Revolutionary Worker #1135, January 10, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org
The People's War in Nepal has escalated and intensified in recent weeks following a daring new offensive by Maoist guerrillas. On November 23, the People's Liberation Army carried out actions in more than 20 of the country's 75 district headquarters. The offensive broke a four-month ceasefire and ended talks that had been going on between the government and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
On November 26, Nepal's King declared a State of Emergency and for the first time, the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) is being fully mobilized to combat the people's army. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has been officially branded "terrorists" by the Nepalese government--in order to justify a whole slate of repressive measures. And as thousands of soldiers are being sent into the mountains to hunt down and kill Maoist guerrillas, a heavy clampdown is being implemented throughout the country.
The Revolutionary Worker received the following bulletin, written by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), from the Information Bureau of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. Slight editorial changes have been made for clarity and footnotes have been added.
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism & Prachanda Path!
Maoist Information Bulletin #1
[Occasional Information Bulletin of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)]
On This Bulletin...
World imperialism boasts of the current era as the "age of information." By which it means its enhanced capacity to manufacture disinformation through its monopoly control over the mass media--both print and electronics--for its sole goal of profit maximization. As imperialism means "war capitalism," disinformation has been a major weapon of unjust war waged by imperialism and its lackeys all over the world. The Nepali reactionary ruling classes are no exception to this.
Disinformation campaigns, in the tradition of the notorious Goebbels,1 have always been the chosen weapon of the Nepali reactionaries during the past six years of the People's War (PW). Ever since the declaration of the State of Emergency2 on November 26 and suspension of all fundamental and civic rights of people, including the right to information, provided in their own constitution, a disinformation campaign has been the most important pursuit of the reactionary rulers. They have not only resorted to white lies in depicting the actual situation in the battlefield and often made exaggerated claims of their exploits to conceal their factual defeats, but they have shamelessly dared to hurl ridiculous accusations such as that the members of the glorious People's Liberation Army (PLA) decapitated their fallen heroes to hide their identity and they sought to drive a mischievous wedge among the top leadership of the Party by fabricating so-called "hard-liner" and "soft-liner" wings. As all the newspapers with a revolutionary leaning have been shut down, progressive journalists jailed and independent media barred from reporting the truth, the gullible public is subjected to daily doses of sheer lies or half-truths and has no alternate means to verify the truth.
This bulletin, though in a very humble... manner, seeks to provide that alternate access to the quest for truth. We as the genuine revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat have nothing to hide from the public and the masses. Also it is the sign of a mature proletarian Party to learn from its own mistakes. We, therefore, vow to defeat the enemy's disinformation campaign by battering it with truthful and factual information, which at times may not go in our own favor. It is expected that all the revolutionary co-fighters and general votaries [devotees] of objective truth will make best use of this bulletin and try their best to disseminate it as widely as possible.
WHO BROKE THE TALKS3 AND WHY?
A sustained campaign has been launched by the reactionary rulers to hammer the point that it was we Maoists who have broken the talks and violated the four-month-old truce. And they have fabricated the myth of a so-called two-line struggle within the Party to justify their charge. But what are the facts?
The first glaring fact is that it was the murderous [King] Gyanendra clique which was calling the shots all along during the truce to consolidate its shaky position by mobilizing the Royal Army and was thwarting all attempts from our side to find a political solution in the form of an interim government, a new constitution and institutionalization of the republic. [Prime Minister] Deuba was a mere helpless pawn in the hands of Gyanendra and the [former Prime Minister] Girija cliques. Throughout the three rounds of talks between August 30 and November 13 that we had with the old regime the Deuba government did not make a single political proposal to solve the problems of the country, but stuck to rejecting all the most moderate and practical political proposals put forward by us. When we offered to go for the election of a constituent assembly to settle the question of a republic in the third and the last round of talks, they summarily rejected it without making any other alternative proposal. What was the point then in continuing with the endless rounds of talks with no political solution in sight? Meanwhile the Gyanendra clique, which effectively controls the traditional Royal Army and through which it had staged a royal coup d'etat last June by wiping out the whole family of King Birendra, was making massive military preparations throughout the country against the revolutionary forces. The Dang barrack and military depot was the center of a military offensive they were planning against the Revolutionary Base Areas in the Rapti Zone (i.e. the districts of Rolpa, Rukum, Sallyan,4 etc.). So it was obvious that this counter revolutionary move under the cover of "peace talks" had to be effectively preempted. This was what happened on November 23. So should there be any doubt who objectively broke the talks? As clarified by Chairman Prachanda in his interview to The Times of India (November 2, 2001), our Party is still open to the proposal of talks if a concrete political solution to the country's problem (i.e. abolition of the hated monarchy and institutionalization of the republic) is offered.
