Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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PM Prachanda returns home; dubs New York trip as fruitful

Prime Minister Prachanda returned home on Tuesday, wrapping up a ten-day tour to the United States where he attended the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly and met a number of world leaders including US President George W. Bush.

Speaking to the press on his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, the PM said the visit was successful as it was an important opportunity to apprise the international community on the recent political change in Nepal, ongoing peace process and the constitution-making process.

Prachanda said most leaders that he met on the sidelines of the General Assembly session were curious about the changes that have taken pace in Nepal.

"In all bilateral meetings, the Prime Minister highlighted the far reaching political transformation process that is underway in Nepal and expressed his commitment to bring about rapid socio-economic transformation in the country concurrently," a release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Explaining about his meeting with US President Bush, PM Prachanda described the brief encounter with Bush during a reception as a positive development in the backdrop of bad relations between the Maoist party and the US.

According to him, there was no discussion with the President on removing CPN-Maoist from the US terror list, but the issue did figure in his meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher.

"We are moving a step further in terms of the relation with the Maoist party and we will see to matters concerning the terrorist list," he quoted Boucher as saying. Prachanda added that the meetings with the top US leaders were an indication of the improving relations between his party and the US.

During his stay in New York, PM had also met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and discussed Nepal's peace process and the UN engagement in it. Reports said the UNSG accepted his invitation for a visit to Nepal, possibly next month.

PM Prachanda was accompanied by his wife Sita and son Prakash, apart from half a dozen senior government officials, during the visit.

This was his third foreign trip within two months of becoming the first Prime Minister of republican Nepal. Earlier, he had visited the two immediate neighbours - China and India

Monday, September 29, 2008

Prime Minister Prachanda Speech at International Action Center in New York on 25th September 2008

Sarbedaran - Iranian Communists critique the "Nepalese Revolution"

Nepal Revolution: Great Victory or Great Danger!
Haghighat #40 — May 30, 2008

Thanks to Mike Ely oof Kasama for making this critique available. The original article is available on the right hand side links friends and comrades under Iranian Marxist Leninist Maoists.

Recent victory of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in the Constituent Assembly election and announcement of the ending of the 240 year old Monarchy and the beginning of the “Federal Republic of Nepal”, in its first Constituent Assembly sitting (May 28th 2008), once again have turned eyes to developments in this country. Euphoria has taken over many revolutionaries and progressive forces of the world and many Left parties from around the world have sent messages of congratulations to the CPNM for this electoral victory.

At first glance, this euphoria is understandable. Many are happy that the name communism has been brought up once again in the new century as a power. They feel this victory of Maoists in Nepal, has once again, brought to minds Communism as an alternative. But the question is, how justified this euphoria is and what is its objective basis? And whether the future of the revolution in Nepal on this path, can be said to be bright?

Of course the fall of Monarchy in Nepal and its abolition as the seat of Hinduism through the struggle of the workers and peasants of Nepal under leadership of Maoists, is a victory and a happy event. But Nepal’s becoming a “Republic” does not resolve the fundamental class contradictions that the peoples war had aimed to resolve.

Our party has not declared joy over this electoral success. This approach has raised a lot of questions in the minds of people, given the fact that our party, along with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and all its participating parties and organisations, has been a strong supporter of the people’s war in Nepal. This is so especially because in the aftermath of the great April movement in Nepal (2006) and development in the strength of peoples war, going from the countryside to the cities, the editorial of Haghighat (No 30—Oct 2006) predicted eventual victory of Nepal’s revolution and prospect of establishment of a socialist state there. Although that issue of Haghighat correctly pointed to the objective problems that were in the way of this revolution and existence of some confusion in the strategic thinking of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) concerning features of the dictatorship of proletariat – considering the positive and negative lessons of two great experiences of the 20th century in China and Russia – the editorial (and its title in particular) promoted the illusion that Nepalese Maoists were going to seize country wide power soon. The course of events exposed this to be a premature and one-sided prediction. In practice, the Nepalese revolution faced very severe and complex problems and the process of seizure of state power came to a halt.

It has to be emphasized that the revolution in Nepal belongs to proletarians and peoples of the world. The International communist movement, particularly the Maoist Parties are obliged to, while learning from that revolution and taking joy in its victories, open their eyes and see dangerous political and ideological bends in its road and play their due role in this regard. Our party has done its share of this task up to now and will do more. Any sort of indifference and lack of getting into it under leftist cover (but with deep rightist nature) like calling for “another revolution” or by wishful thinking and naively emphasize the “Communist Party of Nepal’s tactical expertise in making concrete analysis of concrete conditions” is equal to deserting one’s internationalist tasks, taking an irresponsible attitude toward defending the achievements of the most important revolution at the beginning of 21st century, and an inability to face the real problems that the proletarian revolutions of our time are facing.

* * * * *

It is obvious that the victory of Maoists in the Constituent Assembly and their turning into the ruling party in the government is not equal to their seizing of political power. Entrance of the Nepalese Communists in the regime is not birth of a new revolutionary state. Their entrance into a feudal comprador state does not turn that state into a revolutionary state under the leadership of proletariat. The difference between state and government is one of the most basic elements of the theory of State and Revolution in revolutionary science of Marxism. State is an instrument of political, economical and social domination of one class over the other. Government is a form that any state can take in the context of different historical political conditions. For example, the governments of the bourgeois ruling class can take the forms such as bourgeois republic, monarchy, or fascistic theocratic regimes (like in Iran.) Proletarian states also can take the forms of People’s Democratic Republic or Soviet Socialist Republic or Federal forms. Changing the form of a regime from one to the other does not means change of the state system. Historically we have seen numerous times when regimes (or governments) have changed without the class character of the state changing at all. In Iran’s 1979 revolution the Shah’s regime fell without destruction of the rule of capitalist and big land owning classes. Shah’s regime was overthrown without a state of the working class in alliance with all other oppressed and toilers, being established. Only by having this kind of state was it possible to reorganize the society on a completely new economic, social and cultural foundation. The state system that the Shah’s regime had relied on (concretely the Army, Security system and its organs, prisons, justice, international relations, etc.) not only was not destroyed, but was only reorganized as part of the process of consolidating a reactionary theocracy regime. The new regime not only was not a New political power, but in fact, having its religious label, it became even more reactionary and was more efficient than before in suppressing the majority of the oppressed peoples of Iran and women in particular. Not only the economic-social foundation of the state was left untouched, but also due to people’s hopes about “revolution”, it was save from their angry attacks and in this way gained time to reconstruct and consolidate itself. Its deep dependency to imperialist capitalism that had shaped the Iranian state not only remained intact but was hidden from the eyes of the masses with a cover of “independence”. The reason of our emphasizing on that experience is to point out that changing of a government should not be mistaken with the change of nature and character of the states. That is why the communists have always defined victory of a revolution with “complete smashing of the state”. In Nepal, a new revolutionary state has not yet been born out of smashing the old state.

In 2006 the Communist Party of Nepal signed an agreement called “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” with parliamentarian parties of that country. The aim of this agreement was establishment of peace and beginning of a peaceful process of establishing the Constituent Assembly and forming a bourgeois republic based one multi party elections including among them the Maoist party. Maoists declared that people’s war had ended and People’s Liberation Army was put into camps under the observation of the United Nations.

At the time, the Central Committee of our party wrote a private letter to CPNM seriously criticizing and warning against this policy while pointing out the truths which has been born out of bitter and bloody experiences of the struggles of the proletariat and people’s of the world, including the experience of the 1979 revolution in Iran. (2) In opposition to the tactics of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) based on “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” our leadership warned about the danger that:

“… this tactic of your party can give a new life to the enemies of the revolution and help them to come up with a clever strategy for building a viable and efficient state. Don’t forget that one of the main reasons the people’s war was able to spread very quickly was due to this state’s instability and incoherence.”

