Sunday, August 31, 2008

15 new ministers sworn in by Prachanda

Prime Minister Prachanda expanded the cabinet Sunday, inducting 15 more ministers. The new ministers were sworn-in this evening.

Of the 17 new ministers, six are from CPN (Maoist), six from CPN (UML) and one each from Janamorcha Nepal, CPN (United) and Sadbhawana Party. CPN (Marxist Leninist), which earlier had decided to join the government, opted out after it was denied its chosen portfolio - land reform.

The six Maoist ministers appointed today are: Pampha Bhusal (general administration), Hisila Yami (tourism and civil aviation), Matrika Yadav (land reform), Gopal Kiranti (culture and state reconstruction) Janardan Sharma (peace and reconstruction) and Lekhraj Bhatta (labour and transport).

Similarly, UML team in 23-member cabinet comprises Bam Dev Gautam (deputy prime minister and home minister), Bishnu Poudel (water resources), Astha Laxmi Shakya (industry), Ram Chandra Jha (local development), Kiran Gurung (forest and soil conservation) and Gopal Shakya (youth and sports).

Likewise, Giriraj Mani Pokharel of Janamorcha Nepal has been appointed as minister for health and population, CPN (United)'s Ganesh Shah as minister for science and technology and Sadbhawana Party chairman Rajendra Mahato is minister for commerce and supplies.

PM Prachanda administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed ministers at Shital Niwas, the presidential palace, amid a ceremony which was boycotted by media persons who complained that a number of them were denied passes.

Prachanda :Peace process will be completed in six months

Prime Minister Prachanda has said that the ongoing peace process will be completed in next six months.

"The peace process will have to be completed within six months," he said, adding that the government going to be formed by incorporating ministers from UML and other parties, Sunday, will work to create an environment ripe for total transformation in the country.

Speaking at a programme on economic development organized by Confederation of Nepali Industries (CNI), Sunday, PM Prachanda said that majority of Nepalis people were looking up with high expectations. "There are few people who have some doubts as well on how this government will function and what will happen if this government, too, fails to deliver," he said.

He said that doubts and suspicions among Nepalis people and international community regarding the new government must be addressed.

"We must change the doubts and suspicions into confidence if we want to attain rapid change," he said.

UML general secretary Jhal Nath Khanal also stressed on the need to first take the peace process to logical end within six months.

"The process must now be completed to lay the ground for economic revolution," Khanal said.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Prachanda to expand cabinet on Sunday

Prime Minister Prachanda has said the cabinet will take full shape on Sunday.

During his meeting with CPN (United Centre) general secretary Narayan Kaji Shrestha 'Prakash' at Baluwatar Saturday, PM Prachanda said "technical problems" that hampered the cabinet formation had been resolved and that a full-fledged cabinet would be in place on Sunday.

Dahal also expressed confidence that minor allies like Janamorcha Nepal and CPN (Marxist Leninist) would join the government Sunday itself.

New ministers were to be inducted on Friday, but the process was put on hold with the Maoists not being able to name their remaining ministers.

Besides, the three ruling allies - Maoists, Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) - are expected to decide today whether to appoint deputy prime ministers.

PM Prachanda remained busy in discussions today with leaders of various parties including UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal to resolve issues concerning the cabinet formation

Friday, August 29, 2008

A planned expansion of the Nepalese cabinet postponed

Kathmandu, Aug 29 (PTI) A planned expansion of the Nepalese cabinet to include a CP UML coalition partner was postponed today due to deadlock over seniority in the government.The Maoist-led government had planned to include the Communist Party of Nepal-UML (CPN-UML), including its senior member Bam Dev Gautam, who was expected to get the portfolio of the Home Ministry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Uncensored - Solidarity with Nepal from Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation

Solidarity message from the Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
August 19, 2008

(With recent developments in Nepal we publish this statement as a service to our readers. This statement was issued on behalf of the Party on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the People’s War in Nepal. Disgracefully, there was an attempt to block this historic expression of solidarity from the U. S. Black Revolutionary Movement by sectarian white nationalist revisionist Maoist forces associated with the otherwise excellent Maoist Revolution Email list.)

Peace to comrades in Nepal!
Solidarity message from the Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Revolutionary greetings!

The Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation (formerly known as the Ghetto Liberation Political Party) on behalf of the oppressed Back nation in the US extend the warmest red salute on the wonderful and special 12th anniversary of your revolutionary peoples movement.

We love you comrades, your just struggle and your blessed land.

Since the beginning of your people’s war in 1996, the class conscious revolutionary forces of the oppressed Back nation in the US have watched the development of your struggle with hope and pride.

Basing yourself on the masses, you have creatively applied the universal truths of scientific socialism (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) to your concrete conditions, against both right revisionism and left dogmatism, with arduous struggle, scoring victory after victory, not for just your own people, but for all peace and freedom loving people of the world.

Your Party, under the leadership of Comrade Prachanda has stated that you are not communists of the old type. And neither are we.

We extol your boldness to dare to “climb the unexplored mountain” and make breaks and leap in revolutionary theory and practice so as to achieve an even greater victory for the people.

Likewise we also seek to debate the international revolutionary movement on key questions of revolutionary theory and practice.

For example, our Party was founded in 1996 among the oppressed Black nation in the US on the firm basis of the creative application of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism-Maoism from the viewpoint of knowledge of self; the Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation declares the reality and oneness of the One God upon the basis of dialectical materialism and uphold and defends the Marxist distinction between the proletariat and the labor aristocracy.

On the question of political economy we humbly encourage you to look at the scientific work raised by Comrade Dr. Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party, the central US Maoist and Black National leader and theoretician of the 1960s and 70s particularly his great theory of imperialist intercommunalism, which put forward the new stage of “globalized” exploitative and parasitic capitalism and the corresponding collective march toward communism as the current stage of Reactionary Intercommunalism and World Proletarian Revolution.

May these questions and those that you raised be studied and rigorously debated in the international revolutionary movement.

The Nepali people, under the leadership of your glorious party, are advancing to victory and the establishment of a new democratic Nepal.

We are not among those who would doubt your struggle; we are among those that are praying to the Most High God for your victory and for Peace.

Long live the Nepalese Revolution!
Long Live the Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist)!
Long Live the Revolutionary Unity of All Oppressed Peoples!

Comrade Ingiaye
Central Committee
Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation

Democracy and Class Struggle says we must embrace these comrades of the Poor Righteous Party of the Black Nation and respect their Marxism Leninism Maoism with the Communist broadmindedness of Chairman Prachanda and Chairman Mao and not censor their messages of support to People and Communist Party of Nepal Maoist.

UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal

The six UML ministers to be sworn in Friday

Prime Minister Prachanda has agreed to give second place to UML's Bam Dev Gautam in cabinet hierarchy, ending the protocol dispute going on for a week now.

A meeting between PM Prachanda and UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal on Thursday arrived at the understanding.

"The protocol issue has been resolved. Gautam will be in the second position," the UML general secretary told reporters after the meeting held at the CPN-M's parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar.

Khanal said the six UML ministers would be sworn in on Friday and that there wouldn't be reconsideration over the selection of ministers.

UML had refused to join the government at the eleventh hour after Gautam, who will lead the party's team, was denied second position in the cabinet. Gautam, a former deputy prime minister, has been named as home minister of the Maoist-led government.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal,’ has said that the process of integration of army will be completed between three to six months.

Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal,’ has said that the process of integration of army will be completed between three to six months.

Talking to reporters in Itahari, Tuesday – where he had gone to inspect flood affected regions – Minister Thapa said that a special committee will be formed to initiate the process.

He also urged everyone not to doubt the process of integration at a time when the ‘Nepalis people have voted Maoists to form the government and the Nepali Army has vowed to carry out the instructions of the government.’

Meanwhile, reports say that the Defense Minister has said that Nepal will not continue to wait for India for renovation of Kosi embankments.

