Monday, April 30, 2012

Bye bye PLA


Gathering of students close to Baidya today

KATHMANDU, April 30: The rebel faction of the Maoist party, which has already formed three parallel committees, has called a national gathering of students close to it for Monday.

Confirming the national gathering of the All Nepal National Independent Students´ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R), the organization´s Vice Chairman Sharad Rasaili said the gathering would discuss the formation of a parallel committee of the student wing.

"It is natural to go seperate ways when there are differences in ideology," said Rasaili, who is close to the rebel faction led by Senior Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya, "The national gathering will decide whether to form a parallel committee or not."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Establishment Maoists also organize ex-PLA

KATHMANDU, April 28: The establishment faction of the UCPN (Maoist) on Friday formed an organization of ex-PLA members in a bid to organize the ex-Maoist combatants, with eyes on the next election.

Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal while announcing the new party wing at Khanna Garments in Lalitpur, said the organization would serve to more than just organize the ex-Maoists fighters. He told the gathering of ex-PLA members, YCL and former disqualified combatants that the organization would have a greater role to play in the next election. Around 2,000 people including ex-PLA members considered close to the Baidya faction, attended the program.

“The essence of Chairman Dahal’s speech was that the ex-PLA organization would play the same role in the next election that the YCL played during the Constituent Assembly election,” said Shyam Kumar Budha Magar, an ex-brigade commissar and member of the newly nominated central committee.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dahal faction to organize ex and disqualified combatants

KATHMANDU, April 26: Following the footsteps of the hardliner faction, the establishment faction of the UCPN (Maoist) has made preparations to form an organization of former and disqualified combatants.

The party establishment faction led by party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has called a national gathering of former and disqualified combatants on Friday for the purpose.

"Former combatants will be mobilized in productive sectors and for struggle," said Nirmal Mahara, ex-PLA brigade Vice-commander.

The establishment faction´s decision comes merely a day after the hardliner faction formed People´s Volunteer Bureau. The hardliner faction formed a 17-member bureau on Tuesday under the leadership of leader Netra Bikram Chand with long-term plan to develop the bureau into a new People´s Liberation Army. Besides, the hard-line faction led by Maoist Vice chairman Mohan Baidya has already formed an organization of ex-PLA organization under the leadership of former division vice- commander Nep Bahadur Kunwar Magar.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baidya faction revives People's Volunteers Bureau


PLA to recommend up to 30 for NA majors, 60 for captains

KATHMANDU, April 25: The People´s Liberation Army (PLA) has decided to recommend brigade commanders and division vice-commanders for the post of major in the Nepal Army during the integration process.

As per the decision taken on Tuesday, the PLA has also decided to recommend brigade vice-commanders for the rank of captain in NA.

A general staff meeting of the PLA on Tuesday took a decision to this effect.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baidya faction calls national gathering of 'People's Volunteers'

KATHMANDU, April 24: The hardline faction of the Maoist party led by Senior Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya is organizing the first ever national gathering of the "People´s Volunteers" in Kathmandu on Tuesday in a bid to activate it and to chart out its future strategies. People´s Volunteers is a combative youth wing of the Maoist party headed by Netra Bikram Chand.

Leaders from the faction said the recently retired Maoist combatants as well as disqualified combatants would participate in the gathering to be held at an undisclosed venue in Kathmandu.

"The gathering is being organized to activate the People´s Volunteers´ Bureau (PVB) and form a youth´s organization that will have a youth each from all the districts," said party politburo member Hitman Shakya.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dahal, Bhattarai of being 'red renegade': Baidya faction

KATHMANDU, April 23: The Maoist radical faction has accused party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai of being “red renegades” and betraying the people and the revolution.

The radical faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya leveled such allegations against Dahal and Bhattarai during its central committee meeting held on Saturday, and said the latest moves by the establishment faction is a great betrayal not only to the Nepali but also the world communist movement.

"We just wrote in our official document that Dahal and Bhattarai are seen moving toward the rightist trend. But we now realize that they have always been rightists," a central committee member quoted Baidya as saying.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

PLA brass refuses fund transfer funds to party HQ

KATHMANDU, April 21: Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders have defied repeated appeals by party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to hand over some Rs 340 million that party headquarters believes is in the possession of some of the PLA commanders.

