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Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists? International Crisis Group 2007-05-18

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 NEPAL'S MAOISTS: PURISTS OR PRAGMATISTS?
Asia Report N° 132- 18 May 2007
Internationa
Crisis Group
WORKING TO PREVENT
CONFLICT WORLDWIDE
 TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY i
I. INTRODUCTION 1
II. THE CHANGED MAOISTS 2
A. Their Strategic Weaknesses 2
B. The Development of Their New Line 3
1. Bhattarai's battle for change 4
2. A messy U-turn 5
3. Teething troubles 5
C. Their Changed Agendas 6
D. Reshaping Relations at Home and Abroad 7
III. CRITICAL COMRADES 8
A. International Allies 8
B. IDEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES 9
C. The Allies' Objections 10
1. On strategy 10
2. On tactics 11
3. Conflict or compromise? 11
IV. THE END OF PEOPLE'S WAR? 12
A. The Balance Sheet 12
1. Gains 12
2. But no revolution 13
B. New Roadmap(s) 14
C. A Phased Revolution 15
D. LEADERS OF THE RADICAL LEFT? 16
V. COOPERATION, CONTENTION AND CONFRONTATION 17
A. THE MAOISTS ON THE THRESHOLD OF RESPECTABILITY 17
B. A UNITED LEFT? 18
C. TRANSITIONAL TENSIONS 19
D. Clashes to Come 20
E. PlanB 23
VI. CONCLUSION 24
APPENDICES
A. Map of Nepal 25
B. GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS 26
C. ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP 27
D. Crisis Group Reports and Briefings on Asia 28
E. Crisis Group Board Members 30
 Crisis Group
WORKING TO PREVENT
CONFLICT WORLDWIDE
Asia Report N°132
18 May 2007
NEPAL'S MAOISTS: PURISTS OR PRAGMATISTS?
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Nepal's Maoists have changed their strategy and tactics
but not yet their goals. In 1996 they launched a "people's
war" to establish a communist republic but ten years later
ended it by accepting multiparty democracy; their armed
struggle targeted the parliamentary system but they
are now working alongside their former enemies, the
mainstream parties, in an interim legislature and coalition
government. Their commitment to pluralistic politics and
society is far from definitive, and their future course will
depend on both internal and external factors. While they
have signed up to a peaceful, multiparty transition, they
continue to hone alternative plans for more revolutionary
change.
Maoist strategy is shaped by a tension between purity and
pragmatism. Although they stick to certain established
principles, they have long been willing to shift course if
they identify strategic weaknesses. Their changed approach
was demanded by recognition of three critical flaws in
their original plan: (i) they concluded their belief in military
victory had been misplaced; (ii) they acknowledged they
had misread the likelihood of determined international
opposition; and (iii) they woke up to the failures that caused
the collapse of twentieth-century communist regimes.
Despite having an authoritarian outlook, the Maoists
maintained a culture of debate within their party; key issues
have been widely discussed and hotly contested. From the
end ofthe 1990s, they have moved gradually toward
a more moderate stance. They changed positions in
acknowledging the 1990 democracy movement as a
success (they had earlier characterised it as a "betrayal"),
in abandoning the immediate goal of a Mao-style "new
democracy" and, in November 2005, by aligning themselves
with the mainstream parties in favour of multiparty
democracy.
The Maoists have cultivated formerly hostile forces, such
as the Indian government and the staunchly anti-Maoist
Communist Party of India (Marxist), to the extent of
alienating their foreign allies. Supporters such as the
Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and Indian
Maoists had backed their insurgency but have been vocally
critical ofthe compromises made in the peace process.
They think their Nepali comrades have betrayed
fundamental principles and thrown away the practical
advantages they had secured through their armed struggle.
For Nepal's Maoists, however, the balance sheet at the end
often years of "people's war" is more complex. They
believe they have secured some lasting advantages, from
their own dramatic rise to influence (with a support base
and military force hardly imaginable in 1996) to their
reshaping of the national political agenda (promoting
formerly taboo causes such as republicanism and
federalism). But the course ofthe war persuaded most of
their leadership that they could not go it alone and would
have to be more flexible if they were to build on these
gains.
The peace process has forced practical and theoretical
rethinking. Leaders have tried to present a more moderate
image as they balance complex equations of domestic and
international support and opposition. Maoist ministers
have to cooperate with colleagues from other parties and
work with the bureaucracy even as they plan a possible
insurrection and plot to isolate "regressive" opponents.
Ideologically, they define the peace process as a transitional
phase in which they can destroy the "old regime" and
restructure the state. They justify this by saying their
acceptance of a bourgeois "democratic republic" is only a
stepping stone on the way to a true "people's republic".
Leaders argue that they can create a new form of "peaceful
revolution" that is true to their communist aims but reflects
the reality of Nepal's politics.
It is tempting to brand the Maoists as either rigid radicals
or unprincipled opportunists but neither characterisation
explains the whole picture. Their threats to revert to mass
insurrection satisfy traditionalists in their own movement
and cannot be ignored. But leaders who have fought
hard to forge a new approach will be loath to turn their
backs on the hard-won advantages they have secured
through compromise. They know they face internal
opposition but believe they can hold the line as long as the
peace process maintains momentum and allows them to
achieve some of their headline goals.
Their likely behaviour as the process moves forward,
therefore, will depend upon the role of other political actors
 Nepals's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007 Page ii
as much as their own decisions. Ifthe mainstream parties
keep up a strong commitment to the constituent assembly
process, the Maoists will find it hard to back out. If this
route is blocked, the Maoists may find their effort at
controlled rebellion slipping into renewed conflict beyond
their leaders' control. If this were to happen, the Maoists
themselves would be big losers. But so would the
democratic parties and, even more so, the people of Nepal.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 18 May 2007
 Crisis Group
WORKING TO PREVENT
CONFLICT WORLDWIDE
Asia Report N°132
18 May 2007
NEPAL'S MAOISTS: PURISTS OR PRAGMATISTS?
