Revolutionary Autonomous Region Declared in Western Nepal --RW/OR ONLINE
From A World to Win News Service
Revolutionary Autonomous Region Declared in Western Nepal
Revolutionary Worker #1227, February 1, 2004, posted at rwor.org
We received the following from A World to Win News Service.
January 19, 2004. A World to Win News Service. In an enormous step toward the
emancipation of all of Nepal, the people of the Magar region in the western part of the country have
established their own revolutionary autonomous regional government. The Magar people are a minority
nationality who have been oppressed and without political power since Prithur Narayan Shah conquered
them and Nepal's other minority peoples--who together make up the majority of Nepalese--when he led the
violent unification of Nepal in 1768.
The Magar Autonomous Region was announced on January 9, 2004, amid a gathering of 75,000
people of that region. A convention held on the 7th and 8th of January of the 130 representatives of the
Magar Autonomous Region elected a 27-member Working Committee.
The People's War led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has inflicted severe defeats on the
armed forces of the monarchy, making it possible for the people of much of rural Nepal to seize political
power and set up their own ruling United People's Committees. CPN(M) policy is to fight for a country-
wide united government of anti-feudal and anti-imperialist patriotic forces, within which the oppressed
nationalities will have the right of self determination.
Comrade Prachanda, chairman of the CPN(M) and supreme commander of the People's Liberation
Army, and comrade Baburam Bhattarai, the convenor of the United People's Revolutionary Council (the
embryo of the future Nepal-wide revolutionary government) sent their greetings to this mass assembly.
Comrade Diwakar, a member of the standing committee of the CPN (Maoist), Comrade Krishna Bhadur
Mahara and Comrade Ravani of the Maoist revolutionary movement of India delivered speeches to this
event in person.
According to a report on the Nepali Maoist website Krishnasen Sambad Samiti, the village of
Thawang in Rolpa district was specially decorated for the event. Welcome gates were set up to greet the
representatives and delegates coming from different parts of the region and the country. The surrounding
hills were decked with communist red flags.
Thawang is the village where in 1980 the people completely boycotted elections and all the ballot
boxes were turned in empty. This was on the call of the forerunner of the CPN (Maoist), the Communist
Party of Nepal Mashal, which appealed to the people to oppose the elections to the local councils (called
Panchayats) run by feudal notables under the authority of the king. Right after the boycott, the Royal Army
came to the village and destroyed it. The Maoist people of Thawang stood firm on their commitment. This
great revolutionary beacon encouraged people throughout the country to stand up for the complete
destruction of the reactionary system and fight for a New Democratic Society as part of the advance to
socialism and eventually communism, a world without classes or any form of oppression. Thus this village
remained the center of gravity of the Maoist revolutionary movement in Nepal. Since the initiation of the
people's war on 13 February 1996, the revolutionary masses of Thawang have been a firm pillar of
revolution. Despite the destruction of village and several subsequent Royal Army operations with horrible
atrocities, this village has remained an inspiration to the Magar region and the whole country. Now it has
been the historic site of the declaration of the autonomous government of the Magar community.
Nepal is a multinational, multilingual country dominated by the Brahmin and Chhetrie castes since
the country's forcible unification. Nepalese society was united under the feudal centralized monarchical
regime not through fraternal harmony among the people, but through suppression, repression and
discrimination. The real unity of the people can only be achieved through revolution to smash these chains,
make people politically sovereign and thus pave the way for economic and cultural development.
Because this step was taken as part of a people's war led by a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party, it is a
step toward uprooting the class, caste and national oppression of the Nepali people and the country's
domination by India and imperialist powers. The declaration of the autonomous region is aimed at the
monarchical regime which represents and enforces that system of oppression.
According to the KSS news service, the people of other oppressed nationality regions will also
declare regional and national autonomy in different parts of the country.
Backpackers Checking Out Nepal People's War
January 19, 2004. A World to Win News Service . Tourist arrivals in
Nepal were up by 50% in November and December 2003 as compared to the last two
months of the year before. This was unexpected, because the government has put
the whole country under a state of emergency and many Western governments have
advised their citizens to avoid the country because of the now almost eight-
year-old people's war. But, according to BBC, at least, it seems that the
people's war is one of the main reasons Western youth are coming to Nepal.
