Tag Archives: maoists

Struggling For Nepal’s True Sovereignty

India wanted to establish Nepal as a dependent state since it had ousted the British colonial regime. It did not want Nepal to have independent foreign relations. In 1975, the late King Birendra had proposed Nepal to be recognized internationally as a “zone of peace” which had received by 1990, support of 112 countries, including that of China and Pakistan. India remained silent on this count despite repeated proposals put forward by Nepal….The Maoists want to eliminate India from Nepal’s power and politics.

By Bishnu Pathak, PhD

Land-locked Nepal has always existed in giant India’s shadow. However, now that its people have tasted democracy, they want to shake off Indian influence and become masters of their own destiny. Nepal has long historic, strategic, geo-political, commercial and socio-cultural relations with India. There has been a protracted debate and discourse to continuously improve such relations. But history also shows that whenever Nepal is in its transition phases, its people encounter several problems at national and regional levels owing to the role of India. Nepalis living on the Nepal-India border have suffered in particular at the hands of Indian border security forces and criminal groups. In spite of such suffering, they have failed to attract the country’s attention as most governments and mainstream parties have turned a deaf ear to their problems, fearing reprisals from India. A principal reason behind such practices is that the Nepalese authorities seek personal/family/party/cadre benefits whenever they get an opportunity to meet the Indian establishment, pushing behind the crucial issues faced by the people.

In the course of agitation to restore civilian supremacy, the UCPN (Maoist) initiated an anti-Indian campaign torching the 1950 India-Nepal treaty, displaying black flags in front of senior government officials, protesting in front of the Indian Embassy, boycotting CA House on the issue of intrusion and holding mass assemblies at the alleged Indian-encroached border regions from January 5, 2010 for a month. On January 11, the UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, in a mass meeting at Mahendranagar, said, “I will fight for national independence and sovereignty till my last breath.” Continue reading Struggling For Nepal’s True Sovereignty

Maoists in India and Nepal

ब्लगमान्डू: राष्ट्रपतीय भ्रमणका अनौपचारिक कुरा

Many Indian newspapers today are filled with reports about the Indian police’s charge-sheet against Indian Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy containing a reference to a meeting with Nepali Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda in 2006 as if Ghandy did a crime by meeting a leader who had, by then, left behind the underground politics for peace in Nepal. Nepali Maoists have obviously objected to the charge-sheet saying it had no relevance to the present situation. The question is: so what if Ghandy met Prachanda? They are both Maoists and its but natural for them to meet. When the meeting occurred, their parties were not declared terrorists by their respective states. Moreover, the biggest irony is, Nepali Maoists were in DELHI, New Delhi, even when they were the ‘most wanted terrorists’ in Nepal. India provided them with shelter. India brought the then terrorists Maoists of Nepal and other political parties together in Delhi to broker what became famous as 12-point agreement.

Delhi Police: Ghandy met Prachanda

The Delhi police on Friday filed a chargesheet against the banned CPI (Maoist) leader Kobad Gandhy saying that he had met Nepal Maoist chief Prachanda abroad and knew about the abduction and killing of Jharkhand cop Francis Induwar.

Filing the chargesheet before chief metropolitan magistrate Kaveri Baweja, the special cell alleged that Ghandy was involved in anti-national activities and was in Delhi to create a base for Maoist activities before his arrest in September last year. The police, in its 700-page chargesheet, informed the court that Ghandy had gone abroad to countries like Germany, Belgium and Nepal, where he met Prac-handa, to discuss the activities of his organisation. (contd.)

Continue reading Maoists in India and Nepal

India Maoist Attack: Nepali-speaking Gorkhas Die

Of the 24 policemen killed in a Maoist attack in Silda, West Bengal, on Monday evening (15th), most were Nepali Indians.

This is an irony. The Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling hills, the Gorkhas of India, who are fighting for the separation of the region from the West Bengal form the majority of those who died in the Maoist attack. They were fighting on behalf of the Bengali government against which their non-police folks are waging a political war. Maoists want to overthrow the Bengali and the Indian government to establish their own proletariat regime.

