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The obstacles of intervention and the process of revolutionary transformation in Nepal

25. August 2003

By Anti-Imperialist League of Nepal

The Anti-imperialist League of Nepal is due to speak to the Anti-imperialist Camp gathering in Assisi, Italy, from 1 to 7 September 2003.

After the revolution of 1990, Nepal has return 50 year`s back. Since then the government has changed all but the political mechanism and their vested power has not changed in practice. It is clear after king Gyanendra`s action against Deupa`s government that the people have no sovereignty. He has misused his power and interfered in politics unconstitutionally.

It will not be an exaggeration to say that democracy was given up by the late king Birendra succumbing to pressure of SAARC * expansionist India and world imperialist USA. Both countries have shown unwanted interest in Nepal. The US invasion of Iraq an dthe present Indian intervention against Nepal have clearly shown that our country is in danger of becoming a playground to the US.

Indian Dominancy

Nepal forms part of the global imperialist system. The Eastern, Western and Southern part of Nepal borders with India, the Northern part is locked by China (Tibet). Nepal has been heavily dominated by India for some generations. Millions of Nepalese migrate for work in the worst, lowest paid jobs throughout India cities. Most of them are young blood and would be key sources of growth for a country`s economy, but their labour is now harnessed to serve the wealth of India. Nepal is also a source of raw material for India such as timber and it provides it with a massive amount of cheap hydroelectric power. Nepal is ranking as the second country in the world after Brazil for water resources and the third largest country after Brazil and China for hydroelectric power. But this did not result in any developing impact for the masses of the people. Village folk still use firewood and in some places paraffin lamps for light. Nepal is an exclusive market for Indian goods according to so-called 1950 “Peace & Friendship treaty” between Nepal and India. This treaty has tied the hands of Nepalese people since decades. According to the treaty all the industrial production needed by the Nepalese people should be supplied by India.

Most of the political leaders and even the king seem to be loyal to India and they made several treaties with India thus rendering the country heavily dependent on India.

According to a treaty of 1965 India is to provide the weapons and ammunitions needed by the Nepalese army. If India fails to provide any arms, Nepal must purchase them only from third country recommended by India. All these treaties have shown the intention of the Indian ruling class is to treat Nepal as part of India under the pretext of a treaty of equality and friendship and to subjugate the Nepalese people by controlling arms and industry. In short, Nepal under Indian domination in the imperialist global set up is designed to continue in abject poverty with no development and reliant simply on tourism brought in and on the exports of its youth.

That is the reason we leftists from different part of the country has decided to run a movement against worldwide imperialism of US and SAARC expansionism of India. We have formed a ad hoc committee of the Anti-Imperialist League of Nepal on 26th December 2001. But the political situation is not suitable for us at present. We are working in semi-underground condition. We are trying to convince people through organizational contacts and through our communication.

Imperialist and Expansionist Intervention in Nepal

As a result of the advances of the People´s War and the all-out, deepening crisis of the reactionary ruling class, and especially as the feudal monarchical system is being effaced from Nepal, US imperialism and Indian expansionism have been actively stepping up their role against the Nepalese people. Because the reactionary regime is desperate and increasingly unable to face the challenges posed by the people´s power, the US is making serious preparations for more direct intervention. The situation has become even more unstable in the wake of the recent changes in the political scene, including the dismissal of the prime minister, the usurpation of executive power by the monarchy and the installation of a government that consists of people who either do not belong to any political party or have not been recommended by any party, including some faces infamous for their loyalty to the Panchayat system, which is the form of monarchy that prevailed in Nepal before 1990.

In February 2002, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Nepal. Sometime later, in May 2002, Prime Minister Deuba visited the US and the European Union. The UK and US have provided, respectively, $40 million and $22 million in aid. The US also sent a dozen military experts who surveyed all three parts of the country in order to map out general operational plans. Two US army personnel were witnessed in the Lishne cordon action. It is evident that imperialist forces are already moving into Nepal.

US aggression world-wide is now climaxing, threatening the security and stability of countries everywhere. The US is lashing out in the Middle East, and its emissaries are roaming the Asian region and baring their teeth like mad dogs. In this regard, the US rulers are wielding the 11 September incident as “a magic weapon” to intervene anywhere and anytime they like. The general strategy of US imperialism today is to suppress every kind of struggle against its interests, such as anti-feudal anti-imperialist struggles, national liberation movements and democratic and socialist movements. It puts a “terrorist” label on them all in order to justify its own counter-revolutionary efforts to crush all opposition and intensify its exploitation of the billions of people the world over.

But the US imperialists´ fantasy of using their military might to establish the US as a perpetual uni-polar superpower is calling forth increasing resistance all over the world. Because of the enormous misery caused by the imperialists´ plunder of Asia, Africa and Latin America, these countries have been the epicentre of this uprising, what Mao called the “storm centre of world revolution”. The emerging red political power in the Himalayas, set amidst such a turbulent global backdrop, has profound implications for South Asia as a whole, and beyond.

To counter the potential for wider regional upheaval, the US has already taken the unprecedented step of setting up an FBI spy agency right in Delhi, the capital of India. When the CPN(M) led the historic raid on the Achham district headquarters, the US administration disclosed its intention of putting a military outpost in Nepal itself, asserting that, “Nepal is a country of strategic importance”. Even though the US imperialists´ actions seem to be coming from a position of strength, in essence they are the manifestation of the compulsions of the contradictions of the world imperialist system. However hard US imperialism tries to clampdown on the revolutionary movements, it will only succeed in further intensifying and sharpening the principal contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and people, whilst also intensifying inter-imperialist contradictions.

Alongside this US aggression, India has been taking increasingly fascistic action against the people of South Asia. The Indian rulers have been suppressing the revolutionary movements and national liberation movements throughout the region. They have enacted several draconian laws, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), to maintain their heaven of plundering the Indian masses. Under this law, they have arrested Nepalese journalists and social workers and extradited them to Nepal without even a trial or other democratic “niceties”. They have also arrested wounded Maoists from Nepal who were being treated at private hospitals in India and handed them over to the Nepalese police. This reflects India´s determination to maintain its long-standing domination over Nepal.

The Indian hegemonic state will never accept seeing the Nepalese people win liberation and determine their own fate. India´s rulers are haunted by the spectre that the Nepalese government could be overthrown by new-democratic revolution and the country converted into a base area for world revolution. They are also seriously concerned that the revolutionary advances in Nepal could further stir up the discontent already boiling up in India itself. At a time when India´s rulers have been forced to tie down a million troops along the borders with Pakistan, and when Maoist insurgency is rife in a number of states in India itself, the prospect of having to turn their attention to Nepal is not one that they relish.

Moreover, war with the Maoist revolutionaries could be several times more costly than the war India has already been fighting against the Kashmir and Bodo national liberation movements. L. K. Advani, the home minister of India, expressed alarm over the vision of a South Asian Soviet Federation proposed by the CPN(M), in which the liberated peoples of South Asia would join together in a voluntary union. Following the formation of the Co-ordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisation in South Asia (CCOMPOSA), the Indian ruling class has been putting its bully eyes on Nepal and preparing a juggernaut campaign to repress the Maoist movement.

There is a possibility that the Indian government may intervene in Nepal at any time. In response to a Nepalese government request, it immediately supplied weapons and ammunition. It has also sent a number of helicopters to help the Royal Nepalese Army fight the Maoists. The arrest and extradition of a CPN(M) Central Committee member, who was handed over to the government of Nepal, is the latest effort in this regard.

From the other side of the border, revisionist China is closely monitoring events in Nepal. The Chinese bourgeoisie, still horrified by the memory of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, would be most unwilling to see a Maoist Nepal rise on their own southern borders. Yet they would also be extremely concerned at any outright attempt by India to occupy Nepal, as this would upset the long-standing and fragile balance of power on the China-India border, where serious warfare has broken out before. The Chinese rulers would look with great unease on any attempt by the Indian government to send its troops into Nepal in collaboration with the US-British combine.

It is not possible to conclude a discussion of the role of the imperialists without mentioning one other force that has unfortunately been only too willing to do some of the dirty work of their propaganda machine. Here we are speaking of the domestic and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have received enormous amounts of money to help thwart the revolutionaries. These forces have emerged like seasonal mushrooms and propagated hundreds of lies, such as “the revolutionaries are violating human rights” and “recruiting children into the PLA”. If they were to witness events with their own eyes, they would definitely see who the actual terrorists are and who is violating human rights.

Were these people in deep slumber while their masters were killing thousands of people these past seven years?! Wasn´t it “terror” when the government killed peasants working their farms in western Nepal? Wasn´t it “terror” when the reactionary army killed political prisoners in different parts of the country, and when it brought dozens of political prisoners from different prisons and massacred them in cold blood in Lamahi? Wasn´t it “terror” when the government killed the school children Dil Bahadur Ramtel, Subhadra Sapkota, Jamuna Chaudhary and others who were simply protesting the arrest of their teachers? Whilst these forces have been shouting themselves hoarse about “human rights violations” by the revolutionaries, they were silent as lambs when the fascist Gyanendra-Paras clique put huge cash bounties on the heads of the Maoist leaders and cadres who have been fighting for dramatic change to bring Nepalese society into the twenty-first century, and they see “human rights violations” whenever the people rise up to resist the genocidal army. They have simply been playing the role of a fig leaf for the reactionary state and the imperialist powers by attributing legitimacy to the state while it murders the people.

As the people´s power develops in the country, the imperialists and reactionaries will work overtime to smash it. In this situation, it is crucial that the Maoist revolutionaries develop world-wide solidarity with the People´s War. As the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement has put it, we must weave support for the Nepalese revolution into all of the activity aimed against US aggression in Iraq, and elsewhere. The recent tour of Europe sponsored by the World People´s Resistance Movement to promote solidarity with the People´s War in Nepal succeeded in reaching thousands of people, and showed the potential for greater actions in the future.

The time has most urgently come for the Maoist revolutionaries to carry out their internationalist duty, which Lenin defined as, “…working wholeheartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one´s own country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy and material aid) this struggle, this, and only this, line, in every country without exception.” (“The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution”)

* South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation