---'People's war' anniversary today---
KATHMANDU, Feb 12: Tuesday is the 18th anniversary of the 10-year Maoist insurgency known as ´People´s war´, according to the Nepali calendar. More than 15,000 people were killed in the insurgency, with thousands injured or maimed, over 1,500 disappeared, and thousands more displaced.
The then CPN (Maoist) launched its people´s war with armed attacks on police posts at Holeri, Rolpa and Sindhuligadhi, Sindhuli on 13 Feb, 1992.
It was to end formally with the signing of the comprehensive peace accord in 2006.
The CPN (Maoist) has since became four separate parties which accuse one another of ´betraying the people´s war, the martyrs, the people and the injured´.
They are going to celebrate the anniversary in different ways in different places.
The Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led ruling UCPN(Maoist) will hold a mass gathering at the Khulamanch in Kathmandu. Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist will hold a mass gathering at Thabang, Rolpa and a tea party at Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, while the Matrika Yadav-led CPN(Maoist) and Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party will hold seminars.
"We will hold a mass gathering to celebrate the anniversary at Thabang, cradle of the people´s war," said Dev Gurung, secretary of the CPN(Maoist).
"There is meaning to celebrating at Thabang. We will review the people´s war and its historical importance in its heartland," added Gurung. His party will review the war, and how to safeguard its achievements and complete the revolution.
The Baidya-led Maoist party was formed last June, accusing Dahal of betraying the people´s war and exchanging all the achievements of the war for power. The Baidya-led Maoists also claimed to be the successors of the revolution.
The Baidya Maoists concluded their general convention recently after deciding to launch a people´s revolt on the foundations of a people´s war as its political line, while the UCPN(Maoist) concluded its general convention Thursday after formally deciding to form a parliamentary party.
Vice-chairman CP Gajurel, General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa and Secretary Netra Bikram Chand will address the gathering at Thabang. Following the Palungatar plenum, ruling Maoist party Chairman Dahal, Netra Bikram Chand and Nanda Kishor Pun had gone to Thabang to address the anniversary function of 2011.
Similarly, the UCPN(Maoist) will hold a mass gathering at Khulamanch in the capital to celebrate the anniversary and also use the occasion as a declaration function of the general convention.
"It is true that the political line has shifted from the people´s war but we will celebrate the anniversary, remembering its historical importance," said Haribol Gajurel, ruling Maoist party central committee member, claming that the war was the main agent in turning the country secular and republican.
"The people´s war was right in the past. But it could not remain so still."
Maoist leaders and researchers have been saying that the insurrection raised awareness among the Dalits, women, ethnic communities and common people and citing this as one of its achievements.
According to Mani Thapa, his party is going to hold a seminar in Chitwan. The Yadav-led Maoists will also hold a seminar, in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
The Maoists launched their people´s war, claiming that it was a successor to the Jhapa revolt and taking a seven-point oath to complete the revolution for bringing about a new janabadi [people´s democratic] system.