By Mohan Buda Aer
While their leaders in the Constituent Assembly are working towards changing the national flag of Nepal angering millions of patriotic Nepalis all over the country, the Maoist guerillas yesterday not only carried and hoisted the Sun and Moon in a cantonment but also removed their party flag. The guerillas abandoned their party’s flag and opted for the national flag on an important day for them: the 15th anniversary of the People’s War in Nepal. The cantonment in Badaipur of Kailali district was decorated like a bride with the national flag and the People’s Liberation Army’s flag being hoisted at the distance of every 5 meters. The PLA had removed photos of the Maoist leaders as well.
“If any thing obstructs the integration process or the overall development of the country, we are ready to abandon that,” said co-commander Jeevan. “We removed the party flag respecting concerns at some quarters that putting the party flag makes the PLA affiliated to the Maoist.”
Well, that’s the the whole truth. The PLA is still under Maoist control and they haven’t abandoned the Maoist philosophy and affiliation. The chief guest of the anniversary ceremony in this cantonment a central leader of the Maoist party. Politbureau member Lekh Raj Bhatta said that PLA was the strength of the Maoist party. “We are still under the party,” said co-commander Jeevan. “So, we haven’t abandoned party flag and photos of leaders formally.”
But the PLA didn’t play the Communist’s international song that they used to play in many such occasions. Instead, they played the national anthem and their own song.
Maoists want to change the national flag:
16 Sept 2009 – A fresh dispute over the national flag has erupted between the UCPN (Maoist) and the other parties. The main opposition Maoist party has been calling for the provision of a new model of national flag that should contain stars equal in numbers to the number of federal units after the restructuring of the state. The flag row surfaced at the sub-committee formed by the Constituent Assembly (CA). At the meeting, the UCPN (Maoist), the Rastriya Janamorcha, and the Dalit Janajati Party demanded that the country’s flag should be changed after the state restructuring.
However, the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML, and the Nepal Majdoor Kishan Party have asserted that it is not necessary to change the national flag as it gives our national identity. Nepal’s current flag is the only national flag that is not rectangular.
The Maoists want to change the flag, believed to be up to 2,500 years old and which has a white moon and sun printed onto two red triangles, to reflect Nepal’s changed political reality. “The flag with the moon and the sun gives the reflection of the monarchy and cannot be the symbol of a multi-ethnic republic,” said Dev Gurung, a Maoist member of the constituent assembly. “The flag must be changed in the inclusive, proportional democratic republic,” he said.
[The debate about changing the national flag started on UWB long time before Maoists expressed their desire to do so in the Assembly. Check out this entry: On the National Flag of Nepal]
Meanwhile, the flag continues to represent Nepal all over the world: