Nepali Times Asian Paints
PRASHANT JHA
Plain Speaking
Round and round in circles


PRASHANT JHA


KIRAN PANDAY

In January, there appeared to be a breakthrough in the political process. After a three-day strike, Maoists pulled back from planned protests, the High Level Political Mechanism was finally set up. The process of discharging disqualified combatants began, and the Maoists allowed the parliament to function. A bit later, Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai appeared to patch up, and the party decided to pursue the 'peace and constitution' line. Observers saw the developments as a remarkable breakthrough, but nine months later, the stalemate persists.

But there is a similar flutter now. The Maoists have agreed to place their combatants under the Special Committee. A secretariat is being formed, and Maoist commanders are planning to branch out to the cantonments to prepare their lot. The PM has told security chiefs to be ready for integration. Maoists have agreed to be 'sensitive' to the army's operational issues. And Prachanda is all ready to withdraw his candidature (though latest reports suggest he will not do so if Ram Chandra Poudel does not reciprocate).

The threat of UNMIN leaving has worried the Maoists. There is a broad international consensus (with India, USA and UK on the same side) that the onus rests largely on the Maoists to move on the peace process. Maoists know that if they want a constitution, they will have to make fundamental compromises on their party structure. And besides the tactical victory of breaking the 'democratic alliance', Prachanda has little to show for the past few months.

But the fundamental factors that led to the stalemate in the first place have not changed, which is why it would once again be naÔve to see recent developments as a breakthrough. The Maoists are in the throes of one of their deepest ideological crises ever, compounded by personality clashes.

What is the kind of political system the Maoists aim to build in Nepal? What can it settle for in the interim, and what are the non-negotiables in the new constitution? Would it help or be a great betrayal to give up the PLA at a time when the revolution remains incomplete, the reactionaries have consolidated, and prospect of political power for the party remains distant? Who is the main enemy? What is the purpose of integration if the original intent of using it to make NA a friendly force is no longer possible? And how does it see India? Without clarity, cohesion and flexibility on at these issues, the Maoists will not make any substantive movement and others will not give them space.

And what is the nature of compromises the other side is willing to make? It is easy to blame the Maoists for not having moved on integration when they were in power. But just go back to Sushil Koirala's statements during the period, when he insisted that "not a single combatant" can be integrated, or Bidya Bhandari's approach of the past year.

To be fair, there is greater flexibility among them now but all non- Maoist parties echo the NA's redlines: no unit level entry, no space in the command structure, the minimum possible in the army while the rest can go to other forces. Additionally, if the NC believes a parliamentary system is the only option, wants the weakest form of federalism possible, and is reluctant to even discuss reforming the 1990s state institutions, where is the meeting point? Where is the incentive for the Maoists who are being told to give up their army, compromise on their political issues in the statute, and wait before getting space in the power structure?

Inter-related is the India-Maoist bitterness. Both have genuine grudges, have invested a lot in countering the other and Delhi, till now, has come out far more successful in the game. India will not budge till it feels that Maoists have turned 'democratic' and will be 'sensitive' to its concerns For his part, Prachanda feels India wants to destroy him politically, and irrespective of the compromises he makes, Delhi will not give him space. Insecurities and belligerence on both sides has led to a vicious cycle.

Don't fall for it when politicians say they will finish all the remaining tasks of the peace process in four months. This is logistically impossible, and there is neither the intention nor the capacity to do so among the forces which matter.

READ ALSO:
Peace and the PM, PUBLISHER'S NOTE

Trickle up, DAVID SOGGE



1. who cares
really, what is going on? maoist agreeing pla management, unmin criticizing maoist latest but old activities- pla involvement in criminal activities. 


maoist have been facing pressure from national powers for more than a year. now, looks like, foreign powers have started to pressure maosit too. 

and what have brought change in unmin, moon wanting to visit nepal? wants to improve relation before exit or they are pressured by foreign powers too. 




we should not trust maoist, but if maoist want to make things right, we should let them. but should not loose our guard. 






2. black box
mr. jha how come the question of Maoist giving up their army can exist now. they gave up their army years ago putting them in closed monitored camps virtually doing nothing a "army" is supposed to do as they joined the main political stream having their major demand of constitutional assembly's election and abolish monarchy as their incentives. But the integration has been remain left. Today's questions can be on different aspects of integration. I think this time you have taken a naive approach to put across Indian interest to unstable Nepali politics. Not everyone will see or believe things as you wish them to. Nepalese know the Indian crap very well whoever are really interest in politics and westerners who have genuine interest, they will listen to everyone 'at least these day' not only a stealthy newspaper having named Nepali Times.         

3. Slarti
I am sorry but aren't these questions which should have been asked at the time of signing the 12 point agreement back in Nov 2005 and before that. I mean, here you are dealing with a country whose character you seek to change and you enter into an alliance with a terrorist organisation without as much as asking the very basic question?

I guess they all thought we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyway, Satya Nepali has every right to feel very proud of his insight that he has been offering for the better part of all the eternity. Or maybe he is just too frustrated to care.


4. DG
It is really heartening to know about Nepal emerging as a rainbow nation.
Its demography also leads towards that  i n the coming days. Out of 3973 VDCs and Municipalities there is not a single unit where only one community resides. Each one is muti-communal.  Womens emancipation and working together with men in offices and fields is helping in this kind of intregation of the country; inter-marriage is in fashion now.Really an all Nepali Nepal is being born.
we should all be proud of our heritage. ,that is multifarious. in every aspect. But the common people of Nepal have surpassed our myopic leaders. Identity is accepted but in the name of identity,there is opportunistic politics , vote-bank-politics with expediency,chicanery etc etc. Enough is enough,let us all accept, tolerate and co-exist as we have been doing all the time;so that the fragile social fabric is not disturbed.  Thanks Rubeena for highlighting this issue s o  well.


5. DG
Unmin is finally moving out,it gives a good signal.But don't put the cart before the horse. Resolve the PlA demobilization and YCL  dismantling First and foremost.Abjure violence, ahimsa is now a must for all.

