BAD: PLA's Reaction to Nepal Army Recruitment

By Lilu Thapa

Following the lines of the Nepal Army’s recruitment, the PLA also has started its own recruitment process for the “vacant posts”. How sane is that decision by the Maoist leadership or what will be the extent and effect of this new development is yet to be seen. However, if this new recruitment from the PLA continues, it will have serious impacts in the already fragile political balance (or imbalance) that we have in the country.

The NA completed recruitment of around 3000 personnel, amongst a bitter political dispute between the political parties, giving their arguments for and against. However the army did complete it before the Supreme Court ordered it to stop the process as and where it was. Now, the PLA has started this campaign of recruitment, which comes a little short of surprise. The PLA commanders have given statements saying that they have started this process purely to fill its “vacant positions”. However this new recruitment process seems purely politically motivated by the fact that they have also said that they will stop this only if the Nepalese Army stops its recruitment.

The Maoist Supremo and Prime Minister Prachanda said that they have no information about the recruitment by the PLA and also assured the other political leaders that he will look into the matter and would stop it. The Maoist leaders are saying that the recruitment was started by the PLA without consultation with the party. The statements made by the Maoist leaders have serious indications. The statement, that the PLA started recruitment without any consultation with the Party either shows that communist party has lost its control over the army or that the party leaders are putting forward a white lie. This will also mean that the PLA has gone completely out of party’s control. Does this also mean that they have withdrawn all their political commissars from the PLA structure?

If the Maoist are really considering to show off their equivalency with the Nepalese Army, may be they should look at the number of people that have come to apply for the vacant posts. Mere 200 in all places compared to more than 50000 that applied for recruitment in the Nepalese Army recently out of which only 3000 were selected. It is not a matter of making comparison to show how the recruits are attracted to the Nepal Army but to show the reality of people’s interest. The people who joined the Maoist during the war were purely ideological volunteers whereas the potential recruits that they will get now will be more of an employee looking for a job to meet necessities of life. The Maoists PLA must not forget that they are still a rebel army waiting for reintegration into the society or the National Army, whichever is decided by the policy makers. The PLA must also understand that people have opted to vote for the Maoist party for a change but few will like the economic burden that the PLA are putting on the taxpayers.

The PLA might be thinking of reminding of its presence and need for integration into the National Army through this recruitment. But, realistically, they would do better without coming into disputes like this. More damage will be caused to their image by this kind of drives. The UNMIN and other international agencies have been soft on the Maoist and the PLA in the past. However, if the PLA continues with actions like this, which totally contradicts the commitment made by them, they would only succeed in tarnishing their image. The UNMIN has shown strong concern over PLA’s recruitment already.

The other main political parties including the Nepali Congress and the UML have looked to be supporting the Nepal Army on the issue of the recruitment and have come out strongly against the recruitment started by the PLA. If the PLA decides to go forward with the recruitment process it is bound to face a bitter opposition from the main political parties. In fact a series of serious reactions from these parties have started to come into actions. It is a wide open secret that these parties are looking for issues to undermine the government and this will be a big issue to pursue as this completely undermines the comprehensive peace agreement. This in turn will mean disruption to the national life and furtherance of political destabilisation. The recruitment by the PLA has become a potential flashpoint for a fragile peace process in the coutry.

The PLA leaders must stop making lame excuses like filling in the “vacant positions” when everyone can see, wide as daylight, that it is a “tit for tat” response to the Nepal Army’s recruitment. The Maoist Party leaders must also stop lying, making irresponsible comments or giving funny reactions like, “the PLA has not done any consultations with the Party before starting recruitment”. Everyone expects the leaders of the largest and ruling party of Nepal to be responsible. Going forward with recruitment at this time will mean a bad initiative, not only for the nation but for the PLA and the Maoist themselves.

Related: The Recruitment that Threatens to Derail the Peace Process

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17 thoughts on “BAD: PLA's Reaction to Nepal Army Recruitment”

  1. maoist have been demanding new peace contract ……..
    i agree with that, ………. there should be a new peace contract and this time there should not be written any points that shows pity towards maoist …………. head counting of pla should be under the principle of “one gun one soldier”
    ………………. any pla that breach code of conduct should be kicked out and should face court martial …………..
    ………………………… ……………………….
    …………………………………………………. last time nepalese accepted noncombatant as pla member and those maoist/pla could not digest our mercy ……………….. those individual in the pla who are not accepted by unmin could never be considered as soldier then how can pla consider their post as vaccant. ……………………..
    …………………………….. its time all the budget that is going to pla should be revoked …………………

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  2. What responsibility have Nepalese given to so called “PLA” that they need to fill up the “Vacancies”? Whoever they are, they are supposed to be waiting, devouring on an economically handicapped nation’s scarce resources, to be ‘assimilated’ if they are ever found eligible to be.

