Even after we came into the peace process, there have been international misconceptions about the Maoists. It was to set the record straight that I took a Europe tour last month. That is why every moment was extremely important for me. When I had to spend hours at a hotel in Bahrain, I felt uneasy and impatient. I travelled through France, England, Portugal, the Netherlands, Germany and returned via Paris.
During the armed insurgency, more than 120 countries had labelled the Maoists terrorists with Red Corner Notices. Even after we came into the mainstream and joined the government, many countries still view us with suspicion and fear because of media disinformation. I found the European countries I visited to be very positive towards the Maoists, but the purpose of my trip was to clear any remaining suspicions.
I met South Asian experts in England and Germany, I explained to them the country's politics and the Maoist ideology. What everyone wanted to know was how the peace process was going, and if the ceasefire would hold.
I was most impressed by the Netherlands and Switzerland. It makes no difference to me if these two nations are considered examples of bourgeois democracies. There are many geographic similarities between Nepal and Switzerland. But there are many things we can learn. There are 20 times more cars in Switzerland than in Nepal, yet there are no traffic jams because everyone follows traffic rules. I marvelled at their clean roads and kept wondering about our chaotic bus parks and airports and India's train stations. If you find cockroach in your hotel room, they ask you if you've come from the Third World.
America still refuses to acknowledge the Maoists as a legitimate political power. There is a growing movement in Europe against America.
This trip has changed the way a lot of countries look at the Maoists. European countries want to learn how to fight a revolution in the 21st century from us and we can learn about the scientific advances and financial and social progress they have made.