“We waited for a few days. But now we will start mobilising internal resources to repair the embankments in a permanent manner,” he is quoted in newspaper reports as saying

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nepal new gov't receives aid from World Bank

KATHMANDU, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The International Development Association, a soft lending window of the World Bank, has agreed to provide 127 million U.S. dollars grant assistance to Nepal, Nepali national news agency RSS reported on Tuesday.

The assistance is for implementing Emergency Peace Support Program, Health Sector Program and Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Program.

This is the biggest foreign aid commitment Nepal received after the formation of a new government led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M). Agreements to this effect were signed between the Nepali government and the World Bank at the Finance Ministry in Nepali capital Kathmandu on Tuesday.

CPN-M Chairman Prachanda was elected the first prime minister of the new-born Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on Aug. 15, while a republic cabinet was formed on Aug. 22.

According to the Finance Ministry, the grant received under the Emergency Peace Support Program would be utilized to provide relief to conflict-hit people, families of people killed during the conflict, pay allowance of CPN-M soldiers as per the comprehensive peace accord and to build the capacity of the government in peace building and rehabilitation.

Likewise the grant under the Health Sector Program would be utilized to strengthen service delivery and institutional capacity and management development in the Ministry of Health and Population and expand the basic health services to the rural areas.

The agreements were signed by Finance Secretary Rameshore Prasad Khanal on behalf of the government and country director of World Bank in Nepal Susan Goldmark on behalf of the bank. Finance minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, bank's vice-president of South Asia region Isabel Guerrero were present on the occasion

The Nepali Revolution Moves On by Bill Templer

As Gary Leupp commented last April, "It ought to be the ballot heard 'round the world. It ought to be front page news." But it hasn't been.

You can read The Red Star, the English bi-weekly of the CPN-M, for firsthand reporting and views. A broad spectrum of local opinion on the Revolution and the challenges ahead in Nepal is reflected on a unique blog, well worth exploring.( This is United We Blog For A Democratic Nepal - Link on right of this page.)

The CPN-M is a major party within the Coordination Committee of the Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA), made up of parties from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Communist Party of Iran (ML-M). CCOMPOSA also needs to be better known outside the region, however we may critique particular positions or tactics. Its Declaration was adopted in August 2002 and can help us to better understand the orientation of revolutionary socialists in South (and West) Asia who see themselves as part of a Maoist movement.

In Europe, the (n)PCI (nuovo Partito Comunista Italiano) in Italy, founded in Oct. 2004, has been especially outspoken in its support for the people's struggle in Nepal. Its Founding Declaration sets out a new vision for revolutionary socialist reconstruction and mass mobilization in Italy and beyond. An article "The First Great Victory of the International Communist Movement in the 21st Century," published in Italian in the party paper La Voce (1 July 2008), stresses the historic importance of what is happening in Nepal. The Party of the Committees to Support Resistance -- for Communism (CARC) in Italy, closely allied since 2005 with the (n)PCI, issued an article on the Nepali Revolution in the current edition of The Red Star, drawing on the earlier article in La Voce.

It is reprinted below, and raises important points for the broader international workers' struggle. The article notes the strong support for the Nepali revolutionary upsurge inside the International League of People's Struggle. The ILPS, formed in 2001, is an umbrella organization of many NGOs. It recently mobilized activists to assist Dave Pugh in connection with his detention in India for his fact-finding work on the anti-displacement movement. Jose Maria Sison, ILPS chairperson, issued a "Letter of congratulations to Comrade Prachanda on his election as Prime Minister." Few socialist parties or organizations have done so.The Nepali Revolution deserves international solidarity.

It can be a source of direct inspiration for people's resistance hands-on along the southern face of the Himalaya and well beyond. In the region, it is feasible that "given the extreme and intensifying contradictions in Indian society, a real revolutionary regime in Nepal will have immediate and deep reverberations throughout India, especially the north and northeast. Furthermore, although it has no common border with Bangladesh, Nepal is only a few dozen kilometers from that country, most of whose 150 million people live in conditions of great hardship." Writing in The Red Star, Kissoon is apprehensive but confident: "we have seen how a coup was engineered to stop Hamas becoming the government of Palestine.

There is every reason to believe that the US is trying to plan something similar in Nepal. [. . .] Here, the CPN Maoist has planned accordingly, and prepared for any necessity." The gains now being achieved and on the pathway forward need to be protected.I worked many years in Nepal, but I and my students then never thought we would see the day of a Federal Democratic Republic dawning on Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest), now a reality. Roshan Kissoon, who taught English and much else to men and women of the People's Liberation Army in the countryside, and who knows the people's movement at the grassroots, puts it well: "For the masses of people in Nepal, the poor and the oppressed, the destitute and the landless, history is only just beginning."

The International Communist Movement and the Nepali Revolution

The ongoing revolution in Nepal is provoking many reactions within the international communist movement. Many are positive, others positive with reservations, and some negative. These many reactions demonstrate the importance of the Nepali revolution, and it is best if they develop and relate to each other and an open and frank debate develop within the many forces of the international communist movement. An open and frank debate is a necessary means for overcoming sectarianism, that is, in this case, the attitude to ignore each other, each shut in its own ideological or national ambit.

Sectarianism is a weakness of the international communist movement, persisting in this beginning of the new wave of proletarian revolution. A concomitant expression of this weakness is the attitude of the great aggregations of the international communist movement towards the Nepali revolution.

In fact, for decades, some great aggregations have been in existence, constituted in contrast with modern revisionism, which collect communist parties and organizations all around the world. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) itself is a member of one of these aggregations, and our party is one of another. These aggregations have not yet clearly expressed themselves on the meaning of the Nepali revolution. The only one that did so was the International League of People's Struggle (ILPS), which, however, is an aggregation of mass organizations, not of political parties and organizations.

The fact that the existing aggregations of the international communist movement have not yet expressed themselves on the meaning of the Nepali revolution is important. In our view, it shows their limit.

All these aggregations, in fact, set themselves up and gained significance as means of struggle against modern revisionism. They have been useful in fighting this enemy of the communist movement, whose days, however, have come to an end in many countries. It maintains its strength in the international ambit and in some nations (i.e. in India, where it slaughters the popular masses, as it did in Nandigram, or in China, where it rules the country). However, elsewhere, revisionists no longer, or hardly, exist. Some disappeared with the collapse of the first socialist countries. Some in the imperialist countries practically vanished, as it happened in Italy with the latest elections. Some keep on existing but they have already been crushed, as it happened in the elections for the Constituent Assembly in Nepal. The more revisionists withdraw, the less anti-revisionism serves as a sufficient means to unite the various communist forces.

The many existing international aggregations are ideologically different among them (Marxist-Leninist, Marxist-Leninist with a positive attitude towards Mao Tse-tung's thought, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). Still, they have had anti-revisionism as the common character and strong point. The more this character loses importance, the more they lose it as a strong point around which they can rally.

Today, the various international aggregations of communist parties and organizations cannot say only what they are fighting against (revisionism, imperialism, etc.), but they have to say what they are fighting for. They have to mark out a course for advance. The fact that they can denounce revisionists' lies and imperialists' crimes, but they are unable to give their opinion or stutter about the situation in Nepal where Communists are advancing, is a sign of their difficulties.

None of the various aggregations of communist parties and organizations can set itself even as an embryo of a new International if it does not overcome this difficulty, if it just restricts itself to denouncing revisionism and imperialism, if it does not propose a course that could lead communists to victory, in the imperialist countries and the semi-colonial and oppressed ones, according to their respective specific conditions.

Such proposals do not arise from some individual genius, nor from the particular qualities of a single party or organization. They arise from an open and frank debate among the various communist parties and organizations on the international level. This debate, then, must be united to the practical organizations on all the struggle fronts (against imperialism, for defending the conquests of the working class and the masses, the oppressed peoples and nations, women, young people, environment, etc.) and to mutual solidarity. Then, the debate cannot be reduced to an empty and abstract talk: the common practice will confirm which positions are right and which are not.

