INSAF Bulletin [46]   February, 2006
Postal Address: 254 Kensington Ave, Westmount., QC, Canada H3Z 2G6 (Tel. 514 346-9477)
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Editors : Daya Varma (Montreal) & Vinod Mubayi (New York)

Nepal Issue - Marking the First Anniversary of the Royal Coup

Editorial: For a People's Republic of Nepal!
Interview with Chairman Prachanda - Excerpts from Janadesh Weekly
  Nepal - An Overview: Introduction to Parvati - John Mage (Monthly Review)
  People’s Power in Nepal - A Document from Comrade Parvati
Protests mark the first anniversary of coup in Nepal:
    Joint Appeal by Civil Society Organization
    Washington D.C.
    Europe: Anand Swaroop Verma's Tour
Nepal Update:
    Hundreds arrested in Nepal protests
  Government's claims are baseless: Prachanda
    Human Rights Organizations visit detained Pro-Democracy Leaders
    Candidates pull out of Nepal Municipal Polls
Bhutan King Seeking a Way Out

Editorial: For a People's Republic of Nepal!

This issue of INSAF Bulletin is dedicated to the valiant people of Nepal, the seven political parties who were represented in the previous parliament and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), who are waging relentless struggle against the autocratic rule of King Gyanendra, especially since he usurped all powers on February 1, 2005 and became an outright dictator.

Like Chile’s ex-fascist ruler Pinochet, King Gyanendra also thinks that he can rule any which way he wants until his natural death. That is what Pinochet also thought. But stupidity and shortsightedness is the hallmark of all fascists and dictators and King Gyanendra appears to be no exception.

Since February 1, 2005 the struggle for democracy in Nepal has only grown. The resistance to the King has also grown across the entire country. Until that date, the CPN(M) was the only organization demanding that the monarchy be replaced by a Republic and a Constituent Assembly be elected.  Since then many organizations including CPN (United Marxist Leninist) have accepted this stand of CPN(M). The January 21, 2006 protest, which paralyzed not only Kathmandu but most major towns of Nepal, and the lack of support for the Municipal elections, which the King wants to hold only to confuse people, clearly show where the King stands in his blatant confrontation with the Nepalese people.

Since the coup of February 1, the CPN (M) has displayed the utmost confidence and flexibility and shown considerable maturity that has dispelled some of the prevailing cynicism in certain circles about the Maoist movement in Nepal. The CPN(M) has promised a multiparty democracy in Nepal.

As the leader of CPN(M) once said, they could takeover Kathmandu anytime if it were not for the help from the US and a few other countries which the King is receiving.  However, if the king does not concede soon the democratic demands of the Nepalese people, he will have to unceremoniously depart. Foreign assistance is not going to help him survive for long.

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Interview with Chairman Prachanda
Extracts from an exclusive interview with comrade Prachanda taken by Janadesh weekly, before the end of 4-month long ceasefire unilaterally declared by CPN (M).

Q : Comrade Chairman, it sounds from your statement that it will not be possible to extend ceasefire after one month. Does it mean that ceasefire will break off after one month? Or, in which situation the ceasefire need not be called off?

A : It has been clarified in our party statement that it will not be possible to go on with ceasefire if the feudal element continues military terror. It means it is to teach the masses that whether or not the ceasefire breaks off lies in the hand of feudal elements. The ceasefire can continue forever if an environment is built up to transfer sovereign right to the masses by opening up a way to go forward to the democratic republic by means of a broad national political convention, interim government and the election of constituent assembly. Our will has been not to break off ceasefire but to find a forward-looking political way in a peaceful way. But, if feudal power and its military terror continue as of now, there will be no other way left before the party and the masses than creating a forceful rebellion and storm of resistance against them by calling off ceasefire. Now the ball is thrown into the court of feudal and their counter throw will decide the game ahead. The crux of our policy is to remain prepared for any worst situation.

Q : It has been observed that the 12-point understanding reached between seven parliamentarian political parties and the CPN (Maoist) has acquired wide support in and outside of the country. How are you estimating the upcoming political events to take course?

A : The 12-point understanding reached between seven parliamentarian political parties and ours is the end result of conscious interactions and the demand of political events developing in the country. It represents a preliminary political step but a step of far-reaching significance towards the direction of building up a broad democratic front against autocratic feudalism in the country. Therefore, it is obvious for it to acquire a wide political support from the real pro-democratic and pro-peace individuals, organizations, institutions and forces in and outside of the country. As the first political result after the said understanding, new confidence and energy appeared in the anti-monarchical movement of the people has already been manifested in the programs of different political parties. In our opinion, the development of the upcoming political events will take place on the way to complete defeat of the feudal autocratic monarchy and inclusive victory of people’s democratic aspiration. No one will be able to put a stop to the democratic aspiration of Nepalese people of the 21st century. The 12-points understand, breaking the existing political confusion and darkness, has provided people a torch in their hand and it will go on blazing till the autocracy turns into ash.

Q : After the 12-point understanding, some of the political analysts have also started to explain that Maoists are prepared to join peaceful political stream and accept ceremonial monarchy. What is the real political essence of that agreement according to the standpoint of CPN (Maoist)?

A : Definitely, the 12-point understanding has become like a blind man feels an elephant for some political analysts. That we are prepared to join peaceful political stream or accept constitutional and ceremonial monarchy shows the only fact that those people, who have concluded this, do not at all understand the political essence of 12-point understanding. The political essence of 12-point understanding is not to seek understanding with monarchy but to raise struggle against it; this is the first point. Second, our resolve to go forward peacefully in a new political stream that comes through the election of constituent assembly and reorganization of army in compliance with its result is the conviction expressed in 12-point. That we are trying to give in, give up or bring arms to a halt and join the prevailing so-called political stream, there can be no bigger fun with facts than this. Definitely, we are for a peaceful and forward looking political way out. But, it will never be tolerable to our party and the people to absolutely legitimise the autocratic feudal monarchy and its royal army. It is only to misunderstand the spirit of agreement to understand or explain in that way.

Q : Royalists are vigorously propagating that the agreement has weakened the national aspect, while some of the people within left circle have raised doubt on it. How would you assure the patriotic masses on it?

A : In the 12-point understanding, one of the clauses has put forward, with solemn importance, a clear-cut concept regarding the real nationalism against Mandale nationalism and the foreign policy that has to be adopted in the geo-political situation of Nepal. In order to flourish the Nepalese national unity, a concept that has to address right of the masses of the people of all class, nationality, region and sex has also been clarified in the opening of 12-point. In this backdrop, it is understandable to oppose understanding from the angle of Mandale nationalism (which has been historically proved that it is national betrayal from both internal and external sense) by the feudal royalists, based upon Hindu high caste chauvinism. Contrarily, echoing the Mandale nationalism, to have doubt by a number of self-proclaiming left persons has been an inconceivable surprise for us. History is very much unkind and it obligates all the hidden Majhis and Lendupes to surface nakedly in its course of history. We think the development of Nepalese political events has eased to single out who is real and who is false friend of the people. Nationalism and democracy are inseparably complementary to each other. The nationalism without democracy is equally phoney as the democracy is without nationalism. In the context, when this question has been clarified in the agreement paper, it is historical duty and right of the masses of all class, region, sex and nationality to become alert towards Mandale nationalism and struggle hard against its anti-national essence.

     Few people have ridiculously and shamelessly gone to side with feudal palace and royal army by doubting the important provision proposed against the feudal military dictatorship that in the course of constituent assembly election both the people’s liberation army and royal army could be kept under the UNO or a trustworthy international supervision. What we believe is that the great Nepalese people have acquired adequate consciousness relating to nationalism amid intense political struggle for decades and will never be confused with Mandale nationalism. Now, in order to establish a historical foundation of strong national unity the peoples of all nation, region, sex and class will unitedly come forward to wipe out forever the feudal autocracy, the backer of Mandale nationalism.

Q : It has been clearly observed that the movement against absolute monarchy has acquired a new momentum after the Parliamentarian-Maoist agreement. What policy, plan and proposal the CPN (Maoist) has to make this new momentum reach to a logical conclusion by making it further unified and forceful?

