MAOIST INFORMATION BULLETIN – 5
[Occasional Information Bulletin of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)]
No.5. September 28, 2003
News and Views
Suspension of Offensive Military Actions During Festival
Keeping into consideration emotional sensitivity of the masses and widespread demand of different social organizations, political parties and prominent personalities, the CPN (Maoist) has declared temporary suspension of all offensive military actions during the main festival of Dashain i.e from October 2 to October 10. This was announced by Chairman of the Party and Supreme Commander of the People’s Liberation Army(PLA), Com.Prachanda, through a press statement on September 26.
However, defensive actions against the treacherous attacks of the royal mercenery RNA will continue throughout. As against the speculation in certain quarters that there would be a month-long cease-fire covering the whole festival season of Dasain, Tihar and Chhat, the Party has declared suspension of offensive actions for 9 days covering the main festival period. It is quite ironic that a revolutionary movement aimed at bringing about total political, economic, social and cultural transformation of society has to take due consideration of the feeling of the masses, as some of the traditional festivals would take a long time to fade out of the consciousness of the masses.
Nevertheless, the Party has cautioned all to remain alert throughout against the betrayal of the genocidal RNA which knows no ethics and common minimum morality .
Full text of the Statement
Here is the full text of the press statement issued by Com.Prachanda:
“Keeping into serious consideration the feeling of the masses and the appeal of different political and human rights organizations and the civil society, our Party has decided to suspend all offensive actions on our part for nine days from October 2 to October 10, i.e. from Saptami to Purnima, in the context of the Dashain festival. The Central Head quarter has directed the whole Party, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and all the organs of the new state power to remain in the state of active defense for effective retaliation in case the so-called security apparatus of the old state attacks the masses or any unit of the PLA during this period of unilateral suspension announced by our Party.
“ Today, the regressive old feudal state playing in the hands of foreign power centers, particularly US imperialism, has falsely and deliberately charged us as having broken away from the ceasefire and peace talks and is trying to use it as a license to massacre the people. This tirade of such elements, who closed all doors to a political way-out by the time of third round of talks, who denied the masses of the people their sovereign rights to determine their own destiny and future themselves and who compelled our Party and the masses to go for resistance by openly violating the ceasefire since the beginning, indulging in increased massacre and terror and perpetrating the most cowardly and barbarous massacre in Doramba while the negotiation was in progress, is as ridiculous as an attempt to block the sun with the palm. The success of the 3-days Nepal bandh (general shut-down) and countrywide resistance has amply proved that the general Nepalese masses are quite aware of the big conspiracy of the old state, isolated from the masses, trying to use ceasefire and negotiations to prolong its regressive feudal rule. The leaders of the so-called royal army, scared out of their wits from the initial resistance as per the new strategy of our Party, have, on the one hand, taken recourse to totally false propaganda to hide their all-round defeat, and on the other, have been issuing false statements of encounters by massacring the innocent and unarmed rural masses engaged in their daily chores. This is amply verified by the black vomit of one ringleader of the so-called royal army struck to death by our new strategy but not able to grasp its essence in Nepalgunj; by the howling of encounter deaths of many Maoists after the cold-blood murder of ordinary peasants engaged in collection of firewood and fodder in Udaipur and petty traders in Achham; and by false propagandization of some dacoits as Maoists in Sarlahi. The activities of the mercenary soldiers of the old state, trying to trample upon the self-respect of Nepal and the Nepalese on the strength of a few new weapons given by the foreign reactionaries including the Americans, are nothing more than that. The old state and its army has now become a mere synonym for national betrayal, genocide, terror and rape and this reality has made rebellion and resistance an inevitability.
