Friday, July 31, 2009
Melissa Roxas to other victims of human rights abuses in Philippines "This is for all of us"
Melissa Roxas to Other Victims of Human-Rights Abuses: "This Is For All of Us!" from Bulatlat on Vimeo.
Don't undermine peace accord: UNMIN tells NA, Maoist PLA
Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Nepal and head of UNMIN, Karin Landgren, speaking to journalists in a press conference in Kathmandu after returning from UN headquarters where she attended the Security Council meeting, Friday, July 31
United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has advised both Nepal Army (NA) and Maoists' People's Liberation Army (PLA) against engaging in any provocative acts that could will be in direct violation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed in 2006 between the government and erstwhile CPN (Maoist).
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Chief of UNMIN Karen Landgren said her organisation discourages any such acts by the two armies that breach the peace accord. She said that top party leaders have already assured that they are committed to the CPA.
Landgren had met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and Unified CPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Thursday evening.
The remark comes amidst a new round of political dispute that was sparked off by Defense Minister Bidhya Bhandari requesting the Indian government in New Delhi to resume its military assistance to Nepal.
Bhandari has said that the Indian government is positive about her request and may soon resume the military assistance that had remained stalled after King Gyanendra took over executive powers in 2005.
The Maoist leadership has seriously condemned Minister Bhandari's plea to India to resume army supply.
Post Bahadur Bogati told a national daily Thursday that the party believed the people will eventually revolt against the status quo
Dahal’s revised dossier stresses on drafting a new “people’s oriented” constitution in order to establish “People’s Republic” and taking the peace process to a desired conclusion.
The meeting concluded that to draft such a constitution, a Maoist-led national unity government which upholds civilian supremacy is necessary. For this the party will forge “a new level of unity among like minded democratic, communist, nationalists and republican parties or forces”, according to Dahal’s document.
It further states that the Maoists will lead a revolt against the system if there are conspiracies not to allow the new constitution to be written in a manner that will eventually pave the way for establishing “People’s Republic” in the country.
Maoist secretariat member Post Bahadur Bogati told a national daily Thursday that the party believed the people will eventually revolt against the status quo and Maoists will lead that revolt against the system.
The CC meeting also endorsed the secretariat meeting’s proposal of adopting multi-post leadership - of having a seven member secretariat committee - immediately by amending the party statute
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Groups Protest Obama-Arroyo Meeting
MANILA – Chants of “US imperialist, No. 1 terrorist!” and “Death to imperialism!” reverberated through the streets as over a hundred activists marched toward the US embassy in Manila earlier today to protest the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The rally was spearheaded by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance) and the Philippine chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Philippines).
Rita Baua, vice chairperson of ILPS-Philippines, said the meeting between Obama and Arroyo would serve the agenda of strengthening US military and economic interests in the Philippines.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr., meanwhile, warned the public to “watch out for deals” between the US and Philippine governments as Arroyo seeks Obama’s approval.
Groups led by Bayan march to the US embassy. (Photo by Alexander Martin Remollino / bulatlat.com) “We should be very concerned with the agenda of the Arroyo-Obama meeting,” Reyes said. “We don’t know if Mrs. Arroyo will sell us down the river again. In her desperation to stay in power, she may offer the US de facto basing rights, increased troop deployment and 100-percent foreign ownership of land. We have to closely monitor whatever deal they will strike.”
Reyes also said Arroyo will be seeking Obama’s approval – a view also expressed by Roger Soluta, Kilusang Mayo Uno’s (KMU or May 1st Movement) deputy secretary-general.
Protesters demand justice for Melissa Roxas. (Photo by Alexander Martin Remollino / bulatlat.com) Cherry Clemente, secretary-general of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) party list, meanwhile, warned that the Obama-Arroyo meeting “could spell more hardships (for the Filipino people) under a kleptocratic and murderous regime.”
Migrante International chairman Garry Martinez said Obama should fulfill his promise of “change” by asking Arroyo to change her government’s policy, “which means putting an end to human-rights violations and corruption.”
The protesters marched from Taft Avenue along Maria Orosa Street before turning to MH del Pilar Street and then to UN Avenue. Police stopped them near the corner of UN Avenue and Roxas Boulevard, and a brief commotion ensued when policemen pushed the protesters with shields. After a few minutes of negotiations, however, the protesters were allowed to reach the corner of UN Avenue and Roxas Boulevard, which is just a few steps away from the embassy’s main gate.
No integration of Maoists into Army: Deputy PM
Kathmandu, July 30, 2009
In a snub to Maoists, Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Gachchadar on Thursday said the combatants of the former militant outfit will not inducted into the country's army and that his party has reservation to the very word "integration."
"My party has reservation to the very word integration of the army. Maoist combatants should be adjusted to other fields of the society rather than merged into the army," Gachchadar, also the chief of newly-formed Madhesi People's Rights Forum Nepal (Democratic), said.
"As the Maoists' Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) personnel are politically indoctrinated, such kinds of combatants should not be inducted into the national army," he said.
He underlined the need for forging a broader democratic alliance in order to strengthen democracy.
"Maoists should also be included in the democratic alliance as the party has already made a commitment to multiparty democracy and peace process. There is a need to forge unity among all the democratic and communist forces in order to take the peace process to the logical conclusion and to draft a new constitution," he said.
Maoism in Britain - Is this the End ?
It is nearly twenty years since there has been a Maoist political organisation in Britain. Even during the revival of interest in revolutionary politics back in the late sixties and early seventies there were never more than a few hundred Maoists in this country and their numbers rapidly diminished after the capitalist roader coup in China in 1976. During the late eighties there were a couple of short-lived Maoist groups but since then no explicitly Maoist political organisation has existed in Britain.
On a number of occasions since that time I have called meetings of some of the few remaining Maoists in Britain to propose that we form a Maoist political organisation with the eventual aim of forming a proper Marxist-Leninist-Maoist revolutionary party. On each occasion the response was negative with people giving no very definite reasons as to why we could not form an organisation other than vague assertions that the “objective conditions” were not favourable.
In the latter part of 2008 I was encouraged when three other Maoists invited me to join with them in convening a meeting to consider whether a MLM organisation could be formed in Britain. Since then there have been a number of meetings with a somewhat shifting range of people participating. At the last meeting I reluctantly reached the conclusion that practically all of these people had no real intention of trying to form a Maoist organisation. They don’t mind talking about the proposal in the abstract and discussing issues of the day such as the economic recession. But they are not going to take any effective political action about anything.
At first sight it seems strange that people who present themselves as Maoists - hardly a popular political affiliation - should hold back from getting organised and engaging in collective political action. An explanation of such perversity is required.
THE LONDON POLITICAL SCENE
Most of the remaining Maoists in Britain live in London, a large cosmopolitan capital city. Indeed the Maoists themselves are of an international composition, some of them being political refugees from their countries of origin. In London there is a continuous round of leftist political meetings, demonstrations and pickets. If one wants to, it is easy to spend all of one’s available time attending such occasions and this is what some of the Maoists do. A lot, but not all, of this political activity is focussed on events abroad such as developments in Nepal, India and Iran. To a far lesser degree are these occasions directly concerned with what is happening within British society. Of course, communists are internationalists and should necessarily see and conduct the struggle against capitalism on an international basis rather than a narrow national one. Even so, many of these people seem far more concerned and knowledgeable about political struggles thousands of miles away rather than on their own doorstep. We should not forget that Lenin and Mao asserted that the best form of internationalism is to engage in and develop revolutionary struggle in whatever place one happens to be.
The effectiveness of many of these activities is questionable. For example, picketing the Indian High Commission or the Peruvian Embassy in support of imprisoned comrades in those countries almost certainly has no impact on their reactionary governments. Many of the “national demonstrations” which are held in London, to which the Maoists sometimes half-heartedly tag on, go unnoticed by the nation and the government. There is a large element of ritualism in this sort of behaviour. People do it simply because that is what they have always done. They do not reflect critically on whether these activities are achieving any worthwhile political objectives. (In this respect the Maoists are no different from most of the other leftists.)
