13-19 December 2013 #685

Can’t forget, won’t forgive

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It is hard to believe that the same party who registered a landslide victory in the first CA polls just four years ago, suffered an ignominious downfall at this year’s polls. The UCPN (M) guaranteed the people revolutionary change, but failed miserably and betrayed the trust of thousands of Nepalis including former Maoist combatants and supporters. Seeing party leaders backtrack on their promises and turn into power hungry politicians, the voters used the polling booths to make their aversion to the UCPN (M) and its agenda evident.

Yuvaraj Dahal, Jhapa

Until a few years ago, I used to be an active UCPN (M) member. But seeing how much the leaders have compromised on communist ideologies in exchange for comfortable lives in the capital, I felt it was pointless working for them.

The whereabouts of my brother Tara, who is rumoured to have been shot by the Army in 2002, remains unknown. When I was with the party, I tried my best to gather information about him, but was unsuccessful. My 69-year-old mother’s only wish is to hear from her youngest son before she dies.

Like others who were disheartened with the Maoists, I went to the polling booth knowing whom not to vote for. The party has been made to pay a huge price for distancing itself from the people and only thinking about short-term gains.

Bhagaru Bhagat, Morang

I left my six children and wife to join the Maoist revolution during the height of conflict in 2003. I was also the UCPN (M)’s village in-charge for a long time and worked really hard during the 2008 CA elections. After the Maoist party came to power, I went to ask for assistance for my blind son, who had just joined college but the leaders turned a deaf ear. My friend’s family was promised compensation after he was killed by the army, but they still haven’t received the money. The leaders even looted the funds meant for the ex-guerrillas in the cantonments.

The past five years have been deeply disappointing. The party ignored the very people who had sacrificed their lives and careers for the revolution. I didn’t want to be associated with the UCPN (M) anymore and didn’t feel any of its leaders were worthy of my vote.

Rita Sen Oli, President, Conflict Victims’ Society

I was waiting for my husband Gir Bahadur Sen Oli for lunch when I heard a loud explosion outside. An assistant sub-inspector, he was deployed for security at Rammani College, Butwal that day and was among the dozens of police officers who were killed in the ambush. He said he would come back for lunch after work, but that was the last time I ever heard from him.

It is difficult running the family with a fraction of his pension money. But more than that, what hurt me the most was seeing senior police officers, who I had hoped would help me and other families find justice, kowtowing to Maoist leaders. The UCPN (M) too failed to live up to its promise of providing justice to families of war victims on both sides. So when the same people who had abandoned us for all these years came asking for our votes, I was furious. There was no way I would vote for the Maoists.

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