Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Party only awaits formal split: Thapa

KATHMANDU, Dec 29: Amidst heated exchanges in the ongoing meeting of the Central Committee (CC), Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa said on Thursday that the party has already split and only awaits a formal announcement of this.

“There are rules and regulations even for regulating a joint front, but our party is left without any rules. The party has already split; it only awaits a formal announcement,” a CC member quoted Thapa as saying during the meeting.

Thapa, who has lately switched sides to the radical faction, argued that Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai, who is also the prime minister, are the major violators of party discipline.

“If the party is to be brought back onto the right track, disciplinary action should be taken against the chairman and the prime minister. The party and government leaderships are in the hands of compradors and rightist elements,” a party leader quoted Thapa as saying.

Baidya counters Dahal's proposal

KATHMANDU, Dec 28: Countering Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s political document, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya on Tuesday floated a road map for people’s revolt prioritizing street protests and recall of the party leaders from the government accusing them of acting against the interests of the country, the people and the spirit of revolution.

The government has not only failed to act in the interests of the people, but also signed a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement with India which was an anti-national move, the document said.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baidya proposing revolt road map

KATHMANDU, Dec 26: Senior Vice-chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Mohan Baidya is preparing a separate political document stressing the viability of “people´s revolt”, concluding that past attempts at launching revolt failed due to unwillingness of the party´s leadership.

Baidya remained busy preparing the document and did not participate in the meeting of his faction as he is supposed to present the paper at the party´s central committee meeting on Monday.

“Kiranji´s [Baidya] document will be a totally forward looking one and contest Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s document which is status-quoist,” politburo member Kul Prasad KC, who is close to Baidya faction, said.

According to KC, Baidya´s document will reflect the spirit of the Palungtar plenum held last year that decided that the party should launch revolt if obstacles come in the way of concluding the peace and constitution writing.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dahal defends party line of peace, statute

KATHMANDU, Dec 25: Presenting a written political proposal at the much-awaited Central Committee meeting of the UCPN (Maoist) Saturday, party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has defended the party’s current line of concluding the peace process and constitution-writing.

He has also proposed the setting up of party forums – debate mechanisms within the party at different levels — to systematize the growing internal differences within the party until the party’s next general convention, a date for which is yet to be announced.

Speaking immediately after Dahal presented his proposal, party Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads a rival and more radical faction in the party, told the Central Committee that his group will submit a counter-proposal and demanded a one-day break in the Central Committee meeting to prepare the document.

Maoist Central Committee meeting today at last

KATHMANDU, Dec 24: The ruling UCPN(Maoist) is holding a meeting of its Central Committee on Saturday, after four postponements and amidst widening rift between the party establishment and the rival faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya over a host of issues.

Maoist leaders say that they expect the meeting to yield a picture of how long the party will continue to remain intact, besides seeing the presentation of separate political papers by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baidya.

The Baidya faction is in a wait-and-see mode before charting out its strategies at the meeting, and leaders of the faction said that their moves will largely depend on how honestly Chairman Dahal presents himself respecting the spirit of the Palungtar plenum on constitution making, national interests, federalism and the livelihood of people.

Friday, December 23, 2011

PLA presents Dahal with 10-point demand

KATHMANDU, Dec 23: Accusing senior colleagues of financial embezzlement in the cantonments, Baidya faction commanders on Thursday submitted a 10-point demand to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, seeking strong disciplinary action against the guilty.

Eighteen commanders led by division vice-commanders from all PLA divisions came to Kathmandu and submitted their demands to Dahal at Naya Bazaar.

“The party chairman talked to us positively and assured us of addressing the demands,” said Ram Lal Rokka Magar, Vice-commander of the Fifth Division, who was present during the meeting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

UCPN (Maoist) puts off CC meeting, again

KATHMANDU, Dec 22: The UCPN (Maoist) has postponed its Central Committee (CC) meeting slated for Friday. It is the fourth time that the party establishment has put off its CC meeting.

While the party establishment has attributed the postponement to lack of internal homework, the hardliners have accused Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal of continuously deferring the meeting to avoid backlash from the CC members for his "ideological deviation and moral erosion."