INTRODUCTION
Nepal's Maoists are revising their methods and
reconsidering their goals.1 Their most significant political
shift has been a conditional acceptance of multiparty
democracy - a fundamental ideological concession -
and they have in effect abandoned central tenets oftheir
people's war strategy. The move towards a more pluralistic
approach has taken place over several years. While the
Maoists' internal debate over ends and means has been
more or less continuous, three major turning points stand
out:
□ The decision "to defend the achievements of
1990 mass movement" (1999-2001).2 They had
earlier labelled the 1990 compromise between the
palace and major political parties a "betrayal" of
the people. 2001 saw the first serious review of
strategy. Their second national conference analysed
the problems of the international communist
movement and pinpointed the challenges for their
own movement, in particular the difficulty of
making progress with a purely rural focus.3
□ The decision to abandon the immediate goal of
"new democracy" (May 2003). In its place they
adopted "Development of Democracy in the
Twenty-first Century" (DDTC), a concept that
accepted political competition within a socialist
system.4 They laid the ground for this move away
from traditional communist thinking by criticising
the weaknesses of their mentors, Mao and Stalin.
□        The decision to ally with the parliamentary
parties for "full democracy" (November 2005).
In their twelve-point agreement with the mainstream
Seven-Party Alliance (SPA),5 they accepted multiparty politics and made their immediate goal the
formation of a democratic republic through an
elected constituent assembly (CA).6 This bourgeois/
capitalist republic would be a stepping stone on the
way to a true "people's republic" embodying the
classical Maoist principles of "new democracy".7
After the April 2006 mass movement, which forced
the king to relinquish power, the Maoists have tried to
present a moderate image. Chairman and overall leader
Prachanda even assured donor agencies that they had
become "rightist communists".8 But the Maoists' transition
to democratic politics is far from complete and the
compromise stance has failed to win backing throughout
the party. They retain the end goal of a people's republic
from which most liberal parties would be excluded, and
they have done little to change their militaristic approach
to politics, in which the exercise of force is an integral
part. The threats of violent insurrection are partly bluster
but should the peace process stall, they are both
1 For background on the Maoists, see Crisis Group Asia Report
N° 104, Nepal's Maoists: Their Aims, Structure and Strategy,
27 October 2005. Recent Crisis Group reporting on Nepal
includes Crisis Group Asia Report N°l 15, Nepal: From People
Power to Peace?, 10 May 2006; Crisis Group Asia Report
N°126, Nepal's Peace Agreement: Making it Work, 15 December
2006; and Crisis Group Asia Report N°128, Nepal's
Constitutional Process, 26 February 2007. As in past reports,
for the sake of simplicity this paper uses the labels Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN(M)) and "Maoist" more or less
interchangeably. Strictly speaking, the CPN(M) is the guiding
force of three separate elements that make up the broader Maoist
movement: the party, the army and the united front. For an
explanation, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Maoists, op. cit.
2 Baburam Bhattarai, "Aitihasik baithakko durgami
mahattvabare", Janadesh, 17 August 1999.
3 Mahan agragami chhalang: itihasko apariharya avashyakta
(CPN(M) Central Publications Department, 2001).
"Present Situation And Our Historical Task", document
adopted by May 2003 CPN(M) central committee meeting, at
http://cprrm.org/new/English/worker/9issue/document.htm.
5 Tlie parliamentary parties that make up the SPA are the Nepali
Congress QAC); Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-
Leninist, UML); Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi, NSP
(A)); Nepali Congress (Democratic, NC(D)); Janamorcha Nepal;
Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP); and United Left
Front (ULF).
6 See Crisis Group Asia Report N°106, Nepal's New Alliance:
The Mainstream Parties and the Maoists, 28 November 2005.
7 For more on these terms, see below.
8 Prachanda made this comment at a December 2006 donors
conference hosted by the World Bank. "Prachandako naya path",
Budhabar, 10 January 2007. Prachanda is both chairman of
the CPN(M) and supreme commander of the Maoists' military
wing, the People's Liberation Army (PLA); when Maoists
speak of "party headquarters", in effect they mean Prachanda
himself.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 2
theoretically and practically prepared to revert to more
traditional revolutionary tactics.
This report examines the Maoists' political culture and its
development, drawing on detailed research in two main
areas - Maoist internal politics and international linkages
- to assess the movement's nature as well as possible
scenarios as the peace process moves forward. Some
observers have consistently warned that the Maoists will
never change; others think they are ready for a trouble-free
conversion to parliamentary politics along the lines ofthe
transformation ofthe mainstream Communist Party of
Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist, UML) in the early 1990s.
Supporters can marshal convincing evidence but neither
of these starkly opposing interpretations can accurately
or adequately explain Maoist politics. The evolution of
their strategy and behaviour has always been, and will
continue to be, a complex process conditioned by internal
debates and external conditions. It is too early to predict
with confidence where this process will end. Instead, this
report aims to clarify the factors and relationships that will
shape it.
II.     THE CHANGED MAOISTS
A.    Their Strategic Weaknesses
The Maoists were forced to revise their strategy because
of its shortcomings. Prachanda has suggested two reasons
lie behind the change in line: the unfavourable "international
power balance" and the "overall economic, political and
social realities ofthe country".9 In fact, he and his
colleagues slowly came to realise they had made
miscalculations in three critical areas: (i) their belief that
an overall military victory was possible was mistaken; (ii)
their reading ofthe intemational environment had to change
(especially after 9/11), and the antagonistic approach
towards India was counterproductive; and (iii) their faith
in previous communist systems eroded as they analysed
the reasons for communist regimes' collapse.
No military victory. The major factor that forced a rethink
was their realisation that military victory was impossible.
During their campaign's first five years, they quickly
overran the poorly armed police force and hoped to defeat
the army with similar ease. They held sway over large areas
of the countryside although, in line with their strategy,
they focused on controlling the population, rather than
winning territory. They set up parallel governments but
had no permanent, protected base areas and could not
capture and hold district headquarters.
This stalemate led to their first strategic rethink ofthe
people's war approach. In 2001 they adopted a new line,
Prachandapath, that added a Leninist twist of urban
insurrection to the stagnating rural focus.10 However, the
Maoists have never had a wide support base in Kathmandu,
and the government relatively easily thwarted their efforts
to build networks. Similarly, the internationally-backed
Royal Nepalese Army (RNA)11 proved a more stubborn
foe than they had expected.12 Thus, the twin-pronged
Prachandapath plan also failed: they needed either vast
Interview with Prachanda, The Kathmandu Post, 7 February
2006.
10 Prachanda presented his new strategy to the CPN(M)'s
second national conference in 2001, which approved it. See
Mahan agragami chhalang, op. cit.
11 After the April 2006 movement, the RNA dropped the
adjective "Royal" and is now simply the Nepalese Army (NA).