“Certainly we are quite sensitive about the replunging of the country into civil war. We want genuine ceasefire, peace and progress in the country. As the sons and daughters of the masses devoted to the independence and progress of the countr. our historic commitment to fight till the end against trampling upon the dignity of Nepal and the Nepalese with the support and instigation of the foreign reactionaries, is the highest manifestation of this sensitivity. We are committed to lead the rebellion till the great Nepalese people of the twenty-first century get the sovereign right to decide their own future themselves. In the past the old state has betrayed ours and the masses’ optimism, sense of duty and flexibility to seek a peaceful way-out through ceasefire and negotiations. This has adequately proved that the problem cannot be solved through ceasefire and its observance only by us. Because of the criminal activities of the old state and the so-called royal army, to declare a unilateral ceasefire during the traditional festivals of the Nepalese people with different nationalities, languages and cultural heritage, even if we so desire, would in essence be to provide them (i.e. the old state ) undue opportunity. Hence, we sincerely call upon all the democratic political forces, human right organizations, civil society and the general masses of the people in the country to focus pressure on the old state which brutalizing the Nepalese people by riding on the back of foreign reactionary forces. We are ready to announce a permanent ceasefire when the old state agrees to genuinely respect the sovereign rights of the people. Otherwise we would like to reassert our commitment to fight till the old state is completely wiped out.” +
Unprecedented Success of the 3-Day Nepal Bandh
The 3-day Nepal bandh (general shut-down) jointly called by the Party, PLA and the People’s Council against the royal military dictatorship on September 18, 19 and 20 has been a complete success. As has been widely reported in the national and international media, such a total closure of all activities for continuous 72 hours throughout every nook and corner of the country was never seen earlier in the whole history of Nepal. Such a complete political strike at the call of the revolutionary forces definitely marks a turning point in the revolutionary movement of the country.
The Party has assessed this unprecedented success of the strike as a massive public endorsement of the immediate political agenda put forth by the Party, namely a round-table conference, interim government and election to a constituent assembly, and a severe blow to the treacherous acts of the military dictatorship. Even though the royal spin doctors have tended to minimize this spontaneous show of public support to the revolutionary forces as mere result of coercion and fear, that is just a lame excuse for their defeatist mentality. Certainly a minor section of the reactionary classes would have been cowed down, which is natural in a class-divided society, but that is besides the point.
Com. Prachanda, Chairman of the Party and Supreme Commander of the PLA, and Com. Baburam Bhattarai, Convener of the URPC, have issued a joint statement on September 20 thanking one and all for the cooperation in the Nepal bandh.
The full text of the statement is as follows:
“The 3-day Nepal bandh (general shut-down) programme, organized against the old state foolishly trying to perpetuate feudal regresses and ‘royal military’ terror after nullifying the relevance of ceasefire and negotiations through denial of all forward-looking and peaceful way-out, both politically and militarily, has been a complete success. From the state capital to all the nooks and corners of the country, the masses of the people have resisted and defeated the ‘royal military’ terror and false and motivated propaganda of the old state and made this bandh (shut-down) a success. Contrary to the false claims of the old feudal state and its apologists, this success is the result of the resistance against (state) terror. With this overwhelming success of the 3-day bandh (shut-down) the minimum agenda of a progressive way-out proposed by us, namely a round-table conference, interim government and election to a constituent assembly, has been once again widely endorsed. In this context, we pay solemn homage to the immortal martyrs killed during the heroic resistance of the royal military terror and thank with warm salute all the revolutionary and general masses of the people who have contributed to make this bandh (shut-down) a success.
“Subsequent events have proved beyond doubt that the old feudal state working against the national sovereignty and people’s well-being and aspirations for change by riding on the back of foreign imperialism, particularly American imperialism, has been totally isolated from the masses. Daily routine of the so-called royal army, degenerated into a mercenary army dependent on the crumbs of bread and order from imperialism, has been to indulge in cowardly massacre of gallant fighters devoted to the well-being of the country and the people. In this sensitive hour of history, it is imperative to defeat the royal military terror for the sake of security, liberation, peace and progress of the country and the people, and there is no alternative to People’s War for this. The People’s War would go on unwaveringly till the sovereign right of the people to determine their own destiny and future is firmly established.