Though the party has rescheduled the meeting for Saturday, the radical faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya doubts if Dahal will hold any CC meeting anytime soon.

“The party chairman has the strategy of deferring the meeting until he gains an edge over the Baidya faction. So I think the party establishment will continue to defer the CC meeting instead of facing the wrath of the CC members over Dahal´s handling of the party,” said CC member Maheshwar Dahal, who is close to Baidya faction.
The party CC has not taken any decision since August when it endorsed the candidacy of Bhattarai as the new prime minister.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Money issues boost Mohan Baidya faction

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Raising the issue of financial irregularities in the cantonments, PLA commanders loyal to the Maoist radical faction have significantly expanded their support base among their rank and file.

With the backing of a large section from the party establishment, PLA commanders from the radical faction have lately raised their voices against the party decision to retain 50 percent of the total amount meant for those who were absent from the cantonments but turned up for the sizeable voluntary retirement packages.

“It’s a great injustice to them. They should get in full the promised amount,” said Ram Lal Roka Magar, vice-commander from the Fifth Division, who belongs to the radical faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Maoist dispute snags integration 2nd phase

KATHMANDU, Dec 20: The second phase of the PLA integration process has fallen into uncertainty due to serious internal disputes between PLA division commanders and party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during a meeting at the latter’s residence late Monday evening.

At the meeting, Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai sought the approval of the division commanders for a proposal to send home PLA personnel opting for voluntary retirement.

But contrary to the expectations of Dahal and Bhattarai, the division commanders vehemently countered the proposal, saying they are against a piecemeal approach to the integration and rehabilitation process that will put the PLA at a disadvantage, according to sources.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Give back our money: PLA guards to commanders

KATHMANDU, Dec 19: Accusing their commanders of embezzling the payments for food rations, PLA personnel deployed for the security of senior party leaders are currently knocking the doors of party leadership for justice.  

There were altogether 106 PLA guards in the service of senior party leaders in the capital, and each of them is entitled to Rs 2,500 a month as food ration.
The total amount of money each of them is supposed to get since 2007 is Rs 150,000. In total, the commanders owe Rs 16 million to the PLA guards.

Maoists in stalemate: No split, no unity

KATHMANDU, Dec 15: On Tuesday, Maoist party hardliner CP Gajurel stated publicly that the party would split soon, with current Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the radical camp, as the head of a new party. Gajurel´s statement, however, received very little media attention as such rhetoric is nothing new coming from the Maoists.

In fact, the radicals publicly accuse the moderates of being foreign lackeys and betraying the dream of revolution, while the latter accuse the radicals of being war-mongers and ultra-leftist adventurists hell-bent on spoiling the party´s political achievements. But they have continued to remain in the same party.

Why have the Maoist factions, despite such differences and grave allegations hurled at each other, remained glued together as one party?

“It´s because none of the factions wants the stigma of having split the party,” says Maoist party establishment leader Ram Karki, who is close to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Thapa could be PM: Dahal

KATHMANDU, Dec 15: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Wednesday that party General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa could be prime minister if the other parties do not agree to join the government under incumbent PM Baburam Bhattarai.

But the Maoist chairman stated that the chance of leading the government should not go to another political parties in the course of attempting to change the government leadership.

Dahal expressed such views during a meeting of the party top brass, including Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Prime Minister Bhattarai, at his residence at Nayabazaar.

Monday, December 12, 2011

NC, UML: PM, finance minister accountable


KATHMANDU, Dec 12: Taking embezzlement in the allowances of Maoist combatants seriously, the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have demanded accountability from the prime minister and finance minister during the first meeting of the Special Committee after categorization.

It was revealed during the categorization that the UCPN (Maoist) had been drawing allowances for even those combatants who were not in the cantonments.

'I fought for justice, but fell victim to injustice myself'

SAKRAM (DANG), Dec 12: For Hiramoti Singh Thakuri, joining the Maoist insurgency was more of a compulsion than inspiration.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'Where's our deposit money, comrades?'

KATHMANDU, Dec 7: With the process of their integration and rehabilitation moving ahead smoothly, personnel of the Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) have sought the return of money the party has kept as “deposits”.

