Revolutionary Worker #890, January 19, 1997
We recently received news about further important developments in the revolutionary struggle in Nepal. Last February, a people's war for liberation was initiated by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Armed raids and attacks were carried out in three main regions of Nepal as well as other places across the country, involving thousands of men and women. The Maoist people's war has become the major political question in Nepal--and all political forces in Nepali society have had to take a stand on it, one way or another. It has drawn great support among masses in Nepal, particularly the most oppressed in the countryside, where the majority of Nepali people live. The government and reactionary forces have reacted viciously--killing, beating and arresting many people, especially in the rural areas.
The CPN(M) is a participating party in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, and its bold action has drawn the support of the RIM and other revolutionaries worldwide.
Recently, it seems that there have been new developments in this revolutionary struggle--with a new, second phase of the guerrilla war underway and also some significant struggle in the cities. While we have no official confirmation or summation from the CPN(M) about the new developments, we have received a correspondence about these events from a supporter of the people's war. We are making the news in this letter--dated December 13, 1996--available to our readers.
I am very glad to report to you that the Nepal Bandh (major cities general strike), called by the National Mass Movement Coordination Committee (NMCC) and supported by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on December 12, 1996 was a historic success. NMCC is a front led by the party to organize mass movements in the cities. Transportation, educational institutions, factories and markets of major cities were totally closed. Hundreds of vehicles with government, private and Indian number plates were burned down by Maoist guerrillas using petrol bombs. Thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Kathmandu Valley. Hundreds of activists were arrested.
The second plan--"Develop guerrilla war in a planned way"--is being carried out since October 1996. Two branches of the Agriculture Development Bank were seized by the guerrillas. Some guns from the Nepal Bank, Ltd., Lamjung, were seized; at least 20 government informers were annihilated; and one sub-inspector of police, who was responsible for killing Comrade Ram Brikhsa Yadav, was shot down by guerrillas. During the first plan, Maoist guerrillas ambushed and killed two policemen in Rukum district. The government has killed at least 70 people in fake encounters since the great historic initiation.
The objective of the Nepal Bandh of December 12 was to mobilize the urban masses against the state terror and massacre of the people by the police in the rural areas, and to protest against the unequal Mahakali River Treaty with India* and price hikes and corruption. Three hundred thousand leaflets have been distributed all over the country during the Bandh. Hundreds of thousands of masses have been mobilized. Hundreds of people demonstrated daily in the capital, Kathmandu, for ten days before the Bandh. Every major city--such as Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Patan, Narayanghar, Butural, Hetauda, Pokhara, Biratnayar, Nepalgunj, etc.--saw "torch light" processions of thousands of the masses.
On December 10 night, Maoist guerrillas set fire to the house of the Home Minister in Kathmandu. They also set fire to the house of a Minister from the Rolpa district at Patan during the last Bandh. One factory in Kathmandu and one in Kapilbastu of Indian capitalists have been set on fire.
This Bandh programme has enthused the people, and it has shown the strength of the Maoists in the cities also. It is a sign of the continuity of the people's war in the cities. The Bandh took place when the ruling parties were wrangling and the revisionist CPN(UML) and the RPP Chand faction (pro-king party) appealed to the king to summon a special session of the parliament and register a no-trust motion against the present government. The CPN(UML) is going to form a joint cabinet under the leadership of Chand (leader of RPP pro-king and pro-American bloc), if they are able to pass the no-trust motion. Maoist people's war has intensified the inner struggle between the ruling parties.
* India is the major regional power in south Asia, including in Nepal. Imperialist domination of Nepal today takes place in large part through India.--RW