“The great People’s War is the historic rebellion of the Nepalese people ,with the exercise of their right to self-determination, against feudalism and imperialism. Like all the great rebellions and revolutions in history it is marching forward amidst certain mistakes, weaknesses and accidents. It is certain that the revolutionary force would get more mature along with its development and victory. We appeal to all leftist, progressive, patriotic and democratic forces and the general masses to get united for building a new Nepal by queuing up more firmly in this historic rebellion”. +
Com. Gajurel Still in Indian Custody
Com.C.P.Gajurel(Gaurav), senior Politbureau Member of CPN (Maoist), who was captured by the Indian security forces from Chennai airport on August 19 last, is still in the custody of the Indian security forces. He was produced in a Chennai court on September 18 and again handed back to the security forces ostensibly for 15 days more.
It is understood that he has been charged with traveling on a fake document, which is not very serious by Indian legal standard. It is, however, quite intriguing why he is taken into repeated police custody on such flimsy charges. This has naturally fuelled deep suspicion that there is still danger to the life of Com. Gajurel whether he is kept in confinement in India or extradited to the monarchist regime in Nepal.
Meanwhile Com. Gajurel has provided written statement to the Indian authorities about his travel details from Nepal to India and his intended purpose of visit to Europe. According to the statement he traveled from eastern Nepal to Chennai via Calcutta and he was heading towards Europe to propagate Party policy and programme among emigrant Nepalese and general anti-imperialist forces there.
This has effectively countered the canard propagandized by the royal military dictatorship that Com. Gajurel was sheltered in India. Similarly, the statement has cleared the doubt among a section of Indian ruling classes that Com. Gajurel was heading towards London to meet the King then on a private visit there. Such contradictory allegations of the ruling classes of Nepal and India against the revolutionary forces are so baseless and ridiculous that they are just not worth refuting.
In the meantime the clamor for the safety of life and freedom of Com. Gajurel is ever more mounting throughout the world. We again demand the immediate freedom of Com. Gajurel from the custody of Indian security forces. +
Country: A Hotbed of International Intrigue and Interference
Because of the known national capitulationist character of the ‘new’ feudal-comprador monarchy, the country is fast turning into a hotbed of international intrigue and conspiracy. The recent hectic activities of the ambassadors of some powerful countries and their open interference in the internal affairs of Nepal has proved this beyond doubt.
The naked interference of US imperialism has been the most conspicuous in this respect. The US ambassador, Michael E. Malinowski , has not only been meeting various leaders of the parliamentary parties and dictating them to ‘cooperate with the king to isolate the Maoists’, but he has been openly launching malicious tirade against the revolutionary forces through public speeches and interviews to the media. [ See, “Open Letter to the US Ambassador” by Com. Baburam Bhattarai, at http://cpnm.org/English]
Meanwhile a report in Time-Asia (September 15, 2003 ), among others, has confirmed large scale military involvement of US imperialism in Nepal. According to the report, “Up to 50 US special-forces trainers are now pushing 20 battalions of 700-800 men each-a quarter of entire army-through a 12-week counterinsurgency programme. …..Washington has also supplied the RNA with 5000 M-16s, with 5000 due; Belgium sold Nepal 5500 machine guns, and Britain and India have lent military advisors.”
The US President, George W. Bush, is understood to have specially patted his stooge from Nepal, Bhek B. Thapa, Ambassador- at- large, during a recent gathering in New York in honor of the visiting Heads of the Delegations to the UN General Assembly. On the occasion, Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, is reported to have pledged all assistance and support to the royalist regime “to fight the Maoist terrorists”.