Our least common denominator is real democracyas accepted globallynot bogus political system with varios adjectives.We cannot go back to 1947 BSconstitution, nor any thing less than that.  Power to the peopleis our goal.That means power to local government not to provincial satraps or chiefs.only..Decentralization as far as we can assimilate, incceasing more and more as we evolve. That is real devolution.That is federalism. We have declared ourself secular that is right to religious freedom and conscience. We are for inclusive society,a egalitarian one. We are for not only political freedom but also economic and social too. We are for rule of law and pluralism.These are the essentials. ,not to be negotiated .
Who cares for what Maoists want or Congress wants. The people of Nepal; are the leaders,. There are no other leaders.
Let us all come together once again in Tundikhel and make unbiased proclamation.as responsible citizens of Nepal.
The political leaders can join us.










6. kabulekanchho
When I see these jokers doing the same thing what erstwhile Shri 5 used to do, I wonder what has been the real change? Do we have now a dozen or more Shree 5s in Dharmanirapekchhya Sanghiya Janabadi Loktan-trick All inclusive Hindu Ganatantra Nepal?


7. Nirmal
I wonder what might be the reason behind political parties' tolerance till the date, there is some part of truth when many cynic but finest souls claim that If it has not been for King Gyanendra, they would never have done any type of pact with the Maoists and still be queuing in southern gate of Narayanihity palace. It could be fear to lose, greed of power or devaluating the Maoists strength. It is life, one thing drives another.

If it has been for me, knowing that the other side with whom I'm negotiating threatens me being in the negotiating table. I'd not hesitate to show them the door. This is double-language, you can't pretend to negotiate by threatening. It is indignant for anyone who desires peaceful negotiation.

Well, I think the question formulated by Prashant is little bit erroneous knowing that the Maoists came to competitive mulit-party political system. I should remake it here with your permission:

What is the kind of political system the Maoists aim to build in Nepal?
It should have been instead,
What is the kind of political system the Maoists should help to build along with other political parties in Nepal?


8. Arthur
Concluding the peace process within 4 months may be highly unlikely, but the analysis is incomplete.

Whether the anti-Maoist parties agree to a constitution or not, they have already proved that they cannot rule Nepali and lost support from the great majority.

Certainly the middle class minority and its international supporters are important and building a new Nepal will be much harder if the Maoists are unable to persuade them to join in. But they have proved that they cannot govern or achieve anything at all without the Maoists, so ultimately they will have to accept Maoist leadership, whether they are happy about it or not.

The onus is not on the Maoists to satisfy the failed parties and be given space by them. They have already taken the space they need to be able to reach the poor majority. The onus is on the other parties to find  a place for themselves in a society that intends to move beyond the status quo.

Pressuring the Maoists to accept an Indian and Nepal Army veto is futile. Why not pressure their opponents to accept democracy?




9. rishav
Reply #8

"The onus is not on the Maoists to satisfy the failed parties and be given space by them." Your right it should have been the onus of the Maoists on the very first day of the CA when Prachanda was made PM  and leading the COALITION Government to have demonstrated the required level of diplomacy,tact and skill to have brought the peace process to a logical conclusion. Unfortunately, the power trip got to his head, not saying there was much there in the first place, and one donkey move after another has led to this current situation.

"Maoists are unable to persuade them to join in," Your funny!! If I'm correct the Maoists are currently sitting in opposition and are the ones refusing to join in and demonstrated unawareness of their weakened political situation which will only worsen by prolonging this stalemate. They are the ones unable to persuade themselves to join into the political civilian mainstream.

Signs are showing that the Maoists are loosening up on their extreme stances and are now becoming aware of the political situation. They are not questioning army recruitment as they did before and they are unable to effectively threaten the poltical parties of a Kathmadu Badh with there YCL marching around, as they tried it already and got egg on their face. Their leaders want a comfortable life in Kathmandu with all the perks not too keen on Jungle life, as if they really experienced that living in New Delhi during the Insurgency, and they are getting old now. Not Good for the back!!

"Why not pressure their opponents to accept democracy?" What a funny statement! Lol! I'm not a fan of this current Government but if I'm wright, they actually secured enough votes from the CA in just one go, which gives them more credibility than Pracahnda who has being failing for the last 7 times. I guess Dahal and the maoists should pressurise their opponents to accept democracy a bit more it seems to be working for them(may be ask the Chinesse to throw a few more paisa to the madhesi parties to swing a few votes in a good old democratic way). It's funny, day one from the formation of the current government, Prachanda has been asking for the resignation of the PM and saying how quickly he would form a majority government, hahaha! Now he is realising that he needs to withraw his name like a limping dog accepting defeat AGAIN and AGAIN(X7).

Kappooow! Knockout blow. Put you in your place again Arthie, loonie toon western commie!! Go learn some Nepali. Stop feeding yourself with garbage information.



10. Deep
"Whether the anti-Maoist parties agree to a constitution or not, they have already proved that they cannot rule Nepali and lost support from the great majority."
The blinkered maoist groupie pot calls the kettle black! The Maoists' 'ability to rule' is far from 'proven' ; their period in government was a miserable failure and Prachanda made the tactical error of flouncing out, leading to their present miserable diminished situation. As for 'lost support'; the miserable flop of the May protests were claimed as the 'final push' to topple the govt but  fizzled out after a few days due to lack of popular support to sustain it.



11. jange
What is the kind of political system the Maoists aim to build in Nepal?

A totalitarian communist state a la Pol Pot, North Korea etc. They have said so countless times but people prefer not to believe.

What can it settle for in the interim, and what are the non-negotiables in the new constitution?

Anything, as long as it furthers their aims- lies, murder, loot, extortion.

Would it help or be a great betrayal to give up the PLA at a time when the revolution remains incomplete, the reactionaries have consolidated, and prospect of political power for the party remains distant?

