Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) calls for all-Nepal shutdown on May 28th

Comrade Matrika Yadav, the fiery former UCPN(Maoist) leader, and his Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [a party that is a splinter from the UCPN(Maoist) and purportedly continues to grow with growing dissatisfaction and defections from that Party] have called for an all-Nepal shutdown on May 24th, and an indefinite shutdown starting on the 28th. Comrade Matrika Yadav has vociferously argued in the last few years that the UCPN(Maoist) has become a revisionist party, although he also maintains that the membership remains largely revolutionary in their orientation and has simply been misled by an increasingly opportunistic leadership. It has become increasingly clear, that it is unlike that there will be a people’s revolt in Nepal in just under 3 weeks [unless the political developments of the last few months since December have simply been a form of political theatre to distract the public about the Party’s true work, however, there is no evidence for this besides the development of the People’s Volunteer organization which have some have accused of developing a military structure] and that the Party is undergoing a political crisis, with senior leaders like Kiran and Gaurav openly attacking Prachanda in public, and attacks by Prachanda-supporters on pro-Kiran publications (it is very encouraging to see that Comrade Baburam Bhattarai has defended the Kiran-faction’s freedom of speech). Although, all sides continue seem to argue for unity and dismiss talk of a split, and the talk of a general convention seems to have died down once again. Indeed, this is further muddied by the Kiran-faction’s constant wrangling over ministerial posts which seems to fly in the face of his call for preparation for a people’s revolt.

However, something that I have been considering is whether a split, if it does occur, could possibly result in the merger of a Kiran-led wing of the UCPN(Maoist) and the Matrika Yadav-led CPN(Maoist) to form a Left alternative to the more mainstream Dahal-Bhattarai-led UCPN(Maoist) [which itself would be a very odd creature, although it too could merge with a section of the CPN(UML) led by current Prime Minister Khanal. I recognize that this seems odd because I have really not spent much time at all discussing CPN(UML) politics however, for those who are not aware, there has been a real and growing divide within that party with at least 2 clear factions: a “pro-Maoist” faction led by Khanal and an “anti-Maoist” led by senior party leader Oli]. Indeed, many argued that although they supported Comrade Matrika Yadav and shared his frustration at the developments in the Party, that believe that he he should not have left the Party when he did as his exit weakened the Party left. But the time may be soon approaching when the Kiran-faction may find itself inside a party that enjoys the name that first put them on the map. It is also possible that this could result in some other Maoist splinter groups reconstituting themselves within a revolutionary Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Maoist dissidents threaten Nepal shutdown

Kathmandu, May 5 (IANS) A group of Maoist dissidents, who broke away from the parent party accusing it of having betrayed the cause of the revolution, has announced a general strike across Nepal May 24, four days ahead of a critical constitutional deadline.

The group calls itself the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a name that was originally the Maoist guerrillas’ when they fought a 10-year armed insurrection from 1996.

But after signing a peace accord and accepting a merger with fringe communist parties, the Maoists renamed themselves the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

The dissidents had been part of the insurrection and their chief, Matrika Prasad Yadav, had been a Maoist lawmaker as well as minister who resigned in protest and was stripped of his parliamentary seat when he announced the formation of the splinter group.

Now the splinter group has called a Nepal shutdown May 24 to be followed by an indefinite shutdown from May 28.

Issuing a statement, the group said it was submitting a list of 28 demands to Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal. If the demands were not addressed immediately, it would resort to the general strikes.

Details about the demands were not known immediately.

Dahal faction seizes pro Baidya magazine

REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, May 7: The ongoing intra-party conflict within the UCPN (Maoist) has scaled a new height after the faction led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal seized 2,000 copies of Nayan Koshi — a monthly magazine published by faction close to Mohan Baidya — from the market for allegedly publishing an editorial that is against the party line.

Editor of the magazine Indra Rawat told Republica that the Dahal faction seized the magazines from Bhugol Park and Sinamangal in Kathmandu.

“We have concrete information that of the 2,000 copies, 600 copies were seized from the Bhugol Park and another 1,400 copies from Singamangal by party cadres close to Dahal faction,” Rawat said.

Rawat accused Kirat state in-charge Gopal Kirati from the Dahal faction of violating press freedom by seizing the magazines. 

When contacted, Kirati defended his decision to seize the magazines. “How can the editor appointed by the party take an editorial line that is against the party´s official line of peace and constitution,” he questioned. 

“The editor is free to run news and articles that are in favor of the political line floated by Kiran [Mohan Baidya] but the editorial should embrace the party´s official line,” he argued. 

Rawat however refuted the allegations and said the editorial only pressed for revision in the party´s official line. He also vowed to reprint the magazine if he doesn´t get the seized copies within 2-3 days.

However, Kirati warned that the Kirat State Committee would disown the magazine if the editorial is reprinted.

Maoists committed to press freedom: Bhattarai

REPUBLICA

KATHMANDU, May 7: UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai said on Saturday that his party would not make any compromise on the freedom of press and expression.

Talking to the newly elected officials of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (NNJ) at party headquarters Paris Danda, Bhattarai also pledged to investigate the incident on Friday in which the copies of Naya Koshi, magazines published of the party hard-line faction, was seized by those close to Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

“We will investigate into the incident. We won´t make compromise on the freedom of the press,” Bhattarai told the newly elected official of the FNJ.

Maoist leader Gopal Kirati, who is close to Dahal, had sent some party cadres to seize the magazines.

FNJ General Secretary Om Sharma had raised the issue with Bhattarai. During the meeting, FNJ President Shiva Gaule stated the Maoist party should learn to tolerate genuine criticisms.

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