12 Prachanda said: "When we first attacked the feudal elements'
royal army, we believed that we could conquer Kathmandu
militarily. But later, when countries like the U.S., the UK and
India started supporting the royal army militarily - against our
people's war and the Nepali people's revolt - that posed some
difficulties. That is why we believe that in today's world it is
not possible to move forward only militarily". Prachanda, "Naya
nepalko margachitra koreko chha", Pratyakraman, November
2006.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 3
popular support or clear military superiority but they
discovered they had neither. Maoist attacks within the
Kathmandu valley in 2005 (Sankhu) and early 2006
(Thankot and Dadhikot) had some psychological impact
but never seriously threatened the capital militarily.
Hostile international environment. The Maoists thought
that their growing strength would force international players
to live with them even if they did not like them. They
believed domestic pre-eminence would even trump New
Delhi's instinctive fears of a hard-line communist neighbour.
Probably over-optimistic from the start, the prospect of
international acceptance was definitively ended by the
changed post-9/11 attitudes towards political violence.
In 2001 the Nepali government branded the Maoists
"terrorists", followed by India and the U.S.13
The Maoist response to the changed scenario was counterintuitive and ultimately counter-productive: they chose
to go on the offensive, breaking off talks and attacking
the RNA directly to bring it onto the battlefield. This in
turn invited international military aid to an army that could
now portray itself as the last line of defence against a
terrorist takeover. India, the U.S. and UK were happy to
oblige; despite concerns about strategy and human rights
violations, no outside power opposed the basic plan of
defending the state against armed insurgents. The Maoists
had long seen India as their greatest external threat, fearing
that a military offensive to capture central power could
prompt Indian intervention with U.S. support.14 They
chose to test this possibility - and discovered that a hostile
international environment was enough to upset their
plans without any resort to direct intervention.
Shortcomings of communist models. The Maoists were
initially uncompromising supporters ofthe five luminaries
oftheir communist heritage: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin
and Mao. However, they had always recognised that a
successful revolution in Nepal would have to modify
classical models. This provided cover to review the
weaknesses of the international communist movement,
a turning point coming when the 2001 second national
conference of their Communist Party Nepal (CPN(M))
accepted that Stalin had committed serious mistakes.15
The May 2003 central committee meeting16 further analysed
why the Soviet and Eastern European communist regimes
had collapsed and "counter-revolution" had occurred so
easily.
While still underground, Prachanda had spoken publicly
about this critical reassessment of classical models: "Why
did the communist movement suffer such an enormous
setback? Why did the Russian revolution get overcome
by counter-revolution? Why did China also go down that
path? This was a debate within the central committee for
many years".17 The Maoists concluded that they could
not simply blame a "capitalist conspiracy"; rather, the
weakness lay within the communist governance system
and could only be addressed by allowing a degree of
political competition. This paved the way for their revised
policy on multiparty pluralism.
B.     The Development of Their New Line
The Maoists' decision to enter mainstream politics was
not unprecedented. They had experimented with the
parliamentary system, emerging as the third largest party
(albeit with only nine seats) in the 1991 general election.18
Throughout their armed insurgency, they maintained some
relations with mainstream parties, civil society and the
media, keeping an entry to open politics a viable option.
But the prospect of such a radical change in strategy
prompted a long intra-party debate and bitter clashes
between those advocating a fresh approach and those who
preferred to stick more closely to the original plan. Two
senior leaders who might have played a part in these
debates, Mohan Baidya (Kiran) and C.P. Gajurel (Gaurav),
were out ofthe picture following arrest and imprisonment
in India. The remaining key players were Chairman
Prachanda, Baburam Bhattarai, Ram Bahadur Thapa
(Badal), Posta Bahadur Bogati (Diwakar) and Krishna
Bahadur Mahara. While Bhattarai urged a new line, he met
with scepticism and resistance from most of his colleagues.
Indian ministers, led by then Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh,
started to brand the Maoists terrorists from 2001; the U.S.
government listed the Maoists under Executive Order 13,224
for terrorist activity on 31 October 2003; see www.state.gov/
documents/organization/83 383 .pdf.
14 Crisis Group interview, CPN(M) central committee member,
Kathmandu, January 2007.
15 Tlie conference concluded that one third of Stalin's thinking
and actions were wrong. See Nepal kamyunistparti (maobadi)
ko aitihasik dastavejharu (CPN(M) Mechi-Koshi Regional
Bureau, 2006), p. 156.
The central committee, which has fluctuated in size from
roughly three dozen to 100 members, is the CPN(M)'s primary
decision-making body. Above it stood the politburo and, above
that, the standing committee; both of these were dissolved in
October 2005. For the membership of these bodies immediately
prior to the reorganisation, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's
Maoists, op. cit, Appendix C.
17 Interview with Prachanda, The Hindu, published on 8, 9 and
10 February 2006, atwww.hindu.com/thehindu/nic/ maoisthtm.
18 Before starting the insurgency, the Maoists were involved
in parliamentary politics through the Samyukta Janamorcha,
their above-ground wing led by Baburam Bhattarai.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 4
1.
Bhattarai's battle for change
While they had been quite quick to recognise the
weaknesses ofthe international communist movement, the
Maoists hesitated to explore alternative lines. Although
the CPN(M) was theoretically committed to developing
policy through an ongoing debate within the party (the
"two-line struggle"), in practice proponents of new ideas
faced great obstacles.
The proposal for a constituent assembly, first developed
for negotiations with the government in early 2001, was
intertwined with the strategy debate. When it was adopted
as a negotiating platform, there was little understanding of
its significance in the wider party. Most ofthe leadership
viewed it as only a tactical ploy to isolate the monarchy
and use polarisation over the issue to open up the way for
the long-planned "new democratic republic". However,
Bhattarai and some other leaders19 had a different plan,
which emerged during the 2003 negotiations alongside
the shift to the DDTC concept.20 Bhattarai saw the
constituent assembly demand as a strategic turning point
that could pave the way for a "new model of revolution".21
He believed that an alliance with the parliamentary forces
could win Indian support and form the basis for a mass
republican movement. The constituent assembly could
be one point of alignment with the parties, and he also
argued that the Maoists should accept competitive
multiparty politics.22
However, Bhattarai lost the argument. The August 2004
central committee meeting took the opposite line: instead
of targeting the monarchy, it decided to enter the "strategic
offensive" phase and considered reaching an understanding
with "patriotic forces" (including the king) to counter
"upcoming Indian intervention".23 The meeting also
passed a "centralisation of leadership" resolution appointing
Prachanda supreme commander of the Maoist military
forces as well as head oftheir shadow government, the
United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC) - a
position held by Bhattarai. Some leaders keen to reinforce
their chairman's grip on the whole movement urged that
Prachandapath should be developed into a more ambitious
Bhattarai's supporters were mainly those who, like him, had
joined the Maoists in the early 1990s. They included figures
such as Ram Karki, Haribol Gajurel, Hisila Yami and Dfnanath
Sharma (who only joined the party in 2001).
