Maoists organized a mass meeting on Wednesday to warn the government on issues including Constituent Assembly in a school in Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur). Maoist guerillas present cultural program in combat uniform. Pic by Chitrang Thapa
It’s an open secret in Kathmandu that the recently ‘concluded’ historical Jana Andolan was in fact triggered by the Maoists. These days we can hear many people saying something like this: “They came to me and said ‘either come with us [in the jungle] or go with them [carrying flags in the city area and participate in the Jana Andolan]. And I choose to go to city and take part in the Andolan.” That is why, people say, this Jana Andolan saw such a massive turnout. That was beyond anyone’s expectations. King Gyanendra included. Read what Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, top Maoist leader, wrote the other day in Kantipur daily. Responding to his old time friend Dr. Arun Sayami’s open letter in the daily, the rebel leader claims the same: We sent all those folks in the city to take part in the movement. That was part of the Maoist policy to surround the city after capturing the villages. 19 people died, thousands were injured in Jana Andolan. That is why, the rebel leader argues, it wasn’t a peaceful movement. It was, according to Dr. Bhattarai, part of the Jana Yudda (Peoples’ War).
Maoist guerilla girls were centre of attraction in a mass meeting organized in Birendranagar, the headquarters of the Mid West region. The mass meeting saw massive turnout of general citizens. It is not immediately clear if they were forced to take part in the meeting. It’s not new for Maoists to force people to be present in their programs. When this photo was taken, Maoists were ‘terrorists’ in the eyes of the state. Pic by J Pandey
Maoist Welcomes: Maoist rebels said Thursday that they welcomed the government announcement of ceasefire and dismissal of various charges on them, reports eKantipur. Issuing a statement, Maoist Chairman Prachanda said today that his party was ready for dialogue with the present all-party government. Yesterday, the government had announced a three-month-long ceasefire and dropped the Red Corner Notice and terrorist tag labelled on the Maoists. Acknowledging the government dropping the charges, Maoist supremo Prachanda said, “We welcome the offer for talks as a positive step towards the people’s desire for establishment of Loktantra, peace and progression.”
Stating that his party was ready to sit for dialogue with the present government, Prachanda said, “Our party expresses commitment to help the nation enter into republic era through peace process as per the spirit of the 12-point understanding and the historic people’s movement.”
Now that the government has removed the ‘terrorist’ tag from the forehead of the Maoists, they are free to organize mass rallies around the country. They are now focusing in city areas where they couldn’t organize such rallies in the past. Maoists were organizing rallies like those in the pictures posted along with this blog even before the government decided about the Red Corner notice and the ‘terrorist’ tag.
Residents of Surkhet district heading to take part in the Maoist mass meeting in Birendranagar. Maoists demanded the election of constituent assembly in the meeting. Army created an obstruction in the Salleribazaar region to prevent people from going to that meeting. Some of these people said that they were going to attend the meeting bypassing the obstruction. Pic by J Pandey