This round of political activity in London is essentially inward-looking. On each occasion it is the same people from the same loose political network who are present. “You picket my embassy and I’ll picket yours.“ Usually there are few, if any, new faces present. Indeed, no serious efforts are made to reach out to and involve newcomers. The fact of the matter is that the great mass of the people, especially the working class, are oblivious of and untouched by such “political activity”. What is more, one gets the impression that most of the people who participate in these ritualised activities are quite content with this way of life. They like going along to a picket or “public meeting” (at which the public are not usually present). There is a large element of social activity here often involving having a chat and a drink with old friends and acquaintances. It passes the time.
Much of this political activity - if that is what it is - is poorly organised even in its most elementary aspects. It is quite typical to find that a room for a meeting has not been booked, that the event has not been properly publicised, that the speaker is late or does not turn up, that a leaflet has not been printed, that placards have not been made, etc. etc.. Most of the Maoists in Britain - with one or two notable exceptions - are organisationally incompetent even at the most basic level but they don’t seem to care..
In so far as any of the Maoists engage in any “mass work”, go out and try to reach the great mass of people, especially the working class, it takes the form of engaging in routine trade union work and participation in broad front campaigns such as the Stop the War Coalition. Obviously there are definite limitations from a Maoist point of view to these activities but most of the Maoists are not involved in them anyway. What they never do is to attempt their own initiatives in trying to stimulate class struggle. This is particularly obvious at present when the considerable weakening of bourgeois ideological presents good opportunities for interesting people in a revolutionary perspective on contemporary events.
There is one area in which the Maoists in Britain do get excited and exert a considerable amount of energy. This is in debating the correctness or otherwise of the political lines of Maoists engaged in class struggles in other countries. Much passion is aroused and much is spoken and written about the course of revolutionary struggle in Middle East countries such as Iran and in particular on the political trajectory of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Yes, it is correct for communists to assess and constructively criticise the actions of comrades in other countries. However the odd thing about the Maoists in Britain is that while they get very heated and split over these controversies they expend little energy on ideological-political struggle over how to handle the contradictions of capitalism in Britain. The reason for this is not difficult to discern. It is that the Maoists in Britain are not really interested in engaging in revolutionary struggle within the society in which they live.
So what is going on here? What is the explanation for this odd behaviour? I have come to realise that what is important for most of the Maoists in Britain is not what is happening within the objective social reality around them but rather it is the state of their subjective consciousness which is most important for them. Their strongest desire is not to transform a world in turmoil but to feel that the political perspective they hold on it is in some sense correct. In philosophical terms these people are not materialists. Rather they are idealists because for them the most important thing is inner certainty. What is going on in the external world is entirely secondary. For them an internal ideological purity is their primary aim. That is why I call it mind politics. Indeed there is a certain latent religiosity at work here. (In my talk ‘Against Religiosity in Politics’ I have discussed this quite widespread phenomenon whereby people use secular doctrines such as Marxism as substitute religions.) These people are going to do nothing except continue to pour forth a torrent of words on the internet.
IS THIS REALLY THE END?
The truth is that in Britain Marxism of any kind as a live political trend is in steady decline. The remaining revisionist and Trotskyist organisations are slowly dwindling away. People, especially young people, of radical inclinations are attracted towards anarchism and environmentalism (with all their obvious limitations) but not to Marxism. What is more, this is happening at a time when capitalism is embroiled in major economic difficulties and debilitating imperialist wars. The reason that Marxism in general, and Maoism in particular, is on the way out in Britain is because communists are failing to seriously address, both in theory and practice, the major issues of our time. These include the impact of new productive forces, changes in class structure, environmental degradation, the quality of life, etc.. (See my talk ‘The Death of Marxism?’ for more on these issues.)
I remain convinced of the essential correctness of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism but it is not a fixed formula set in tablets of stone. For MLM to be of any use in making the world a better place it needs to change and develop in intimate response to the contemporary world. In this part of the world this is not happening. My reluctant conclusion is that Maoism in Britain is finished.
Convince me that I am wrong.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The comrades of CARC Party and ASP have been released!
Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC) - Italy
Via Tanaro, 7 - 20128 Milano - Tel/Fax 02.26306454
e-mail: email@example.com – website: www.carc.it
National Direction - International Relations Department
Tel. +39 0226306454 - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The comrades of CARC Party and ASP have been released!
Mobilization and solidarity obliged the authorities to withdraw and release them!
The comrades Alessandro and Samuele, who were under arrest after the clashes with the fascists of the anti immigrant patrols and the police who supported them, have been released, thanks to the wide mobilization in the country, the blocks of the railways in Naples and in Massa (Tuscany), the sit ins and marches, the wide solidarity on national and international level. All the main Italian bourgeois media (newspapers, televisions) dealt with the matter, so that the bourgeois politicians have been obliged to take a stand against these patrols instituted by the government of Berlusconi’s gang, patrols mainly organized against immigrants, and composed of fascists and racists. The major of Massa took a stand as well, and told that the fascist patrol of Massa would be banned, and so it happened today. Today the Prefect ordered the ban of the fascist patrols all over the province of Massa . This is an unprecedented act against the patrols, that will have influence on national level and on the political debate within the bourgeois political forces.
The whole action, promoted by the CARC Party and the Association for Proletarian Solidarity at the end of the National Feasts the two organizations did at Massa, has been a victory of the movement against the fascist and racist government of the Berlusconi’ s gang, and an example for everybody who wants to oppose the reactionary mobilization of the popular masses that this government is trying to carry out.
We thank all the parties and organizations who send us message of solidarity, and ask others for doing the same, as the comrades released have been put under restrictions until October, when they will go on trial.
Above we translate the last statement the National Direction of the CARC Party did about the matter.
With revolutionary greetings,
CARC Party – International Relations Department
CARC Party – National Direction
To oppose the reactionary mobilization is possible and depends on everyone of us!
To cut out fascists, racists and instigators of hatred and war among the masses is possible building new and more advanced social relations, building socialism!
We must organize ourselves, mobilize the anti fascists, the immigrants, the true democratic people to create popular antifascist and antiracist patrols against the multiplication of fascist and racist gangs instigated by the reactionaries who are ruling our country (the fascists and racists of the Berlusconi’s government, the police and para–police legal and illegal apparatuses). This is the main teaching and outcome we get from the experience and the struggle the CARC Party and the ASP carried out against fascist and racist patrols at Massa in this days.
Workers, young people and immigrants can reverse the course of events, can oblige the reactionaries to take back the repressive and racist measures of Maroni , the Minister of the Interior, and of his gang.
The really democratic majors and the other administrators must take an open stand, as the major of Massa did, against the patrols, and to stop the application of the fascist measure of the so called “security set”.
We can and must oppose and backfire against Berlusconi’s gang the war among workers and poor people they are carrying out, trying to deviate popular masses’ organization and mobilization against the ones who are real responsible for the economic and social decay compelling million of people to a hard life of crushing and misery.
The economical, social and environmental decay in the quarters and the territory, that is criminality, usury, ignorance, violence against women, deaths at work, are the outcomes of the management of present society by a gang of parasite, speculator and pimp capitalists.
The fascist and racist organizations are the structures by which the rich, the bourgeois people and the cardinals always have recruited and tag along the most backward, deviants and brutish elements of the masses for instigating division and hatred among the masses, for rousing them against other people of the masses or for carrying out war of aggression against other peoples. That is why fascists and racists have been rightly called “slaves of the masters”.
To struggle against fascism and racism is right, possible and necessary. It is a concrete measure for facing the moral and intellectual decay of this society. It is a concrete measure for opposing mistrust, resignation and demoralization that the bourgeois left throw around within our ranks. Every communist, every real democratic person is no longer so if he does not carry out a firm struggle against fascists and the other reactionaries, if he does not concretely mobilize himself together with the other workers, young people and immigrants for struggling against the measures the government of the Berlusconi’s gang takes against Italian and immigrant popular masse, for carrying out the widest denounce of provocations, threats and violence every day committed against the popular masses, for gathering and organizing the widest solidarity with people hit by many kinds of repression.