Open and frank debate, common practice, and solidarity are the pillars that support the main road of the unity of the International Communist Movement.

CARC, International Relations Dept., July 2008

First Published in Monthly Review Magazine where you can read complete version.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nepal will maintain equidistance between India and China, says Foreign Minister

Newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs Upendra Yadav has said the new government will work towards maintaining equidistance between the two giant neighbours - India and China.

The dynamics of diplomatic ties will change in the new context and that government will maintain balanced relations with the neighbours, Yadav said.The foreign minister was speaking at the Reporters Club Sunday.

Mentioning that foreign diplomats in the past issued statements by breaching diplomatic norms, the foreign minister said the new government would not entertain such practices. "Foreigners did try to influence Nepal's politics. We will now create a situation wherein such things will not happen," Yadav said.

He also defended Prime Minister Prachanda's ongoing tour China, saying the visit is meant to represent the country in the closing ceremony of Beijing Olympic, and not intended to keep India at a distance. He added that the visit would help consolidate the ties between the two countries.

Yadav also informed that he would discuss ways to control floods in the Terai plains with Indian officials during his visit to India on Aug 28."I will initiate dialogue to solve the problem caused by Koshi dam," he said

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chinese President assures Prachanda of more assistance, investment for Nepal

Chinese President Hu Jintao has assured Prime Minister Prachanda of more development assistance and investment in Nepal.

According to new reports, Hu said this during a meeting with PM Prachanda in Beijing Sunday.

Reports further said Chinese president also suggested Prachanda to take peace process and development together.

However, other details of the matters discussed between the two leaders have not been revealed. PM Prachanda met President Hu at the Great Hall of the People, the presidential office of China.

Earlier in morning, Prachanda had met Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

During his stay in Beijing, Prachanda is scheduled to meet with senior other leaders of the Chinese communist party including it's the head of its foreign relation department. He is also scheduled visit Mao's birthplace, the Great Wall and the white pagoda temple built by Nepali architect Araniko

PM Prachanda meets PM Wen Jiabao

According to Xinhua news agency, Chinese PM Jiabao congratulated Prachanda on being elected as prime minister and said that China respected the social system and way of development Nepal had chosen according to its situation.

The new agency also quoted him as saying that China was in favour of political stability and economic development in Nepal through joint efforts of all political parties and under the leadership of Prachandal.

Jiabao stressed on strengthening the Nepal-China relations established since centuries, noting that China would work with Nepal to further the reciprocal cooperation in various fields that would benefit the two peoples.

In response, PM Prachanda said the friendship between China and Nepal had endured the test of time. "Historic changes are taking place in Nepal's domestic situation. The Nepali government and people are striving for national stability and economic development, and hoped to get support and cooperation from China," he said.

Prachanda also repeated Nepal's stand in favour of China's efforts to maintain national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Prachanda is scheduled to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao later today

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nationalism, republic and socio-economic change; three mantras of new govt: PM Prachanda

Nationalism, republic and socio-economic change; three mantras of new govt: PM Prachanda

In his first message to the countrymen as the prime minister, Prachandahas laid heavy emphasis on promotion and consolidation of nationalism, republic and socio-economic change.

"Certainly, there are high expectations from the public from the new government. We will fulfill their aspirations by working in objective and planned manner. For which, we have outlined a number of national priority issues," he said.

"First and foremost is the protection of national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. If Nepal does not exist, then there is no meaning for anything else including the republic. But we have to strengthen the national unity based on full equality among people from Himal, Pahad, Terai and Madhes," he said.

PM Prachanda who is also the chairman of the CPN-Maoists, said that the new government will strengthen democracy.

"I want to extend full commitment towards modern democratic principles like multi party competition, period elections, rule of law…." he said, adding that the democracy now must become 'a democracy of people and not become only a formal system.'

"Our attention will be concentrated on addressing socio-economic issues such as poverty, unemployment and so on. We will work to bring about modern industrial economy for which private-public-partnership model will be followed," he said.

PM Dahal said the new government will encourage foreign investments in priority sectors including 'agriculture, tourism, water resources and infrastructure.'

"The industrial peace will be maintained by improving relations between labour and employers," he said, adding that the government will address the problem of high market prices, which is affecting the ordinary people.

"Taking the peace process to logical conclusion and writing constitution on time is the main task of this government," he said.

Appeal to Army

"This government also has huge challenges. We need the support and cooperation from army, police, administration, international community and general public to meet the challenges," he said.

The PM also appealed to security organs for their support.

"I appeal to Nepali Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, National Investigation Department to forget the bitterness of the past and extend their support for national unity. There will be no prejudices from our side," he said.

The PM also asked for support from Maoists' People's Liberation Army, families of martyrs and promised them of full cooperation.

PM Prachanda has also urged the international community, particularly the neighbouring countries, to provide 'moral and physical' support during the 'historic transition' of Nepal.

"We will follow the Panchasheel in building our relations with all the countries including our neighbours," he said

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that the first job of the government will be to provide relief to the people.

The newly appointed Finance Minister and senior Maoist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that the first job of the government will be to provide relief to the people.

The government, he said, will introduce policies and programmes to provide relief to the people.
In his interaction with the officials of the Finance Ministry after he took oath as minister, Dr. Bhattarai said that his party wants to introduce economic revolution after the new constitution is written.

"For the time being, the people are in desperate need of relief from poverty and hunger. And the main responsibility to provide them with relief rests with this ministry," he said.

Dr. Bhattarai also said that a new budget will soon be unveiled

Friday, August 22, 2008

The cabinet has been formed adding four members from the CPN (Maoist) and four members from the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) Friday evening

Eight new ministers took oath of office and secrecy from the Prime Minister Prachanda in presence of President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and other heads of constitutional organs at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Four new ministers from the Maoist include Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai (Finance), Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal (Defense), Dev Gurung (Law, Justice) and Krishna Bahadur Mahara (Information and Communication) while ministers from MJF include party chairman Upendra Yadav (Foreign Affairs), Bijay Kumar Gachhadar (Works and Transport), Jay Prakash Gupta (Agriculture) and Renu Yadav (Education).

Reports have said that the UML nominees refused to take oath after they demanded that their leader be given second position in the cabinet after PM.

The UML has decided not to join the government if it does not get the second position in the cabinet portfolio.

We will not join govt if UML not given second position, says Poudel

A senior leader of Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) has said that his party will not join the government until and unless the Maoists agree to provide second position in the cabinet to them.

Bishnu Poudel, senior UML leader, told journalists that his party cannot join the government in the current situation.

"Frankly speaking, the Maoists have tried to put their minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai in second position in the cabinet after Prime Minister. This is not acceptable to us," said Poudel.

"If the Maoists do not agree to our demand, we will not join the government. It is as simple as that," he said.

He accused the Maoists of trying to breach the precedents and traditions in trying to provide second position in terms of seniority to a Finance Minister instead of Home Minister.

Earlier, the UML had nominated its senior leader Bamdev Gautam to lead the party in the cabinet by assigning him Home Ministry along with deputy prime ministership.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prime Minister Prachanda to meet Chinese president Hu Jintao

Prime Minister Prachanda is scheduled to hold meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao during his visit to China, reports Kantipur daily.

Prachanda is leaving for Beijing, Saturday, to attend the closing ceremony of Olympics.

He will hold one-hour-long meeting with the Chinese president on Monday, the daily reports quoting sources.

He will also hold a joint meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday. He will take part in the luncheon hosted by the Chinese premier in the honor of attending heads of states and governments.

PM Dahal will lead an 11-member Nepali delegation including his wife Sita Dahal, Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara and government officials

CMP lays emphasis on constitution making, state restructuring and relief

The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) finalised by the three parties – Maoists, Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) – has laid emphasis on writing the constitution within two years, and consolidating national interest, among others.