A : The anti absolute-monarchical movement has naturally acquired new energy and momentum because an agreement according to people’s desire has been reached after a long effort. Much more has to be done to make this movement reach to a logical conclusion of its development. For that, our party thinks all the political parties, which have reached in agreement, should issue a joint statement addressing the people, do away with the difference in the immediate slogan existing between seven parties and ours, embark on to required interaction and homework to raise this existing agreement to the level of united front and initiate wide discussion on the nature of future state structure. Our party will stress to organize broad mass mobilization and people’s resistance against the political machinations that, in the new situation, may come about from the absolute royalists; and collaborationist and capitulationism trends from the movement.

Q : Anything more you need to say?

A : Today our country is at a serious turning point of the history. In this situation I would like to heartily appeal the entire democratic forces and the broad masses to take on a front from their respective places united against the autocratic monarchy to build a new Nepal.

(International Department, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists), Bulletin No.10, Dec 15, 2005)

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Nepal - An Overview: Introduction to Parvati
John Mage (Monthly Review, Nov 2005)

(On September 10, 2005, Monthly Review received an article chronicling the emergence of a new state in the liberated districts of Nepal. Since the author (“Comrade Parvati”) is herself a Nepali revolutionary and underground, we were not able to engage in the usual back-and-forth editing process. Therefore we present the piece with very slight editing as a document, accompanied by an introductory overview and some explanatory notes to the text by John Mage, a member of the informal Monthly Review editorial committee.—Eds. Monthly Review)

Nepal lies on the south side of a five-hundred-mile-long section, east to west, of the Himalayan mountain range. China (Tibet) is its northern neighbor, and on the east, south, and west Nepal is surrounded by India (Sikkim, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh). Nepal’s width north to south averages about one hundred miles—from the Himalayan ridge and the highest point on earth (Mt. Everest, at 29,035 feet) down to a thin strip of the Gangetic plain (the Terai), where Nepal’s second largest city, Biratnagar, is less than 300 feet above sea level.

The “hills” between the high Himalayas and the Terai constitute by far the largest part of Nepal. In Nepal a “hill” can often be more than 10,000 feet high. Though the territory of the Terai is but a quarter of the hills in extent, the population of the Terai is almost as numerous as that of the hills.

At the center of the hill country is a large fertile valley at an altitude of a bit over 4000 feet, the bed of a prehistoric lake. The valley contains the urban center of the nation. Here are the three adjoining cities of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur, the central government, the leading educational, medical, and cultural institutions, and almost all of the nation’s traditional political and cultural elite. But at most 15 percent of Nepalis live in the valley and in all other urban centers combined.

Nepal was united under a Hindu monarchy in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Within the united state was vast diversity, with large parts of the country inhabited by autochthonous ethnicities with varying languages, religious traditions, and patterns of cultivation and land ownership. A narrow stratum from among the high-caste Hindus commanded the army and administered the state. They appropriated the economic surplus as taxes, labor services, and rents, and established clientele among the various ethnic groups. These semi-feudal relations have persisted until yesterday, and are constitutive of the monarchy.

Given the formidable barrier of the Himalaya, the foremost external influence upon Nepal has always been from India. At the start of the nineteenth century the recently unified Nepal fought a war with the British, who at that time ruled India. The war was terminated by treaty in 1816, leaving Nepal formally sovereign but dependent on the British Raj. The ruling feudal families provided hill peasant boys from the various autochthonous ethnic groups as soldiers of the British Empire, for whom they were paid so much a head. These were the world famous Gurkhas.

After Indian independence, the new rulers of India sought to replace the British in exercising a semi-colonial control over Nepal, with mixed success. In more recent years the United States has openly and covertly intervened in Nepal, most visibly with “advisers” to the Royal Nepal Army.

A revolution in Nepal has, in its tenth year, now triumphed in more than 80 percent of the country. Its immediate goals have been the destruction of the remaining semi-feudal relations in the countryside and the overthrow of the feudal monarchy in the center. The first goal has been achieved, and the second is in sight. The revolution’s longer-term goal is the construction of a new democracy, and the accompanying article addresses its progress to date.

The outline suggested by Samir Amin in “World Poverty, Pauperization & Capital Accumulation” (Monthly Review, October 2003) serves best to frame these events. Today, half the world’s population are peasants whose survival is under attack by capitalist commercial agriculture. They are in danger of total immiseration although technology exists that would enable a healthy existence on the land were social relations to permit. Of the other urbanized half of the world’s population, half belong to the “precarious” popular classes “that include workers weakened by their low capacity for negotiation (as a result of their low skill levels, their status as non-citizens, or their race or gender) as well as non-wage earners (the formally unemployed and the poor with jobs in the informal sector).”

These processes have been at work in Nepal as well. The dominant traditional agricultural sector has remained undeveloped. Nepali capital, impotent and subservient to Indian capital, has created no alternative sources of employment. Unemployment and underemployment are at levels among the highest in the world.

The only alternative for Nepali peasant youth driven from their homes on the land is to chase the wretched opportunities available to the precarious urban classes in India, or their equivalent in Nepal. Many young men and young women in the hills have extremely bitter personal experience of this reality. One result is a readiness to consider a revolutionary attempt at self-determination and liberty, even at the risk of death.

For two generations from the founding of the Communist Party of Nepal in 1949, a Marxist analysis of the process in which Nepal is caught has circulated from one end of the country to another in all castes, tribes, and classes, the high-caste Hindu Brahmin and Chhetri not least.

Given the popular demand for a revolutionary solution to the realities of growing immiseration, periodic waves of repression within the country, and divisions in the world communist movement, the Communist Party of Nepal did not long remain united. Communist party organizations arose, divided, and multiplied. Many party leaders were bought off for the usual reasons and in the usual ways. The old state had an invaluable, skilled, and experienced administrative corps, able to be flexible tactically so long as the fundamental semi-feudal social relations were reproduced. Tribal areas were granted extensive self-government, and much of the country was ruled (as it had been for centuries) by the local big guys with occasional assistance when needed from the national government’s police force.

A mass uprising in 1990–91 resulted in a “democratic” monarchy, legal political parties, elections, and a parliament, but in fact achieved only a slight change in the old state. The army and administrative corps remained in the hands of the same feudal elite. The surplus from the countryside and the deep slices appropriated from foreign “aid” now had also to support the leaders of the top political parties, who constituted an unwelcome addition at the table.

The revolutionary uprising began in 1996 focused on the Rolpa district, the poorest section of the hills. It met a response of the utmost brutality by the regime’s police (the so-called Operation Romeo and Operation Kilo Sera). But given the combination of the desperate circumstances facing the youth in the hills, a widespread Marxist consciousness, and revolutionary leadership, the police terror campaign united the community in self-defense and spread the uprising. The then King Birendra kept the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) out of the confrontation and opened negotiations with the revolutionaries. This course was deeply upsetting to the then Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of India, and yet more so to the global strategists of the U.S. empire.

The revolutionaries, having survived the series of murderous police assaults, in October 2000 attacked and wiped out a major police post located in Dunai, the district town of Dolpa District on the far side of a massive ridge from their base area. With the assistance of the local population the revolutionaries were able to bring many hundreds of armed fighters over single-file mountain tracks, and yet take the police by surprise. Dozens of political prisoners were liberated from the prison across the river from the police post. An army post was located only a few hours’ walk upstream, but the soldiers did not come to the rescue of the universally hated police.

After Dunai and other successful actions in early 2001 that removed the police presence from ever-wider areas, it seems clear that the intelligence and security agencies of India and the United States decided to act. On June 1, 2001, King Birendra and his entire immediate family were murdered. A story was given out that the Crown Prince, drunk and on drugs, had murdered the entire family and then killed himself because he had not been permitted to marry the woman he loved. Except that he did not die immediately, and the surgeon who operated in an unsuccessful attempt to save his life said his blood tests contained no evidence of alcohol or drugs. For a fuller account of the context of this crime see “The Letter of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on the Palace Massacre in Nepal,”

The only members of the royal family to escape the slaughter were the current King Gyanendra who was not in Kathmandu, and his son the current Crown Prince Paras who emerged from the scene of the bloodbath without a scratch. Within months the Royal Nepal Army, now equipped with U.S. communications gear and advised by U.S. soldiers, was engaged in combat with the youth in the hills.

The U.S. plan has been to bring the leading parliamentary political parties into alliance with the Palace better to carry out a war of extermination in the hills. But the underlying refusal of the elite who command the army and dominate the administrative corps to give up a significant share of their spoils has served to frustrate the U.S. scheme. And despite the U.S. arms, equipment, and advisers, the revolutionary upsurge has spread to cover the country.

