders whose sole strength comes from the existence of the PLA, and they feel they need to extract something now from any agreement on integration.

The Maoists seem to recognise that playing a double game on the PLA (saying it is under the Special Committee while maintaining an iron grip) is no longer possible. In the taskforce discussions, there is in fact a remarkable degree of convergence. However, the non-Maoists insist that numbers be decided on before the Maoists are allowed to join government. The Maoists insist that this should happen through a process of consultations, and that it should not be a pre-condition to a national unity government.

The Maoists appear to have done a cost-benefit analysis and decided it is worth making certain unilateral concessions, for unlocking the PLA issue will alter the political game quite drastically.

READ ALSO:
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Edging closer?- By Dewan Rai
Wanted: leaders - By Krishna Khanal
Less revolting - By Kiran Nepal



1. Nirmal
May be non-maoists were having a kumbhakarna siesta until the results of CA elections by allowing the military conflict go hand by hand. Today, the Maoists are superior even on notorious rules of the game invented by these traditional parties. these old parties have found their worst face(chaos, insolvency and instability) on the Maoists now.

I think, right now it is not only the PLA(even i read in Nepal magazine a positive response of NA brigadier) in the way of whole peace process but the flawed approach to the pacification of the entire State as a whole that should have commenced as it happens after any war in succesful countries. The transitional situation requires maximum restraint and obliges to quit recalcitrant attitudes during the phase. It would be in benefit of all, that, at least during the period of transition, the Maoists as well as non-maoists halt their activities in the street and dedicate their time to work, like civilised and well learned politicos. All party involved national government and reenergised CA should be on the cards. The general situation of productive sectors is scary; people have no basic rights to enjoy; the economy has a gloomy picture; public security is null; proliferation of mafias is in rise; street violence is spreading. Over these things there can be no politics and no politician. Period.

 The ball is right on the centre, it is up to the Maoists and non-maoists to score their collective goal or throw it to the other side simultaneously, ergo pushing the Nation into the abysmal of miseries.


2. Kale rai
YCL is the MILITIA of the Maoist. Golden handshake should be the first solution. Be generousin that.

3. Arthur
"The constellation of anti Maoist forces – the president, NC-UML, Nepal Army (NA), and India – means that until the Maoists make substantive movement on the PLA question, they will not be given space in the formal state apparatus."

What a "constellation" of anti Maoist forces! The president is not a force and NC-UML combined have only a small fraction of the public support of the Maoists. So what this means that the people of Nepal will not be given space in the state apparatus of Nepal while the Nepal Army and India retain their veto.

How could any democrat accept that?

"It is an interesting moment, for the same leaders who till six months ago were insisting that there could be absolutely no integration of the Maoists now emphasise that integration must happen. They have become extremely flexible on numbers: from talking about 3,000 in the security forces, NC leaders now privately speak of how 8,000 former combatants can be taken in and a generous rehabilitation offered to the rest."

Yes that shift is interesting. A year ago the same "leaders" who said 3,000 six months ago and say 8,000 now were supporting the COAS who said "none". It is the same story on electing a constituent assembly, republic, federalism, secularism etc. Every step forward Nepal has taken is proposed by the Maoists, bitterly resisted by the others and then gradually accepted as it becomes clear there is no way out.

The peace agreement requires democratization of the Nepal Army and integration of the two armies. All that the past year has achieved is to delay that. There can be no progress with two armies and no surrender of one army without another civil war. That was the point of the agreement and it remains true no matter how long it takes for NC-UML and Prashant Jha to understand it.

"Secondly, the question of the PLA, for the Maoists, ties in with the 'democratisation of the NA', which in their estimation has not taken place at all. Integration was a method to change the structure and character of the NA and make it a 'friendly force', but that is not possible anymore given the balance of power."

Yes, the point of integrating the PLA into the NA is to support democratization of the NA. A feudal officer corps cannot transform a feudal army that fought for monarchical dictatorship into a democratic army of a republic. It requires some officers and soldiers who actually fought for democracy and against feudalism.

But why is that only a question "for the Maoists"?