“…the anti people and reactionary class alliances that had taken place in Nepal since 1990 in the form of parliamentarian democracy, could not consolidate the state due to inherent contradictions of those alliance and more so due to people’s war. Now, they are trying to carry out this consolidation process through, on the one hand, pushing out the King and pushing out the people’s war, on the other hand. And if they achieve this the result will be a feudal comprador republic state. his process could go through a lot of ups and downs, since they have to convince the king and; should satisfy trends such as the UML (the revisionist party that is in the regime) or, kick it out.etc. But, the main thing in making the whole deal successful is to pull the Maoists into this and enlist their help in implementing it.” (2)

That letter also warned about the aims that the ruling parties in Nepal and India are seeking through signing this Agreement:

“Their aim is to push out both the King and the revolutionary people’s power which has been formed through 10 years of people’s war in the base areas; and reorganize the old state as a comprador-feudal Republic around the axis of the Congress Party (pro-India ruling party) and the Maoists—of course if the Maoists transform from a party waging people’s war into a political party within the system.””(2)

The Central Committee’s letter asks the CPNM’s leadership:

“Is it impossible for them (for the ruling classes of Nepal and India and US imperialism) to achieve this? No! Of course it is possible that the king and a part of the feudal compradors who are the base of the King as well as the Nepali military generals might resist this plan. But, even in the example of Iran in 1979 we saw that the American generals convinced the Iranian Army generals to let the Shah go and take the side of Khomeini. In Nepal also it is possible that the Nepalese generals might let the King go and take the side of the Congress Party.” (2)

Then the letter brings out another question:

“Is it impossible for them to allow the Maoists into a new state structure which has a form of Republic but the content of dictatorship of the comprador bourgeois class?”

“We are aware that the Indian state and part of the feudal comprador class of Nepal represented by the Congress Party think that there is a good chance for this. We know that the ruling classes of India has done this before in India and are aware of magical force of co-opting the ex communists in the state structure and by doing so they can give a new life to the old state. Through the history of their rule, the ruling classes of India have been able to reorganize and renew their state through co-opting the ex communists and part of representatives of the movements of the oppressed into their existing state. And by doing so, they have managed to turn from an inefficient and unstable dictatorship into a more efficient reactionary dictatorship against the masses. The suffocating role of various “communist” parties in India in mitigating the rebellious impulse of the masses has been no less than destructive role of religion and other ideological elements of the reactionary classes. Reactionary classes of India are old hands in turning communists from old foes into present partners. And right now they are trying to do the same in Nepal.”

The Letter, after analyzing the strategic plan of enemy in signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with the Maoists, says:

“This strategic plan is dependent on the working of two tactical wings. First, turn this provisional feudal comprador regime into a permanent one after the Constituent Assembly elections. Second, detach the Maoists of Nepal from revolutionaries in India and around the world.”

The Letter clearly states that, “Use of such strategy by the reactionary ruling classes is nothing new. Lenin had named it ‘Constitutional Solution’ by the old state to solve its dead ends and crisis of legitimacy.” (2)

Participation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in the interim government of Nepal does not change the feudal comprador class nature of that state. With legal abolition of the Royal regime and declaration of republic, the class nature of that state will not change. A change in the form of government is not same as smashing the state of the feudal comprador classes and breaking away from imperialist domination. This is a fact that normally the leadership of Maoist Party should know and it has to inform the rank and file of party and revolutionary and oppressed masses of Nepal of this fact.

Even if the Constituent Assembly passes some political, social and economical “rights” for the workers, peasants, women and oppressed nationalities and designated them as masters of society, up until the heart of the reactionary state – i.e. reactionary army – has remained intact, the real meaning of these laws will be to spread illusion among the masses and take away the real rights that they have gained through the people’s war. As long as the army is in the hands of the exploiting classes and the main means of production under their ownership and control, Constitutional promises about safeguarding people’s interest is unfounded. The role of Constitution in bourgeois republics is exactly to guarantee and serve the foundations of economic exploitation. Even in most democratic bourgeois republics the people’s rights are confined in this frame. If the rights which are promised to people come into contradiction with this basic aim they would easily be trampled upon.

Clearly, the communists of Nepal launched the people’s war with the task that is universal to all proletarian revolutions i.e. “smashing the machinery of the state” and seizing power. And they applied this line for 10 years. But today, considering the difficulties that have come up on the way, they think they can pursue the aim of establishing a revolutionary state through a peaceful road. But this is impossible! No class in history has seized political power peacefully. This much of power also have been gained in the course of 10 years of people’s war waged by the workers and peasants of Nepal under the leadership of Maoists. This much of power is not expressed through the seats gained in the Constituent Assembly but basically through the revolutionary political and economical transformations which was achieved in the course of ten years of armed struggle. But this power, without taking over the whole country, is unstable and in danger of being lost for ever. The central question is, whether participating in the state and trying to change it from within will strengthen the political and economical power of the workers and peasants of Nepal, or will it lead to its complete annihilation? Will ten years of people’s war be used to perfect the reactionary state or for its destruction? If the outcome is establishment of a bourgeois republic, then the sacrifices of the masses will serve the perfection and modernization of the means of oppressing the masses, not the establishment of a new society with new political power, new economy, new social relations and new culture.

If the comrades of Nepal continue on the path they have taken up, that much of political and economic power gained by the workers and peasants of Nepal will not only not be consolidated but will be lost. And instead there will be a feudal bourgeois republic dependent on India, China or both of them.

* * * * *

To prove this, it will suffice to Point to the dominant balance of forces. The Royal army has remained basically intact and enjoys the support of India, the US and big ruling parties. The people’s war came to a halt before smashing the backbone of the old state. If we look at the economic situation of the country, how this small country is in the fangs of Indian state and international economic centers, then the real dimensions of this unfavorable balance of forces will come to. Is it possible to cut off these fangs just by being in the government, and without a proletarian state?

What is political power and the state of dictatorship/democracy of the proletariat necessary for? It is necessary for destroying feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and dependence to imperialism, and transforming Nepal into a proletarian revolutionary red base area in the world. That’s why destruction of the existing state machinery can not be limited to and reduced to overthrowing the monarchy. The target of New Democratic Revolution is the whole bureaucrat– comprador and feudal classes and their foreign and imperialist supporters, not just the Monarchial part of it. The slogan of abolition of Monarch was and is correct but this has to be done as a part of a New Democratic Revolution and establishment of a New State.

One can not reduce feudalism in Nepal to the institution of Monarchy. Feudalism is the land ownership relations and the pre-capitalistic mode of exploitation. For the peasants to be emancipated, this ownership relations ought to be definitely destroyed. Simultaneously the politico-economic domination of the Indian state on Nepal which is in behalf of world capitalism must be ended. It is impossible to carry out this process without relying on the broad masses and their conscious and organized struggle.

In the imperialist era it is not possible to uproot feudalism without simultaneous expropriation of the bureaucrat capitalism. This capitalism also ought to be confiscated; its nature be altered and turned into the interest of development of a self sufficient economy that has the goal of meeting the needs of the masses.

Which class and with what economic plan will take hold of bank holdings and other wealth of the country? Will the World Bank and IMF, wielding strings of “financial aid” and “foreign investment” continue running the Nepal economy? If these financial institutions call the shots and India continue to keep hands on the throat of the country, then even feudalism cannot be abolished, because, in the era of imperialism, feudalism does not have a life independent and separate from workings of capitalism. The bureaucrat capitalism (dependent on the world capitalist system) and the capitalist system overall (be it through Indian or Chinese capitals or, through “aid” from the World Bank) have transformed and subsumed feudal mode of exploitation in its service. Whatever is left of feudal mode of exploitation (including its social relations) is turned to serve profitability of bureaucrat capitalism. Today, uprooting of feudalism in Nepal requires revolutionary distribution of land in Terai (the area which is a main source for Nepalese people’s nutrition.) People’s War has done whatever possible in the mountains and hills. But to prevent feudalism’s resurrection in reformed shapes or capitalist exploitation taking place of the pre capitalist exploitation, the power should be in the hands of the state of proletarian dictatorship/ democracy in order to carry out a movement of socialist ownership in areas where the land revolution has occurred.