The communist parties did not escape unscathed from the corruption of the declining old regime. In particular, the main communist parliamentary party, the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) (UML), found itself to be the home for some corrupt careerists. A cynic might say that not a few of its leaders were lucky to avoid the moral crisis they would have faced had the old regime more resources to dispense. Some, to their shame, actively supported the Royal police and the U.S. trained, advised, and equipped RNA in their murderous campaigns against the revolutionary youth in the countryside. Yet others, in particular the students affiliated with the UML, bravely confronted the old regime’s police in the streets of the valley.

Most of the leaders of the various communist parties and organizations that did not participate with ministers in the national government in the post-1991 “parliamentary monarchy” era nonetheless argued against commencing armed struggle. Pessimistically, and with undoubted personal honesty, they claimed that the bloodshed and suffering likely under the conditions prevailing in 1996, both in Nepal and in the world, required that a revolution not be attempted (or, as some said, should be postponed).

The most committed revolutionaries grouped in the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN[M]) went ahead and risked their lives, assessing correctly that the best, bravest, and brightest of Nepal’s impoverished youth, male and female alike, were more than ready for armed revolutionary struggle.

The leadership of the CPN(M), whether in hiding in the areas still controlled by the RNA and at perpetual risk of torture and death, or sharing the simple and harsh life of the peasant population in the liberated base areas, has struggled to preserve and extend an open inquiry and debate within the party on the key questions of theory and practice presented by the revolution in Nepal.

The following article is a description of the emergence of a new state in those parts of Nepal where the revolution has triumphed. “Emergence” should not be understood as apart from the conscious intervention of Marxists who believe, in the words of the author Comrade Parvati, “that the question of continuous democratization of the state power leading to the withering away of the state is a thousand times more difficult and complex than capturing state power.”

Comrade Parvati is a member of the politburo of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Her voice merits the closest attention of every Marxist and every friend of Nepal.

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People’s Power in Nepal - A Document from Comrade   Parvati
Reproduced from November 2005 issue of Monthly Review - Ed.

While communications about the military successes of the People’s War in Nepal have been regularly disseminated, little information has been made available at the international level about the achievements of people’s power in the country. This article aims to rectify this situation somewhat by highlighting the emergence of people’s power side-by-side with the progressive dissolution of the old monarchical state (ruling since 1769), with particular reference to achievements made in the Central Command area, which includes the main base area, Rolpa.

Since the founding of the Communist Party of Nepal in 1949, the destruction of the old monarchical state and construction of the New Democratic state have been coveted dreams of most of the people of Nepal, where mass-based support for communism has been generally high. From the initiation of the People’s War in 1996 up to the present period, around 80 percent of Nepal has come under the control of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), hereafter referred to as the CPN(M), while the old state’s presence is now limited to the capital, district headquarters, and highways. The hallmark of the People’s War in Nepal is the rapidity with which the old state has crumbled, forcing imperialist countries to designate the old state as a “failed state.” Today the king’s last saving force, the Royal Nepal Army, is limited to its barracks and occasional forays of destroy and retreat into rural areas. This has been possible due to multiple factors, the first being the ability of the new state in the form of people’s committees to be strategically firm and tactically flexible in handling contradictions between the international, national, and local. Second, it has been able to place political initiatives ahead of military offensives. Third, it is undertaking construction work side by side with destruction of the old state. Fourth, it has addressed oppressed nationality, gender, regional, and caste issues long neglected by the old state. Fifth, it is a home-grown movement creatively using Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to analyze the concrete conditions of Nepal and then translate this analysis as the basis for concrete action. Finally, through its total war strategy, it has been able to undermine the old state centrally using political offensives and locally through military strikes by destroying old rural bastions and filling the vacuum with people’s committees. The holistic approach of People’s War has made it difficult for imperialist countries to term the Maoist movement in Nepal as “terrorist” war.1

It should be noted that all these have been made possible through sacrifice of thousands of conscious martyrs, including many office-bearers of the new state.


The question of state power is central to the revolution. In a country where Protracted People’s War is being waged, the question of developing base areas has a strategic place in terms of supplying manpower, logistics for war, and psychological and ideological well being. With the war entering a strategic offensive stage, the question of consolidating base areas becomes all the more important.

From the very beginning even before the people’s war started, the CPN(M) was clear about the nature of the new state. It envisioned a New Democratic state, which would exercise people’s dictatorship over feudal and imperialist forces, including expansionist states, while granting democracy to oppressed classes, castes, nationalities, regions, and women. However it was also made clear that this revolution may need to go through various sub-stages, zigzags taking into consideration Nepal’s specific geo-political condition. Thus in Nepal’s case, the Party had already envisaged that the New Democratic state in Nepal shall take the form of a class, national, and regional United Front under the leadership of the proletariat. This is because a high percentage of the population in Nepal falls into the oppressed class, with many different nationalities and regional divisions.2

Taking note of the lessons to be learnt from counter-revolutions in socialist states, the CPN(M) has passed a resolution on “Development of Democracy in the 21st Century” in 2003. This resolution mentioned that the question of continuous democratization of the state power leading to the withering away of the state is a thousand times more difficult and complex than capturing state power. Thus the key question is how to combine the dictatorship of proletariat with elements of continuous revolution in running the state. This can only be done by putting politics in command and subjecting the state to the control, supervision, and intervention of the masses so that the people’s front goes on expanding while reactionaries’ base continues to shrink.


The concept of a New Democratic State took concrete shape only after the initiation of the People’s War. The rapidity with which local people’s power sprouted in different parts of Nepal can be judged by the way that the People’s War by its second year had created a power vacuum in various rural areas, mainly in western Nepal. Different levels of embryonic people’s power started filling the power vacuum under the three regional commands in the form of United People’s Committees. Initially these areas were defined militarily in the form of main, secondary, and propaganda areas. Within two and a half years there was already discussion of building a base area in the main area of the western region, due to the strong mass base, strong position of the Party, favorable terrain, elimination of social class enemies by the guerrilla squads, and to a certain extent the defeat of local military strength of the reactionary state in that region. Thus a call was given for conversion of main zone to base area and secondary zone to guerilla zone. By the fifth year of the People’s War, the Party had advanced the slogan “Consolidate and Expand Base Areas. March Towards the Direction of Forming New Democratic Central Government.” The same year the First National Convention of the Revolutionary United Front consisting of the representatives of the CPN(M), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), various class and mass organizations, local People’s Committees, and prominent personalities was held (September 2001), which founded the United Revolutionary People’s Council, Nepal. With this formation, a dialectical relation emerged with the central United Front, in which the United Revolutionary People’s Council intervening politically calling national bandh and chakka jam (strikes and general stoppages) and calling for dialogue, constitutional change, etc. from the old state at the central level, together with exercising People’s Power through various people’s committees at the local level. This amounted to an all-out attack on the old state. By the seventh year of the People’s War (2003), nine national and territorial autonomous regions had been formed throughout the country—from west to east: Seti-Mahakali autonomous region, Bheri-Karnali autonomous region, Tharuwan autonomous region, Magarat autonomous region, Tamuwan autonomous region, Tamang autonomous region, Madhesh autonomous region, Newar autonomous region, and Kirat autonomous region. Out of these the first two are territorial autonomous regions and the rest are national autonomous regions (see map – can be viewed on Monthly Review Website-ed.).


Under these regions People’s Committees are functioning right from the district level to village to ward levels. While many of these committees are nominated, some are elected. The present trend is to continue increasing the elected committees. In order to consolidate, centralize, and unify the work of People’s Power, some ward-level people’s committees have been brought together to form Model Villages, where generally almost all members of the households are organized under the Party, mass front, or militia, thus making them a revolutionary iron fort for People’s War. In these model villages women and Dalits have been given special rights of representation in people’s committees, women are granted equal right to parental property, and ostracization of Dalits is banned. The schools are run on the new syllabus prepared by the education department of the CPN(M) and students are being taught in their mother tongue. Today a number of communes in various stages of development are functioning, together with several agriculture-based cooperatives functioning in the base areas throughout the country.