The politicians who are called “opponents” of Berlusconi’s gang (first of all those belonging to the Party of the Communist Refoundation and the Party of the Italian Communist) can really demonstrate that they are against this gang of reactionaries promoting and joining the antifascist mobilizations and carrying out concrete solidarity with the comrades hit by repression. The time of chattering and of apparent antifascism is gone.
We must and can cut out fascist and racist gangsters, and the arrogance and oppression by masters, speculators, criminal organizations and clergy. We must and can organize ourselves for wringing the power out of this criminals’ gang and promote new social relations ensuring workers, young people and pensioners dignified conditions of life, able to promote the moral and intellectual development of everybody. Workers and people’ organizations can and must form their own government, a People’s Block Government. It will be a government composed and promoted by all the ones who really want to face the final phase of the second general crisis of capitalism and the reactionary mobilization instigated by the reactionary rightists. This government will implement concrete measures for not making the workers pay for the crisis, for not sacking any worker and for not closing any firm. This government will open the way for establishing new and more advanced social relations, for establishing socialism.
The proletarian and antifascist patrols as the one the comrades of Massa promoted are a best means of organizations of the popular masses, are a best means for really opposing the reactionary mobilization and creating the condition for establishing the government of People’s Block.
Mobilization and solidarity obliged the authorities to withdraw!
Thanks to all the ones who mobilized themselves and carried out concrete solidarity!
Let’s send home Berlusconi’s gang and its crowd of fascists, mafia men and prelates!
10, 100, 1000 popular patrols against fascists and racists!
We shall not pay for the crisis of the masters: let’s organize, let’s build a government of People’s Block!
Let’s make Italy a new socialist country!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
The RCP (USA) and its New Synthesis (part 2) by Fahad Zaki
Big leaps backward
The RCP claims that its Chairman has advanced the ideology and politics of the proletariat to a new height. It alleges that Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis has correctly synthesised the experience of the International Communist Movement from Marx to Mao, and on this basis the party has been able to progress beyond Marxism-Leninism- Maoism. Are these claims true? Is the New Synthesis a big leap forward?
Serious shortcomings in Marxist philosophy
As discussed in part 1, with serious shortcomings in Marxist philosophy, particularly on the question of Mao’s contribution, namely “the principal contradiction and the principal aspect of a contradiction” , the RCP has been “lost in a fog”. In fact, because of not grasping dialectical materialism thoroughly, the party has been unable to bring a new style of work to the working class and the masses in the US, a style of work which essentially entails combining theory with practice, integrating with the working class and the masses as well as practising self-criticism.
The RCP claims that it has advanced dialectical materialism, but the question arises: Should communists apply the methodology of Mao about the need to identify the principal contradiction out of the numerous secondary or non-principal contradictions and attempt to solve this principal contradiction first? This does not imply that other (non-principal) contradictions must be ignored or glassed over. Nor should the communists rule out the possibility of one of the non-principal (or secondary) contradictions intensifying rapidly enough to become the principal contradiction under some specific conditions.
Anyway, is there still validity in paying attention principally to identifying as well as solving the principal contradiction as Mao insisted throughout his political life? The RCP has been overwhelmingly silent on this question. In fact, the party has paid all its attention only on the fundamental contradiction of imperialism ignoring identification of the principal contradiction at each stage, and consequently has failed to grasp different political situations correctly.
In part 2, we discuss the RCP’s recent practice and theory on the struggles of oppressed nations and the fact that the party has ignored that the fundamental contradiction of a semi-feudal, semi-colonial society is not the same as that of a capitalist society.
A big leap backward
After the collapse of the Russian empire in 1989, Bush senior announced a new strategy called “A New World Order” and led a coalition to attack Iraq in 1991. In response, a powerful anti-war movement was built in the US and in many other countries in the world. During the eight years of Clinton’s presidency, the US ruling class carried out killer sanctions, divided of the country, enforced no fly zones and made continuous aerial bombardments to weaken the Iraqi nation.
In opposition, the anti-war movement continued to grow, and later on to some extent merged with the anti-globalisation movements as well as movements against destruction of the environment. During the period of 1989-2000, millions of people participated in these movements. However, without having a clear strategy, the RCP failed to analyse the role of different classes within these movements. Consequently, it was unable to develop correct tactics to unite the people who were targeting the US ruling class.
After the occupation of Afghanistan, it became abundantly clear that the US was preparing to occupy the oppressed country of Iraq. The growing momentum of the people’s opposition on a global scale, inter-imperialist rivalry, the shear arrogance of the George W Bush administration and the exposure of their lies as well as other factors caused the anti-war movement to take a big leap forward.
In fact, the anti-war movement spread all over the US and developed its numerous activities involving an unprecedented number of people. The biggest demonstrations in the history of some countries took place even before the US military invaded Iraq. Political activities against the US ruling class were at such a massive scale that in one day there were demonstrations in more than 300 cities all over the US.
In this highly favourable situation, the RCP was unable to analyse the situation correctly and identify the principal contradiction shaping the class struggle in the US. Consequently, it was unable to organise a considerable number of people from the millions of highly politicised workers and masses in the country. The RCP was also unable to win over some advanced sections within the anti war-movement, and unite with numerous organisations that could be united with against the US imperialist aggression.
2002-2003 was the height of the US preparation to attack and occupy Iraq, and this preparation created a peak of people’s resistance in the US and elsewhere. But was the RCP able to unite the people and build an effective movement against the US ruling class during 1989-2002 and during this climax? Evidently no.
Occupation and resistance
On 20 March 2003, the US military forces attacked the extremely weakened Iraqi nation to complete the final stage of the colonisation of Iraq. The US occupation of Iraq was against the people’s demand, and consequently caused further polarisation of the class struggle in the US. However, many factors, including grave weaknesses of the communists, deprived the working class and the masses of having a clear vision and hope. In addition to other factors, the absence of a correct political line caused demoralisation among many people who believed they could stop the war. But still people, particularly the more advanced sections, were pouring out into the streets in large numbers and some were even carrying out militant actions.
For many years, the objective conditions had become immensely favourable to develop radical mass based organisations against the US ruling class. However, the RCP did not analyse the contradiction between the US imperialism and the oppressed nation of Iraq correctly to support the latter, and therefore was unable to draw a clear anti-imperialist line within the anti-war movement. Despite many activities, the party was entangled with pragmatism and spontaneity, isolated from the masses tailing events.
Shortly after the occupation of Iraq, several armed resistance movements sprung up in many different areas of Iraq. Evidently, occupation divided the class struggle into two opposing camps. On the one hand, there was the pro-occupation camp led by the US, who devastated the whole country. And on the other, there was the anti-occupation camp which consisted of different class forces. Within the anti-occupation camp, the oppressed nation of Iraq was able to create many armed resistance groups.
However, the RCP did not apply the fundamental principle of “everything divides into two” to the new situation in Iraq. Instead of a concrete analysis of the concrete conditions, the party copied the notion of “Crusading McWorld vs. Reactionary Jihad”, from Benjamin R Barber’s book entitled “Jihad vs. McWorld” (Corgi Book, 2003) and applied it to the situation in Iraq. Thus, without grasping that the occupation has created its opposite, i.e., a mass based national resistance movement; it concluded that the imperialist occupiers and the anti-occupation forces were both reactionaries.
This political stance shows that the RCP has not grasped the fact that the resistance of an oppressed nation against the imperialist occupation has to be supported. Simply put, whatever the class composition of its forces, the resistance of the oppressed nation of Iraq is just and the occupation of Iraq is unjust. The question is: which side are on? Condemning both sides has created confusion for the masses and has deprived the Iraqi people of the support they need, to say the least.
The RCP stance also shows that it has not grasped one of the fundamental principles of the Marxist philosophy which states that “one must not treat all the contradictions in a process as being equal but must distinguish between the principal and the secondary contradictions, and pay special attention to grasping the principal one.” (Mao, On Contradiction, Selected Works, Vol.1, p.333, Emphases mine)
At this juncture, it was abundantly clear that the US had become the principal enemy of the Iraqi nation. And the resolution of contradiction between the two camps for the interest of the Iraqi people would only be through a war of national resistance against the imperialist occupiers. But the RCP did not identify that the principal contradiction shaping the politics of Iraq was the armed struggle between these two camps.