Knowledgeable sources told Republica that the commanders of the First, Second, Third and Fifth Divisions are said to have deposited all the money they collected from the combatants.

However, while headquarters officials believe commanders of the Forth, Sixth and Seventh Divisions are yet to hand over a huge amount that is in their possession, the divisions recently told the chairman that they had no money left to turn over to headquarters.

During the ongoing meeting between Chairman Dahal and PLA divisional commanders who are currently in the capital to discuss the issue, some commanders also expressed dissatisfaction over continued pressure from Dahal to hand over remaining money to party headquarters.

Friday, April 20, 2012

No savings in PLA accounts: Commanders

KATHMANDU, April 20: PLA commanders on Thursday told party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal that they don´t have any savings left from the cantonment´s accounts to hand over to the party headquarters.

The commanders said so during a general staff meeting of the PLA when Chairman Dahal asked them to hand over the amount for distribution among the combatants recruited into the YCL back in 2007. These combatants have been demanding voluntary retirement packages on par with PLA personnel.

"We have already given him what we had. The PLA has already been dissolved. Why keep on talking about the issue that has already lost its significance," said a division commander requesting anonymity. Party leaders say it is strange for the commanders to argue that the PLA accounts have already been exhausted. The PLA leadership had collected Rs 1,000 every month from each of the 19,000-plus combatants in the cantonments, and had also received the salary of absentee combatants.

3,129 For Integration

Thursday, April 19, 2012

PLA men cry foul over post recommendation

KATHMANDU, April 19: The Maoist ex-combatants qualified for officer-level positions in the Nepal Army (NA) hierarchy have threatened to opt for voluntary retirement if they are awarded positions in the NA directorate as per the recommendations of the PLA leadership.

“We no longer have any revolutionary ideals. We are joining the army for jobs. So why should we be deprived of senior positions? Is it not injustice?" said a junior commander from the fifth division.

As per the tacit understanding between the parties, the PLA leadership will recommend positions for the ex-combatants in the NA directorate.

The combatants told Republica that they would return home with their voluntary retirement paychecks if the provision of making recommendations is not scrapped.
This will be yet another blow to the Maoist party that has been witnessing an ever-decreasing number of combatants opting to join NA.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Only 3,599 combatants left for integration

With the voluntary retirement process concluding in six cantonments on Tuesday, the number of combatants opting for voluntary retirement has reached 6,106 and is likely to go higher when the process completes in the Kailali cantonment on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, altogether 1,076 of the 1,762 combatants in the Kailali cantonment have chosen voluntary retirement, according to Balananda Sharma, coordinator of the secretariat of the Special Committee.

Only 3,599 combatants are left in the Kailali cantonment as of Tuesday and this figure is expected to go down with the completion of retirement process in all the cantonments.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Deal reached on technical issues of integration

KATHMANDU, April 15: In a major development towards concluding the peace process, the Special Committee (SC) on Saturday resolved all outstanding technical issues related to integration of the Maoist combatants into Nepal Army (NA).

A meeting of the SC at the prime minister´s official residence in Baluwatar attended by top leaders of all major parties, arrived at a consensus on all contentious issues including the formation of selection committee, rank determination and bridge course period for the Maoist combatants opting for integration.

According to Maoist SC member Barsha Man Pun, a cabinet meeting scheduled for Sunday morning will approve the seven-point agreement, paving the way for unhindered integration of the Maoist combatants into the NA. “Integration process will move ahead once the government takes necessary decisions,” Pun told the media.

Darai to lead PLA in integration

KATHMANDU, April 15: Besides the formal 7-point deal on the technical issues related to PLA’s integration agreed in the Special Committee on Saturday, the top leaders have also reached some informal understandings.

According to a highly placed source privy to the understandings, one PLA commander will get the post of colonel in the Nepal Army and two PLA commanders will become lieutenant colonels.

The leaders have also agreed that the PLA commander who will become the colonel in the national army and lead the Maoist combatants will be at least 45-year old. This is an average age of colonels in the Nepal Army.