20 It was also at this time that they put forward specific demands
for the kind of change a constituent assembly should effect.
21 Baburam Bhattarai, "Royal Regression and the Question
of a Democratic Republic in Nepal", Economic and Political
Weekly, 9 April 2005.
22 Crisis Group interview, CPN(M) leader close to Baburam
Bhattarai, Kathmandu, November 2006.
23 Prachanda, press statement, 1 September 2004.
ideology of "Prachanda Thought", implying he should
stand alongside Mao in the pantheon of communist thinking.
Bhattarai disagreed with the centralised leadership and the
tactical line of confronting India rather than the king.24
In November 2004 he presented his reservations in a four-
point letter and then in thirteen more detailed "questions
for discussion" submitted to the party headquarters.25 He
argued that the recent decisions went against the spirit
ofthe party's second conference and May 2003 central
committee meeting that had called for the "creative
development of Marxism, Leninism and Maoism".26
A January 2005 politburo meeting rejected Bhattarai's
arguments; after Prachanda presented a critique "on comrade
Laldhoj's [Bhattarai's] letter and other activities", his
colleagues concluded that Bhattarai had breached party
discipline and was proposing a "rightist deviation". He was
suspended from all party posts indefinitely.27 Bhattarai
tried to fight back, complaining that the decision went
"against the accepted rules and norms of any revolutionary
communist party".28 But the leadership stood firm: there
Bhattarai charged that "to exercise proletarian dictatorship in
an effective manner by ensuring supervision, intervention
and control ofthe mass over the party, the army and the state
and to pave the path to communism through the means of
continuous revolution, some ideas and methods were developed
including that of not jumbling up...the party, the army and
the state as in the past models of socialism. Tlie recent central
committee meeting has however, tended to go against those
decisions". Baburam Bhattarai, "Questions for discussion", letter
submitted to CPN(M) headquarters, 30 November 2006.
25 His first letter was sent on 11 November 2004; his longer paper
on 30 November. He had complained that "at times there
appears a wrong thinking [among the party leadership], which
regards feudalism as more progressive than capitalism". Ibid.
26 Ibid. However, the party establishment suspected Bhattarai's
disagreement stemmed more from his removal as head ofthe
URPC than from ideological differences. In an internal document
presented to the politburo, Prachanda did not pull his punches:
"As long as [Bhattarai] was chief of the united front he had no
problem with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and Prachandapath
or the development of ideology and development of democracy
in the twenty-first century; but once his own position came into
question he saw everything as retreat and regression". Prachanda,
"On comrade Laldhoj's letter and other activities", document
presented to and passed by the January 2005 CPN(M) politburo
meeting.
27 Disciplinary action was also taken against two other leaders:
Hisila Yami, Bhattarai's wife and now a minister in the interim
government, and Dfnanath Sharma.
28 Bhattarai cautioned: "we have to see whether we will further
develop Prachandapath by stepping ahead from the ideological
mile-stones of our party, like [the] historical second national
conference and the 'development of democracy in the 21st
century', or whether we will make a historic blunder by pursuing
a regressive path knowingly or unknowingly". Baburam Bhattarai,
note of dissent presented to CPN(M) headquarters, 30 January
2005.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 5
would be no change in strategy and no sympathy for their
comrade's deviationist tendencies.
with the SPA and the April 2006 mass movement. But
the new line still had its critics.
2.       A messy U-turn
The Maoists could have coped relatively comfortably
with the fall-out from the dismissal oftheir de facto
number two leader: Bhattarai did not command a wide
support base in the party or military and was not in any
case seeking the leadership. But significant shifts
outside their movement rapidly forced a more positive
reassessment of Bhattarai's case for change.
The February 2005 royal coup upset the plan to entice the
palace into an anti-Indian alliance: it would have just been
too hard to justify dealing with the king after such an
autocratic step. Moreover, the coup also forced mainstream
party leaders to recognise the weakness oftheir situation,
that without allies they were at the mercy of both the king
and the Maoists. This strengthened the hand of party
activists (both NC and UML) who had been pressing their
leaders to accept a constituent assembly and agree to
limited cooperation with the Maoists to defeat royal rule.
By May 2005 the major parties had accepted this and
were privately urging the Maoists to be more flexible.
These pressures led to a quick Maoist U-turn. Prachanda
decided to start talks with both the SPA and India.29 He
rehabilitated Bhattarai, entrusting him with the first
negotiations in Delhi. This about-turn was caused largely
by the lack of other good options. The Maoists realised
they could not capture power single-handedly and feared
that King Gyanendra might win the argument in Delhi and
persuade India to put them under unbearable pressure.
After rounds of discussions with the parties and the Indian
government, the CPN(M) held a central committee meeting
in Chunbang (in their mid-west stronghold Rukum)
in October 2005. It approved the plan of breaking the
triangular stalemate with the monarchy and parliamentary
parties through an alliance with the "capitalist parliamentary
forces" against the "feudal monarchy".30 It also passed
a new program for working towards a democratic republic
through a multiparty system - the line condemned
as "revisionist" only a few months before.
The upshot was that Prachanda accepted Bhattarai's political
line and Bhattarai accepted Prachanda's primacy. The
Chunbang meeting not only resolved the internal debate
and restored Bhattarai to the leadership but also placed
the Maoists much more firmly on a moderate path. It paved
the way for the November 2005 twelve-point agreement
' See Crisis Group Asia Report, Nepal's New Alliance, op. cit.
1 Prachanda, press statement, 28 November 2005.
3.    Teething troubles
Most ofthe Maoist top leadership supported Prachanda's
case that the changed political context demanded a change
in their own line. But some were deeply suspicious
of accepting the multiparty system and did not back
Bhattarai's rehabilitation. Politburo member Rabindra
Shrestha, who was close to Prachanda and wanted to expel
Bhattarai from the party,31 took the dissidents' case public.
