Whilst the latest news from Nepal seems to suggest that the UCPN(Maoist) has been able again to avoid a split within the party and sees Chairman Prachanda acquiescing to demands from a Kiran-Bhattarai alliance (this alliance was a possibility that I had outlined on this blog due to the common ground shared between Kiran and Bhattarai on numerous political issues that plague the party, besides of course the largest political difference between them on the question of the strategy for successful completion of the NDR in Nepal; however, it is small developments like this that makes one realize that there are going to be many more twists and turns in the two-line struggle in Nepal before it is over) for greater decentralization of power from the office of the Chairman and will see Bhattarai running as the next PM candidate for the Maoists and Kiran leading the party apparatus (see the article from The Next Front below); news from the Philippines and India suggest an increasingly divided Maoist movement. Indeed, at a time in which the Maoist movement seemed to have overcome the sectarianism that has marked the movement for the last 30 years, such news seems to indicate a return to the sectarianism of yesteryear. However, it also speaks to a continuing ideological confusion within the international Maoist movement about the content of Maoist politics (in a forthcoming blog entry I want to write about Mao Zedong Thought vs. Mao Zedong Thought-ism (this second category has nothing to do with the Mao Zedong-ists of the late 1960’s in China or 1970’s around the world) vs. Maoists).
The latest news from the Philippines is a statement that was produced by the new ILPS ICC that rubber stamps the removal of 11 formers members of the ICC and 1 alternate member of the same body in November 2009 and the resulting snap election of new officers (most of whom, or all, were recently re-elected at the 4th convention of the ILPS – as the letters made clear would occur) and attacks said former ICC members for being “sectarians”. Additionally, the new ICC brought and passed a resolution at the 4th International Assembly of the ILPS, which I believe has now concluded, which expels all of the mass organizations that these members represented at the ILPS as the expelled members were representatives of said mass organizations and thus must have carried tacit approval of their member organizations for their actions. I do not want to get into the mud-slinging that is going to inevitably occur between ILPS fans and their newly found foes, however, I do not think that this is a moment at which Lenin’s old, tired and hopelessly over-played adage, “Better fewer, but better” is useful and do want to look at the implications of such a move. Indeed, as will unfortunately be the case in the inevitable platitudes from both sides, few are going to look at the international implications of this move for the development of a truly internationalist anti-imperialist front nor are they going to fully discuss the issues that led to this split including what the fundamental issue about what such an anti-imperialist front should look like and what should its constituent parts should be. Indeed, what role should reactionary regimes like Iran play in such a coalition (this is of particular importance due to the ILPS’s participation in the Beirut conference which is at the centre of this split). Self-congratulatory communiques will not be able to effectively replace the loss of the largest new democratic mass organization in India, the Revolutionary Democratic Front, nor that of one of the largest New Afrikan national liberation mass organizations, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, amongst others. I do not know anything about the Greek or Turkish mass organizations and the implications of this split on those organizations or what their expulsion means to the ILPS, so if someone knows more please post in the comments section and let us all know. Furthermore, this split makes it difficult to see how the ILPS will emerge as something that is able to represent anti-imperialist movements around the world, especially with the loss of one of the most active sections of the anti-imperialist movement, the Indian new democratic revolutionary movement (the ILPS ICC does include one Indian Dalit activist). Additionally, in coming months one could see far more mettled dividing lines regarding this matter which could see allies being pulled apart based on their primary sympathies going to either the Indian or Filipino national liberation movements which is going to have disastrous implications for the entire movement (indeed, I would have an incredibly difficult time joining such an anti-imperialist front with the RDF having being actively expelled). Furthermore, the new ICC does elect a leader from the ANNISU(R), but this in itself is not necessarily a sign of a growing influence of the ILPS in Nepal as the UCPN(Maoist) and its mass organizations have simultaneously entered into other such anti-imperialist fronts as well, including one with the SUCI (Communist) and the DPRK. The ILPS expulsions effectively result in the ILPS loosing several very large mass organizations in important regions and countries in the world, and with little growth to show for it besides 2-3 national chapters (some of which I am sure have very limited organizing capacities). In fact, I suspect that many who may have been inclined to join the ILPS are going to be less likely to do so, at least for the immediate future, until the dust from this split settles some more.
