No. 9 March 28, 2004
Devastating Military Strike by the PLA Against the Royal Dictatorship
Close on heels of a massive military blow by the PLA to the royal dictatorship in Bhojpur (eastern Nepal) on March 3-4, a devastating military strike was executed against the royal regime on March 20-21 when the headquarters of Myagdi district, Beni, in western Nepal was completely overrun by the PLA. The highlight of this massive raid by the valiant PLA fighters was that for the first time in the eight-year old PW the battle was conducted and the district headquarters occupied in broad daylight till noon.
A glimpse of the heroic exploits of the PLA in this historic military raid can be had from the statement issued by the Commissar Com. Biplab and the Commander Com. Pasang, which reads as follows:
“As according to the central plan of our glorious Party and the decisions taken by the Western Central Command, the Western Division of the People’s Army was able to strike military raid over the District headquarter Beni of Myagdi successfully. The raid took place on March 20 starting from 11 p.m. and ended at 10 a.m. on March 21. In the military strike 125 royal army men and 26 policemen were killed and hundreds were inflicted with injury. From the raid the Kaliprasad barrack of the royal army, the district police office and the district administration office were destroyed. Similarly other government offices too got destroyed. From that raid 3 LMGs, 1 2-inch Mortar, 1 M-16, 14 Insas rifles, 35 SLRs, 65 3-0-3 rifles, 7 SMGs, 4 pistols were captured. Similarly 50,000 bullets and dozens of mortars were also captured. In that raid 49 brave fighters of People’s Army were martyred and about 100 received injury, among whom, Com. Yoddha, the Vice-Commander of the Second Brigade, Com. Bahuveer, the Vice-Commander of the Third Brigade, Com. Bishal, the Battalion Commander, Com. Bayu, the Vice Commander of Battalion were martyred. In the course of raid the surrendered 33 royal army & police personnel including the Chief District Officer Sagarmani Parajuli and DSP Ranabahadur Gautam were taken as prisoners of war. These prisoners are being treated as according to the democratic policy of our Party and the agreement of Geneva Conventions. It is to be informed that we on our part will free them if they release all the prisoners of war including Com. Matrika Yadav, the Politburo Member, Com. Suresh Ale, the Central Committee Member, Com. Tilak Sharma, the Regional Bureau Member of our Party from Bardia but now imprisoned in Dhangadi prison. At the end we pay our heartfelt homage to all the martyrs including Com. Yoddha and Com. Bahuveer for giving their valuable lives bravely for completely accomplishing the great & historical raid. We wish early recovery of the beloved injured fighter comrades. We are grateful to all the people who helped us during the raid. We thank all commanders, commissars, members and volunteer members who participated in this raid.”
In a statement issued on March 21 Chairman Prachanda has highlighted the qualitative significance of the raid and vowed to continue the PW till a “forward-looking political solution with radical transformation is achieved”.
Even though the royal spin-doctors initially tended to cover up their total defeat in the battle of Beni and fictitiously sought to mislead the entire world by claiming that the PLA attack was foiled with “500 casualties” (which was unquestionably carried by the major world media), the real truth was gradually unfolded and it was irrefutably established that the royal army had faced one of the most emphatic and humiliating defeats in the entire civil war in the past eight years. A number of independent journalists and observers have now visited Beni and verified the real story originally told by the PLA Commissar and Commander.
This successful military raid over a highly fortified district headquarter has blown the myth of the invincibility of the royal army newly trained and armed by the Americans, Indians and other foreign powers. Though there has been much speculation on the motive and timing of the military strike in the media, the Party and the PLA have no illusion that it is part of the preparation for the strategic offensive in the protracted PW.
In the political front, two successful centralized military strikes in Bhojpur and Beni within a span of three weeks have given a mortal blow to the royal military dictatorship that was seeking to legitimize its rule through a fake election in the near future. The quick response of all major international power centers including the USA, UK and UN for a negotiated political solution may be a pointer to this. However, it is quite doubtful whether the monarchical regime would read the message on the wall till it meets its total doom. ??
Nepal Bandh (Shut Down) on April 6, 7 & 8
As part of militant mass mobilization against the royal military regime, the CPN (Maoist), the PLA and the United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC) have called for a countrywide general shut-down (Nepal bandh) on April 6, 7 & 8, 2004, which also marks the 15th anniversary of the 1990 people's movement.
