Military Police Attack Anti-Fascist Demo in Rio
Chand forms parallel district committees
KATHMANDU, APR 02 – The ongoing factional feud of the CPN-Maoist over formation of new committees in various districts in the Valley and Tarai has set an alarm bell ringing inside the party of shifting power equation in the top level. The party, which is expected to hold its national gathering in June, has been facing big challenge in the formation of new committees through district conventions under way across the country. The differences came to forefront after Party Secretary Netra Bikram Chand challenged appointment of ‘incompetent’ district leaders by setting up parallel structure constituting leaders holding ‘trust’ of party cadres.
Sources said ongoing factionalism is related to personality clash in the party. Chand is trying to use the ongoing district conventions as ladder to emerge as a decisive player while his seniors are fighting to retain their influence in the party. A politburo member said the current differences in the party is likely to deepen in the national gathering as Chand faction has clearly sought better role in party’s organization and ideology. “He is talking with his aides to present a separate political document in the upcoming national gathering, while presenting himself as key contender for general secretary,” said the leader, adding that similar differences have hindered talks for unification with the UCPN (Maoist) and that it might lead to party split in the long run if not resolved on time.
Sources said Chand has not expressed his views on issue of party unification despite UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s proposal to nominate him as general secretary in the new party. Chand currently ranks fifth in the party leadership after Chairman Mohan Baidya, Vice-Chairman CP Gajurel, General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa and Secretary Dev Gurung. However, he holds a greater influence in the party’s central committee, especially among the younger leaders. This is significant because over 50 percent of the party’s central committee is composed of young faces, mostly from the People’s Liberation Army background. CPN-Maoist sources said the internal crisis is likely to deepen in coming days as top leaders are at differences with Chand over handing leadership role to new faces.
Chand supporters have been demanding greater space to youths in the leadership position by acknowledging volume of young cadres and their supporters in the party. Other leaders, including Bidya, Gajurel and Thapa, have not been able grab the popular support of youths. Leaders close to Chand said he is planning to contend for General Secretary in the party’s upcoming national gathering. Chand is in visit of the Far-Western and the Mid-Western regions for the past one month to maintain his influence in the general conventions.
“He (Chand) hopes to maintain his influence in these regions, while challenging the influence of other leaders in big cities and Madesh,” a close aide to Chand told the Post from Doti district, where the party’s district convention is under way. Chand faction has already set up parallel committees in Bhaktapur and Bara districts and leaders said similar differences exist in at least a dozen more districts in the Valley and Terai. The faction announced a separate committee under Tilak Malla in Bhaktapur after the party decided to form a committee led by Devendra Shrestha. Similarly, Chand faction formed a parallel committee headed by Birodh Sharma in opposition to party’s decision to form a committee under Rajan Poudel. Party top leaders, including Dev Gurung and Pampha Bhusal, deny having any big differences in the party.
Riot police, anti-austerity protesters clash in Greece
Greek riot police and demonstrators protesting against crippling austerity measures adopted by the government in Greece have clashed in Athens. In the clashes that occurred in the Greek capital on Tuesday, riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to break up some 7,500 protesters. There have been no immediate reports of casualties or injuries. The clashes came shortly after Greek authorities banned demonstrations in a number of areas in central Athens to prevent violent clashes during meetings between European Union (EU) finance ministers.
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Police have clashed with small-scale miners during a protest in Bolivia and at least two demonstrators are dead. Interior Minister Carlos Romero says 50 people also were injured as police tried to clear a highway blocked by protesters on Monday.