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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 September 2009

Nepal - mass rallies back Prachandra

NEPAL HAS been rocked by almost constant protests since May against the ousting of the Maoist former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (known as Prachanda, meaning 'fierce one'), the biggest being a huge rally in Kathmandu on 11 September.

Paul Callanan

Nepal became the world's youngest republic on 28 May 2008, after an eleven-year civil war between monarchist forces and the Nepalese People's Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The civil war ended with a ceasefire and negotiations in November 2006, after a 'mass movement for democracy' forced the government to make concessions.

Nepal is bordered to the north by China and to the east, west and south by India. It is an economically underdeveloped country where per capita income is less than US $470. There is a severe lack of skilled labour while 50% of the adult population are unemployed. Agriculture accounts for 40% of the nation's GDP and employs 76% of the country's working population. Industry only makes up 22% of GDP and employs just 6% of the working population.

Prachanda and the CPN(M) follow the Stalinist 'two-stage theory' of revolution followed by the likes of Chairman Mao (see centre page feature on the 1949 Chinese revolution). The CPN(M) committed themselves to retaining Nepal's private sector and having a coalition government with the bosses' parties. This left them vulnerable to counter-attack from the forces of imperialism and the old feudal landowning class.

On 4 May 2009 Prachanda was forced to resign as prime minister. He fell out with the country's president Ram Baran Yadav after Prachanda tried to remove the country's military chief Rookmangud Katawal, following his refusal to allow the 19,000-strong PLA to be integrated with the army. This led to the formation of a new governing coalition without the Maoists.

What is missing in Nepal is a mass revolutionary party which represents the interests of the working class and poor peasants and rejects the discredited class collaborationist and other wrong or mistaken methods of the Maoists. Only a party based on the genuine ideas of Marxism as put forward by Lenin and Trotsky can finally begin the process of freeing Nepal from the grip of imperialism and economic backwardness and building a better future for ordinary Nepalese people.

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