Scared of its own shadow of criminal misdeeds and conspiracies the US government, on September 24, has warned its citizens either not to visit Nepal at all or exercise extreme caution once there. The CPN(Maoist), however, has clarified time and again that there is no danger to the life of any foreigner, including the US nationals, in Nepal and the tourists from any country are most welcome to visit and travel. Contrary to the widespread false propaganda by the reactionary ruling classes that foreign tourists are subjected to extortions by the Maoists, a host of tourists from different countries have refuted the baseless charge in recent times. [ See, for example, a report in Nepali Times, September 19-26, 2003]
In the mean time, Special British Envoy to Nepal, Sir Jeoffry James, has made his third visit in six months to Nepal , and as usual lobbied hard to unite the so-called ‘constitutional forces’ (read the king and parliamentary parties ) against the Maoists. He is, however, reported to have acknowledged at last that ‘there is no military solution to the Maoist problem.’
The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and UN Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan , on the other hand, seem to have done their best to maintain a neutral stand in the current conflict in Nepal and offered their help to solve the problem in the country.
The Party, as ever, requests all foreign powers to keep off from Nepal and let the Nepalese people determine their own future themselves. +
Daring Military Actions Shake the RNA
Fake Encounters and White Lies Galore
The gallant fighters of the PLA continued to shake the whole country with their dare-devil military actions throughout the second half of September, too. Shaken out of its wits, the royal mercenary RNA intensified massacre of the innocent and unarmed masses and political cadres in fake encounters and continued to churn out white lies of malicious propaganda to hoodwink the world public opinion.
One of the most daring, and perhaps the biggest and most successful in the whole period of seven and half years of PW, military action in the form of road ambush with mining took place at Sahajpur in Kailali dictrict ( far western Terai region ). The brave PLA fighters ambushed three truckloads of RNA convoy at Faltude of Sahajpur at around 12:30 mid-day and attacked with rocket-launchers and other weapons. Forty-one RNA mercenaries were killed, more than two dozens wounded and two military trucks were blown-up. On the PLA side, Platoon Commander Com.Sagarmatha was martyred and a few injured. This devastating military blow to the royal genocidal regime was almost totally blacked out from the media.
Stung hard by this PLA blow, the RNA mercenaries made a futile attempt to invade the main revolutionary base area in Rolpa on September 17, encircling the Bhawang-Jankot area from four sides with additional troops from Rukum, Sallyan and Dang. A fierce battle took place and the royal mercenaries were ultimately beaten back to district and regional headquarters. In the process five mercenaries were killed on the spot, 2 more succumbed to death later and more than 25 were wounded. On the PLA side, seven heroic fighters including a woman Company Commander attained martyrdom and fifteen were wounded. The royal spin doctors, however, made totally baseless claims through their monopoly media that fifty-seven PLA fighters had died, which they could never substantiate with concrete evidence. Chairman Prachanda in a press statement on September 19 put the record straight before the outside world.
Similarly, hundreds of small and medium military actions in the form of raids/commando attacks, ambush/mining, high sabotages and selected annihilations were carried out throughout the country. Raids/commando attacks took place in Rautahat ( September 16), Kapilvastu (September 19), Dadeldhura (September 26), Udaipur (September 27), among others. Successful ambushes and mining were carried out in Kathmandu (September 13), Chitwan (September 15), Dhading (September 18), Mahottarai (September 20), Gorkha (September 27) and others. Selected annihilations of royal butchers, informers and incorrigible criminals were carried out in Banke, Surkhet, Kailali, Baitadi, Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Syangja and elsewhere. And a number of high-profile sabotages including those against the current Prime Minister, four of his Ministers, the chief of the Royal Advisory Council, a former chief of the Election Commission and others sent chills down the spine of the reactionary classes.