He was supported by Mani Dhwaj Thapa (Anukul), who
shared similar dissatisfactions, albeit for different reasons.32
Shrestha and Thapa issued a joint statement on 13 March
2006 calling on party cadres to rebel against Prachanda
and Bhattarai. Prachanda wasted no time in expelling
them from the party and denouncing them as "traitors",
"collaborators ofthe reactionaries" and "unnecessary byproduct ofthe revolution".33 But their rebellion pointed
to the difficulties of selling the new line throughout the
Maoist movement. They offered two principal critiques:
that Prachanda and Bhattarai's "anti-proletarian weaknesses"
had led to "emerging negative trends" within the party34
and that the whole movement was being dragged into a
"rightist deviation". They rejected outright the proposition
that multiparty competition should be viewed as a means
of preventing counter-revolution.35
Shrestha and Thapa set up their own "New Cultural
Revolution Group" but their call for revolt had little impact
within the Maoist movement.36 Only one moderately senior
activist, former alternative central committee member
Tulasi Ojha (Anawarat) of Dhankuta, joined them; he was
in any case already under disciplinary action.37 Shrestha
and Thapa's charge that their party was following a rightist
deviation echoes the main complaint of non-Nepali Maoists,
but their lack of organised support meant they could not
win the backing of international allies. Ultimately their
revolt undermined the suggestion that the Maoists' new
line was just a cosmetic gesture: it illustrated that however
weak their commitment to multiparty politics might be,
Crisis Group interview, CPN(M) central committee member,
Kathmandu December 2006.
32 Anukul, a long-time Bhattarai supporter who had become
frustrated with Maoist party politics, believed it would be better
for Bhattarai to accept his expulsion and pursue his ideas with
a new party.
33 Prachanda, press statement, 14 March 2006.
34 Rabindra Shrestha and Mani Thapa, press statement, 13
March 2006.
35 Ibid.
36 Shrestha and Thapa published their documents in a blog,
http://maobadi.wordpress.com.
37 Anavarat, press statement, 2 May 2006.
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Page 6
the party's leaders were engaged in a real debate over the
course oftheir movement and were willing to face down
internal opposition.
C.    Their Changed Agendas
The Maoists' original plan was that their people's war
would achieve "new democracy" (naulo janabad). This
was to be a form of dictatorship ofthe proletariat similar
to that established by the Chinese communists, which
would give way to socialism and ultimately communism.38
In this their primary targets were the parliamentary system
and the monarchy. The course ofthe conflict and the
changing political context persuaded them to make major
revisions to this initial strategy. They have adopted three
significant new policies: a constituent assembly, a
democratic republic and a multiparty system. The only
tenet they have not abandoned is that of republicanism.
Constituent assembly. The Maoists had always demanded
a new constitution but they did not initially call for a
constituent assembly (CA).39 In February 2001, their
second national conference decided "to increase the debate
about the process of drawing up a people's constitution"
but implied that it would not be drafted by specially elected
representatives.40 Still, when they entered talks soon
afterwards, they demanded "interim government, CA
election and institutional development ofthe republic".41
They saw the CA proposal as a means to drive a wedge
between monarchists and republicans. They dropped the
republican agenda temporarily during the negotiations
when it failed to gain public support but they kept the
CA agenda. The fact that it was not acceptable to the
Their aim was "completing the new democratic revolution
after the destruction of feudalism and imperialism, then
immediately moving towards socialism, and, by way of cultural
revolutions based on the theory of continuous revolution under
the dictatorship of the proletariat, marching to communism - the
golden future ofthe whole humanity". "Theoretical Premises
for the Historic Initiation of the People's War", in Some
Important Documents of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
(Kathmandu, 2004). For details, see Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Maoists, op. cit.
39 See Crisis Group Reports, Towards a lasting Peace in Nepal,
op. cit, pp. 24-25 and Nepal's Constitutional Process, op. cit,
p. 3.
40 They called for multilateral talks, an all-party conference to
form an interim government and a new constitution to be made
by that government. Nepal kamyunist parti (maobadi) ko
aitihasik dastavejharu, op. cit., p. 206.
41 Following the June 2001 palace massacre, in which King
Birendra and almost his entire immediate family were killed,
the Maoists claimed that a republic had automatically been born
and should be institutionalised. Baburam Bhattarai, Monarchy
vs. Democracy: The Epic Fight in Nepal (New Delhi, 2005),
p. 17.
palace or mainstream parties was one reason behind the
failure of both the 2001 and 2003 talks.
The February 2005 royal coup changed political
calculations. It appeared to prove the weakness ofthe
1990 dispensation and added to grassroots pressure
within the mainstream parties to endorse constitutional
change. For the Maoists, the CA proposal was a means
for both moving from armed insurgency into mainstream
politics and for restructuring the state.42 For both sides it
became the most attractive option to end the conflict and
move forward.
Democratic republic. The October 2005 Chunbang
meeting decided on the immediate goal of a multiparty
democratic republic. This term is also acceptable to
moderate parliamentary republicans but the concept holds
a particular significance within the Maoists' longer term
strategy.43 Baburam Bhattarai defines it as a "transitional
republic", more progressive than an Indian-style
"parliamentary republic" but still a step short of a "people's
republic". According to him, it is the supreme phase of
"capitalist democracy", in which all elements of "formal
democracy" (multiparty competition, voting rights, general
elections, rule of law, press freedom and the like) will be
accompanied by appropriate representation and participation
of oppressed classes, castes, regions and women in state
structures.44 The Maoists would join such a multiparty
competitive system in order to try to establish a people's
republic peacefully through the electoral process.45
Multiparty system. The Maoists only accepted the
concept of competitive multiparty politics in May 2003,
when their central committee approved a proposal for
"development of democracy in [the] 21st century". While
replacing the traditional concept of a one-party dictatorship
ofthe proletariat, this only envisaged political competition
among "anti-feudal" and "anti-imperialist" parties.46 None
ofthe major mainstream parties would meet these criteria:
Prachanda has defined the NC and NC(D) as "most
reactionary parties" and the UML as a "revisionist party"
42 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
43 The UML, Janamorcha and NWPP have signed up to the
idea of a democratic republic but do not all define the term in
the same way.
44 For a detailed description of the Maoists' concept of a
democratic republic, see Baburam Bhattarai, Rajtantra ra
loktantrik ganatantra (Kathmandu, 2006).
45 Baburam Bhattarai, "Loktantrik ganatantrako gudi",
Mulyankan, June 2006. Prachanda also said the Maoists would
"go for the goal ofthe people's democracy through peaceful
means". Interview with The Hindu, op. cit.
46 For the Maoists, royalist parties are "feudal" and pro-U.S.
parties are "imperialist".
