[Marxism] [GreenLeft_discussion] Nepal: Elite revolt threatens democracy

new wave new.wave.nw at gmail.com
Sun Apr 26 10:43:13 MDT 2009


Comrades,

We have already predicted this blind trun in Nepal. Check our articles on
Nepal at the link below:

http://new-wave-nw.blogspot.com/search/label/Nepal

On Sun, Apr 26, 2009 at 4:20 PM, Sukla Sen <sukla.sen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Quote
> Less than two weeks after the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
> (UCPN-M) won by-elections in six constituencies across Nepal, it is
> facing fresh resistance by the old elite.
> Unquote
>
> Quote
> The Maoists retained two previously held seats and won a third. The
> other three seats went to the right-wing Nepalese Congress, the
> Communist Party of Nepal-Unified-Marxist-Leninist and the Madheshi
> People’s Rights Forum.
> Unquote
>
> Are the above two telling one and the same thing?
>
> What is the distribution of votes among the contesting parties?
> What are their stands on the current controversy?
>
> Sukla
>
> On 4/26/09, Stuart Munckton <stuartmunckton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > [also see this perfectly open and
> > blunt<
> http://southasiarev.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/nepal-rumors-of-attempted-coups/
> >
> > confession
> > <
> http://southasiarev.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/nepal-rumors-of-attempted-coups/
> >of
> > the coup plan by the army high command in the Times of India
> >
> > http://www.greenleft.org.au/2009/792/40806
> > Nepal: Democracy threatened by elite revolt
> > Ben Peterson, Kathmandu
> > 25 April 2009
> >
> >
> > *Less than two weeks after the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
> > (UCPN-M) won by-elections in six constituencies across Nepal, it is
> facing
> > fresh resistance by the old elite.*
> >
> >  The elite is seeking to stop the UCPN-M-led push for a “New Nepal”. This
> > has included front-page exposures of a coup plot to overthrow the elected
> > Maoist-led government.
> >
> > The centre of the storm is the moves, begun on April 19, by the
> Maoist-led
> > coalition government to remove the Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud
> Katawal.
> >
> > This follows a long dispute between the military high command and the
> > elected civilian government. Katawal has refused to implement government
> > instructions.
> >
> > The April by-elections proved that the program of the Maoists for a New
> > Nepal has popular support.
> >
> > Occurring in six constituencies that had been left vacant in the past
> year,
> > these polls took place in a range of areas across the country,
> encompassing
> > different ethnic groups and where the main political parties are
> powerful.
> >
> > This meant the elections gave a good reflection of the political mood.
> > Although only a fraction of people could vote, and the small amount of
> seats
> > at stake would not affect the balance of power within the parliament,
> these
> > elections were crucial because of the results were seen as significant in
> > the wider political struggle.
> >
> > Despite what was widely predicted, rather Maoist support dropping, it
> > increased. This is despite constant media attacks on the government and
> its
> > current inability to implement most of its program.
> >
> > The Maoists retained two previously held seats and won a third. The other
> > three seats went to the right-wing Nepalese Congress, the Communist Party
> of
> > Nepal-Unified-Marxist-Leninist and the Madheshi People’s Rights Forum.
> >
> > The popular uprising and a Maoist-led “people’s war” brought down Nepal’s
> > centuries old monarchy, opening the way for constituent assembly
> elections
> > one year ago. Against expectations, the Maoists, whose support is based
> on
> > the poor, wont he largest number of seats.
> >
> > Since then, right-wing forces, backed by foreign powers, have sought to
> > weaken the Maoist-led government and drive back the momentum for genuine
> > change.
> >
> > The UCPN-M has deep roots within poor communities. It is linked to the
> > average Nepali through its work in local areas, among youth, women,
> > peasants, and in the trade unions. So far, the campaign by the right-wing
> > forces that dominate much of the state and media have failed to sever
> this
> > link.
> >
> > The perspectives of the UCPN-M for a New Nepal include creating secular,
> > democratic republic; a new democratised military based on merging the
> > formerly royalist Nepal Army with the Maoist People’s Liberation Army
> (PLA);