No coalition government with participation of parts of the bourgeoisie (or participation of part of remnants of the previous regime) will implement such a plan, because private property plays a central role in capitalist system and the bourgeoisie of a country like Nepal has deep links with land ownership. Moreover, the exploiting classes, due to their general fear of the poor of the countryside, will never support a revolutionary land reform. It is true that revolutionary land reform program is still within limits of bourgeois democracy. But its implementation in a revolutionary manner is only possible by the proletariat. Only in this way can the small working class of Nepal lay the basis for independent and rapid development of the country. Only land revolution can become the basis for rapid development, voluntary cooperation and collectivization, which has a central role in uplifting the stage of revolution to that of socialist stage.

If there is to be a victory, one can not short circuit this program or invent a “transitional period” for implementing it. It is not possible to make “transition” to New Democratic Revolution by relying on bourgeois republic. As the letter of our leadership to CPNM puts it:

“What you will achieve by restructuring of the state through this “provisional” step will not even be a bourgeois republic. It will be a feudal comprador republic. This republic will weaken the new Nepal that has been born out of old Nepal by the force of revolutionary violence but has not yet been able to completely destroy the old one. The provisional government will open the way for the new Nepal being swallowed by the old Nepal.”(2)

Establishment of a “transitional” bourgeois republic is not a tactic that can serve to propel the strategy of New Democratic Revolution. But it is a tactic that serves the strategy of reforming feudal comprador state. This tactic is very fatal and destructive and could destroy all the hopes and achievements of the Nepalese people. Confining the People’s Army and calling for a single new army through integration of the two is the most damaging aspects of this tactic. (3).

* * * * * *

Congratulations and compliments sent by the communist parties, Left and progressive organizations and individuals to CPNM for this electoral victory only covers up the above mentioned fundamental issues. Without deep and all around understanding of the objective obstacles in the way of the revolution in Nepal, one can not help the comrades of Nepal.

Making revolution in a poor, small, and economically backward country such as Nepal which is sandwiched by two big powers such as China and India, and is in danger of invasion by India at any moment, has a lot of complexities. Moreover, the revolution in Nepal is alone in the world and the balance of the forces internationally is not favorable to it. The combination of these factors has placed numerous constraints on its advance and developments. (4) In any revolution, different lines raise their heads when revolutions faces difficulties and complexities and in response to those. What is most disturbing for communist forces internationally is the line that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has adopted regarding how to advance the revolution in that country. Historical experience has shown that revolutions can be defeated even if the revolutionaries did not make mistakes. In this case the cause of their failure would be unfavorable balance of forces. But when the party which is leading the revolution commits errors and errs in distinguishing the friends and foes, then the revolution will definitely fail. This is the main danger! Wrong political line and policy will enforce the unfavorable factors even more and will make the balance of forces even more unfavorable. Strategic orientation influences the balance of forces positively or negatively, because sooner or later it becomes a material force. When a strategic orientation and its corresponding tactics are wrong, not only it sets into motion the downward spiral of a revolutionary process but in the long run this regression influences the communists negatively—if sows seeds of confusion and enforces revisionism among them.

Revolution in Nepal is in great danger. It is internationalist duty of all communists of the world to pay attention to this. Struggling to face the dangers threatening the revolution in Nepal from inside and outside, undoubtedly will raise the understanding of all communists in the world of the complexities and difficulties of making revolution in today’s world.

But the end of the revolution in Nepal has not been written yet. This revolution has gone through many twists and turns and without wanting to predict its future, by looking at the bigger picture, i.e. changes in the world situation which provides the context for Nepal revolution– we can still see a storm building up. This revolution can, and must continue.

The bourgeois parties in Nepal have accepted to let Maoists to take over the helms of their regime at a time when scarcity and hunger due to workings of capitalist system is on the way. Nepalese reactionaries have organized fascist paramilitaries to carry out the plan of assassinating revolutionary Maoists. The Indian state has stopped export of rice to Nepal under the guise of preventing hunger in India. They, along with the Us Imperialists would like to shift the burden of social problems to the Maoists and channel the anger of the masses towards CPNM. Simultaneously, by ways of conspiracies they try to use existing divisions among the people (such as division among nationalities) in order to fan flames of discord among them and through different ways and means enforce insecurity and instability in the country. It is possible that such crises could change the “peaceful evolution of revolution” into a “non peaceful” one. Hard realities of class struggle may help the CPNM to rupture from the present path as soon as possible. To rectify a trajectory always requires waging a conscious and all around ideological and political struggle.

In Nepal and among the ranks of CPNM it is not a secret that there are differences and line struggles among the Maoists of the world over the trajectory that the CPNM have taken up. The leaders and spokespersons of CPNM have pointed to these differences in their open publications several times. For example Prachanda (the chairman of CPNM) made an interview in 2007 and talked about opposition of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and Communist Party of India (Maoist) with the current line of CPNM. Or another Maoist leader in Nepal, in an interview with Red Star said:

“For us criticisms by Bob Avakian (Chair of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA) and Ghanapaty (Chair of the Communist Party of India – Maoist) is more pleasant and productive than the compliments coming from George Bush and the Indian Government.”

It is noteworthy that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has usually revealed the line struggles within the international communist movement and among the party leaders, for the party supporters, and has been a good example in this regard. But informing and sharing matters with the masses is one thing and launching and spreading a serious theoretical debate and discussions among them around these line differences which have life and death importance for the ICM, is another thing.

Today, the main duty of the international communist movement regarding the revolution in Nepal is not praising partial and temporary victories. Even when the masses (and leaders of revolution) become fascinated by such “victories” and close their eyes to the long term interests, one must draw attention to fundamental truths and the laws governing class struggle. Especially because this “victor” is a poisonous honey that can have disastrous consequences for this revolution and naturally for the whole international proletariat. As it was said in the A World to Win News Service article titled: “On 12th Anniversary of the People’s War in Nepal and its Unknown Result” (February 11-2008):

“At any time, there is no guarantee for victory of revolution in Nepal or any other country. But it could be said that however difficult and horrible the road to complete victory of the revolution may be, still, that is the only real and possible way for changing Nepal. It is necessary for the communists persevere on this orientation and lead the masses in materializing it.”

Haghighat 40- CPIMLM- May 30th 2008

1 – It is interesting to note that most of the congratulating parties had not supported the 10 years of people’s war under the leadership of the Maoists in Nepal as much. Some of them have happily praised this electoral victory so much that had never done a fraction of it for past victories of Maoists in Nepal! Are these kind of parties happy that one can be simultaneously a “communist” and join the typical bourgeois political games? That one can dream of bringing about a radically new society but at the same time put a limit on the long and arduous class struggle? One can see dangerous illusions in these congratulatory messages (especially in those issued by the Communist parties): the illusion that as though struggle for revolutionary change of the society can go through participation in mainstream bourgeois politicking. And even worse, as if the goal of revolutionary struggle is to get accepted into the circles of mainstream politics and get recognition from the system. But these roads have been tested many times before in history and have proved to be failure. This same road was taken by the Communist Party of Indonesia. As a result the Indonesian party experienced such a tremendous defeat that it could not raise its head again. Moreover, the impact of that disastrous defeat did not stay within the confines of Indonesia but was grave for the whole communist movement in the world and even was a big blow to socialist China. A victory in Indonesia could positively influence the balance of forces in favor of the communists but its defeat turn the situation around and made a plus for the imperialists.

2 – This letter was sent from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in November 2006. Its full text will be published when the time is right.