It is important to note that one of the reasons why people’s power was able to spread and consolidate so fast throughout Nepal is because of the background prepared by United People’s Front (UPF), a legal front for the then underground CPN(M) before the People’s War started. The UPF was able to expose the then monarchical parliamentary system and to propagate for the New Democratic revolution (while occupying a position both in parliament and outside it), spreading an organizational network throughout the country which facilitated in converting the local organs of UPF into people’s committees after the People’s War started.3


Out of the three commands—Western, Middle, and Eastern—covering the whole country, the Middle Command has been chosen in this article as a focal command because the People’s War has had the strongest impact in this region. Within this command there are two sub-regional commands: Gandak and Special Sub-region. Within the Special Sub-region all districts comprising Rolpa, Rukum, and Salyan under the Magarat autonomous region are being organized as the main base areas. Among these, the main base area in Rolpa is relatively older, more stable, and consolidated than the rest. Within Gandak sub-region, secondary base areas under the Tamuwan autonomous region in the Northern Gandak and Magarat autonomous region in the southern Gandak are being organized. These base areas, however, are relatively unstable. In those areas which fall between the main base areas and secondary base areas, the vacuum created due to destruction of the old state is being filled by embryonic people’s committees. Similar situations with some variations are operating in the rest of commands throughout the country. The capital Kathmandu and district headquarters are still under the control of the old state, although the surrounding new states are able to impede their functions through national, regional, and local bandhs and blockades of goods, which often paralyze life in the capital.

With the promulgation of the Common Minimum Policy and Programme of United Revolutionary People’s Council and the passing of the People’s Power Directives as guidelines for running the new state, the base areas in particular have started taking organized, systematic shape (see map).


One of the first indications of the failure of the old state and emergence of the new state is in the judiciary. The mobile, locally-based people’s court soon replaced the old formal court system. So popular was the people’s court system that even those who did not readily accept the authority of the new state accepted the service rendered by the new people’s court. Today the Public Code of People’s Republic of Nepal 2003 is being followed to regularize and systemize the functioning of the legal system throughout the country. By 2005, within the Special Region, one male and one female at the district committee level from each of the eleven districts had been given training, enabling them to function in the mobile people’s court. Similarly, an open-jail system is facilitating transformation of convicts into useful citizens. However there is a dearth of red and expert manpower. Although the Party and People’s Committees are now relatively free from getting involved in the day-to-day operation of the judiciary system, there are still tendencies to give justice straight from the Party or People’s Committees without forming separate judicial commissions. As the base areas expand and consolidate, the organizational network of the judiciary system needs to be further developed. The effective and efficient functioning of the judicial system helps in winning the confidence of the masses in the new state and hence in consolidating it. This also helps in transforming people, which is an important part of Protracted People’s War. In addition, in light of the appeal made by the CPN(M) to the United Nations and other international forums for the representation of the people’s power (while opposing the so-called representation of the military-fascist old state), the scientific functioning of the judiciary by the local new states will give further legitimization to its claim.

The people’s committees in the form of nominated bodies came into being once a power vacuum was created by the dispersal of police posts and destruction of the old state machinery. It was only in more stable periods that the people’s committees started getting elected. Today at the central level there exists the United Revolutionary People’s Council, mentioned above; at the regional level various national or territorial autonomous regions exist; and under these autonomous local districts, villages or urban wards exist. In all these levels people’s representative bodies and united people’s councils are functioning. Except for the district headquarters and along the highways, the country is under the new state’s control. In base areas the people’s committees have taken a relatively more consolidated, unified, and centralized form of rule, while in areas of expansion of base area people’s committees are not yet consolidated, with occasional interference from the old state, thus sometimes giving the impression that dual states exist. The understanding of people’s committees as being separate from the Party committees must be constantly hammered into the cadres and masses so that a more efficient and locally accountable functioning of new state power can be expected and the people’s committees have more authority to act independently. Therefore wherever possible regular elections to people’s committees with full recall must be regularly conducted, so that they are under control, supervision, and intervention of the masses.

The public administration as a separate body has not taken shape as yet. The officials working in people’s committees have been carrying out the administrative work themselves. As the struggle has progressed, separate staff, official assistants, and special committees of administration have started coming up. Many times ad-hoc commissions or committees are formed to ward off administrative bottlenecks. With the growing war expenditures a regular record of expenditures is being maintained. The most visible presence of administrative work is the postal courier system, in the form of maintenance of mobile posts at different points of communication. In the absence of a separate administrative body, officials of the people’s committees are given basic administrative training. However, within base areas, there is a need to develop a separate administrative body, which could relieve officials of the people’s committees to concentrate on mass work.


One of the main functions of the People’s Security in the form of militias is to provide security to the base areas and people’s committees at various stages, in short to safeguard the achievements of People’s War at people’s level. There are part-time and full-time militias who are in essence future PLA recruits. Thus the function of people’s security is also to expand the local military recruiting base for the PLA. In fact, all regional and national autonomous regions have been given the right to form their own militia in their respective areas. In big raids they participate as a supporting force for the PLA force. They not only give protection to any central or local program held in their areas but also provide logistical support to them. They give protection to injured PLA members recovering in base areas after each major military strike. They also give basic defensive armed training to the local people. In addition to providing security, they also work as production brigades in public construction work. In their free time they work as organizers too.

Because of the basic nature of military training given to militias, they are unable to give complete protection to the area of their operation when the reactionary force launches offensive attack. However, in isolated attacks launched by the enemy they are able to do a good job of defending people in coordination with the local masses.


The socio-political achievements of the People’s War, including people’s power, can only be sustained by building a new economic base. In a country like Nepal where the state machinery, production, markets, and community institutions have been subordinated to, distorted, and shaped by the self-development of the global capitalist system over the course of the last two and a half centuries, a process Marx encompassed using the Hegelian term “subsumption” and Mao referred to in terms of “semi-colonial” and “semi-feudal,” the aim of the New Democratic revolution is to develop a national capitalist economic system, which is socialist in orientation, under the leadership of a Communist Party. The new state has rightly given emphasis to the agriculture sector so that on that basis industry can re-develop. It is important to note that cottage industry was thriving until the 1920s and was being further dismantled by World Bank dictates in the 1990s.

In hilly areas due to small land holdings, the emphasis has been to form a cooperative farming system, while in the Terai region the emphasis has been to distribute large chunks of land confiscated from feudal lords to oppressed masses. Many fertile lands left behind by the fleeing reactionary elements and money-lenders and the public lands previously grabbed by reactionary old-state officers have been converted into model farm land on which advanced seeds are produced and sold and new varieties of vegetables and grain have been produced as a demonstration exercise for changing the crop pattern and food habits of the people. By coordinating with the physical infrastructure development, many small-scale irrigation, hydro-electricity, water mills, and road networks have been constructed to boost farm production.4

Forest nurseries, water conservation pools, check dams together with a forest defense force have halted the deforestation process, which was rampant earlier, and now have helped in reforestation. A most remarkable example of community-based check on deforestation is the Jaljala forest which was endangering Thawang Village, the main base area in Rolpa (see map), through frequent flooding of the river that flows through it. There are three communes operating in various stages within Rolpa and Rukum, which is acting as model for those involved in cooperative farming to emulate. Agricultural work has been centralized in main base areas, agro-vets have provided 1–2 months basic training to the villagers and Party workers. However, there is the problem of protecting these supervised model farmlands from the reactionary army in their military operations. Many houses in Zelwang commune were set on fire by one of such military search operations. In main base areas the food, cotton, shawl, garment, soap, candle, paper making, and tannery industries all are functioning. They are mainly catering to the needs of the Party, PLA, and people’s committees. However, there is the problem of acquiring raw materials that are mostly imported from India. Also, there is still the problem of producing high quality products economically.

Regarding finance, commerce, and revenue in base areas, there are many consumer-based cooperative shops, including restaurants run by various mass fronts and people’s committees. There have been efforts to regularize private, industrial, and commercial undertakings by bringing them within the taxation regime of the new state. In regards to banking operations, a rudimentary form of mobile banking is operating by pooling shares from Rolpa, Rukum, and Salyan. At present in Rolpa alone, 1 million rupees from Thawang, 400 thousand from Bhawang and 100–150 thousand in Kureli have been amassed to operate as a bank with a 13 percent interest rate. Due to the security problem, safeguarding, and networking a banking system is difficult. Also there is lack of experience in running a people-based banking system in professional ways. Hence these banks are in an elementary phase of service.

