Monday, December 8, 2008

Now we are in a very crucial period

World Peoples Resistance Movement (Britain) Interview with Com. Gaurav (September 2008)

Q: Thank you very much Comrade Gaurav for agreeing to this interview with us. As you are aware, we are planning to launch an internet debate on the revolution in Nepal and we hope this interview will help. For this we have a few questions we hope you can enlighten us about. The first question is, could you describe the current overall situation in Nepal ?

A: The current political situation in Nepal can be described as having two aspects. We can say it is a good opportunity, not only for the revolution in Nepal but also as an inspiration for the world proletarian revolution. But there are also big challenges, and it is natural that big opportunities are accompanied by big challenges. The political situation in Nepal is therefore facing these two different aspects; big opportunities and big challenges. The big opportunities are that there are good possibilities that we can accomplish the New Democratic Revolution in Nepal .

To make revolution at this juncture of world history is a really difficult task. We don’t have a socialist base to support the revolution from outside, we don’t have socialist countries for support and we don’t have a strong working class movement anywhere in the world in support of the revolution taking place in our country. So to be based mainly on the people of our own country and accomplishing the revolution is a really challenging task. But still we hope we will be able to accomplish the New Democratic Revolution in Nepal , that it will be the first successful revolution led by a Maoist party in the 21st century. So I like to describe it as a good opportunity. But we also have big challenges. Our enemies know that the revolution is near the concluding stage and they are trying to prevent our victory in different ways. They are using all their experience of sabotaging revolution that they have achieved throughout history, and they are trying all of the experiences of counter-revolution in Nepal .

That we can also understand. There are challenges from outside. Furthermore, definitely, we have entered into the process of negotiation, and we are also in the government, we are leading the government, which is a new experiment in the entire history of the International Communist Movement, for radical Marxists or radical Maoists. So from the inside there is also a challenge, because there is a risk of the party being influenced by some bad ideas, and the party taking a different course. That is a big challenge from the inside. This is the situation in Nepal today.

Q: I think in the Second Conference, the Party identified the King as the principal enemy of the Nepalese revolution. This led to the tactic of Constituent Assembly and coalition government, which under the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN[M]) has successfully been accomplished, the monarchy has been overthrown, and a Federal Democratic Republic has been established, and as has been stated, this is a transitional period. Could you please explain how this transitional period is going to develop towards New Democratic Revolution?

A: This is a very significant question in order to understand the revolutionary development in Nepal and how we were able to isolate the monarchy which we considered was the main enemy of the Nepalese people. How we overthrew the monarchy by making an alliance with the forces who were previously supporting the monarchy and fighting against the People’s War. We call this process “success of our tactical line”. It would have been very difficult for our party to lead a successful revolution without making this type of alliance and dividing those forces who were fighting against the People’s War, against the revolution. Therefore we formulated this set of tactics to bring about a split in their ranks, and finally it was possible for us to unite all of the forces through the development of People’s War. It was certainly People’s War that created this situation. Otherwise it could not have been created. The development of People’s War really advanced through leaps and bounds, targeting the monarchy as the immediate enemy of the revolution. Definitely the King who was eventually overthrown wanted to suppress the People’s War, taking the help of the other political parties who were in the parliament. Using those parliamentary political parties he was trying to suppress the People’s War, but he failed to do that, and after wards he thought that only by taking the whole power in his hands could he suppress the People’s War. Therefore, on the one hand the parliamentary parties were trying to fight against the People’s War, and on the other hand they were also struggling for their own political rights which had been seized by the monarchy. This was the situation when the king tried to clear his way by imposing an emergency not only against our party, but also against all the parliamentary parties.