3 – One of the articles of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006 was to confine the People’s Liberation Army and have their weapons under the surveillance of the United Nations. This more than anything gave legitimacy to the army of enemy. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) also wanted to dissolve both armies and form a single one. But this was not do-able and did not happen. In January 2008 the chief of the reactionary Military Forces openly opposed this suggestion. This shows that reactionaries never get confused about what is their most pivotal means of exercising power.

4 – For further discussions on this question you can refer to previous articles in Haghighat:
- Different articles in Haghighat No. 30 – October-2006
- Nepal Revolution: complex problems; facile answers! Haghighat 31
- Complexities of a revolution becomes a justification to attack the Maoists. Haghighat 32
- 12th anniversary of the people’s war in Nepal and its unsettled outcome; 11 February 2008. A World to Win News Service.
- Nepal, the People’s Expectation Horizon Getting Wider. April 14th 2008, A World to Win News

There is a link to Iranian Marxist Leninist Maoists - Sarbedaran on the right hand side of this page.

Question to Prachanda at New School - In a Hostile World, How are you going to do it ?

An initial transcription of one question asked of Prachanda at New York's New School Event (Thanks to Artemio).
This Photo is from Comrade Zero's site the Marxist Leninist. Other photos are available from Jon of Kasama/Philadelphia .

Question from the Floor:

Lal Saalam. It's a very exciting time in Nepal. You are carrying out a national democratic revolution. You are also the first communist to become head of state in many years, in my lifetime — and I am not a young man.

How do you plan to reconcile the serious tasks of national democratic, even new democratic revolution in nepal with the crisis the world is going under — considering the actions of the United States government, the Europeans, and the hegemonists who believe a handful of nations can dominate the rest of the world into backwardness?

How you gonna do it?

PM Prachanda answers:

Concrete analysis of concrete conditions is the soul of Marxism. What we are doing is concrete analysis of concrete conditions and we are devising our policy and program according to the changed situation of the first decade of the 21st century.

And what we are doing, as Prof. Arato also raised this question– very savily and very provocatively, you know. I understand the depth of history and dynamics of its expression you know. But what we are doing in the first decades of the 21st century is concrete analysis of concrete conditions.

We are trying to understand the whole phenomenon of the change, the revolution and development of communication and electronic sciences, and the change that occur.

Time and again, when i have a serious debate and discussion with intellectuals from developed countries, many western intellectuals. Time and again I say that we are trying to understand the changed phenomenon, and we are trying to develop our ideology according to the changed situation.

But you always blame us from very sectarian and dogmatic, and very self centered understanding. I try to have a serious debate and discussion with that kind of intellectual. Why we can't have multiparty competition? Why we have raised the questions of election constituent assembly. Why we participate in government and the radical change, and radical restructuring of the state.

According to my understanding, this is the development of ideology. This is the development of science itself. And we do not want to be rigid, to be static, to be sectarian and dogmatic. We want to be more vibrant.

Discussions during War

When we were in the war itself, just after the initiation of the war, 5 years after the initiation of war, we had a serious debate and disucussion inside our ranks, one and a half years of debate about the democracy.

Either we should support multiparty competition or not.

We devised this multi party competition while we were in the war. We were waging war and we were victorious at that time, you know.

At that time we have a serious discussion and what we devised is that if Lenin had lived another 5 or 10 years he would also introduce multiparty competition, this is my understanding. (Applause, few words from Prahanda unclear).. so creative and so dynamic that, during this New Economic Policy, just after the October Revolution and this War Communism had finished, and the civil war had finished, he introduced NEP, this NEP was in essence a capitalistic economic policy. He gave the slogan" Organize Socialist Competition in the Economy"… When he introduced the slogan of organizing competition in the economy. If he would have lived another 5 years he would have introduced competition in politics.

Therefore it is not something we are suprisingly making this multiparty competition. Because Stalin had made a serious mistake of ideology, in philosophy, in science- and all of the workers movement has taken so much loss from this deviation from dialectical materialism. This is our understanding — what we think and believe.

We are fully confident that we are developing the ideology from Lenin, not from Stalin. And this multi-party competiton is the product of that ideological development.

Thank You.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prime Minister Prachanda held meetng with Ban Ki-moon at United Nations HQ

Prime Minister Prachanda held a meeting Saturday with Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters in New York.

During the meeting, Ban Ki-moon congratulated the PM for the historic political transformation and achievements in peace and democracy that has taken place in Nepal. In reply, Prachanda expressed his thanks to the Secretary General for his continuous support in the peace process of Nepal and for his positive reference about Nepal in his report to the General Assembly.

According to the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, the UN Secretary General assured of the United Nations' continued support in the days ahead and expressed his readiness to assist in the socio-economic development in Nepal. The Secretary General also appreciated Nepal's continued participation in the UN peacekeeping operations while the PM reiterated Nepal's commitment to continue providing troops to UN peacekeeping missions at the call of the UN.

At the meeting, PM Prachanda expressed his commitment to move ahead in the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Accord and to all the agreements reached to bring the peace process to a logical conclusion.

PM Prachanda also extended an invitation to visit Nepal to which Ban Ki-moon assured that he would visit Nepal soon.

Permanent Representative Madhu Raman Acharya, Chief Secretary Dr. Bhoj Raj Ghimire, Principal Private Secretary to the PM Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Foreign Secretary Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, and Mr. Hira Bahadur Thapa, Advisor to the PM, were present at the meeting.

Additionally, the PM also held meetings with President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and deputy Prime Minister and leader of delegation of Vietnam Pham Ghia Khiem. Matters of bilateral and mutual interest were discussed with the Pakistani president while means and ways of expanding bilateral relations was discussed with the Vietnamese DPM.

PM Prachanda also attended an interaction programme organized by the Nepali community organizations based in New York, according to the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations

Saturday, September 27, 2008

China has announced a military aid of NRS 100 million (over $1.3 million) for Nepal,

Kathmandu, Sep 27 (IANS) Nepal’s northern neighbour China has announced a military aid of NRS 100 million (over $1.3 million) for Nepal, the first military aid received by the new Maoist-led government of the Himalayan republic.

China’s Minister for Defence Liang Guanglie made the announcement during a meeting with his Nepali counterpart, Maoist Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ Friday. Badal is on a visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese defence ministry to observe military exercise ‘Warrior 2008′.

The Russia-educated Badal, who was the military strategist of the Maoists when they were an underground party waging an armed war against the state, is the first defence minister Nepal has seen after a long time.

In the past, the portfolio was held by the prime ministers themselves.

Just as Nepal’s new Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ visited China soon after assuming office, Badal also followed suit.

Though Nepal’s official media reported about the military assistance Saturday, it was, however, not specified whether the aid comprised cash or military equipment.

Around last year, when the Indian government sent non-lethal military assistance to Nepal, it created a furore with the Maoists lodging vigorous protests and accusing New Delhi of trying to sabotage the peace process.

Badal, who also met Guo Boxiong, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, the apex body in the Chinese armed forces, reiterated his government’s commitment to the One-China policy.

Badal also repeated the assurance given by Prachanda during his visit that Nepal would prevent anti-China elements - meaning mostly Tibetan refugees - from staging anti-China activities on Nepal’s soil.

Indian military officials would be closely watching Badal’s visit. Even though the Indian government says it is unperturbed about Prachanda choosing to visit China before India, the Indian military establishment is wary of Nepal’s China tilt over defence issues.

During King Gyanendra’s government, India took serious umbrage at the royal government going on an arms buying spree and paying the Chinese manufacturers hard cash while ignoring the mounting dues to India for the supply of arms at a high subsidy.

China had been the only neighbourhood country to supply arms to the Nepal army during King Gyanendra’s regime. The weapons were used to combat the Maoist insurgency as well as the pro-democracy movement started by the political parties together with the Maoists and civil society.