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Page 7
with a "very dual" role.47 The Maoists recognise that they
will not be able to restrict participation in a democratic
republic but hope to implement their more narrowly defined
system under a people's republic. But they are coy when
pressed on exactly how their proposed restrictions would
apply to Nepal's mainstream parties; Bhattarai only
comments that "in every form of democracy there are
rules on who can register as a political party - democracy
does not mean freedom without limits".48
There are two main reasons for the Maoists' acceptance
of multiparty democracy. First, they realised that they
could not overturn domestic and international insistence
that political competition is synonymous with democracy.
Secondly, their conclusion that earlier communist regimes
had failed due to the lack of political competition (see
above) provided a compelling argument within their own
strategic framework. To avoid the danger of revolutionary
change decaying into bureaucratic stagnation, they decided
that "a situation must be created to ensure continuous
proletarisation and revolutionisation of the communist
party by organizing political competition within the
constitutional limits ofthe anti-feudal and anti-imperialist
democratic state".49
d.    reshaping relations at home and
Abroad
Once they had realised that they could not win on their
own, the Maoists turned their attention to relations with
other power centres, particularly the mainstream parties
and India. In this they were partly guided by the classical
Maoist tactics ofthe "united front": to "unite with all
forces that can be united with in order to fight a common
struggle against the enemy and to win in revolution and
construction".50 This provided rationale enough for a
tactical alliance with the parties, just as it could have been
stretched to justify an alliance with the palace had the
plan to unite on a nationalist basis materialised.
Interview with Prachanda, Hamro Jaljala, September 2006.
48 Crisis Group interview, April 2006.
49 The CPN(M) has concluded that, "Only by institutionalising
the rights ofthe masses to install an alternative revolutionary party
or leadership on the state if the party fails to continuously
revolutionise itself can counter-revolution be effectively
checked". "On the Experiences of History and Development of
Democracy in the 21st Century", document adopted by May 2003
CPN(M) central committee meeting, at http://cprrm.org/new/
English/worker/9issue/documenthtm.
50 Kwok-Sing Li (tr. Mary Lok), A Glossary of Political Terms
ofthe People's Republic of China (Hong Kong, 1995), p. 451
[emphasis added]. See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Maoists,
op. cit, pp. 10-12.
However, the bid to reshape relations with other domestic
and international players was also framed with the possibility
of abandoning the underground struggle in mind. Even
those pushing for greater engagement with mainstream
forces knew that any process of going above ground would
be difficult and dangerous. Cultivating powerful allies
could ease the transition and help the Maoists reposition
themselves to make the most of open politics. The key
domestic constituencies were the major parties and civil
society groups, although they also maintained quiet
contacts with the palace and the army. Maoist leaders
made increasing efforts to present a new public face to the
world through more moderate press interviews and to win
over elements ofthe international community.
The main thrust, though, revolved around the volte-face
on relations with India. The August 2004 decision to
confront "Indian expansionism" led to a campaign to dig
trenches and bunkers across the country to prepare for a
supposedly imminent "intervention". But less than a year
later they were courting New Delhi and, to their Indian
allies' even greater dismay, the Communist Party of India
(Marxist) (CPM), which supported the Congress-led
government and had long been fervently anti-Maoist.51
India had tacitly maintained contacts with the Maoists and
had its own interests in reciprocating their new attention.
Apart from policymakers' increasing frustration with
King Gyanendra, some security analysts suggested that
the CPN(M)'s joining mainstream politics would benefit
regional stability and could provide a model for their
Indian counterparts.52
The Maoists' revised approach to India brought them some
immediate benefits: it enabled the alliance with the
SPA (whose top leaders had accepted Delhi's informal
mediation53); encouraged India's move away from the king;
went a long way to neutralising steadfast U.S. opposition;
brought a degree of international legitimacy; and led to the
release of more than 100 activists (including senior leaders
Kiran and Gaurav) from Indian prisons. They believed,
perhaps correctly, that they and India could build on at
least one shared interest: that their limited cooperation
would reduce the U.S. influence that had raised hackles
among both Maoists and Indian policy-makers.
See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's New Alliance, op. cit.
52 Maoism is a growing domestic threat for the Indian authorities.
On 4 November 2004, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
described it as "an even greater threat to India than militancy in
Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast". According to one study,
Maoist violence affects at least 165 districts across fourteen
Indian states, more than one quarter of its area. See "Maoist
Assessment - Year 2006", www.satp.org/satporgtp/countiies/
india/maoist/Assessment/indexhtml.
53 Crisis Group interviews, SPA leaders, Kathmandu November
2006.
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III.   CRITICAL COMRADES
The Maoists had solid backing from international allies
when they launched their campaign. Organisations such
as the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM)
came to see them as the global standard-bearer of old-
fashioned Maoism. But as Nepal's Maoists moved away
from their initially traditional strategy, they faced criticism
from international supporters who could not accept their
line of peaceful transition. They have had difficulty in
selling their new line but they are ambitious: they believe
that their experiment in compromise can set a new
precedent for the global left.
Indian Maoists are the CPN(M)'s most immediate and
influential allies, although their practical support has been
low-level and not critical to sustaining the insurgency.
Their sceptical stance towards the peace process is relevant
insofar as it shows the distance the CPN(M) leadership
has travelled from its original strategy and reflects unease
that is only just starting to find a voice among Nepali
Maoists themselves. Indian Maoist leader Ganapathy has
warned that his comrades across the border must "either
get co-opted into the system or abandon the present policy
of power-sharing with the ruling classes and continue armed
revolution to seize power. There is no Buddhist middle
way. They cannot set the rules for a game the bourgeoisie
had invented".54 This argument has resonance across the
revolutionary left - for Nepal's Maoists to succeed, they
must not only overcome their parliamentary foes but win
over the critics in their own camp.
A.      INTERNATIONAL ALLIES
Two groups have been particularly important in providing
international backing for the Maoists:
Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). RIM
sees itself as the guardian of Marxism-Leninism and
Maoism's guiding principles. It was established in 1984
by groups in China wishing to protect Mao's legacy from
counter-revolution following his death. Its official contact
office in London is no more than a postal address but it
brings out irregularly the magazine A World to Win and
fosters contacts between Maoist groups from different
countries. The CPN(M) is the only RIM member whose
talk of revolution has been seriously put into practice.55
Tilak Pokharel, "Indian Maoists urge CPN-M to wield arms",
The Kathmandu Post, 16 May 2006.