Signed by Prime Minister Prachanda, UML general secretary Jhal Nath Khanal and MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav, the CMP covers all the major issues from restructuring of state, implementing inclusion, providing immediate relief to the people and socio-economic transformation.

The CMP states that the Maoist PLA combatants will be integrated and rehabilitated along with management of their arms within six months.

The victims of conflict and those who suffered during People’s Movement, People’s War and Madhes agitation will be compensated, it says.

The parties have also vowed to control inflation and ensure easy availability of supplies including petroleum products.

Three parties make their CMP public, cabinet to be formed on Friday

Three parties make their CMP public, cabinet to be formed on Friday

The top leaders of three parties – Maoists, UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) – have finalized the Common Minimum Programme (CMP), which they unveiled Thursday evening.

"We have prepared four bases for the new national coalition government. We have finalized the CMP, code of conduct for ministers, norms and methods of operation of government and formation of political coordination committee," Jhal Nath Khanal, general secretary of UML, told journalists.

"The cabinet portfolio allocation is also being finalized. We will possibly form the cabinet on Friday," he said.

The top leaders of the three parties had signed the four documents on Thursday evening at the office of the parliamentary party of Maoists at Singhdurbar.

Till now, the Maoists and UML have reached understanding on the cabinet division. Maoists will bag Finance, Defense, Information and Communication and Law, Justice among others. The UML will have Home, Water Resources, Local Development, Youth and Sports and Forest.

They have set aside Foreign Affairs, Works and Transport, Agriculture and one more ministry for MJF

Maoists-UML reach power-sharing agreement

Bam Dev to lead UML team in govt CPN (Maoist) and Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) have reached an understanding on power-sharing.

According to the understanding reached at a meeting of top leaders of the two parties Thursday afternoon, UML will get three important ministries - home; water resources; and local development along with three other ministries - forest and soil conservation; women and children; and commerce and industries.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dev Gurung speaks on New Cabinet after Maoist Central Committee Meeting

Dr. Bhattarai to hold Finance, Badal to take over Defense portfolios

A senior Maoist leader has said that his party has identified two leaders to take over Finance and Defense portfolios in the new cabinet.

Even though the three of the ruling alliance partners failed to finalise the cabinet portfolio division, Monday, Maoist leader Dev Gurung has said that in the ministries which the Maoists are most likely to keep with themselves, they have identified leaders to head them.

"Possibly, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai will become the Finance Minister and Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal' will become the Defense Minister," Dev Gurung told reporters after the meeting of Maoist central committee.

Gurung also confirmed that Prime Minister Prachanda' is likely to travel to China on Saturday to attend the closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics.

"Barring technical difficulties, he is likely to travel to Beijing," Gurung said. The government has not yet officially informed of his travel plan

The principal aim is to write the Constitution - interview in Red Star with Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal - Senior Maoist Leader

The CPN- Maoist has been able to elect the party chairman to the post of the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Nepal. What do you think about leading the country after the formation of the government ?

We have elected our Prime Minister with the support of most of the parties in the Constituent Assembly (CA). The collective votes of the House are more than 80%, which represents the essence of national consensus.

There are two types of challenges before the new government. The first one is to create a new constitution, and the other is to provide immediate relief and maintain peace in the country. We will carry them ahead as the commitment to the people.

How will you face those challenges in coming days ?

We will be able to face those challenges in support of the people all over the country and in collective effort of all the forward going forces. We will be successful in building a new Nepal and establishing the peace. There is no budget to solve the daily problems of the people and to develop the country. Where will you collect the means and the sources from? Means and sources are available in Nepal. Only the man-power, capital and the technology is needed for us to mobilize it. We are sure that we will mobilize these resources and means; through the proper utilization of domestic efficiencies and the assistance of the foreign friends
and technology.

Why were you unable to involve the Nepali Congress (NC), the co-alliance party for two years, in the government? What was the obstacle that happened at the end ?

We requested the NC to form the government of national consensus up to the last hour. However, they didn’t change their consistency and their bias. They expressed their commitments to assist in writing the new constitution rather than review their decision taken before.The obstacle that happened at last was nothing other than the prejudice of the NC. They remained constant in their 7-point preconditions that they had put forward before. The essence of the 7-point precondition was to form the government under the leadership of the NC by isolating the CPN-Maoist, which was quite impossible. The principle issue was the question of leadership and power sharing was secondary.

Ambitious plans for the new Nepal have already been declared in your commitment paper. How will you implement it in practice ?

We have publicised two types of programme in our commitment paper at the time of election: one immediate and the other is strategic. The immediate programme will be carried ahead through the instant common minimum programme, built into the agreement of all the political parties. The policies and the plans, that we have publicised in the commitment paper, will be submitted there. We have our responsibility to provide immediate relief to the people and make them conscious towards the strategic plans.

The people out of the country suspect that there will be a price hike and a threat of starvation in the country, then how will you lead the country forwards if the neighbouring countries do not assist ?

Certainly, not only the enemies but also our friends are in our neighbouring countries. Therefore, we will fight against the challenges created by enemies, and we will try to collect assistance from our friends. We can solve all these problems by mobilizing the people, applying the mass-line, providing immediate relief to the people and using the sources and means properly. It took a long time, more than four months, even to form a new government according to the mandate of the election of CA.

So, how will you be able to write a new constitution within two years ?

We are aiming to write the constitution within one year, and another one year will be for accomplishing the task of election according to the new constitution. Our responsibility will be to complete the election after building a new constitution as soon as possible and form a new elected government. At that time, the enemies of the people will create ceaseless obstacles in the process of making people sovereign and self respecting through writing the new constitution. However, we are confident that we will be able to defeat enemies by uniting the people and providing proper leadership. The People will always fight against anti-people elements and will be victorious

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jose Maria Sison poses in front of a poster of the National Democratic Front (NDF),

National Democratic Front of the Philippines letter to Prime Minister Prachanda

National Democratic Front of the Philippines
National Council

17 August 2008

His Excellency Comrade Prachanda
Prime Minister
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal

Your Excellency Prime Minister Prachanda,

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) extends to you, the Nepali people and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) our warmest greetings of solidarity and comradeship on your historic election as the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

We hail this as a great achievement in the series of victories in pursuing the general line of new democratic revolution through people's war. Because of their revolutionary armed strength, the Nepali people and your Party under your leadership have been able to successfully undertake a series of political actions (including peace negotiations, alliance work, mass uprising and parliamentary struggle) to cause the overthrow of the royalty and the establishment of the republic.

We have high hopes that under your leadership as prime minister the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Nepali masses will continue to build on their accumulated revolutionary victories. We look forward to the accomplishment of reforms that will strengthen national independence, realize the democratic restructuring of the state and army, bring about land reform and develop national industrialization, promote a national, scientific and mass culture and advance an independent foreign policy for peace and development.

We wish that the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal become a strong base of revolutionary internationalism and anti-imperialist solidarity of the peoples of the world.

In our revolutionary struggle in the Philippines , we draw inspiration and learn concrete lessons from your revolutionary victories. The Filipino people are determined to persevere in their struggle for national and social liberation against US imperialism and the local reactionaries headed by the fascist and corrupt Arroyo regime.

We wish you, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Nepali people ever greater victories!

National Council
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Rookmangud Katawal Nepalese Army Chief meets Prime Minister Prachanda

Prime Minister Prachanda Tuesday met Nepal Army (NA) chief Rookmangud Katawal and discussed the latest security situation in the country.

The issue of integration between the Maoist People's Liberation Army (PLA) and NA also figured during the meeting held at the PMO in Singha Durbar, it is learnt.

The meeting between the PM and NA chief came amid controversy over the decision of the Maoist central committee to involve the PLA for the PM's security. CPN-M's main ally in the government, Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and the opposition party Nepali Congress have raised serious objection to the decision.