Prime Minister Prachanda addresses General Assembly of United Nations

Prachanda addresses United Nations as Prime Minister of worlds newest Republic

Mr. President,
Mr. General Secretary,
Distinguished Delegates

1.At the outset, allow me to congratulate you on your election as the President of this Assembly and to assure you of my delegation’s full cooperation in discharging your responsibilities. I also thank the UN Secretary General for his comprehensive report on the work of the UN and his positive reference to the situation obtaining in Nepal.

Mr. President,

2. It is indeed a historic opportunity for me to address this august Assembly as the first Prime Minister of Nepal of the newest republic of the world. As I stand here in front of the global leadership, I think of the long struggle that I and my party waged with single mindedness for the liberation of the common man from the clutches of the age-old suppression, deprivation, marginalization and outright negligence of the then existing polity. My fellow countrymen and women, toiling in the mountains and valleys, working day and night in the low lands and the urban areas and yet unable to ensure even the simple necessities of life for his or her family had a hope and expectation that one day they would lead a decent life with equal rights and opportunities and be recognized as respectful citizens of the country. We are at this significant turning point in the political history of Nepal.

And I and my party are proud to be leading force of that positive historical change. Today I see a great hope in the glinting eyes of the dalit boy from the far west, downtrodden women from the indigenous nationality in the east, homeless Tharu girl and landless Madhesi and other peasants from the hills living under the thatched roofs. I intend to lead them with conviction and sincerity towards a new journey of sustainable peace and equitable progress in a modern Nepal. I have therefore the honour and great privilege of bringing with me the greetings and best wishes of the people and government of that new Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to this august Assembly.

3. Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in November 2006 after a decade long armed struggle, we began our peace process and eventually held elections to the Constituent Assembly in April this year. People have overwhelmingly voted for my party and made us the single largest political party in the Assembly with great hope and expectations. At its first meeting, the Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic formally ending the 240-year old monarchy and creating a new opportunity to transform the old feudalistic state into an inclusive and federated ‘new Nepal’. This was in keeping with the long-standing aspirations of the Nepalese people. They voted in favour of change and transformation that my own party had fought for so many years. After the historic political transformations, our agenda now is to bring equally historic socio-economic transformation of the country.

Today I must inform you with all humility that our Constituent Assembly is the most inclusive representative body in which all marginalized, oppressed ethnic communities, indigenous nationalities, dalits, disadvantaged and the people from backward regions and communities are its members which will herald a new beginning in the country. This may very well be an example of representativeness to the world in the first decade of the twenty first century.

4. The Government is committed to restore law and order, provide relief to the people affected by the conflict, fight against the cancerous growth of corruption and start an economic recovery package focusing on pro-poor growth, infrastructure development and public private partnership. The government will build an effective partnership with the international community in creating an atmosphere for unleashing a new socio-economic transformation that the Nepalese people are waiting for so long.

5. Nepal’s peace process is unique in its characteristics and is based on multiparty democracy, inclusiveness, accommodation, dialogue, and the recognition of the people as the ultimate arbiter. It is the outcome of our own creative disposition toward peace and we feel that it can also serve as a reference model for peace elsewhere.

6. We appreciate the United Nation’s continued support to the peace process, especially in monitoring the management of arms and personnel through the United Nations mission in Nepal (UNMIN). The UN Mission has undertaken its mandated tasks well. I also take this opportunity to thank our neighbors, friends, donors for their continued support in favor of the peace process and the institutionalization of democracy in Nepal. I am confident that they would do so for unleashing its development potentials also as per the wish of the Nepalese people.

Mr. President,
7. As we proceed along the peace process within the country, new problems in the form of global food crisis, rising oil prices and imminent dangers from climate change stare us in the face. These challenges also undermine our achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There will be no success in achieving MDGs without ensuring them in the LDCs. Solemn pledges were made in the 2000 Millennium Declaration and in the 2002 World Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey. Many of these commitments are yet to be fulfilled and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals remains elusive to most the world’s poor people.

8. The United Nations agenda today has to tackle these development challenges and many other issues such as religious extremism and terrorism, proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, transnational crimes such as drugs, human trafficking and money-laundering, continuing conflicts within and among states, and gross violations of human rights, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is more than obvious that many of these global problems require global solutions. Together we can rise to the occasion and adopt a vision and strategy that the founders of the United Nations Organization charted in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the Organization. Multilateralism, not unilateralism is the answer to these problems.

9. The least developed countries like Nepal are faced with the special predicament in their development efforts. We are trapped in a vicious circle of poverty. For many historical reasons, we have low economic growth, low productivity, underdeveloped industries and traditional agriculture. Because of the low level of social indicators and less opportunities, conflict and crisis continue to be prevalent in these countries. Today, the growing gap between the rich and the poor within the country as well as between the nations is a sure sign of a looming disaster. It is also inhuman and unjust that such as high level of inequality is still so common in this age of human achievements, abundance and progress.

Equally important is the fact that islands of prosperity in the sea of poverty is not sustainable and certainly not in the enlightened self-interest of even the developed countries themselves, as it breeds resentment, fuels conflict and undermines their own progress in the long run. It also goes against the fundamental spirit of the United Nations. Because of the peculiar nature of the lDCs and their high level of vulnerabilities, I strongly urge that the issues of the LDCs should be looked at by the United Nations separately and with special focus programs. They should be ensured dedicated support and cooperation if we want to make our world just and inclusive that the United Nations so proudly espouses.

10. We are not only least developed but also land-locked. That is a double disadvantage in our efforts to fulfill the development aspirations. In fact, we feel further marginalized due to the overwhelming impact of the downside of globalization and the high cost of doing trade. We want full implementation of the respective global compacts, the Brussels Program of Action for the Least Developed Countries and the Almaty Program of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries. In particular, I would like to highlight the need in the part of our developed country partners to fulfill the commitment and pledges in allocating certain percentage of their GNP to these countries and in making available trade concessions , debt relief like to commit that Nepal will fulfill its pledge to own its development programs in accordance with its national priorities including on poverty reduction and pro-poor governance policies.

11. We need to protect our people from the rising vulnerabilities of climate change. For example, in my own country Nepal, the meting of glaciers and shifting weather patterns, are threatening the life support systems, undermining the sustainability of agriculture and inducing extreme climate-induced disasters such as frequent floods and landslides. The Himalayan range provides life supporting water downstream for more than a billion people. The Mt. Everest, as the roof of the world, and the Himalayan range need to be protected and utilized properly to contribute to the humanity as a whole. So I strongly appeal to the international community to extend all necessary support and cooperation to protect and promote its pristine environment. We need to create a regime of common but differentiated responsibilities, in which the developed counties will lift the burdens of adaptation in the vulnerable countries, such as the least developed countries and small islands. The world will stand to benefit in addressing the climate change if we are able to harness the tremendous potentials of Nepal’s hydro-power as it a renewable and clean source of energy. For this, Nepal is ready to invite and encourage investment in its hydro-power projects.

Mr. President,

12. I am pleased that UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific has been now operational from Kathmandu twenty years after it was established by this august Assembly. I thank all the members, courtiers from the region and the Secretary General and the officials of the Secretariat for the smooth relocation of the Centre from New York to Kathmandu. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate Nepal’s commitment to make this Centre successful through the cooperation of all the countries concerned.

13. Over the years, peacekeeping has evolved as the soul of the United Nations. With this in mind, Nepal has been regularly sanding its peacekeepers at the call of the United Nations since 1958. We are celebratory the 50th anniversary of Nepal’s continuous participation in the UN peacekeeping operations, I take this opportunity to reiterate Nepal’s commitment that we will continue to provide our troops for the cause of peace worldwide. Today, Nepal is the fifth largest contributor of troops and police personnel to UN’s peacekeeping operations. We are glad that they have earned accolades for their professional competence and performance both at home and abroad. We consider this our modest contribution to international peace and security

14. Enjoyment of universal human rights is absolutely essential in creating the environment of peace, justice, democracy and development. As a democracy, Nepal is fully committed to protect and promote the human rights of its people under all circumstances with constitutional and legal guarantees and implementation of the international human rights instruments to which Nepal is a party. The government is committed to end the environment of impunity. The proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which will seek to arrive at a necessary balance between peace and justice, so that there is justice, and that the centrality of the peace process is preserved. We will continue to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission so that it can take up its statutory responsibility for protection and promotion of human rights in the country even more effectively. It goes without saying that the environment for the protection and promotion of human rights in Nepal has significantly improved, especially after the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement in November 2006.

