Nepal Maoists to change ideology, hint at giving up anti-India stance
In a major policy shift, Nepal’s ruling Maoists will adopt a new path to socialism through capitalism and may also give up their anti-India stance at the upcoming national convention of the party. Some 2,500 delegates of the ruling UCPN-Maoist will attend the six-day general convention, to take place after a gap of over 20 years, starting on Saturday in central Nepal’s Hetauda Municipality in an attempt to revamp the guerrilla group-turned-mainstream political party.
“We will follow ‘the path of capitalism’ to achieve communism instead of pursuing ‘New Democracy’ as propounded by chairman Mao Zedong,” said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, vice-chairman of UCPN-Maoist and deputy prime minister. “Opposition to India cannot be a basis of national politics,” Shrestha said, hinting at a change of the Maoists’ anti-India stance of the past. “Good relations with our neighbours India and China could be maintained without compromising national independence and securing our authority to decide our fate by ourselves”, he said.
The Maoists took up arms in 1996 to fulfill their 40-point demands. Their demands included scrapping of the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 and banning Indian vehicles and Hindi cinema in Nepal. Shrestha underlined the need to reorient the ideological course of achieving “socialism through new-democracy” as propounded by Mao in China to achieving “socialism through capitalism”. “We have come to the conclusion that it was not possible to achieve socialism via the model of new democracy in the current global political context,” Shrestha said.
As the society has preferred capitalism the party has decided to change its ideological course, he said. “To achieve this national policy and programmes should be framed and implemented as per the social democratic way while maintaining the spirit of communism,” Shrestha said. “We need to maintain the communist spirit, but programmes should be social-democratic so that we can achieve socialism through capitalism,” the Maoist vice-chairman said.
We will not allow study of Koshi high dam: Maoist
ITAHARI, Feb 1: Protesting the extension of two years for the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Saptakoshi High Dam Multipurpose Project and Sunkoshi Storage Diversion Project in Barahachhetra of Sunsari by the Nepal-India High Level Water Resources Meeting, the CPN- Maoist affiliated Kirant National Liberation Front has warned to launch stern agitation against it.
The Front made public its stance not to allow the rest of the works on the Saptakoshi High Dam by organizing a press conference in Itahari of Sunsari district. Nepal has so far spent Rs. 9.4 million and India Rs. 660 million for the project which Indian government has been giving high priority. Study and research are still remaining because of obstructions made in different times. Now target has been set to complete the DPR within two years by investing Rs. 24.9 million from Nepal and Rs. 1.4 billion from India. However, the Front has warned not to allow the rest of the works by using all kinds of force.
Front Central Vice Chairman Rajendra Kiranti said the Front has the policy of linking all the projects run by India in Nepal with national independence. He said Nepalese are being cheated from such projects run in Nepal by India and the works of Saptakoshi project which is not in the interest of Nepalese, will be stopped at any cost in co-work with all stakeholders. The Nepal-India High-Level Technical Team has been studying geography and other issues in Barahachhetra of Sunsari, Ahale of Dhankuta district and Mainamaini of Udayapur district.
UCPN-M cadres resign en masse
TAHARI: As many as 50 leaders and cadres of Unified CPN-Maoist, Sunsari, today resigned protesting nepotism, and financial irregularities in the party. Among them are five Kochila State Committee (KSC) leaders including Katawal and Chandra Karki, Ramdev Meheta and 10 district members and 25 area committee members. Inaruwa Town Committee, and Madhesha, Jalpapur, Babiya, Saterjhoda and Gautampur village committees’ elected chairpersons and secretaries also signed the joint resignation. “The apathy of senior leaders has made it clear that they want the party to be run by a handful of opportunists, so we decided to quit,” said a leader.
They cited extreme discrimination in selection of the party’s general convention representatives as their major concern. During the general convention, 13 of the total 18 representatives were from party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s faction, causing the factions of Vice-chairpersons Baburam Bhattarai and Narayankaji Shrestha to decry the selection process as ‘deception’ and ‘conspiracy’. Leaders and cadres of different factions had thrown chairs at each other over the selection process.
Nepal-india-china cooperation: Quest for trilateral partnership begins
The much talked about Nepal-India-China trilateral cooperation at the track-II level was initiated on Thursday in Kathmandu when political leaders, security experts and strategic thinkers brainstormed on ways to move ahead in a consolidated manner in various sectors. The first of its kind, the trilateral meeting brought to the fore some “critical” regional issues, which will be discussed in detail in the meetings to be held in Beijing and New Delhi.
Thursday’s meeting discussed increasing the frequency of political engagements, bringing on board more stakeholders and forging a common understanding on the trilateral cooperation model, which will later work as a policy paper and guidelines for the three countries. On behalf of Nepal, Central Committee member of the Nepali Congress Dr Shekhar Koirala and UCPN (Maoist) leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara stressed the need for a stable Nepal, which is equally important for both India and China.
“Without Nepal’s stability, India and China will not be stable. All our efforts will be in vain if we cannot win the confidence of our big neighbours,” said Koirala. He added that both the neighbours have some common concerns with Nepal, like security, water resources, development, trade and tourism. “We should brace ourselves to bring together our two neighbours for greater stability and peace in the region and Nepal in particular,” he said.
It was agreed that the trilateral cooperation centres around the belief that Nepal can act as a catalyst to bring India and China into a collaborative relationship within the bounds of a trilateral framework and thereby, promote and facilitate a discourse of cooperation between two of the fastest growing economies of the world. “It was also agreed that specific and concrete projects or programmes would be initiated at the earliest to give immediate impetus to the concept of China-India-Nepal Trilateral Cooperation.
Such projects were identified, among others, as being related to travel and tourism,” a statement issued by the organising body, the Nepal Institute of International and Strategic Studies, said. Possibilities for cooperation in energy projects were also discussed, including the idea of a trans-country power trade agreement in which electricity could be traded freely between China, India and Nepal through a regional grid connected to the three countries.
The next meeting will be held in Beijing with New Delhi hosting the third meeting. Among the Indian participants in the meeting were Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi Ravi Bhoothalingam, Colonel Virendra Sahai Verma, also of the Institute of Chinese Studies and PhD scholar at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi Tshering Chonzom.
From China, the participants were Director of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing Cui Hongjian, Assistant Director of the South Asia-West China Cooperation and Development Studies at Sichuan University Prof Liu Jiawei and Director of the Confucius Institute in Nepal Prof Zhang Shubin. Besides Koirala and Mahara, former ambassador to India Durgesh Man Singh, Lieutenant General (retd) Sadip Bahadur Shah, Ku Man Ghising, Siddhant Raj Pandey, Bhaskar Koirala and Semanta Dahal represented Nepal. The participants later met President Ram Baran Yadav and discussed the prospects of such a cooperation.