Following the mobile people’s courts, the physical infrastructure work is most sought after. Popular works carried out by various mass fronts, PLA, and people’s committees include construction of pedestrian tracks, horse trails, irrigation systems, mill works, new school buildings, child-care centers, and other public buildings. They also include paving village roads and making green roads, providing piped drinking water, digging ponds, storing rain water, redesigning and remaking burnt down houses, making rest places and martyr gates. In short all these activities are proof of how the new state is able to unleash the talent and energy of the population. Of late, the construction of a 91 kilometer motor road from Dahavan to Chunvang and Thawang in Rolpa District by the people is worth noting. It has enhanced the image of the Maoist Party as a responsible, mature Party good not only at destroying the old state but also at constructing the new state.


What started as a field medical team for treating people’s army members increasingly expanded to serve civilians. Today the medical capacity of the People’s War medical team continues to expand with the growing formation of the army into higher-level military actions. Today, except for compound fractures and head and stomach injuries, most treatments are handled by People’s Army medical teams. A directive on co-operative medical management and public health has been published, enabling cooperatively run medical centers to provide medical service. New health workers of different levels are being produced through the provision of medical training (according to their educational background) conducted by experienced paramedical practitioners who have joined the movement. With practice, such new recruits are able to develop their skill much faster. Mobile medical teams are tied closely with communities and are a life-line for the injured war victims, including injured PLA members, and thus are able to provide much more effective services than the mainstream medical establishment, which has been largely ambivalent to the countryside outside of urban centers.

However, medical teams lack skilled manpower, especially full-fledged doctors specializing in surgery and other fields. The old health posts run by the old state have been regulated by the new state by asking them to follow a new code of conduct making them accountable to the people. Also, the old-state-run health posts donate certain percentages of their medicine to the medical teams of the new state.

In the field of education, the People’s War has directly intervened in existing schools with the introduction of a new syllabus and teaching in mother tongues. In some places, particularly in model villages, new schools are being constructed and run by the new state. The curriculum for the classes 1–3 and a training manual have already been prepared, as well as a draft curriculum for the social sciences for classes 4–10. Similarly a New People’s Education: Curriculum Introductory Teacher’s Training Manual 2004 has been prepared, and already thirty-one teachers teaching in schools run by the new state in Rolpa have received training. Privately run schools are totally banned in all the main base areas.

In areas of expansion of base area, in contrast, there is a policy of partial intervention in existing schools by asking teachers not to teach any materials that strengthen the old regime. The national anthem in praise of monarchy is banned, replaced by an international song or another song sung in place of old national anthem. Privately run schools are discouraged. In urban centers and district headquarters struggles are under way to reduce and provide facilities as promised while charging fees in privately run schools.5 However, there is a problem obtaining recognition for the new syllabus after the tenth class. Also, there is a problem in acquiring skilled teachers. Since transformation of people is one of the important aspects of the Protracted People’s War, the process of destroying the old feudal culture and replacing it with a new progressive culture has been taking place. In base areas in particular, in place of the old culture, a new culture is emerging of celebrating March 8, the historic People’s War Initiation Day, and a week-long Martyr Day. Old practices such as child marriages, polygamy, and polyandry, along with incurring debts for birthday, marriage, and death ceremonies are being slowly replaced by new practices: love-based marriage at adult age (twenty for women and twenty-two for men), monogamous marriage, and simpler birthday, marriage, and death ceremonies. Similarly, liquor consumption has been brought under control, thus relieving women from harassment and poverty. Countrywide, regional, and local-level liquor bandhs (strikes) have helped in discouraging liquor consumption. In base areas limited private consumption of liquor is allowed (as liquor consumption is part of Magar culture) under the proviso that it does not disturb public tranquility. Foreign-made liquor is totally banned in base areas as is the sale of homemade liquor. In urban and district headquarters, there are calls to ban beauty contests, and letters are sent to beauty contestants calling on them to not participate or if they have participated to not accept their titles. Similarly sexual exploitation of women in massage parlors, bars, and restaurants is being discouraged by threats of sabotage. Progressive songs, dances, and dramas are being propagated in place of old idealist feudal songs, dances, and dramas. Superstitious practices are being brought under control. Everywhere community-based projects are encouraged. This is reflected particularly in community-based fodder collection, farming, and husbandry work that are part of the farm co-operative movement. With occasional cleanliness drives launched by various mass fronts including the new state, people are getting conscious of the importance of maintaining a healthy environment in and around the households.


Several new organizations such as the Martyr Family, People’s War Sacrifice Family, People’s Army Family and Cadre Family have been formed to address the special needs of the families of these people. They have been organized to become active participants in the new state. Several child care centers and hostels have been constructed to house children of martyr parents, full-time workers, and poor masses. Several model villages have been organized in the base areas to consolidate people’s power. In the women-exploitation-less village women have been granted equal parental property and a special right to equal representation within the new state (50 percent). Similarly Dalits have been given special right of representation in the new state (20 percent). In these model villages all the members of the family are organized in some mass-front or the other, thus they stand out as an iron fort for the People’s War. Here it is important to note the use of the republican Nepal FM radio run by the Party to disseminate new cultural and social welfare measures to communities, along with news. Directives such as asking parents to give equal property rights to their daughters, asking them to shed long cumbersome dresses for more workable dresses, long hair for shorter hair, etc. are being propagated daily. Similarly, warnings about discrimination against Dalits are being spread through FM radio. Listening to the FM radio has become a way of life for the people in rural Nepal.


One can proudly claim that the otherwise small obscure archaic monarchical state of Nepal, which hardly existed in the political map of the world, has today become a focus of attention not only in this region but across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Today officials of the United Nations frequently visit Nepal. All this could be achieved not only through the force of rebellion but because this rebellion has introduced a new system of state, a new value of life which bases itself on science, not religion; on responsibilities, not bondage and debt; on a universal outlook, not on obscure past values; on emancipation of women, Dalits, and oppressed nationalities and regions, not playing upon their vulnerability and oppression. And all these have been made possible by the wretched of the earth, who are otherwise languishing in other parts of the world including the so called developed world. The People’s War has indeed unleashed their creativity and energy, making them the new rulers with more responsibilities, precisely because they belong to the majority human productive force, which produces wealth not for individual accumulation but for collective gains, making humans truly social. Within Nepal, the new emerging state has shifted politics from a Kathmandu-centric focus to a rural-centric one. Today the people and interests making up the old state, including parliamentary parties, are forced to address long-neglected issues. The People’s War has undermined the old state’s feudal base, which still exists in so-called democratic countries. However the challenge today is to build a national capitalist economic base with a socialist orientation under the leadership of a proletarian Party. Lastly, it has sown hope among the working classes of the world that another world is possible and that the end of history won’t come, despite the wishful thinking of ruling-class propagandists, as long as people struggle.

There are inherent contradictions in the objective reality. Although, according to UNDP figures, this country is the second poorest in the world, it is the place where the most wretched masses are applying the most advanced scientific ideology to do away with their backward political system. Thus there is bound to be some contradiction between subjective efforts and objective realities, both within the Party and outside it. Another contradiction is that although at one end the Maoists hold most of the country, central state power remains concentrated in Kathmandu under the old state. As a result, running a new state cannot yet take comprehensive form. Even within the new state run by CPN(M), there are many shortcomings of a political and technical nature. Often military victories are not transformed into the consolidation of base areas or existing people’s power and their expansion. This in the long run may lead to a militarist tendency, isolating the Party from the masses. There are still some problems of overzealous operation of the people’s committees, relying more on force than political conviction/persuasion to produce results, especially with regard to changing old habits and enforcing new ones. Clear demarcation between the Party’s functions and the people’s committees’ functions must be made so that people’s committees can exercise more power and function smoothly. In many areas any sort of uniform code (with local variations) is yet to be made. Considering that the People’s War is protracted, it is important to centralize and concentrate existing skills and facilities so that more effective results can be achieved rather than dissipating energy in many fields without much result. Hence more model villages must be built. Also we should note that over-involving the masses in programs and meetings of the Party while they are under-represented in running the state will also alienate them. Therefore, wherever possible, regular elections to people’s committees must be conducted. This also helps in checking bureaucratization of the new state by putting it under the control, supervision, and intervention of the masses.

Lastly, it is only by defending, applying, and developing the proletarian science of revolution that the new emerging state in Nepal can be defended and developed. From that point of view, “Development of Democracy in the 21st Century” needs to be practiced and seen in the new state. It is also the duty of other revolutionary communist forces and the International Communist Movement to defend, apply, and develop the proletarian science of revolution so that it will help unfold the red flag over Mt. Everest in Nepal, the highest peak in the world!