Mr. President,
15. As a least developed country that entered the World Trade Organization not too long ago, Nepal is concerned at the lack of tangible progress in negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. We think that the opportunities in world trade through multilateral trading framework of the WTO should not be delayed any further. The lest developed countries deserve a duty free and quota free market access for all their tradable products from all major countries with sincerity, together with more favorable rules of origin and the support for enhancing their supply side capacity. Only then the Doha Round would be development round in the real sense of the word. Without meaningful integration of the LDSs into the global regime, I do not know how we can make the global trading regime sustainable, equitable and inclusive. Similarly, the least developed countries need more aid for trade and trade facilitation measures to enhance trading capacity.

16. Today, the United Nations needs to reform and democratize itself to take on the numerous challenges in international peace and security effectively. And it should also reflect the current realities of the world. We should also give necessary credibility, legitimacy, competence and effectiveness to the world body in solving the global problems. I take this opportunity to reiterate Nepal’s solemn faith and commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. On behalf of the people and government of Nepal, pledge to work with all of you to take on the global challenges thought the United Nations in a spirit of goodwill, cooperation and mutual solidarity. It is with the belief that we have adopted them as one of the tenets of Nepal’s foreign policy. Nepal is an example of how swords have been turned into ploughshares. That is what the United Nations believes in. Therefore, as I address this gathering here, I have a special feeling about the whole objectives and ideals that the United Nations stand for and the co-relationship between those ideals and the political, economic and social transformation that we would like to achieve in our country. May we all succeed in attaining our common objectives thought our collective and sincere efforts as the united and inseparable members of the single global family?

I thank you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

PM Prachanda criticises int'l community for not doing enough to end world poverty

Prime Minister Pushpa Prachanda has said "making poverty history" will sound empty without a genuine support and cooperation from the developed countries, adding investment for development in the poorer countries is "an investment in the peace and stability of the world."

Addressing a Roundtable on Poverty and Hunger at the UN General Assembly high-level event on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York Thursday, PM Prachanda said despite the commitment of the international community to take on poverty, hunger, diseases and many of the development challenges confronting the world, "it is ironic that more than a billion people, the so-called "bottom billion", mostly in developing countries, are still trapped in conditions of grinding poverty with an income of less than a dollar a day."

He called this "unbecoming of the contemporary human civilization, which has so much of affluence and prosperity at its disposal."

PM Prachanda also rebuked the developed partners for providing only 0.28% of their GNP as development aid, as against the commitment to provide 0.7%, adding that development aid has declined in actual terms.

"Most of the least developed countries are still outside the debt relief initiatives," he said. "Under such conditions, the target of reducing poverty and hunger and meeting other MDGs will be very difficult."

Elaborating on Nepal's "mixed result" on the achievement of the MDGs, PM Prachanda said, "We are on track of achieving goals related to halving the poverty by 2015, achieving universal primary education, reducing under-five child mortality, and providing safe drinking water." He further said that despite internal conflict, the percentage of people living in poverty has been reduced to 31% and that the country has made significant progress in improving access to education and health services.

"But we have numerous challenges to address. The biggest challenge is effectively addressing mortality among newborns and reducing hunger among the children under five. We have to address the problem of inequality and exclusion, which is denying the distribution of fruits of development to the people, who often live in the periphery of the state and the economy."

He said the current government is therefore committed to put the people, who have been traditionally marginalised, at the centre of its development strategy and initiate collective interventions at various levels.

"We feel that MDGs on their own cannot be achieved by all and more specifically by the LDCs. We can meet them only with global political support, stronger partnerships and coordinated efforts of all. Our achievements, including in reducing poverty, are likely to be thwarted by the rising food and oil prices and threats of climate change," he said, adding that short term relief and long term measures are required to deal with them in a comprehensive manner.

PM Prachanda also said financing for development of the developing countries should not be an obstacle when there is so much political will around this Assembly.

"The situation we are facing demands visionary and strategic choice to be made globally. It is about time that this Assembly rose up to its challenge and adopted that strategic choice. After all, investment in development in the poorer countries is an investment in the peace and stability of the world," he added.

PM Prachanda, who is currently in New York to attend the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations, has been busy all this week meeting with world leaders. Especially his meeting with U.S President George W. Bush Monday night at a reception hosted in New York hogged national headlines.

He is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly later today

Ramsey Clark says Prachanda's ferocity, is for social, political justice for his people

On Sept. 25, the International Action Center had the unique honor of hosting a reception for revolutionary activists in the New York area to welcome Prachanda, the new prime minister of Nepal, who is visiting the city for the United Nations General Assembly.

Comrade Prachanda is chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and led the people's war that ousted Nepal's monarchy and old parliamentary system. The CPN(M) won a decisive victory in constitutent assembly elections held earlier this year.

The by-invitation event was attended by representatives of the International Action Center, Workers World Party, BAYAN-USA, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Nodutdol, FIST (Fight Imperialism - Stand Together), the Bolivarian Circle, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), American-Iranian Friendship Committee, Pakistan-USA Freedom Forum, May 1st Coalition for Immigrant Rights, New York Free Mumia Coalition, Palestinian and Puerto Rican organizations, and others. Representatives of the Venezuelan and Algerian UN delegations were also present.

The program was co-chaired by Sara Flounders of the IAC and LeiLani Dowell of FIST.

In her opening remarks, Flounders emphasized the importance of the peoples war in opening up avenues for real democratic and social change in Nepal by going outside the corrupt structure of the parliament and refusing to accomodate the monarchy. This has helped to not only displace the royalty, but to lay the basis for a constitutent assembly to create new democratic structures and rewrite the constitution of Nepal. She said this was a powerful example of how the struggle of poor and working people coming from the grassroots was the fundamental condition for social change.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Defense Minister Thapa to 'review' Chinese troops

Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, who is currently in China on a visit, is scheduled to observe a military exercise named "Warrior 2008" to be conducted by Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Wednesday, according to reports.

Minister Thapa including Nepal Army (NA) General Chatraman Singh Gurung and Defense Secretary Pratik Thapa had left for China Monday night to attend the military exercise of one of the world's largest standing army. The military exercise would be conducted in Inner Mongolia, China's northern Autonomous Province.

China's Defense Ministry invited top army officials of 36 countries including Nepal to observe the ceremony.

The report further said Minister Thapa, who one of the military strategists of CPN (Maoist) during the insurgency, is also set to hold separate meeting his Chinese counterpart General Liang Kuwang Li including acting vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission Ko Pi Siyong.

Before arriving in Beijing Minister Thapa was in China's commercial city Guangzhou where he met regional military commander of China. He was received by Beijing based Nepalese embassy's Military Attaché Col Rajendra Bahadur Karki including Chinese military officials at the Guangzhou Airport

PM Prachanda reiterates commitment to democracy

Prime Minister Prachanda, who is currently in the US to attend the United Nations General Assembly, has tried to assure the world leaders of his government's commitment to democracy and adopt liberal economy.

According to Reuters, PM Prachanda while making a speech in New York said he wanted to clarify his month-old government's plans to take the country to the path of development.

He attempted to assure the skeptics who fear one-party communist rule in Nepal as the former rebellions lead the government.