The British Broadcasting Service reports that many youth actively seek out a
chance to chat with the Maoist-led rebels.
A Canadian trekking guide returning from the Khumbu region where Mount
Sagarmatha (Everest) is located told a BBC reporter that for many of her charges
talking with Maoist rebels was the high point of their visit. A professional
with 18 years of experience, she said that she herself had several such
meetings. "I have had pleasant talks with them and they were quite polite with
The president of the Trekking Agents' Association of Nepal put it this way:
"We would like to see an end to the insurgency. But the fact remains that many
trekkers have actually begun to enjoy their brief stints with the rebels."
A British trekker who came across the Maoists in the Annapurna region in
Western Nepal last month said, "I enjoyed chatting with them." At the end of her
meeting in which the rebels explained the reasons behind the people's war, she
decided to give them 500 rupees () to support their cause.
The BBC reported, "Declared a terrorist organization by the government, the
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has stated officially that it does not intend
to harm tourists and for the seven years of the insurgency has so far kept its
word. The rebels stop by teahouses to talk to tourists and ask for donations.
Trekkers usually hand over an average of . There have been very few reported
cases of tourists being pressured after refusing to pay. And those cases have
tended to be with individuals who turned out not to be associated with the
rebels. Many trekkers are happy to receive the souvenir of a receipt from the
Maoists for their donations."
Nepal's dependence on tourism is one consequence of the country's domination
and the feudalistic oppression of the people that hinders development. While the
CPN(M) has made clear their intention to foster a self-reliant economy after the
country's liberation, they are not at all opposed to people visiting their
country with honest intentions, now or in the future. The fact that Western
youth are eager to see a revolution in progress for themselves and hear what the
Maoists have to say is a very bad sign for imperialism, the dominant world
system that offers no future to any of the world's people. These backpackers
come not only to see Sagarmatha, the world's highest mountain, but also the
heights to which Nepal's peasants and other common people are aspiring to take
their country and all humanity, a country where, to quote the Internationale, "a
better world's in birth."
Nepal Rulers: Desperate Schemes and Royal Failures
January 12, 2003. A World to Win News Service.On paper, Nepal is a
constitutional monarchy, that is, a state where the power of the king is limited
by law and shared with parliament. But in fact the feudal king has taken all
power into his own hands, with his power based more and more nakedly on the
Royal Army, which in turn is backed by the U.S.
The fig leaf of a constitutional monarchy fell to the ground when King
Gyanendra dissolved parliament, sacked the government, and appointed his own
prime minister and cabinet in October 2002. Since then, he has increasingly
adopted fascistic measures both in relation to the People's War led by the
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the now-unemployed reactionary
parliamentary parties. The king's current Finance Minister (and ex-acting Prime
Minister) Prakash Chandra Lohani recently declared that even criticism of the
king or his government would no longer be tolerated.
Quoting a speech Lohani delivered in the district of Morang in eastern Nepal
on December 20, Kantipuronline wrote, "Lohani said it is illegal to make
provocative words against the monarchy and the government. The government would
leave no stone unturned to punish those people who voiced criticism of the
monarchy, he added."
This is a return to the spirit of the Panchayat system, when the country was
run by councils (Panchayats) of feudal nobles, with the king as the ultimate
authority, and all political parties were banned. King Birendra was forced to
accept the abandonment of this system by a popular uprising in 1990 that
culminated two decades of mass movements. Gyanendra, Birendra's brother, seized
the throne in 2001, after a massacre of most of the royal family that Gyanendra
himself is believed to have ordered.
Whether a constitutional monarchy with a parliament or an absolute monarchy,
Nepal is a dictatorship of a tiny feudal, bureaucrat capitalist ruling class
long kept in power by India and the Western imperialist powers. In 1996, under
the leadership of the Maoists, the Nepali people began a war for their
emancipation. It has progressed with such force that today most of the
countryside is under the revolutionary rule of a new, people's state based in
the villages. The old state has reacted with implacable rage, killing more than
8,000 of Nepal's best son and daughters, torching villages, raping and murdering
civilians, looting homes, torturing thousands of people and disappearing
hundreds of people.