However, the most worrying news actually comes from India itself. Mainstream Indian newspaper, The Times of India, has a report that suggests that there are growing problems within the CPI(Maoist) between factions that are based on memberships in the erstwhile CPI(ML)[PW] and MCCI, and states that some leaders have begun to rethink whether the merger was in fact a good idea with one section even calling it a “opportunistic compromise” (this third group interests me less because there will always be a section that is opposed to any merger, indeed, there remain those who continue to grumble about the the merger of the CPI(ML)[PWG] and the CPI(ML)[Party Unity] in 1998 and wish to see the CPI(ML)[PW] not only split from the CPI(Maoist) but also a purge of the entire PU membership. Interestingly these people also dislike the turn towards Maoism and still advocate Mao Zedong Thought). The supposed factional allegations include womanizing, egotism, casteism and misappropriation of funds. It is difficult to gauge whether there is any merit to these allegations or to the supposed “factional feud” or whether it is simply blown-up speculation by the bourgeois press, however, a split at this point in the Indian movement would be very serious and would have long-term implications. At worst, we could see a return to the lost decade in which we see communists killing communists which would be disastrous at this time. Having said this I must make it known to my readers that there have been rumours of splits inside the CPI(Maoist) ranks on a state and local level, however, I have been unable to independently verify whether such events have actually occurred or not. One really hopes that whatever problems have emerged in the CPI(Maoist) in the aftermath of the merger and the added difficulties caused by Operation Greenhunt can be resolved internally and result in a stronger organization.
By The Next Front
Yes, he is being challenged and this time more formidably.
He is slowly but surely losing his ground.
The central committee meeting of the ‘Unified’ Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) resumed on Sunday. But the meeting was postponed 15 minutes after Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ tabled his document concerning ‘peace and constitution’.
Nowadays, Prachanda, who ruled the party well over 20 years, has faced formidable challenge from revolutionary leaders and workers. Many cadres want to clip Dahal’s wings in the party and curtail his role, because he has already abandoned party’s structured policies. He has repeatedly violated party’s decisions and collective understanding, which has been reflected on various occasions and on various issues. Prachanda has treated the party organization like his personal property. He, therefore, is no longer the party leader, but the leader of a small faction and clique comprising some of his henchmen.
Decentralization of power is the main subject of debate in the current situation. Recently, Mohan Baidhya and Baburam Bhattarai factions in the party have reached a political understanding on issues concerning decentralization of power and other tactical issues. This has created strong ripples within and outside the party. Interestingly and dramatically, general secretary of the party Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘ Badal, who in the past always supported Puspa Kamal Dahal, has now sided with ‘Baidhya-Bhattarai’ faction, which should be taken into note that a new equation and change is being developed in the party.
There are, definitely, plenty of curiosities and questions concerning this alliance. The new equation and alliance in the Maoist party has concerned everyone in the country including media and intelligentsia. The media have covered this issue with high prominence and greater degree of importance. Analysts have their own views—most of whom have dubbed these developments as the beginning of decline of Dahal’s power and prowess in the party and also outside.
Here are some of the newspaper headlines that tell a tale on the internal power struggle in the Maoist party: ‘Dahal’s decline in the party has begun’; ‘Hatred against Chairman Dahal is intensifying’; ‘Unholy alliance between Baidhya and Bhattarai’; and ‘Once invincible personality is now being challenged’; and so on. The media close to Dahal are making a big hue and cry. The objective analysis of the present situation and developments both within and outside the party are indicative of the fact that Prachanda has, indeed, failed in all fronts. Still his faction has begun alleging that the unity between Baidhya and Bhattarai was apolitical and unholy alliance.
