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Nepal

Women dying from the Asian `miracle': System change a must to save women’s lives

By Reihana Mohideen

March 8, 2010 -- Despite the fanfare about Asia’s "miracle" economies, the problem of "missing women and girls" is actually growing, according to the United Nations Development Program-sponsored 2010 Asia-Pacific Human Development Report.

These "missing" girls and women are a result of the abortion of girl fetuses and women dying through sheer neglect – underfed and starved and not receiving adequate health care. The birth gender disparity is the highest in East Asia, home of the Asian "miracle" economies, where 119 boys are born for every 100 girls. China and India, much touted for their economic success, account for 85 million of these 100 million "missing" women. 

Nepal: Interview with the UCPN (Maoist)'s Baburam Bhattarai: `We have not abandoned the revolutionary path'

October 26, 2009 -- This interview first appeared on the web site of the Britain-based World People's Resistance Movement (WPRN). It has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission. Baburam Bhattarai is a politburo member of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and was finance minister in the former Maoist government led by Prachanda. For background to this interview, visit HERE.

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Nepal: Maoist student leader -- `It is still a fight to establish a democratic republic, for establishing a socialist system'

Manushi Bhattarai (left).

Ben Peterson interviewed Manushi Bhattarai. She is part of the Maoist team that won student elections at Tribhuvan University -- Nepal's largest university. Peterson is in Nepal reporting for Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly and for his blog Lal Salam (where this interview first appeared).

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Ben Peterson: Thanks for meeting with me. The All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) (ANNISU(R)) won the student elections at Tribhuvan University. What did the campaign involve, and what are some of your policies as a revolutionary student union?

Who is endangering civil peace in Nepal?

The Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of the United States-based Marxist journal Monthly Review. The May 2009 issue featured this editorial.

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By Analytical Monthly Review (India)

May 2009 -- Few familiar with recent events in Nepal would dispute that there is a serious threat to the civil peace, whose origin dates from the unilateral ceasefire obeyed by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) from the start of Dasain 2005. [Dasain is the 10-day rice-harvest festival, held around September-October and observed in Nepal, Sikkim and Darjeeling in India, and in Bhutan.]

Indian communists: India must end support for genocide in Sri Lanka and the elite coup in Nepal

By Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 11, 2009 -- A shameful spectacle of opportunism is being played out in Indian politics even as Sri Lanka is waging a chilling ``final solution'' to its Tamil national question. In the name of a war to eliminate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mahinda Rajapakse's regime in Sri Lanka is waging war on the Tamil people. Independent observers, international rights groups and even journalists have been prohibited from covering the reality of the war. Conservative estimates, trickling through, put civilian deaths at a minimum of 5000, including at least 500 children, since January. At least 100,000 civilians are estimated wounded. The Sri Lankan army is using cluster bombs and chemical warfare in blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions. Tens of thousands of innocent Tamils are caught up in the war zone, starved of food, water and medicine. Some 100,000 others, fleeing in desperation are being rounded up behind barbed wire fences in ``camps'', where by all accounts they will be kept under detention for three years. Sri Lankan journalists questioning their government's brutal policy have been silenced by assassination and arrest. International journalists reporting on the detention camps for Tamil civilians have been detained and deported.

Solidarity from Timor Leste: `Support the people and legitimate government of Nepal!'

Solidarity message for the people and legitimate government of Nepal, by Luta Hamutuk, Timor Leste

Dili, Timor Leste, May 13, 2009 -- The legitimate government of Nepal was formed as a result of a very democratic process in Nepal.This government came about from the struggle of a people, full of the spirit of self-reliance, which was fighting against all forms of feudal, imperialist and neoliberal oppression.

However, now the agents of the oppressors are beginning to engage in sabotage against this legitimate and democratic government, efforts which are especially driven by the military forces of the oppressors.

Based on these facts, Luta Hamutuk -- an organisation in Timor Leste that is also fighting for economic justice and self-reliance, that is against all forms of imperialist oppression -- would like to state our full support for the people and democratic government of Nepal and demand as follows:

Philippines socialists on Nepal: `We stand in solidarity with this mass movement fighting for the people’s interests'

May 14, 2009 -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa of the Philippines has attempted to follow the developments in Nepal over the recent period. We welcomed the ouster of the monarchy achieved by the people’s struggle and the mass movement, the unity of the main left forces, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist), and the elections which gave the left control of the government. We welcomed as a victory for the left and progressive movement worldwide the election of a left government led by the UCPN (M), along with the CPN (UML).

We therefore consider the forced resignation of this government as a result of the refusal of the pro-elite Nepalese military hierarchy and the president, backed by the country’s elite, to follow the directives of a democratically elected government carrying out the platform that it was elected upon, as detrimental to the people’s interest and only serving the interests of the Nepalese elite.

