Say sorry comrades: Based on their poor and false intelligence, Maoists created havoc in Kathmandu traffic today by blocking vehicles and burning tires on the roads. This photo was taken this afternoon in Kalanki, Kathmandu.Pic by Subash Chandra Bista via Kantipur
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log
It’s official: That was one of the worst intelligence failures of CPN (Maoist). Comrades miserably failed in guessing about what really was inside the Nepal Army vehicles coming to Dhading from India via Birjung. Because of their childish speculations, improper reactions and subsequent hue and cry, thousands of Nepalis had to face difficulties because there were no enough public vehicles available on the streets of Kathmandu. Many people were blocked in various highways because of sudden and irresponsible strike called by the rebels. Today’s was the classic case of kaag le kaan lagyo bhandai ma kan chhamna chhadera kaag ko pachadi daudane.
I am eagerly waiting to see Barsaman Pun aka Ananta dismissed from his post and demoted a level. [Pun, if you don’t know already, is the Maoist party’s central regional in-charge and deputy commander of PLA in the region. He is the one who claimed that four Mine Protected Vehicles, 20 mini trucks, 2 trucks and five jeeps were carrying arms and ammunitions.] He should be punished for creating unnecessary havoc, creating publicity stunt and demonstrating unethical attitude while his party is negotiating peace with the government. Pun is not alone in this stunt and those who are responsible should be punished as well. Maoist leadership should publicly apologize for this fiasco. Pun reminded me former Secretary of State Colin Powell (one of my favorite personalities) who infamously organized a power point presentation in the UN arguing that Saddam Hussein was actually pursuing nuclear ambitions to hit America.
The alarming thing is that even after the independent Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (CMC) has verified that the army vehicles were not carrying arms and ammunition, Pun and other leaders of Maoist party are emphasizing on their false intel and repeating that the government lied. I really don’t think the government has lied in this case. Yes, the way it handled the situation was questionable but I don’t think folks in the government are preparing a war with Maoists. What would have happened had it publicized about these army vehicles in advance? Who would have abducted those empty vehicles? There is no harm in letting people know about the activities of army. SPA will be wiped off from the government if they are thinking fighting. Maoists don’t have to disrupt the traffic, people will come in their defense if this government, at this situation, starts the war or launches preparations for fighting.
This incident reaffirms the belief that the peace process is incredibly fragile and needs to be handled with extreme care. The government, we know, is too slow in the process but Maoists should also stop overreacting. Calm down comrades, calm down and focus your mind in creating favorable atmosphere so that internally displaced people can return their home without fear. Oh..yea, meanshile, you can also send some comrades abroad to take training on gathering intel which will help you avoid embarrassment like you faced today in future.
Here are the glimpses of the leads related to incident:
Government-imported arms entered Nepal via Birgunj: Maoists
KATHMANDU, Sept 13 – The Maoists have claimed that a huge cache of arms and ammunitions, imported by the government, entered Nepal on Tuesday. According to Maoist central member Barshaman Pun alias Ananta, four Mine Protected Vehicles, 20 mini trucks, 2 trucks and five jeeps carrying arms and ammunitions from India entered Nepal via Birgunj and arrived at the Nepal Army barracks at Gajuri, Dhading district, on the Prithivi Highway at 9 pm Tuesday.
It’s not clear, however, whether the arms and ammunitions are the same as those reported to have landed at Ahamedabad of Gujarat, India, on a Ukrainian airliner, recently. Ananta, who reached Gajuri “soon after learning about the incident”, informed that Maoist cadres and supporters have gathered in front of the NA’s Gajuri barracks so as to prevent the weapons from reaching Katmandu. He also informed that his party has called for a nationwide chakkajam (traffic halt) today (Wednesday) in protest of the import of weapons by the government.