Combining the two armies does not mean turning the NA into a Maoist army as hysterically claimed by the COAS and his supporters. But it does mean turning it into a "friendly" army subordinate to the elected civilian government instead of a hostile force with a veto power.

That is not just a matter of concern for the Maoist party. Every previous attempt at democracy in Nepal has failed because the old army retained its veto. The unreformed army that imprisoned the leaders of NC and UML cannot "protect" them from the Maoists and they know it. It remains a threat to democracy in Nepal until it is democratized. So every democrat has a stake in successful integration whether they oppose the Maoists or not.

The PLA are the reason the Royal Army are not still in power today. They cannot stand down while that threat remains. Only combining the two armies into a single integrated army under civilian control can end the stand off and secure long term peace.

Treating this matter as a numbers game and narrow party interest of the Maoist party means accepting that India and the Nepal Army are entitled to retain a veto over the state power of Nepal so that a constitution and elections are pointless and only useless people like MKN could accept pretending to be a government under such a veto.

How can anyone be a democrat, let alone progressive while calmly accepting the complete negation of democracy?

If Nepal wishes to remain at the same level as sub-saharan Africa, the military having a veto is the well established way to do it. If Nepal wishes to advance even just to the level of India that veto must be ended. Even Pakistan no longer accepts a military veto over the civilian government. So how long can India insist on a military veto in Nepal, which it rejects in India?

Why cant Prashant Jha be clear on the very simple principle that democracy requires subordination of the military to the civilian government and not the subordination of the state apparatus to India and the Nepal Army?



4. Avik Singh

Earlier Prashant has been partial towards the maoist cause. His earlier articles have been biased to a degree that readers have clearly commented on this..well the need is clearly understood..nepalitimes has been the only paper that has run news against maoists and have to a certain degree voiced the deep seated concerns of middle class nepalis..the result has been over the past few years simultaneous attacks on the NT..so that shift has now been to balance the articles...for and against...but still they do a good job and do provide an honest presentation of the situation.

What a "constellation" of anti Maoist forces! ....How could any democrat accept that?...It remains a threat to democracy in Nepal until it is democratized. So every democrat has a stake in successful integration whether they oppose the Maoists or not...The PLA are the reason the Royal Army are not still in power today. They cannot stand down while that threat remains....

What I clearly don't understand is with individuals like Arthur...his views seem revolutionary..a complete understanding of  what is happening, what the problem is and who should go. FOA remember that without NA the country would be divided into small countries..it is therefore a check which should remain continuous and should not allow the maoist to ever and I mean EVER seize complete power..democracy is the choice to voice ones opinions, live a life without fear or any oppression...democracy will not and cannot be brought about by hard lined communists...the romantic figure of a revolutionary has been overplayed, resulting in support from the western part of the world towards the maoists..but even they realize that things are not what they seem...how could they be..the maoists are after all at the base level opportunistic guerrillas...that is how they have cowed nepalis to power...all said and done creating a voice or power for the people cannot be achieved by the barrel of the gun...to create a democracy individuals need to be nourished in terms of education, awareness & opportunities for self advancement ...this cannot be created through an overhaul of existing culture and history..nothing can change overnight and those who have changed like the prevalent communist countries have given up their past...we are not like them..well atleast I am not...I am proud of my history and clearly understand that as Nepalese we have toiled and made this nation against severest of odds...after all we the people were humble farmers who conquered Nepal's diverse and hilly landscape with a kuto and kodali...

Yes I agree change is required but for the change the catalyst i.e. the maoist is not the option...what we need is stable situation where things can come down to normality...where people can go to work, live a life and prepare their future generations to lead the country through this political depression...we do not need hard liners and opportunistic guerrillas like you Arthur to create a dodgy situation...Forget about other countries meddling into our affairs...as we say Aru lai bhannu aghadi pahile apho ghar thik garnnu parcha...   


 

 



5. Arthur
Avik Singh, "..to create a democracy individuals need to be nourished in terms of education, awareness & opportunities for self advancement "

That is exactly what the status quo has failed to deliver.