Malaysian socialists: `In defence of the revolution and democracy in Nepal'

Solidarity message to the revolutionary masses of Nepal

Statement by the Socialist Party of Malaysia

May 12, 2009.

1. The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) would like to express our greatest concern over the current political developments and intensifying social struggles in the newly born Republic of Nepal.

2. The political and military elites have once again revealed their true nature when the president, who is from the conservative Nepali Congress party, overrode the decision of Prime Minister Prachanda from the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) to sack Chief of Army Staff Katawal. Some opportunist sections of the coalition government, like the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) also turned to the right by opposing the UCPN (M) move.

3. The army high command has refused to obey instructions from the elected civilian government as well as refused to implement key parts of 2006 peace accords which included the integration of UCPN (M)-led People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into the current army forces. Sections of the high command in the current Nepalese army committed serious human rights violations during the armed conflict with PLA and continue to enjoy impunity, and even planned to stage a military coup against the elected government.

CPI (ML) Liberation: Indian government must stop intervening in Nepal

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 5, 2009 -- The fledgling republic of Nepal seems to be standing on the verge of a new phase of civil war. Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal had been asked by the civilian government to explain why he had continued military recruitment despite the government's halt order and reinstated eight brigadier-generals who had been retired by the defence ministry. Backed by its foreign patrons and right-wing parties in the country, the military high command openly defied the authority of the elected government. The government responded by removing General Katawal, who refused to accept this and the government’s decision was then illegally overturned by President Ram Baran Yadav, of Nepalese Congress party. With its coalition partners in government refusing to support the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN (M)], Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) announced that he had no choice but to resign.

Nepal: The people resist elite coup

May Day rally in Kathmandu, May 1, 2009.

By Stuart Munckton

May 9, 2009 -- “This is not just a Maoist movement”, said Green Left Weekly’s correspondent in Kathmandu, Ben Peterson. “This is threatening to become a new people’s movement, like the one that swept away the monarchy.” 

Peterson was commenting on the large number of daily demonstrations across the country to demand respect for the people’s will. They have come in the aftermath of the May 3 resignation of Prime Minister Prachanda and other members of the government belonging to the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M).

Peterson described the events as a “soft coup”.

The resignations were forced by the insubordination by the military high command, backed by the president and sections the coalition government. The UCPN (M), which had led the coalition government until its members walked out on May 3, had tried to use constitutional means to sack the chief of the army, General Kul Bahadur Katwal.

Indonesian leftists: Support democracy in Nepal, support Nepalese people's struggle against neoliberal imperialism!

From Berdikari, publication of Papernas (National Liberation Party of Unity), Indonesia

Jakarta, May 6, 2009 -- Neoliberal imperialism has put the Indonesian people under siege. But that does not mean that the Indonesian people will be absent in giving support and solidarity to the global people's struggle against neoliberal imperialism.

One of the country whose people are rising up courageously to fight neoliberal imperialism is Nepal. In that country, the oligarchy of landlords and local elites, supported by international capitalism, has been overthrown by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) supported by the people. The CPN-M took power through a democratic election. But since its victory, the oligarchy has always tried to destabilise the CPN-M led government.

A few days ago, the conflict reached its peak as the military command -- which received support from the old forces (landlords and local elites) refused to abide by the CPN-M led civilian government. In response to this subversion, the civilian government decided to discharge the armed forces chief of staff, General Katawal, legally and constitutionally. General Katawal refused to step down and instead allied himself with the right-wing parties and conservative opposition.

Support democracy in Nepal! Support the Nepalese people!

Democratic Socialist Perspective

May 5, 2009 -- All supporters of democracy and social justice have reason to be concerned by the recent events in the republic of Nepal. The military high command, backed by right-wing parties tied to the country’s elite, has openly defied the authority of the elected civilian government, led by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M).

In response, the government sought to remove army chief of staff General Katawal, via legal and constitutional means. Katawal refused to accept his removal and the government’s decision was illegally overturned by President Ram Baran Yadav from the conservative Nepalese Congress party, whose position under the interim constitution is largely ceremonial.

With their coalition partners in government refusing to support the UCPN-M, Nepal’s prime minister and UCPN-M leader Prachanda announced on May 3 that the Maoists had no choice but to resign and leave government.

The removal of the Maoists from government is nothing less than a coup. It reveals the real situation in Nepal — that despite its democratic mandate for change, the Maoist-led government is being prevented by the old elite from implementing such change.

The Maoists are working to mobilise their large base of support among the poor majority for street demonstrations against this coup.

Former elite resists the `New Nepal'

Supporters of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) demand the sacking of army chief of staff Rookmangud Katawal on April 28.