To conceal their embarrassment of a shattering military defeat and the never-ending power struggle within their own ranks the reactionary rulers have sought to fabricate a so-called friction between the political and military leadership of the Party. In this context they have particularly attempted to float their own "leaders" heading the different imaginary departments and tried to create the impression that a so-called military wing headed by Com. Badal (Ram Bahadur Thapa) was responsible for pressurizing the Party leadership to take the current course of action.5 This is, however, just the figment of imagination of the reactionaries, if not a deliberate disinformation campaign to confuse the masses. The actual reality is that our Party has developed a unified and centralized leadership under the supreme command of Chairman Prachanda and all the major decisions have been taken unanimously. Of the three instruments of revolution--The Party, the Army and the United Front--it is well known that Com. Prachanda is the Chairman of the Party and the Supreme Commander of the PLA and Com. Baburam Bhattarai is the Convenor of the recently formed United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC).6 This leaves no scope for any confusion about the leadership hierarchy in the Party. The revolution has produced a distinguished galaxy of leaders including Com. Kiran, Com. Diwakar, Com. Badal and others and they are fulfilling their responsibilities in their respective fields with distinction. Certainly Com. Badal is not the "Military Chief" as is made out to be in the media and there is no question of him going against the plans and policies of the party.
INITIAL FAILURE OF THE ROYAL ARMY OPERATION
The declaration of the State of Emergency and deployment of the Royal Army since November 26 has met with complete initial failure. According to the information received from various regional commands, the Royal Army caged in the reactionary barracks for ages, has not ventured to enter into the main Revolutionary Base Areas (RBA) so far and has made only sporadic aerial attacks from the helicopters in different parts of the country. When their initial attempts to enter into the RBA were thwarted by successful road mines and ambushes in Surkhet and Pyuthan, they have beaten a hasty retreat and are devising alternate strategies to carry out their counter revolutionary objectives.
Meanwhile they have taken recourse to massacre unarmed masses in the peripheral areas. On November 27 the Royal Army massacred 11 poor peasants of the oppressed Tharu nationality in Dang. The unarmed poor peasants were harvesting rice in the fields of a landlord when they were mercilessly gunned down by the royal butchers. It may be noted that the All Nepal Peasants' Association (Revolutionary) has put out a call for implementing the tri-khandi system (i.e. one-third to the landlord and two-thirds to the tenants) and the poor tenants, especially in the southern plains of Terai, have responded to it overwhelmingly.
On the same day a large gathering of people assembled for a traditional fair in Sallyan were fired upon by the Royal Army and 13 persons were killed on the spot. Similarly there are reports from different districts such as Gorkha, Rupendehi, Syanja, Kalikot, Makwanpur, Dolakha and others, where unarmed masses of people have been fired upon and killed by the Royal Army.
Unable to locate and take on the PLA, the reactionary side has launched a vicious propaganda war, spreading unsubstantiated rumors through its controlled media. One such deliberate rumor has been the killing or capture of a number of important leaders of the Party including Com. Krishna Bahadur Mahara, the chief negotiator of the Party. However this is complete hogwash. No central or regional level leader of the Party except Com. Rabindra Shrestha, who was captured on November 25, has been captured by the enemy, nor anyone killed, so far. Definitely the enemy's principal strategy has been to capture or liquidate the central leadership of the Party, which they have not succeeded so far, and the Party is fully geared to thwart it.
The enemy has taken into custody hundreds of innocent masses and some of the sympathizers of the Party from different parts of the country. Also they have forced some members of the local Peoples' Committees to sign false papers of "surrender" under the butt of a rifle and sought to make a mountain out of a mole-hill. But the actual ground reality is that the total revolutionary rank and file is in a completely upbeat mood, whereas the reactionary camp, particularly its Royal Army is in a crestfallen state. The way they have been seeking frantic military help, particularly from India, adequately speaks of this.
The position of the reactionary camp has been all the more weakened with the increasing opposition to the declaration of the State of Emergency by the various parliamentary parties, including the revisionist left parties themselves.
WHITE LIES ABOUT THE CASUALTIES
Unable to digest their shameful defeat at the hands of the PLA on the very first encounter on November 23 in Dang, the Royal Army and their state patrons have been spreading white lies about the non-happening subsequent encounters or grossly exaggerating the number of casualties suffered from our side. One such gross fabrication has been the much propagated casualties of 200 or so supposedly suffered by our side in Salleri on November 25. To hide their inability to substantiate such ridiculous claims they have invented such atrocious lies such as saying our side beheaded or mutilated fallen comrades to conceal their real identity. No person with an iota of common sense would believe such perverted accusations. Even then as this ridiculous claim of the reactionary Defense Ministry, ten full days after the incident, has been bought by various national and international news agencies as a "verification," the truth needs to be told.
