Archive ref no: NCA-18711
EARTH-SHAKING MILITARY ACTIONS BY THE PLA
November 23, 2001 was a historic milestone on the six-year long People's War (PW) in Nepal. On this day the heroic fighters of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) carried out the greatest-ever military actions so far in Dang and Sayngja shaking the whole country and to some extent the whole world. This was followed by equally daring military actions in Salleri on November 25, and thousands of other actions all over the country. The result was the declaration of countrywide state of emergency by the reactionary state on November 26, and the PW had taken a great qualitative leap forward.
The November 23 PLA action in Dang can, perhaps, be equated with one of the biggest and most successful military actions by communist revolutionaries after Vietnam war. And in the case of ongoing PW in Nepal it was undoubtedly the biggest and qualitatively highest military action so far, as it was for the first time that the PLA had attacked a well-fortified barrack and arms depot of the reactionary royal Nepal army (RNA) and that, too, with hundred percent success. Added to this is the strategic significance of the capture of the entire city of Ghorahi, which is the district head quarter of Dang and zonal head quarter of the Rapti zone (i.e. comprising Rolpa, Rukum, Sallyan, Pyuthan and Dang districts), the epicentre of the revolutionary PW in Western Nepal.
On that historic night the main battalion of the PLA along with the local forces and the militias had conducted a daring raid on the city of Ghorahi (Dang) and captured the RNA barrack and arms depot, district police head quarter, administrative head quarter and related government offices, all the banks and a jail. The RNA barrack with a total of 237 personnel (but slightly less on that day) and the district police office were captured within hours without much resistance in a superbly planned swift raid. 14 army men, including a Major, and 11 policemen were killed and dozens injured whereas 3 PLA comrades (plus other 4 succumbed to injuries later) attained glorious martyrdom. About 450 pieces of arms (including 99 SLRs, a dozen each of SMGs, and GPMs, several rocket launchers and mortars, etc.) and a heavy cache of ammunitions and a large quantity of grenades and bombs were captured. It may be interesting to note that a total twenty-two vehicles including twelve army trucks were used to transport the captured arms, ammunitions and other valuables. Also about 100 million rupees worth cash and gold etc. were captured from the several banks. 37 jail inmates were freed from the jail, and tonnes of government documents were destroyed. The Chief District Officer (CDO) and several other officials were taken into custody but were released later.
That very time in the Central Region the main Company of the PLA along with the local forces and the militias executed another daring raid over the district head quarter of Syangja. As the township of Syangja is located along the main north-south highway just 32 km from the main city of Pokhara, the highway was blocked by blasting the culverts and bridges at over 50 places and the whole of the district head quarter along with an adjoining municipality of Waling were captured without much resistance. In the process 14 policemen were killed and over a dozen injured, whereas there was no casualty on the PLA side. About 150 pieces of arms, including about a hundred rifles, and a large quantity of ammunitions were captured. About 50 million rupees worth cash and gold etc. were recovered from several banks. 34 prisoners were set free from the district jail and the reactionary administrative offices were destroyed or ransacked. The CDO and other high-ranking officials were taken into custody and released later on. The reactionaries were so panic-stricken that it took more than 24 hours for them to clear the
highway and re-enter into the district head quarter. Syangja and the surrounding areas were placed under strict curfew for over a month.
In the Eastern Region, Salleri, the district head quarter of Solukhumbu in the foothills of the Mt. Everest, was raided by the PLA on the night of November 25 and captured after some resistance from the RNA posted nearby As the plan there was not to attack the RNA but merely to blockade them from coming to the rescue of the policemen and the government officials in the district head quarter, there was some bitter fighting with the RNA for some time. However, the RNA was successfully blocked, the policemen thoroughly vanished and the district head quarter completely captured. In the process there were 33 deaths on the reactionary side, including 4 army men
27 policemen, the CDO and the land revenue officer, and 15 comrades of the PLA also attained martyrdom. About 200 pieces of arms, including 125 rifles, and a huge quantity of ammunitions were captured. About 50 million rupees were obtained from different banks in cash and gold. 26 prisoners were freed from the jail. As the nearby Phaplu airport tower was also destroyed the reactionaries had a tough time to rescue their lackeys from the high mountain area even days after.
