CPN-Maoist debates collective and centralized leadership
KATHMANDU, March 24: An intense debate has erupted within the CPN-Maoist over the party’s organizational structure to be endorsed through its forthcoming national convention slated for June. The rank and file members have begun a debate on whether to adopt a centralized general-secretarial system or a collective leadership to bolster the party organization. Though the upcoming national conference was scheduled to discuss CPN-Maoist’s organizational structure besides its future plan and policies, the debate was sparked after the party recently decided to adopt a general-secretarial system at the district level. District conferences of the party, which are currently underway in most of the districts, will end by mid-April. But some leaders are not convinced about the secretarial system at the district level as such a structure not only contradicts the system at the center, but also the party’s statute.
“The statute clearly stipulates a collective leadership from the top to the bottom. We have not understood why the district-level committees have been restructured along the secretarial system,” a CPN-Maoist leader told Republica, insisting anonymity. The newly adopted organizational structure in the district committees does not envisage the post of chairman with collective leadership though the party’s high command and other wings have a chairmanship-led system with a collective leadership. CPN-Maoist spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, however, denied that the party is heading toward a centralized leadership.
“Adopting a secretarial system at the district level does not necessarily mean that the entire party is heading toward a centralized leadership,” she said, adding that there would be a collective leadership in the party even after the national convention. But she was quick to add that the party is mulling drastic changes in the organizational structure. Party’s politburo member Khadka Bahadur Bishwokarma does not rule out the possibility of the party adopting a centralized leadership at the top level. “Though we are yet to discuss the issue in the party, what I can say for sure is that we have been mulling a sea change in the party’s leadership pattern,” he told Republica.
The party had adopted the general-secretarial system for some two decades. But it switched to a structure with the all-powerful chairman, which also included a general secretary, while launching the ‘people’s war’ in 1996. “Yes, the issue has surfaced in the party, though it has not created any row so far,” said CPN-Maoist leader Santosh Buda Magar. He further said that many leaders in the party were of the view that there should be similarity in the organizational structure from the center to the grassroots level. The CPN-Maoist has finished its district level conferences in more than a dozen districts by Monday.
Parallel panels in CPN-Maoist Bhaktapur committee
KATHMANDU, March 24.: In the clearest indication yet of a possible party split, leaders of the CPN-Maoist have formed parallel district committees in Bhaktapur. A committee each headed by Tilak Malla, the outgoing district committee secretary, and Diwakar Shrestha has been formed following a dispute between the two groups during the first ever district-level conference of the party, which has split from the UPCN (Maoist). “Party´s central leaders entrusted the district committee which had done nothing for the party in the district in the past. Our voice was muffled, hence majority of the committee members have decided to form a separate committee,” said Malla, who leads the disgruntled faction.
Disgruntled leader have blamed party representative Dilip Prajaprati of picking leaders close to him in the district committee. However Prajapati refuted the allegations, saying that the conference had overwhelmingly elected the committee led by Shrestha. “There are no parallel committees in Bhaktapur. I was present during the conference. If anyone claims to be heading a parallel committee, it is illegal,”
Prajapati told Republica. Party vice-president CP Gajurel, spokesperson Pampha Bhusal, leader Prajapati and Ishwori Dahal had attended the conference as the central representatives. The conference had announced 26 member district committee led by Shrestha. Malla, however, claimed that 14 members out of 26 have sided with his team. “We won´t recognize the Diwakar Shrestha-led committee as the majority of the elected members are with us. We were about to table our objection during the conference, but they forcefully announced the committee,” Malla told Republica. The parallel committee has announced that they will now file a claim for authentication in the party high command.
Five held over Majakaneng protest
Brits – Five people were arrested in Majakaneng near Brits on Tuesday in connection with a recent protest, North West police said. “The arrest follows intensive investigation on cases that were registered during Majakaneng community protests on February 27 and 28,” said Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone. He said the five were arrested over arson, malicious damage to property, intimidation, assault common and public violence.
“Out of five suspects, one is facing a charge of public violence, another one is charged with arson while the other three are facing charges of arson, malicious damage to property, intimidation and common assault.” He said they would appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. Residents of the village barricaded Old Pretoria Road and the N4 highway last month. They were demanding water, proper roads and RDP houses. A cement truck, a house belonging to a councillor and several cars were burnt. Shops were also looted during the protest.
Environmentalists hold protest at major mining conference in Yerevan
Dozens of environmental activists held a protest outside the Armenia Marriott Hotel in the centre of Yerevan where a conference on the mining industry was taking place arranged by the World Bank and the Armenian government, the Arka news agency reported on March 25. The conference is also supported by the EBRD, the IMF and embassies of the USA, Great Britain and Germany and the Canadian government. Armenia’s premier Tigran Sargsyan`s participation at the conference was also expected. A group of environmentalists managed to get into the conference hall holding banners saying ‘World Bank Takes Part in Robbing Armenia’, ‘Hands off Armenia’ and ‘We Know Who Are the Owners of the Mines’.