This ‘alliance’ has raised a lot of questions in the revolutionary camp, as well. Revolutionary cadres have raised some ideological and political issues and questions. According to leaders belonging to Baidhya faction, authoritarian working style of Puspa Kamal Dahal compelled them to make an alliance with Bhattarai, which may be true to some extent. But, ideologically, Bhattarai is still pleading Trotskyism, ‘theory of productive forces’ and ‘neo–Marxism’. Bhattarai’s pro-Indian posture is yet another subject of concern for the revolutionaries, who are fighting for national liberation and against Indian expansionism and hegemony. Against this background, is it ideologically and politically correct for the revolutionaries to enter into alliance with him? These are the questions which are yet to be answered. According to leaders of Baidhya faction, ‘this is neither the ideological and political alliance nor is it a long-term one but an understanding to check authoritarian style and attitude of the party chief. This is just an understanding on some tactical issues, mainly aiming to check Dahal’s authoritarian role in the party. It is clear to us and we also want to make clear to all that there will be no compromise on ideology and revolution.’
We were optimistic that after Palungtar meeting changes would take place in the party and also on ideological front. But Prachanda showed his true face and real colour. He violated the decision made by the central committee. He suddenly and surprisingly made his arbitrary decision of disarming and surrendering the PLA in the name of integration. Prachanda’s abrupt and arbitrary decision shocked and worried the revolutionary camp and leaders in the party, which compelled comrade Kiran, leader of the revolutionary camp, to register notes of dissent one after another. The revelatory camp then began to create public opinion on their views and stance as well as the arbitrary and authoritarian decisions of party’s main leader. An 18 point note was prepared which clearly stated the points of differences with Dahal and it was distributed among the cadres and also disseminated massively.
‘It is Dahal, who compelled us to make an ‘alliance’ against his authoritarion attitudes.’ It may be justified at the present moment which aimed at checking the authoritarian tendency in the party, but it by no means would solve the ideological questions that are being raised in the party. This is also not a long–term solution. It is still not sure the party would take correct decisions and move towards correct direction even after the decentralization of power. Ideologically, politically and organizationally, the party has already been ruined and corrupted. This type of party organization is not likely to achieve its goal. Any kinds of cosmetic changes would be worthless and would not serve the real purpose of the party. It would be like taking painkiller when a patient has developed a tumor inside the body and needs a surgery. So this type of cosmetic changes and patch up would not cure the disease that the party has suffered. The party now needs rectification and a total revamping and reshuffle. If we want to build a Bolsevik type of party, we, first of all, have to solve ideological questions. In the absence of revolutionary line, a strong party organization and a dynamic leadership, we can do nothing to achieve the revolutionary goal.
‘Save the revolution’ must be our slogan. It means the continuation of the revolution. It means sharpening of the two line struggle–the ideological struggle. Then we must take some bold decisions. We must keep in mind that ‘right to rebel’ is people’s fundamental right.
Resolution In Defence Of The ILPS Against Sectarianism And Sabotage
Presented by the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) to the 4th International Assembly of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) and approved unanimously on 09 July 2011.
The 11 ICC members and 1 alternate member (see Annex for names) whose term of office was supposed to end upon the election of the new ICC (if not for their most recent acts of sabotage) and who previously constituted an ultra-Left and sectarian group within the ILPS have engaged in propaganda and related acts extremely hostile not only to the ICC and the Chairperson but to the entire ILPS. This resolution is meant to defend the integrity and unity of ILPS against the attacks of these sectarian elements.
By their articles dated 26-06-11, 27-06-11 and 02-07-11, they have publicly and maliciously attacked the decisions of the ICC and the ILPS Chairperson far beyond the confines of the ILPS and have declared their boycott of the ICC meeting on July 6, 2011 and from the sovereign Fourth International Assembly of the ILPS and called on ILPS member-organizations to withdraw from the activities of the ILPS. They have engaged in a patent act of sabotage while hypocritically paying lip service to the ILPS.