Under the general slogan of "March Forward on the Great Path of Establishing a Republic", a month-long programme of action starting with March 6 has been launched throughout the country. The principal thrust of the struggle programme has been to create a joint mass movement against the autocratic monarchy and unite all the parliamentary and non-parliamentary democratic forces for the minimum programme of a democratic republic. Accordingly monopoly economic establishments of the ruling Shah-Rana families have been specifically targeted for sabotage and a region-wide shutdown has been organized in the Western (or Gandak) Region on March 27 & 28 to disrupt the stage-managed 'civic reception' to King Gyanendra in Pokhara on March 28.
In a joint statement issued by Com. Prachanda, Chairman of CPN (Maoist) and Supreme Commander of PLA, and Com. Baburam Bhattarai, Convener, URPC, on March 6, it is said:
"We are on the eve of celebrating the 15th anniversary of historic 1990 people's movement. However, in the meantime the murderous Gyanendra-Paras gang that had usurped the throne after the infamous palace massacre has hijacked the limited democratic rights gained after the 1990 people's movement and imposed a naked royal military fascism and a new and vulgar edition of the Panchayat system. In the light of the recent interview of Gyanendra to the Time magazine, his speech in Nepalganj, his directives issued after the farcical visit to the Mid-Western region, the council of ministers solely made of the old Panchas (royalists), the farcical civic receptions, etc., there can be no doubt that the autocratic monarchy has been restored in the country. Rather this fake and comprador 'monarchy' erected by the mercenary royal army and the imperialist forces after the conspiratorial massacre of King Birendra and his family is more hypocritical, anti-national, genocidal and fascist compared to the traditional feudal monarchy. This is amply clear from the daily massacre of dozens of unarmed and innocent masses, the plunder of national economy and natural resources, the open activities and interventions of foreign powers inside the country, etc. Hence there should be no doubt to anybody today that the comprador and fascist fake monarchy and its mercenary royal army are principal impediments to solving the problems of nationalism, democracy and people's livelihood and establishing a genuine people's democracy and are the main enemy of the Nepalese people."
Calling for the overthrow of the hated monarchy, the statement further says:
"In this context it has become a historical necessity that all the parliamentary and non-parliamentary democratic forces unite in a minimum common programme to establish a democratic republic after completely abolishing the monarchy that has time and again betrayed the country and the people since 1951 and to create a storm of a countrywide mass movement for the same. The student youths have given a concrete shape to this historical necessity and prospect by spontaneously raising the slogan of a republic in the streets for some months now. However, the Gyanendra-Paras clique that is scared of the prospective unity between the parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces has initiated a conspiracy to divide the democratic camp by such ploys as the killing of UML ex-M.P. Hem Narayan Yadav in Siraha, on the one hand, and by luring the parliamentary forces into the monarchical fold through the bait of the so-called parliamentary elections, on the other. Hence, we particularly appeal to the parliamentary forces and all other patriotic, democratic and leftist forces to remain alert to all such conspiracies and to create a storm of countrywide unified mass movement on the basis of a common minimum programme of a democratic republic."
The immediate slogans advanced for the joint mass movement are as follows:- Abolish the autocratic & comprador monarchy! Establish a democratic republic!
Given the widespread resentment of the masses against the hated monarchy and the increasing pressure upon the leadership of the parliamentary parties to join a unified mass movement with the revolutionary forces against the autocratic monarchy, the 3-day Nepal bandh on April 6, 7 & 8 is expected to be a historic one. ??
CPN (Maoist) Positive Towards Kofi Annan's Initiative
The CPN (Maoist) has responded positively to the public call of UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to find a positive political solution to the ongoing civil war in Nepal through negotiations among all parties concerned. In response to a public statement issued by the office of the Secretary General on March 23, the Chairman of CPN (Maoist), Com. Prachanda, issued a statement on March 25, which reads as follows:
"The recent appeal made by Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, to resolve the present civil war in Nepal peacefully has been heartily welcomed by our Party and it considers the inherent concern shown in it as a responsible initiative taken by the international community. In the background of deceit and conspiracy displayed by the old state of Nepal based on feudal autocracy during the negotiation with our Party last time, we had made public our proposal to the UN to act as a mediator for the negotiations. The core issue of the present civil war has been whether the right to determine Nepalese People's fate and future by themselves will be granted or not. The old state wants to limit the sovereign state rights of the people in the hands of feudal king as in the medieval age, which our Party wants to practically institutionalize that inherent right of the people. Our stand and our commitment towards all-round political conference, interim government and election to a Constituent Assembly clearly reflect that reality. The People's War is being waged as a form of rebellion against the massacre, terror and atrocities perpetuated against the people by the 'royal army' which has been traditionally loyal to the feudal palatial dictatorship. The establishment of an environment that will ensure execution of free decision on the type of state the people of 20th century wants to establish, is the key issue, which will solve the present Nepalese civil war peacefully. It is in the persistent opposition to this unanimous democratic method that the feudal dictatorship of the old state is being reflected. It is by observing the seriousness of this state that our Party had considered it necessary to ask UN to act as mediator so as to establish people's sovereign right. It is for sure that with the creation of an environment for the people to give their mandate freely, the peaceful solution to the rebellion and bloodshed will be achieved. For this, our Party once again makes an appeal to all democratic pro-people forces inside and outside the country to take initiative and to hasten the process. If the old state continues to trample upon the people on the strength of its military force then the People's War too will continue to be waged until the old state is completely destroyed." ??