The party did not realise that US imperialism has become the principal aspect of the state power ruling Iraq, and therefore the main enemy of the Iraqi people. And the war of this oppressed nation against the US is a just war, and not a reactionary war.
Not believing in the masses
The RCP did not identify the US ruling class as the common enemy of the Iraqi people and the working class in the US. That’s one of the reasons why it could not mobilise the people to support the Iraqi nation and their righteous resistance. In fact, the RCP was compelled to turn its back on the struggle of this oppressed nation.
Despite many years of political activities and remaining extremely marginalised and isolated in the US, it is incomprehensible for the RCP that the Iraqi resistance could only rely on the support of the masses. For a party which believes that a few communists are makers of history, it is inconceivable that the masses could be the main force behind the development of a powerful resistance movement.
It was mainly due to the masses support that the resistance could sustain its armed struggle. The opponent has colossal fire power, massive resources, multiple intelligence services and international support. Through many twists and turns, the resistance movement in Iraq was able to push the occupying forces into a quagmire and discredit the US ruling class and expose its weaknesses.
The boundless creativity of the Iraqi people and their sacrifices against the occupiers has immensely damaged the US global strategic offensive, unilateralism and doctrine of the pre-emptive strike. In spite of a certain level of unity against occupiers, the resistance was unable to create a unified leadership. Indeed, strategically the Iraqi resistance needs a revolutionary leadership who could eventually develop the war of national resistance to a war of national liberation. But, this is the responsibility of the communists in Iraq and not the masses. Nevertheless, the RCP under the pretext of the lack of a “people’s pole” totally undermined the role of Iraqi resistance and the masses fighting against the US.
For nearly five years, the occupation of Iraq and the Iraqi people’s resistance shaped the politics of the day. Despite the lack of international support, the depth and breadth of damage nationally and internationally that the resistance of this oppressed nation has inflicted on the imperialist ruling classes of the US and Britain, militarily, politically and economically, is huge. Sustaining the war of national resistance seriously damaged the political ‘credibility’ of the leading factions of the ruling classes in both the US and Britain. Presumably, the resistance movement in Iraq largely contributed to the downfall of neo-cons and Tony Blair, and made George W Bush a “Lame Duck” president.
However, because of its static and one-sided view, the RCP cannot explain why arrogant imperialist phrases such as “cake walk”, “we will be welcomed by open arms” and “mission accomplished” turned into their opposites. Due to its incorrect understanding of the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nation, the RCP cannot realise that at this juncture the Iraqi resistance movement represents the national interest of the oppressed people of Iraq. And also that the struggle of the Iraqi nation against US imperialism conforms to the interest of the oppressed peoples of the world, including the working class in the US.
Iraq is a semi-colonial country, and therefore independence and nationalism are the motive forces to struggle against imperialism. The objective reality of class struggle in occupied Iraq does not develop according to the flawed notion of “Crusading McWorld vs. Reactionary Jihad”, which totally ignores these two most important motive forces. In fact, not only the immense hatred of the US has accumulated since 1991, but also the aspiration of the masses for independence has been immensely boosted by the occupation. Nevertheless, the RCP rejects the transformation of the anti-imperialist and nationalist sentiment of the Iraqi masses into a material force, concluding that the Iraqi resistance is flawed.
A serious deviation
Basing it stance on the subjective notion of “Crusading McWorld vs. Reactionary Jihad” shows that the RCP is incapable of concrete analysis of the concrete conditions. More importantly, it is incapable of supporting people’s struggle in an oppressed country even when it is occupied by imperialist military forces.
The October revolution in 1917 linked socialist revolutions in the imperialist countries to the national liberation movements of the oppressed nations. The RCP’s stance is a serious deviation from Marxism and this principle of the International Communist Movement given by the October socialist revolution. Presumably, breaking such a link is one of the most important factors preventing the RCP to build mass based organisations against US aggression and the occupation of Iraq.
Hence the RCP failed to utilise this unprecedented opportunity. Furthermore, since the party has adopted the notion of “Crusading McWorld vs. Reactionary Jihad”, it has become incapable of supporting national resistance movements in other countries, particularly in the Middle East. Alas, class struggle has taken a big leap forward, but the RCP has taken a big leap backward.
Another big leap backward
Making revolution is the primary task
Turning ones back to the struggle of oppressed nations against imperialism has dire consequences. This deviation considerably contributed to the RCP’s abandonment of other people’s struggles, even where they have been able to build and develop a powerful revolutionary movement under the leadership of a genuine communist party. A stark example of this is the RCP’s stance against revolution in Nepal.
No revolutionary movement in history has been able to advance without a clear ideological- political line. The experience of many communist parties shows that ambiguity on the ideological- political line is the primary cause of failure to build a revolutionary movement. Indeed, class struggle in each country requires an in-depth analysis and identification of its particularities. However, it seems that the question of not grasping Marxism-Leninism- Maoism as a science has been the main factor obstructing communists to advance revolution during the last 33 years.
The basis on which the RCP turned its back to the just struggle of people against imperialism, is principally ideological. Dialectical materialism requires continuous defence, application and development, where the application is generally the principal. The application of dialectical materialism is not only the foundation of grasping Marxism, but also the source of its development. A correct understanding of the essence of class struggle depends on seeking the truth and integrating with the masses.
The primary task of communists is to apply dialectical materialism, to analyse concrete conditions, to seek the truth from facts, and to implement the mass line to transform and mobilise the masses. With this ideological orientation, communists are able to develop a correct political line, and through leaps, organise a revolutionary movement to defeat imperialism and establish people’s power.
When a revolution approaches its final stages of seizing countrywide political power, it faces either a complete victory or a severe setback. At this crucial juncture, the communist party prepares the masses and strives to achieve the maximum unity for the final leap. Moreover, imperialism unites all reactionary forces to smash this challenge. In the case of Nepal, the people under the leadership of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the reactionaries under the leadership of the US are preparing for the final confrontation.
Furthermore, to deal with the immensely complicated questions of seizing political power a major two-line struggle has developed within the UCPN(M). Instead of realising this fact and supporting the correct line, the RCP does not even recognise the existence of this major two-line struggle, let alone how much the destiny of revolution in Nepal depends on its outcome. This is not surprising at all. The RCP which evidently has not carried out any self-criticism, rectification campaign and major two-line struggle during the last three decades has shown that it believes the communist party should be monolithic.
Revolution cannot be copied, but developed
Revolution in one country always needs support from communists and the masses in other countries. Whatever their differences, communists need to principally support other revolutions and never deviate from the line of “Workers of all countries Unite!” This internationalist task increases when a revolution goes through the twists and turns of its final stages.
Today, revolution in Nepal has reached its final stage; however, the RCP does not proceed from a position of a fraternal party. In its polemics (available at www.rwor.org) , the RCP categorises itself as a superior party and with total contempt teaches the ABCs of Marxism, treating the UCPN(M) as a minor party.
The UCPN(M) has successfully applied dialectical materialism to the concrete conditions in Nepal and built the most powerful revolutionary movement in the world. But the RCP argues that the UCPN(M) has a wrong understanding of the class struggle in Nepal. Why? Because, the UCPN(M) does not tail the “path-braking” work of Bob Avakian and his New Synthesis.
It is ironic that after 34 years, the RCP has not even been able to carry out a scientific class analysis of US society. And now this party behaves as if it is the world authority on class analysis. It claims that the UCPN(M) does not even know who the friends and enemies of the Nepalese people are. The RCP which has failed to nurture roots among the massive working class in the US views itself as a know-all and dictates to the UCPN(M) how to conduct the revolution in Nepal.
The RCP which has not been able to develop a clear strategy in the US cannot comprehend that on the basis of the concrete analyses of concrete conditions in Nepal and internationally, the UCPN(M) has developed a revolutionary strategy for the masses to seize power. Without having enough knowledge about the concrete conditions in Nepal, this party totally rejects all of the UCPN(M)’s revolutionary tactics. Without grasping the class struggle and progress of revolution in Nepal, this party misrepresents the UCPN(M)’s strategy.
