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Nepal: Prachanda in New York -- A Maoist vision for a new Nepal

`A Maoist Vision for a New Nepal' -- MP3 recordings of a talk by Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), followed by questions and answers, presented to the India China Institute of New School University, New York City, on September 26, 2008. The MP3 audio clips were first presented on the Hegemonik site, and are posted here with permission

Nepal's newly elected Prime Minister Prachanda came to New York to address the United Nations General Assemby on September 26. Click HERE to download the text of his UN speech (PDF) or click HERE to watch a video of the address (requires Real Player).

After his UN address, Prachanda spoke to a mixed audience of intellectuals, expatriate Nepalis and leftists at a talk sponsored by the New School University’s India China Institute. He described the new Nepal's attitude to foreign investment, development of its natural resources and relations with China and India. The question and answer session touched upon the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)'s ideological positions.

Prachanda also spoke at a September 25 invitation-only reception organised by the International Action Center. (You can listen to the speeches HERE.) According the account posted at the Absent Cause web site:

``Comrade Prachanda explained that the CPN(M) has tried to understand the lessons of the international communist movement, of the revolutions and counter-revolutions of the 20th Century. He briefly reviewed the history of the peoples war, which began in 1996 after the Nepali government's violent repression of mass demonstrations. Prachanda said that his party worked to explain to the people that they were not opposed to peaceful change, but that all avenues had been closed and armed struggle was necessary.

``After five years of civil war, the CPN (M) embarked on a serious internal discussion of the lessons of previous revolutions, including the socialist revolution in Russia. At this time the party adopted the idea that a multi-party system and political competition should exist even under socialism. They determined that this is what Lenin would have done had he lived another five or 10 years, in the process of trying to build the basis for a socialist economic system in Russia. Lenin would not have followed the same path as Stalin, who made `serious mistakes in his understanding of philosophy and dialectical materialism'" according to Prachanda.

``Following this internal discussion, the CPN (M) initiated negotiations with the Nepali government. However, the talks did not succeed because the government would not agree to the minimum conditions of a constituent assembly.

``Saying that the democratic revolution must be completed to carry through the socialist revolution, Prachanda explained that the monarchy had played a very important role in how the revolution developed through its stupidity and intransigence. The result was an understanding between the peoples war and other parties involved in the mass struggle, of bourgeois democratic and peoples movements side-by-side. This culminated in 19 days of mass actions that brought about the beginning of the end to the monarchy in 2006.

``Prachanda commented on the `confusion of some people' when the Maoists became the leading party in Nepal. He said the CPN (M)-led government's mandate consists of three tasks: 1) drafting a new constitution; 2) carrying through the peace process, termed the `rehabilitation and integration' of armed forces; and 3) initiating new economic development.

``When he appeared at the closing of the Olympic Games in Beijing, Prachanda explained, he tried to convey that `we are making a big experiment -- not only for Nepal, not only for South Asia, but for the people of the world. We communists are more flexible and dynamic. We try to develop our ideology according to new conditions. We understand the dynamic of change.'

``Recalling that just three years ago he was labeled a terrorist by the US and had a price on his head, and the CPN (M) is still on the US `terrorism watch list', Prachanda joked about the leaders of the US being the ones who are truly `sectarian and dogmatic', not the communists. He thanked the audience for the opportunity to address the `socialists of the USA'.''


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