The People’s War had compelled him to seize the whole power, to grab power and impose an emergency, to rule in a dictatorial way. This created differences between the political parties and the King. These were bound to have been created, because of the development of the People’s War this happened, and we seized the opportunity to shake hands with the political parties and say “come on, let’s fight against the common enemy!” We were able to make common cause with the parliamentary parties, and taking advantage of the situation we were able to make certain alliance with them. The advantages were that it had a good effect on the politics of Nepal , there was inspiration amongst the people that all the political parties had made an alliance to overthrow the monarchy. Also, because we had alliance with these political parties, it was very difficult for the outside forces to support the King as these political parties were being supported by India , the US , and the EU in different ways. So the king was really isolated, because of the tactics we formulated during that time, the monarchy was completely isolated and couldn’t even get its traditional support from imperialist countries and expansionists, and so it was bound to fall. Taking advantage of the situation we were able to abolish the monarchy.

We call this a transitional period because after abolishing the monarchy now we are confronted with a situation in which we have to further develop the revolution. We are making use of this situation in order to advance our revolution because our immediate aim is not Federal Democratic Republic. It is New Democratic Revolution. Taking advantage of this situation we have to go further and achieve New Democratic Revolution, so we are defining this situation as a transitional period.

Q: From the Red Star’s articles it seems that there are two approaches to this question, the question of the state, democracy and New Democratic Revolution. One is putting forward the question of status quo and negotiationism and the other is putting forward the question of advancing to New Democratic Revolution. Could you please elaborate on this?

A: Right at this moment different opinions are coming out in the press from the leadership. One reason is that we are unable to make a clear future plan, future tactical line, because this transition period is almost over. As I already explained our tactical line was very successful in overthrowing the monarchy and establishing the republic, and we were able to institutionalise it by electing the first president of the republic. So up to that event our political line and tactical line was very successful.

But now this period has come to an end. We don’t have a new tactical line, a new political line, this has to be developed. Since we have no tactical line, when the press is asking the leadership questions, and the cadres are also asking about our future line, the answers are setting out individual lines, because the party has not yet developed a single line. So the leaders are talking about their own line. They are speaking their own minds and this is reflected in their interviews and their writings everywhere. Definitely as you asked me, some questions and opinions were expressed that reflect two lines, some represent status quoists and some want to advance. This is true. And this is true for every revolution. When you have achieved something in a revolution, because revolution, especially communist revolution, is a long and protracted process, some of our friends feel very tired and they like to take some rest. They say okay, this is a historical achievement, it really is, because the monarchy which was ruling over Nepal for the last 240 years seemed impossible to overthrow just three years back, but now has been overthrown. This is definitely a historical achievement. And these people, these friends say that since we have achieved a historical change, so we have to consolidate it. Consolidate it and let us create a new situation.

Under that new situation we have to think about further developing the revolution but first let us consolidate the achievements. And lets try to win more masses through some radical changes, radical reforms, because we have that opportunity in the Constituent Assembly, so we should carry on the radical reforms and win the hearts and minds of the masses, and then after wards we’ll make the next plan to go further ahead, to develop the revolution, but at present we have to consolidate the achievements. This is one idea. The other idea is that this is a transitional period and the transitional period is soon going to be over. Stepping on these achievements we have to develop the revolution further. Let us step on the achievements and let us develop the revolution further. This is another line, and this is the appropriate time that we should be preparing for the victory of the revolution. We cannot just stop here and consolidate our achievements because the revolutionary situation that exists now will be destroyed. Once we enter into this process of radical reform through the Constituent Assembly, the political situation will definitely change and the revolutionary situation will be lost, and it would be simply impossible for the Maoist revolutionaries to advance the revolution in that situation. So these are the two ideas, two lines actually, existing in our movement, and in our party there are different types of opinion and we hope in the forthcoming Central Committee meeting we will be able to resolve the problem of immediate political line and tactical line and that the party will proceed in its course of developing the revolution. Q: Now the line of advancing the revolution from this transitional period to New Democratic Revolution seems to conform with the revolutionary demands of the Nepalese people.