55 RIM's members are: Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist),
Communist Party of Afghanistan, Communist Party of
Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist), Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist), Communist Party of Peru, Communist Party of Turkey
Nepal became a shining example for other Maoists, who
glorified it as a successful demonstration of contemporary
revolution. Adjusting to the CPN(M)'s redefined position
has been difficult.
RIM played an important role in encouraging the Maoists
to go ahead with their people's war strategy. In 1993 (the
year of Mao's centenary), it declared that it followed
"Maoism" rather than "Mao Zedong thought", a
controversial line that the CPN (Unity Centre) backed in
its "Mao Memorial".56 One faction ofthe Unity Centre
went on to become the CPN(M), including "Maoist" in its
name to show allegiance to this position.57 (The CPN
(Masai) led by Mohan Bikram Singh was also a member
of RIM but it refused to accept the Maoist line and left
the organisation in 1998.) RIM welcomed the start of
the people's war in Nepal with a communique entitled
"From the Andes to the Himalayas, people's war is the
only way to liberation".58 It then worked to generate
international support for Nepal's Maoists by building an
international profile and developing links in other countries.
According to Prachanda, there was "consistent international
involvement" in the final stages of planning the people's
war, "first and foremost" with the RIM Committee:59 "There
was important ideological and political exchange. From
the RIM Committee, we got the experience ofthe PCP
(Communist Party of Peru), the two-line struggle there,
and also the experience in Turkey, the experience in Iran
and the experience in the Philippines. We learned from
the experience in Bangladesh and from some experience
in Sri Lanka".60 RIM also drove the establishment ofthe
World People's Resistance Movement (WPRM), which
aims to organise communists and non-communists against
"American imperialism".61 WPRM came to focus much
of its attention on Nepal, running frequent propaganda
Marxist-Leninist, Marxist-Leninist Communist Organisation of
Tunisia, Maoist Communist Party [Italy], Marxist-Leninist
Communist Organisation of Tunisia, Proletarian Party of Purba
Bangla [Bangladesh], Revolutionary Communist Group
of Colombia, Revolutionary Communist Party [U.S.] and
Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). See
www.awtw.org/rim/index.htm.
56 "Mao smarika" (CPN (Unity Centre) central office, December
1993). Even the Chinese Communist Party does not use the term
"Maoism", as it does not believe that Mao's thought constitutes
a complete ideology in itself.
57 This issue was one ofthe disagreements leading to the CPN
(Unity Centre)'s split in 1994. The faction that did not join the
CPN(M) still adheres to "Mao Zedong thought" rather than
"Maoism".
58 RIM Committee, press statement, 1 May 1996.
59 Li Onesto, "Red Flag Flying on Roof of the World" (interview
with Prachanda), Revolutionary Worker, 20 February 2000.
60 Ibid.
61 See www.wprm.org.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 9
and publicity programs in European cities.62 Since
November 2005 it has sent three groups of foreign
volunteers to work on a Maoist road-building project in
Rolpa district.63 WPRM also has a South Asia branch;64 its
current coordinator is CPN(M) leader Suresh Ale Magar.
Coordinating Committee of Maoist Parties and
Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA). This
committee was formed in July 2001 by nine Maoist outfits
from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, formalising
a previously loose relationship65 The CPN(M) was a major
force behind its formation, and Nepali Maoists have played
a significant role in its leadership.66 This regional coming
together helped smooth the path for the September 2004
unification of India's two major Naxalite organisations
- the CPI-ML(PW) and the MCC-I - as the Communist
Party of India (Maoist).67 That merger went some way
towards reuniting a movement that has been divided since
Naxalite leader Cham Mazumdar's 1972 death, although
the mainstream CPI-ML (Liberation) is one of a number
of Naxalite groups that is resolutely opposed to the armed
struggle endorsed by the CPI (Maoist).
CCOMPOSA helped the CPN(M) expand its South Asian
contacts and form cooperative relationships with other
like-minded groups. Nepal's Maoists had already developed
a regional perspective with their February 2001 national
conference resolution on "a new Soviet federation for South
Asia".68 The conference concluded that India was the major
Crisis Group interviews, WPRM activists, London, Frankfurt
and Brussels, January, February and October 2005.
63 "Nepal: building a road into the future. Provisional report of
the First International Road Building Brigade to the Magarat
autonomous republic of Nepal", atwww.pcr-rcpcanada.org.
64 TTiis was established by Nepali, Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri
Lankan representatives at a secret meeting held on 2-4 October
2002 somewhere in South Asia. Interview with "Com Murrfr",
convenor of WPRM South Asia, at www.wprm.org/wprm_sa/
wprmsa/fnterviewsa.htm.
65 Sudheer Sharma, "Deep Red in the Heartland", Himal South
Asian, January 2002. CCOMPOSA's founding members were:
Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (People's War)
(CPI-ML(PW),commonly known as the People's War Group
or PWG), Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC-I),
Revolutionary Communist Centre of India (Maoist),
Revolutionary Communist Centre of India (MLM), Bangladesher
Samyabadi Dal (M-L), Purbo Bangla Sarbahara Party (CC),
Purbo Bangla Sarbahara Party (MPK), Ceylon Communist
Party (Maoist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
66 Crisis Group interviews, RIM sources, London, January 2005.
67 NiharNayak, "Naxalites: A Compact of Fire", South Asia
Intelligence Review, 18 October 2004. See also "Top Naxals
pledge no action during truce", The Hindu, 15 October 2004.
"Naxalite" is the name normally given to Indian Maoists; it refers
to the village of Naxalbari in India's West Bengal (on the Nepal
border), which was the cradle of a late-1960s Maoist uprising.
68 Prachanda, Mahan agragami chhalang, op. cit., p. 24.
obstacle to any regional popular revolution, so any
successful insurgency would eventually have to fight with
India. This justified building a stronger common front
between otherwise disparate national groups, hence
CCOMPOSA's twin aims of "struggling for the
achievement of people's power in one's own country"
and "fighting against American imperialism and Indian
expansionism".69
B.       IDEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES
Most RIM and CCOMPOSA members have been very
sceptical about the CPN(M)'s strategic review. Some have
aired their criticisms publicly; others have expressed doubts
privately. The debate is not hostile but it has sometimes
been bad-tempered, and several rounds of meetings have
yet to bridge differences. Nepal's Maoists insist they are
viewing their international friends' objections as constmctive
criticism but there has been some trading of snide comments
and harsh words.
The main difference between Nepal's Maoists and their
international allies is over how to put ideology into practice.