The RCP’s criticism is based on book work and its own principles, which not only have failed but also have still not been synthesised. The RCP has failed to grasp that each revolution has its own particularities, that everything divides into two, that the principal contradiction should be identified at each stage, that major two-line struggles are essential and must involve the masses, that tactics must conform to the demands of the masses, and that the Party should not blindly follow previous successful models, because revolution cannot be copied, but must be developed.
Since 1976 the world has considerably changed and scientific analysis of class struggle in any country needs to include these changes. However, because the RCP proceeds from its subjective thought and not from dialectical materialism and the objective reality, it cannot recognise the major class contradictions in Nepal in order to identify the principal one. Consequently, it is unable to grasp the ways in which these principal contradictions have to be resolved.
The RCP has not been able to overcome its shortcomings to put revolutionary theory into practice. And now its theory has fundamentally become divorced from practice. According to the RCP’s conduct, theory does not develop through practice, but principally through further theory. With this kind of thought, there is a weak relation between knowledge and practice, between knowing and doing. According to them perceptual knowledge is not the main source of rational knowledge, and the perceptual stage of knowledge does not develop to the rational stage. Thus, correct ideas fall from the sky, or more precisely from the minds of geniuses, and revolutionary ideas develop by book worship and not through class struggle.
However, raising the people’s ideological- political consciousness and mobilising them in a revolutionary movement to seize power is not a linear process. In the oppressed countries this process develops primarily through People’s War. However, war transforms to peace and peace transforms to war, and that is how the People’s War in Nepal has developed.
In the case of Nepal, the RCP does not grasp that peace has been an inseparable aspect of developing the People’s War. Linear thinking obstructs the RCP from comprehending the fact that UCPN(M) through both war and peace has been able to increase its huge influence among the Nepalese people and advanced class struggle.
The mother of all unity
Until the last few years, the RCP openly supported some communist parties and peoples’ struggles around the world. The party was an important part of international campaigns to promote the People’s Wars in Peru and Nepal. It defended the life of the leader of the Communist Party of Peru, when he was captured by the state.
However, the most important internationalist task of a communist party is to build a powerful revolutionary movement and lead the working class and the masses to seize power in the country where they are. This is the principal aspect of their contribution to the world proletarian revolution. Also, and as the secondary aspect, other people’s struggles, particularly the ones which are under communist leadership, must be supported.
A communist party is a part of the whole International Communist Movement, and therefore should treat all other communist organisations as equal, fraternally and as a contingent of the international proletariat. Imperialism operates globally, uniting the forces against social progress by neutralising and smashing the people’s struggles. Thus, uniting working class and the masses internationally is an inseparable aspect of developing a successful revolutionary movement in one country.
International unity against imperialism is the mother of all unities. Achieving such a unity urges communists to struggle and unite at higher levels. Struggles among communists need to be healthy, democratic, bold and aboveboard. In this way the international proletariat can find new ideas and methods to defeat imperialism and its lackeys. Ideological unity for communists is the key to struggle for the interest of the masses.
However the RCP believes that it is the vanguard of and above the whole International Communist Movement. Thus, all communists have to follow the RCP without even dividing it into two. If others do not conform to the ‘vital’ work of Bob Avakian, they would definitely be on the wrong side. With this kind of thought, the RCP’s criticism of others, including the UCPN(M), is biased. Unity-struggle- unity should be the principle; however, the RCP’s method of struggling with the UCPN(M) is not only not based on unity, but also does not seek unity. Therefore, it is divisive and seriously damaging the unity of the International Communist Movement.
Breaking the path
The RCP claims that Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis has developed “a whole new way of approaching human emancipation.” But more than 80 percent of the people in the world live in the oppressed countries, where they are subjugated by imperialism, principally the US. The vast majority of people’s struggles around the world are not under communist leadership, but their struggle is just and needs support. Instead of rejecting nearly all struggles which do not conform to the line of the RCP, it is essential that this party back these struggles whatever their shape or form. And on this basis criticise their shortcomings.
However, the RCP has turned its back on the just struggles of people in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, etc. Furthermore, it has turned its back on revolution in Nepal which is led by communists. Hence, regarding the people’s struggles in the oppressed countries, Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis is not “path breaking”, but in fact is breaking the Marxist path.
From its very beginning the RCP has had a problem to thoroughly base itself on the theory of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism, which is the synthesis of the most correct and most revolutionary scientific thought of the international proletariat. If this party had been able to grasp and integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism- Maoism with the concrete conditions in the US, class struggle in the country would have taken on an entirely new complexion.
Moreover, if the RCP had been able to build a powerful revolutionary movement in the US, an entire historical stage of socialist revolution could have emerged internationally. However, because of not rectifying its thoughts and actions, the RCP has moved further away from supporting the struggles of the people in the world, particularly in the oppressed countries.
World People's Reistance Movement (Britain)
E-mail: wprm_britain@ yahoo.co. uk
Web: www.wprmbritain. org
Free Rinaldo, Marco, Alessandro and Samuele!
Party of the Committees to Support Resistance – for Communism (CARC)
Via Tanaro, 7 - 20128 Milano -
e-mail: email@example.com –
National Direction - International Relations DepartmentTel. +39 0226306454
Association for Proletarian Solidarity (ASP)
CP 380, 80133 Naples– Italy
Sito web: http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.solidarietaproletaria.org
Joint Statement of CARC and ASP
We call all the democratic, antifascist and communist forces to release this statement widely
Provocations, beatings, threats, arrests: Massa police tries to prevent people’s organization against fascist patrols!
People’s patrols against fascists and racists are just, even if the bourgeoisie states that they are illegal!
We demand the immediate liberation of the comrades!
We call all Communists, antifascists, true democratic people to take a stand and denounce the violation of the democratic rights conquered by the victory of the Resistance
Free Rinaldo, Marco, Alessandro and Samuele!
On 25th July the comrades of ASP promoted an antifascist and antiracist people’s patrol at Massa, near the place where the CARC Party held its National Feast and where ASP is holding its one, in order to oppose the campaign the Right Wing has fomented during the last months, with patrols, sit in and releasing leaflets exalting racism
The comrades of ASP and CARC Party and other Communists and antifascists of Massa went towards the zone where the Rightists were going to do their patrol (the SSS, headed by a former marshal of the Carabinieri, a notorious fascist) and met some fascists standing outside a bar, escorted by police cars. The fascists, supported by the police, provoked the comrades, who did not withdraw until the fascists dispersed.
The comrades go back to the Feast area, but soon after some provokers came to the entrance and attacked some young people who were there. The comrades who were on duty for the security intervened and immediately the policemen and the political police (Digos) attacked and held the comrades, so that it was clear that they set a trap.
The comrades were able to call by phone some others, who came. The police attacked them beating, kicking and punching and four of them were arrested: Rinaldo and Alessandro of the CARC Party, Marco and Samuele of the ASP.
The news of these provocative arrests were got by the comrades who were at the Feast, and they went to the barracks of the Carabinieri and then to police headquarters, There they found ambulances and so feared that the political policemen of Massa, notorious torturers, wer going to do again what they did on November 1998, when they kidnapped 12 comrades. Concern, anger and just indignation grew when they got to know that one of the comrades held and beaten by the political police had had a illness, but the police did not allow the ambulance to come in the headquarters!
Now three of the comrades have been liberated. We have no news about Alessandro, secretary of the CARC Party for the Tuscany. Samuele was able to go to the hospital, guarded over by a carabiniere who facing comrade’s relatives was exalting fascism
The comrades stayed in front of the headquarters all night long and they went to the railway station, blocking the trains for several hours.
Getting these news, in Naples, where it is held the Feast of Resistenza [the newspaper of the CARC Party, Note of Translator] of Southern Italy, some comrades spontaneously marched towards a police station chanting slogans. They stayed there several hours and then they blocked the railway station also in Naples
Let’s call Massa Police Headquarters (0039-585-494602) asking for the liberation of Alessandro!
Let’s follow the example of the comrades of ASP and CARC Party who are in the forefront against the fascist and racist patrols! Let’s organize people’s patrols!
Fascists, racists and their instigators and supporters will not be able to stop the struggle for making Italy a new socialist country! They will not be able to prevent us from utilizing our Feasts as means for denouncing their crimes and for people’s organization!