The hostile actions of this minority group that has recently attacked and withdrawn from the ICC and ILPS are merely the culmination of a series of acts inimical to the efforts of building the ILPS as a broad anti-imperialist and democratic alliance.
This group consistently carried an ultra-Left political line and a sectarian organizational line which have greatly hampered the expansion of the ILPS as a broad anti-imperialist and democratic alliance, and have thereby obstructed the worldwide struggle against imperialism and reaction. The key members of this ultra-Left and sectarian group assumed and even monopolized responsibilities only to sabotage the work of expanding the ILPS in the Middle-East, Latin America and Europe.
Within ILPS, this group tried to impose its dogmatic ideas in discussions regarding current political trends in the world, thus failing to identify positive forces that can be won over and mobilized in a broad front against imperialism or take advantage of contradictions in the enemy camp.
In the past ten years, this minority group has not only failed to help in expanding ILPS, their sectarian behavior has caused some founding member organizations to distance themselves from the League.
In the 2nd ILPS International Assembly in 2004, this group caused disruption for more than a day of the three-day assembly and the unnecessary long delay of the discussion and approval of the General Declaration due to their insistence on imposing their ultra-Left line on the analysis of the international situation and tasks.
In the 3rd ILPS International Assembly in 2008, the sectarians again caused unnecessarily long drawn-out debates far beyond the allocated time in the Workshop of Commission 1, even maligning one of the main mass organizations of the ILPS. One of the sectarians used abusive language to castigate a fellow delegate from the US on an issue involving united front policy in front of the whole assembly.
During the meeting of the ICC in February 2009, this minority group joined in a chorus in attacking the ILPS Chairperson for sending a representative to a broad anti-imperialist conference in Beirut on the sectarian argument that Islamists and forces “not genuinely anti-imperialists” were in the said conference, thus displaying their narrow-minded and erroneous way of thinking contrary to the united front policy of the ILPS.
In the 2nd International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR2) in Athens, independently organized by the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), and endorsed and supported by the ILPS, the sectarians tried to exclude from the Convenors Committee a Greek organization that was most helpful in arranging the venue and making this event a big success. This Greek organization was a founding member of ILPS but through the years had been deliberately sidelined by the sectarians in ILPS-sponsored events in Greece. The sectarians tried through so many means to impose their sectarian line on this event with broad participation. But they failed to deliver even on the few tasks that they promised to accomplish such as providing invitations to foreign delegates for visa purposes.
In the end, they tried to disrupt the IAMR2 by staging a walkout and publicly declaring that the ILPS Chairperson was not speaking for the whole of the ILPS in his keynote speech in that international gathering attended even by non-ILPS members. The Chairperson reported the incident to the ICC in its November 21, 2009 meeting and presented the video evidence, in which then Vice Chairperson Manolis Arkolakis publicly usurped ICC authority and violated the Charter by disauthorizing the Chairperson from the performance of his duty as chief representative and spokesperson of the ILPS. Further, he recommended that a vote of confidence be taken in order to reconstitute the ICG and form a new team whose members trust each other. The ICC approved the recommendation and proceeded to reconstitute the ICG.
The sectarians were baggage that slowed the expansion of ILPS and hampered our efforts in building a strong broad anti-imperialist and democratic front which is the primordial objective of the League. Their ultra-Left and sectarian line goes against the letter and spirit of the ILPS Charter and the basic united front character of ILPS.
These sectarians would now want to make themselves appear as victims of lack of democracy in order to deceive and win the sympathy of the uninformed. In fact they abused and misused the democratic processes within ILPS and the goodwill of other member organizations in trying to force on others their ultra-Left and sectarian positions on various issues. They have been guilty of violating democracy within ILPS by trying to browbeat other member organizations into accepting their ultra-Left line and disrupting events and meetings through boycotts and walkouts when they did not get their way.