Futile Exercise in HR Abuse Cover-Up by the Royal Regime
Severely bombarded by the international community for its extreme violation of human rights (HR) and wanton war crimes, the royal regime of late has launched another campaign of deception and lies to cover-up its heinous crimes against humanity. Particularly after being threatened to be declared as a 'failed state' by influential members of international power centers in the recently held UNCHR meeting in Geneva, the spin-doctors of the genocidal royal regime have fanned out in different quarters to mislead the international HR community and the puppet PM Surya B. Thapa has announced a 25-point "Commitment Paper" on March 26.
Whereas in Geneva the puppet Foreign Minister Bhek B. Thapa is reported to have shamelessly covered-up the heinous crimes of genocide, 'disappearances', fake encounter killings, inhuman torture and rape in custody etc., the 25-point 'Paper' unveiled by Surya B. Thapa is a blatant exercise in deception, double-talk and window-dressing. To the gullible international HR community the 25-point 'commitment' may appear logical and harmless. But anybody conversant with the ground reality in Nepal will realize that such empty words would have no meaning to protect the basic human rights of thousands of revolutionary fighters and general masses who have been reeling under the Nazi-like dictatorship of the royal army. As the real power of the old monarchical state is exercised by the royal army, which knows no laws and constitution, the pious words of any civilian authority are merely for public consumption.
Meanwhile, daily massacre of dozens of unarmed persons in fake encounters by the RNA butchers is continuing unabated. Under the so-called 'search and destroy' campaign the royal mercenaries have been indiscriminately shooting unarmed masses and political activists after capture if they are found to have remotest relations with the CPN (Maoist). Also, thousands have 'disappeared' from the RNA custody, with total impunity so far. The torture stories of thousands of prisoners of war in the RNA camps are too horrorsome to be recounted. In such a situation any amount of public 'commitment' to HR by the royal regime would have no practical meaning except to illusion the gullible ones.
Incidentally some intelligence organizations and motivated media are found to be launching a mischievous campaign against the revolutionary forces, particularly about the enrolment of the so-called 'child soldiers' in the PW. As we have refuted time and again, it is totally baseless. A revolutionary movement committed to a progressive and scientific ideology cannot even remotely think of abducting the innocent school children and using them as cannon fodder in the PW.
Chairman Prachanda has in a recent statement publicly expressed the Party's commitment to all the relevant international conventions on HR and invited the UN and other neutral agencies to monitor the actual situation in the civil war front in the country. ??
The Worker, No-9, Published
The ninth issue of The Worker, Organ of the CPN (Maoist), has been published on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of the PW in February 2004.
The highlight of the issue is some very important articles on the question of state and democracy by the senior leaders of the Party, particularly Chairman Prachanda. In his article “On the State and Democracy” Chairman Prachanda provides the theoretical concept of the Marxist view on state and democracy and calls for further developing the concept in keeping with the demands of proletarian revolution in the present context.
In his piece “The Question of Building a New Type of State”, Com. Baburam Bhattarai makes an historical survey of the development of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist concept of the state in the international communist movement and outlines the basic features of a new type of proletarian state in the light of the experiences of revolution and counter-revolution during the past one hundred and fifty years.
Following her much acclaimed article on the issue of women’s leadership in the Party last time, Com. Parvati in her article “Women’s Participation in People’s Army”, this time probes the problems of women guerillas in the PW and highlights the strategic significance of women’s participation in the People’s Army.
An important document “Present Situation & Our Historical Task”, adopted by the Central Committee of the Party for a general debate within and outside the Party on the question of development of democracy in the 21st century, is also included in this issue of the Party organ.
Also, the regular columns of ‘Editorial’, ‘Report from the battlefield’, ‘News & views’, and an additional column of ‘Book review’, should make this ninth issue of The Worker a useful publication for the English speaking masses.
The tenth issue of The Worker would be published on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the PW in which articles from fraternal Parties and Organizations are also solicited. ??