Monday, September 24, 2007

Victory To The People's Mass Movement In Nepal!

Prachanda: In one way or the other, each revolution is violent. No matter how peaceful a movement you call it, it always has violence and counter-violence. Secondly, we have felt if we can move forward on the political base formed after our 10 years of people’s war, people can achieve freedom in a peaceful manner as well, and we can constitute a new society. And we are currently engaged in the same experiment. But whether it will always remain peaceful or turn violent again does not depend on us; it depends on our opponents. It depends on the imperialist and feudalist elements which are not yet completely defeated. There is a possibility that they could use violence against the people once again. In that case, the people will have to retaliate against them. At that point, the revolution could again turn violent.

(This statement by Comrade Prachanda is from an interview conducted on June 22, 2007. The full version can be read here.)

The following statement on important new developments in Nepal is by the Editor of the online journal Revolutionary Democracy:

Victory To The People's Mass Movement In Nepal!

The democratic aspirations of the Nepalese people have been betrayed by the current regime. It is no longer possible for the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)-CPN (M) - to remain in government.
This government was formed under the premiership of Nepal Congress leader Koirala. It was set up following the struggle against Nepal's autocratic monarchy in April 2006. This government, which included Nepal's eight main parties, was meant to hold elections to aConstituent Assembly. However, the continued existence of the monarchy is putting these elections under serious threat. The monarchy is spreading violence and disorder, in order to undermine democracy. The continuing failure of the government to declare a republic has left the Maoists with no choice but to declare a nation-wide people's movement to fight for a republic and the otherjust and democratic demands of the people, from the streets.

The CPN (M) began the People's War in Nepal in 1996 with the aim of sweeping feudalism and imperialism from Nepal. It opposed those parties who claimed this aim could be achieved through parliamentary means. Events proved the CPN (M) correct. For example, from 2002-2005 the autocratic monarch, Gyanendra,dismissed three prime ministers. Then in 2005 Gyanendra dissolved Parliament, which did not meet again until after the April 2006 movement.
The Maoists had a strategy to win power but they were concerned about how they could keep power. They were conscious of the experience of Russia and China where the proletariat had won power only to lose it again. In 2003 the Politburo accepted a proposal concerning the exercise of state power by a Maoist Party ('Present Situation And Our Historical Tasks'). In this document the CPN (M) proposed that when power was achieved , under the leadership of the party of theproletariat, a new model would be needed. In this model all anti-feudal and anti-imperialist parties would be allowed to take part in political competition. In December 2006 this was clarified in a statement by the CPN (M) where they stated that 'One should be clear that this competition should be allowed only among the political forces that do not go against the dictatorship of theproletariat' (see 'The Worker' 11, page 37).
Clearly, this new approach made co-operation with other parties easier. On 22nd November 2005 the Maoist party signed a 12 point agreement with the 7 other main parties in Nepal. The aim was to overthrow the autocratic monarchy.
However, this new approach was also going to lead to tensions between the Maoists who wanted a People's Democratic state and the other parties that want a bourgeois democracy that would sustain the status quo. These other parties were known as the 7 Party Alliance. The 7 Party Alliance included the two factions of Nepal Congress and the (non-revolutionary) Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist). The other parties wanted to preserve the existing classrelations in Nepal and saw bourgeois democracy as the way to do it.

The April 2006 general strike and People's Movement led to the recall of Parliament and a new government of the 7 parties, under Koirala. The Maoists were to join the government later. They were only able to win this victory because of the power of the people's struggle and the influence gained by their leadership of the People's War.

However, the elections planned for June 07, did not happen. Koirala'sgovernment blamed this on its own failure to pass necessary election laws in time.

Another reason was the outbreak of violence in the Terai (the southern, flat region of Nepal, which is populated, in part, by the Madhesi people). The new Madhesi movement was led by the Janatanrik Terai Mukta Morcha (JTTM) and the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF).

These groups criticised the government for adopting an Interim Constitution which did not contain provisions for a fully federal set-up and for not adopting an election system that would be fully proportional in terms of ensuring representation for Nepal's different ethnic groups. They also blamed the Maoists for joining the Interim government without gaining agreement for such proposals. The disruption of the democratic process by these groups has led toa significant threat to the Maoists' influence in the Eastern Terai region.

Who is behind this turn of events? The CPN (M) has concluded that the US imperialists and Indian expansionists, in league with the King, are responsible. Violent groups claiming to represent the Madhesi operate openly in India, crossing the border into Nepal to create havoc. Even the weak, Koirala led government was forced to arrest 3 royalist ex-ministers (including Kamal Thapa, ex-Home Minister) for instigating violence by groups claiming to represent the Madhesis.
Violent campaigns by these groups make elections proposed for the 22nd of November 2007 unsustainable. Such violence has included the massacre of 28 Maoist sympathisers on 4th April 2007 and continuing bomb attacks, including the bomb attacks of September 9th that caused multiple injuries and deaths and were claimed by a group claiming to represent the people of the Terai.
The policy of the CPN (M) has adapted to this new situation. In his Mayday speech, CPN (M) leader Prachanda, admitted that the party had been mistaken in not explaining to the people how it tried to vigorously fight for a fully federal structure for the state and a fully proportional electoral system before going into government. It had made this mistake in the interests of holding quick elections in June but these were cancelled in any case. In reality neither Congress nor India and the US wanted elections in June. They all needed time to try and isolate the Maoists in different ways. Congress has done this by making its own agreement with one faction of the MPRF, an agreement which sells out the interests of the Madhesis and undermines Maoists demands for the rights of the Madhesis to be promoted. The Indian government and its US mastershave done this by allowing the false friends of the Madhesi people to take over Eastern Terai through violence and terror.
The August Extended Central Committee Meeting of the CPN (M) had decided on a direct challenge to this isolation and the efforts to undermine the Constituent Assembly elections. 22 demands have been made by the Maoists. These include demands such as the punishment of those responsible for the Gaur massacre. They also include the creation of a fully proportional election system prior to theelection. Most importantly the CPN (M) is demanding the announcement of a republic before the election. Without this there can be no election at all, as the royalists, in league with Indian expansionists and the US, will prevent any meaningful election taking place. A deadline of 18th September 2007 was set for meeting these demands.
This deadline has now passed and the CPN (M) has quit the government. The CPN (M) has announced a program of mass actions and political strikes to achieve its demands. We call on all progressives and democrats to support this campaign. The CPN (M) and the Nepalese people urgently need this support. We must remember that not one state has declared their backing for the revolution in Nepal. This makes it even more vital that the support of the people ismobilised around the world. Even those who may express some disagreement with the line of the leadership of the revolution still have a duty to publicly show their solidarity and to create a positive public opinion towards the revolution and mobilise the masses. It makes no sense to adopt a line of 'waiting and seeing' what the results of the current people's movement in Nepalwill be before deciding whether to express solidarity. Theenemies of the revolution are not 'waiting and seeing', they are actively trying to undermine the revolution. Support for a revolutionary struggle is most necessary when its result is uncertain, not when victory is assured!
The peoples of Nepal are making a revolution for all the people of the world, we
urge you to unite with them.

1 comment:

LeftyHenry said...

We shall see what goes on in Nepal. Personally I'm critical about the fact that the CPN-M ended the people's war, then joined the government, and then left it but didn't restart the people's war. That said, this statement is really good and I have a lot of faith and hope in Prachanda. BTW check out my new blog. I'll be linking to you comrade