End uncertainty over our future: PLA men to leaders
POST BAHADUR BASNET/MANOJ ADHIKARI
PALUNGTAR, Nov 26: Members of the Maoist People´s Liberation Army (PLA) have demanded that the party formulate a clear-cut policy on their integration and rehabilitation, and remove the existing confusion about their future.
Speaking in the ongoing party plenum on Thursday, they also expressed concern that the presentation of three separate documents by the top three leaders had added to the uncertainty over their future.
"They demanded that the leadership tell them unambiguously whether the party wants them to be integrated and rehabilitated," Maoist leader Barsaman Pun said quoting the PLA members as saying during the plenum being held at Palungtar, Gorkha.
According to him, the PLA members said the party leadership should immediately sort out the issue as they had become impatient.
Pun also dismissed allegations by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and Vice-chairman Dr Baburam Bhattari camps that Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal used threats and the "chain of command" to prevent the PLA members from speaking against Dahal. "They are participating in the plenum as political leaders, not in the capacity of PLA members," said Pun.
However, Sudip from fourth division who spoke in favor of Bhattarai stated that the Dahal and Baidya factions have not been able to openly put forward their views due to chain of command and threat.
The PLA members also stated that the party should not use the integration issue to lead the government only, overlooking the party´s revolutionary goals.
"We will strongly oppose if the integration issue is used to lead the government only," a leader quoted PLA member from fourth division Suresh as saying during the meeting.
The PLA members from the seven Maoist divisions were also sharply divided into three factions led by Dahal, Baidya and Bhattarai respectively, but most of them refrained from mudslinging and leveling serious allegations against the top three leaders.
As in the previous days, the PLA members close to Dahal and Baidya accused Bhattarai of deviating from communist ideology, while those close Bhattrai and Baidya accused Dahal of misusing power and running the party in a non-transparent manner. Similarly, those close to Dahal and Bhattarai accused Baidya of being an "ultra-leftist".
Chairman Dahal was the former Supreme commander-in-chief of the PLA and still commands a majority in the PLA.
As per the agreement made earlier, three PLA members close to each of the three top leaders from seven PLA divisions would be allowed to make comments in the meeting.
But there was none from the fifth and the sixth divisions to speak in favor of Bhattarai. Similarly, there was nobody from second division to speak in favor of Baidya and Bhattarai.
On Friday, the top three leaders would present their views on the questions raised by the participants. Chairman Dahal would then present the synthesized document, incorporating the views of Baidya and Bhattarai.
The party will hold a standing committee meeting Friday morning at Thanthi Pokhari where Dahal is putting up.
According to party spokesperson Dinanath Sharma, the meeting will evaluate the political situation and take some important decisions. Sharma said the meeting would also ask some standing committee members to speak during the meeting.
According to leaders, the party is taking the decision due to the demand from plenum participants to let Barsaman Pun and Netra Bikram Chand speak. Pun is close to Dahal, while Chand is an aide to Baidya.
Govt draws UNMIN´s attention to PLA participation
The government on Thursday drew UNMIN´s attention toward the participation of Maoist combatants in the UCPN (Maoist) plenum.
Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction wrote to UNMIN Chief Karin Landgren, asking the UN mission to take up the issue, according to a source. UNMIN has already objected to the participation, saying such a move violated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Agreement for the Monitoring of Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA).
Earlier on November 19, Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Rakam Chemjong had conveyed the government´s concern over the combatants´ participation to Landgren. Over 1,000 combatant are taking part in the plenum.