Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PLA threatens to shun integration over edu criteria

KATHMANDU, Nov 16: The Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders have warned to boycott the integration process if the criteria set for educational qualifications of the PLA in the seven-point agreement are not amended.

Talking to the Republica on Tuesday evening, the commanders also flayed Maoists leadership for its continuing indifference toward the problems and vowed no combatant will opt for integration if the leadership makes no arrangement that recognizes the educational qualifications of the PLA personnel earned after UN verification in 2007.

The Special Committee meeting on Tuesday instructed survey teams, which is starting categorization process of the PLA from Friday, to recognize the educational qualifications of the PLA personnel that was recorded during verification by the UN.

“We will stay out of the integration process if the leadership continues to turn deaf ears to our pleas on amending the criteria set for educational qualifications,” Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, commander of sixth division told Republica.

“We have already apprised the party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai and the prime minister about the possible risks if the combatants refuse to go for integration, but we are still hopeful that the leadership will respond to our demands,” Shahi said.

Chances are high that no PLA personnel will opt for integration if the leadership ignores the “genuine plea” of the PLA, he warned.

Earlier last week, commanders of the Fourth Division and the Fifth Division had met Chairman Dahal and Prime Minister Bhattarai and had expressed serious objection to the educational criteria and urged them to make it flexible. But the leaders had assured them that the current education qualification would be recognized.

A division commander, who preferred to be unnamed, said the quota of 6,500 set for PLA integration with the Nepal Army will not be met if the educational requirements are not relaxed.

The leadership has failed to understand the fact that almost all the PLA personnel had earned lower secondary education when they joined the People´s War and they managed to study further after they were taken to the cantonments, he said.

However, PLA Chief Nanda Kishor Pun told Republica that the integration procedures would honor the current education qualifications of the PLA personnel. 

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