KATHMANDU, Nov 6: Commanders of the Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) Fourth Division on Saturday seriously objected to the provision in the integration deal to take into account the educational level that combatants had at the time of joining the insurgency -- not the current one.
Around two dozen commanders above the rank of brigade vice-commander met Division Chief Tej Bahadur Oli and complained that the provision on education was not acceptable to them.
When Oli could not convince the commanders, he took them to party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Singha Durbar before the latter left for the USA.
“We told him that if the provision on education is not corrected we would not participate in the entire integration process,” a commander said.
The commanders complained that most of them joined the insurgency when they were very young and had not even completed their primary education.
“We were still at school in the villages when he asked us to join the war. So how could he have agreed to such a provision?” asked another commander who participated in the meeting.
But the Maoist chairman argued that he has not made any such agreement. “It is simply your misunderstanding; the education level you currently have would be counted,” Vice-commander of Forth Division Kal Bahadur Nath quoted Dahal as saying.
The seven-point agreement, however, states that the educational attainments of the combatants at the time of joining the PLA will be taken into account, though they will be given a bonus of one level.
The Maoist chairman was very mild in his tone and told the commanders that he was compelled to make compromises under difficult circumstances.
“The situation was such that we could not go back to war and establish New Democracy. So I made compromises for the sake of peace and constitution, making the best of the situation,” the commander also quoted Dahal as saying.
Dahal told the commanders that he was painstakingly involved in the negotiations and tried to get the best deal for the combatants.
“I request you to assist in the integration process; I would do my best to settle things in your favor,” the commander further quoted Dahal as saying.
Back in the days of the insurgency, the Maoists had asked schoolchildren to quit going to school and join the insurgency instead, saying “bourgeois education” would make no difference to their lives until they dismantled the “semi-feudal and semi-colonial” structure of Nepali society and established “New Democracy.”
The PLA top brass is holding consultations separately with the commanders of each PLA division.
Only 23 top commanders to get Rs 800,000POST B BASNET
KATHMANDU, Nov 6: Though the seven-point agreement signed last Tuesday says that the PLA combatants opting for voluntary retirement will get cash compenstion in the range of Rs 500,000 to Rs 800,000, top leaders have agreed in writing that only 23 top commanders will get Rs 800,000.
These 23 commanders comprise seven division commanders from as many PLA cantonment sites and 16 vice commanders.
According to the written agreement, which has been kept secret so far, another 150 commanders will get a retirement package of Rs 700,000 and ´not more´ than 2,000 combatants will get Rs 600,000 in cash as retirement packages.
The 150 combatants who will get Rs 700,000 each are commanders and vice-commanders of PLA brigades.
And the 2,000 combatans who will receive Rs 600,000 each are commanders and vice commanders of PLA battalions, companies and platoons.
The rest of the comabtants, who form the overwhelming majority of the PLA, will get Rs 500,000 each.
A top leader privy to the agreement said the combatants will, on average, draw Rs 520,000 each and the total retirement bill for combatants will not be more than seven billion rupees.