"There is serious confusion and misunderstanding about our overall position in terms of economic development," he told the gathering of Asia Society, adding, "We are not fighting against the capitalistic mode of production."

He further said government was committed to the peace process and to democracy, while trying to raise living standards of the people.

"We are in a democratic phase and we are going to apply the democratic form of government -- it is quite clear," he added.

PM Prachanda added Nepal is in the path to tap the opportunity from fast growing economies in India and China and to create an environment for rapid growth and distributive justice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

State restructuring commission 'soon'

Minister for Commerce and Supplies Rajendra Mahato said the government would form the Commission for State Restructuring, as per constitutional provisions, soon after Prime Minister Prachanda returns from his visit to the US.

PM Prachanda is currently in New York to attend the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking at a function in Janakpur Tuesday, Mahato claimed all the problems Nepal has been facing to this day would be solved once the country is restructured into federal states, but stressed the need for "continued struggle" to ensure a fair division of country into states.

Hinting at differences among the ruling coalition parties, Mahato said efforts from all parties to impose partisan interests -- as each party in the coalition has its own agenda to join the government-would complicate the state restructuring process.

Mahato also informed the government would soon invite armed political groups in the Terai districts to talks, but action against criminal groups operating in the region would be intensified

PM Prachanda meets US assistant secretary for South Asia

A day after meeting US president George Bush, Prime Minster Prachanda held a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher Tuesday in New York.

During the meeting, Boucher assured of continued bilateral assistance to Nepal while PM Prachanda informed him on commitment of present government towards sustained peace, democracy and human rights, a statement by Nepal mission in New York reads.

Additionally, on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly, PM Prachanda also held bilateral meetings with Sheikh Hamid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar. The two leaders discussed the issues of bilateral and multilateral interest of both countries. PM Prachanda requested Qatar's investment in Nepal and to expand possibilities of Nepali labour market in Qatar.

PM also met with first vice president of Cuba, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, and Prime Minister of Mongolia Bayar Sanj. Likewise Russian Foreign Minister and leader of Russian delegation Sergey Lavarov also called on PM Dahal. During these bilateral meetings, Nepal's peace process and issues of bilateral and multilateral interest were discussed.

Prime Minister Prachanda attended the opening of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday morning and the reception and dinner hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in honor of the leaders of the delegations.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Visit Political Economy Research

Visit Political Economy Research

* Is the cure worse than the Crisis ? by Michael Hudson
* Economic Crisis the Democracy and Class Struggle view
* America's own Kleptocracy by Micahel Hudson


PM Prachanda confers with President Bush

By Suresh Nath Neupane of Kantipur

ATLANTA, Sept 23 - Prime Minister Prachanda on Monday night met with US President George W Bush at a reception hosted in New York on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly.

According to the Ambassador to the UN for Nepal Madhu Raman Acharya, during his brief meeting with PM Prachanda , President Bush vowed that Washington will help Nepal for the political transformation.

"President Bush said that he was aware of the political transition undergoing in Nepal and pledged that the US would help Nepal in this transformation as much as it can," Acharya quoted PM Prachanda as saying.

PM Prachanda told President Bush that Nepal had came to a long way on the political transformation and would seek the US help in achieving a speedy economic reform.

During their face-to-face meeting, the leaders duo were reported to have discussed the bilateral relations between Nepal and the US.

First lady Laura Bush and the PM's wife Sita Poudel were also present at the meeting.

The meeting marks significance as the former rebel Maoists have not been removed from the US list of terrorist organisations list despite their transformation to the mainstream politics.

Prachanda leads a 14-member delegation to the UN General Assembly including Nepal's permanent representative and deputy permanent representative to the world body.

He is scheduled to address the General Assembly the morning of September 26. He is also scheduled to meet with UN Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon.

Prachanda reached New York yesterday from Frankfurt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Maoists intensify land reform campaign with mass movement and Land Reform Commission


BARA, Sept 22 - Not even a week after Maoist minister Matrika Yadav retook a huge swathe of land and house belonging to several locals of Siraha, discarding Home Minister Bamdev Gautam's directives to vacate it on September 15, local Maoist activists here in Bara district captured seven bigha land belonging to former king Gyanendra's elder sister Shanti Singh at Simara-2, Sunday.

Subsequently, Maoist cadres invited landless squatters over loud speaker and distributed land to them.

In the presence of their district committee member Jivan Kalikote and VDC secretary Bishnu Prasad Rijal, the Maoists gave away 10 dhur land to each squatter family.

"I came here after hearing on the loudspeaker that land was being distributed," said an elated Hira Tamang of Amalekhgunj- 2. "I plan to erect my house here."

On Sunday, the Maoist cadres distributed the seized land to 61 such families of Pathalaiya, Simara and Amalekhgunj. They said the process would go ahead until all the land was given.

The land was under control of the Maoist-close All Nepal Transportation Workers' Union for the last three years.

I resigned for PM's ease: Matrika

Maoist leader Matrika Yadav said Sunday that he chose to quit the ministerial portfolio in order to make it easy for the prime minister to run the government.

Speaking at a programme at Haripur of Sarlahi, he also said he would never shun revolution and relationship with people.

He also claimed that his Siraha land grab was right in every way.

"While the centre of people's war was Rolpa, the centre for land reforms movement will be Siraha," he said while revealing that he would rather be active in such campaigns now onward.

On Friday, the then minister for Land Reforms and Management Yadav resigned from his post after he was severely chastised by partners of the coalition government and the party itself. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had even said the party would take action against Yadav as the latter's act was against party policy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Maoist Communist Party (Turkey/North Kurdistan ), Central Committee, Political Bureau on Events in Nepal

Long live the liberation struggle waged by the peoples of Nepal under the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)!

The elections in which the Maoists in Nepal have taken part have revealed a very significant picture of the enormous support that they have won from the peoples of Nepal . When we take into account the various difficulties and limitations faced by the Maoists, including the lack of newspapers and of broadcasting facilities, conditions for free movement, economic opportunities and international support, we can see that they faced serious disadvantages. To interpret this as a mere ordinary success would be woefully inadequate. Likewise, to interpret the outcome as a failure would constitute a grave injustice and an error in judgement.

The struggle for liberation waged in that country has built up confidence and trust among the masses. As a result, despite the propaganda offensive of the imperialists and the reactionaries, the CPN(M) has single-handedly won almost half of the Constituent Assembly seats, which will be made up of more than 40 different parties. This kind of success should not be underestimated. Clearly, the Maoists' success in being able to muster the support of the overwhelmingly majority of the masses cannot be explained purely on the basis of the demands that they put forward during the elections. It is undeniable that this success is owed to the Maoist-led people's liberation struggle which has cost the lives of thousands of communists and revolutionaries in the fight against a 240-year old royal tyranny that fed on reactionary traditions going back thousands of years.

We openly declare that the results of this election must be viewed as the achievement of the People's War which, under the leadership of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism, has tackled the particular contradictions of the country and is aimed at the goal of winning the genuine liberation of the peoples.

As far as we know, within the context of the international situation, when we look at the developments taking place in Nepal and study the election tactics adopted by the Maoists that are aimed at splitting our enemies in Nepal and uniting the forces of the people, we can see that all this has brought some positive results for the people of Nepal.

Elections must be seen as a tactical issue with respect to achieving our broader strategic goals. Communists have in the past used various forms of struggle that did not conflict with their strategy and their objectives, and they have managed not to confuse strategy with tactics or the primary with the secondary. Sometimes they've done this in the way in which it was done in Nepal , and sometimes they've done this in other ways. In this process, they have masterfully used these various methods to roll the enemy back and cause splits within their ranks, as well as to unite the friends of the revolution and assist the cause of people's liberation. It is on this basis that current developments in Nepal should be viewed.