The Maoist party has been retaining Rs 1,000 from the salary of each of the 19,525 combatants every month since November 2006 till November, 2011.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ex-Indian Army man guns for NA pension

Khadga Bahadur Singh Thakuri aka Bishwaman, 58 (left) and Tej Bahadur Budha Magar, 53. Both are company commander and both are from Rolpa
DAHABAN (ROLPA), Dec 6: An ex-serviceman of the Indian army, Khadga Bahadur Singh Thakuri, aka Bihswaman, joined the Maoist insurgency in 1996, and survived the worst battles.

Monday, December 5, 2011

अधुरै रह्‍यो नेपाली कथाको सिक्वेल

Photo: Rajesh KC
गिरीश गिरी, काठमाडौं, मंसिर १९- नेपाललाई धेरैले नचिनेको बेला यो सुन्दर मुलुकको कथा रचेर फराकिलो घेरामा पुर्‍याउने अभिनेता देव आनन्दको निधन भएको छ। उपचाररत लन्डनमा रहेका बेला उनले आफू बसेको होटलमै अन्तिम सास फेरेका थिए। बाँचुन्जेल कहिल्यै आराम नलिएका यी ८८ वर्षेलाई हृदयगति बन्द भएको कारण देखाउदै शनिबार राति दस बजे (नेपालमा आइतबार बिहान पौने चार बजे) चिकित्सकले मृत घोषित गरेका हुन्।

१९,५२५ लडाकुलाई कात्तिकसम्मकै भत्ता

सरोजराज अधिकारी
काठमाडौ, मंसिर १८ -
सरकारले १९ हजार ५ सय २५ माओवादी लडाकुको कात्तिक मसान्तसम्मको भरणपोषण -रासन भत्ता) र मासिक भत्ताबापतको रकम निकासा गरिसकेको खुलेको छ ।

शान्ति मन्त्रालयअन्तर्गतको शिविर व्यवस्थापन केन्द्रीय समन्वयकर्ताको कार्यालयका लेखा अधिकृत विष्णुहरि वाग्लेले कात्तिकसम्मको रकम निकासा गरिसकेको जनाए । वर्गीकरणको प्रारम्भिक तथ्यांकअनुसार भने करिब तीन हजार लडाकु 'गायब' हुनसक्ने देखिएको छ ।

माओवादी सेनाका लडाकुको रेखदेख, समायोजन र पुनःस्थापनासम्बन्धी विशेष समिति मातहतको सचिवालयले हालै सकेको वर्गीकरणका बेला २ हजार ६ सय ७१ लडाकु अनुपस्थित देखिएका छन् । प्राविधिक कारणले कतिपय लडाकुको दोहोरो दर्ता भएकाले त्यसको पुनः जाँच गरिने सचिवालय संयोजक बालानन्द शर्माले बताए । सचिवालय स्रोतअनुसार दोहोरो दर्ता भएकाको संख्या घटाउँदा अनुपस्थित हुनेको संख्या तीन हजार पुग्ने अनुमान

छ । शिविर व्यवस्थापन कार्यालय स्रोतका अनुसार चितवनस्थित तेस्रो, सुर्खेतस्थित छैटौं र कैलालीस्थित सातौं शिविरबाहेक अन्य चार मुख्यसहित मातहतका १२ शिविरमा मंसिर महिनाको रासनबापतको करिब तीन करोड रुपैयाँसमेत वितरण भइसकेको छ । 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

'शान्ति प्रकि्रयापछि जातभात हेर्न थालियो'

सशस्त्र द्वन्द्वका क्रममा अपांग भएकी माओवादी कार्यकर्ता विजेश्वरी शाही र उनका अपांग लडाकु श्रीमान् । तस्बिर: कलेन्द्र सेजुवाल/नागरिक
कलेन्द्र सेजुवाल, सुर्खेत मंसिर १७
कालिकोट चिल्खायाकी विजेश्वरी शाही २०५८ सालमा माओवादी 'जनयुद्ध'मा होमिदा १४  वर्षकी थिइन् । ९ कक्षाको पढाइ छाडेर बन्दुक बोक्दा उनले देखेका थुप्रैमध्ये एक सपना थियो 'नयाँ नेपाल' । तर दशक लामो यात्रामा उनले नयाँ नेपाल देख्नु त कता-कता आफूबाट थुप्रै गुमाइन् । 'युद्धका बेला गोली लागेर हात काटियो नाबालक छोरो पनि गुमाएँ,' उनी भन्छिन् 'अहिले घर न घाटको भएर बस्नु परेको छ ।'

