Commune at point of life or death
KATHMANDU, April 4: Following the deviation of Maoist leaders from their ideals and their ostentatious lifestyle, most Maoist communes have seen dissolution. The remaining one commune is also at the point of life or death. Of the four communes run in the Maoist heartland, only the Ajammari Commune at Thabang, Rolpa is still running. The others– Jaljala Commune at Jelbang, Rolpa; Balidan Commune, Rukum; and Juni Commune, Jajarkot are defunct. The demise of the communes is also the result of intra-party disputes, the party split, and lack of planning. UCPN (Maoist) has formally turned into a parliamentary party.
So, naturally the party does not have a communes program. The Juni and Balidan communes are dominated by the UCPN (Maoist) but the Rolpa communes have joined the CPN-Maoist. CPN-Maoist also has no clear plan for communes, saying only that they should be strengthened. The dissolution process started with the peace process. Families living in the communes were exposed to the elements and they also saw with their own eyes the party leadership deviating from the ideal life. “The communes are also affected by the deviation seen among the leadership. They do not see any future for the revolution,” said Prabes Roka Magar, in-charge at Ajammari Commune.
Ajammari Commune member Sumanti Roka Magar said the party decided to form communes to settle family members of whole-timers, martyrs and the injured. The party had formed the communes in their ´liberated and base areas´. “It was necessary for saving the family members. It was for security and also for day to day living. It was difficult to live during the conflict without a common settlement,” she said. Ajammari Commune now has 14 families totalling 85 members. Formed nine years ago, it had 33 families during the conflict period.
They now consist almost entirely of the old and children. The first commune, Juni, was formed in 2057 out of the families of people killed by security forces in the two villages of Jurk and Nipane, Juni being a combination of the two names. “The party cornered us after the Kharipati meeting, where we supported the revolutionary line [of Mohan Baidya],” said Prabes. He said they can run the commune properly if they get help from the government. The Maoists ruled the country twice but the commune did not get any help. Some family members were kicked out of the commune for not following regulations. “The door is opened for everybody to join or to leave,” said Yojana of Ajammari Commune.
Family members can join the commune with their property and can leave again with the property after a financial reckoning of gain and loss.
Why only Magars?
In the four communes the members were mostly from the Magar community. Ajammari Commune had only one Chhetry and one dalit family. “It may have been the nature of the Magar community to want to live in a commune, sharing happiness and sorrow,” said in-charge Prabes.
Even as the communes are disappearing, the number of foreign researchers into the phenomenon is increasing. According to Prabes, researchers from Belarus, France, Japan, Canada and India are involved in research into Thabang, the Magar community and the Kham language, and what they all have in common is their interest in the Maoist movement. “All the foreigners are surprised to see us living our common life in a group. They tell us how honest and simple we are,” said Prabes.
Prabes is still hopeful for the future. He wants the commune to open up to the outside world. “We will success if only the leaders come up with a plan,” he added. “We will try to save the commune till the last moment. We will try even if there is deviation in the party.
Our ideals were abandoned, our revolution discarded. But I do see a life for the commune,” said Prabes adding, they are going to review the past 10 years. “We are going to build our commune in a new way and make it a tourist destination, developing three aspects –new idea, new production and new culture.”
8 dead as leftist rebels attack Compostela towns
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Xinhua) – Eight people died and several others were wounded in a series of clashes between government troops and leftist rebels in a southern Philippine province, authorities said today.
Two soldiers and a nine-year old civilian as well as five New People’s Army rebels died in a series of encounters in the towns of Mabini and Monkayo in Compostela Valley, according to Lieutenant Vilma Mojado, information officer of the 1001st Infantry Brigade. At least 30 gunmen of the leftist NPA detonated an improvised landmine and fired upon a patrol of army rangers in Mabini at around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday local time, sparking a fire fight that killed five guerrillas.
“Residents reported they have seen the fleeing rebels carrying the bodies of their five slain comrades on hammocks,” Mojado said. She added another group of soldiers from a separate army unit also came under fire at Kidaraan community, in nearby Anitapan village at around 6:40 p.m.
A nine-year old boy died while another child, a 13-year old boy was wounded after being fired at by soldiers at Kidaraan. In Monkayo town, a militiaman was also killed and another hurt as NPA rebels attacked a militia outpost in the village of Casoon past 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Two Palestinian youths killed by IDF fire, Israel braces for riots ahead of prisoner’s funeral
Israeli troops have shot and killed two Palestinian youths in the West Bank, medical officials said Thursday, as confrontations entered a third day following the death of a prisoner in an Israeli jail. The Israel Defense Forces said troops fired on Palestinians who threw fire bombs after dark on Wednesday at the Einav guard post near Tul Karm the northern West Bank. One body was swiftly recovered and a second was found in the early hours of Thursday. Palestinian officials named the dead men as Amer Nassar, 17, and Naji Belbisi, 18.