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  3. Pushpa Kamal Dahal et. al. are trying to alienate us from rest of the world like Pakistan and Afghanistan. This effort will push us one step forward to that.

    Both the parties, NA and PLA, both seems quite irresponsible. Why on earth is it necessary for “Kattu walla” to recruit additional troops. It was completely irresponsible act. In the same way it was equally irresponsible on the part of PLA to recruit its army as well.

    Dudes we are in the peace process! We don’t recruit no army in the peace process. Didn’t they learn this lessons in peace 101 class?

    Ram Koirala

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  4. Fight for the power is always flowing through the river of history. This passion and lust, for the accumulation of superiority always renders to the common ruin of both parties. Nevertheless, military of any country is supposed to be the organ of the prime secrecy and its decision is made in the close boundary with no any interference to the common people and always in their favor. On contrary, it has become the chapter of daily debate for the unemployed youth and woman in the kitchen. I personally think that the wit of the political and social leader has been failed again as it have in the past to reconcile the difficulties in the path of the peace process.

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  5. Taken from the blog post linked above:

    The posting is commentary on the International Crisis Group Report “The Faltering Peace Process in Nepal”

    Notes on the executive summary are followed by the following comment:

    The factual events are there and this is useful. What we can observe nonetheless is some biased elements:

    (a) “Maoist totalitarianism” is an assumption that a communist peoples republic in Nepal would be a return to a failed communist model.

    (b) There is an underlying assumption that there is an imperative for a multi-party state to maintain its “capacity to govern”; that such a model of governance is the only thing that would work.

    (c) There is a bias against self-organizing, such as unionizing efforts, as being undesirable “alternative power bases”.

    (d) There is asserted the need of “political pluralism”, but it is an assertion that assumes the Maoist “capture of state power” would necessarily exclude any pluralism or internal debate.

    (e) The glorification of the role of the ICG donor base (International influences, India, the UN and donor community) is rather blatant – Nepal needs, they believe, an external element to “maintain consistent pressure on all parties”.

    Given the on-going events, especially since the start of March, subsequent to this issue of this report, that the Maoist led peace process is in dire need of solutions to the key problems well identified by the ICG report. The ICG is genuinely and rightfully concerned that Nepal will become a failed state – some begin to argue it already is. If you look at the ideas in the pages of careful analysis of Nepal’s situation by the ICG, as well as at the comprehensive detailed solutions it offers, there is a lot to be learned about the methods of conflict resolution that would work.

    The question is, I think, who is it that should have power and control of this peace process for the greatest benefit of the people of Nepal? I read above that there would be a tremendous amount of international intervention. I also read that the bias of the ICG is that this is a necessity because the political forces and civil society in Nepal are not capable of self-management of a peaceful resolution. Supporting this bias is the apparent failure of the multi-party government to date; resulting in what may indeed be a failing state. The result in the day to day life of the people is appalling: the power infrastructure is literally failing – 16 hours a day with no electricity; uncontrolled violence, criminal activity exploding and rampant corruption at every turn. This is the daily fare of the people.

    Conclusion

    The conflict resolution methodologies that have been suggested by the ICG are in themselves valid. They should in essence be employed. By who seems to be a matter of who has the guns. The international influences are working diplomatically, economically and militarily to position a great deal of external influence and control over Nepal – I don’t think anyone is so naive to think it is about their love of peace and the Nepali people. Geopolitical and ideological apparatus concerns and economic concerns (e.g. hydro-power for India) may have something to do with it.

    The Maoists too have an agenda, one based on the communist hypothesis if we can believe in the complete purity of their character. Many, myself included, would want a new phase, a novel phase of manifestation of communism in Nepal that would both refute the failure of its earlier manifestations and avoid the on-going world tragedy of the current coordinates of power, capitalo-parliamentarianism (the neologism of Alain Badiou introduced many times to any reader of this blog).