राम्रा नाम पाउँदै दलित बालबालिका

पर्सा परसवाका मुसहर समूदायका पूजा माझी, अमृता र निशा तस्बिर खिचाउँदै। तस्बिर : उपेन्द्र लामिछाने
उपेन्द्र लामिछाने, वीरगन्ज, मंसिर १८- दलित समुदायले पछिल्लो समयमा आफ्ना बालबालिकालाई चलनचल्तीका राम्रा नाम दिन थालेका छन्। आफूभन्दा ठूलो समूदायसँग नाम मिल्ने डरले 'चल्तीकाभन्दा फरक' नाम राख्दै आएका उनीहरु पछिल्लो राजनितिक परिवर्तनसँगै आफ्ना नानीहरुलाई राम्रो नाम दिन थालेका हुन्।

एकै खुट्टामा तीन घन्टा उभिएर मन्त्रीको स्वागत

सुरेश यादव, जनकपुर, मंसिर १९ - गाउँमा स्वास्थ्यमन्त्री आउने खबर सुनेर दंग थिइन्, आठ वर्षीया प्रियंका ठाकुर। धनुषा, सबैलाकी उनी आइतबार दिउँसो एक हातमा माला र अर्को हातमा बैशाखी समातेर तीन घन्टासम्म उभिरहिन्।

Saturday, December 3, 2011

शिविरमा टुटेका सपना

गजेन्द्र बोहरा, दाङ, मंसिर १७- विद्यार्थीकालमै युद्धमा होमिएका रुकुमका भुलबहादुर सुनारले त्यतिबेला एउटा सपना देखेका थिए- 'नयाँ नेपाल' बनाउने। त्यसैले उनी 'लालसेना'मा भर्ती भए। कैंयौ प्रहरी चौकी आक्रमण गरे। सेनाका ब्यारेकमा हमला गरे।
तर २०५९ कात्तिक २८ गते उनको सपनामा 'खोट' लाग्यो। त्यतिबेला माओवादीको आधाजसो लडाकु फोर्स जुम्लाको सैनिक ब्यारेक आक्रमणमा होमिएको थियो। लडाइँको त्यो मोर्चामा उनी पनि थिए। कताबाट गोली आयो, थाहा भएन। ब्युझँदा माओवादीकै उपचार क्याम्पमा थिए, एउटा खुट्टा नचल्ने अवस्थामा। पार्टीले उनलाई लडाइँबाट विदाइ गर्‍यो।

Defectors to PLA want integration

Anjan Kumar Timilsina with People's Liberation Army (PLA) uniform
Anjan Kumar Timilsina with then Royal Nepal Army's uniform
DAHABAN (Rolpa), Dec 3: A corporal in the then Royal Nepal Army (now Nepal Army), Anjan Kumar Timilsina, defected to the Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2001 to realize the ´ideals of revolution´.
A decade later, Timilsia, 42, is not sure whether his dream has come true -- or will ever do so. But he regards himself better placed to serve the country, and has applied for integration into the army.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cindered dreams

Ram Lal Roka Magar 'Madan' (Currently the Division vice commander, left) and Sural Pun 'Ajayshakti' (Currently Bataright). Madan and Sural are Mit (two friends who announce their friendship amidst a ceremony and who will have cultural as well as legal bindings afterward as per the tradition in Nepal). Madan from Rolpa and Sural from Rukum, were met during the initial period of People’s War when both of them were heading their respective platoons through the jungles spending one and half month on the way to meet at Kalikot in Karnali.

Though categorization -- the initial phase of the integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants -- has come to an end, a cloud of uncertainty still hovers over People Liberation Army (PLA) personnel.

What does the future hold for those who opted for voluntary-retirement? What’ in store for those who have decided to join the Nepal Army?