[Marxism] Nepal: An inferno in paradise (from Granma newspaper)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 19 15:50:46 MST 2005

This item appeared in Cuba's GRANMA newspaper two days ago and it
was of such unusual interest that I've had it translated for the
English-speaking readership of Marxmamil and other lists.

This is an item of special significance for more reasons than are at
first apparent. Of course, most readers, I think, know little about
Nepal. Second, Arnaldo Musa does regular country surveys for Granma.
Whenever something heats up in a particular country Musa or someone
like him writes articles like these to bring readers up to date with
recent developments. This one is unusual because it cites information
from a U.S. newspaper, the REVOLUTIONARY WORKER, published by a Maoist
organization, the Revolutionary Communist Party, whose most prominent
leader is Bob Avakian, a long-time activist going way back to the 60s.

His organization plays an important role in the US anti-war movement
as leading participants in Not In Our Name (NION), which has helped 
spark important mass protest demonstrations. These have gained lots
of support from prominent left figures, including bringing about an
important full-page ad in the New York Times within the past year or
so. These have been written about enthusiastically here in the Cuban
media. The RCP is known, among other things, for its deep hostility 
toward the Cuban Revolution and its leadership. They once published 
a pamphlet called CUBA: Evaporation of a Myth. They don't say much
or write often about Cuba often, but it's usually quite negative when 
they do. The last time they did, that I recall, was five years ago
when they wrote about Elian Gonzalez. They took a sort of "plague on
both your houses" approach. So it's all the more interesting that the
Cuban newspaper GRANMA, organ of the Cuban Communist Party's Central
Committee, should use and cite the RCP's publication for its facts.
You can read more about the origins of the RCP's attitudes toward
Cuba in the recently-published autobiography of Bob Avakian. It's a
very difficult read since it obviously wasn't written, but it is in
fact a transcription of verbal presentations. Still, it retains an
interest because of the continuity of the group and its influence,
still quite positive through such efforts as NION, World Can't Wait
and others.

My impression is that there isn't anyone from the RCP participating 
in the Marxmail list, which is unfortunate. Lately there have only
been an occasional item from someone in the Workers World Party and
none from the Party of Liberation and Socialism. These three groups
all play important leading roles in the anti-war movement and it'd
be great if we had participants from all three of these tendencies.

To build a truly broad and effective mass struggle, we've got to 
have the involvement of the maximum number of forces. I think the
Cubans demonstrate a remarkably non-sectarian approach toward the
many forces involved in struggles to make the world a better place,
not to speak of fighting against capitalism and imperialism. That's
one of the reasons I pay such close attention to things which the
Cubans do and say. I'm also fortunate to have a Cuban vantage point
from which to look at some of these issues which I might not catch
were I unable to work here in Cuba and interact with many Cubans.

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

November 17, 2005
Inferno in paradise
musa.amp at granma.cip.cu    

A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela.
Edited by Walter Lippmann from Granma:

When Nepal opened to the world 50 years ago with the overthrow of the
Han dynasty, soon the world knew of the charms of this idyllic land,
with its fabulous mountains, its calm and rich cultural patrimony.
The capital, Katmandu, was flooded with curious tourists from all
parts of the planet, mostly those interested in climbing the heights
and others who even considered poverty photogenic.

Nepal has 10 of the highest mountains in the world like the Everest
but the country is one of the poorest in Asia. About 10% of the
population owns 52% of the wealth and the rest must live with only
10% where 80 children die every day from diarrheic diseases.

A poverty that has given rise to a growing insurgency for the past
nine years that controls the majority of the territory and a
wearisome peasantry.

Repression of the insurgency in Nepal has cost the lives of 12 000
persons that, only in 2000, received notoriety in the newspapers of
London and New York. These means express surprise that there were so
many problems in a land that tourism agencies defined an “earthly
paradise”. Only when the Prince heir killed off all his family and
committed suicide of June 1, 2001, special envoys realized that 
something serious was happening in that mountainous kingdom.

On February 1, 2005, King Gyanendra, constitutional monarch after the
murder of the royal family, got rid of the Prime Minister and assumed
power alleging that the incompetence of elected leaders was
interfering with the army’s counterinsurgency operations. Many
politicians were jailed and a strict press censure was imposed.

At the same time, the guerrilla decreed, on September 3, a unilateral
three month cease fire and called on all the political parties to
find a solution to the problems of a country he controlled for eight
months; a move that left the King and Government out on a limb.

But the regime lost the chance offered by the cease fire; he was deaf
to the advice of India to find a peaceful solution to the problem –
with strong weapons support and military advice from the United
States and Great Britain – launched a new offensive that has killed
many in rebel controlled territory including shooting up schools that
caused many deaths among the students.

Narayan Wagle, editor of Kantipur, the most popular Nepalese
newspaper in Katmandu, toured the farthest regions of the country and
witnessed the brutal repression and apathy and neglect of the people
by the bureaucracy.

Wagle explaining what inspired his first novel, Café Palpasa, that
“Many subjects don’t fit a news format so, paradoxically, you have to
resort to fiction to tell the truth”,

In Nepal each case of killing children by anti-personal mines,
kidnapping of students, disappearance of women is a moving family
tragedy. It is told in a convincing manner where the victims are a
mere statistic. “The pain of personal loss of the victims, is rarely
seen or heard”, he stresses.

The U.S. journalist, Li Onesto, who, this year, traveled the regions
controlled by the insurgency, denouncing imperialist interference in
Nepalese affairs, reports in Revolutionary Worker that the Bush
government and other “parrots’ of communication say: “Yes, its true
that the government of Nepal is jailing, torturing and killing
thousands of people 
, but totalitarianism must be stopped and
prevent the failure of Nepal as a State”.

For the White House, this stopping of totalitarianism means
“contributing to a democratic process”. This simply means keeping in
oppressors and exploiters in power, of those who govern a system that
keeps the masses in poverty, feudal oppression of women and
systematic discrimination of ethnic minorities.

Also, “preventing Nepal from mailing as a State, jeans defending the
strategic interests of the United Status in the region and prevent
the rise of a liberated country that can be a model and alternative
for the peoples of the World”.

A few days ago, army forces attacked a rural school killing many
students, under the pretext that they were part of a self-proclaimed
Maoist guerrilla.

In this context, more U.S. aid is sent to the King, to the tune of
millions of dollars, thousands of M-16 rifles, communication and
night vision equipment and training in counterinsurgency while U.S.
troops have held joint exercises with the Royal Nepalese Army. Thus,
the Empire “democratically” advises on the repression of the people.

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