Solidarity is a weapon!
We go onwards in the struggle for making Italy a new socialist country by the mobilization, the fight, the class solidarity!
Prachanda for new agreement to settle disputes
The United Communist Party-Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that a new agreement was long over due to get rid of the differences among the major stakeholders of the peace process.
He also warned that any further delay in making such agreement would only push the country to further chaos and uncertainty.
Dahal was also of the opinion that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 6 Mangsir 2062 was in itself a self contradictory one and the peace process thus is in a fractured state.
“We need to forge new agreement to provide continuity to the peace process and draft the new constitution on time”, said Dahal addressing a book launching ceremony.
Dr. Birendra Mishra has authored the book entitled “The Nepalese Peace Process”. The book launching ceremony was held in Kathmandu.
However, he assured the attending mass that the United Maoist party will never detach itself from the ongoing peace process.
Dahal also claimed that some forces in the country were trying to sideline the Maoists from the peace process.
“Freshly Girija Prasad Koirala have begin making strange remarks, Defense Minister Bhandari is in India to import weapons…such acts were aimed at jeopardizing the peace process”, he declared.
“We are left with no option than to reevaluate past agreements and forge new accord among the political parties of Nepal”, he continued. “I request the civil society to take the initiative in this regard”, Dahal concluded.
Friday, July 24, 2009
‘We Still Fight, But With Words, No Longer With Guns’
50-year-old Hisila Yami alias Comrade Parvati, Nepal’s most powerful woman Maoist leader, dispells the myth that Maoist guerillas are bellicose and unkempt. She is suave, soft-spoken and smiles often. Educated in India and England, this architect taught in a college for 13 years before going underground during the Maoists’ 11-year-long armed struggle. From guerilla camps to becoming Minister for Tourism to being elected to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, Hisila has had a long and eventful journey. Despite being a political heavyweight — a Member of the Politburo of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPNM), a former Minister and wife of Baburam Bhattarai, the ideological fount of the CPN-M — Hisila wears her identity lightly.
In a smart business suit, a salt-andpepper- haired Hisila spoke to AMRITA NANDY-JOSHI of the Nepali Maoists’ transition from revolution to realpolitik, from military offensives to political offensives and the roadblocks faced in between.
Despite years of a violent war, what brought the Maoists victory in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly elections?
Our armed struggle was a people’s war. The people of Nepal had grown intolerant of a corrupt and inefficient government. The monarch and other non-left parties have promoted and taken advantage of the dominant Hindu belief systems. With the Army supporting and protecting monarchy and imperialism, people eventually saw who stood for what. The CPN-M declared total war against these forces. We had even thought of taking over Kathmandu but we realized that this would not be appropriate. Besides, we knew how India and China would have responded.
Meanwhile, the Maoists gained popularity and our strategy gained momentum because we delivered what the government could not. For example, justice was Kathmandu-centric and archaic. So we appointed two legal officers, a man and a woman, to every district. We started a crude banking system and cottage industries as well. We almost ran a parallel government. People knew and appreciated our values of egalitarianism.
How difficult is it for Maoists to deal with realpolitik?
Entering a multi-party parliamentary democracy system is certainly a departure from certain models of communist revolution. Yet, in another way, war and democracy have a dialectical relationship.
Nepal has a rich leftist tradition and movement, with many shades of red. We have fully used this to our advantage to enter the peace process. We are following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a timetable for the Maoists to enter Parliament, lay down arms, join the Government and participate in the electoral process.
At the Constituent Assembly (CA) meetings, I watch our cadre members and am amazed at how quickly they have learnt the ropes. Yet, the struggle is on. We fight now with words and not with guns – we argue over the expressions to be used in drafting the Constitution (smiles).
What roadblocks are causing the current stalemate?
Our strongest opposition is from the military because their supremacy is challenged in a parliamentary democracy. They enjoyed impunity under the monarchy and do not like us for our egalitarian ideals and the idea of civilian supremacy. Other non-Marxist parties such as the Nepali Congress, too, see the military as their last saviour, and so cling to each other and to imperialist agents.
The Comprehensive Peace Process clearly states that the cadres of the People’s Liberation Army will be integrated into the Nepal Army. The Army Chief has overruled this. Since the army’s loyalties to the monarchy are well known, we suggested that the terms of generals not be extended. In fact, new officers were recruited to the top echelons of the police and paramilitary forces. We faced no opposition. Yet, when it came to the Army, the same idea became untenable. We are keen to end the impasse and want to be flexible but our flexibility is not absolute.
Is there democracy within the party?
Internal democracy in the CPN-M is very strong. Prachanda encourages diversity of ideas but has the knack of keeping the team together. There are some who do not agree with our struggle within the parliamentary framework. There are contradictions, old and new. Yet, we are all firm that we will not let realpolitik overcome our people-oriented agenda.
Have you left the path of armed struggle for good?
We have given up violence for the time being. In fact, we want to integrate our People’s Liberation Army into the Nepal Army so that our boys receive good training. To us, this was part of a restructuring exercise. The Army is rather feudal and is resisting this.
If the peace process is long, some cadres may leave us. Some of them have joined the Terai movement. Even within our party, some want to go back to the path of revolution. A philosophical churning is on, not just within our party but within other parties as well.
In other South Asian countries, federal decentralisation has defeated the collective spirit. How will you ensure you don’t repeat the mistake?
Federalism helps reach out to every person in a parliamentary democracy. We are discussing this at the CA and are proposing 15 states to accommodate all communities. Religious and ethnic conflicts happen in Nepal as well. In the Terai, there have been clashes between Hindus and Muslims but things do not flare up like they do in India.
As Maoists, however, we believe that as economic development takes over, religious and ethnic sentiments will wither away. All three regions of Nepal have to be economically viable and integrated in order to keep conflict at bay. There will have to be an inch-by-inch adjustment.
In the name of culture, religious and ethnic issues can take the stage. By ensuring that that workers and peasants have representation within ethnic groups, we hope to resolve ethnic and class conflicts.
When we went to war in 1996, our agenda was a new, democratic revolution. This stage — the peace process — is penultimate. The goal is still the total restructuring of the state.
It is momentous to be part of a country’s constitution- making exercise. How are you ensuring that it is progressive, particularly with regard to women?
We have been preparing for this moment for a long time. Women are part of all CA sub-committees on planning and development. There are several young women from the dailt, sherpa, madhesi and Muslim communities representing different political parties. They are planning land reforms while keeping the interests of women, dalits and other marginalised groups in mind. Inheritance rights will be re-looked at. The sub-committee will recommend that inheritance take place in the name of the mother, daughter and so on.
As per a Supreme Court ruling, the ‘third sex’ will be a recognised category of sexual identity. Our forms and other papers should soon have a box with ‘third sex’, besides the usual ‘man’ and ‘woman’ options. Nepal’s society is quite liberal about sexual identities and orientation. The left, in particular, is tolerant towards these issues. In fact, Sunil Pant is Nepal’s first openly gay Member of Parliament.
Yet, women’s struggle against patriarchy will be long and hard. When my name was to be registered for elections to the CA, the officials assumed that I use my husband’s name and registered me as Hisila Yami Bhattarai!
At this juncture, what role do you expect India to play in Nepal?
India’s role should be mature. During the debate over Army Chief Katawal’s unconstitutional response, India supported him and pressurised us to give in to an Army that has always supported the monarchy and been status quoist.
The Indian government has declared the CPI (Maoist) as terrorists and has banned them. What is your reaction? Do you have any links to them?
Banning the outfit will not help. Economic issues should be dealt with through economic measures. The Indian Maoist parties concentrate on their own work. We focus on ours. We do sympathise with them.
How is China reacting to the developments in Nepal?
China is busy doing business (smiles).
By CAROL PAGADUAN-PARAULLO
Streetwise / Business World
I was tempted to submit a column for the week with the title “Arroyo’s SONA accomplishments” followed by a blank space but quickly realized I didn’t have the advantage of youthful irony to get away with the trick. More importantly, that would be a waste of valuable column inches just to underscore the obvious.