"...this cannot be created through an overhaul of existing culture and history..nothing can change overnight "

 ... "Yes I agree change is required but for the change the catalyst i.e. the maoist is not the option...what we need is stable situation where things can come down to normality...where people can go to work, live a life and prepare their future generations to lead the country through this political depression..."

This is so typical. Of course no change can be completed overnight. But history shows the old culture has produced a failed state in which defenders of the status quo are reduced to spouting self-contradictory nonsense like "change is required... we need a stable situation".

It is precisely because the majority of people in Nepal are unable to work and lead a normal life that they, and especially the young of the future generations are insisting on change.

"remember that without NA the country would be divided into small countries..it is therefore a check which should remain continuous and should not allow the maoist to ever and I mean EVER seize complete power..."

Since spouting complete nonsense convinces nobody, all that the status quoists can hope to rely on is the guns of the Nepal Army. Democracy requires that power is seized by winning majority support. The army is the only defence for the minority that has seized power from the majority.

But the minority is no longer able to rule. Even if the NA soldiers were willing to follow their officers in resuming civil war, Nepal would remain stuck at the level of sub-saharan Africa. Like all countries unable to even feed themselves, it would continue to be subject to the meddling of countries that are more developed.

The military veto and consequent complete exclusion of the majority from power has resulted in even a relatively poor and backward country like India being so much more advanced than Nepal that it is able to meddle.






6. Sarada
Avik Singh;
the romantic figure of a revolutionary has been overplayed, resulting in support from the western part of the world towards the maoists..
The level of support/interest expressed on the internet by westerners is misleading and entirely disproportionate to the real level of awareness of Nepal in the West. The 3rd worldist leftist cheerleaders in the West are mainly young & naive, often students, uncritically taken in by the 'romantic revolutionary' image. But awareness of the general public of Nepalese events and Maoism is tiny - most people being totally unaware. Even the majority of leftists are cynical/disinterested in Maoism. 
As for the Norwegian diplomatic sympathies - one can speculate that they have may plans to profitably apply their hydro-electric expertise to Nepal and want to get their foot in the door early.


7. Nirmal

Arthur continously relates Nepal's present condition, above all, the role of the military component, to that of African and sub-saharauin countries. But as occasionally he mentions what most suits with his interests. This particular tendency of monopolising the truth is not new of Arthur and obviously of the Maoists.

There is a serious risk of the NA being infiltrated and possibility of retrograding the NA(in absence of vision or possibly due to strategy perhaps) by both the Maoists to whom exploit democracy is just one more means to achieve their "ultimate goal" and the right -the NC and the UML especially- who has been manipulating the institution of Army as their shield but not according to the ruled ones. And the NA as always obeying(aparently) what the government in funtion tells it to do.


Regarding the final integration of the PLA in current democratic process, I believe that there are situations that could possibly impede. First, the difficulties that present themselves: the cultural transition of the PLA and deja vu of the NA. Second, the emergence of PLA members as populist leaders with some degree of charismatic control over the Maoists party and its sister organizations. In case of the NA as an example of the latter we saw Katuwaal saap so far in recent times. Third, the NA going at a crawling, as is with the case of human rights problems and secular set-up of the country.




I think now it is utmost essential to manage the following aspects that could result fundamental axes for our military transition:

 

1. Accept the latent role of the PLA as a real sociological fact. However, for the future of the armed forces, we must focus on placing the necessary limitations so that the future environment does not hinder the democratic system

 

2. Understand that the transition is not unique and that at least there are three different and that they are necessarily interdependent.

 

3. Politicians and military have different logic to understand the problems, so it is necessary to ensure proper synchronization between the views. We must also work to eliminate or marginalize prejudiced views between the rebels and the NA.



4. To transit to a democracy, the PLA must be allowed to an adequate insertion in the National Army, sequentially by following the steps which provide necessary knowledge, confidence, coordination and integration (understanding).

 



8. Arthur
Nirmal,

1. Ok, what "necessary limitations" are needed so that future armed forces cannot hinder democratic system? This requires downsizing of the security sector to a much smaller force completely subordinated to civilian control and relying on universal military training for an armed people who can defend democracy against any small minority seeking to destroy it.

