The politburo of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has called for a dialogue saying that only dialogue can resolve the grave problems faced by the people. Comrade Prachanda had called for a dialogue immediately after the successful attack in Dolpo. As a response, the government tried to build a consensus on how to deal with the "People's War" through a forum convened by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. To keep his corrupt government in power and to suppress the just protest of the people, the prime minister is even prepared to mobilise the army. To some extent this has failed to materialise. All parties (except the Girija faction) are in favour of dialogue as was made public at the all-party meeting convened by Sher Bahadur Deuba. All parties and people have strongly opposed the stand taken by the PM which shows that the PM has lost the moral authority to continue in power. The government is clearly in a minority. The government which had a policy of excluding and finishing off the Maoists is now isolated. In spite of this, the government, true to its reactionary character, is now preparing for civil war. The government thinks it will be able to solve all domestic and international problems of the country by mobilising the army and starting a civil war. The fascist group in the Congress was sidelined at the all-party meeting.
The government media which is run on the hard earned money of the people and some private papers close to the fascist government have been spreading the rumour that it was only after the government decided to mobilise the army that the Maoists agreed to a dialogue. They said that the Maoists were frightened by the mobilisation of the army, which actually is a very base remark and one that amounts to lying to the people. The truth is that Comrade Prachanda had called for dialogue immediately after the Dolpo incident. That was when the Girija camp began expounding its "new principle" that the Maoists were scared. That it was the government that was scared and implored for help from the palace and the army is something that cannot be hidden if one wanted to.
What is the reason for the Maoists to propose talks? The answer is realisation of their responsibility towards the people. What do the Maoists think about war? Responding to a question of an American reporter, Mao had once stated, "As far as we are concerned, we do not want to fight for a single day, but if circumstances force us, we will fight till the decisive hour."
The CPN (Maoist) has from the beginning advocated peaceful means to resolve the problems of the country and people. Again after the Dolpo incident, Comrade Prachanda, in the belief that logical thinking and rationality would prevail in the government, had proposed talks. To consider this offer as a sign of weakness of the Maoists is nothing new to some sections of the PM's supporters. Whether the country heads into civil war or not will depend on whether the government takes or rejects the advice of such idiots.
If to suppress the people's voice the PM uses the army, people with even the least humane and religious sentiments will take notice. If the army is mobilised, the civil war that will follow will result in a thousands repeats of the Khara incident (where the police is said to have torched an entire village). Everyone knows this. But is it justifiable to sacrifice thousands of human live to save the necks of his corrupt colleagues and his 'corruptocracy' (not democracy)? The Maoists have called for dialogue to avoid such severe consequences. Is it justifiable to call this a sign of weakness or fear? The government may see benefits that can accrue from a civil war. They know that maximum kickbacks can be got on weapons purchases. It will also be easier for them to suppress the revolt in the Congress and to control the opposition by declaring army rule. Even foreign powers may be backing the fascist government to run down the Maoists. But the fact is that dialogue seems to be the best way through which the country's problem can be resolved and a civil war can be averted.
In such a situation can a civil war be avoided? Before fighting the fascist powers in his country in 1945, Mao had said, "If all people become united and increase their strength, a civil war can be avoided." For these very reasons, the Maoists have called for the formation of a Comprehensive United Front without any preconditions to fight the fascist government and were getting positive feedback on that call.
The government itself is helping to form this Front to a great extent. By increasing the price of petroleum products recently, the government has made enemies of the people and the opposition and encouraged them to revolt. By destroying the agreement reached between the government and the nine left parties, the RPP, the UML and the NSP, the government has pushed all these parties toward the Front. Some MPs close to the PM have labelled Deuba a Maoist, so people from the Bhattarai-Deuba camp will also be inclined toward the coalition.
Chiang Kai-Shek had once said that Mao should be thanked for helping the Chinese villages to develop. Mao had said that Chiang Kai-Shek should actually be thanked for oppressing the communists in the city and driving them to the villages and indirectly helping to establish base areas in the villages. In the same way, the PM has pushed them closer to such a Front.
The CPN (Maoist) has said that the present government cannot be trusted. Why is this so? The PM has violated all agreements he has made with all political parties. He has broke agreements reached with the Bhattarai-Deuba camp. He has not been keeping his word. Therefore he has lost the trust of everyone.
Another reason is that the government alone cannot resolve the problems faced by the people and the country. For all problems to be solved, the Maoists believe, dialogue must be held with all parties. All political parties have started taking positive steps towards this.
Even in such circumstances the government has not taken any steps to build an environment conducive to talks. Even Deuba said that the whereabouts of Dinesh Sharma and other Maoists in custody should be made public, but no action has been taken on this front. While a dialogue between Deuba and Maoists has been taken positively by all people, a certain section of the fascist Congress still thinks it is a conspiracy. This is all because of their lust for power.
(The author, a central committee member of the CPN-Maoist, held talks with Deputy Prime Minister Ram Chandra Poudel on 27 October.)