Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/436/5159

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 April 2006

Nepal: General strike movement against regime

"BURN THE crown," chanted demonstrators during the two-week long general strike which has brought the mountainous country of Nepal to a halt, deepening the political crisis. Telecoms and transport workers have gone on strike and many shops and businesses in the capital Kathmandu and in regional towns have been closed in response to a seven party alliance call to end the dictatorial rule of King Gyanendra.

Dave Carr

The beleaguered monarch assumed absolute power in February 2005 after dismissing his prime minister and cabinet. He had blamed the government for failing to crush the Maoist insurgency in the countryside. However, this rural civil war has intensified in recent months. During the current urban protests five people have been killed by police and over 3,000 protesters arrested.

Some 13,000 people have been killed in a vicious ten-year war in which the Maoists and state forces have resorted to assassinations and kidnappings.

The current movement to restore Nepal's parliamentary democracy appears to be a re-run of events in 1990. Then, King Birendra faced a 'movement to restore democracy' which brought together an uneasy coalition of left-leaning parties and the main capitalist Nepali Congress Party.

Over 50 people were gunned down by police and hundreds were arrested. Eventually the King conceded to the movement's demands and agreed to elections, lifted the ban on political parties and released hundreds of political prisoners.

Grinding poverty

Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries. On the United Nations development programme's human-development index, Nepal comes 140th out of 177 countries. Its 25 million people have an average income a head of just $240. One-third live below the poverty level. This grinding poverty, entrenched in a discriminatory and oppressive caste system, has fuelled the growth in support for the Maoists.

As in other neo-colonial countries state enterprises have been privatised. Foreign aid accounts for half of Nepal's investment. Agriculture remains the principal industry employing 76% of the population and providing 40% of the country's output.

Tourism - a big foreign exchange earner - has declined since its peak year of 1999 because of the civil war. The country is largely kept afloat by remittances sent back by Nepalese workers living abroad.

King Gyanendra has found himself out of step with his principal backers - the US, Britain and India - who have stopped arms shipments to the Hindu monarchy and urged a reconciliation with the political parties. Japan too - a large foreign aid donor - has cut back its assistance. And China has now ended its support.

Fundamental social change

The aim of imperialism is to restore a 'constitutional monarchy' and get the main parties to oppose the Maoists. All of the parties accept the market system and capitalism. So too do the Maoists who are tail-ending the alliance.

They proclaim their rural war as simply an adjunct to the struggle for parliamentary democracy, even though the seven party alliance distances itself from them.

Far from threatening capitalism with a 'people's revolution' the Maoists programme is a timid reform programme calling an end to racial, sexual and caste discrimination; land reform; drinking water, roads and electricity for all villages; the promotion of cottage industries.

They advance a classic reformist 'two-stage' theory of social change which inevitably fails to progress beyond its 'first stage' of support for a 'progressive bourgeois democracy' to a 'second stage' of socialist revolution.

Nonetheless, without fundamental social change the rural civil war will continue. The army concedes it cannot win militarily. It has about 78,000 soldiers, and is recruiting a further 7,000. It estimates that the Maoists have 5,000-6,000 armed fighters, with a further 15,000-20,000 in militias, equipped with homemade weapons. Its operations are financed from levying taxes in the areas which it controls, including taxing tourists.

The key to changing society even in a predominantly agrarian country like Nepal is the revolutionary role of the working class in the towns and cities. Its 'social weight', which has been demonstrated in the recent protests, shows it can stop production and transport leaving the ruling regime impotent.

However, a revolutionary party is needed with a clear socialist programme about how to take the struggle forward.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 20 April 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS in crisis: Join the fightback now

New Labour feel the heat on hospital cuts

Super-profits from illness


Housing crisis

Fight to save our council housing!


Socialist Party election campaign

A socialist alternative to privatisation

We need a fighting alternative


Workplace news and analysis

Socialists call for "robust" action to oppose Peugeot job losses

Keep up the pressure on bosses and union leaders

New strikes against DWP job cuts

Kick big business out of education!

Stewards prepare to fight for jobs


International socialist news and analysis

Nepal: General strike movement against regime

Successful CWI public meeting in Caracas

Walmart: the High Cost of Low Price


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 April 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Nepal:

triangleDisaster in Nepal - amplified by capitalism

triangleNepal: The forgotten revolution

triangleSomerset Socialist Party: Maoism in India and Nepal - a credible Marxist alternative?

triangleNepal - mass rallies back Prachandra

Maoists:

triangleNew 'strongman' president threatens martial law - while leaning on left parties for support

War:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

International

International

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2