The Recruitment that Threatens to Derail the Peace Process

For the record: Maoist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) cantonments have started recruiting new soldiers apparently in response to the ongoing recruitment in Nepal Army (NA). Though the Maoist party itself has yet to officially comment on the recruitment, key political parties have come out strongly against the drive saying it violates past pacts, most notably the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of November 2006. Maoists, who head the defense ministry, said the same when Army recruitment row broke out. The other political parties gave the nod to Army recruitment.

Ram Sharan Mahat, who represents Nepali Congress at the Army Integration Special Commitee (AISC), reacted to what PLA Chief Nanda Kishor Pun had said on Monday: “How can this combatant commander talk about additional recruitment when the AISC is talking of rehabilitation and integration of ex-combatants?” Defence Minister and former PLA Deputy Commander Ram Bahadur Thapa told a mass rally in Tehrathum that he came to know about the recruitment drive through a press release put out by Pun on Monday (2 March).

Addressing a press conference in Kathmandu on Tuesday afternoon, Pun said the PLA was only filling up vacant posts to raise the number to its original size — 31,315. “Thousands of willing PLA combatants responded positively to Tuesday’s call and lined up for jobs at the seven PLA divisions,” Pun said. “I urge the media not to construe it as extra recruitment. We are just filling up vacant positions,” he said, offering the same agrument as the of Nepal Army, which last month completed recruitment process of 3,010 personnel. Asked if recruitment had been endorsed by the party, Pun said his decision had “nothing to do with the Maoist party.”

Meanwhile, CPN-UML Vice-Chairman and member of the AISC Bhim Rawal has tendered his resignation from the Committee. Talking to the Post, Rawal said, “Citing the changed political context in and outside the party and to pave the way to move forward I have resigned from the AISC.”

Meanwhile, reports of recruitent at PLA cantonments have started coming in. The PLA fourth division camp at Hattikhor, Nawalparasi, began recruitment on Tuesday “to fill up vacant posts” of those Maoist fighters disqualified by UNMIN. Gangalal Gharti Magar, PLA vice-commander at Hattikhor-based Paribartan Smriti Brigade, said that distribution of application forms has begun from Tuesday. PLA fourth division headquarters at Jhyaltungdanda is also poised to start recruiting any time now. PLA seventh division camp at Kailali district has also decided to start recruitment. A Maoist source said there are plans to take in around 1,700 combatants in the seventh division. UNMIN has recognized only 19,604 as qualified PLA combatants.

…and the Army Recruitment Case is Pending in Supreme Court that is split into different views
Phanindra Dahal in the Kathmandu Post

The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (3 March) referred the hearing on the Nepal Army recruitment controversy to a larger bench after a two-member bench was split on whether to allow the Army continue recruitment of 3,010 personnel. This is a rare occasion in the history of Nepali judiciary that opinions of the judges have been divided on the continuation of stay order in a writ petition. Justice Bala Ram KC was in favor of scraping the stay order on recruitment while Abadhesh Kumar Yadav was against it. The stay order was issued by the apex court on Feb. 22.

“We have decided to continue a democratic exercise and conduct a full hearing after we were divided on the stay order,” said KC. The full bench or the special bench will decide whether the stay order should continue. Chief Justice Kedar Prasad Giri will choose the bench and fix the date for the hearing. Neither of the judges mentioned whether the stay order would continue until the next hearing.

“The verdict is unclear and does not make contribution in legal and judicial developments,” said lawyer Bhimarjun Acharya. “Since the court has ordered the Army to stop recruitment until March 1, the court had to at least explain whether the order continues now.” He said the stay order does not continue any more as its deadline expired on Sunday. Not everyone concurs. “The stay order remains valid until a new ruling overrides it,” said lawyer Shreekrishna Subedi who filed the writ.

Responding to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the SC on Feb. 22 had issued an interim order against the Army to stop the recruitment until March 1. The defendants are the Army, Defence Ministry and the PM’s Office.

After the hearing was over Tuesday, Justice Yadav said that the stay order must remain intact as the recent recruitment by the Army violated the constitution and the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed by the government and Maoists in November 2006. But justice KC suggested that discontinuity of the stay order and invited an amicus curie to decide on the stay order. He ruled that the issue had raised “some complex” constitutional questions and asked the Nepal Bar Association to send the names of two senior judges for the amicus curie.