At least one other Palestinian was wounded in the incident and another arrested by Israeli forces. The IDF confirmed the incident and said it was investigating. No IDF soldiers were injured. Meanwhile, the defense establishment is bracing for escalated disturbances in the West Bank Thursday after the funeral of Maysara Abuhamdieh, the Palestinian security prisoner who died of cancer in Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Medical Center on Tuesday.
Violent clashes triggered by Abuhamdieh’s death continued in the West Bank on Wednesday, mostly in Hebron, the prisoner’s hometown and soon-to-be burial site. Some 200 people gathered in the city’s Policeman’s Square, throwing stones at IDF troops and rolling burning tires toward them. IDF soldiers fired gas grenades and rubber-coated bullets at the protesters. An IDF company commander was lightly injured by a stone and received medical treatment at the site.
Some 300 Palestinians gathered in Beit Ommar, southwest of Bethlehem, and some of them threw stones at IDF troops, who fired gas grenades and rubber-coated bullets at them. In the afternoon some 100 Palestinians demonstrated in Hirbat Aliya near Bethlehem, throwing stones and two fire bombs. The IDF fired gas and stun grenades at them in a bid to disperse the demonstration.
Saharawi activist Al-Hasan Mohamed Lehsen starts open hunger strike
Tiznit (Morocco), April 3, 2013 (SPS) – The Saharawi activist Al-Hasan Mohamed Lehsen started Wednesday an open hunger-strike in the Moroccan prison of Tiznit, to demand better living and health condition as well as to protest the prison administration’s failure to respond to his legitimate demands, according to the Ministry of Occupied Territories and Communities Abroad.
The Saharawi activist ought to see the gastrointestinal and throat doctor on Tuesday. He was exposed to torture and degrading treatments inside the prison. He held several hunger strikes led to health complications, added the same source. The activist arrested by Moroccan gendarmerie forces in 2004. He was sentenced to ten years in prison enforce, he spent part of the period in Lekhal prison in occupied El Aaiun, Ait Melloul prison in Agadir, before being transferred to Tiznit prison. (SPS)
Mauritanians protest over rape, murder of pregnant mum
NOUAKCHOTT — Hundreds of Mauritanians took to the streets on Wednesday over the rape and murder of a pregnant young mother in the nation’s first demonstration echoing global anger over violence against women. The demonstrators from 30 women’s groups gathered at government offices in Nouakchott, brandishing images of the victim and demanding “exemplary sentences against criminals responsible for this unprecedented crime in our country”.
Six Manipur encounters not genuine: SC panel
New Delhi: A Supreme Court-appointed committee probing six cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur informed the court on Thursday that these were not genuine encounters and the victims, including a 12-year-old boy, did not have any criminal records. A bench comprising justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai perused the committee’s report which said none of the six cases qualify as encounters and they are fake.
It said the security forces acted on source information and killed people without even cross-checking the information. According to the bench, the report is distressing and the Centre should be more to blame than the state government for the situation in the northeastern state.
The committee, comprising former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde, ex-CEC J M Lyngdoh and a senior police officer, said in its report that the probe showed that none of the victims had any criminal records. The bench said the report makes it clear that the guidelines on encounters laid down by the apex court in the Naga People’s Movement case was not followed. It said guidelines of apex court and NHRC were confined to papers and none of these were followed on the ground when armed forces and state police conduct operations.
Appropriate directions will be passed on the basis of the panel’s report on April 9, it said while seeking response of the amicus curiae and NHRC on the recommendation made by the panel. The bench also asked Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhat to go through the report which was placed before it in a sealed cover. On January 4, the Supreme Court had decided to appoint the committee to hold an inquiry into the alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur.
The panel was set up to probe six cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in the state where a magisterial inquiry had raised questions on genuineness of the encounters. The apex court had appointed the panel on a PIL filed by an association of the families of the alleged victims, seeking setting up of a special investigation team and direct inquiry into around 1,528 such cases.
The association had alleged in its plea that over 2,000 odd extra-judicial killings have taken place in the state, but no one has been held guilty till date. It had alleged that innocent people with no criminal records have been killed by security forces and no proper investigation has been done in such cases.