Read article by Democracy and Class Struggle on the Chinese Economy and the State on Political Economy Research

Take a look at a new site called Political Economy Research - it is an anti Revisionist Political Economy blog.

It has critical articles on Market Socialism from Thomas Hodgkins in the 19th Century right up to Deng Xiaoping today. Also article by Democracy and Class Struggle on the Chinese Economy and the State.

There is a link on the right hand side of this page.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meet Chairman Prachanda now Prime Minister Prachanda of Nepalese Republic

Govt will announce relief programmes for people: PM

Prime Minister Prachanda assumed his office in Singha Durbar after the swearing-in.

Newly elected Prime Minister Prachanda has said the government will announce programmes for immediate relief to the people very soon.

Apart from the relief programme, the government's immediate priority will be to maintain law and order in the country, the PM said while talking to media persons after assuming office at Singha Durbar Monday evening.

Bringing the peace process to a logical end will be another priority of the government, he added.

Prime Minister Prachanda was sworn in today

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav administered him oath of office and secrecy. He took oath "in the name the people".

Breaking the long-held tradition, Prachanda attended his swearing-in ceremony wearing a western suit and Bhadgaule topi instead of the traditional 'national dress' Daura Suruwal and 'Nepali topi'.

Earlier today, a central committee meeting of Maoist party held at its parliamentary office in Singha Durbar had taken the decision on the PM's outfit.

Vice President Parmananda Jha, CA chairman Subas Nemwang and heads of foreign diplomatic missions were also present at the PM's swearing ceremony.

The PM will shift to his official residence in Baluwatar today

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"We have finalized the CMP that will be publicised tomorrow," says CPN-M leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai

KATHMANDU, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Nepali party alliance formed in Friday's prime minister election reached an agreement on Sunday over the Common Minimum Program (CMP) of the new government.

The CMP is to be signed and publicized on Monday morning.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) Chairman Prachanda was elected the first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on Friday with support from two other allies, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) and the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF).

The leaders of the mentioned three-party alliance leaders forged an agreement on the CMP, through a series of meetings among the parties.

"We have finalized the CMP that will be publicised tomorrow," CPN-M leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said at a press conference in the Nepali capital Kathmandu, "We are close to a consensus on other issues."

MPRF leader Jaya Prakash Gupta said that their call was to forma consensus government. "We have not put forward any hindrance to reach an agreement and our discussions are focused on the allocation of the ministerial portfolio," local leading news website eKantipur quoted Gupta as saying.

According to local media's reports, the CMP has set priorities such as timely drafting of new constitution, bringing the peace process to a logical end, restructuring of the state, immediate relief to the conflict-affected people, integration of CPN-M army into Nepal Army and implementation of past agreements, among others

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New 24 member cabinet in process of formation

The alliance of three-parties - Maoists, Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) - has reached tentative agreement to form a 24-member cabinet.

Senior Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai while speaking to reporters after a meeting of top leaders of the coalition on Saturday informed about the agreement. According to him, the new cabinet will be named on Monday after Prime Minister Prachanda takes oath of office.

Final decision on power-sharing would be announced tomorrow, he said without revealing which other parties were joining the government.

PM Prachanda, UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal, MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav discussed the division of portfolios today, but could not reach any agreement. They will meet again tomorrow.

Earlier, the alliance had reached an understanding according to which nine portfolios would go to CPN-Maoist, six to UML and four portfolios to MJF. Few smaller parties like Janamorcha Nepal, CPN (Marxist Leninist) and CPN (United) are likely to join the government.

Meanwhile, the Maoist central committee meeting, which was to name the members of the new cabinet from the party, could not take place as senior party leaders were busy in meetings over division of portfolios, common minimum programme of the government and the code of conduct for ministers.

The Maoists' deputy leader, Baburam Bhattarai, said: "Today is a day of pride and it will be written with golden letters in the history of the nation.

The Maoists' deputy leader, Baburam Bhattarai, said: "Today is a day of pride and it will be written with golden letters in the history of the nation."

He predicted earlier that Prachanda would be a leader "for a new era", comparable to Lenin or Napoleon.

Who is Prachanda ?

Who is Prachanda ? extracts from an article on Prachanda by Anand Gurung for Nepal News called Prachanda's Long Walk: Rise Of A Rebel

A glimpse at Prachanda's childhood years and then as a devoted teacher during his younger more salad days before he turned into active politics might help in knowing the person behind the name Prachanda who is better known to the rest of the world as a leader of a violent Maoist insurgency in the strategically important place between India and China -- one who was the most elusive underground leader in the world till two years back with many in Kathmandu doubting if he even exists because, according to an editor of a leading English weekly, "so little was known about him during the first five years of the war" and who, rather uncomfortably, sits over/on top of so many transformations the nation has changed in the matter of two years.

Born into a poor peasant family from Tanahun near Pokhara in December 1954, Chhabi Lal Dahal, as Prachanda was known then, was the eldest of eight children.When he was just 6 years, the family was resettled, like hundreds of thousands of others from the mountain and hilly region of central and northern Nepal, in the cleared jungles of Terai flat-lands as part of the then King .

Mahendra's "nationalistic policy" to assert control in the restive south. Although malaria had just been eradicated, life in Chitwan, where the family had ended up, was not far better than the impoverished hills from where the families were lured to come here.

Wild-animals prowling in the nearby jungles were heard of attacking people, but it was the merciless money-lenders who made the lives of resettled families miserable amid the far-off government that never really cared for their plight.

But even during those difficult times Prachanda's father managed to raise his big family largely on subsistence-farming. Being the eldest, Prachanda was supposed to help his father in the fields to support the large family, but instead his father insisted he get good education and, much like many poor Nepali family hoped, grow up to become a "big person". Childhood friends as well as former neighbors remembers Prachanda as a "kind-hearted boy" who couldn't stand injustice.

"He really cared for the poor people in the village," said Prachanda's father Mukti Ram Dahal in a rare interview with Time Magazine back in 2004 when Maoist insurgency was still at its peak, "He used to share his food with them and tell us we shouldn't exploit them."

Belonging to a Brahmin family, which is considered "higher caste" by orthodox Hindus, Prachanda even used to readily mingle with lower-caste Dalit, or "untouchables" -something that was quite against the traditional societal set up of that time, giving a glimpse of a future revolutionary in the making.

Impressed by his generosity that went well with his gentle nature and handsome physique, his teachers changed his name to Pushpa Kamal, meaning ''Lotus Flower''. After passing his high school examinations (SLC) from Narayani Biddhya Mandir School the same year his deputy Dr Baburam Bhattarai topped it, Prachanda came to Kathmandu to join Patan Campus from where he finished his Intermediate in Science (ISc).

He was strongly influenced by Communist ideology while still in school, but it was only while studying in Kathmandu that he came into contact with the country's senior communist leaders and started becoming active in leftist politics. By the spring of 1981 he became a member of a small communist party named CPN (Masal) which was on the verge of suffering a split.

Thereafter, Prachanda came back to his hometown Chitwan to enroll in the US-funded Agriculture College in Rampur, a hotbed for student politics during the party-less Panchayati era, and from there finished his graduation. While growing up he had seen all the pains his poor but very hard-working parents went through to raise the big family as well as support his studies. In the village he had also seen how the rich lived their life in luxury while the poor had to live in a hand-to-mouth existence.

"From my childhood, I came to feel the meaning of poverty and inhuman exploitation," he once told an interviewer. The growing economic divide including the discriminations against lower castes Dalits he encountered first hand from childhood filled him with this immense sense of injustice which inspired him to commit his entire life to the mission of replacing the 'bourgeoisie' state with a 'proletariat' one through armed struggle.