They will never give up their "coercive apparatuses" (to use Mr. Jha's own phrase). It will exist in one form or other unless taken from them.

Who is the main enemy?

Anyone who does not agree with them. At some point Prashant Jha will also be the enemy. Then there will be no one left to defend you.

What is the purpose of integration if the original intent of using it to make NA a friendly force is no longer possible?

The purpose of the Maoists is to weaken or destroy or in whatever way to make the NA ineffective as this is the key obstacle to their ambitions.

And how does it see India?

It is a case of mutual usefulness. As the NT itself has said the Maoists were nurtured by India. It is still in the hands of India to turn it back into a mouse.

Without clarity, cohesion and flexibility on at these issues, the Maoists will not make any substantive movement and others will not give them space.

There is no clarity cohesion and flexibility since the non Maoists parties are still dancing to the Maoists tune- which was the spirit of the 12 point agreement.

Stop dreaming. You cannot have democracy or a democratic system with one of the political parties entitled to utilise their "coercive apparatuses" (to use Mr. Jha's own phrase).


12. Rajaram
#8
Arthur will you please define democracy the Maoist want to establish in term s of global and international knowledge of democracy  in Nepal in terms of the followings.:
1. Republicanism.-representative Democracy.
2.Constitutionalism-Rule of Law.
3 .Liberalism-Human Rights.
4..Civism-Citizenship.
5 .Civil Society-Communitarianism..
6 .Market Economy.
this will help to know more about the Maoist definition in terms of comparatively, internationally, and globally about democracy.





13. Arthur
Rajaram #12 I cannot speak for the Maoists and as a foreigner I cannot even read their draft constitution as it has not been translated to english. You should be able to find a copy in Nepali at http://krishnasenonline.org

I am not sure of exactly what you are asking about in some of your six points but my impression is that the differences are not such matters of definition but of practice. Even on item 6 concerning "market economy" the urgent task facing the Maoists in Nepal will be to develop national capitalism instead of the prevailing semi-feudal corrupt bureaucrat capitalism while moving from capitalist market economy to communism can only come much later.

The real difference is that while the Maoists actually believe in and fought for republic, federalism, secularism, human rights, free elections etc the other parties fought a long civil war to prevent these things and have only agreed in words, but still want to cling to the past.

As far as I can make out the only major constitutional difference in principle for the transitional period is that the old parties prefer a parliamentary system while the Maoists prefer a presidential system (like the USA). The real problem is that either way the old parties know that the Maoists will win any future elections so they want to delay drafting a constitution and maintain a veto for India and the Nepal Army.

There is a simple test for who is a democrat and who is opposed. No democrat could oppose civilian supremacy over the Nepal Army and strive to preserve its "autonomy" as a weapon that can be unleashed to defend the privileged against the people. The Maoist propose to arm the people with universal military training so that Nepal cannot again be subject to tyranny.


14. jange
13. Arthur

"The real difference is that while the Maoists actually believe in and fought for republic, federalism, secularism, human rights, free elections etc the other parties fought a long civil war to prevent these things and have only agreed in words, but still want to cling to the past."

Wrong. They fought to establish a one party totalitarian state. That is still their goal.


15. rishav
Reply #13

"The Maoist propose to arm the people with universal military training so that Nepal cannot again be subject to tyranny."

This comment say's it all we need to know about this nutter!! What planet do you really live on??!!



16. Rajaram
#13 Arthur 
Your Comparision pf Nepalese Situation with  of the American Civil War  and creating Maoists with progressives and the other parties is faulty.  They are still trying to establish one party communist regime , which is not acceptable to the present generation.
 Presidential or parliamentary system is not important issue. But the countries in Asia and Africa have suffered in Presidential system which turned into dictatorship.Only with caution we can adopt it.
 Basic difference is between one party system and democracy, we have to choose one.

Federalism , secularism social justice, economic justice, rule of law, personal freedom ,right to property, separation of power  are the demand of all parties and the people.  Every thing is negotiable but we cannot accept the rule of one party in the name of proletariat as they did in Soviet Union or China.
Marx had no knowledge of Asian countries. Only his Vol. 1 is read by the Socalled Marxists not his Vol2 andVo3. # The Soviets selected only some chapter which were helpful for them to establish their regime and their remnants are still harping the same in Nepal too.. Vol 1 was his earlier work ,he had not matured then. Better to read hid later works which saw the light of the day much later as they were published.









17. Arthur
Rajaram #16, I agree with you that the difference between parliamentary and presidential system is not so important. I think Nepal will need to combine federalism with a strong executive government for a period of rapid social change and it needs to break from the "tradition" of parliamentary corruption. But Nepal could still move forward even under the interim constitution provided the ruling party or parties actually want to move forward instead of clinging on to the status quo. It could still move backward under a Presidential system, as has indeed happened in many other countries too.

I also agree that very few socalled "Marxists" have read much of Marx. Unfortunately I suspect the same is true for you as you would not think that vol 1 of capital was the product of an earlier marx than volumes 2 and 3 if you had actually read them.

You would certainly not imagine there is anything in common between what the Maoists want and the failed systems in the Soviet Union and China if you understood that the term "Maoist" is a direct symbol of opposition to those regimes.

The Maoists support a national consensus government at present in order to conclude the peace process and draft a constitution. It was Congress that prevented this and still prevents it. Obviously once the peace process is concluded and a constitution is adopted the Maoists would prefer to thoroughly defeat the opposing parties and form a government without them (either a single party government or a coalition of like-minded parties as in most democratic countries).

That is not "one party rule". It is competitive multi-party politics. The opposing parties would need to sum up the results of losing the elections and change their policies in order to obtain a majority at future elections. Likewise the ruling party or parties would have to correct mistakes and adapt to what the people want in order to prevent their opponents from obtaining a majority. That change from one ruling party or coalition to another happens regularly in any country that has an established democracy. It is only for transition from basic absence of democratic politics in Nepal that a consensus government is still necessary for a period.

Naturally Congress and the UMLs have every reason to fear this future. They are so thoroughly discredited among the overwhelming majority of poor Nepalis that they can expect not only to lose but to become so small that new parties arise as a future opposition and their old parties disappear completely. Perhaps some of the Madheshi parties would remain influential but both the UMLs and Congress appear to be on their last legs with nothing to look forward to. So they have had to resort to blocking a consensus government and excluding the largest party from government. That was the only way to preserve an army veto and their future hopes. The result has been complete failure and is falling to bits right now. (Rishav's #9 childish cackling that Maoists have suffered a knockout blow does not reflect the actual mood of any of the serious participants).

It is completely dishonest for the old parties who have lost their popular support to the Maoists to claim that is "one party rule", so they should remain in power despite having lost all support!

It is especially dishonest for those like jange and rishav who want to preserve an army veto over civilian politics as a last resort against the poor majority to pretend they are defending democracy against totalitarianism.

There is nothing democratic about army rule and nothing totalitarian about an armed people preventing it.


18. Deep
Artyboy; "You would certainly not imagine there is anything in common between what the Maoists want and the failed systems in the Soviet Union and China if you understood that the term "Maoist" is a direct symbol of opposition to those regimes."

If you mean the present regimes of those countries - well, the Maoists are increasingly friendly with China and have repeatedly expressed admiration for China's Special Economic Zones and a wish to copy them in Nepal as an inspiring form of capital development (untroubled by the horrible hyper-exploitation of workers in SEZs). If it's true that Maoists want to develop Nepali capitalism then China is hardly a "failed system" in those terms!

If the Maoists - as their PR groupie Arthur apparently claims, don't seek to emulate the Chinese the earlier Soviet or Chinese state-capitalist regimes of Stalin and Mao - strange that they keep using them as icons, keep quoting their writings and repeatedly reassure the Party faithful that this is indeed their ultimate political goal. Artyboy, whose 'knowledge' is filtered thru the romanticised propaganda of naive western leftists, tries to hide the obvious - that for the Maoists democracy is only a stepping stone to try to seize absolute power. A goal that recedes further from them... their recognition of this leading to Party infighting and factional polarisation.


19. Rajaram
317 Arthur
Army Rule and Totalitarian system are both out of question.
 UML and Congress have no doubt change or hey will be out of mainstream.politics.
But Maoists are also no paragon of virtue; they too should abjure the culture of violence and disband  their Pla and YCL Then Democrats will also vote for them.
We the people of Nepal the have-not as well as the haves cannot afford anything less than 21st century democracy, with social justice and economic freedom.. Nepal should offer an example to the rest of South Asia. We must have consensus but to what,otherwise?


20. rishav
CORRR BLIMEY ARTHIEE!!

What a lecture #17, lost in your rambling, then you tried to sneak my name in towards the end. You little sly so and so you. Cheeky!

Arrr! I think I upset you Arthie, I feel we got off on the wrong foot, it's quite clear that you think I don't take you too seriously. Hahaha!

I do honestly take you seriously, as much as one can for western looney marxist who spends his time going through Nepali English daily websites trying to get as much info on his favourtite rock groupie, o'sorry favourite communist groupie. Have you watched the movie fan club, I think you should watch it, would be very therapeutic in developing your insight.

U mentioned the knock out blow . Kappooww! that was for you Arthie for being very naughty. NAughty! Naughty! Budmasss!

I see you were lecturing about Carl Marx. He was a silly fella, spending his time in the pub drinking beer and getting drunk lecturing the publicans about politics, sounds a bit familiar scenario in a Nepali setting, whilst leaving his wife to bring up the kids alone. Yes I can see why you would be fond of him and why he would be appealing to alot of lazy Commies.

But anyway, we all have to have people we look upto I guess and those people we can never see any wrong with. If Prachnda urinates on the street, one would decribe it as a publically indecent action and damage to public property. But I know you Arthie, you would call it great rivers of Gold of maximum nutrition for the undergrowth that has been suppressed by the road surface which dominates it.

No hard feelings Arthie. You will never be able view things impartially, I think alot of Nepali people here have tried to educate you in regard to the events in the country as you do show such ineterest. But realising your interests come with an underline motive and skewed extreme political line therefore very NAUGHTY! BUDMass!

Once you do try to stick you head out of your bottom you might then be able to smell the coffee but we know that is not gonna happen Hey Arthi!

Taking yourself too seriously and showing arrogance in the way you comment is not gonna make you many friends or give you many sympathizers.

So long Arthus, can't be bothered to knock out you out of the ring any more, no offence but I think a 1st grade Nepali student would have a better understanding of the political situation in Nepal than you, but you seem to have the arrogance to come on to these sites and sing your SONG!!

So i will sing you a SONG.

Don't blame it on the sunshine - Nepali Congress
Don't blame it on the moonlight - UML
Blame it on the boogie - Maoists.

Yeah!


21. Arthur
Rajaram #19, we could agree that Army rule and Totalitarian system should both be out of the question. Nevertheless the old parties have obstructed the integration of the two armies required by the peace agreement in order to preserve the possibility of army rule - and their excuse has been to prevent "Maoist totalitarianism". So at present these are still very much live questions. They will be really out of the question only when the two armies have actually been integrated and the peace agreement concluded.

Meanwhile if the Maoists disbanded the PLA and YCL they would be massacred by their opponents who have not disbanded the Nepal Army or Armed Police. Burma has military rule and Thailand has a military veto. So do many countries with similar levels of poverty in Africa. Why would Nepal be different if there was no PLA and YCL to prevent the old system that ruled Nepal for so long and reduced it to the level of Africa?

If the UML and Maoists do change, they will carry out the peace agreement and integrate the two armies and become an opposition under a Maoist government. Otherwise I agree that they will end up out of mainstream politics and a more relevant opposition to the Maoists will emerge.

Certainly the Maoists are now the mainstream and the only thing that could hope to end that quickly would be suppression by the army. That has already failed so the delay in accepting it is simply pointless.