    It is a fact in the present situation that the Maoists were given the mandate by the people to create a new Nepal. Can they keep that mandate is in question, as is also; will they create a communist state that can fulfill the promises to the people? There is no doubt such a move to create that communist state is the intention. Somehow they have to prove their purity of character and no doubt not all the Maoists possess such purity (that would be too much to ask as one moves lower down the power structure). It is a task of leadership for Prachanda and Bhattarai, CP Gajurel, Mohan Baidya, Dina Nath Sharma and others whose ideas have been covered in on -going entries here.

    If we will ever know if the Maoists could be what they say they are now depends on the guns again I am afraid. Civil Society doesn’t seem to have much clout in the impasse between the NA and the PLA, or for the rising specter of Indian intervention that seems to be raising its head in the opposition of the Tharus and the Madhesi. Will the Maoists be able to forcibly avoid a totally failed state and stave off international intervention, would that be a good thing? Most importantly, will the people avoid both giving up in despair about or simply having faith in a party leadership and mobilize itself somehow by an act of extraordinary group will – the essence of true revolution.

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  6. Now pla division do not follow pla command ……… things are getting better for nepal………………………. ……..
    when is this govt. gonna treat the division as they treated to the rebal APF ……………… are not they gonna send commandos after the division.

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  7. Regarding youth employment loan …………………. how is govt. thinking of selecting proposals? ………………. is this idiot govt. going to select proposals to add another suppliers to the already crowded suppliers to this tiny market or ………they will be choosing someone with unique skills or ideas that can sustain in this market …………. …………………….. … what is going to be the formula of choosing them? …………………………..
    ………………………………….. here is one good suggestion ….
    …………………………………………………………………… first of all there should be four agents – govt., main opp. party, two big non profit org. -like ADB, world bank etc .
    ………………………………… all of them should select candidates they feel to be the best whose total demanded amount to be under 50crore. ………………..
    …………. and they should take the proposal (without the names of the applicant only business proposal) to the selection committee of MPs and the reason behind the selection ………………………………. first of common applicants should be selected and then other best from the recommended should be selected. …………….
    ……………………….. there is no rule or no individual’s personal decision will be acceptable to public so this method will be the best.

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  8. Games and wars are supposed to take the attention of population away from what is really going on….
    Of course newspapers make games on press freedom, army integration and in reality the entire country should emigrate only because of electricity problem.
    Maybe start another war ?
    What is the WOrld bank doing bla bla infraestructure. The people are exhausted stressed depressed
    no one reads a newspaper full of lies all that interests us is julus chacka jam and where am i? integrating

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  9. 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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  10. what the hell these [ICD]’s are doing? From NA to PLA noone is pure. All they want is money n power. Otherwise why should they open vacancies? Why do NA requires soldiers since there is no war at this instant and since the PLA being rebel force, why should it require comrades?
    The activity by PLA is just like a joke. On one hand they are demanding to join NA and on the other, they are recruiting. What does this double stranded activity means?

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  11. people are giving so much attention to students elections ………………… is it to see the no of followers of the terrorist ……………………….. it they get more 10% vote …….. i would say …………….. nepalese desrves to be what they are getting.

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  12. terrorist are asking for the detail info regarding NA to fill vacant posts. it does not sound right to me. ………..
    …………………………… is nation army being controlled by an individual or a party? …………………………. what is going on ………………… if it is controlled by an individual or a party then rule should be changed and ……… a committee comprising individuals from different background should manage NA. …………………………
    what the hell maoist is trying to do ………………… ………….

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  13. I see no wrong with PLA hiring people. If one side breaches code of conduct, it is very natural for the other side to do it.

    PLA needs to build all strategies to fight the NA in case the later went on rampage and start attacking the PLA barrages. I see this possibility. When NA does not obey govt. orders, it is just a step away from this.

    Also not to forget is the history of Nepal Army. They are just too loyal to the Monarchs and not to the people. And they are the lost forces, they could not save the Monarchs and lost the battle. Their loss lead to the Comprehensive Peace Accord.

    Now PLA is the actual army of Nepal, and they have brought the changes we see now including removal of Monarchy. Now we need to merge them to NA and make a army that is answerable of the govt of Nepal and which works for Nepali people.

    Jai Nepal

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