Whatever limits there are on state repression have come not from the state or
its laws but from the mass struggle. Recently some student leaders were arrested
for chanting slogans against the king and the government. However, faced with
daily powerful student protests in Kathmandu, the old state was forced to
release them, and the movement has continued.
How the feudal autocrat came to depend entirely on the military was recently
described by Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, a cabinet minister of the former Deuba
government. He spoke frankly because he faces huge corruption charges and has no
hope of returning to office.
In 2002, Gupta bragged that the Deuba government would wipe out the
Maoist-led movement within three to six months. Now asked to comment on the
humiliating failure of his prediction, he answered that this was the opinion of
the whole state apparatus at that time.
A political solution to the People's War, as posed by the Maoists, would have
required profound political, social and economic changes, including a
constitutional transformation. The ruling class was not ready for that. The
armed police had failed to suppress the People's War. Therefore, the ruling
class agreed to rely on the army.
Gupta emphasized that the decision to call out the army was approved by the
Deuba government, the parliamentary opposition and the king.
Gupta also said that while negotiations between the government and the
Maoists were underway during the tenure of the Deuba government, an all-party
meeting (of the monarchist and the parliamentary parties in the government and
the opposition, with the most important discussions held in secret) decided that
they would not accept any basic changes to the constitution, especially not the
abolition of the monarchy.
A state of emergency was imposed on the basis of that agreement. The Royal
Army declared that if the Maoists did not use the negotiations to surrender any
hope of revolution, then "We can corner them within three to six months."
Asked why the government issued an Interpol "Red Corner" notice for the
arrest of the CPN(M) leaders and put a bounty on their head, Gupta repeated that
they had believed that they could "contain" the Maoists in three months. "We
felt that with unified police and Royal Army operations, we could disrupt the
Maoists and destroy their training centers. That would lead them to agree on
negotiations" (that is, to agree to the government's position that negotiations
should lead to a return to the social situation before the war, not profound
Gupta continued, "When we issued the `red corner' notices, we believed that
the Maoist leaders would be arrested in India. But none of them were arrested.
In spite of the reward offered for those who would surrender, not even a single
weapon was surrendered in that process. There were no signs that any Maoists had
been turned in out of someone's greed for the reward. The army could not be
mobilized with the same expectations." (The reactionary old state thought at the
beginning of the imposition of state of emergency that the Royal Army would be
the magic weapon to contain or defeat the People's War, but instead it was
humiliated on the battlefield.) "Everything failed. And after six months, we had
again reached the conclusion that a political move should be launched."
The government then reached an agreement with the CPN(M) to begin a new round
of negotiations, Gupta concluded. "We had an understanding with the Maoists by
that time. There was an understanding to declare a cease-fire again on 6
October." But King Gyanendra sacked the Deuba government on 4 October 2002. The
deteriorating situation forced the king to accept a new round of negotiations
anyway in January 2003, but seven months later the CPN(M) announced that the
negotiations had become "irrelevant" because of the Royal Army's violations of
the cease-fire agreement and the monarchy's refusal to envision its own end
through a constitutional assembly and the establishment of a republic.
Gupta's interview makes it clear that neither the king nor the parliamentary
parties ever had any intentions of allowing any real change to take place by
peaceful means, through negotiations. Instead, they were conspiring against the
people and the revolution. Ironically, as desperately as the parliamentarians
wanted to accept the system headed by the king, in the end the king decided he
had no use for them. None of them want to accept the will of the people and the
revolutionary change the people have shown their determination to achieve
through their participation in and support for the revolutionary war.
Since that time the war has advanced enormously. According to the Maoist
Information Bulletin put out by the CPN(M) (www.cpnm.org), "This has forced the
hired killers of the despotic monarchy to retreat to newly fortified barracks in
selected strategic areas, and more than eighty percent of the country has passed
on to the control of the revolutionary forces."
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