If you want 21st centutry democracy with social justice and economic freedom then you should insist that the old army that fought against this be integrated with the new army that fought for it. There was a consensus agreement to do that in the peace agreement. What remains is to carry it out.

Deep #18, Maoists do want friendly relations with both Nepal's neighbours and that does mean improving relations with China since previous relations have been dominated by India. Opening up transit trade from China through Nepal to India is especially important for Nepal's development and may well include "Special Economic Zones" as well as hydro power exports to India.

But wanting friendly relations and economic ties does not mean Maoists want to copy either India or China.

Maoists study Mao's writings because he was successful in leading an independent revolution in China while other communists slavishly followed Soviet experience and failed and because he opposed the present regime in China that followed the Soviet example of restoring capitalism (but has not yet followed the Soviet example of collapsing).

One of the lessons of 20th century is that democracy is needed as a stepping stone to communism, since failure to consolidate democracy (as in Russia and China) results in failure of communism. Whether Nepal's Maoists will succeed remains to be seen. But that is the road they have taken. Like anything else new and difficult it naturally involves internal as well as external disagreements. That is a healthy sign of democracy, not "totalitarianism".



22. who cares
rishav

"I see you were lecturing about Carl Marx. He was a silly fella, spending his time in the pub drinking beer and getting drunk lecturing the publicans about politics, sounds a bit familiar scenario in a Nepali setting, whilst leaving his wife to bring up the kids alone."

this one is interesting and very useful, if true.

and good response to idiot propagandist (based on totally imaginary and lies).
but dont push him too hard, cause he will get scared.  




23. jange
21. Arthur

"Meanwhile if the Maoists disbanded the PLA and YCL they would be massacred by their opponents who have not disbanded the Nepal Army or Armed Police."

This statement gets the top prize in the Kamred Arthur bullshit league.



24. Arthur
jange #23 to show that my comment was bullshit you would need to respond to the argument in the sentence that followed:

"Burma has military rule and Thailand has a military veto. So do many countries with similar levels of poverty in Africa. Why would Nepal be different if there was no PLA and YCL to prevent the old system that ruled Nepal for so long and reduced it to the level of Africa?"

The poorest countries in the world are those where the military has a veto (yes, including "Army first" North Korea).

The hatred of Maoists among "educated" Nepali Times readers is obvious. Why on earth would people like you, who endlessly proclaim that the Maoists are looters and mass murderers and truthfully observe that the opposing "democratic" politicians are corrupt and useless NOT want to suppress the Maoists and establish army rule like Burma?

You tried before and failed. What stopped you was the PLA and YCL. So naturally you want to get rid of them.

But it would take rather more than shouting Kappooww! or "bullshit" like silly children.


25. Rajaram
#21 Arthur

As long as Kingship was existing, Girja Prashas knew the army's role as obedient instrument of the palace was a threat. So he did not take the iniciative to integrate  the PLa and went ahead with the Election as it was a counter-weight against yhe royal army.Now this has out-lived its utility.
 now the Nepalese Army by its nature and past history is always loyal to the ruling government; it has nothing to do with the monarchy at present.
 Ramaya swasti, Ravanaya swasti. (WElcome to Rama ,welcome to ravana; who ever rules the state.)-is its motto. It is people.s aRMY NOW.IT NEEDS PROFESSINIZATION. sOME OF THE plaS HAVE TO BE ABSORBED.  CULTURE OF VIOLENCR HAS TO GO.IiT IS UN-NEPALI ONE. NOW HUMAN LIFE TAKING , MOLESTATION HAVE BECOME COMMON IN THE COUNTRY OF THE bUDDHA; UNHEARD OF IN THE PAST.IT WAS A COUNTRY EVEN IF YOU WANTED TO BE MOLESTED UN RES-REP OF THE TIME YACOB JURY,AS WE STILL REMEMBER HIS REMARK.




26. kamal kisor

I don't think we should use this forum to debate our philosophies and political outlooks. Let us just put our opinion here. It is upto the reader to accept or reject it. By defending or counter defending you are not going to change the ideology that the writer has.

I don't think this is the place for ideolouges. Kundan, why don't you create a different forum for thes idiots???



27. rishav
ARRRTHIIEE! Miss me! haha.

Don't get your knickers in a twist son. Just because you get defeated again and again by your comments on this site don't mean you have to sulk. Losing it dear boy. Kapooow!! hahaha.

Little tip for you.

Deep breath in and exhale saying OOHHM, OHHM SHANTI, SHANTI ,OHM, you will start to feel a sense of the Universe enter your head and soul. Hopefully this will develop a new enlightened approach to life and you will suddenly get a divine understanding of the situation in Nepal. Lol!

Another tip.

If your trying to understand the politics in Nepal it is not through the book of that Marx fella but through the different cultures, religions, traditions and languages of the Nepali people which will unravel this mystery for you. That won't be easy for you Arthie as you obviously have your set preconcieved ideas polluted by the garbage you are reading on the net.

I'll pray that you one day see the light, but untill then I think you will continue to get ridculed and defeated in discussions on these sites but rather than admit your short commings, knowing what your like, you will try your best to deflect it.

cya.







28. Arthur
Rajaram #25 BTW in #21 I meant to say "If the UML and Congress do change...", not "UML and Maoists...".

Nepal Army was instrument of the Ranas and then of the palace. It has never been loyal to the people, nor to any elected civilian government. In particular it refused to comply with orders of Prachanda government for integration of the two armies as required by peace agreement and still will not even obey court orders to hand over criminals for trial when accused of torture and murder of 15 year old children.

Nepal has a long culture of violence with majority of population suppressed by a small minority. It has just been through a long and violent civil war but both armies are no longer fighting. Various criminal gangs, often linked to anti-Maoist parties, especially in Terai, are still fighting (with murders of Maoists as well as others every week or so).

For Congress (and UMLs) peace agreement with Maoists was necessary because monarchy and army rule had put them in gaol. Now it has "outlived its utility" as you say. So they think they can just get rid of the PLA instead of integrating it with the old army as specified by the peace agreement.