The amicus curie will be asked to put their opinions on the constitutional status of the CPA and the Agreement on the Monitoring and Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) signed between the then Seven Party Alliance government and the CPN (Maoist) in December 2006. Both CPA and AMAA are in the annex of the Interim Constitution.

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8 thoughts on “The Recruitment that Threatens to Derail the Peace Process”

  1. …………………… …………….. ………………….. ……. eveyone knows their level, even the prachanda knows ………………………… if they want to prove theri professionalism they should first punish ram hari’s killer, punish those pla who beat people of biratnagar .
    …………………………………………………………………… ………
    …………… the main concern for maoist or pla regarding pla is they fought for maoist so not maoist has to take care of their future ……………………………………. if maoist are not planning to coup., lesser the number of pla better fro them as well as for nepal …….. since it would reduce cost ….. other stakeholders would have more confidence them joining in national security force ……………………….. it is stupid oth them to threat to begin recruiting new personnel ….. ………………………… this should be taken as preparation for war ……….. and should need to topple this govt. ……………………………..
    ………………………………………………..if there is a threat of war, most in the pla would scape since they are not actually pla, since maoist are exposed so no need to sacrifice life for them ………………………………………………
    …………………………………………………………………….
    ……………………………… prachanda’s dogs do not follow his order, he cant even throw garbage affecting millions due to the blockage of a few hundred. …………
    now pla do not follow his order, his party in not under his control, and still he is not showing sigh of resigning …………………………….. looks like the quality needed to be pm is lack of dignity. ……………………………
    …………………………………………………………….. maoist have been trying/dreaming of coup. rather maoist themselves are in a line of coup from pla. ……………… …
    …………. there are many examples where idiot govt. are always taken over by idiot military ………………….. just like that idiot maoist are about to be controlled by idiot pla. ………………………………………………. ………….. there are already many signs of god’s warning to maoist as well as nepalese like flood, unpredicted load shedding duration, now pla ……………………….

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  2. Change !
    Coup, no way. Barking dog seldom bites………………………..
    Maoists had good chance of Coup before peace deal. ……………
    Now it is more than impossible for them to do so because even PLA will not
    follow the order. Now they know what the maoists are up to..
    There are so many reasons , but most important is why the coup…….?
    Who is preventing them to do something for poor……………………..
    They are themselves in power so from whom they want to grab power.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..
    There may be some valid reason for army recruitment, but………………………
    why the hell PLA recruitment …………………? What is evil society doing.
    Do they have guts to protest ?

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  3. why does this “change human rights” always put in a lot of ellipsis in his/her posting? you’re disgustingly distracting

    personally, though i hate the PLA i think their recruitment drive will finally usher in the final battle, when the polity of the nation will finally find a unanimous path

    maybe there’s a coup coming along- but not from the PLA..

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  4. coup inside the moist org. not nepal govt or nepali society …………………………….. and i use dots to highlight, to seperate

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  5. coup inside the maoist org. i am more focused on at this time not in the govt. ………….. but maoist always try to capture govt even if it is close to impossible

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  6. if personnel in the pla are recruited in the army as the mentality they have in now, …………… it is most likely ….. there will be groupism, lack of discipline , somewhat like bangladeshi incident …………………………………… so before they are given entry …………… they should be given mental training like what is petriotism, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,professionalism, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,where their salary comes from, whose order they should follow, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what if their commander do not follow govt.’s order. ……………………… they should be kept under observation for a few years before given full responsibilities

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  7. What is more important for Nepal now??? Electricity or Maoist army???
    These maoist have to think the basic need of nepal at present to gain the popularity no to increase their power.
    It is clearly seen the thinking of maoist that they are making the nation week and tried to more powerfull.
    What is the use of Maoist army now???
    The political party has no any right to recruit their own army. If like this, the another party will also start to recruit army then what will happen to Nepal.
    It will be better for Neplese if the Maoist start to give training to all the neplese youth like China.

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  8. this is deliberate attempt of opposition NC to derail the peace process. it was the army who frst went against the agreement thereby provoking Maoist to take a retaliatory step. NA has over 80-90,000 soldiers in its rolls, whats the point of adding 3000 more when they knew it would spark off a crisis like this. i am sore at the maoists for throwing back shit, but even more angry with NA, NC for sparking this whole thing.

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