2. I don't understand what "three different" you are referring to.

3. Military culture in Nepal is based on military supremacy of the King's army. This cannot be "synchronized" with democratic politics. It has to be unconditionally subordinated to civilian rule. If there had been no peace agreement the problem would eventually be solved by putting the worst war criminals on trial and the rest of the feudal officer corps into retraining camps for eventual return to civilian life, with very few retained in the new army for technical expertize. But that would have taken many more years of civil war with many more killed. Instead there is a peace agreement which allows for a much more gradual transition in which the two armies are combined and the military culture transformed over several years.

4. Agreed. That process was supposed to start two years ago. But the point is to gradually transition the Nepal Army to democracy. The PLA is the army that fought for democracy. It can gain professionalism through integration but the main point of the integration is to help the NA to transform itself from a feudal monarchist army.

Sarada,

True there is little interest in Nepal in the West. But don't kid yourself that people in the West would permit anyone, including India, to help prop up a restored dictatorial regime. Neither Norway nor any of the other western embassies or UNMIN are "pro-Maoist" as people imagine. Its just that nobody dealing with the anti-Maoists can fail to notice that they are completely corrupt and utterly useless.


9. Nirmal
The PLA founght for a totalitarian ideology too. Arthur let's stop beating about the bush and go to the point ie start to deal things as how they are rather than follow idealism. The NA needs to demonstrate many things but don't think that the PLA is morally superior to them.

with three transitions, I meant: political transition, military transition and cultural transition of political entities including the Mesiah, the Maoists. Not carried out them properly, the democracy is more vulnerable in Nepal.


10. jange
I was just wondering- during which period(s) in history was the Nepali army NOT under civilian control?


11. Arthur
Nirmal, we don't need to agree on whether the PLA fought for democracy or totalitarianism and whether it is morally superior to the NA in order to perhaps agree on concrete measures to address political transition, military transition and cultural transition.

Even though I do believe the PLA fought for democracy and is morally superior, I still agree it is important to ensure that the PLA itself cannot hinder democratic system.

This is confirmed by history. For example in Africa the armies that now maintain the kleptocracies were often based on the armed forces of the liberation movements that fought against colonialism. In China the army led by Maoists became the army that maintains the undemocratic regime today. Things turn into their opposites.

The political transition should start from the peace agreement. Neither army should be treated as a conquered army. After signing up to destroy the Royal Army, joining together with it in a combined army is asking a lot from the PLA soldiers but they have accepted this need. Although it was agreed to on the other side too as a necessary way forward, the government continues to act as though the two armies do not have equal status in the peace agreement and the NA leadership opposes the very idea of combining the two.

Culture changes only slowly. Combining the two armies should help speed up cultural changes in both. NA people who have gradually become able to work with PLA people will necessarily be more tolerant and less "totalitarian" than they were and so more "democratic". This can be said both ways.

Military transition applies to both. Downsizing the whole security sector as part of the Security Sector Reform, and universal military training for the people, use of the army in development works instead of isolated from the people in barracks. These are all measures that help reduce the future  danger to democracy from both armies.

Unfortunately Prashant Jha does not address any of these matters but presents the issue as one of the Maoists "giving up" the PLA instead of both sides establishing a national army subordinated to democratic civilian rule.


12. Sarada
Arthur;
don't kid yourself that people in the West would permit anyone, including India, to help prop up a restored dictatorial regime.
Such naive faith in the accountability  of bourgeois democracy.
Neither Norway nor any of the other western embassies or UNMIN are "pro-Maoist" as people imagine.
I only suggested a mercenary commercial interest of the Norwegians, not an ideological sympathy with Maoists.
Its just that nobody dealing with the anti-Maoists can fail to notice that they are completely corrupt and utterly useless.
I think the Western powers are pretty unimpressed with all political factions, corrupt Maoists included (and even a supporter must admit that Prachanda & co's diplomacy and media skills have been very clumsy).
I suggest you don't kid yourself that 1) "people in the West" would make any great outcry (in the unlikely event they were even aware of it or cared) about such dodgy dealings in Nepal; or 2) that governments in the West wouldn't permit anyone, including India, to help prop up a restored dictatorial regime - if that was the least worst option. Despite their democratic image & hype, there is no absolute commitment to bourgeois democracy among Western states - they are pragmatic. If a dictatorship delivers the profits and assets, it's fine by them and they'll get into bed with it. But it would be more likely that parliamentary democracy would be 'maneouvred' to get the right result. Intelligence services are masters at such things. Go read a history of, eg, the CIA to see how many public outcries have prevented such manipulations.



13. Arthur
Sarada, since you support maintaining the status quo in Nepal you need to reassure yourself that you are somehow "progressive" and especially that you are at least more progressive than than the bourgeois governments in Western countries and the politically apathetic people of those countries.

But the reality is that both are far less supportive of the status quo than you are.

I did not say, and do not believe that the West would do much to actively fight a restored dictatorial regime in Nepal. I said that the people would not permit anyone, including India helping to prop it up.

Without any significant mass mobilization of the people, Western governments already concluded that the peace agreement was the "least worst option" during the People's War. Only the Chinese dictatorship provided significant military supplies to the monarchy. Even the USA declined. When the dictatorship turned to Belgium to buy arms, a small mobilization in Belgium was sufficient to prevent that.

The "hands off Nepal" movement in India represented the broadest political coalition India has seen (including pretty well everyone except the BJP).

India has recently played a more negative role than the West, but if it did go beyond interfering to active intervention there would be a strong backlash in India too. Actual invasion in support would be politically impossible due to both internal and worldwide backlash against India. But without actual Indian occupation of the Terai and Kathmandu Valley there would be no way to prevent any arms they did supply to the regressive forces you support from ending up in the hands of the PLA.

I do not have information as to what Western embassies privately think of the Maoists. Their own natural inclinations would make them biased against a revolutionary party seeking to overturn the status quo. From reading ICG reports and the hostility of the current government towards UNMIN and Western embassies (not to mention your own puny efforts) it is obvious that Maoist diplomatic efforts have been rather successful in overcoming that "natural" bias.

This can be partly attributed to the clumsiness of their opponents but it is simply ludicrous to consider a situation in which the current government finds itself isolated from and hostile to its "natural" backers in the West a product of "clumsy" Maoist diplomacy.

As for media I do not speak Nepali and cannot form an opinion on how the Maoists have handled it. Certainly their english language efforts are unimpressive. But I would assume that in an illiterate society it would be a mistake to devote limited resources to english language media and even printed media and TV would be quite unimportant compared with direct personal contact and radio broadcasts. It seems obvious from the continued growth of support for the Maoists and decline in support for the other forces that both their direct personal contact and media policy for radio have been very far from clumsy. The recent use of the general strike for cultural/propaganda performances throughout KTM also indicates a rather sophisticated understanding of how to mobilize their own strengths against their opponents weaknesses.

"Educated" supporters of the status quo can chatter among yourselves about how much you hate and despise the Maoists in english language media on the internet, but that only confirms how little hope you have of actually influencing events on the ground.

Your belief that a dictatorship in Nepal could deliver profits for the Western bourgeoisie is not shared by that bourgeoisie. What stares them in the face is the same fact that stares at everyone in Nepal. The old Nepal cannot even feed itself, let alone deliver profits.

So unlike you, even Western governments would prefer a new Nepal.



14. Nirmal
Well Arthur, agreed on general message of your last comment here but it has been more than 2 decades of degrading political culture and now the Maoists too are caught in the same game. They are politically well located than other old parties but either way they are presenting a solution to the problem of the country, yes they have their own solution but that's what the politics supposed to be? is it like to say I have a question and answer too? then the politics becomes a self question-answer form. the questions and doubts are there in the society and the answer should be sought within all, that's the fundamental spirit in politics.

With regard to Prashant not bringing this issue into the light, may be Prashant being JNU scholar has little space between jarnel and karnel saaps of the NA, but at least he should have tried on the spot analysis about the likes of PLA, Baburam is a JNU scholar too, na?