1. But of course anything is possible for the United States. At the time of the last armistice in Nepal, which lasted from January until August 2003, the United States did its best to force a resumption of the military conflict. Just as formal talks got under way in May 2003 between the revolutionary leadership and the Palace, the United States announced that it deemed the popular revolutionary forces to be “terrorists.” The armistice ended in August 2003 when the U.S.-advised RNA murdered in cold blood twenty unarmed political activists in the town of Doramba. At the end of November 2003, then U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage announced that the CPN(M) “poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten...the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”

2. In the 1991 census, the last before the start of People’s War in 1996, the total population of Nepal was said to be 18,492,097. Today it is estimated to exceed 25 million. In the 1991 census, the various ethnic/national identities comprised over 25 percent of the population, and the three largest Dalit (previously called “untouchable”) castes an additional 10 percent. Brahmin and Chhetri high-caste Hindus were found to be 30 percent of the population. For many of this 30 percent the advantage of high caste is slight, and political and economic relations in which they see themselves as oppressed dominate.

3. In the 1991 elections the future original base area of Rolpa elected to Parliament the two candidates of the United People’s Front, Barman Budha Magar and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, both natives of the district. Krishna Bahadur Mahara is today the media spokesperson for the CPN(M).

4. For readers unfamiliar with Nepal, the importance of scale cannot be overemphasized in visualizing these development efforts. Except for the one motor road mentioned later and horse and mule trails in the valley of the Gandaki River, the roads referred to are footpaths. Irrigation refers primarily to the construction and maintenance of the ditches necessary to distribute water to terraced hillsides. The hydro-electric and water mill projects involve channeling water by ditches to drive a single millstone or a small generator. Small as the scale may be, they require intense collective effort and are crucial to any gradual amelioration of life in the hills of mid-western Nepal.

5. Note that the police and military of the old regime continue to control the urban centers and most district headquarters. Nonetheless the degree of support for the revolutionary cause is so strong that, even in the absence of the PLA, it can influence the organization of the schools and numerous other aspects of daily life.

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Protests mark the first anniversary of coup in Nepal

Joint Appeal by Civil Society Organization

Nepal under Royal Regime: One year of dictatorial rule deepening the national crisis

We, the undersigned members of NGOs, civil society organizations and trade unions around the world are deeply concerned over the Royal crackdown on democracy and gross violations of human rights, as well as continued conflict with the Maoists (Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist) in Nepal. Despite the lifting of the state of emergency on April 29, 2005, King Gyanendra has continuously curtailed civil society. More than 6,500 political activists, human rights defenders including journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, women rights activists and students were arrested and detained, since February 1, 2005.

On January 16, 2006, curfew in the capital city was imposed and was extended on January 18. On January 19, Nepal faces another severe phase of total crisis in the country.  Latest attacks by the autocratic government on civil society include massive arrests of political and human rights activists, crack down on peaceful assembly and association, restriction on movement, cutting-off communications including telephone services and television channels.

The Maoists have cancelled the extension of a four-month unilateral cease-fire on January 2, 2006 even after an understanding on various issues with seven political parties on November 22, 2005. During the cease-fire, the King’s government did not reciprocate with any appropriate conflict settlement with the Maoists.

The extreme measures adopted by the present regime have failed to resolve the violence and armed conflict. The daily death toll has doubled since the royal takeover. From February 1, 2005 to January 22, 2006, at least 1,478 people were killed in 65 out of 75 districts of Nepal, allegedly due to the people’s war waged by the Maoists. The government security forces have unrelentingly cracked down on peaceful demonstrations during the year.  Those arrested were held in unofficial detention centers in extremely bad conditions. Escalating armed conflict has resulted in increased public insecurity, displacement, destruction of infrastructures and lack of access to emergency social services.

Without democracy, peace, and the rule of law, the fundamental rights of all people in Nepal cannot be guaranteed. The present regime led by the King denies basic rights and fundamental freedoms, including labor and women rights in Nepal, which are guaranteed under the Nepalese Constitution and various international human rights and humanitarian treaties. Such Royal crackdowns on democracy and the rule of law in Nepal is also clearly based on the fact that at least 35 ordinances have been issued without due process, of which more than half were introduced after the lifting of the State of Emergency.

These ordinances are aimed at safeguarding the autocratic regime, curtailing freedom of expression, association and assembly, especially those of media and NGOs, restricting activities of NGOs, harassing civil administration, weakening national human rights institution, threatening innocent civilians and curtailing trade union rights. Of the last, the latest in a series of cutting off trade union rights is the latest amendment in the Labor Act, approved by the labor bill drafting committee under the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, in January 2006. This amendment greatly threatens the jobs of employees, curtails the right to assembly and aims at dismantling the thrust of the trade union movement.

Against this backdrop, Nepal and international community must be afforded to restore multi-party democracy, peace and human rights in Nepal. The autocratic government and the Maoists must respect the internationally-recognized human rights and humanitarian treaties, which Nepal is a party to.

Therefore, we strongly appeal to King Gyanendra to:

  1. Repeal the unconstitutional Royal proclamation of February 2005, and immediately restore multi-party democracy;
  2. Guarantee all the rights of the people, including freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly, association and movement;
  3. Release all human rights defenders including journalists and lawyers, trade unionists, women rights activists, students, professionals and political activists arrested in connection with the movement for human rights and democracy in the country;
  4. Stop harassing human rights defenders including journalists and lawyers, trade unionists, women rights activists, students, professionals and political activists;
  5. Lift all measures passed without due process, including the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance, Social Welfare Council (First Amendment) Ordinance, Ordinance Relating to Amend in Some Nepal Acts Related to Communication, National Human Rights Commission (First Amendment) Ordinance, Code of Conduct for Social Organizations, and the proposed Labor Act (Second Amendment) Ordinance.
  6. Declare a cease-fire to stop further violation of human rights and for peaceful resolution of the armed conflict.

We also strongly appeal to the Maoists (Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist) to:

  1. Respect and commit to international human rights and humanitarian standards, and not violate the basic rights and fundamental freedoms of  all people in Nepal;  
  2. Follow the 12-point understanding with the seven political parties on November 22, 2005;
  3. Declare a cease-fire to stop further violence and for peaceful resolution of the armed conflict.

Sponsors: 1. Abi Sharma, Coordinator, Canadian Network for Democratic Nepal (CNDN), Canada; 2. Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary, Odhikar, Bangladesh; 3Ang Kaljang Lama, Chairperson, Nepalese Democratic Forum, UK; 4. Anselmo Lee, Executive Director, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA); 5. Bhakta Gurung, Regional Secretariat Member, Asian Students Associatoin (ASA); 6. B. M. Kutty, Secretary General, Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC), Pakistan; 7. Camilo Tovar, Deputy Director, Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA), Brussels; 8.Deepak Prakash Bhatt, Chairperson, All India Nepalese Free Students Union (AINFSU), India; 9. Farhat Perveen, Coordinator, Women Workers Centre, Pakistan; 10. Girish Pokhrel, President, America Nepal Journalist Association, USA; 11. Govinda Bandi, Member, Hong Kong Support Group for Democracy and Human Right in Nepal, Hong Kong; 12. Iman Rahmana, Sedane Institute for Labour Information (LIPS), Indonesia; 13. Irene Xavier, Coordinator, Trans-nationals Information Exchange-Asia  (TIE-Asia); 14. Junya Yimprasert, Coordinator, Thai Labour Campaign (TLC), Thailand; 15. Karamat Ali, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER), Pakistan; 16. Kiran Sitoula, Editor,, USA; 17. Krishna Upadhyaya, Coordinator, Solidarity Nepal UK (Solidarity for Democracy, Human Rights and Peace in Nepal); 18. Lekhnath Bhandari, Coordinator, Alternative Group, Virginia, USA; 19. Lita Anggraini, Chairperson, RUMPUM , Jogjakarta, Indonesia; 20. Lucia Victor Jayaseelan, Coordinating Officer, Committee for Asian Women (CAW); 21. Nongluck  Parnthong, Coordinator, Slum’s Women Network (SWON), Thailand; 22. P. Razeek, Managing Trustee, Community Trust Fund (CTF), Sri Lanka; 23. Parat  Nanakhorn, Coordinator, Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Link (APWSL); 24. Pramod Dhakal, Member of Coordination Committee, Canada Forum for Nepal, Canada; 25. Prathueng Chuaykliang, Coordinator, Women’s Rights and Development Centre (WORD), Thailand; 26. Premchandra Rai, Coordinator, Far East Overseas Nepalese Association (FEONA), Hong Kong; 27. Purushottam Poudel, Chairperson, Nepalese People's Coordination Committee, UK; 28. Rajan Treepathi, Coordinator, Nepal Human Rights Organization, Baltimor, USA; 29. Ram Lal Kafle, Chairperson, Migrant Nepalese Association, India; 30. Ramesh Pandey, Coordinator, Nepalese Forum for Human Rights and People’s Democracy (NEHURIPD), Australia; 31. Rawai Phupaga, Chairperson, International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), Thailand Council; 32.  Samydorai Sinapan, President, Think Centre, Singapore; 33. Shobhakar Budhathoki, Secretariat Member, Defend Human Rights Movement in Nepal (DHRM-N), Nepal; 34. Somchai  Chuaykliang, Director, Training Centre for Urban Poor (TCUP), Thailand; 35. Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, President, Alliance of Democratic Trade Unions (ADTU), Thailand; 36. Subodh Raj Pyakurel, Chairperson, Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), Nepal; 37. Suhas Chakma, Director, Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR); 38. Sujita Shakya, Chairperson, Women’s Welfare Society (WWS), Nepal; 39. Sukanta Sukpaita, Chairperson, Women Workers Unity Group (WWUG), Thailand; 40. Sultana Kamal, Executive Director, Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh; 41. Sunila Abeysekera, Executive Director, Information Monitor (INFORM), Sri Lanka; 42. Supawadee Petrat, Coordinator for Mekong Region, 1000 Women for Nobel Peace Prize 2005; 43. Sushil Pyakurel, Former Member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nepal; 44. Tapan Bose, Secretary-General, South Asian Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR); 45. Wasun  Reesomwong, Coordinator, Institute for Social Research and Action (ISRA), Thailand; 46. Wilaiwan Cheatia, Chairperson, Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, Thailand; 47. Yadu Nath Pandey, Chairman, Nepali Jana Samparka Samiti, India; 48. Yagya Raj Thapa, Executive Officer, Nepal Advocacy Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (NAC), India; 49.  Montreal Serai (Rana Bose, Editor); 50. South Asia Research and Resource Center (CERAS), Montreal, Canada (Minoo Gundevia, President)

