Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Condemn the coup in Nepal: the people will win!

(Maoist leader C.P. Gajurel told a 50,000 strong rally of supporters in Kathmandu on May 17, "Now we will capture the State!")

The Australian Government is a champion of parliamentary democracy, so you would expect that if a military commander defied an elected civilian government and forced the resignation of a Prime Minister then it might feel compelled to comment.

However, I don’t recall hearing anything from Rudd, Gillard or Stephen Smith, the Foreign Affairs Minister. The Department of Foreign Affairs has noted the “resignation of the Prime Minister on May 4” and issued an updated travel advisory notice calling on travellers to “exercise a high degree of caution in Nepal due to the uncertain political and security situation”.

The absence of any condemnation of this virtual coup is not surprising. The social-democratic Australian Labor Government is as much a supporter of US imperialism and international reaction as its predecessor, the conservative Howard Liberal Government.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) led a 20-year people’s war against the feudal monarchy and its social props, the Nepalese bourgeoisie and landlords. In 2006, a ceasefire was arranged and in 2008, the CPN (Maoist) surprised the international community by being the largest party in the elections to the Constituent Assembly.

Maoist leader Prachanda became Prime Minister at the head of a coalition government led by the Maoists.

His government determined that the head of the landlord-bourgeois Army of Nepal integrate into its ranks the fighters of the PLA. He refused. He was then stood down by Prime Minister Prachanda. He refused to step down, defying the elected government. He was encouraged in his defiance by the reactionary Nepal Congress Party and by the revisionist parties.

Prachanda has accepted the defiance as a declaration of disloyalty to, and sabotage of, the Constituent Assembly and walked out of the parliament, taking the struggle once more to the streets.

Like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who faced a coup in April 2002, Prachanda has now experienced the capacity of the old state machine to maintain its loyalty to reaction, to the old elites, and to maintain its monopoly on the machinery of violence to frustrate democracy.

Chavez rallied the people and stared down the plotters. Prachanda is rallying the people and will do likewise.

The words of Henry Lawson, great Australian poet, ring out with starling relevance:

We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting of those that they would throttle,
They need not say the fault is ours if blood should stain the wattle.

No comments: