Prachanda Warns Girija
Prachanda Warns Girija
Maoists Hope for the Best, Prepared for the Worst
by Mohan Nepali
22 June, 2007, Kathmandu:
Speaking Thursday at a big Kathmandu gathering of the family members and relatives of those disappeared by the state, Communist Party (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda warned all the regressive, reactionary and counterrevolutionary forces of Nepal that his party’s flexibility in the peace process did not mean weakness. Even after 14 months of the beginning of the peace process following the fall of King Gyanendra’s autocracy, the Nepali government headed by pro-monarchy Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has not yet clarified the status of disappeared citizens.
Prachanda said that the current government’s top leadership, despite his own party’s participation in it, is being run by the Narayanhity Royal Palace. This he gave as the principal cause of the nondisclosure about the disappeared citizens. He argued that as the current government was controlled by the Narayanhity Royal Palace, it could not implement any good decisions made so far. He stressed that when the country’s leadership is in people’s hands, disclosure about the disappearances is possible.
The family members and relatives of the citizens disappeared by the state have been demanding the disclosure of details. The Nepali government is reluctant to reveal about the disappearances even after 14 months of the retreat of monarchy from power. Most of the ministers from the Nepali Congress Prachanda clearly meant that the current leadership of the country is subtly controlled by the royal elites of both civil and military lines. He gave one example of how Prime Minister Koirala has been controlled by the palace. He said that he got written information from an army officer about the detention of nine Maoist workers in underground military bunkers; he informed Prime Minister Koirala. When the prime minister asked the army, he got a no-answer. Later, the prime minister told Prachanda to go to barracks with human rights workers for searching the detainees because there may be detainees. Prachanda points out this as an example of how the royal palace has controlled the prime minister who is also the defense minister.
Nepal was and still is on top in the list of nations that have the highest number of disappearances made by the state. Reports published by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations prove it. Similarly, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal has already disclosed that the (Royal Nepal Army now renamed as Nepal Army – still strictly loyal to the royal palace) murdered 49 Maoist political prisoners while in military custody. However, the Prime Minister cum Defense Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has promoted the involved army generals and colonels to higher posts. Therefore, ordinary masses of Nepal often criticize Prime Minister Koirala as the head protector of criminals. A few weeks ago, the prime minister became extremely angry with a youth organization, YCL, which captured Sitaram Prasai, a nationally blacklisted money launderer. Although the Nepal Rastra Bank ordered for Prasai’s arrest 10 months ago, the security chiefs and ministers and top party leaders, instead of arresting him, used to eat and drink with him and did everything to protect him. This led the Maoist youth YCL to capture and hand over the wanted criminal to police. The world must have felt embarrassed that Nepal’s prime minister, ministers, top leaders and security chiefs carefully protect nationally blacklisted criminals. As the YCL played a citizen’s watchdog role, ordinary masses have wholeheartedly supported it. The YCL itself did not punish the criminal. It handed the criminal over to police.
People think if the law enforcement agencies intend to protect and encourage criminals, it is the duty of citizens to capture them and forward them to police for action. But most surprisingly, Nepal’s criminals, smuggling and robbery gangs have been demanding a ban on the YCL for being watchful against criminals.
As the YCL pressurized the state security apparatus to catch and punish criminals, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala labeled the youth organization as “criminal league” and wanted to ban it. He could not say it directly. He made the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) say it. There can be no other reason why he gave much time to meet and talk to the leaders of the MJF, an illegal armed group that has specialized in capturing people and murdering them in cold blood. The group in March massacred 29 unarmed Maoist cadres with a purpose of converting the ongoing peace process into a civil war. A few days ago, the group abducted two Maoist leaders in Rupandehi district and killed them.
Instead of using his prime ministerial power to ban such an illegal criminal group, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala used the criminal group to demand for a ban against the YCL and the expulsion of Maoists from the government. YCL is a volunteer helping the state against evil forces. If it does things harmful to people, nobody will let it remain there.
Regarding such complications in the peace process, Maoists have not been able to communicate to people convincingly. Ideologically prejudiced mass media seem to be making efforts to isolate Maoists, the major component of the current peace process of Nepal. The Maoists seem to be overwhelmed by the ongoing media campaigns against them. As soon as the Maoists declared their commitment to use their share in government against corruption and smuggling, corrupts and smugglers launched heavy media-aided offensives against them. As traditional forces have much influence on mass media, the rival political forces, less believing in co-existence and the essentiality of overall transformation of society, seem to have used this opportunity against the Maoists. All the feudal landlords, women traffickers, drug smugglers, corrupts and other national criminals have converged into one force, determined to stop any big changes in the state mechanisms.
Moral bankruptcy and treacherous culture existing among the major traditional political parties will lead to more perplexity and possibly to another grassroot movement seeking newer leadership capable of restructuring and transforming the Nepali society.