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The Canadian Network for a Democratic Nepal (CNDN) will be holding a rally in Vancouver on February 1, 2006 and has issued a statement, excerpts from which are produced below.

“On February 1, 2005, King Gyanendra of Nepal assumed absolute power and suspended all civil and human rights. The Royal Nepali Army (RNA) has also been instrumental in setting up vigilante groups such as "Village Defense Committee", which have been burning down people's homes, chopping their limbs, forcing their captives to eat flesh of their own, and at times brutally beating innocent civilians to death.

During this one year, more than 6,000 political and human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, women's rights activists and students were arrested, tortured and held in inhuman conditions. More than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed despite the four months long unilateral ceasefire declared by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

With overt and covert military, financial, political and logistical support from countries like China, India, Britain and the USA, the King has been carrying out a ruthless counter-insurgency, which has only escalated violence and violation of human rights.”

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Washington D.C.

Hundreds of people filled Lafayette Park on the afternoon of January 29, 2006 in front of The White House in one of the larger shows of anti-King Gyanendra sentiments in the nation's capital since his Feb 1, 2005 takeover of power in the small Himalayan kingdom of Nepal last year.

The protest drew grandmothers, children, retired Royal Nepal Army and Nepali police officers, recent DV lottery winners, businessman, former politicians, representatives of Amnesty International-USA , one politically active student fresh off the stone throwing streets of Kathmandu, and few others from out of state. They came to testify to their growing impatience with the Royal regime's hollow promise of bringing peace and ending violence in Nepal. Even though President Bush seemed nowhere in sight to listen to the plight of the Nepalese who gathered, the setting seemed to electrify the crowd that was gathered.

Banners, slogans, placards, poems and speeches all pointed at the dictatorial nature of King Gyanendra and his regime’s unwillingness to negotiate with the seven party alliances to bring an end to the eleven years old insurgency which has already cost over 13,000 innocent lives in Nepal. The banners read, "Nepali Diasporas United against Dictatorship", "Tyranny is No Answer to Terror." Many in the crowd had protested last year in the May 15, 2005 protest rally as well.

Protest organizers estimated that around 200 people participated despite  rainy weather and the crowd of protesters rallied at a segment of the SE side of the park chanting "We want loktantra ," "We want democracy," "Down with Dictatorship," "Please respect Human Rights," and then marched through the drizzle around a block of the park adjacent to the White House.

The crowd swelled as the events continued with speeches by representatives of various local and human rights organizations including Mr. T. Kumar, Advocacy Director for Asia and Pacific for Amnesty International –USA, who questioned the kind of ruler that King Gyanendra is since he has used military force to kill, silence and violate the human rights of his own people when he should have been taking care of them like a father figure. He further said that Amnesty's next goal is to pressure the US government to stop all forms of military training and exercises with the Royal Nepalese Army that are being conducted secretly. Fiery poems supporting loktantric stances of the people were recited by various poets. However the crowd saved the biggest applause for Shiva Acharya, age 9, who said that children should support democracy because it will make a better world to live in. Shiva Acharya took strong stands against the Feb 1, (mis)step by King Gyanendra and reminded him that there is no alternative to democracy. "I think King Gyanendra is unhealthy," he said. "He needs a regular diet of democracy."

A retired army major who asked not to be identified said, "Here I am, expressing my solidarity with the Nepalese people and this seems to be one of the few options left to get back at a dictator who simply turned deaf ears to the vox populi." He said that before he came to US, he and his colleagues decided that if the push came to shove then RNA which is still considered a personal asset and ultimate protector of the Royal regime will not raise its weapon but instead will side with the Nepalese public the way the Russian Army did with Boris Yeltsin during the break up of the Soviet Union.

DC Rally Organizers have vowed to continue with their protest until King Gyanendra's dictatorship is brought to an end. Organizers are currently discussing plans for a "1,000 Men March against King Gyanendra's Dictatorship," from the Capitol Hill to the White House in early summer this year. They hope that the Royal regime would have learnt its lesson by then that the ultimate source of Power is the People of Nepal and that there is no alternative to multi-party democracy in Nepal. (Submitted by  Lekhanath Bhandari).

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A mass protest in front of the Royal Nepalese Embassy in Bangkok is planned for February 1 by the following  civil society organizations of Thailand:

Alliance of Democratic Trade Unions (ADTU), Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, President; Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Anselmo Lee, Executive Director; Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Link (APWSL), Parat Na nakhorn, Coordinator; Committee for Asian Women (CAW), Lucia Victor Jayaseelan, Coordinating Officer; Institute for Social Research and Action (ISRA), Wasun Reesomwong (Coordinator); Slum’s Women Network (SWON), Nongluck Parnthong (Coordinator); Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, Wilawan Chetia (Chairperson); Women Workers Unity Group (WWUG), Sukanta Sukpaita (Chairperson); Thai Labour Campaign (TLC), Junya Yimprasert (Coordinator); Transnationals Information Exchange-Asia (TIE Asia) Irene Xavier (Coordinator); Training Centre for Urban Poor (TCUP), Somchai Chuaykliang (Director); Women’s Rights Development Centre (WORD), Prathueng Chuaykliang (Coordinator); 1000 Women for Nobel Peace Prize 2005, Supawadee Petrat (Coordinator for Mekong Region).

Europe: Anand Swaroop Verma's Tour

Anand Swaroop Verma who recently translated Baburam Bhattarai’s book “Monarchy vs. Democracy: the epic fight in Nepal” into English and has been active in mobilizing support in India for the struggle of the Nepalese people for democracy is visiting European cities on a speaking tour. His trip has been sponsored and organized by the World People's Resistance Movement under the slogan: “Revolution in Nepal: A New World is Possible!” 