The period of ten years of People’s War prepared this transitional period, now this political struggle is preparing for the next stage. The question is whether the masses of people are being prepared for this development towards New Democratic Revolution. How is this taking place? A: There are always different sections of the masses. One section is an advanced section, which is always in favour of revolutionary changes and advancing the revolution. There is also a middle section which vacillates between this way or that way. And there is a backward section which would definitely not be happy to carry on the revolution because they think it is enough, the sacrifice is enough, let us stop here and consolidate the achievements. But it is the responsibility of the Maoist party to educate those people properly why the development of the revolution is necessary. Definitely, in Nepal there is one section which is a revolutionary section, which is ready to advance the revolution, and based on that and by educating the other strata we think we can advance the revolution. We, as a Communist Party, are not just worshippers of spontaneity, we will not simply go forward according to people’s level, what the people think, because as communists we have advanced ideology, advanced political thinking, and so it is the responsibility of the Communist Party to lead the masses and not just to follow them from behind. It is our responsibility to lead. We are confident that we will be able to educate the Nepalese masses because the wave of the revolution is still there in our society. We can advance the revolution and we have to decide whether we can do it or not. Whether it is really possible or not. Is it only our empty wish or does it really exist in society? Is it objectively true or not, is our subjective preparation sufficient? I personally feel we can advance the revolution and that the objective and subjective conditions are ripe for advancing the revolution in Nepal . We can do it and we can achieve victory by advancing the revolution. It is not an easygoing process, this is true. None of the revolutions in the world have been easy. There are many difficulties and hardships along the way, and in Nepal too it is a difficult question to accomplish the revolution. But the present situation in Nepal is in favour of developing the revolution.

Q: As you say, the present situation is favourable for developing the revolution. But in the current world situation, because there is no socialist state, one aspect of it is not favourable, and this brings into this question of sustaining power. How do you see that question and how is the CPN(M) grappling with this question?

A: There is no socialist base, socialist bloc or socialist state to support the revolutionary movement. In the absence of this we have to find other forces and be clear about the situation, how we can get outside support, how we can neutralise outside interference. That has to be done consistently by our party, recognising that we don’t have a favourable situation internationally but that we have to make revolution. We have to find other ways so we can continue the revolution specifically in this situation. Now we are thinking that even though we don’t have a socialist bloc there are some other elements that we can make use of. We have to make a revolution in a given situation, we are compelled to carry out the revolution in a given situation, and in that situation you have to develop the revolution. In the present given situation we think we can get outside support from various different forces and we can make use of the different contradictions existing at the world level. For example, there are some Maoist forces, though they are not very strong, but still there are some in the world, and we have to unite with them. Secondly, there are many Marxist-Leninist forces which are not really Maoist but they are broadly leftist, in India and different parts of the world, and we have to take advantage of uniting with them also. Thirdly, there are anti-imperialist forces, which are working and fighting in different ways against imperialism. They are not in state power, but still they are fighting against basically US imperialism in different ways. Fourthly, there are some states who are fighting against US imperialism, and there is scope for us to unite with them or have some relations with them. To develop the revolution we have to unite with broader sections internationally. If we are able to get broad support even though there is no socialist state or strong working class movement, having all these materials around us at the world level will, we hope, create some international support which will help us to advance the revolution in Nepal . Internally we enjoy the support of the broad masses in Nepal and there is no problem with developing the revolution internally. But because the revolution is Nepal is not an isolated event imperialism is very interested in that, and in our case Indian expansionism is very interested in that. In order to counter external interference we have to unite with different kinds of forces, and we have to unite with them at different levels which is what we are doing now. In the span of two years we have been able to develop relations with various different forces and we have been able to establish certain relations with those forces.
With the help of all these pressures we will definitely to a certain extent be able to resist outside interference. Once outside interference is resisted it will not be difficult for us to advance the revolution in Nepal internally. We also have the advantage of being in between two giants, China and India . We have unequal treaties with India , and there has been interference in our internal affairs from India , from a long time back. And we have to develop certain relations with China . Now we have that opportunity because previously China was supporting the King. They were thinking that the monarchy will not be abolished right at this moment, that it would last for a long time. Secondly they were thinking that the monarchy is the pillar of national integrity of Nepal , so they were supportive of the monarchy and now that monarchy doesn’t exist in Nepal . Now they have to find out the reliable pillar, and definitely China will think that the Maoists will be a reliable pillar. They are not trying to recognise us as a fraternal party, because they have already abandoned fraternal relations. Now China has new relations, they define it as party to party relations, and they can begin that relation with any political party, irrespective of ideology, they can develop party to party relations that are nothing to do with ideology and politics. Also imperialists are trying to use Nepal to fight against China , taking the issue of Tibet , they are trying to organise this movement in Nepal , which is a serious concern of China . So utilising many different factors taking place in the world at present we have to resist external interference from imperialism and expansionism and we hope we can do that.

Q: In this complex situation and new situation, considering the class struggle in Nepal and developing the revolution, there are doubts which are natural, and some will look at the whole situation in a negative way. For example some, even communists, Maoists or revolutionaries, they state that the PLA has been inactive, in cantonments, that morale is very low, that the People’s Revolutionary Councils have been dissolved, that the People’s Courts have been dissolved, that the people are demoralised, and that the Young Communist League doesn’t function properly as it should. So the overall image is very negative, but what is the real situation?

A: We have negotiated some things that we think were necessary, because when you are in the process of negotiation it is the law of negotiation that you have to give up something to achieve something. You cannot say everything we have will remain, and we have to only achieve from the other side, this is not a law of any negotiation. When you are in negotiation you have to lose something and you have to gain something. So accordingly definitely we have lost something, but to achieve something more. We think that it was necessary to do that, but the question of dismantling the PLA is a very serious question compared to all the other things. The other side is trying to dismantle the PLA, which is the biggest problem for them but we are trying to sustain the PLA. This struggle is going on, it has not come to an end. Definitely the PLA is confined to the cantonments, but still it is the Maoist army, a recognised Maoist army, and the UN has recognised it as a Maoist army. We have not dismantled it and we will not do that. So as far as the process of integration is concerned it is related to other questions. For example, the other side is demanding, as you have already raised some relevant questions, the issue of the YCL, they want it to be dissolved, but we will not dissolve it, definitely. They want to dismantle the PLA, but we will definitely not do that. They will try to compel us to accept, to make a commitment to Federal Democratic Republic, and that we will not do.
They will insist on us accepting a parliamentary system, and that we will not do. Definitely the other side is trying to compel us, so now we are in a very crucial period. We cannot do both. Up to now, because of the transitional period both these two ways were adjusting in different ways. But now we cannot do that because the transitional period is almost over. We have to confront that there are two ways. On the one hand we will fight for a People’s Republic, and we will make a new constitution on the basis of that. And on the other hand, the other side will win and they will compel us to accept the Democratic Republic, a bourgeois republic. Regarding the question of the integration of the 2 armies, once we have achieved a People’s Republic then the integration of the army will help us in that case, because if it is a People’s Republic it will definitely be led by our Maoist party. When we are able to lead that People’s Republic it means that we will be able to lead the army. If there is integration of the two armies we will be leading the whole army. But if we lose the People’s Republic and the other side win then we will also lose the PLA.

We will lose everything. These questions are thus closely related; whether there will be People’s Republic or simply a Democratic Republic, a bourgeois republic. This is a crucial point, the key point is here, what will the future constitution be? It is not simply a demand from us, now we are going to apply it, we are in that stage, so we are in a crucial period and definitely there are some possibilities that our class will be defeated. There is also real possibility that our class will win. There are possibilities and challenges. So far as our friends from outside are concerned, they like to see everything in black and white, but revolution is not like that, they like to read everything like a textbook, that everything should be written very clearly, like a textbook it is straightforward, but revolution is not like that. In the past it was also like that when we were going through different zigzags, when we were applying different tactics they became confused and they said the Maoist party had become revisionist, or rightist. When we started the People’s War and it developed in leaps and bounds they supported it very much, calling it a big achievement of the proletariat.

