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Monday, November 01, 2010

The situation in Nepal- the stalemate part 2

by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group, April 4, 2010   (

February 2010 Statement by the UCPNM Central Committee
On February 4, 2010, the Party Central Committee released a statement that reads like a roadmap for the revisionist (5) political path being taken by Prachanda, Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai and others. It starts off on a strange note, discussing a serious development in the party since the people’s war was ended in November 2006. It describes the “dominance of high proletarian spirit of ideological consistency, resolute unity, voluntary discipline and sacrifice” during the 10 years of people’s war, in contrast to the current period that has raised “the danger of individual interest-centred unhealthy competition and new factions and splits.” (6)
The CC Statement prioritized the struggle for national independence and efforts to write a new “anti-feudal and anti-imperialist constitution.” However, it did not explain how this can be done in practice since this would require a 2/3 majority in the Constituent Assembly, and the UCPNM has only 40% of the votes there. The only kind of constitution that can be passed with the consent of the Nepali Congress Party and the UML will not uproot the power of the domestic props of imperialism—namely the Army and other police forces, and the bourgeois and feudal forces represented by the leaders of the Nepali Congress and UML. (7) Furthermore, such a constitution will not be able to institute thorough land reform, as this will not be acceptable to the Nepali Congress and UML, and to the Nepal Army, India and the US behind them. (8)
The most important issue that would be faced by a Round II UCPNM-led government, with Prachanda serving as Prime Minister, would be the question of who leads the Nepal Army and national police forces. Any attempt by Prachanda to assert supremacy over the formerly royalist generals will be defeated just as it was in May 2009. It is even doubtful that Prachanda will even try to do so again, since a similar defeat would cause further erosion of his support in the party and among the UCPNM mass base.
Integration and Fragmentation of the PLA
Perhaps the most important part of the political deal is the current plan to send 5,000-7,000 PLA soldiers into the unfriendly arms of the Nepal Army of 96,000. There is also a proposal on the table to send 6,000 PLA members into a Forest Security Force, where they will work with army units to presumably combat poaching. (9) The remaining PLA men and women would be given a “rehabilitation” package that includes education and job training. The Nepali Congress (NC), UML and the army leadership are trying to prevent this section of the PLA from joining the Young Communist League, where their military experience can be put to good use.
A People’s Liberation Army that liberated three-quarters of Nepal’s territory in 10 years of people’s war, inflicted repeated defeats on the Nepal Army and was going over to the strategic offensive, is to be split up and dispersed politically and militarily under the terms of this deal. And during these months of protest programs, 3,000 PLA soldiers were forced out of the cantonments for being underage, while the Nepal Army received 50 Soviet-era tanks and other arms from India and a large amount of “non-lethal” military assistance from China. (10)
Prachanda and his allies in the UCPNM leadership have hewed closely to this dead-end course of action since the CC Statement was issued in early February. Even Prachanda’s periodic threats to initiate a “final people’s revolt” are nothing more than a pressure tactic to bring about the formation of a new government with the NC and UML, with him as Prime Minister. Bhattarai let the cat out of the bag in his recent tribute to Girija Koirala, the late leader of the Indian-backed Nepali Congress and a former President in 1990 and 2006. Bhattarai called Koirala a “father figure” who stood for “peace and democracy” for all people “cutting across political and ideological persuasions.” (11)
Renewing the Revolutionary Struggle
The CC Statement and Prachanda’s recent actions are yet deeper steps into the morass of reformist politics and negotiations to form a “national unity” government with bourgeois-feudal parties that are backed to the hilt by India and the U.S. Such a government cannot guarantee Nepal’s national independence. Genuine national independence and the achievement of liberation for the people can only be achieved by overthrowing the principal roots and branches of imperialism and Indian influence in Nepal–the NC-UML government and the Nepal Army and national police forces.
This requires the renewal of the people’s war and the re-establishment of the base areas, as the 2009 Communist Party of India (Maoist) Open Letter to the UCPN(Maoist) proposes. (12)  While the development of a base of popular support in Kathmandu and other cities since 2006 is a positive development, there has to be a fundamental reorientation towards re-establishing the people’s war and repudiating Prachanda’s line among these new party recruits and supporters in order for the revolution to advance.
Fundamentally, two political lines and two paths are contending in Nepal today. This is being fought out among the leadership and cadre of the UCPN(Maoist) and among the revolutionary masses. Unlike previous party reports, the CC statement makes no reference to two-line struggle and simply says that the statement was adopted unanimously. As any political observer of the news from Nepal knows, the political struggle in the party, Young Communist League and PLA is continuing and is continuing to break out into public view. (13) The resolution of this struggle will have a decisive impact on the future of the revolution.

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