These high-scale military raids in three district headquarters m the three regions, were accompanied by hundreds of other smaller military actions like sabotage or blasting of government offices in all the districts of the country. Among these complete destruction of a private helicopter used to carry government armed forces in
Surkhet (Westem region) and blasting of the multi-national company owned Coca-Cola plant in Kathmandu received the widest publicity.
After the declaration of a 'state of emergency' and full-scale deployment of the RNA from November 26 onwards there have been regular but minor clashes between the PLA and RNA in different parts of the country. As the PLA successfully laid mines and ambushed the reactionary armed forces inflicting substantial damage and casualties several places including Surkhet and Pyuthan in the very beginning, the RNA has not so far dared to venture into the revolutionary base areas and instead confined itself to aerial bombings from helicopters. When the PLA raided the smaller RNA camps posted to guard the telecommunication towers at different places including in Ratamate (Rolpa), Kapurkot (Sallyan), Nuwakot etc., they were forced to retreat from many areas and as a result the reactionaries are deprived of communication links in most of the hilly regions.
As the PW has entered a qualitatively higher stage and there are signs of external military (covert and overt) intervention to bolster the already shaky RNA, more daring military exploits of the PLA can be well anticipated.
THE FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION OF PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY, NEPAL
September 2001 was a historic month for the Nepalese people. During this month the First National Convention of People's Liberation Army (PLA) was successfully convened in a base area in the Western region of Nepal. It was held in a well protected area with three layers of sentries provided by the people's army. It is to be noted that this convention is a land mark as it is the first of its kind in the Nepalese Communist history, considering such formal people's armed force has never been formed before.
The delegates, observers and other participants from all over the country were welcomed into the area with a number of attractive gates representing various mass organisations. The Supreme Commander of people's army, Chaiman Prachanda was welcomed into the venue with the resounding sound of gun-fire salute given by the people's army. This was followed by unfolding of Party flag by Chairman Prachanda. Then the international was sung in the Nepalese language.
THE INAUGURAL SESSION
The inaugural session was chaired by Com. Pasang, the battalion commander. The convention was inaugurated by Chairman Prachanda amidst profound zeal and enthusiasm. This was followed by rich revolutionary tributes paid to the great martyrs, both national and international. The Party in-charge of all the regions namely Com. Baburam Bhattarai, Com. Kiran, Com. Diwakar and Com. Badal gave their felicitation speech. This was followed by much awaited speech by Chairman Prachanda. He called for forming people's army of 21st century which will not only make revolution but will also defeat counter-revolution. Contrary to the propaganda spread by the imperialists that socialism is dead, he predicted that the present 21st century will be the century of socialism. He also said that nowhere in the world, the revolution has been complete without the dissolution of the central army of the reactionary state. He further added that in the Nepalese context such a time has come for the people's army to work for the destruction of the royal Nepalese army.
THE CLOSED SESSION
The closed session took place on the next day. A presidium consisting of Com.Pasang, Com. Baldev, Com. Parwana, Com. Apar and Com. Sujan chaired this session. This was followed by reporting by representatives of various regions. The reporting centred around the problems of politicizing the ever swelling masses of the people who have joined the army. It also deeply probed the problems related to centralization and decentralisation of the army. It also delved on the problem of logistics, financial and technical aspects of the army. This was followed by the reporting given by women representatives from all the regions, who dwelt on activities and specific problems faced by women combatants in the field. An interesting account of historic jail break by six women in Gorkha district was given by Com. Shilu, the main commander of the jail break (She is the wife of martyred Bhim Sen Pokharel who laid his life in the course of giving protection to Com. Suresh Wagle, and at present she is a platoon commander).