Here’s a report from Darjeeling: The mood swung between grief and anger as thousands of Gorkha men, women and children lined the streets of Darjeeling in the biting evening cold on Wednesday (yesterday), waiting for the bodies of 13 of the Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans slain in the Silda Naxal attack two days ago. For 24 hours, the state withheld names of those killed, putting thousands of families, whose kin are in EFR, through torment. On Wednesday, families knew who died but no one was telling them when the bodies would come back. Of the 24 EFR jawans killed, most were Nepali-speaking residents of Darjeeling, from where the Frontier Rifles are mostly drawn. At 9pm, the bodies were still an hour’s drive away from Siliguri, which meant it would be midnight by the time they reached Darjeeling. This delay scuppered Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s plan to keep the bodies for public viewing. GJM that has been spearheading the agitation demanding separate Gorkhaland state has called a bandh tomorrow in memory of the dead. But the Bangla Bhasa Bachao Samiti, a Bengali group, has vowed to oppose the bandh.

The Indian Express presents a story of a Nepali Indian who died in the attack:

By Madhuparna Das

Silda : Suraj Bahadur Thapa of the Eastern Frontier Rifles — one of the 24 West Bengal policemen killed by Maoists on Monday evening — had a premonition of death. So in the days, perhaps hours, before the attack on the camp, the lonely policeman started to write to the most important person in his world — his wife. Continue reading India Maoist Attack: Nepali-speaking Gorkhas Die

Nepali Maoists and Bihari Republic

Bihar’s success story tells us that if Nepali leaders want, Nepal can progress in a couple of years, not decades.

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

Finally, the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu last week did what he was primarily supposed to do: promote his country rather than poking his nose into internal affairs of the hosts. “Some people talk about possible Biharisation of Nepal,” Rakesh Sood reportedly said at a programme organised to mark his country’s Republic Day in the Nepali capital on Jan. 26. “But look at Bihar, the economic growth there has crossed 11 percent.” The ambassador blamed Nepal for its growing trade deficit with India, arguing that market was of no use if there’s no production. He might be correct in his assessment. But I wondered how Prachanda and his company took the statement that came as a response to the Maoist’s ‘we don’t need Bihari-style republic [that rest of the parties and India want to impose] in Nepal’ rhetoric.

Why blame only the Maoists? For many in South Asia, the Indian state of Bihar is synonymous with lawlessness, poverty and underdevelopment. Not only in Nepal but in India too, I have found, the word Bihar(i) is taken as a mark of insult and humiliation. I have met many Biharis who hesitate to identify themselves as Biharis, including those who are highly educated. The problem is with the image of Bihar that was largely shaped by the politicians who ruled the state until 2004. Since, with Nitish Kumar assuming Chief Minister-ship, that rusty image has slowly been changing. Continue reading Nepali Maoists and Bihari Republic

Obstacles for Business in Nepal: Instability and Maoists

Political instablity and power outage are the two major contributors to Nepal’s poor investment climate, a World Bank report says. It forget to mention the number one reason: the Maoists.

Nepal 2009 Enterprise Survey points out lack of access to finance and labour regulations as other major obstacles. Obstacles, however, differ from industry to industry. Transport and electricity are especially problematic for the tourism industry, whereas labour regulation is the key impediment for the manufacturing sector. The survey conducted last year has covered 13 cities across the country. Nepal’s decline in export has rightly been potrayed in the survey. Only four percent of the firms are exporters against the South Asian average of 20 percent. Nepal, however, has fared better in some areas: Tax rates, tax administration, business licensing and permits and court functioning. (detail)

Maoists threat to GMR

Nepalis have been bearing the brunt of treacherous power cuts for some years and it is only projects such as these that can provide relief to them a few years down the line. The Maoists have no right to deny the people the future benefits that such projects will bring to them. Continue reading Obstacles for Business in Nepal: Instability and Maoists

Maoists Intensify Anti-India Agitation as General Lands in Kathmandu

Deepak Kapoor in Kathmandu
Indian army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor is received by Nepali army second-in-command Gen. Toran Jang Singh at Kathmandu airport

Two days after their leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal hugged ‘interventionist’ India’s foreign minister SM Krishna in Kathmandu, the Maoists today ghearoed Indian embassy in the Nepali capital and showed black flags to the visiting Indian army chief. Yesterday the volatile comrades had boycotted Legislature-Parliament session demanding that the Nepalese government clarify its position on General Deepak Kapoor’s views opposing bulk integration of Maoist combatants into Nepal Army last month. After intense protests by the Maoists for more than three weeks, the Indian government had distanced itself from Kapoor’s views. Continue reading Maoists Intensify Anti-India Agitation as General Lands in Kathmandu