Integration number likely to be around 3,000

KATHMANDU, April 15: With enthusiasm for integration flagging among Maoist combatants, the total number of former rebels joining the Nepal Army (NA) directorate is likely to stand around 3,000.

“Don’t ask me about numbers. It’s very difficult to find comrades who speak positively about integration,” said a division commander requesting anonymity.

In the combatants categorizations two months back, 9000-plus combatants were registered for integration, and after an initial survey, the PLA had assessed that 3,000 to 5,000 would join the NA. But no longer.

On Saturday, when almost all the combatants at the Fourth Division at Jhyaltungdanda opted for voluntary retirement, the PLA commanders requested to army major in charge of the cantonments to tell the combatants that they would be safe with the NA.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Betrayal of revolution: Baidya faction

KATHMANDU, April 10: Accusing Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai of betraying the revolution, the Maoist radical faction on Wednesday evening called on the people to raise voices against the Special Committee decision to let the Nepal Army (NA) take charge of the PLA cantonments and the weapons containers.

“We strongly condemn the decision. We also appeal to the patriots, republicans, self-esteemed people as well as those who want forward looking changes to jump into action and oppose the move,” said Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel after a meeting of the radical faction in the evening.

The hard-line faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya has termed the move the “height capitulationism and serious betrayal of the revolution in Nepal”.

Gajurel said the party leadership´s move has humiliated the PLA and betrayed the people. “It is surrender, not integration,” he argued. The hardliners have, however, stated that they don´t have any plan to foment unrest in the cantonments. “They had opted for integration though we had opined that the PLA personnel should opt for voluntary retirement. So it is wrong to say that we actually fomented the unrest,” said Gajurel.

Nepal Army takes charge of cantonments

KATHMANDU, April 10: In a dramatic turn of events, the Nepal Army and the Armed Police Force on Tuesday took control of all the Maoist cantonments, their security, arms and the combatants as the security situation deteriorated in the cantonments and the chain of command of the Maoist army turned dysfunctional.

The army and the APF were deployed for security at the cantonments -- APF is responsible for security of three satellite cantonment -- following an instruction from the government. A company led by a Nepal Army major has been deployed for the security of each main cantonment while a platoon under a captain has been deployed at each satellite cantonment.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why the cantonments imploded?

KATHMANDU, April 11: Apparent implosion in the cantonments has forced the Maoist leadership to resort to the desperate step of sending in the Nepal Army to take control of the cantonments, combatants and arms containers.

But the implosion did not happen overnight. Nor did it happen for no reason. There was long-simmering frustration and resentment in the cantonments and this initially seemed to be more due to lack of progress in the peace process. Having lived in the cantonments for so many years under physically taxing conditions, the combatants still had no idea how much longer they had to endure cantonment life.

All that changed last November when the political parties signed the famous seven-point agreement to conclude the peace process. The points agreed in the seven-point deal did not meet the popular expectations of the combatants, nor were they in line with what the Maoist leadership had promised them.

PLA to let voluntary retirement move forward

KATHMANDU, April 10: Clearing confusion over the voluntary retirement and integration process of Maoist combatants, the General Staff meeting of the Maoist army on Monday decided to forward the process and committed to complete it by the April 12 deadline.

“Though the issues of rank, bridge course and other things are still not clear, we have decided to let the process move forward,” said Second Division Commander Suk Bahadur Roka Magar. “Those who want to take voluntary retirement or those unlikely to meet the criteria for integration will be allowed to take part in voluntary retirement. But we will wait for integration until the outstanding issues are resolved.”

Monday, April 9, 2012

PLA cantonments tense over rank issue

KATHMANDU, April 9: Uncertainty over the combatants´ ranks in the Nepal Army (NA) hierarchy after integration has thrown the PLA cantonments into a state of confusion.  

Tension ran high in the PLA First Division in Ilam and Second Division in Sindhuli Sunday afternoon after combatants spontaneously gathered and began chanting slogans against "nepotism and favoritism" in the selection of commanders for senior NA positions.

"We don´t know what future holds for us. We are being kept in the dark about our positions in the NA after integration," said a commander from the First Division in Ilam, requesting anonymity.