> > and fighting discrimination against ethnic minorities, women and the
> lower
> > castes.
> >
> > A minimum wage has already been created and the Maoist program promises
> to
> > guarantee employment. National industry will be prioritised to promote
> > development. Workers will have the right to take part in management.
> >
> > The Maoists also promote land reform based on the principle of “land to
> > those who work it”.
> >
> > The public education system will be expanded and made free at lower
> levels.
> > Private education institutions charging high fees will be regulated and
> > phased out. Ethnic minorities will have the right to education in their
> own
> > language,
> >
> > A literacy campaign has been launched by volunteers, to combat an
> illiteracy
> > rate around 50%.
> >
> > Recognising that health is a human right, the Maoists plan to
> significantly
> > develop the healthcare system from its current decrepit state —
> especially
> > in poor rural areas.
> >
> > Suresh Kumar Ale Maga, a UNCP-M member of parliament, told Green Left
> Weekly
> > that, for the Maoists, a New Nepal meant “a Nepal on the way to
> socialism”.
> >
> > Following its victory in the by-elections on this program, the UCPN-M has
> > pressed ahead with plans to restructure the state. The existing
> structures,
> > inherited from the monarchy, have proved resistant to change.
> >
> > This has sparked fierce resistance from the opposition, the foreign
> > embassies and the army. This has put the ongoing peace process, as part
> of
> > which the PLA agreed to end its armed struggle, in jeopardy.
> >
> > Facing attacks from various sides, the Maoists have responded with
> ongoing,
> > daily street demonstrations across the country.
> >
> > The core issue is the need for control by the elected government over the
> > state, with its entrenched bureaucracy.
> >
> > There have been many controversies involving the army. In February, the
> army
> > recruited several thousand soldiers against the orders of the government,
> > the supreme court and the interim constitution — and in direct violation
> of
> > the peace process.
> >
> > The army again challenged the government when it reinstated eight
> generals
> > on March 16 who where retired by the defence ministry.
> >
> > Finally, the army staged a boycott of the recently held National Games
> when
> > the PLA was allowed to compete.
> >
> > The open disloyalty of the military towards the elected civilian
> government
> > represents an obvious threat to democracy. For the ongoing security of
> > Nepal, it is essential that the military be restructured and brought back
> > under the control of the government.
> >
> > The Nepali Army has changed only in name from the old Royal Nepali Army,
> > which backed an anti-democratic coup to reinstate absolute royal rule in
> > 2005.
> >
> > The retirement of chief of army staff is an initial step in a process
> aiming
> > to create the new democratic armed forces.
> >
> > The key issue is the struggle to create new, democratic state structures.
> >
> > The basis of the opposition to such moves is the question of power.
> People
> > in positions of state power in Nepal, be it in the bureaucracy, judiciary
> or
> > military, feel threatened by the process of change.
> >
> > The political opposition unites those within the fabric of the old
> society
> > seeking to prevent the creation of the new. Resistance to change in the
> > military is part of the struggle of the rich and powerful. The elite
> views
> > the military as its armed gang to insure against radical change.
> >
> > However, recent Nepalese history has that the real power in society is
> not
> > to be found at the top. Rather, it rests in the people.
> >
> > There have been demonstrations every day by Maoist supporters calling for
> > Katawal's retirement. Combined with the by-election results, it puts
> beyond
> > doubt the fact that popular sentiment is behind the government and
> supports
> > change.
> >
> > [Ben Peterson is a member of the socialist youth organisation
> > Resistance<http://www.resistance.org.au/>currently living in Nepal. He
> > maintains a
> > blog <http://maobadiwatch.blogspot.com/> on Nepal.]
> >
> > From: International News, Green Left Weekly issue
> > #792<http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2009/792>29 April 2009.
> >
> > --
> > "The free market is perfectly natural... do you think I am some kind of
> > dummy?" — Jarvis Cocker
> >
> > "The basis of optimism is sheer terror" — Oscar Wilde
> >
> >
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------
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