Maoists and Nepal-India Relations

Will they do it? A day after burning copies of some Nepal-India treaties they term unequal including the Sugauli Treaty, the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Mahakali treaty in Kathmandu and other parts of the country the Maoists today said that they will take up the issue of border encroachment during their leaders meeting with visiting Indian foreign minister SM Krishna, who reached Kathmandu today on his first official visit to Nepal. During a meeting with Indian Minister Krishna scheduled for tomorrow, Maoist leaders including Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will insist on scrapping the 1950 Peace and Friendship treaty between Nepal and India, resolving the encroachment of border problems, publicising secret treaties signed between the two nations and redefining the ties between the two countries on the basis of equality. “We will discuss by focusing mainly on four or five issues including the scrap of unequal treaties, border disputes, improve relations between the people of the two counties and review treaties in the interest of both the counties,” said Maoist Spokesperson Dinanath Sharma, talking to Radio Kantipur today.

Continue reading Maoists and Nepal-India Relations

Nepal: Peace and Justice (ICG Report)

UWB Note: The following is the International Crisis Group’s latest report on Nepali situation. ICG is one of the many (I)NGOs that flourish in crisis. Many of its recommendations are mechanical making readers think that those who prepared the report have deliberately overlooked the ground reality that is so complex and demands deep understanding among the political parties.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Failure to address the systematic crimes committed during Nepal’s ten-year civil war is threatening the peace process. There has been not a single prosecution in civilian courts for any abuses. The cultures of impunity that enabled the crimes in the first place have remained intact, further increasing public distrust and incentives to resort to violence. The immediate priorities should be prosecutions of the most serious crimes, investigation of disappearances and action to vet state and Maoist security force members.

There are tensions between the pursuit of justice and the pursuit of peace. An absolutist approach to accountability for past abuses is impossible in practice and could obstruct the compromises needed to bring formerly warring parties together to forge a stable political settlement. But tackling impunity and improving accountability has a direct and acute relevance to managing Nepal’s fractious transition. Unaccountable and heavy-handed security measures by a state with weak legitimacy have escalated conflict before and threaten to do so again. Continue reading Nepal: Peace and Justice (ICG Report)

Third Phase of Maoist Agitation Ends With a Threat to India

By Kamal Raj Sigdel

Maoists Want Talks with India: The United Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist (UCPN-M) wrapped up its third phase of protests and declared a fourth one today (Tuesday) concluding that there was no point in holding talks with local parties since they were all controlled by New Delhi. It was more meaningful to talk directly with Delhi.  The party has been hitting the streets demanding the establishment of civilian supremacy in the country.  This is the first instance since the 12-point agreement in 2005 that the Maoist leadership has come out openly against what it calls Delhi’s intrusion in Nepali politics. The implication was that the entire peace process was basically between the Maoist party and New Delhi, with other Nepali parties as fringe players.

The party announced that a national awareness campaign would start from Dec. 25 and run for a month. If the speeches made at the party rally on Tuesday were anything to go by, the Maoists will adopt a strong nationalist pitch in the next few weeks. Still, the party leadership displayed ambivalence in its treatment of India.  “We are ready to hold talks with New Delhi,” Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal told the party rally, held symbolically outside the Constituent Assembly where the Maoists are the largest party. “But what is the agenda? Are we citizens of a sovereign country?” There was the inevitable frustration with local parties. “For the last six months, I have reached out countless times to the parties, but they have all gone in vain,” said Dahal. “It’s a pity that the parties are helpless when it comes to taking any decision on their own as they are remote-controlled by New Delhi.”

India Reacts to Dahal Statement

By Dinesh Wagle

NEW DELHI – Influential Indian leaders and foreign policy buffs expressed a range of views on Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s statements pertaining to India on Tuesday. Dahal had said that he would only talk to New Delhi.

While some termed Dahal’s speech ‘a street talk by an angry leader’, others took it as a reflection of the ‘India will resolve it all’ tendency in Kathmandu.

