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.
The commanders had sought the ration money for PLA security guards, and the Rs 1,000 they submitted to division commanders on a monthly basis as “deposit money”, among other things.

The commanders are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa on Friday.
Commanders said Dahal parried allegations of financial irregularities, but said that the demands would be addressed.

However, party Military Bureau Chief Barshaman Pun, who was also present, refuted the charge of  financial irregularities.

“The money collected from you is there in your divisions. We can show you the accounts....The chairman has to take care of the whole party organization, not just you people,” a commander quoted Pun as saying.

During the meeting, Dahal also refuted having issued any circular to retain 50 percent of the money of those absent from the cantonments but were called back for voluntary retirement during the categorization process.  

It may be recalled that the third point of the circular issued after a general staff meeting participated by Dahal asks commanders to  call the absent combatants back to the cantonments and give them 50 percent of the total amount they are supposed to get for voluntary retirement.

The commanders also demanded that those opting for voluntary retirement be immediately sent home with the promised money. The division commanders, all of whom are from the party establishment, are against immediately sending home those opting for voluntary retirement, arguing that a “piecemeal approach” to integration will seriously weaken the party’s bargaining position.

Most commanders and personnel from the Baidya faction have chosen voluntary retirement, opposing the whole spirit of the integration carried out “in a humiliating manner”.

The commanders have demanded that those who defected from the Nepal Army (NA) get a chance to rejoin the NA, and the current education level be counted during for integration purposes.

Are there any journalists outside?

The first question Dahal asked the commanders was: “Is it you who invited the media here?”

Commanders said Dahal was a bit nervous as reporters and cameras waited outside his residence.

Dahal’s son Prakash was, however, a bit rude toward the commanders. “Why have you come here instead of meeting General Secretary Thapa?” a commander quoted him as telling them. 

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