Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
"We have left the Maoist party"

(Excerpts from the interview given to the press by CPN-Maoist central committee member, Dinesh Sharma, before his release.)

Q. Where and when were both of you [i.e. him and Dinanath Gautam] arrested?
A. I was arrested on 18 Mangsir 2056 at the Dhunge Dhara bus stop between Banasthali and Swoyambhu. My friend was arrested on 25 Srawan 2056 on a road in Dallu.

Q. Where were you kept?
A. In police custody in Kathmandu.

Q. What were your positions in the Maoist party?
A. I am a central committee member and Gautam was an ordinary member.

Q. Where are you from?
A. Both of us are from Kavre district. My house is in Majikheda VDC and his is in
Pokhrichowhi VDC.

Q. You all have different names. Are these your actual names or do you have different ones in the party?
A. These are our actual names. Party matters are a different thing.

Q. Your party had set a deadline for your release. You say that you have given up violence.Have you really left the party?
A. For a party carrying out a people's war setting deadlines is no big deal. We have left the party. There is no question of going underground now.

Q. Why this political change in you?
A. A political reason is one of them. Events, happenings and changes, national and international, and how we relate to them and move ahead are others.

Q. After leaving the party, do you believe that you can work independently? A. More important than that, after we decide on a peaceful political agenda and after having open discussions maybe we can come together.

Q. When you were a central committee member, what would the reaction of the party have been towards a step like this?
A. I cannot say for certain. I was in police custody for 11 months and have not been able to understand their thinking. Therefore I cannot make anything of their call for a dialogue.

Q. Surely you haven't reached this decision under the carrot-or-stick policy of the government?
A. No. We reached this decision on our own. We felt that an open and free dialogue was the political need of the time.

Q. When you were a central committee member, did you ever push for an open political environment?
A. At that time we did not.

Q. What is your programme from tomorrow?
A. We are free. We are going to talk between ourselves and then decide.

Q. Has the government really released you?
A. If not, how do you think we are here? They have released us.

Q. Have you really been released or has this been staged only for us?
A. The government has the intention of releasing us.

Q. Have you got the papers for your release?
A. Nothing like that has happened. We had discussions in police custody and they told us that we were being released.

Q. How many others are being released?
A. We don't know.

Q. Were discussions held at the prime ministerial or ministerial level before your release?
A. We informed the police about our decision to leave the party and on that basis we were released.

Q. Where are you going from here?
A. To meet our friends in Kathmandu.

Q. Do you feel safe after your release?
A. Security depends on the circumstances.

Q. You have taken this step without informing the party. How is the party going to react?
A. Not the same as before.

Q. What type of politics are you going to get into now?
A. We haven't thought of that. After we go out, we will hold discussions and only then can we decide.

Q. Do you think that the massacres you committed earlier happened on the spur of the moment?
A. No, they were political. Now we are sure that was wrong.

Q. Is this due to differences with the party?
A. No. This is the result of a new thinking that occurred to us only 15 or 20 days ago.

Q. You are being released today. Where shall we meet tomorrow?
A. Don't know where, but it will be an ordinary place

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)