A WORLD TO WIN    #25   (1999)

Three years of People's War in Nepal

Over the past year there has been a marked intensification of the People's War in Nepal. The people's revolutionary forces, led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), have grown both quantitatively and qualitatively and have proven themselves capable of dealing blows to the enemy.

On the 27th of October 1999, the CPN (Maoist) announced the beginning of the fourth military plan. The Party appealed to all the leftist, progressive, patriotic and democratic forces as well as to different nationalities and masses from the oppressed regions both to help implement the fourth plan of building base areas and to participate in the revolutionary state power locally. Higher levels of military actions were launched on the very day this plan was introduced, and thousands of posters and flyers were distributed throughout the country.

Some enemy strong points have been captured and the political power of the masses has increased in large areas of the country, especially the Western region where the People's War is strongest. The Jana-Ahwan weekly reported that a CPN (Maoist)-led guerrilla platoon successfully accomplished a raid on a police post. The report says Maoist guerrillas captured seven rifles, one Chinese pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition from a police post at Chiriagar in the Western Region. The post was raided at 1:00 in the morning on 3rd March. During almost two hours of fighting seven policemen, including a sub-inspector, were wiped out and another was injured seriously without a single loss on the Maoist side.

In other instances demoralised enemy forces have surrendered to the people's fighters. The CPN (Maoist)'s policy of releasing captured enemy forces unharmed has been widely praised throughout the country and stands in sharp contrast to the indiscriminate killing of the reactionary state, which has lashed back at the people by intensifying its policy of naked terror.

Government statistics say that 815 have been killed in the fighting as of May 1st, the great majority in the previous six months when the government terror campaign, "Kilo Sera 2", was unleashed. While the government claims that most of those killed have been "Maoists", a great number of the casualties are a result of government terror directed at the civilian population. In addition to the militarised police, which until now have been the main vehicle for combating the revolutionary forces, there have been increased instances of regular army personnel being assigned to take part in police operations. Helicopters are used to transport enemy troops against the guerrillas.

The struggle reached a particularly intense level in May 1999, as the ruling class mobilised all of its efforts to hold an election for parliament. The CPN (Maoist) called for a boycott of parliament and stepped up its campaign to build base areas in the countryside.

As we go to press, only initial reports, mainly from enemy sources, are available. Even the imperialist press commented that the election rallies in the capital "were sparsely attended". In the countryside the boycott was even more widespread, and it is reported that election observers from various Nepalese parliamentary parties were afraid to go to the remote areas and "filed their reports from the capital". Even the government only dares claim a 30% election turnout in "the Maoist affected areas", and no doubt that figure is highly inflated by widespread fraud and ballot stuffing, as was reported to have occurred elsewhere.

Newspaper reports also indicate some very significant military engagements during the election. In what sounds like a spectacular action, a unit of some 40 Maoist fighters fought with police in Takukot Village Development Committee in the Gorkha district in central Nepal on May 22. The battle lasted three hours, and according to press reports five police were killed and one people's fighter was martyred. As they left, the guerrillas destroyed the police post with a bomb and took away several rifles. In addition to the squads and platoons made up of full-time men and women guerrilla fighters, many of the military actions have involved large numbers of irregular fighters and masses. The widespread and ever-deepening incorporation of the masses into the People's War has been illustrated in countless examples big and small. Some press accounts talk of hundreds of people taking part in assaults on enemy institutions.

Many other forms of mass activity have taken place as well, such as bandhs (general strikes), conferences, seminars and torchlight processions. A large number of publications have sprung up that support the People's War.

It is worth noting that the imperialist press found it necessary during the elections to depart from their policy of totally blacking out developments in the People's War. They acknowledged that dealing with the Maoist-led insurgency had become the principal political question for Nepal's parliamentary parties.