For Maoists peace agreement was necessary to complete the revolution and remove ALL the forces that kept Nepal in backwardness from power with as little further bloodshed as possible. For them it has not outlived its usefulness and neither has the PLA.

For Maoists PLA (and YCL) are still needed to avoid further bloodshed and get rid of the old Nepal through peaceful elections.

For the old parties PLA (and YCL) must be got rid of so that old army can preserve the old Nepal and prevent free elections.

It is as simple as that.

But the fascinating thing is that the old parties know that they were unable to win through civil war before and that they are even weaker now. So they do not really want renewed civil war either and they know they cannot get rid of PLA or YCL except by actually concluding the peace agreement and adopting a constitution. They know they have lost but just keep clinging on to simply delay things and collect loot for as long as possible.

Meanwhile Nepal keeps falling to bits until people get sick of it and throw them out.



29. Battisputali
Say what you will about the moral choices of the Maoists but one has to give them the respect they are due when it comes to strategic competence. When a wholly military strategy of insurgency turned into a stalemate with the army, they ended up choosing an alternative strategy of political alliance of which the means used were: economic blockade, and street protests. The "hit on the head by standing on the back" strategy as it was called, worked and ultimately removed the monarchy.

I read a feature on foreign policy magazine which described Maoist combatants in cantonments discussing Carl Von Claustewitz and Sun Tsu! How many congress/uml leaders and party workes do you think read Claustewitz and Sun Tsu?

Arthur is also right to say that the other political parties allied with the Maoists for more narrower ends than a republic.Their alliance with the Maoists was for political survival in the triangular fight with the Monarchy. Once survival was ensured, they could start focusing on other interests, mainly, checking the latent military capacity of the Maoists. 

The only area where Maoist strategy has failed is in its dealings with India. It has to understand that India is not as weak as the political parties. So, easy on the public pronouncements of the loss of national sovereignty there comrades. An alternative strategy may be needed to deal with the Southern Neighbor. The strategic choice has to be this: 1. Return to detente with South Block, 2. Get executive control of national government, and not the other way around. 

Strategies of absolute ends are never moral or ethical, the ethical and policy problems that the Maoists have created through their strategies are thus:-
1. Through the strategy of military insurgency- a precedent that makes every group of ragtags think they can oppose the state and succeed. 
2. Through the strategy of royal state destruction in the hinterlands:- Corrosion of vital state infrastructure that aids the same groups, Madhesi or otherwise that are both against the state and the Maoists. 

One future strategic choice may be to concentrate all violence upon the state and make it the monopoly user of violence and punishment. But, the problem with that will be that no actor will have enough power to control events in a country with the terrain that Nepal possesses. A totalitarian state in Nepal is not feasible and not possible. Hopefully, the Maoists know this. 

I haven't recommended any reading for Arthur lately. Here's one. Read especially about the ethic of absolute ends and ethic of responsibility. 



30. rishav
You can fool yourself and others sometimes but you can't fool yourself all the time. Sooner or later you gonna find out what is really happening in Nepal from the news broadcasts post event as usual not FIRST HAND INFORMATION FROM REGULAR NEPALI PEOPLE WHO YOU OBVIOULSY HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT.

But live in your fantasy world, full of weird ideology and showing your clear lack of understanding of the current political events occuring.

God forbid if all foreign westerners who are interested in Nepal have the same skewed political analytical skills and obvious political prejudices as you. I only wish for the good old days, when those people interested in Nepal were either hippies, backpackers, trekkers, nature conservationalists, Military people, Mountaineers and the usual adventure tourists. Now we are getting 4th rate Marxists, who get laughed in the own countries for their views, who are only interested in Nepal because of our ill fated Maoists, thinking that we will take these loser western commies and their views seriously. We are too good for them and we have given them too much space.

We should treat them exactly like how they are treated in their own countries especially with the crazy views they express on these sites. A JOKE and people to have a laugh at.

Kapoooow! Defeated again Arhtie, don't get up now you can't handle it matey. Wannabe Maoist supporter, what a joke!!

Keep writing your rubbish and singing the praises of communism whilst eating in your local McDonalds or having a coffee in your local Starbucks. Live in the peoples democratic of China, i dare you or the people's democratic republic of North Korea if you truly beileve in what you write. You can't because deep down you know that they aren't real democracies and the life their would be horrid. HYPOCRITICAL hey ARTHIE barthie.


31. jange
29. Battisputali

I read a feature on foreign policy magazine which described Maoist combatants in cantonments discussing Carl Von Claustewitz and Sun Tsu! How many congress/uml leaders and party workes do you think read Claustewitz and Sun Tsu?

I don't think one should be overly impressed with what a Maoist claims that he reads. The question is whether they have any understanding of it. In the case of Nepali Maoists it is a case of  not knowing the difference between  "agra and gagra". You only have to read the posts from Kamred Arthur as an illustration.

If they really understood Sun Tsu they wouldn't be in this business at all.


32. Battisputali
@ Jange,
:) That was me being a strategy geek.Also, I claimed that they argued about strategy according to claustewitz and Sun Tsu, which is different from saying that they claimed to have read it. That's it. Continuing this discussion may be a non-issue.  By the way, what did you think of the latter half of my comment?



33. Satya Nepali

Slarti #3,

A very belated comment: glad to know there's at least someone who recognizes honest, hard-hitting truths and is open enough to admit it. Sadly, Nepal's intellectual leaders (read "second-tier feudals") are driven more by their personal greed and ambition than truth, honesty, or national interest (forget intellect at all), and hence the MESS we're stuck in!



34. jange
32. Battisputali

  By the way, what did you think of the latter half of my comment?

Good observation. However, too much emphasis on Kamred Arthur is non-productive, except perhaps to point out when he gets things grossly wrong and others might take this as the truth. For me, Kamred Arthur's main usefuleness is in his ability to provide a succinct and precise theoretical explanation of the way the Maoist's mind works. I would have had to spend hours analysing the words of our krantikai kamreds to get the same level of understanding. His understanding of the ground realities are too inadequate to have a productive discussion. Thank you Kamred Arthur.

