Nepali Times Asian Paints
Publisher\'s Note
Five more months

Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal may have thought that he could say anything behind closed doors in one of his periodic 'cadre training' sessions. But as a public figure he should know by now that nothing he says is off the record.

He should have learnt from the damage he caused to his own reputation within Nepal and among the international community with the Shaktikhor video, in which he boasted to his troops about what a great liar he was in hoodwinking a gullible UN.

The half-hour tirade that he gave on Monday to a gathering of his supporters proved that the Chairman hasn't learnt a thing. And that is the kinder explanation. More ominously, it shows that the Maoist party is fully committed to seizing total power to set up a people's republic through a decisive revolution. Hearing about the Maoist endgame from the horse's mouth should not surprise anyone.

Many got sidetracked from that main message by the aside that Dahal flung at his chief ideologue, Baburam Bhattarai. That there is no love lost between the two most powerful personalities in the Maoist movement has been known ever since the Chungbang Conference in 2005 when Bhattarai, his wife and close aides were sent to a labour camp. But by naming Bhattarai publicly as someone whom India was pushing to be the next prime minister, Dahal presented himself as a master schemer.

By now it is clear that Dahal has squandered most of the goodwill he earned from the international community when he followed parliamentary procedures by resigning in May last year. His latest harangue confirms that the Maoists are not interested in the new constitution or in future elections: they just want to seize power and want to sweep away anyone who stands in the way. Which is why it has become standard operating procedure for him to blame the messenger by first saying reporters quoted him 'out of context', then accuse them of 'yellow journalism', and then call editors and publishers 'feudals' or 'smugglers'.

The Maoists and their sympathisers like to label anyone who is critical of their posture as 'rightwing'. It is not rightwing to call on a party that won a majority in elections to adhere to parliamentary norms, to publicly renounce violence, to disband their paramilitary and to be more serious about the peace process and the constitution.

We urge the Maoists not to sideline or purge those who want to transform the party into a responsible mainstream entity with a strong social reform agenda. We urge them to work to end the political deadlock so we can meet the deadline for completing the new constitution in five months time.

1. Arthur
"It is not rightwing to call on a party that won a majority in elections to adhere to parliamentary norms, to publicly renounce violence, to disband their paramilitary and to be more serious about the peace process and the constitution." Perhaps it would be even less rightwing to call on the parties that lost the elections to adhere to democratic norms, renounce the possibility of using the feudal army against the party that won a majority, democratize their military and be more serious about actually carrying out the agreements they signed. Or would that be "extremism"?

2. jange
Nepali Times. Duped again. The Maoists are very clear about what they want and how they want to achieve it. Why is it so difficult for NT to understand that?

3. Johann
You don't need the words in your editorial, just look at the pictures hanging on the wall. Stalin: 25 million killed in the Gulags. Mao: 20 million killed in the Great Leap Forward and the famine that followed. Or Pol Pot, who thought Mao was too moderate and ended up killing 4 million Cambodians, one fourth of his country's population. Let's clear this up once and for all, there are no hardline and moderate Maoists, there are only Maoists who don't care how many people are killed to attain their outdated notion of utopia. And look at that portrait behind Prachanda: it's Prachanda himself. he's even copied the personality cult.

4. Lee
Sharp observation, Johann, and don't forget the Shining Path (150,000 killed) FARC (75,000), NPA Philippines (120,000), JVP Sri Lanka (60,000). thelist goes on and on and they never learn from history. This ideology has blood in its hands, it comes with bloodshed, it believes in spilling blood and killing people, not liberating them.

5. May
Suddenly noticed the photo of Prachanda, since when have the Maosits started putting their chairman's picture up there with Marx and Engels? Is it because Baburam is giving him such a hard time and he is feeling insecure?

6. raj
The Nepali people are getting fed up of the Maoists and have become more vocal of late. The Maoists are clever enough to realise this and have become more desperate in their demands and actions. These Nepali Maoists are more opportunistic than their namesakes in China, trying to initiate and stir up an ethnic/racial based federalism structure to the nation, which I believe to be against the principles of communism which does not discrimintae or even actually acknowledges difference in races but just poverty itsslf, which there is alot of in Nepal affecting all races and ethnicities.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)