At his second meeting in Berlin on January 22, Verma appealed for support to the struggle being waged by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [CPN(M)]. He argued that “this most historic process of transformation can only hope to succeed if it wins the active and determined support of people around the world.”  He said that the imperialist powers in general and US imperialism in particular want to sabotage the movement and are looking for the chance to intervene militarily. Verma also urged the Indian government to take a positive attitude toward the Nepalese revolutionary democratic movement. His presentation was simultaneously translated into German and Turkish. Women in the audience were keen to know how the condition and role of women and the status of "dalits" was changing. A special  mention was made of  the fact that among the fighters of the People's Liberation Army,  more than 30% are women - something unique in the history of a revolutionary army anywhere in the world. One participant in the program who recently returned from the revolutionary base area in Rolpa related how the revolutionary government of the Magarat Autonomous Region is constructing a 91 kilometre long road through the participation of thousands of residents of the area. Earlier, Verma addressed a meeting in Hamburg. He is scheduled to speak in Italy, Norway, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

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Nepal Update

Hundreds arrested in Nepal Protests
(The Hindu, Jan 22, 2006)
Demanding removal of King Gyanendra and restoration of democracy, activists clash with police

Kathmandu: Nepali police arrested more than 300 supporters of the seven major political parties here during a demonstration demanding the restoration of democracy and the removal of King Gyanendra who had seized power nearly a year ago.

Thousands of supporters of the parties raised anti-King slogans on the streets, defying the prohibitory ban on political activities on Saturday and clashed with security forces in various parts of the capital. Security forces fired several rounds of tear gas and charged at the crowds with batons to disperse thousands of people attending the demonstration in various parts of the city, the parties said. Over a dozen activists of the parties were injured in the baton charge, the seven parties’ alliance said.

The parties had rescheduled the peaceful demonstration in Kathmandu after the Government imposed a day-long curfew in addition to the night time curfew. The supporters of democracy gathered in various places, demanding an end to the autocratic monarchy in the Himalayan Kingdom, and converged in a mass meeting in Bashantpur, the city centre of the capital, which is also a prohibitory area for mass gathering to foil the demonstration of seven parties.

Nepali Congress joint general secretary Ram Sharan Mahat, treasurer Mahanta Thakur, student leaders Guru Raj Ghimire, Yubraj Gyawali and Kamal Koirala, former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University Nabin Prakash Jung Shah were arrested from various parts of the city. Democracy supporters clashed with security forces in various parts and burnt tyres and pelted stones. Protest rallies were carried out from various corners of the city despite interventions at various intersections and the strong presence of security forces. There are reports of such demonstrations outside Kathmandu supporting the movement of the seven party alliance for the restoration of democracy in the Himalayan Kingdom.

Dozens of pro-democracy supporters were arrested in Biratnagar, while the Surkhet bazaar remained shut following a one-day general strike called by the alliance in the wake of the arrest of dozens of leaders and activists from Friday's protest programmes.  Senior leaders including the Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala and CPN,UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal have been under house arrest.

Litterateurs injured. Police also intervened in a peaceful demonstration being organised by artistes, litterateurs and writers at New Baneswore and arrested literary figures including Anand Dev Bhatta, Dr. Tulasi Bhattarai, Arjun Parajuli and Nanda Krishna Joshi.

Some literary personalities were also injured during the police intervention. The parties have been demanding the restoration of democracy since the King seized power on February 1, 2005 and the movement has intensified recently.

India, U.S., U.K., European Union, Japan, United Nations and Human Rights organisations around the globe have condemned the Government for the arrest of political parties, who are saying that their protest would be peaceful.

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Government's claims are baseless: Prachanda

Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Prachanda, has dismissed government's claim that the CPN Maoist guerrillas are planning to infiltrate January 20 mass meeting being organized by the seven party opposition alliance.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Maoist chairman Prachanda has expressed commitment that his party will not indulge in activities including use of force, infiltration or any other provocative activities during the mass meet organized by the seven party opposition alliance. He has, however, reiterated his party's full support to the peaceful protest programmes being launched by the alliance-- in line with the 12-point understanding between his party and the seven opposition parties.

Prachanda termed the government's ban on all type of meetings and rallies in the capital as "defeated mentality" of the government. His statement has come hours after Home Minister Kamal Thapa claimed that the government had credible evidence that the Maoists were going to `infiltrate' on Friday's mass meeting being organized by the seven party opposition alliance. Minister Thapa, however, told BBC Nepali Service on Tuesday that it was a temporary arrangement and restrictions would be lifted in the run up to the municipal polls slated on February 8.

On Tuesday, head of the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR), Ian Martin, regretted the government's decision to impose ban on peaceful assembly in Kathmandu and also sought clarification from the government in this regard.

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Human Rights Organizations visit detained Pro-Democracy Leaders

Human Rights Organizations, including Defend Human Rights Movement - Nepal, Alliance Nepal, INSEC and NGO Federation, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights observed today's demonstration programs.   Representatives of various human rights organizations also made attempt to visit the detention centers, including New Baneswar Police Station, Jana Sewa Bishalbazar, Covered Hall and Kathmandu District Police Office (KDPO).    The security forces didn't allow the HRDs to meet with the detained leaders.   However, the HRDs were permitted to meet the detained senior leaders at the KDPO and the HRDs found that the detained leaders haven't received water for more than four hours period and forced to stand in whole-time in detention.

Earlier, the delegation of human rights defenders visited the senior leaders of political parties, who have been kept under house arrest since the early morning of January 20, 2006. These leaders include Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML) General Secretary Madhab Kumar Nepal, CPN-UML standing committee members Bharat Mohan Adhikari and Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and to the Chairperson of Nepal Workers and Peasant Party Narayan Man Bijukshe.   The political party leaders are kept under house arrest under Article 3.2 of the 1989 Public Security Act, which allows the security forces to detain the leaders for three months period.   During the visit, the HRDs found that the family members of the leaders were also restricted to carry out their free movement in and out from the home.   Mainly, other family members of Mr. Koirala are not allowed to see him in the house, where he resides with his old and ill sister in-law.  The regime had also shut down the telephone services of Mr. Koirala and the regular lines of the CPN-UML office. The HRDs also visited the political party offices of the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress (Democratic).  The members of HRDs include Shanta Lal Mulmi, Dr. Renu Rajbhandari, K. C. Budhathoki, Dr. Rishi Adhikari, Kundan Aryal, Shobhakar Budhathoki, Bhagawati Nepal, Sharmila Karki and Krishna Gautam. 
(Source: Shobhakar Budhathoki, of Defend Human Rights Movement - Nepal;

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Candidates pull out of Nepal Municipal Polls

Prospective candidates for the municipal elections scheduled on February 8 chose to side with the seven parties pro-democracy alliance which has given a call for poll boycott. According to the information so far, only around 200 candidates filed their nomination against four thousand plus various posts in 58 municipal bodies in the country. While the alliance called for general boycott of the poll including the nomination process, Maoists have warned that candidates and the government officials on duty would face the death penalty.

In Pokhara, about 200-km west of Kathmandu, police opened fire on protesters in which at least one student was wounded. About 100 pro-democracy supporters have been rounded up there. Officials said while the Kathmandu metropolitan area was lucky to have some four mayoral candidates, the total number of candidates for other posts including that of the deputy mayor ran short.

Bhaktapur, another district in the capital valley, drew a blank as no one ventured to file the nomination. The King who heads the council of ministers has stoutly rejected pleas from the international community and pro-democracy leaders at home to call of the elections and hold dialogue with democratic forces to avoid violence in the country.

Top political leaders, including Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala, Nepal Communist UML general secretary Madhav Kumar, Nepal and Nepali Congress (Democratic) President Sher Bahadur Deuba, asked people to disrupt the ''election drama'' being staged by the royal government to legitimize its autocratic rule.

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Bhutan King Seeking a Way Out

Bhutan ruler Jigme Singye Wangchuk announced on 17 December 2005 his decision to abdicate in favor of his eldest son, 25-year-old Crown Prince Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and hold the country’s first national elections in 2008 (as also announced by Nepalese King)  to establish full-fledged parliamentary democracy.  The Bhutanese King, who ascended the throne in 1972 at the age of 17, handed over some powers four years ago to a council of ministers and empowered the national assembly to force a royal abdication if the motion was backed by three-quarters of its membership. On 26 March 2005, the King released a draft constitution of Bhutan for public review. The draft constitution provides for two houses of parliament – a 25-member National Council and a 75-member National Assembly - with the king as head of state. Whether the Bhutan king foresees what is coming in light of the developments in Nepal and making these statements as a ploy or means it sincerely is a matter of speculation. The Kingdom’s attitude towards Bhutan’s citizens of Nepali origin would suggest that he is simply buying time. Bhutanese refugees in Nepal constitute nearly 20 per cent of the total population of Bhutan. The democratization of Bhutan requires granting full rights to all its citizens regardless of their ethnicity. (Based on ACHR Review Jan 4, 2006)

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