The real truth is this: in that Salleri encounter the total casualties on our side were seventeen, whereas on the side of the enemy it was thirty-three (including 27 policemen, four army men and two bureaucrats). Similarly, on November 23, in Dang three of our PLA comrades were martyred on the spot and four more succumbed to their injuries later on, whereas on the enemy side the total casualty was twenty-five (including 14 army men and 11 policemen) and several dozens injured. On the same day in Syangja, fourteen policemen were killed, whereas there were no casualties on our side. Let independent sources verify or contradict these facts. Why should we tell lies about the number of fallen heroes on our side? Moreover, why should we commit such a heinous crime as to behead or mutilate a fallen comrade? Everybody knows we revere and honor our fallen heroes and heroines and do not shy away from but take pride in the great process of revolutionary martyrdom.
Similarly, there should be no difficulty in outrightly rejecting the unsubstantiated tall claims of the reactionaries about their inflicting heavy casualties on us through helicopter gunships. When asked by foreign reporters to substantiate their tall claims, the reactionary spokesperson is reported to have tried to hide under a lame excuse of their inability due to poor weather conditions prevailing in the battle zones. Everybody knows this is one of the best weather seasons in the areas where the real battle is taking place. But the question remains: if the weather did not permit them to count the casualties, how did it permit to fix the target, if at all? What a lame excuse!
LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
At a time when the tottering old regime in Nepal is seeking military and other help from foreign powers to save its skin, the CPN (Maoist), the PLA and the URPC [United Revolutionary People's Council] have written a joint letter to the international community, including the UN, India, China, USA and the European Union, asking them not to interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal and let the Nepalese People determine their own political future. The letter signed by Com. Prachanda on behalf of the Party and the PLA and by Com. Baburam Bhattarai on behalf of the URPC have been sent through their respective representatives in Nepal on December 3. 2001. [The full text of the letter is available on request.]
"NEPAL BANDH" OBSERVED ON DECEMBER 7, 2001
A "Nepal Bandh" (General shutdown) called by the United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC) on December 7, calling for "All power to the URPC" and in protest against the recent imposition of state of emergency has been a grand success. According to the initial information available from different parts of the country, a complete general political strike has been observed throughout the country despite the intimidatory tactics applied by the old regime and its armed forces on the people against the strike.
1. Joseph Goebbels was the German Nazi Propaganda Minister from 1933-1945.
2. See article, "Clampdown from Kathmandu" on page 11.
3. After the June 1 palace massacre--when King Birendra and eight other members of the royal family were killed by Birendra's son--the people's army intensified the struggle. On July 6, raids were carried out on police posts in three different districts, killing 41 policemen and injuring many others. On July 12, a successful nationwide bandh (strike) was held. Then on July 12, Maoist guerrillas carried out a big raid on the Holleri police post in the Rolpa district in the West, taking 70 policemen prisoner. This sent the government into even sharper crisis and Prime Minister Girija was forced to resign. The new Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, called for a unilateral ceasefire and negotiations with the Maoists, and the CPN (Maoist) responded by instructing the people's army to hold off any offensive actions. In the next four months, three meetings were held between the CPN (Maoist) and the Nepalese government. During this period, the Maoists put forward their main demands for an interim government, a constituent assembly, a new Constitution and a Republic. They also demanded that the government reveal the whereabouts of imprisoned comrades and release them--and a number of revolutionaries, including some top Maoist leaders, were freed. Then, on Wednesday, November 21, Prachanda, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), issued a statement saying there was no reason for the CPN (Maoist) to participate in further talks with the government because the main demands of CPN (Maoist) had been refused. Two days later, the ceasefire was dramatically broken on November 23, when the people's army carried out actions in 20 of the country's 75 districts.
4. The districts of Rolpa, Rukum, Sallyan are in the Western Region of Nepal and have been strongholds of the People's War. Revolutionary Base Areas have been established in these areas and under the leadership of the CPN (Maoist) millions of people are exercising a new revolutionary people's power.
5. The mainstream media in Nepal has been repeating the lies of the government's disinformation campaign including fabricated reports that there has been a big split in the CPN (Maoist) over whether or not to engage in talks with the government.
6. As the people's army launched a new offensive on November 23, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) announced a new 37-member United Revolutionary People's Council. According to a report on an internet website sympathetic to the People's War: "The council was formed by a conference of the representatives of the Peoples Liberation Army, different National and Regional Liberation Fronts, different Mass organizations and district United Peoples committees. The council is an assembly, which is a transitional and temporary united body of the people, which would carry out the administrative, legislative and wartime function in the liberated areas and will direct the united peoples committees. It is the alternative of monarchical structure and would work for a People's Republic of Nepal."
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
(The RW Online does not currently communicate via email.)