His college friends say that everyone who met him would be very quickly impressed by his personality and passion for the things he held up to his own heart and would patiently listen to what he had to say. Especially, what struck them was his absolute confidence that the armed struggle inspired by Maoists would eventually triumph and bring about the desired change in the society, a belief which would later distance him from the senior communist leaders whom he used to admire and respect.

After finishing college in 1976 he went to Arughat in Gorkha district to teach in a local school, as it was mandatory for every college graduate to teach in one of the government designated school for one year. However, Prachanda spent the next two and a half years teaching in the school, during which time he earned a great deal of respect from both the students and their parents alike for the devotion to the teaching job.

In an article published in the Nepali Times, Satrughan Shrestha, a former student of Prachanda, remembers "Dahal Sir" as a talented teacher who stood out because he seemed to take his job of mentoring very seriously. So much so that in the evening he would drop by at the homes of his students to see if they were having any problems with homework. Apart from this, he also ran classes for illiterate adults once every week, use to show new farming techniques to the local farmers, and also get them acquainted with communist philosophy through the stacks of books by Marx, Lenin and Mao he used to keep under his bed.

After leaving the teaching job, he returned to Chitwan and briefly worked for a US funded project, and in the year 1978 started actively engaging in party politics, becoming a "whole timer" and a year later member of his party's Chitwan district committee. He climbed the political ladder rapidly in the next couple of years, becoming the chairman of the party's student wing in 1983 and a central member a year later.

Coming into the year 1990, when democracy was restored in the country, he had been entrusted with the post of general secretary of the party. But by that time the fissures in the party had grown to such an extent that it suffered a vertical split. This and the disagreement he had with his party's senior leader on ideological grounds later forced him to set up his own party with the name CPN (Maoist) in the year 1995. After a full one year preparing for the armed struggle, Prachanda declared the start of people's insurgency in 1996, and the rest, as they say it, is all history.

In the subsequent one decade, he led his party through violent insurgency in which the lives of 15,000 Nepalese were lost. Often times, his party cadres were involved in brutal tactics that led then government as well as governments of India and US to label Maoists as terrorists. Taking a cue out of the insurgency inspired by Comrade Gonzalo in Peru in the name of Senduro Luminoso, the violent insurgency in Nepal led to the rapid downfall of democracy that was restored in Nepal in 1990.

During the time he led the insurgency, Prachanda deftly played his cards – sometimes siding with the opposition parties to corner the ruling ones, sometimes talking about having working relation with monarchy and sometimes forcing the parties into his fold to isolate the same monarchy. He succeeded in creating irreparable rift among the parliamentarian parties.

It was after then King Gyanendra dismissed elected government to start his direct rule in February 1, 2005 that Prachanda – who was till then saying he was willing to hold talks with master (meaning the King) than the servants (meaning then government) – made an about turn. After months of wooing and negotiations, Prachanda signed 12-point pact with mainstream parties in November of 2005 in New Delhi – the capital of India – that he could finally isolate the monarchy and bring about an environment where the People's Movement of April, 2006 was able to force the King to relinquish power.

And after two months of further wheeling and dealing, the CA election took place, which catapulted his party into the single largest party albeit without clear majority

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chairman Prachanda wins election to become Prime Minister of Nepalese Republic

Lawmakers from 20 of the 25 parties represented in the assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of Maoist chairman Prachanda by signing their names in his support.

Prachanda– supported by 20 parties in the constituent assembly – managed to bag 464 votes in his favour when the proposal to elect him as PM was put before Constituent Assembly (CA) members.

On the other hand, 113 CA members – the Nepali Congress members voted against.

Chairman Prachanda Wins the Election for Prime Minister

With Chairman Prachanda the Prime Minister the really difficult work begins, Democracy and Class Struggle has expressed reservations about CPN Maoist forming Government at this stage, but we can at best only second guess developments in Nepal - Prachanda is rightly the leader of the CPN Maoist and now Prime Minister and knows the situation on the ground and the balance of of political forces better than any of us.

Koirala has forecast the new Government will not last two months, and will do his best to make the new government fall. See his activities reported in Janadisha Daily on this site.

It up to the leadership of the CPN Maoist to prove him wrong by setting in motion a new dynamic of the forces of democracy and social progress. The Masses are with you comrade Prachanda.

There are tough times ahead and the CPN Maoist must not drop its guard has it seeks to work with the UML and MJF. Openess but vigilance must be the watchwords has the new chapter of Nepalese history unfolds raising high hopes and aspirations of people all over the world

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nepalese Peoples Victory of Democracy and Class Struggle - New Republican Government

Democracy and Class Struggle congratulates Chairman Prachanda on his three month ordeal of creating a new Republican Government against all odds.

Prachanda has demonstrated his remarkable strategic firmess on the question of the Defence Ministry but tactical flexibilty in dealing with both the UML and MJF.

With the support of the UML and MJF the CPN Maoist leader is certain to win the vote tomorrow and a new chapter in the history of Nepal which has been on "hold" for three months will get underway.

Prachanda for Prime Minister supported by UML and MJF

Maoist chairman Prachanda' filed his nomination for the Prime Minister Thursday. The Constituent Assembly (CA) will elect the Prime Minister on Friday.

He registered his nomination at the CA secretariat around 4:30 pm. General secretary of Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) proposed his name for the post while Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) coordinator Upendra Yadav supported the proposal.

Earlier today, the Maoists, UML and MJF had reached a seven-point understanding according to which Prachanda would get support of the latter two parties in his prime ministerial bid. UML and MJF will join the Maoist-led government.

Nepali Congress has named Sher Bahadur Deuba as its candidate for the prime minister. Deuba was elected the leader of NC parliamentary party before being selected for the prime minister race.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters after filing his nomination, Prachanda said the main priorities of the next government would be to bring about socio-economic change and establish lasting peace in the country.

Describing the would-be government as a national unity government, the Maoist chairman said the new alliance would still try to convince Nepali Congress to join the government. He also said his party would keep the defence ministry

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Negligence in disbursement of allowance for PLA

People's Liberation Army (PLA) combatants living in cantonments in different parts of the country will get their allowances within a week."We have received a sum of Rs 171 million to distribute allowance of three months to 19,000 combatants. Each of them will receive Rs 3,000 per month," Shyam Sundar Sharma, spokesperson for the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, said on Wednesday.

Though the process of allocating the sum was completed by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, Sharma said he got information about the allocation of the sum the day before yesterday."The money would be distributed to combatants by Monday through cantonment officers in all seven cantonments located in different districts," he added.

Though there had been an agreement among the political parties of providing allowance to the PLA combatants, the sum was not released due to the government's concentration on the constituent assembly polls and other political issues.

The government decided to release fund after Maoist Chairman Prachanda warned that the PLA personnel might run out of patience if negligence in disbursement of allowance continued.Though the PLA personnel are supposed to get allowance of 19 months, the government has provided them with the allowance of just seven months so far

Treasonable Activities of Koirala Reported in Jandisha Daily

Janadisha Daily reports that Koirala has asked three security chiefs to help prevent Maoist Led Government

The Janadisha daily,on Wednesday said in a front-page report that Koirala had asked the three chiefs to exert their influence to prevent the formation of a Maoist-led government.

The daily said sources in the PMO informed it that the caretaker premier told the trio, "I am deeply concerned about what would happen if the Maoists come to power." "Even if we were not given the reins of the government, we should have been given the defence ministry," the PM reportedly said. "But the Maoists refused."

According to the daily, Katuwal, once known to be a royalist and anti-Maoist, urged the "glum" Koirala to be pro-active. "You are still the PM," the controversial army chief reportedly said. "We are ready to carry out whatever orders you issue... Our three security organs are with you. Because of the Maoists' militant past, whatever you do, you can't have good relations with them."

The daily claimed that the army chief had set up the meeting and prior to it, had held a meeting with Koirala's trusted aide, Ram Chandra Poudel. There is speculation that on Thursday, when the parties have to file nominations for the premiership election, Koirala's Nepali Congress can field Poudel if they feel the contest will be a tough one.