But the law of revolution says it is not a straight road. If you study the successful revolutions they have gone through zigzags, it has to do that, revolution is compelled to go through zigzags and different twists and turns. So it is difficult for some of our comrades to understand these twists and turns, they like to see everything very straight. Also they are talking about serious doubts over the development of the revolution. We don’t claim that there is only one possibility, of course there are two different possibilities. Firstly that our class, the proletariat, will win the revolution and everyone will see clearly when we win. And if we are defeated people will see clearly that our side has been defeated. But now before that we are going through different zigzags, different twists and turns, and it is difficult for other people to see from outside clearly what is happening.
This is the situation. But one thing our party is very clear about it, to achieve New Democratic Revolution, socialism, communism, proletarian internationalism, and all this, we should not create doubt about the revolution. That will not help. When we are in the process of the revolution we are going through twists and turns. Our comrades from outside criticise and say that we will be defeated, and we will not win, but criticising from outside will not help to develop that process. First of all there needs to be support, firstly the revolution has to be supported, and then you can criticise when you find that some mistakes have been made. That is the way. Any fraternal parties from outside that fulfil their responsibilities should not just speak as they like. First you support the revolution, then if you find there are some mistakes you can criticise in a friendly way. But if you condemn the revolution, the whole process itself, this will not help.
Q: In this transitional period how does the Party define the class nature of the state and is there party unity over this question?
A: Every state has a class character, but this is a transitional period and we have a coalition government at present. If you try to find the specific class character of the government it actually has no clear class character, because it includes the proletariat, the feudal class and even expansionist forces are in the government. There is therefore no clear class alliance since it is a coalition government. But in the long run the state must have a specific class character, even though sometimes in the transitional phase you will not find a specific class character of the state and government.
Q: Regarding the role of elections, now you have taken part in elections to the Constituent Assembly and according to party documents there will be a role for elections and competition amongst parties during the periods of New Democracy and socialism. But in the past the Party talked of the fusion of People’s War and urban insurrection. Could you explain the particular role of elections in Nepal at the moment and whether some people in the Party think it is possible to utilise these elections to establish a People’s Republic or to take the revolution forward?

A: Definitely we think this election has paved the way for the development of the revolution at the moment. Through the election we have become a legitimate force, even the imperialist forces have to recognise us, because we have been elected by due election process which all of them have recognised. Since we have emerged as a legitimate force it is very difficult for them to attack or suppress us from the outside. They want to abolish that but are unable to do so because we have emerged as a legitimate force. True, by winning the election we have also widened the mass base in Nepalese society, widened support for the Maoists. By winning the election we have opened up a new front. The Constituent Assembly is a new front which is very strong. We are 229 members out of the 601 member Constituent Assembly and we can utilise this front to prepare for the development of the revolution. So there is real possibility in Nepal . This is not a parliament, this is a Constituent Assembly, and we can use this Constituent Assembly to further develop the revolutionary movement, and right at this point of time it may be a legal struggle. We started the struggle in the leadership of this front, and there is real possibility, because we are to write a new constitution and this Constituent Assembly has a decisive role. We are going to write a new constitution by voting in the Constituent Assembly. It has the authority to write a new constitution. If we win in the Constituent Assembly we will be able to write a constitution of a People’s Republic. It is clear that if we go forward in a normal way this is not possible because only our party is in favour of a People’s Republic. The other parties are not in favour of that. So if we proceed normally and with the normal voting in the present Constituent Assembly that will not automatically create a People’s Republic. This is true. So we have to struggle in the Constituent Assembly. It has become an elected body where our struggle has now been concentrated, because it has been authorised by the legitimate voters, the Nepalese people, to write a new constitution. Definitely it has become a new front for struggle which will help us to further advance the revolution.

Q: The CPN(M) doesn’t have an outright majority in the Constituent Assembly and the other parties will all oppose writing a constitution based on a People’s Republic. What would the consequences of that be? How would a constitution come about?