Considering that revolution is the main trend of the world, the question of structure of people's army becomes all the more important. Hence the discussion on draft report presented by Com. Anant was centred around the need of building people's armed force of 21st century which will not only make revolution but will also
prevent counter-revolution. Citing the crucial role of PLA Red Guards during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) period, it pledged to follow the spirit of GPCR in fighting against counter-revolutionary forces within the Party. Hence the need to politicalise the army was emphasised again and again.
Discussion also centred on how to draw the spirit of MLM and Prachanda Path into the military line. With the rapid imperialist intervention all over the world, together with fast development in electronics media, a new situation has arrived whereby the duration of strategic defence will no longer be long and that the duration of strategic equilibrium and strategic offence will be even more relatively shorter. Hence the old Chinese model of protracted people's war or the Russian model of armed insurrection can no longer meet the need of today's changing situation. An objective basis for integrating some of the features of armed insurrection within the protracted people's war has now occurred. Hence discussion was also focused on armed insurrection, in the light of its integration with protracted people's war.
Also considerable discussion took place on ways to make the army a truly people's army so as to apply correct mass line in military field. In order to militarise the masses a campaign to enrol large-scale militia has been emphasized so that the people's army becomes truly an army of oppressed class, nationality, caste, sex and region. The draft report was subjected to intense group discussion. The draft report consisted of analysis of Nepalese Communist Movement and the various armed uprisings that took place before the initiation of PW in Nepal. It also dwelt upon the development of military line within the history of the CPN (Maoist) and its culmination into a set of military ideas based on MLM and Prachanda Path. In political analysis it discussed the two strategies of insurrection and protracted people's war in the global context and the need to integrate the two in the present context. It then discussed on the relationship between the base area and the guerilla zone. It also dwelt on the relationship between the three instruments of revolution and the qualitative development of the army in relation to the three forces, the main force, the secondary force and the basic force. It also highlighted the problem related to that of centralization, decentralisation and the mobility of the army. It then gave a brief summation of 5 year's experiences of various military actions. At the end the report presented future plan and programme of military line, where in it dealt in the question of structure of military organisation, the role of the Party in the army and the question of political work. After thorough discussion with few alteration the convention adopted the resolution unanimously.
At the end of the programme it was decided that PLA will have one central head quarter and that general staff, general political department and general logistic department will be created to facilitate the central head quarter. A central General Staff was formed under the leadership of Chairman Prachanda. The Chairman of CPN (Maoist), is to be the supreme commander of the newly formed People's Liberation Army.
NATIONAL CONVENTION OF UNITED REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE'S COUNCIL (URPC)
The historic National Convention of United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC) was convened in September 2001. It is to be noted that united front, one of the three instruments of revolution has been functioning in the name of People's Committees at village and district levels in the course of development of PW in Nepal. This has resulted in ripening the objective basis for making united front at the central level. The royal palace massacre on 1 June 2001 and the deepening crisis within the reactionary state has hastened this process. Hence the convention of URPC held on this historic moment has strategic importance.
The specificity of the Nepalese society is such that apart from social class distinction the exploitation is manifested in the form of national, regional, gender, and caste oppression. Hence, under such a situation the challenge lies in forming a central broad-based united people's front incorporating all these oppressed groups for
the successful completion of New Democratic Revolution (NDR). Such a front will act primarily as for the successful completion of New Democratic Revolution (NDR). Such a front will act primarily as an instrument of struggle at the central level and as an instrument of power at local level and base areas.
The Convention of URPC should also be seen in the light of recently passed MLM and Prachanda Path. It fulfils the need of three instruments of revolution to intervene not only at local level but also at central level so as to enable the integration of insurrectionary tactics within the strategy of protracted people's war.