Maoist Leader Mahara says alliance with UML and other parties if NC decides to stay in opposition

Echoing Pokharel, Maoist leader Mahara said, "Although the UML hasn't clearly told us that it will back us in forming the next government, an alliance with the UML and other parties will take place if the NC finally decides to stay in opposition."

He said the Maoist are still open to sharing any one of the major ministerial portfolios-Home, Defense or Finance- with any of the major political parties- NC, UML, Madhesi Peoples' Rights Forum (MPRF). However, the Maoists have already conceded the Home Ministry to the CPN-UML

Senior UML leader Ishwar Pokharel hints that they will go with Maoist government without the NC

Conspicuously hinting at a possible Maoist-UML alliance, UML senior leader Ishwar Pokharel said, "The passage to the formation of the next government should not be obstructed even if the Nepali Congress continues with its claim to the defense ministry."

He further said that the UML won't join the next government without the Maoists. Even if the Nepali Congress continues with its stance and decides to stay in opposition.

He said the task of drafting a new constitution won't be successful if the Maoists are excluded from the next government, Nepalnews reported

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chairman Prachanda "Things will be finalised by tomorrow evening.

Maoist chairman'Prachanda', who held a series of meetings with leaders of different parties today, has claimed that parties will arrive at an agreement on government formation by Wednesday, a day before nominations for prime ministerial election will be registered at the Constituent Assembly Secretariat.

Talking to reporters after a meeting with CPN (UML) general secretary Jhal Nath Khanal in the afternoon, the Maoist Chairman said efforts for a consensus government were still on in spite of the dispute between his party and Nepali Congress over the defense portfolio.

"Things will be finalised by tomorrow evening. It will be a government of national consensus," he said.

CPN-M leader Mohan Baidhya stated that his party had asked the CPN-UML to lead the government

CPN-M leader Mohan Baidhya stated that his party had asked the CPN-UML to lead the government, if it was unwilling to support the CPN-M led government.

"Given that the NC is adamant to allowing us to have the Defence Ministry in a government led by us, we talked with the CPN-UML about ways to find solutions to this state of deadlock, and we even urged the CPN-UML to lead the government if they wish to," he said referring to the two parties' talks held in Nepali capital Kathmandu on Sunday.

He stressed that the talks on this issue could not progress as the CPN-UML stuck to the necessity of national consensus government.

M K Nepal - said that the UML was not in favour of aligning with the Maoists to form a leftist government

CPN (UML) has decided to work for a consensus government, involving the four major parties, till last minute.

The standing committee meeting of the party held on Tuesday stressed once again that there should be a Maoist-led consensus government, said leader Ishwor Pokharel.

"We have still two days left for consensus and hopefully we may reach agreement until the date of nomination for the Prime Ministerial post," he said. Even if the consensus is not achieved, Pokharel said, the UML would take appropriate decision by that time.

Former UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said most of the UML leaders stressed on the need to give up the defense portfolio by both the Maoists and the NC to give a way out to the deadlock.

He also said that the UML was not in favour of aligning with the Maoists to form a leftist government

Democracy and Class Struggle says that if there are UML members who do not agree with this they should publically speak out.

M K Nepal just like Kiorala are politicians who have passed their sell by date and been rejected by the Electorate but are still acting like eminence grises. They should both depart from politics and Respect the Mandate of the People.

'Subtle intervention of Army in politics' Is the cat coming out of the bag?

Source TGW

Now the Nepal Army Chief Rukmangad Rookmangad Katawal has put his entire weight behind the Nepali Congress saying that the NC must not give-up to the demand for the Ministry of Defense in the Maoists led government.

With such an unexpected move, the Nepali politics, say analysts, is poised for yet another tumultuous change.

Reportedly, the Nepal Army chief told the Prime Minister not to surrender to the Maoists as regards the Defense portfolio is concerned.

This the Army Chief said upon meeting the caretaker Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today, August 12, 2008, at the PM’s official residence in the capital, Kathmandu .

Latest political overture though not uncommon for Rookmangad Katawal, say analysts, will further deteriorate the troubled Nepali politics and perhaps will also contribute to dampen more the already strained relations between the two armed institutions, the Maoists and the Nepal Army.

That the Maoists have made it clear they will not award the defense portfolio to the Nepali Congress; it is highly likely now that the NC’s way in government is getting distanced if not impossible.

Be that as it may, the caretaker Prime Minister also met with the chief of various security agencies, the Nepal Police Force and the Armed Police Force.

The meeting as per the PM’s secretariat was termed as a regular one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Koirala meets head of security officials

KATHMANDU, Aug 12 - Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala held separate consultations with the head of security officials Tuesday.

Nepal Army Chief General Rukmangad Katuwal, Inspector General of Police Om Bikram Rana and IGP of the Armed Police Force Basudev Oli called on Prime Minister Koirala at the latter’s residence in Baluwatar and discussed on the security among others.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Koirala warned Katuwal about the challenges that may rise in the integration of the armies following the new government to-be-led by the CPN-Maoist.

He also directed the head of the police officers to peacefully deal with problems which may encounter after scrapping the syndicate system

The End Game of Nepali Politics - Time for Mass Movement to teach leaders respect for Electorate

PM election on Friday

The Constituent Assembly (CA) has fixed August 15 date (Friday) for the election of the Prime Minister.

A meeting of the CA procedures advisory committee set the date for the election of the PM. Nominations for the election, which will start at 11 am, will be registered on Thursday.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav had on Sunday wrote to the CA Secretariat, directing it to conduct the election of the PM after the parties failed to form a consensus government within the 10-day deadline.

The CA has initiated the election process even though the parties have intensified bilateral and multilateral negotiations in a bid to form a unity government

The Constituent Assembly (CA) has fixed August 15 date (Friday) for the election of the Prime Minister.

A meeting of the CA procedures advisory committee set the date for the election of the PM. Nominations for the election, which will start at 11 am, will be registered on Thursday.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav had on Sunday wrote to the CA Secretariat, directing it to conduct the election of the PM after the parties failed to form a consensus government within the 10-day deadline.

The CA has initiated the election process even though the parties have intensified bilateral and multilateral negotiations in a bid to form a unity government

NC 'offers' govt leadership to UML

With no sign of immediate compromise with the Maoists over power-sharing,the Nepali Congress (NC) has started exploring the possibility of a government minus Maoists.
During the meeting with leaders of CPN (UML) and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) held at former UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal's Koteshwor residence Monday morning, Congress vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel proposed a government of the three parties backed by some minor allies, and even offered the government's leadership to UML, sources said.

MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav represented his party at the meeting.Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Nepal said UML was "just not expecting" a government that would exclude the Maoists. He added that keeping the Maoists out of power would be dangerous in the present transitional phase.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who controls the Army ? The Politics of the New Government

Defence Portfolio sticking point for formation of New Government

The meeting of the senior leaders of Nepali Congress (NC) and Maoists could not reach to any fruition, Sunday evening, after both sides stuck to their guns.

Both the parties have been staking claim to the Defense portfolio in the new government.
Emerging from the meeting, Maoist chairman Prachanda' told reporters that the NC was making unnecessary demand.

"Since all the political parties represented at the cabinet will be included in the National Defense Council, there is no rationale for demanding Defense portfolio," he said.

Prachanda added that out of three 'key' portfolios – Home, Defense and Finance – his party was willing to 'sacrifice' one. Since the Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) has staked a claim to Home portfolio, the parties' efforts to close the power-sharing deal has been disrupted.

NC vice president and Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel, however, sang a different tune.

"The NC has been handling the security and defense related portfolio since the start of the peace process. And till the process reaches the logical conclusion, NC should be heading defense portfolio," Poudel told reporters.

