American Diplomatic Cable: A Turgid Maoist Letter to Americans That Baburam Bhattarai May Have Written

2002-05-07 13:14

UNCLAS KATHMANDU 000893

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PGOV OVIP PREL NP
SUBJECT: MAOISTS SEND LETTER TO AMERICANS ON PM’S VISIT

¶1. Local media outlets received by e-mail the afternoon
of May 7 a letter from the International Department of
the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) addressed “To Our
Friends in America.” A copy of the letter has been
faxed to SA/INS.

¶2. The three-page letter, written in turgid but
grammatically correct English, is dated May 6–the day
of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s arrival in
Washington. Its release by e-mail the following day may
have been timed to coincide with the PM’s May 7 call on
President Bush in the Oval Office. The letter warns
readers that Deuba’s true motive is “to beg for massive
US military and financial assistance to crush the
popular people’s democratic movement.” Since Secretary
Powell’s January visit to Nepal “the US administration
has been systematically building the case for a massive
armed intervention and creation of a permanent military
base in Nepal (apparently to take on China and India in
the long run).” The real purpose of Deuba’s visit, the
letter charges, is “to formally initiate a long term US
military engagement in Nepal.”

¶3. The text compares Maoist demands for formation of an
interim government, a constituent assembly, and a
republic to the “common demands of every bourgeois
democratic revolution, from Europe to Americas to
anywhere.” Contrary to Government propaganda, the
Maoists do not intend to impose a one-party
dictatorship, the letter continues, but will instead
guarantee the freedom to contest elections to all
political parties. Recalling Prachanda’s May 1
statement on the possibility of future dialogue, the
letter asks why Deuba is seeking foreign military
assistance when “all the parliamentary political parties
and civil society” are calling for a negotiated
political settlement. The success of the April 23-27
general strike attests to the popularity of the Maoist
movement, the letter claims, adding that the Royal Nepal
Army has “been thoroughly defeated in every real
encounter” with the Maoists.

¶4. In the closing paragraphs the letter calls upon
“class brothers and sisters in the USA, the most
powerful and dangerous imperialist power on earth” to
foment “revolution in the belly of the beast and stop it
from intervening in the revolutionary processes
elsewhere.”

¶5. A local journalist who has previously received
English e-mail transmissions from the Maoists’ second-
highest leader, Baburam Bhattarai, said he saw some
similarities in the style and fluency in English of this
letter. He noted that the letter made no reference to
the Maoists’ apparently stunning defeat in Rolpa over
the past week (May 2-6). He said he could not tell from
where the message had been sent or who the other
addressees were.

¶6. Comment: Even the mainstream local press and some
prominent national politicians have been engaged in wild
speculation recently about USG military aims in Nepal.
The Maoists may thus have calculated that their
accusations regarding ulterior US goals might resonate
with local audiences. Deuba’s success in securing the
May 7 Oval Office appointment has piqued and irritated
many of his political rivals; the Maoists apparently are
also worried. The length of this letter–one of the
more comprehensive recent efforts by the Maoists to
explain and justify themselves–and its emphasis on the
their purported willingness to resume dialogue may
indicate just how worried they are.

MALINOWSKI

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