(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 20, 2008
Greetings from the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist)
FIRST of all, on behalf of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) and my own, I would like to extend warm greetings to all of you and best wishes for the successful deliberation of your 19th National Congress to be held from March 29 to April 3, 2008 in this beautiful city of Coimbatore. It is a matter of pleasure for our party to address this Congress of a fraternal party with whom our party, the CPN(UML), has been enjoying cordial and fraternal relations since a long time. The revolutionary line that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has been pursuing has had a great influence among the left and revolutionary movements in Nepal as well as in the South Asian region. The CPI(M)’s active support to the ongoing process and democratic struggle in Nepal has contributed in strengthening people to people relations and also helped in promotion of two countries’ relations.
You are organising your National Congress at a time when we have been witnessing growing imperialist assaults in different parts of the world. However, the imperialists led attack and domination is not free from the resistance. Since last decade, the popular resistance movements against the imperialist attacks and interventions have been rising. The global mobilisation against the Iraq and Afghanistan attack, the popular mass movements in various parts of the world and election defeats of the right wing conservatives not only in Latin America and Asia, but also in Europe and other parts of world have been the encouraging sign of growing popular resistance against the foreign aggression and domination. Such a growing resistance movement has given new impetus to the Left and democratic forces in all over the world. The Indian people, who have the history of defeating imperialism with a strong mass mobilization, and your party’s continuous election victory in the State of West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala have always been a source of inspiration to the progressive people in this region.
Nepal today has been passing through a historic transitional period. The popular uprising of April 2006 has forced the autocratic monarch to surrender power to the political parties and restore the dissolved parliament. The defeat of the monarchical rule and the formation of the political parties’ government have paved the way to start negotiation process with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) who have been waging armed struggle since last 10 years and agreed to enter in the peaceful process. To consolidate and institutionalize the people’s movement, the newly formed all-party government tabled a historic proclamation in the restored House of Representatives in May 2006 and passed in unanimously. The House of Representatives declared itself as the sovereign body of the nation, and all the executive powers are now to be vested in the cabinet, substituting the His Majesty’s Government with ‘Nepal Government’ and declaring Nepal as a secular state. The nine point declaration of the House of Representatives also curtailed the King’s powers. Through this declaration, Nepali people have become true master of their nation and pout an end the 238 years old Shah dynasty as the custodian of the nation’s sovereign power and centuries of feudalistic legacy it had embodied.
The goal of historic people’s movement was to establish democracy on the one hand and to bring the extreme left Maoists into the peaceful democratic political process on the other. After a protracted negotiation process, a Comprehensive Peach Agreement was signed between the government and the Maoists on 21 November 2006. According to the agreement, the Maoists agreed to end the armed struggle and put their arms and ammunitions in to the sealed containers sending their combatants inside the designated cantonments. The government and the Maoists requested the United Nations to manage and supervise the Maoists combatants and their arms. According to the agreement and interim constitution has been promulgated, an interim parliament has been formed and the interim government was constituted in the country. Out of 330 seats of interim parliament, 83 members are nominated from the Maoists. They have also joined in the interim government. In such a way, a peaceful political settlement of the armed struggle has been reached, with a fair degree of success on the basis of dialogues and negotiations. This model of peace process and the political settlement was our own and we did not follow any other readymade model from outside. We, of course, have received enormous amount of goodwill and supports from the international community in this process.
The ultimate goal and the mandate of the whole people’s movement and the peace process were to hold election of the Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution, federalise the present central form of government system, initiate massive social and economic reform programs and make state and system of governance more democratic and inclusive by providing fair representation to the marginalised and oppressed class, women, indigenous groups and ethnic community to the state machinery and other decision making bodies.
Today, all major political parties agreed to embark upon the road to a federal democratic republic through the new constitution chalked out by the Constituent Assembly. Accordingly, the election date was announced earlier for June and November last year but was deferred at the behest of the rebel group for 10 April 2008. The government went on tackling the issues raised by various groups and the communities. The Election Commission had announced that all the preparatory works of the election were completed. As the date of election is approaching nearer, the political parties including our party are busy in the preparation for the election.
Being one of the strongest members of the Seven Party Alliance and its wider support base and strong national and international organisational networks, the CPN(UML) has played a decisive role in the recently concluded second people’s movements in Nepal. It had played catalyst role in bringing the seven mainstream political parties into one platform and formulate the six point understanding among them. Similarly, it has taken active and leading role in developing the 12-point understanding and reaching it with the rebel group. The CPN(UML)’s leadership held several round of talks with the rebel group and persuaded them to come to the understanding with the Seven Party Alliance.
Similarly, the CPN(UML) was the first party which had initiated the anti-monarch movement after the February 1 royal coup. Similarly, it had actively taken part in all the programmes organised jointly by the Seven Party Alliance all over the country. During the second pro-democracy movement in April 2006, 21 people were brutally killed by the royal regime. Among them, 16 were the active members of the CPN(UML). Among the 6000 injured, more than half of them were the members and supporters of our party, the CPN(UML). Similarly, tens of thousand of members of our party were arrested and detained for long time.
After the successful pro-democratic movements, our party has decided to take part in the Six Party Alliance Government. There are 8 ministers out of 28 from our party in the present cabinet. Similarly, the party’s Central Committee member Subash Nemwang has been elected unanimously as the speaker of the reinstated House of Representatives. Our party has been actively initiating for the protection, promotion and consolidation of the democratic rights of the general people. Currently, our party has fielded candidates in all constituencies of 601 members of Constituent Assembly election and we are hoping to secure majority of seats in the parliament. Our victory in the upcoming election would pave the way to draft a democratic constitution and also forward the pro-poor social and economic agendas.
As my country, Nepal, is entering into a new era, it is very pertinent for us to get your continuous support and solidarity to our efforts of making Nepal a peaceful, prosperous and democratic state.
Let me again wish you a successful deliberation of your National Congress.