The NC leaders have said that since Maoists still lead their own army, they should not be allowed to lead the state army.

Meanwhile, after the meeting between the leaders of UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum
(MJF), in the afternoon, the leaders of both parties have advised NC and Maoists to demonstrate flexibility on the issue of allocating defense portfolio.

"We have asked them not to make it an issue," said UML leader Iswor Pokharel.
MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav also advised the two parties to settle the matter. "It should be settled by keeping in mind the need to form government of national understanding," he said

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Site - Political Economy Research

Take a look at a new site called Political Economy Research - it is an anti Revisionist Political Economy site.

It has critical articles on Market Socialism from Thomas Hodgkins in the 19th Century right up to Deng Xiaoping today. Also interesting article from Henry C K Liu defending the Great Leap Forward from Neo-Liberal critics.

There is a link on the right hand side of this page.

Koirala the Eminence Grise against the Maoist Electoral Mandate of the People

Girija Prasad Koirala on public offensive against CPN Maoist Government formation

The Nepal Telegraph Reports

“Why can’t we look for the Maoists’ alternative to lead the next government in Nepal?”

“Can’t we form a broader democratic alliance against the Maoists?”

None less than Nepal’s India “elevated and born” Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala asked the South Block friendly ex-UML General Secretary, Madhav Kumar Nepal on Thursday August 7, 2008.

Octogenarian Koirala who looks “unusually active” upon his return home from the Delhi pilgrimage, on Thursday early morning rushed straight to Balkumari, Kathmandu, to meet the ex-UML GS, Mr. Nepal who had recently gone to New Delhi to pay regards to his Indian political deities.

During the day, a jealous and power hungry Koirala met with the leaders of smaller communist parties and the erstwhile Panchas who have had clandestine links with the Indian establishment.

The Rastriya Janashakti Party president Surya Bahadur Thapa, a trusted Indian partner and the advocator of the “broader democratic alliance” met with Koirala at the Prime Minister’s secretariat in Baluatar.

Mr. Chitra Bahadur K.C- the Jan Morcha President, Nepal Pariwar Dal president Ek Nath Dhakal and Keshav Prasad Mainali-the president of Chure Bhawar Ekta Samaj were also invited by the care taker Prime Minister to hold political discussions.

Baluatar sources have it that Koirala maintained that “even if the Maoists form a government it will not last more than two months”.

Reports say that Koirala urged the leaders of all the parties to form a democratic alliance against the Maoists.

PM Koirala was accompanied by NC leaders, Dr. Ram Saran Mahat and Dr. Shekhar Koirala while meeting the invitees.

Janmorcha President, Mr. KC however, later talking to the reporters maintained that the Maoists as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly holds the exclusive right to lead the next government.

“Prachanda must resign from the post of the commander of the Maoists’ Peoples’ Liberation Army…and the Young Communist League must be dissolved….the Maoists must return the seized properties…” said Keshav Prasad Mainali quoting Prime Minister Koirala.

“If the Maoists do not fulfill the demands we have to look for other alternatives”, said Mainali quoting Koirala further.

“We brought them from the Jungles…now they (the Maoists) have stood against us”, Janmorcha president, Chitra Bahadur KC quoted Koirala as saying.

To add, in the four party meeting held on Thursday, the Nepali Congress has forwarded the claim that the Ministries of Defense and Home Affairs cannot go to the Maoists’ fold.

With the NC forwarding this proposal, the four party meeting ended in a deadlock even on Thursday.

President 'directs' CA secretariat to conduct election of Prime Minister

President 'directs' CA secretariat to conduct election of Prime Minister

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has directed the general secretary of the Constituent Assembly (CA) to make preparations for election of the Prime Minister as per the Article 38 (2) of the Interim Constitution.

According to state-owned Radio Nepal, Dr Yadav gave the direction, through his secretary, to CA general secretary Manohar Prasad Bhattarai. It was an informal instruction as the President's office had been closed by the time the CPN (Maoist) leadership informed him about the failure to form the national unity government within the deadline, Bhattarai said.

Maoist chairman Prachanda' had telephoned President Yadav, immediately after the talks between four major parties ended inconclusively last evening, informing that his party had failed to form national unity government.

President Yadav's letter to the CA secretariat instructing it to conduct election of the Prime Minister is expected to come on Sunday, Radio Nepal quoted the CA general secretary as saying.

Prachanda says Maoist Government to be formed in a week

A day after the four-party talks for a unity government hit a snag, Maoist chairman Prachanda' has claimed there will be a government under Maoist leadership within a week.

Speaking at a programme in Kathmandu Saturday, Prachanda said his party would work towards forming the government within a week even as the talks between the big parties for a consensus government had failed.

He didn't, however, explain if this party had enough support from parties - minus Nepali Congress that refused, during yesterday's talks, to give up claim for defense portfolio - for a majority government.

The Maoist chief also claimed conspiracies were being hatched to bar the Maoists from leading the next government.

He said development programmes, socio-economic transformation, and bringing the peace process to a logical conclusion would be the main focus of the future Maoist-led government.

Meanwhile, with the Maoists failing to form a consensus government within the additional three-day deadline, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is set to ask the Constituent Assembly to elect the Prime Minister.

Reports said the President is expected to make a written call to the CA on Sunday.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sixteen parties represented in the constituent assembly unanimously endorsed that the new government must be under the Maoist

At a time when Nepali Congress leaders, including Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, are favouring formation of new government excluding the Maoists, smaller parties have voiced against stopping Maoists from leading the next government.

The meeting of the sixteen fringe parties represented in the constituent assembly held Friday in Kathmandu unanimously endorsed that the new government must be under the leadership of the Maoists, which emerged as the biggest party after the polls.

General Secretary of CPN (ML) Chandra Prakash Mainali told reporters after the meeting that they support a Maoist-led government since the people's mandate is so.

However, the fringe parties also stressed on the need of consensus government since sidelining one party would put obstacle in the constitution making process.

The parties have also advised the big four to take a few more days to find points of consensus for government formation and urged the leaders of the leading parties to play a fair game in favour of national interest at this critical hour.

The parties resolved that they would vote for Maoists if the House is divided over election of prime minister.

Prachanda "The parties will continue efforts to forge understanding. "The talks are moving ahead. It will be held again on Saturday,"

The talks among the top leaders of four big parties broke down, Friday evening, after they failed to reach an understanding to form the new government even as the extended deadline provided by the president to Maoists to forge such agreement expired

The top leaders of four big parties – Nepali Congress (NC), Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), Maoists and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) – had resumed their talks late in the afternoon at Ministry of Peace but they could not reach to any agreement.

According to Maoist chairman Prachanda', the parties will continue efforts to forge understanding. "The talks are moving ahead. It will be held again on Saturday,"
Prachanda said.

However, MJF coordinator Upendra Yadav told reporters that the issue of leadership of the government could now be decided by the Constituent Assembly (CA). Earlier, the president was also elected through the CA.

"The talks could not succeed within the time prescribed by the president because of the three bigger parties. They have not yet finalised Common Minimum Programme (CMP), code of conduct or even who should lead the government," Yadav claimed.

The UML general secretary Jhal Nath Khanal said the parties will continue efforts to find understanding. "Such efforts can also be made from within CA," he said.

NC vice president Ram Chandra Poudel also sounded optimistic. "We could not reach to understanding due to lack of time. We are discussing on three fronts – creation of environment of trust, finalisation of CMP and division of portfolio," he said.

With the failure of the talks on Friday, the efforts to form a government of national consensus – as urged by the president – have also broken down.

Analysts expect the president to make another call to the parties to show the majority in the CA and form the government.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New site - Political Economy Research

Take a look at a new site called Political Economy Research - it is an anti Revisionist Political Economy site.

It has critical articles on Market Socialism from Thomas Hodgkins in the 19th Century right up to Deng Xiaoping today.

There is a link on the right hand side of this page.