A: According to the interim constitution we cannot write a new constitution by a simple majority. It requires a two-thirds majority and this is very difficult to achieve because we need to unite most of the political parties for that. But we can do it when we will be able to win over the other political parties except for Nepali Congress. This is not easy, even UML will not be ready for that because the imperialists and expansionists will not be simple spectators. They will not say “okay, whatever you have to do you do it, we will do nothing”. They will not do that. They will not allow the Maoists to be a two-thirds majority and write a constitution of a People’s Republic. So for that we have to wage struggles. In the past also we have had the experience that Congress and UML were not ready to write a democratic republic of Nepal . They were not ready. They were saying this question had to be decided by the election of the Constituent Assembly, that it was premature to write all these things, what would the international community say? We are going to hold elections and decide this question if it has been accepted by that vote. The fate of the monarchy would be decided by the election to the Constituent Assembly. They said to us, “the election is yet to take place and now you already declared a republic”. It seemed simply impossible, but that really happened, because we were struggling very hard, not only from the legislature but also from outside. So it is not impossible. If you proceed normally it is not possible. But this is not a normal process; revolution cannot be a normal process. Here lays the question of how to go further. By simply voting we cannot make a People’s Republic. It is not possible. It is not Marxism. We have to struggle very hard for that and as a result of struggle we can achieve our goals. We hope that we can do that because there is real possibility. We are the biggest force, very close to a majority. If we were an insignificant force it would be very difficult to carry on the struggle and achieve that, but we are close to a majority on our own strength, and we have already started this debate in the Constituent Assembly, right from the beginning. We have said that we are for People’s Republic.
Unless there is a People’s Republic the problems of Nepal will not be resolved, there will be no New Nepal. Only a People’s Republic can make a New Nepal. We have already initiated this debate. Now everybody is thinking this is a new thing, we initiated the debate at that time and they are really puzzled. Only through struggle can we achieve it. It is true that with the normal process in the Constituent Assembly of voting there will be no People’s Republic. So we have to wage struggle for that within the Constituent Assembly and also from outside it. We will put pressure on the Constituent Assembly itself. For example, how was it possible to write a republican constitution without holding the election to the Constituent Assembly? The Constituent Assembly was supposed to decide the fate of the monarchy, but it became possible before the election. So it is not easy, but it is possible to go forward.

Q: Could you explain the situation behind the recent resignation of the Minister for Land Reform and Management, Comrade Matrika Yadav?

A: Yes, this is a representative event of what is happening, of what is the present situation in Nepal . We are in the government, we are heading the government, but the fruits of the revolution are going to be snatched away. In the case of Comrade Yadav what happened? We had captured the lands and the property of a member of the royal family and we distributed it among the landless peasants. But the land was still registered in his name, because we could not register it in the name of the peasants. It was still in the name of the landlord. Taking advantage of the new situation, one of the “land mafia” who is with the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), which is one of the partners of our government, purchased the land at a throwaway price. It is rumoured that the real cost of the land, property and house was 180 million rupees, but he purchased it for 40 million rupees. He distributed the land, sold the land in different plots, and he tried to eject the peasants from their land houses. But he could not because it is an area where we are strong. So they called a shutdown in Siraha District and for 14 days they were able to stop things.
The new government decided to use force to evict the peasants because the alliance partners, MJF and also the UML, put pressure on the Prime Minister saying that if these peasants were not evicted from the occupied land they would resign from the government. So they used force. Comrade Yadav was in charge of that area for the party, and he decided to go and lead the protest movement, because the peasants were being evicted by force. 16 police were injured and around two dozen of our comrades were injured, there was a big clash and they evicted the peasants from the land. After that comrade Yadav decided to lead the protest by himself and he went to the spot and organised the cadres, fighters and people and he was able to retake the land and redistribute it again to the peasants. When this all happened there was a demand from the alliance partners that Yadav should make a self-criticism at least, for doing all these things, because he did all these things in the capacity of a cabinet minister, and it is not the responsibility of a cabinet minister to lead the protest and go against the decision of his own government. But instead of resigning, he said he had not made any mistake by leading the protests to safeguard the rights of the peasants, and he would not self-criticise. So he decided that as a minister, and that as he is not allowed to lead the protest or he would have to make a self-criticism, he would resign from that post in order to be free to lead the protest. So he resigned. By doing this he has actually really raised the image of our Party, established the image of the Maoist party amongst the masses.

Q: What is the situation for women in Nepal at the moment? Elections to the Constituent Assembly resulted in a large number of seats for women, especially for the Maoist party. We know that the emancipation of women is an important aspect of the struggle overall, but still there are not very many women who are in high leadership positions in the party. What are the party’s policies for women in this transitional time and what is the party doing about bringing more women into leadership positions?