For too long, the majority of member organizations of the ILPS, including and especially the majority in the ICC, has patiently persevered in listening to and engaging these minority sectarians and Ultra-Leftists in principled struggle, at times even accommodating to a fault some of their unreasonable demands for the sake of unity and cohesion. But this has only emboldened this sectarian minority and made them even more arrogant, abusive and high-handed as they erroneously took the majority’s patience and flexibility as a sign of weakness.
By their erroneous ideas and sectarian behavior that violate the ILPS Charter and the basic united front character of the League and by their blatant efforts to sabotage the 4th International Assembly in staging a boycott and asking others to do the same, these sectarians have effectively separated themselves from the League. At the same time, the League condemns their acts of sabotage as clear due cause for their expulsion as stated in Chapter 2 Section 5 of the ILPS Charter: A member organization may cease to be such by resignation, self-dissolution or by expulsion for serious violation of this Charter, the resolutions or decisions of the International Assembly.
It is resolved, as it is hereby resolved, that the Fourth International Assembly of the League expel the named sectarians for flagrant acts of sabotage, especially for their most recent attacks on the ILPS and calls for boycotting this assembly, as evidenced by their documented pronouncements. By formally expelling these sectarians from the ILPS, the League is getting rid of systematic sabotage and unnecessary baggage and paves the way for the vigorous expansion and consolidation of ILPS as a broad alliance fighting imperialism and reaction.
As representatives of ILPS member-organizations, the sectarians occupied positions in the ICC. Absent any evidence to the contrary, their actions and statements hostile to the ILPS can be understood as carrying the consent of their organizations. Therefore, the expulsion of the sectarians means the expulsion of their respective organizations, unless an organization disauthorizes its representative or exempts itself from the hostile acts of the representative. Any case of falsified, misappropriated or misused signature to any of the hostile public statements may be denied with show of proof.
As one of the biggest and most effective anti-imperialist alliances of mass organizations in the world today, we must expect such organizational challenges, attempts to undermine our effectiveness and efforts to divert our attention from our important work of realizing the ILPS goals and objectives.
We should neither be alarmed by the malicious acts of these sectarians nor should we allow them to divert us from our mission. We should continue to apply the democratic method in dealing with any genuine differences as we continue to build the people’s anti-imperialist and democratic movement for fundamental social change. ###
The 11 ICC members and 1 alternate member who previously constituted an ultra-Left and sectarian group within the outgoing ICC of the ILPS:
Former ICC members:
1. Manolis Arkolakis – People’s Militant Movement
2. Arman Riazi – Democratic Anti-Imperialist Organizations of Iranians in Great Britain
3. Doug Norberg – Video Collision Course
4. Hassan Gulum – Trade Union of Municipality Workers
5. Yilmaz Gunes – Federation of Workers from Turkey in the Netherlands
6. Azad Genc – New Democratic Youth
7. Raquel Scarlatelli – Cebraspo
8. Kali Akuno, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
9. G. N. Saibaba – Revolutionary Democratic Front
10. Aliyah Brunner – Umut Publications
11. K.R. Choudry – Visthapana Virodhi Jana Vikas Andolan
Former Alternate Member
12. Chrissi Perperidou – Class March
Communique of the First Meeting of the newly-elected International Coordinating Committee
10 July 2011
Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the outgoing Chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) opened the meeting and then asked the Vice Chairperson Len Cooper to preside over the meeting.
The ICC elected its officers to comprise the International Coordinating Group. They are as follows:
Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, Len Cooper, Vice Chairperson, Carol Araullo,Vice Chairperson for Internal Affairs, Bill Doares, Vice Chairperson for External Affairs, Malcolm Guy, General Secretary, Wahu Kaara, First Deputy General Secretary, Antonio Tujan, Second Deputy General Secretary, Theo Droog, Treasurer and Lyn Meza, Auditor.