15. Avik Singh
Arthur:
It is precisely because the majority of people in Nepal are unable to work and lead a normal life that they, and especially the young of the future generations are insisting on change.
I fail to realize how future generations are �insisting� on change. Change and stability in terms of situation might be clich�d terms for the status quo but the insisting on part of the future generations are not. Insisting has been whored to the limit by every politician in this country. This is one of the main reasons why the majority of the country does not have the opportunity to create a normal life around them. So will running a civil war, pushing the country ten years or more behind be the insistence that we should look forward to?  

The army is the only defense for the minority that has seized power from the majority.
The problem with the influencers like you is that they try to create a vacuum where they are able to prey on an individual�s minds. Create a rift, widen it and put your thought into it. Who are the minorities and majorities in the country? Should we dissect them into castes and say that you have ruled enough and now it is our turn? How has the army been a defense for the minority? Are we talking about people who are employed by the NA or the King that was earlier the head of the Army? How is it different from UK? Though it is a far off comparison between the two countries in terms of democracy but the ideology of it remains the same.  NA employment till date has been highly democratic, yes there have been stereotypical employments as well but hey, aren�t the British gurkhas also recruiting from the same pool?

But the minority is no longer able to rule. Even if the NA soldiers were willing to follow their officers in resuming civil war, Nepal would remain stuck at the level of sub-saharan Africa. Like all countries unable to even feed themselves, it would continue to be subject to the meddling of countries that are more developed.
Resuming the civil war is out of the question. But even while the civil war was in full spate the country had almost reached these situations. Meddling of international countries for case of discussion will remain whether or not there is peace or war. The turn of century has led us into living a global rather than an isolated existence so this discussion holds no weight.

The military veto and consequent complete exclusion of the majority from power has resulted in even a relatively poor and backward country like India being so much more advanced than Nepal that it is able to meddle.
 Though our neighbor has a lot of influence on us debating whether Nepal can follow India towards advancement is totally out of the question. They have both had very separate pasts and are therefore a complete futile comparison. Kindly do not misdirect.

In China the army led by Maoists became the army that maintains the undemocratic regime today. Things turn into their opposites.
It�s good that you understand this and agree to the fact that the Nepalese Maoists are headed only to that direction. Hopefully more people understand this.

PLA fought for democracy and is morally superior
How did PLA fight for democracy? by joining the jana andolan led by existing political parties?


16. Arthur
Avik Singh #15,

1. You mentioned future generations in #4 so I pointed that it is especially the youth of Nepal who are the younger generation and future generation that are insisting on change.

2. It is completely obvious that the large majority of Nepalese have no say in how Nepal is governed and only a very small minority does. The majority of poor people from rural areas are feared as alien invaders when they turn up in KTM to protest. The Army exists to preserve that. Although the UK also has rulers and ruled and also has an army aligned with the ruling class, there is no comparison with Nepal at all. If the UK ruling class treated the majority like the Nepalese ruling class does it would have been overthrown long ago (in fact the old ruling class was overthrown long ago). If a UK army general made political demands on the government he would not just be sacked by also imprisoned (most likely in a mental hospital).

3. I am glad we are agreed that returning to civil war is out of the question. So then what are the NA and PLA for? Isn't it necessary to combine them and make the new national force much smaller than the present two forces based on civil war?

4. I'm not sure what you are saying about India and Nepal. The present government of Nepal was organized by the Indian ambassador rather than by the people of Nepal. This backwardness of Nepal and dependence on India results directly from the military veto over political decisions.

5. Maoists certainly understand that China is not Maoist and that the same danger of turning into one's own opposite exists in Nepal too. That is the point of their name.

6. PLA made the second people's movement possible. When the old parties were suppressed by the King the people did not join a movement to restore parliament led by those discredited parties. Only after a united front was formed between the old parties and the Maoists a mass movement became possible. The old parties fought a war against holding elections for a Constituent Assembly and opposed Constituent Assembly elections until King suppressed them. PLA fought a war for Constituent Assembly elections. That is fighting for democracy.


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