The bigger problem is the local Kamred Arthur's e.g. the publishers of NT. They have an inordinate influence as "intellectuals" and it is difficult for people to easily see the self serving mush that is put out in the name of "agragaman".

After getting its head kicked in by the Maoists the NT is slowly changing its tune but it still has a long way to go. As pointed out very succintly in comment # 3 these questions should have been asked before signing the 12 point agreement. Now that the constitution has failed to come up in the stipulated time the obvious thing to do for a newspaper like the NT would be to revisit the agreement and see whether in the light of experience the 12 point agreement was correct and whether it is still valid or not.

Let's see if it happens. I have my doubts, judging from this article. It prefers to get itself lost in petty details rather than analyse fundamental issues.






35. jange
Going around in circles is a sure sign that you are lost. The NT and the Dixit brothers would do well to brush up on what they were writing around the time of the 122 point agreement.

http://nepalitimes.com/issue/2006/10/13/Editorial/12599

http://nepalitimes.com/issue/2006/12/08/Editorial/12918

http://nepalitimes.com/issue/2006/11/17/Editorial/12770

http://nepalitimes.com/issue/2006/11/24/Backside/12807

http://nepalitimes.com/issue/2006/11/24/Headline/12806

http://nepalitimes.com/issue/2006/11/24/StateOfTheState/12808


36. Arthur
Battisputali #29, thanks - I found both the article on PLA studying Clausewitz and Sun Tzu and your link to Max Weber on Politics as a Vocation very interesting.

I don't understand your association between establishing a state monopoly of violence and totalitarianism. Weber's article explained the now generally accepted definition that a monopoly of legitimate use of violence is the very essence of the state. Every modern state has such a monopoly and in the 21st century it can only be legitimized through democracy. The  absence of a state monopoly of violence in Nepal reflects its semi-feudal backwardness, not a bulwark against totalitarianism.

I think Maoists will end up establishing a modern democratic state monopoly of violence by following up the integration of the two armies with the arming of the people through universal military training. This actual possession of the means of violence by the people is the only means to ensure that the state monopoly of violence is controlled by the people instead of again serving a minority.

Incidentally this principle is not unique to Maoists but common to all revolutionary democrats and is the origin of both the American (and earlier English) constitutional "right to bear arms" and the Swiss universal military training and mandatory gun ownership.

As Alexander Hamilton explained, it is closely related to protection from tyranny and the right to revolution:

[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude[,] that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.

You seem to agree with Prashant Jha that Maoist strategy has failed with respect to India and that they need to reconcile with India in order to win executive power.

I think this closely relates to Weber's comments about combining passion for ultimate ends with a responsible perspective. If they had less passion for ultimate ends they could easily hold executive power by accepting an Indian and army veto. But then they would be just like the other vain and irresponsible politicians who achieve nothing.

If they had less responsibility and perspective they would not have the discipline to cope with the frustrating delays and would have launched a premature insurrection with consequences of return to civil war and Indian invasion.

I think the anti-Maoists are almost perfect examples of what Weber warns against and the Maoists are excellent examples of what he advocates on this point (although he is certainly no revolutionary).

jange #35, thanks for interesting pointers to what Nepali Times was saying in 2006. This does seem to me to be going around in circles repeating the same thing again (everything still revolves around the Maoists joining the old mainstream with Nepali Times unable to conceive of the old mainstream giving way to a new mainstream). These days they seem less confident about it and more upset that it isn't working out the way they hoped, but the essence of their position seems surprisingly consistent.

But I thought you have been complaining about the opposite! Haven't you been saying that before Nepali Times was pro-Maoist and is only now starting to "see the light". The articles make it very clear that they were not pro-Maoist in 2006 but blamed the Maoists for the civil war just as they do now and were hopeful that the peace agreement would end that war (which it has) and would result in Maoist absorption into the old mainstream (which it has not).


37. Deep
Arthur;
... Maoists do want friendly relations with both Nepal's neighbours and that does mean improving relations with China since previous relations have been dominated by India. Opening up transit trade from China through Nepal to India is especially important for Nepal's development and may well include "Special Economic Zones" as well as hydro power exports to India.

But wanting friendly relations and economic ties does not mean Maoists want to copy either India or China.
They don't have the choice - ie, the economic basis or material resources - to copy India or China. You say that the Maoists want to use democracy and capitalist development to build communism; and this includes closer ties with capitalist India and the 'restored capitalism' of China - yet China is described as example of a failed communist revolution due to its capitalist direction! Strange contradictions - I guess you'll mis-call it 'dialectic'.

Maoists study Mao's writings because he was successful in leading an independent revolution in China while other communists slavishly followed Soviet experience and failed and because he opposed the present regime in China that followed the Soviet example of restoring capitalism (but has not yet followed the Soviet example of collapsing).
Mao and China "slavishly" followed the Stalinist path, as aided by the Soviets, until the falling out with USSR after Stalin's death. Which eventually led to seeking closer opportunist geo-political alliance with that well-known friend of communism; US Prez Richard Nixon! - all part of furthering the 'successful communist revolution', I guess. This occurred even as the US continued bombing Vietnamese civilians and communists with napalm etc. But Mao, like Prachanda & co., could present any opportunist tactic/alliance as application of 'new theory'.
One of the lessons of 20th century is that democracy is needed as a stepping stone to communism, since failure to consolidate democracy (as in Russia and China) results in failure of communism. Whether Nepal's Maoists will succeed remains to be seen. But that is the road they have taken. Like anything else new and difficult it naturally involves internal as well as external disagreements. That is a healthy sign of democracy, not "totalitarianism".
The "democracy" - as practiced by all parties in Nepal - is anything but "healthy"; it could scarcely be more corrupted, with the Maoists excelling even their rivals. If you don't understand that you should really shut up and stop pretending to be the great political analyst. The civil war having reached an indefinite stalemate, parliamentary politics was taken as the only alternative road to the "totalitarian" power the Maoists have always sought and regularly restate as their goal. Again, if you don't know that, or hope to fool us with stale propaganda to hide this truth - you only reveal further your own ignorant foolishness.

Note; while exposing Arthur's general ignorance requires only as much effort as shooting fish in a barrel, one should not take him as example of Nepali Maoist thinking - but rather as typical of a tiny handful of young, naive western youngsters looking for a romantic Cause to lighten up their dull student/post student existence. In the very different times of 1960s & 70s they were quite common in the west, now they are a very rare breed - generally seen, at best (insofar as few are even aware of their views) as a quaint, if deluded and irrelevant, curiosity. The internet makes some voices appear far louder than they really are.


38. rishav
Failures and weaknesses of Prachanda.

1. Video speech in Maoist cantonment regarding the size of the Maoist guerrila force, even joking how he fooled and lied to the UN and other parties inflating their number. Very embarrasing when video came out, made to look like a very uncredible joke of a politician to both internally and externally.

2. Failed to elect his choice of candidate for the Presidency of the nation despite being prime minster at the time.

3. Unable to stop the army recruitment by the then COAS Katwal, despite being the PM and having Badal as the defence minister at the time.

4. Tried sacking the COAS inorder to bring in a General more sympathetic to the Maoits but ended up with the COAS being reinstated by the President. Therefore forced to resign in order to try and save face after the whole fiasco.

5. Tried to get a court ruling to address the President's move in reinstating the COAS, which showed weakness agan as nothing was done and the COAS finished his term in office.

6. Various high profile incdients of murder in Maoist cantonment sites being unsolved and connected with his PLA, during his reign as PM.

7. Threatened pressure from the streets to force the resignation of the PM, thousands of Maoist YCL, marched in Kathmandu but astonishingly a counter march developed in protest of the Maoist Bandh and march activities. The anti-maoist marchers won with the YCL/maoist sent packing or ending up with diarrhea. Prachnada was further weakened
and left humuliated.

8. Internal divisions and cracks further appearing in his party with prominent leaders speaking out in public and underming his leadership of the party.

9. Since the formation of the present Madhav Nepal government has been agitating for it's annulment and a formation of  a Maoist party led coalition. Unfortunately aftr such a long time agitating the current PM, resigned as PM since June this year due to being unable to put foreward the new budget with the CA's approval, and although Prachnada mentioned he would quickly make a consensus government it didn't materialise after 7 goes. Finally accepting defeat and withdrawing his name from the PM race with therefore egg on his face, So what really was the point in agitating against this government in the first place?!!


39. Arthur
Deep #37, as another edition is already out I'll just quickly mention one point.

Yes, even while the US was still bombing Vietnam, Mao saw that they had already been defeated there and moved to unite with Nixon against the greater threat from the Soviet Union.

As expected this was followed by comprehensive defeat of the US in Vietnam. Subsequently instead of stepping into the American shoes as they had hoped, Soviet imperialism collapsed.

Perhaps I should have mentioned that learning this kind of strategic wisdom and flexibility from Mao is another reason for the name "Maoist".



40. rishav
Maoism and Marxism - waste of time reading such silly things. Time better spent doing things more productive things in life.

Chairman Mao or Karl Marx's books are not going to help Nepal out of this current situation. Only when the peace process concludes, i.e. the maoist combatants and all other militant groups lay down their arms and choose democracy not violence as their way forward.

Otherwise the political apathy of the general public and the prolonging of the Government's stalemate will contnue and get worse.




41. Battisputali
From Deep:-

Mao and China "slavishly" followed the Stalinist path, as aided by the Soviets, until the falling out with USSR after Stalin's death. Which eventually led to seeking closer opportunist geo-political alliance with that well-known friend of communism; US Prez Richard Nixon! 

This is true.

From Arthur:-

Yes, even while the US was still bombing Vietnam, Mao saw that they had already been defeated there and moved to unite with Nixon against the greater threat from the Soviet Union.

Also true. 

Both of you may find this book on the Sino-American rapprochement fascinating in that regard. 


42. Deep
Arthur; so abandoning Vietnam communist 'comrades' and striking deals with their US enemy who is napalming them is "communist internationalism"?! What shallow hypocrisy, apologetics for Mao's selfish murderous opportunism; the real Maoist "wisdom" is that everyone is expendable in the interests of the Party leaders (including their Party rivals, several of which Mao dispatched). Pathetic but predictable response from Artyboy.
The US were never "defeated" in Vietnam, they just could never win the war - like the Nepali Maoist PLA.
Thanks for avoiding the other points.


43. Arthur
Wow! According to Deep, Vietnam was abandoned by Mao and the US was never "defeated".

"They just could never win the war".

Likewise Congress was not defeated in the elections. It just could never win!


44. Deep
If your only feeble response is to wilfully misinterpret and distort the meaning of what I actually said, you only confirm my earlier criticisms of your hypocrisy and avoidance. If you had the sense (or integrity), you would be embarrassed to try to defend the cynical manipulations of Mao - professing to be the beacon of 'communist' 'internationalism' while posing for cameras shaking the hand of Nixon the napalmer of civilians & Viet communists.
"Likewise Congress was not defeated in the elections. It just could never win!"
Duh, alluding to an unlike situation does not refute the original statement. My PLA reference is the more accurate.

Learn some history; Mao cosied up to Nixon in 1972 before any US withdrawal - the US left Vietnam in 1975, having massively bombed Viet and Cambodian 'communists', previously allies aided by China until abandoned in the pursuit of Chinese geo-political diplomacy.

Ironic that this latter-day maoist supports the so-called 'anti-imperialist struggle' of 'communists' of a small Asian country now but tries to defend Mao's easy  treachery in befriending the active US enemy of 1970s Vietnam. But such hypocrisy is integral to his brand of neo-Stalinism.


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