Nepali Maoists ban Indian vehicles, films
In a bold and surprising move the hardliner Maoist party of Nepal has
enforced ban on Indian vehicles entering into border districts and
Indian films and music for protecting the 'national sovereignty'.
The ban imposed and enforced from Wednesday (September 26) with a
stern warning of severe consequences for defiance by anyone. Newly
formed Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) headed by elderly Maoist leader
Mohan Baidya Kiron did not care for the Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias
Prachand's UCPN (Maoist) party government headed by Baburam Bhattarai
while ordering and imposing the ban.
Indian embassy in Kathmandu refrained from passing immediate reaction.
Delhi is stunned by people adhering to the ban imposed by a political
party not in the government.
With blessings from Delhi, Bhattarai continued as Prime Minister of
the interim government after the constituent assembly was dissolved at
the end of its extended term in May. Ruling UCPN (Maoist) was divided
with China-leaning hardliner vice-chairman Mohan Baidya forming a
separate party, Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) in June. Since then he
and his close associates have visited Beijing more than once.
For ages India used to control the economy and politics of the
landlocked Nepal, which Delhi considered as its buffer state.
Senior CPN leader Dev Gurung said the ban was imposed to protect
national sovereignty. It was enforced by the Tamsaling Ethnic State
Committee of CPN covering ten districts of Chitwan, Makwanpur,
Dhading, Kavre and the adjoining ones.
Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), Nepal's state-owned news agency,
quoting a CPN (Maoist) leader Narayan Sharma Bipin said the ban was
strictly followed by the people in all the districts. The restrictions
on vehicles bearing Indian number plates was imposed as they found
transporting agriculture products from India to Nepal affecting the
country's farmers and domestic products losing out the market. Indian
vehicles were allowed to ply on Nepal's roads on payment of nominal
daily charges at the border check points for which a temporary number
plate was issued.
Defending ban on screening of Hindi movies and broadcasting of Hindi
songs CPN leader said it is intended for promoting Nepal's film
industry, music and culture. Different broadcast media based in those
districts have stopped playing Hindi songs from Wednesday, RSS report
said. The restrictions are likely to be extended to other areas in
phases. It is significant that the hardcore Maoists took the action
annoying Delhi on the heels of US withdrawal of terrorist tag from
Nepal's ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (UCPN-Maoist) and
arrival of new US Ambassador Peter Boddy in Kathmandu early this
President Ram Baran Yadav, elderly Nepal Congress president Sushil
Koirala and UML chairman and former prime minister Jhalanath Khalan
expressing anxiety at the development observed that Nepal will soon
lose its sovereignty and turn into a new Afghanistan. US Peace Corps
will now return to Nepal, activities of hundreds of Christian
missionaries operating in the garb of NGOs will increase with the
increased flow of US dollars. The Delhi-Washington friendly government
of Bhattarai is likely to agree to US proposal of basing NATO troops
in Nepal to the discomfort of Beijing.
Nepal media said CPN (Maoist) seems to be bathing in the reflecting
glory after submitting a 70-point charter of demands to the
government. Party chairman Mohan Baidya and leaders are laying the
groundwork for an "urban-centric revolt" to accomplish what it calls a
'people's revolution'. Baidya says an armed struggle is indispensable
to achieve their goals for peoples' republic. He maintains that they
will not adopt the model of the then Maoist party which it followed
during the decade-long insurgency. It will centre its activities in
The party has planned to form militant forces to launch an urban
revolt, ruling out the need of launching a movement in rural areas
where the insurgency already defeated the feudal and landlords.
'Take up arms'
Baidya has threatened to take up arms if their demands were not
addressed. He also plans to intensify its campaign in the coming days
through strikes and a campaign against corrupt people. Leaders say
their struggle in the initial phase will be peaceful and if suppressed
will turn violent.
The party submitted the 70-point list of demands to Prime Minister
Baburam Bhattarai on September 10, which includes 40 points submitted
by then the Maoist party before launching insurgency in 1996. Baidya
and his team have been trying to consolidate their grip at grass root
level by justifying the rationale for forming the new party. They have
termed UCPN (Maoist) headed by Prachanda as revisionist, corrupt and
self-serving. Baidya has been gaining mass support by raising issues
of national interest and anti-Indian sentiments.
One prominent agenda of the party is campaign for independence
(Swdhintako Abhiyan) that calls for symbolic protests against India
and condemns different treaties and agreements signed with Delhi. The
agenda will help garner support from all sections of the people
including former royalists.
Friday, September 28, 2012
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