As usual the royal butchers have retaliated by massacring dozens of unarmed masses and political activists in daily fake encounters. The fact that they would kill twenty or thirty persons and claim to have captured a few, ‘socket bombs’ or just ‘guns’ or ‘a lot of logistics’ in vague terms , easily exposes their genocidal actions and white lies. For, any person with a common sense or basic knowledge of the ABC of war and weapons, would know that weapons like socket-bombs are just defensive tools and nobody would go to attack the RNA with them to invite a real encounter. For example, subsequent investigations have proved that ordinary peasants collecting firewood and fodder in the jungle were gunned down by the RNA in Udaipur on September 22 and petty traders transporting their goods were the target of RNA fury in Achham on September 18, both of which incidents were propagandized as ‘encounter killings’ by the state media. Similarly, the case of two dacoits lynched by the irate masses in Sarlahi on September 22 was very prominently reported and circulated by the royalist media as an instance of ‘public fury and resistance against the Maoists’.
However, the general masses who rely more on practice than on newspapers and radios are by now quite conversant with the way of false propaganda of the old state. The urban intelligentsia and foreign observers, on the other hand, would do well to check concrete facts first and apply a bit of logic before they accepted the monarchical state propaganda as it is.+
Letter to International Crisis Group.
Special Adviser to the President of the International Crisis Group.
First of all we would like to thank the International Crisis Group for its sincere efforts to understand the real nature of the ongoing political and military conflict in Nepal.
Here is, in short, the reply to your queries:
1) Would the CPN(M) leadership be willing to accept a constituent assembly with precondition that multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy be guaranteed ?
- In history and universally, the concept of constituent assembly is accepted as the ‘highest’ form of democracy. The whole idea behind it is to effectively transfer ‘sovereignty’ and ‘state authority’ traditionally claimed and exercised by the monarchy to the real sovereign people. In the particular case of Nepal, though the constitution of 1990 formally talked of the people as the ‘source of sovereignty’, because of the faulty and inadequate mechanism of writing and promulgating the constitution (which was written by the nominated representatives of the king and several political parties and promulgated by the king invoking his traditional ‘state authority’) and ambiguity and duality between ‘sovereignty’ and ‘state authority’ deliberately left behind in the constitution, the monarchy very craftily subverted the constitution October 4 last and re-centralized all power into itself. Hence any idea of ‘partial sovereignty’ to the people is fraught with immense loopholes and danger to democracy. Attaching any ‘precondition’ to constituent assembly does precisely that. Our Party is, therefore, opposed to the idea of attaching any precondition to the constituent assembly. Of course, different political parties and the king, for that matter, can go to the people with their own agenda during the election. Also, if the particular historical condition and the prevailing balance of forces so demand, there can be common understanding on certain issues during and after the election, but not certainly in the very beginning or right now and on fundamental questions of democracy. On our part, we are committed to multi-party democracy and other prerequisites of basic political, economic, social and cultural transformation, which we have outlined in the political agenda submitted during the recent peace negotiations.
2) Is the party concerned that increasing reliance on urban assassination and a move away from attacks on RNA and police bases make CPN(M) less popular with the public ?
- Militarily we firmly uphold the basic tactics and strategy of the revolutionary People’s War (PW). Therefore there is no question of our People’s Liberation Army (PLA) moving away from attacks on RNA and police bases or relying increasingly on ‘urban assassinations’. Naturally along with the development of PW, the area and target of military activity/action can change and the focus may shift from rural to urban areas. Since our Party and Chairman Prachanda have always stressed on pursuing a correct mass line and never alienating the masses, the PLA and Party cadres are quite cautious to implement the general mass line. Some isolated incidents of unintended death of civilians in legitimate sabotage actions or capital punishment to certain individuals in recent weeks have been highly exaggerated by the genocidal monarchical state and a section of the media, but this does not reflect any fundamental change in the military strategy of the Party.
3) Does the latest round of fighting signal that the party has moved to a strategic offensive ? -No. The Party’s official assessment is that the PW is still at the stage of strategic equilibrium. If there is no peaceful forward-looking political way-out, which our Party has sincerely proposed during the recent rounds of negotiation with the old monarchical state, then the revolution is bound to pursue the next military stage of strategic offensive. That way we are right now at the preparatory stage of transition from strategic equilibrium to strategic offensive. 4) Is it possible to reach a peace deal with the government before an all-party government is put in place ?