The Ministry of External Affairs refused to comment. “We don’t want to comment on the internal issues of another country,” said a ministry official.

Former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha saw Dahal’s speech as contradictory. “They blame India for interfering and then say they want to hold talks with India,” Sinha said noting that the onus of resolving Nepal’s problems lies with Nepali leaders and elected representatives. According to him, Maoists in Nepal have been trying to impose what they wish. “But in democracy, it doesn’t work that way all the time. “When in the government, they wanted to impose decisions through the Constituent Assembly. Now they want to impose things through force.”

Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal K.V. Rajan said India has always been in touch with all political parties in Kathmandu in one way or the other. “The government could rethink if Dahal means to talk straight with the ministry or the Prime Minister’s Office, skipping the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu,” said Rajan.

Dahal offered five key agendas that should feature in the Nepal-India dialogue: 1) scrapping of the 1950 Nepal-India Friendship Treaty,  revision of other unequal bilateral treaties, 3) revision of Indian policy to ensure Nepal’s right to international transit, 3) a tripartite agreement between Nepal, India and China on a long-term strategy for Nepal’s development, 4) Nepal-India border disputes, including Susta, and 5) the Indian army’s withdrawal from Kalapani.

Who is Kapoor to say like that? Dahal expressed serious concern over Indian Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor’s recent remarks against the en masse integration of former Maoist combatants in Nepal Army. Gen. Kapoor’s statement came during Army Chief Chhatra Man Singh Gurung’s India visit that concluded on Saturday. Kapoor had said that “if Maoist fighters wish to join Nepal Army, they should follow the due recruitment procedure as other Nepali citizens aspiring to join the Army.”

“What is the point in India prescribing what should or what should not be done on the Army integration issue, which has been clearly outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement?” asked Dahal, adding that silence on the part of Gen. Gurung was indicative of the fact that the current establishment could not speak against New Delhi “even if the silence could cost us our sovereignty”. Dahal asked: Who is that Kapoor to jeopardize Nepal’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement?”

Fourth Phase: Nationalism on Focus The fourth phase of protests, according to the Maoists, will focus on raising “national awareness” by “exposing clandestine deals” with foreign compradors. “We are approaching a situation when we have to fight not only local compradors but also their foreign masters,” said Maoist Vice-Chairman Baburam Bhattarai. The one-month protest, from Dec. 25 to Jan. 24, is scheduled to culminate in declaration of an indefinite general strike if the government fails to address the party’s demand for a House discussion on the president’s reinstatement of then Army chief Rookmangud Katawal. The Maoist leaders also took strong exception to the government decision to buy arms from India, stating that it breached the peace accord and was a part of the “plot” to derail the peace process and suppress the Maoists.

Related blogs:

1. Second Phase of Maoist Agitation Ends With a Threat

Protests: Nepali vs Indian

They have bandas in India too, but they don’t trash the city to make their point: What’s wrong with us? Don’t we have anything constructive to do than hit the streets and shout slogans all the time? We now have the democracy and freedom that we so passionately fought for. We voted so enthusiastically and gave the ex-rebels the largest position in parliament. We did away with the monarchy that we thought was the only obstruction to our progress. Still the general public is suffering. Why?

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
This article first appeared in today’s Kathmandu Post. Here’s the PDF version of the page.

kathmandu protests and demonstrations

The state government of Delhi recently hiked public bus fares in an astonishing manner. The Delhi Metro rail, a major medium of public transportation in the Indian capital, quickly followed suit. Prices of consumer goods are also going up, and the general sentiment is resentment against the establishment for its inability to curb rising prices. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called a Delhi banda on Friday. Guess what happened on the banda day. Dozens of cars smashed, pro-banda activists pelting stones at shop owners who refused to close their businesses, breaking railings on the streets? Nothing like that happened. Coming from Nepal where such things are an inseparable part of any banda and bandas themselves a part of life, I was mildly surprised to see such a peaceful banda and way of protest in Delhi. The BJP, not an ideal political party in itself, but that’s a separate issue, only requested business owners and people to mark the banda, there was no force used. And, stunningly for me, the party said beforehand that there would be no inconvenience for the general public during the banda. Continue reading Protests: Nepali vs Indian