The three day convention was attended by hundreds of representatives of the Party, army, and mass organizations like peasants, workers, intellectuals, teachers, students, women, and dalits and those of oppressed nationalities and regions and distinguished individuals. It was attended by various representatives of newly formed people's governments at district level among whom were some prominent mass leaders previously with revisionist United Marxist-Leninist (UML) and Marxist-Leninist (ML) groups but who had recently resigned from the reactionary local and district bodies to join the newly formed People's Committees under CPN (Maoist).
Member of Standing Committee of the Politbureau of CPN (Maoist) and the Chairman of Convention Preparatory Committee Com. Baburam Bhattarai chaired the convention. It was inaugurated by the chief guest, Chairman Prachanda amidst great enthusiasm and excitement. This was followed by singing of the international song. A rich tribute was paid to all the national and international martyrs. Felicitation speech were given by various standing committee members and politbureau members of the Party, representatives of peasants, intellectual, and cultural organizations, representatives of several nationality organisations and regional organisations and representatives of various district people's governments. Then Chairman Prachanda gave a very inspiring speech in which he said that Nepalese State which is about 250 years old is based on a forced unity in which various nationalities were brutally suppressed. He emphasized that the need of the hour is to make a new state based upon voluntary association of all the oppressed nationalities and regions. He further highlighted the need to learn from and go beyond the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. At the end Com. Baburam Bhattarai, in his concluding remark said that this inauguration should be looked as inauguration of a new state of the 21 century which will represent proletarian state. Talking on the dialectical relationship between the Party, state and the
people, he said that the state should be led by the Party and should come under the constant supervision of the people.
A presidium comprising of Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Rekha Sharma, Suresh Aley Magar, Ram Charan Chaudhari and Dilip presided over the closed session. Com. Bhattarai presented the draft report entitled "Common Minimum Policy and Programme of United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC)" and Com. Dev Gurung presented the draft constitution of URPC. The draft report was divided into two parts. The first part dealt with brief background on the history of formation of centralised state, the class structure of Nepalese state, the development of class struggle, the importance of revolutionary united front and its forms and the scientific outlook about the state.
The second part deals with the plan and programmes of URPC in which 75 points pertaining to the structure of the state have been given under 11 sub-headings related to political, economic and cultural aspects.
The group discussion on the draft report was centred on the structure of new state. Considerable time was spent in discussing how it was more difficult to fight against counter-revolution than making revolution. Referring to the loss of once well established socialist states in the world, particularly those in China and Russia, it was opined that the challenge today lies in creating a 21st century state which will not only consolidate dictatorship of the proletariat but at the same time it will have elements to pave way for withering away of the state. Today, the starting point of any attempt to create a new state should begin with incorporating the spirit of GPCR, at the same time one must go beyond it so as to pursue continuous revolution. Discussion was also centred on the dialectical relation between the Party and the people's government and correct method of ensuring continued proletarian leadership over the government. After intense discussion the draft report and the constitution were unanimously passed with some amendments.
On the third day Com. Bhattarai chaired the concluding session. Congratulatory speeches on successful completion of the URPC convention were given by representative of various mass organizations and distinguished guests. The highlight of the concluding session was the presentation of a variety of revolutionary cultural programs ranging from reciting poems to solo songs, group songs, solo dance, group dance representing cultures of different nationalities and regions. It gave the feeling as if the whole of Nepal was represented in the hall. The spirit of voluntary association of different nationalities was truly felt.
At the end of the convention a 37-member executive committee of the URPC representing Party, army, oppressed nationalities, depressed regions, depressed caste and mass organizations was constituted under the convenorship of Com. Baburam Bhattarai. Com. Krishna Mahara was elected co-convenor and Com. Dev Gurung, as the secretary. Later on an 11-member secretariat and different Departments to conduct day to day affairs of the embryonic state were constituted.
Revolutions and revolutionary wars are inevitable in class society, and without them it is impossible to accomplish any leap in social development and to overthrow the reactionary ruling classes and therefore impossible for the people to win political power.
- Mao Tse-tung "On Contradiction" (August 1937), Selected Works, Vol. I, P.344."