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News of the Revolution in Nepal

by Andrei Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004 at 2:23 PM

.

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 me."

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 social change).

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."

 


This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
rwor.org
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