A: It is true that because of the line of the Party one-third of the members of the Constituent Assembly are women. One-third of the members are women from different political parties. Because of the Maoists all political parties were compelled to give the candidacy of women in the election and we clearly enforced this as a law, it was enacted as a law, that there should be at least 33% representation for women otherwise it would be illegal. It was implemented by the election commission. If there were not 33% representation for women the list was rejected. So naturally women were elected to one-third of the seats in the Constituent Assembly. Everybody knows, even the women of other political parties know that they are in the Constituent Assembly because of the Maoists. And regarding the representation of women in the leadership, definitely we are very careful about that. In the cabinet we also want one-third representation for women. And it should be inclusive, not only women but also Janajatis, indigenous tribal people and Dalits, which are supposed to be untouchable, and everywhere it should be inclusive and proportional. This is our line and we are implementing it everywhere.
Now in the cabinet there are only two women and there should be three, but there is one position left and that portfolio is with the Prime Minister, and we think it should be reserved for a woman. In the leadership including the government we are making it inclusive and proportional. Our basic idea is 40% but for now at least 33% of women should be represented everywhere in the leadership. Therefore, because of our party, all the other parties are compelled to send women’s representative to the Constituent Assembly.

Q: Recently in the news in Britain there have been allegations of underage soldiers in the PLA and a request for the party to make them leave, what is the party’s position on this?

A: We are in the process of negotiation and therefore we have to maintain the standard accepted by the UN in the army, in all armies including the PLA. But so far as this issue is concerned I think it is not true. Our army has already been verified twice. First it was verified and the number of the PLA was 31,000 strong. But in the second verification they reduced the number of the PLA, and disqualified many, and now it is only 19,000 strong. Amongst those disqualified were said to be some underage soldiers. So the question of underage soldiers has already been resolved. This has been carried out by the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), the agency doing all these things. It is the verification of UNMIN that has already qualified the 19,000 strong PLA with the proper standards of an army. So I think there is no question of 3000 underage soldiers in the PLA because it has already been verified by UNMIN, not only once but twice! If they find such underage people we are ready to let them leave, but so far as the present situation is concerned we don’t have underage people involved.

Q: The last question is that the revolution in Nepal has, in this world situation, created hope for many people, advanced people and revolutionaries, and now we, like all revolutionaries, would like to learn from the revolution in Nepal . That is why we are following it very closely. At the same time we support the revolution as our important task. Could you please clarify how we could do this better? What do you expect from the revolutionaries outside of Nepal ?

A: The revolution in Nepal is not an isolated revolution. It is part of the world revolution, part of the proletarian world revolution. So it is the responsibility of all proletarian parties, organisations, individuals and left forces to support the revolution from outside. We need support from outside, and from our comrades and friends outside we need some particular support. As I already explained, we have to advance the revolution and it is going to be advanced. The people of Nepal are providing support and are very much involved in the ongoing revolution. It is going to be advanced. But there are outside forces, imperialism and expansionism, who want to upset the process of revolution and interfere in the revolutionary process.

In order to prevent the outside forces from interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal it is thus necessary to create public opinion, mass support, internationally. Where the revolutionary forces, progressive, democratic or left forces exist, I think it is their responsibility to create mass support and put pressure on the outside forces not to interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal , because it is the responsibility of the people of Nepal to decide their own fate. Outside forces should not interfere, it is not their country.

If we can prevent this interference from outside then the revolution in Nepal can take its own course. So we hope and we request to the revolutionary forces, revolutionary people from outside, left progressive forces, to create public opinion and to put pressure on the imperialists and other forces that are interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal . This is very significant. By doing this on the one hand you are supporting the revolution in Nepal and on the other hand you are making preparation for revolution in your own society. We think that we deserve support from the revolutionary forces, revolutionary, democratic, leftist and progressive forces, to provide extensive support from outside. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to convey our opinion to the broad masses of Britain and abroad, thank you very much.

September 2008.

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