A worthwhile subject matter, on the other hand, is government’s announcement that formal peace talks with the umbrella revolutionary organization, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, is to take place next month and that both sides are gung-ho about taking another stab at a peaceful resolution to the armed conflict.
For the Arroyo regime, this appears to be such a turn-around in its “all-out war” policy against the communist-led armed movement. It seems antithetical to Malacanang’s declared objective of decisively defeating the revolutionary group by the end of Mrs. Arroyo’s term in 2010. All prior attempts of the Norwegian government, acting as Third Party facilitator, to reopen the talks have been torpedoed by government’s intransigence over its demand for an indefinite ceasefire. What gives?
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been trying mightily to deliver on its promise to decimate what government considers the number one “security threat” to the republic. But as the deadline draws near the press statements have become more guarded about the likelihood of success.
Military spokespersons have started to say that a home-grown insurgency such as that being waged by the New People’s Army, with its roots in poverty and injustice, cannot be stamped out by military might alone. What they don’t admit is that even the ongoing “dirty war” marked by extrajudicial killings and other state terror tactics against unarmed activists and civilian populations have not achieved the same end either.
The bogus Commander-in-Chief’s commitment of billions of VAT-generated pesos into the counter-insurgency effort along with the boost in US military aid in the wake of President Bush’s declared “war on terror” have not produced any prospect of victory over the CPP-NPA in the remaining ten months to government’s self-imposed deadline.
Perhaps that is one major reason for this unexpected dovish approach of the Arroyo government, erstwhile dominated by the voices of the hawks, warmongers and rabid anti-communists. Indeed, failure can be covered up as enlightened policy.
What makes such a failure more politically costly is the bloody record of human rights violations that has become the hallmark of the Arroyo regime and has made it a pariah in the international human rights community. Amnesty International, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings and a host of other independent human rights bodies have rightfully pointed to the government’s hardline policy against the decades-old revolutionary movement as the underlying reason for the unacceptable and condemnable rise in human rights violations during Mrs. Arroyo’s nine-year watch.
An apparent softening of the regime’s mindset and policy with the scheduled resumption of the formal peace talks may neutralize the political fall-out especially in the international arena.
Together with the recent abolition of the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG), the government arm created specifically to file trumped-up cases against NDFP consultants and staff members as well as progressive personalities and activists on the left of the political spectrum, the reopening of the peace talks is indeed a welcome development.
Nonetheless, many sectors are wary and distrustful in the light of continuing extra-judicial killings, disappearances, torture and arbitrary arrests and fabricated charges against the Arroyo regime’s critics, oppositionists and dissidents.
Moreover, the nefarious machinations and maneuvers of the Arroyo cabal to retain power beyond 2010 including convening an illegal Constituent Assembly to ram through Charter amendments and stage managing a political scenario (complete with alleged terrorist bombings) to justify the imposition of emergency rule, do not auger well for any kind of peaceful transition to a new government much less a negotiated peace settlement with committed revolutionaries.
It must be remembered that the peace negotiations between the government and the NDFP cover four substantive agenda: human rights and international humanitarian law, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and cessation of hostilities/disposition of forces. The peace overtures of the Arroyo regime amount to little while it persists in the very same anti-people policies and programs that the revolutionary movement and the people have been fighting against.
Peace advocates everywhere, especially those whose concept of genuine peace is that of a just peace, must support and encourage any openings in the peaceful path towards resolving armed conflict, no matter how narrow and small. But more important is to work for those conditions that will bring about a just peace, i.e. constantly struggling to achieve substantial reforms in all aspects of government and society in order to extirpate the root causes of social unrest and revolution.
In the end, it is not the sincerity or trustworthiness of the Arroyo government that matters but the strength of the people’s movement for meaningful change. (Business World /
The Security Council on Thursday has extended through January 2010 the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN)
Unanimously adopting resolution 1879 (2009), as per the request from Nepal government and with the Secretary-General’s recommendations, the Council renewed the mandate through January 23.
Welcoming the progress achieved so far, the Council called on all political parties to expedite the peace process and to work together in a spirit of “cooperation, consensus and compromise to continue the transition to a durable long-term solution to enable the country to move to a peaceful, democratic and more prosperous future”.
The Council requested the Secretary-General to report, by October 30, 2009, on implementation of the present resolution and progress in creating conditions conducive to the completion of UNMIN’s activities by the end of the current mandate
Further, the Council called on the government to continue to take the necessary decisions to create conditions conducive to completion of UNMIN’s activities by the end of the current mandate, including through implementation of the June 25, 2008 Agreement, in order to facilitate the Mission’s withdrawal.
Concerned by recent developments in the country, the Council encouraged “renewed and sustained efforts to create a unified approach” among Nepal’s political parties, including through the proposed high-level consultative mechanism as a forum for discussion on critical peace process issues. It also called on the Government and all political parties to work together to ensure the early reconstitution and effective working of the Special Committee for the supervision, integration and rehabilitation of Maoist army personnel, drawing upon the support of the Technical Committee established on March 27, 2009 to develop guidelines for bringing those personnel under the Special Committee’s supervision.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Prachanda (Dahl) warns of new round of confrontation if India resumes weapons supply
Unified CPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has reportedly warned Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal that the government's plan to import weapons from India will derail the fragile peace process.
According to reports, the Maoist Chairman called PM Nepal Wednesday morning and expressed serious objection of his party to Defense Minister Bidhya Bhandari's request to India to resume weapons supply to Nepal.
Dahal also said that import of any weapons while the peace process is still on is against the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and will completely jeopardize the peace process, leading to resumption of violence and more bloodshed in the country.
India stopped supplying lethal weapons to Nepal following the royal takeover in February 2005, but continued to provide non-lethal military hardware.
On Tuesday, Defense Minister Bhandari met her Indian counterpart A.K Antony and Foreign Minister S.M Krishna in New Delhi and asked for resumption of military assistance to Nepal. She later told the media that India was positive on resuming the stalled military assistance and that details of the support would be finalised by a meeting of a bi-national committee.
Meanwhile, Raghuji Pant, PM Nepal's political advisor, denied there were any talks about Defense Minister's request to India for military assistance between the PM Nepal and the Maoist chairman.
He told Republica Daily that Dahal only requested the prime minister to promote a joint secretary to the post of secretary.
He also quoted PM Nepal as telling Dahal that the government is only seeking "logistic support" for the Nepal Army, not any lethal military hardware.
Maoist leaders say Defense Minister's request to India to resume supply of weapons to Nepal smells of conspiracy to derail the peace process.
Speaking at an interaction program in the capital city Wednesday, Maoist leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi said government's plan to import weapons from India only goes to show that it wants to jeopardize the peace process and invite a situation of confrontation.
He further said that the prime minister and NC President Girija Prasad Koirala's recent statements against integration of Maoist combatants into Nepal Army reeks of conspiracy to derail the peace process.
Rayamajhi also accused the government of functioning as per the wishes of the Army.
Talking in the same program, Energy Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat had said the government can import weapons considering the country's security needs, but said a final decision on the matter has not been taken.
The Nepal government has not imported weapons from any country since the signing of the CPA with the Maoists in 2006.
Source: Nepal News
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
India promises to resume arms supplies to Nepal
Picture Bidya Devi Bhandari
TNN 22 July 2009
NEW DELHI: Eager to counter China's strategic inroads into Nepal, India has promised to bolster defence cooperation with the Himalayan country,
including resumption of arms supplies which had run into rough weather in recent times.
This came after visiting Nepal defence minister Bidya Devi Bhandari, leading a 10-member delegation, held talks with her Indian counterpart A K Antony and other top military brass on Tuesday.
The recruitment of Nepalis in Indian Army's Gorkha Rifles also figured in the talks. The earlier strife engulfing Nepal ensured no recruitment rallies were held for the purpose since September 2006.
It was only in February-March this year that the Indian Army once again began the process, with rallies in Dharan (eastern Nepal) and Pokhara (central Nepal), attracting over 15,000 applicants.
There are over 30,000 Nepali Gorkhas currently serving in Indian Army's seven Gorkha Rifles (Ist, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th), each of which has five to six battalions, and some paramilitary forces.