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STOP PRESS -- Ben Peterson from Kathmandu reports on May 3, 2009, at 3pm:

This morning the Maoists in government made the decision to remove General Katawal from his position of chief of army staff after his repeated political insubordination. This follows 10 days of trying to reach consensus with the other political parties, up until a final cross-party meeting this morning. Failing to achieve consenus, the goverment ordered Katawal's retirement.

Nepal: `We call on progressive and leftist forces of the world to support us'

Rally in support of Nepal's Maoists.

Kathmandu -- On April 2, 2009, Lal Salam's Ben Peterson -- a socialist activist visiting from Australia -- had the opportunity to interview Suresh Kumar Ale Magar, who is an elected member of Nepal's Constituent Assembly and a militant of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

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``We see the policies and the struggle of the people in Venezuela, Bolivia and the Latin American countries against imperialism, particularly against US imperialism... I strongly believe that in the future that there could be an international anti-imperialist organisation, of which those countries would be a major part.''

So you are a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). How long have you been part of the Maoist movement?

The Maoist movement? About 30 years, three decades.

That's a considerable amount of time. So you were with the party throughout the People's War period?

Nepal's Blue Diamond Society: Hopes high for LGBTI rights

A Blue Diamond Society pride march in Kathmandu.

March 17, 2009 -- Kathmandu -- Lal Salam's Ben Peterson interviewed Subash Pokharel, coordinator of Nepal's Blue Diamond Society. The Blue Diamond Society is the largest LGBTI (lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and intergender people) rights organisation in Nepal. The interview, slightly abridged, is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

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Ben Peterson: I have read a lot about Nepal and it is clear that Hinduism, and in particular an orthodox form of Hinduism, plays a big role in society here. Is that something that has been of a concern for people of sexual minorities?

Eyewitness reports from the Nepal's revolution

By Ben Peterson

[The following are a series first-hand reports from Nepal, by Australian socialist activist Ben Peterson, a member of the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the socialist youth organisation Resistance, both affiliated to the Socialist Alliance. They first appeared at Ben's blog, Lal Salam, and are posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.]

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First impressions and adventures in Nepal

March 6, 2009 -- And here I am. After too long speculating from the sidelines (and sidelines 10,000 kilometres away) I have finally arrived in the land of Mountains and Maoists. On Tuesday night at about 10 pm, I landed in Kathmandu to see with my own eyes the processes unfolding here.

This is less of an in-depth analysis and more of a account of my personal experiences so far, which have been really intense.

Ferment in Nepal: A dynamic vortex of revolutionary change

CPN (Maoist) mass meeting in Kathmandu

By Bill Templer

January 3, 2009 -- One remarkable laboratory that discussion in much of the world’s progressive press tends to neglect is the dynamic vortex of revolutionary change in Nepal. Since spring, Nepal has something that may be making genuine history: a Maoist people’s movement, that, led by the CPN (Maoist), and the struggle of the People’s Liberation Army over a decade, has come to state power through the ballot box. As Tufts University historian Gary Leupp wrote last April: “It ought to be the ballot heard 'round the world. It ought to be front page news. […] This moment may in the not distant future be seen as another 1917, another 1949.”[1]

Nepal: CPN (Maoist) national convention -- beginning the `great debate'; Split avoided

By Indra Mohan Sigdel ``Basanta''

December 5, 2008 -- The Nepalese people’s revolution is now at a crucial juncture, full of opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, the possibilities are so great that the party’s success in developing a scientific ideological and political line consistent with the present objective conditions could lead the Nepalese people’s revolution to a victorious accomplishment. And also, it could be a new opening of the world proletarian revolution in the beginning of the 21st century. While on the other hand, its failure to do so would lead to disastrous consequences, leading to an extensive demoralisation of the oppressed classes not only in Nepal but the world over. Therefore, in short, the November 17-26, 2008, national convention of our party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), had an international dimension.

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist): The differences of opinion within our party

By Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplap’

We should say honestly that there is a difference of opinion on how to accomplish the Nepalese Revolution. Mainly, the difference of opinion is about the party line, political program and tactics in our party. This clearly justifies that a serious u-turn has occurred before the Nepalese Revolution. The responsibility of carrying the revolution ahead successfully has fallen upon the shoulders of the revolutionary communists of Nepal and the revolutionary communists of the world. We all should direct our attention to it.

Nepal: The struggle intensifies; interview with Prachanda

Editorial, Red Star, newspaper of the CPN (Maoist), October 24-November 7, 2008

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is going to hold a party congress at the beginning of 2009. The decision to hold a party congress has created much interest among the common people as well as party leaders, cadres, sympathisers and well wishers.

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