While the People's War is based mainly among the poor, especially in the countryside, the united front of all the progressive classes is being built up. A major conference of representatives of the oppressed nationalities was held in Kathmandu itself, which braved the enemy and supported the people's revolutionary forces. A mass organisation carrying out struggle among the Newars, a major nationality that inhabits the Kathmandu valley, carried out a highly successful bandh in Kathmandu on March 5. The purpose of the strike was to protest government repression, which under the guise of fighting the People's War has blanketed whole sections of the minority nationalities.

Actions have been taken against the Indian domination of Nepal's economy. For example, the call to stop Indian lorry operators, who have long dominated Nepal's transport industry, has been widely hailed by the emerging national bourgeoisie in that sector. Similarly, it has been announced that no Indian films are being shown in Nepalese cinema houses, in response to a call for a boycott of Indian films.


Although the Indian ruling class is one of the main enemies of the people of Nepal, the People's War is already generating enthusiasm and support among the masses in neighbouring India. India and Nepal are very intertwined. The Indian ruling class exercises a great deal of control over Nepal (and the main party representing this influence, the Nepalese Congress Party, was declared the victor in the parliament elections). Millions of Nepalese live throughout India. In this light it is of utmost importance that supporters of the principal Maoist forces of India have joined together with other revolutionaries and progressive people to form the Nepal Solidarity Forum.

The first act of the Solidarity Forum was to organise a major demonstration in India's capital of New Delhi on February 6th, the third anniversary of the initiation of the war. After a number of cultural presentations, a march started off down the streets, led by an 8-metre red banner. According to reports, the "wide streets of Delhi were paralysed", as 10-15,000 participants from different corners of India swept through, heading towards the Nepalese Embassy. The air resounded with slogans denouncing the fascist Girija government in Nepal, Indian expansionism and imperialism, demanding an end to the killing of innocent people in Nepal, and supporting the People's War. Although police blocked the march for one hour, the spirited marchers persevered until they succeeded in holding a rally at the Nepalese Embassy. The action represented a great success for the just formed Forum organisation.

At the rally at the Embassy, speakers representing the main trends in the Indian revolutionary movement stressed the interrelation between the struggles in Nepal and India. They called on the people of India to oppose Indian expansionism and pointed out that the peoples of Nepal and India faced a common enemy. One key task of the Solidarity Forum is to inform world opinion of developments in the People's War, and it is publishing a regular bulletin with that aim.

One outstanding feature of the CPN (Maoist) has been its internationalist line. From the beginning the Party has stressed the links with the proletariat and the oppressed peoples of all countries. The statement from Comrade Prachanda, Secretary-General of the CPN (Maoist), on the occasion of the third anniversary of the People's War, said, "We congratulate the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the fraternal parties and organisations within RIM, the revolutionary parties and organisations and revolutionary masses in India and the world over who have displayed the great ideals of proletarian internationalism whole-heartedly by helping the People's War morally and materially, and we firmly reiterate our commitment to advance on the path of fulfilling our obligations as a contingent of the world proletarian army."

The same statement from Comrade Prachanda concludes: "Today Nepalese society is passing through the sharp birth-pains of a period of transition. The old system is striving to turn the country into a complete slave of imperialism and expansionism by shattering all the economic, social and political sectors; whereas the Nepalese people, by means of People's War and different forms of mass struggle, are adhering to the great and painstaking task of establishing the foundation of an independent and self-reliant economy, exercising the people's democratic power from the grassroots, developing people's culture and social relations, and eliminating all sorts of class, national and regional exploitation. In this historical period of the destruction of the old and construction of the new, there is no other obligation higher than that of advancing in the united struggle to build a New Nepal with a self-sacrificing shattering of all sorts of illusions and by achieving victory against cowardly and capitulationist ideas. To that effect, our Party appeals to all the leftists, progressives, patriotic and democratic forces as well as all the masses of the country, on the historical occasion of the Third Anniversary, to help the great process of People's War by all means, to build an alternative revolutionary government from the grass roots, and to develop a united revolutionary struggle centrally through boycotting the so-called parliamentary election of the genocidal and national betrayers."