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What do you really want?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Let’s get this straight. The United Maoists are back from the brink of a split. They head the coalition, the prime minister is Maoist, so is the Supply Minister, and the protestors setting fire to cars on the streets are also mostly Maoists. How does that work?

The leaders of the four big parties are constantly having emergency meetings to deal with contentious issues raised by their own cadres against other cadres about what has already been decided in the CA committees.

After 10 years of bloodshed and 16,000 killed, the Maoists wanted peace and we said ok, fine, it’s high time. And despite the blood in their hands we shook it. And to make it not look like a defeat, we went along with calling the camps ‘cantonments’, and demobilisation ‘integration’.   Next, the Maoists said they now want to govern and the parties said all right, it’s your turn now. Barely six months later, the Maoists quit the government and not for the first time. In elections the next year, the Maoists said they wanted our votes. We said ok, we will vote for you so you don’t go back to war. They won. Whew, that was close.

Just when we thought things were going well Maoists weren’t happy about something: they didn’t have total control. So they started tampering with the army. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned and in retrospect has said he shouldn’t have. After three years, the Maoists changed their mind again and wanted the premiership back. They waged war, removed the king, declared a republic, won elections, formed the government, deconstructed it, and came back to head a coalition with their sworn enemies, the Madhesis.

They invented phantom fighters and pocketed the allowances, they awarded themselves golden handshakes, and they agreed on 6,500 fighters to be integrated into the army that they fought to eliminate. Just when they should be returning confiscated land, they tried to legitimise all decisions they took during the war. Despite the message from the Chinese premier, Dahal is still trying to play Delhi off against Beijing. He wants to be executive president badly, but will settle for prime minister for now. For him it has always been my way or the highway.

That is the story so far, keep tuned in.

Naresh Newar is a freelance journalist.

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