The ICC examined, amended and approved the draft Communiqué on the Fourth International Assembly by way of summing up the assembly from July 7 to July 9. The ICC was unanimous in describing the assembly as historically significant and resoundingly successful.
Subsequently, the ICC members took turns in assessing the political, technical and financial aspects of the assembly. The ICC members cited the large number of delegates and countries represented that surpassed all previous records as a shining testimony of the vitality of the League and a clear repudiation of the call by the sectarian disrupters who called for a boycott of the assembly.
The ICC members were one in commending the Host Country Committee for a job well done. The ICC was informed by the head of the Host Country Committee that not only were the expenses for the assembly well covered by the registration fees but a surplus was acquired that can then be added to the ILPS central fund.
The ICC approved the publication of the proceedings of the Fourth International Assembly, including the program of the assembly, reports of the outgoing officers, the reports of the commissions, the regular and special resolutions, the General Declaration and the lists of the outgoing and incoming International Coordinating Committee, the International Coordinating Group, the commissions, the communiqués on the assembly and first ICC meeting and the list of delegates, their organizations and countries.
The ICC discussed how to improve communications among members and how to use the ilps.info website for internal and external communications. The ICC also decided to take steps to stop the further operations of the website usurping the name of the ILPS.
The ICC discussed briefly the need for intensifying campaigns, expanding alliances and cooperation and raising resources for the purpose. It was pointed out that the ICC can pass to the ICG the task of planning the collection of membership dues and resources.
The ICC decided that its next meeting would be in the first quarter of 2012 in The Netherlands.
NEW DELHI: It’s not just the security forces the Maoists are up against. They are also battling internal demons. Bitter differences have cropped up between the People’s War (PW) and Maoist Coordination Committee (MCC) factions, threatening to split the CPI-Maoist.
The two factions in the banned outfit were separate parties which merged to form the CPI-Maoist on September 21, 2004. But years after the merger, ugly factional fights among top Maoist leaders, who prize secrecy above most things, are now coming out in the open.
Sources said Koteshwar Rao Kishanji (from PW) has serious differences with MCC’s Jhantu Mukherji. Both are CPI-Maoist central committee (CC) members. Last year, Kishanji wrote to Maoist chief Ganapathy accusing Mukherji of misappropriation of party funds and fuelling factional feuds. Mukherji rebutted the charges. He alleged that Kishanji’s womanizing ways and egotist nature had dealt a big blow to the Maoist movement in West Bengal.
The Maoist central committee had pulled up Kishanji for the party’s setbacks in Bengal, where the movement had flourished till 2009.
Again last year, Nalla Bhikshapathi, a Maoist Dalit leader from PW, was arrested in Jharkhand. He reportedly wept while telling interrogators how MCC cadres insulted him for his caste and language.
In another rare instance, sources say a CC member (from PW) from Andhra Pradesh was so disgusted with a fellow CC member from MCC that he surrendered to the police. He is currently living in anonymity in his native village.
A source close to the Maoists said a woman state committee member (PW) of the outfit’s north regional bureau (NRB) defied a top leader who hailed from the opposite camp. The wife of a CC member killed in a police encounter in 2009, she refused to work with CC member Pramod Mishra (of MCC), who is currently in jail. She was then shifted out of NRB.
The PW-MCC differences are most acute among cadres in the eastern regional bureau (ERB), which includes West Bengal, north Orissa, Jharkhand and Bihar. In Bihar’s Rohtas, Maoist cadres (formerly MCC) killed their regional committee leader, Rana alias Birendra Yadav (PW), an event observers said was linked to factional feuds.
Sources say many leaders of both factions have now begun doubting if the merger was a good idea. In the party’s ninth unity congress, leaders of both factions had hoped the merger would speed up the Maoist’s agenda of ushering in a ‘new democratic revolution’ in the country. But the unity, while substantially increasing the Maoists’ area of influence, seems to have added to the outfit’s problems. A section of Maoists have begun calling the merger an “opportunistic compromise”.