Monday, November 9, 2009

Nepal update

In defence of Civilian Supremacy over the military and the democratic “New Nepal” process the revolutionary movement of Nepal, led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) has initiated a nation wide “Peoples Movement” to topple the government and anti-people forces.

This comes after a Maoist led government resigned in May after it was proven to have executive power after what was essentially an unconstitutional coup by foreign powers, the political opposition and the military.

The root cause of this conflict comes from the clash between the established elite and the majority of Nepal’s poor. After the overthrow of the despised King in 2006 a process of re-founding and recreating Nepal was initiated. However when it came to challenge the old state and try and create new, democratic and pro people state structures, status-quoist forces sought to derail this process so as to protect their own power and privilege.

This was most evidently shown when the main parties of “responsible civil society” (the elites), the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) and the Nepali Congress, chose to back the Royalist Military over the democratically elected Government in May. After the NC President Ram Baran Yadav unconstitutionally reinstated the head of the Military in contrary to the governments orders, the Maoists decided to resign from government rather then stay in a hollow office.

Dipak Sakota, Journalist with Janadisha Daily in Kathmandu told Green Left Weekly “Unified CPN (Maoist) has now started the People's Movement. And this is quite serious. This is not just a movement but it's a kind of decisive battle to decide who will hold the real power of Nepali state.

“…most of the central leaders of the UCPN-M including Chairman Prachanda are in the field leading the movement… the leadership of King had been removed but had not been filled by other force… The Maoists are trying to turn Nepali state in favor of the majority of the poor and oppressed Nepali People.”

After spending an extended period of reaching out to the community across the nation, the Maoists have now launched a new mass movement to protect the revolutionary process.

Within the assembly they have blocked the new budget, until such a time that civilian supremacy has been assured. The ministries have already now run out of funding and the state is crawling to a stop for lack of resources.

Outside of the assembly, people are pouring into the streets. Already there have been blockades and occupations of different local administration offices across the country. In some areas there are reports of alternative local administrations being established.

The protests will build over the coming days to climax with a blockade of Kathmandu and the seat of Government, Singha Durbar.

In an attempt to find a peaceful way out of this conflict of interests the United Nations proposed to Nepals government that it open itself for a government of National unity. This suggestion was slammed by the current government however, suggesting that the current government already is a government of national unity, despite it being founded via unconstituional means and excluding the party that won the elections.

Nepals elite, faced with the prospects of being forced to back down by the mass movement has put the Police, Armed Police and Military on high alert. A meeting of High Level government members on Nov 3 declared that the Maoist's protest program was in breach of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2006 and that it "bypasses the jurisdiction of the Constituent Assembly". Information and Communications Minister Shanker Pokarel told reporters ¨The government is determined to ensure law and order with the help of the police force".

These threats were denounced by Chairman Prachanda, the leader of the UCPN(Maoist). He warned the current government against making such threats, as that mimics the actions of the now dethrowned King Gyanendra. He added that while they have put the armed forces on high alert, even if they wanted too the current government could not suppress the movement as it has such small support amongst the people of Nepal.

At any rate a colossal clash of interests is unfolding in Nepal, and the outcome of these struggle will directly affect the future direction of the New himalayan republic.


Sukla Sen said...

Within the assembly they have blocked the new budget, until such a time that civilian supremacy has been assured. The ministries have already now run out of funding and the state is crawling to a stop for lack of resources.

That the same parliament which had elected the UCPN(M) supremo Prachanda (the Fierce one) as the Prime Minister is still in place and has elected another after Prachanda resigning having lost majority support in the Hoouse and failing to cobble up up a new coalition while enjoying power as the caretaker Prime Minister for a considerable time gives a definitive lie to the fable of "coup".
That the Maoists continue to obstruct the parliamentary sessions so as to paralyse the country without having to face any state action is just another pointer.

And as regards the likelihood of "success" of the "nation wide “Peoples Movement” to topple the [incumbent] government", one significant pointer is that Prachanda has already started talking of a subsequent round of stir.
Implications are unmistakable.


Arthur said...

Sukla Sen's argument over the term "coup" is pointless. If it had been a military coup the response would have been military/insurrectional. Whether one chooses to call the President's action countermanding a cabinet decision to sack an insubordinate general at the request of opposition parties and India a coup or not, it is naturally being responded to obstructively and militantly.

As to the likelihood of sucess, the daily pronouncements by Government supporters, including Sukla Sen that the government remains in place are a significant pointer to its weakness.

The NC is in a total mess, the UMLs are badly divided with their leader disagreeing with their (unelected) PM, the MJF is split with majority opposing the government and the other government parties are insignificant. (Oh and one of their ministers has an arrest warrant for assaulting staff).

Meanwhile the Maoists are continuing to organize throughout the country while the Government is paralyzed even within the Kathmandu Valley.

There is no way the governing parties could win a future election and the people's movement makes it hard for them to mobilize military suppression.

So the most likely outcome is the government will fall rather soon. Another indicator is that they have become so totally reliant on India as to pick an absurd fight with the UN!

Peter said...

Aaaaaaah! Sukla is everywhere! Are you an actual person or a team of Indian government employees trolling the internet looking for various leftist movements to discredit?

At any rate, I've read some criticism of Prachanda that qualifies my support of the UCPN(M), but I have yet to be made aware of a superior alternative to the UCPN(M). What would you suggest?

And perhaps to you, "implications are unmistakable", but would you please lay them out for the rest of us?


HAWA said...

Dear Mr. Sukla & Friends,

Please understand the Nepalese society before you make comments.

Nepali society is so heterogenous that it's almost impossible to establish a one party communist dictatorship.

And the Maoists have realized it and also incorporated this into their policy.

I'm not a communist myself, but I strongly believe that there's no peaceful alternative to a Maoist-led national unity government in Nepal.

Please take these facts into consideration, if you are really interested in uplifting downtrodden people. Otherwise, all your debates would be no more than armchair intellectual jugglery.

Sukla Sen said...

No point trying to respond to uninformed and mindless rhetorics. Just one interesting aspect.

Here is Prachanda on record pleading for Indian itervention to save his government and expressing his frustration over non-response.

As the Maoist-led government in Nepal moved towards dismissing Army chief
Rookmangad Katawal in the beginning of May, Prime Minister Prachanda sent an
urgent message to India seeking the presence here of a high-level envoy to
help forge an eleventh hour political consensus affirming civilian supremacy
over the military.
*I wanted to settle this issue through interaction and discussion with
high-level officials from Delhi. But unfortunately, the ambassador informed
me that this cannot happen now because the election campaign is going on,
that nobody is there, that it is very difficult.*
(Excerpted from: 'Delhi missed chance to resolve Nepal crisis' by Siddharth
Varadarajan at <>.)

That was when he resigned.

Now, Prachanda once again:

Arthur said...

It is utterly obvious that Prachanda was exposing India's role at the time of his resignation and further exposing it in his recent speech. The pointless gossip with which the status quoists have responded is merely a continuation of their old tune that the Maoist victories were due to India's failure to intervene in support of the old regime. The only interesting aspect is the light it sheds on the semi-feudal mindset focussed on intrigue and gossip instead of actual politics.

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