-Since all power is now centralized in the king through his traditional hold over the RNA and the 1990 constitution is virtually dead after the royal take-over October 4 last, the present one-party government or the future all-party government would be just different masks for the royal military dictatorship. That way any cosmetic change in the form of government within the present dispensation won’t make any material difference for the prospects of the peace talks. As long as the king, the royal mercenary RNA and certain foreign powers backing them, particularly US imperialism, do not want any peaceful democratic political solution there is no prospect or relevance of any peace deal with anybody.
4) Does the party feel that the international community better understands its position after its discussions with embassy officials in Kathmandu ?
-Yes, definitely. Despite the malicious propaganda of the royalist regime and their foreign benefactors against us, the international community at large understands our position and sympathizes and supports the democratic agenda put forward by us. Though there may still be some misgivings and doubts on certain questions, they understand that we are right now fighting for completion of a democratic revolution of essentially a bourgeois (capitalist) nature and we are quite sincere about a peaceful solution to the problem. At least everybody is now damn sure we are no ‘terrorist’, but serious and genuine democratic fighters with a clear political objective, good organizational and military strength and a tremendous mass support. Of course, we need to communicate better with each other and remove certain nagging doubts through practice.
6) Is the CPN(M) willing to spell out how the mechanics of a constituent essembly would work in greater detail given that different groups seem to have different understandings of how this process would work ?
-Before coming to the question of the constituent assembly, we have to start with two other interrelated and inalienable questions, namely, a round-table conference of all political forces and an interim government. As there is no constitution in the country after the royal take-over October 4 last, it is just futile to seek a ‘legal’ or ‘constitutional’ solution to the present problem, as the major parliamentary parties are now demanding. It has to be a political solution and a new legality or constitutionality has to be created commensurate with the new balance of political forces and new demands of the time. The only valid and viable way and the point of start for this would be the convening of a round-table conference of major political forces, including the King, the parliamentary parties and the Maoist revolutionaries, and representatives of oppressed nationalities, regions, women, dalits and others. As to the question of who would convene this round-table conference, this can be settled by the prior understanding of the king, parliamentary parties and the revolutionary forces.
This round-table conference should work-out an interim constitution, form an interim government and decide on all relevant issues necessary for a free and fair election to the constituent assembly, including the interim security mechanism. And finally, the interim government should hold a free and fair election to the constituent assembly within a stipulated time, preferably six months. To ensure correct representation of all oppressed classes, nationalities, regions, women, dalits and other strata of the population electoral constituencies should be accordingly re-delineated and special rights guaranteed to the oppressed. Thus constituted constituent assembly should adopt a new democratic constitution, which would guarantee the sovereignty of the people and ensure full political, economic, social and cultural democracy in the country. Of course, different political forces would be free to put forward their separate agenda on varied questions like the fate of the monarchy, but should abide by the decision of the constituent assembly.
This was, in brief, our minimum political agenda proposed at the recent peace negotiations, which was rejected by the royalist regime leading to the ultimate breakdown of negotiations and ceasefire.
7) When do you anticipate a return to peace talks ? -It depends on the attitude of the king, the RNA and their foreign benefactors. As our Party Chairman, Prachanda, has amply clarified in the press statement issued at the time of breakdown of negotiations on August 27, if the reactionary royal regime is prepared to accept the democratic decision of the people through a constituent assembly we are ready to sit down for talks anytime. But as the saying in Nepali goes, Laat ko bhoot baat le mandaina, which approximately translates to, ‘the devil of force won’t listen to persuasion’, time may still not be ripe for a negotiated political settlement.
-September 26, 2003 In-charge, International Department,
The organization from Norway which issued a public statement for the safety of life and freedom of Com.C.P.Gajurel was ‘Workers Communist Party of Norway’ and not ‘Communist Party of Norway’ as reported in the Bulletin No.4. We regret the error. -Ed