Under the current circumstances, if these tactics are used correctly, this will lead to the elimination of the monarchy, first and foremost, and also of a significant section of the reactionaries and feudal forces. In addition to this, carrying out land reform, taking significant steps towards the solution of the woman question, developing and putting forward correct solutions to the problems faced by the oppressed nationalities and minorities, getting rid of the caste system, and making efforts to promote the economic prosperity of the people – all this would contribute towards the task of winning the people and organising them for revolution.

Many other problems also need to be solved in a way that ensures that the groundwork that has been carried out serves the interests of the people, such as preventing as much as possible the abuse of economic opportunities by a handful; making attempts to promote health care, education, transport, communications, housing, and jobs for the masses; getting Maoists and revolutionaries out of prison; exposing unjust and reactionary war policies; and so forth. Even if some of these objectives cannot be achieved, fighting for them would at least lead to the exposure of those reactionary forces who object to such developments, and this too would lead to gains for the Maoists.

If these opportunities are not used correctly, the international bourgeoisie will use the resulting vacuum against the peoples and the CPN(M). There are also powerful factors that could lead to suffocating the revolution, losing all the ground previously won and suffering setbacks. The Nepali Maoists should also be vigilant at all times about the danger of conspiracies, coups d'etat, assassinations and massacres.

We must never forget that these tricks of the bourgeoisie will always be on the agenda, even when we are at our strongest. Sometimes the tactics we adopt may result in failure due to a wrong analysis or actions. Taking this understanding on board, we must always be prepared for the possibility that the positive outcome achieved in Nepal by the Maoists could be transformed into a negative outcome, unless it is developed by the Maoists on a correct basis.

Periods like this especially give rise to reformist trends that forever yearn for solutions within the system in the hope that political power can somehow be conquered peacefully and through elections, and we must wage resolute ideological struggle against them. Time and again we must explain to the masses that the achievements that have been won in Nepal are achievements of the People's War that has been waged in that country.

We must also openly declare and uphold the fact that our task does not stop here, and that the process of conquering power can only be carried through to victory by continuing the struggle for revolution. In countries with a socioeconomic structure like ours, from time to time certain achievements can obviously be won through elections, without engaging in People's War – however, this would never lead to making revolution and achieving the goal of genuine liberation.

In today's world, any attempt to change the system in a deep and thorough-going way will only succeed through force – that is, through revolution. While the tactics adopted may play a stronger or weaker role in helping us to get closer to our goals, they can never bring us decisive results.

To make an absolute principle out of the notion that these tactics could succeed anywhere in the world is wrong and unscientific. To say that the enemy can be split in any country by applying such tactics would also amount to daydreaming. The reverse is equally true: any failures that may occur cannot be used to justify some absolute conclusion about these tactics. Even if the analyses that have been made prior to the adoption of these tactics were correct, these tactics could still lead to losses because of problems in the way that they have been applied. It is clear that tactics can vary in different countries in accordance with the prevailing conditions.

The bourgeois-roaders who uphold peaceful transition will try to lead the masses astray by trying to conceal the decisive role of the People's War and by promoting the idea that revolution can be achieved through these other means. Maoist communists, however, should always be vigilant about this point and strive to counter these tendencies by waging ideological struggle.

We must not assume even for a second that in Nepal it is possible to smash the old power and form the new power by using these methods. It is a fact that in Nepal none of the ground seized and none of the gains won can be viewed independently of the People's War. It is also clear that any departure, however minor, from the path of People's War or from the basic tools such as the Party, the Army and the United Front would lead to moving away from political power and would bring about the loss of the ground that had been previously won.

History has proven time and again that those who believe that these tactics in themselves are sufficient will not be able to avoid defeat. Having won such massive support, Nepal 's Maoists should now use this advantage to advance ceaselessly along the path towards a People's Democratic Republic of Nepal.

As Maoist communists, we openly state that as far as we are concerned it is greatly preferable for a revolution to suffer defeat as a result of a military offensive waged by world reaction than for it to be lost because it fails to go beyond the boundaries of the system.

It should be known that we will use every opportunity at our disposal to continue our support while not putting aside the differences that exist between us and the CPN(M) on an international level with regard to the two-line struggle and while not downplaying the ideological struggle.

We salute the peoples of Nepal who in their struggle for liberation have united around their Maoist vanguard for the cause of emancipating humanity. We also give our comradely support to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) for their march to rapidly transform this trust into an organised force so as to enable the people to achieve genuine liberation, which can be nothing other than the establishment of their own power. Following the reversals suffered by the socialist countries, taking a step forward like this at a time when our world is racked by war, suffering and tyranny will surely help the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world to turn their faces firmly towards socialism once again. This role must clearly be seen and the peoples of Nepal should be given strong support on an international level.

Long live our struggle for democratic revolution, socialism and communism!

Long live international solidarity!

Long live Marxism-Leninism- Maoism!

Long live People's War!

Maoist Communist Party (Turkey/North Kurdistan ), Central Committee, Political Bureau –

Bhattarai introduces Nepal's Budget plus Commission on Land Reform

KATHMANDU (AFP) — Nepal's Maoist-led government has delivered an ambitious budget aimed at lifting millions of rural poor out of poverty, but critics say the former rebels face an uphill task to implement it.

The budget announced Friday plans to cancel loans for small farmers, funnel between 20,000 to 40,000 dollars into each of Nepal's 4,000 villages and hike social security spending by 440 percent.

"With this budget I have tried to make people feel change is here," Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai said as he announced the 3.5-billion-dollar budget -- a 900-million-dollar increase on last year.

"This is just a first step and we've thousands of miles to go," said the minister, who, until a landmark 2006 peace deal between rebels and political parties, was an alleged terrorist with a price on his head.

Impoverished, aid-dependent Nepal is beginning to recover from a devastating decade-long civil war waged by the Maoists that decimated an already weak economy and killed thousands.

"The budget is aimed at the grassroots level of people who have been isolated from the economic mainstream in the past," said Prem Khanal, economic columnist for the Kathmandu Post.

"It has some challenging aims, but it has not spelled out a clear mechanism to achieve them," he said.

Nepal will ask international donors for 877 million dollars, while Bhattarai vowed to shake up the taxation system to fund its ambitious plans.

The government plans to amass 1.9 billion dollars through revenue collection, a 31 percent increase on last year, to fund the plans.

But Tilak Rawal, a former governor of Nepal's National Bank, called such a revenue-raising programme unrealistic.

"They have set near to impossible targets for revenue collection and double digit growth over the next three years," Rawal said.

"Last year, revenue collection increased by just 13 percent so it will be a huge challenge for them to collect such an increased amount with only the same resources available," he said.

Following their pre-election pledge of "revolutionary land reform," Maoist second-in-command Bhattarai also announced the formation of a commission "for the abolition of feudal land ownership."

Close to 79 million dollars has been earmarked for agricultural reforms, a 70 percent increase over last year in the sector that employs just over two-thirds of Nepal's 28 million people.

In addition, 17 million dollars will be spent repairing the infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the civil war that killed at least 13,000 people and ended with the landmark 2006 peace deal.

The last two years have seen a remarkable rise to power for the Maoists, who in 1996 launched their "people's war" aimed at toppling the monarchy and establishing a communist republic.

After signing up for peace, they won a surprise victory in elections for a body that officially abolished the world's last Hindu monarchy in May, and they now head the country's coalition government.

Although the Maoist minister announced plans in the budget to encourage investment to revitalise Nepal's struggling private sector, the focus was firmly on rural development.

A leading businessman said such a focus was unlikely to provide the jump start that the economy badly needs.

"The role of the private sector has been minimised," said Binod Chaudhary, chairman of Nepal's food-to-steel Chaudhary conglomerate.

"Instead of grooming the private sector this budget has discouraged it," said Chaudhary, who also heads the Confederation of Nepalese Industries.

Following their pre-election pledge of "revolutionary land reform," Maoist second-in-command Bhattarai also announced the formation of a commission "for the abolition of feudal land ownership."