“This is a serious violation of the Ceasefire Code of Conduct by the government,” Ananta told ekantipur over the phone this morning. “We demand a UN or any other reliable international body inspects the Gajuri barracks,” he added, “We will not let the weapons reach Katmandu.” (source)
Army vehicles brought in to dispatch UN troops: Govt, India says reports baseless
KATHMANDU, Sept 13 – The government on Wednesday slammed the allegations of arms import from India as “baseless”, and clarified that the vehicles had been brought in to transport Nepali soldiers as UN peacekeeping forces to Lebanon. The government also said it was unfortunate that strikes founded on baseless rumours had taken place and urged the Maoists and other concerned parties stop such activities. Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula made the comments at the Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives. “The talks of weapons entering Nepal are just rumours,” Sitaula said.
According to a government decision, 33 army vehicles had been brought in to help dispatch the 850 peacekeeping troops being deployed on the UN’s request, informed Sitaula adding that the vehicles had been in the process of getting a paint-job. The home minister also requested the Maoists not to harbour any suspicions regarding the army vehicles on their way to peacekeeping duties adding that protests and strikes would only serve to complicate matters.
Stating that the government remains steadfast towards upholding its commitments, Sitaula said, “The government cannot imagine going back to war.” Previously, members of the parliament Raghuji Panta, Mahendra Poudel, Lilamani Pokharel, among others, had demanded activities of the HoR be halted to let either the home minister or the defence minister present clarification regarding the “alleged arms import.”
Baseless reports: India
Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (IMEA) refuted the Maoists claim that a big consignment of weapons entered Nepal from India on Tuesday. In response to a query on news reports in Nepal about trucks allegedly carrying arms from India to Nepal, the Official Spokesperson of IMEA clarified that the reports were baseless. “The news reports are baseless and there is no truth in them,” said Navtej Sarna, the spokesperson of the IMEA.
Earlier, this morning, the Maoist rebels claimed that a huge cache of arms and ammunitions, imported by the government, entered Nepal on Tuesday. According to Maoist central regional in-charge and deputy commander Barshaman Pun alias Ananta, four Mine Protected Vehicles, 20 mini trucks, 2 trucks and five jeeps carrying arms and ammunitions from India entered Nepal via Birgunj and arrived at the Nepal Army barracks at Gajuri, Dhading district, on the Prithivi Highway at 9 pm Tuesday. The Maoists also called for a strike outside the valley against what it calls “massive import of arms cache” by the Nepal Army from the country’s eastern frontier. (source)
Nepal Army vehicles not carrying arms: Ceasefire Monitoring Committee
The Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (CMC) has said that the army vehicles that arrived in Gajuri from Birgunj Tuesday evening were not carrying arms and ammunition. Talking to Nepalnews after carrying out a preliminary investigation in Gajuri, Tara Nath Dahal, one of the members of the CMC said no arms were found in the army vehicles. He also added that the CMC is continuing its investigation.
A team of the monitoring committee had reached Gajuri this morning after the Maoists claimed that arms and ammunitions had arrived in Gajuri, Dhading at 9 p.m. Tuesday. When contacted by Nepalnews, the Directorate of Public Relations of the NA also stated that no arms have been imported. The Maoists have claimed that the government imported arms in four armoured carriers, 20 mini trucks, 2 trucks and five jeeps. It was reported last week that a large amount of arms and ammunitions landed at Ahamedabad of Gujarat, India, on a Ukrainian airliner. (source)
Maoists announce strikes against “arms import”, govt denies allegation
KATHMANDU, Sept 13 – The Maoists Wednesday called for a strike outside the valley against what it calls “massive import of arms cache” by the Nepal Army (NA) from the country’s eastern frontier. Labelling the alleged weapons inflow in the face of the on-going peace talks “a direct violation” of the cease fire code of conduct, the Maoists have halted all traffic in various Highways through out the country since this morning.
[By the end of the evening, Maoists have called off the strike, reports a UWB blogger.]
The Maoist camp meanwhile has said that the CPN-M is “investigating” the allegations. Maoist Spokesman Krishna Bahadur Mahara said, “We are currently trying to find the facts behind the allegations,” adding that if the NA has indeed imported the arms cache, it will not be allowed to enter the capital. (source)