India, of course, had been caught off-balance after the Maoists emerged victorious in Nepal's constituent assembly elections and Pushpa Kamal Dahal `Prachanda' was sworn in as the PM last year.
With the Maoists tilting clearly towards China, India had to then scramble to engage them in `a constructive manner'. The situation, of course, is yet to settle down fully in Kathmandu following Prachanda's resignation after failing to sack Nepal Army chief General Rookmangud Katawal in a power struggle with President Ram Baran Yadav.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Lalgarh on the boil, Maoists resurfacing
Asian Age, London edition, 21st July 2009
July 20: Lalgarh and the adjoining tribal belt in West Midnapore are once again on the boil. Over a month after the drive launched by the West Bengal government to drive the Maoists out, and contrary to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s claims, the rebels have begun to "resurface".
A landmine blast at Bakishole was followed by a fierce gunbattle between Maoists and the security forces near Ramgarh. The road between Dherua and Lalgarh was dug up. The police lathi-(a 6 to 8-foot long cane tipped with an optional metal blunt - from the British days! - Ed) charged tribals after members of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities gathered near the police camp at Gohomi-danga High School Monday morning, demanding its "immediate removal". Twelve people, including some women and children, had to be hospitalised. Hours later, state home secretary Ardhendu Sen apologised for the lathicharge and said all police camps would be shifted out of school buildings by the end of July.
Asked about the Maoists’ "rejuvenation" despite the "success" of Operation Lalgarh, Mr Sen said: "It is a long process. The operation will continue."
As the 10 am Monday deadline for the police to vacate the school camp neared, nearly 6,000 people gathered there, with schoolchildren in the front row, followed by women in the second tier and men at the back. When the police saw the situation getting out of control, the lathicharge began, in which children and women were not spared. Teargas shells were fired as well, injuring a dozen people.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Prachanda says UML led Government working at behest of Imperialist powers
Speaking at an interaction in the capital Monday, chairman of Unified CPN (Maoist) and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ( Prachanda) argues that the present UML-led government is working at the behest of imperialist powers.
July 20: Unified CPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ´Prachanda´ on Monday called on party leaders to begin debate on the relevance of unitary leadership practiced in the party."Party authority consolidated in the hand of a single person should be an issue for discussion among our friends," Dahal said, while launching Rato Jhilko (red spark), a quarterly leftist journal.
Party authority has been centered in the hand of Dahal after the UCPN (Maoist) launched an insurgency in 1996."We should hold debates on the relevance of keeping party authority in the hand of a single person," Dahal said, referring to the article ´Marxism Today´, written by senior party leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai, published in the Rato Jhilko.In 2001, the party adopted Prachanda Path, an ideological line named after Dahal´s nom de guerre Prachanda. However, the party discarded Prachanda Path as the party´s ideological line, following the party´s unity with Ekata Kendra Masal
Commenting on the development of Marxism,
Dahal also deplored the fact that the so called leftist forces in the country had remained split instead of uniting to take the revolution forward. He also criticized the parliamentary political parties, especially the CPN-UML, for standing against civilian supremacy and causing the downfall of the Maoist-led government.Dahal condemned the UML so strongly that UML chairman Jhalanth Khanal, who was invited as a guest in the function, stepped down from the podium. Though Dahal requested Khanal to stay, the latter refused to relent.
Earlier, addressing the function, Khanal had stressed on the need to forge working unity with the left forces in the country to take the revolution towards socialism and communism.Dr Baburam Bhattarai also stressed on the need of unity among the left forces. He was of the view that Marxism should be refined to implement it in different contexts
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The NDF and the Philippine Government have agreed to resume peace talks next month in Norway, five years after the negotiations broke down
Despite the positive signs, analysts said chances for an agreement were bleak, especially since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo leaves office next May and any agreement would have to be followed up by the next government.
"There are no guarantees that the Arroyo administration will dedicate the necessary political will and resources to make the planned Oslo talks in August effectual," Pete Troilo of the consultancy group Pacific Strategies and Assessments (PS&A) told Reuters.
"There is no sudden rush by the NDF to resume the formal talks," Fidel Agcaoili, a member of the NDF peace panel, told Reuters. "The NDF can negotiate with the government as a political entity regardless of who is sitting as the president."
Declaration on Nepal from Proletari Communisti
The position of Proletari Comunisti PCm Italy regarding the
situation in Nepal is based on the slogan we launched a few months ago:
With the revolution in Nepal and the nepalese maoists engaged in the
clash between revolution and counter-revolution, in the complex and
difficult phase of struggle for the New Democratic Republic, marching
toward the socialism.
In this context we do not support the position of chairman Prachanda but
that of the comrades and leaders in the Unified Communist Party of Nepal maoist that supports another line in the current situation, Kiran and Gaurav.
We think that this line will become soon majority in the Party and more
over in the nepal revolution and among the masses in Nepal.
We want a national and international campaign with specific committees that invites comrade Gaurav to Italy and Europe
Proletari Comunisti PCm Italy
Maoist Communist Party of Italy
UNSG recommends extension of UNMIN's term
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recommended to the UN Security Council to extend the term of UNMIN by six months, Friday.
Secretary General Ban recommended the extension of UNMIN's term in response to the government's letter to the UN Security Council tabled by Nepal's permanent envoy to the UN Madhu Raman Acharya, earlier this month.
"Political leaders in Nepal have expressed the view that the presence of UNMIN is needed until the integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist army personnel is resolved," said Ban in his report made available to the media here on Saturday. "I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate for a further six months until 23 January 2010."
Ban has urged the Nepali government to take full advantage of the presence of UNMIN for the timely completion of the peace process.
In his report, Ban has also said, the UN and its partners are prepared to work closely and more intensively with the government in implementing a suitable programme that would effectively meet the needs of the disqualified PLA combatants.
Ban has also said, the progress in Nepal's peace process has stalled due to misunderstanding between Nepal's political stake holders.
The UN Security Council is expected to discuss and approve the report next week before UNMIN's term ends on July 23.
National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on the possible resumption of the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations
By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Member and Spokesperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
In view of the public statements by certain officials of the Manila government, we wish to set the record straight on certain issues mutually agreed upon by representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) for the possible resumption of the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, during the informal meeting held on 15 June 2009 in the presence of the Third Party Facilitator, the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG).
1.The two Parties agreed to reaffirm all previously signed agreements, including the Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees (RWC Agreement), the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) before the proposed dates for the resumption of the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.
In this regard, the GRP unilaterally declared its intention to "lift the suspension" of the JASIG and cause the release of detained consultants and other JASIG-protected persons, as well as the political prisoners scheduled to be released as early as 2001 and 2004. During the four-hour discussions, there was no mention made by representatives of both Parties that the NDFP would reveal the identities of its list of 87 (not 97) holders of Documents of Identification.
2.For the information of everyone, the NDFP has never demanded from the GRP since August 2002 that the latter ask the governments of the European Union and the US to remove the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People's Army (NPA) and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP in the peace negotiations, from the "terrorist list" of these governments.
What the NDFP has been proposing to the GRP is that the two Parties sign a joint statement asserting the right of the Filipino people to national sovereignty and territorial integrity over incidents occurring in the Philippines. Foreign governments have no right to label as terrorism what are deemed as acts of belligerency in a civil war under international law and what the revolutionaries themselves deem as acts of revolution and by the local reactionaries as acts of rebellion under the Hernandez political offense doctrine of the Supreme Court.
3.The RWC Agreement (and its Supplemental Agreement of 17 March 1997) clearly stipulates that the End of Hostilities and Disposition of Forces is the last item in sequential order of the four-point agenda of the GPP-NDFP peace negotiations as follows:
1) respect for human rights and international humanitarian law;
2) social and economic reforms;
3) political and constitutional reforms; and,
4) end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
During the 15 June 2009 informal meeting, what was mutually agreed upon to be part of the agenda in the resumption of the formal talks in August 2009 was the convening of the Reciprocal Working Committees on Social and Economic Reforms of both Parties to work out the tentative agreement on this item and the possible formation of working groups (not yet the Reciprocal Working Committees) on political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.