The CPN(M) has concluded that revolution cannot be
achieved by classical strategy and tactics; Prachanda has
coined a new mantra: "the repetition of revolution is
impossible, only its development is possible".70 This
explains their departure from the established formulas of
Marxism, Leninism and Maoism and justifies their attempt
to develop a new approach suited to contemporary Nepal.
Most oftheir international allies see this as revisionism
- a harsh charge among communists.71 Indian Maoist
leaders complain that the CPN(M) makes dramatic tactical
shifts without consultation and employs a confusing mix
of strategy and tactics.72 But for Nepali Maoists, their
foreign comrades are "dogmatic" and do not understand
69 CCOMPOSA, press statement, 24 September 2001. The
call for the creation of a new Soviet-style federation in South
Asia was a controversial policy, criticised by other leftists as
counterproductive and likely only to increase India's expansionist
ambitions as a regional power. Interview with UML General
Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, Dishabodh, April 2001.
70 "Aitihasik sambhavana ra aitihasik chunauti", Sanshleshan,
October 2006.
71 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu November
2006.
72 CPI (Maoist) General Secretary Ganapathy expressed his
concerns to a CPN(M) cadre: "While it is a good thing that your
party has been taking up tactics quite boldly, there is also the
problem of oversimplification of some situations and, at times,
taking tactics based on an overestimation ofthe situation such
as the intensity ofthe contradictions between India, China and
the U.S.". "South Asia is indeed becoming a storm centre of
world revolution", interview with CPI (Maoist) General Secretary
Ganpathy by a CPN(M) associate, mid-2006, made available
to Crisis Group by email.
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Page 10
Nepal's reality. A senior CPN(M) leader observed: "We
have reached the counter-offensive phase, while our Indian
friends are still struggling on the defensive phase; how
can they understand the challenges that we are facing?"73
Policy wrangles with RIM date from the CPN(M)'s May
2003 adoption of DDTC.74 Here the main clash is with
the U.S. Revolutionary Communist Party, which has
traditionally dominated RIM. However, differences and
debates with Indian Maoists, mainly represented by the
CPI (Maoist), are more significant, not least because
of their geographic proximity and their decades-long
bilateral relations. Indian Maoists have bridled at their
Nepali counterparts' arrogance and the development of
Prachandapath and its promotion as a near-sovereign
ideology. CPI (Maoist) General Secretary Ganapathy
offers a typical put-down: "We found that there is a certain
degree of over generalisation with regard to some of
the achievements ofthe people's war in Nepal, such as
attributing universality to some things that are basically
a feature of the revolution in an extremely backward
country."75
The CPI (Maoist) is the only fraternal party to have
continuously and openly criticised the CPN(M)'s new line.
(The relationship between Nepali and Indian Maoists
has always been rocky, featuring a number of policy
disagreements.76) When Nepal's Maoists signed the
Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu November
2006.
74 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu November
2006.
75 "South Asia is indeed becoming a storm centre of world
revolution", op. cit.
76 When Nepali Maoists participated in the 1991 general election
and became the third largest parliamentary party, Indian Maoists
accused them of rightist deviation. Crisis Group interview,
Nepali Maoist leader, Kathmandu November 2006. When they
launched their people's war they were applauded by some
colleagues across the border but others warned they had misread
the situation and the insurgency was doomed to failure. The
CPN(M) vigorously fought its case, Prachanda complaining
that India's Maoist movement had "no vision": "Some groups
say guerrilla zone, guerrilla zone, guerrilla zone. For 25 years
they say guerrilla zone, but there is not any perspective, real
perspective". Li Onesto, "Red Flag Flying on Roof of the
World", op. cit. Shortly afterwards, representatives from both
sides ofthe border patched up their differences. "Tlie people of
both countries, led by their Maoist parties, have been heroically
fighting back the state offensive, and are advancing towards
genuine liberation and freedom...it is the genuine Maoist
revolutionary forces who are leading the people's war for total
emancipation". CPN(M) and CPI-ML(PW), joint press statement,
14 July 2000. Arguments broke out again over the CPN(M)'s
willingness to engage in peace talks in 2001 and 2003. But
following the return to war, the CPN(M) helped mediate the
unification of India's two largest Maoist groups - the CPI-
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the
government, CPI (Maoist) Spokesman "Comrade Azad"
reacted: "We appeal to the CPN(M) once again to rethink
about their current tactics which are actually changing the
very strategic direction ofthe revolution in Nepal".77 He
warned that they ran the risk of falling into "traps laid by
the ruling classes and their imperialist and expansionist
masters" or falling victim to "a sudden coup and massacre
of communists as witnessed in Greece, Indonesia, Chile
and a number of other countries".78
C.    The Allies' Objections
The Indian Maoists' objections fall broadly into strategic
and tactical categories (although a longstanding complaint
is that Nepal's Maoists conflate strategy and tactics).
1.   On strategy
The CPA. The hardest compromise for the Indian Maoists
to digest has been the CPN(M)'s declaration, through the
CPA, that it has ended its war. The CPI (Maoist) complains
that "the agreement by the Maoists to become part of
the interim government in Nepal cannot transform the
reactionary character ofthe state machinery that serves
the exploiting ruling classes and imperialists".79
The CA. The CPI (Maoist) believes the CA agenda is
only suitable for tactical propaganda, not for serious
implementation; it publicly objected when the CPN(M)
signed the twelve-point agreement with the SPA.80 CPI
(Maoist) leaders warn that accepting the CA and a
multiparty system will lure the CPN(M) into parliamentary
politics and make it little more than a second UML. They
think it is wrong "to expect a possibility of a peaceful
transition from the CA to the new democratic revolution".81
Spokesman Azad cautioned that "one may bring some
reforms from above and satisfy certain deprived sections
ofthe people but it will never solve the basic problems
ofthe people as you cannot smash feudalism and throw
out imperialism from the soil of Nepal by utilising the old
state whatever embellishments one might do to give it
a refurbished image".82
ML(PW) and the MCC-I - as the CPI (Maoist) in September
2004.
77 Azad (CPI (Maoist) spokesman), press statement, 13
November 2006.
78 Interview with Azad People's March (unofficial mouthpiece
of CPI (Maoist)), 6 August 2006, at http://peoplesmarch.
wordpress.com.
79 Azad, press statement, 13 November 2006.
80 Ibid.
81 Interview with Azad, People's March, op. cit.
82 Ibid.
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Development of Democracy in Twenty-first Century
(DDTC). The CPN(M)'s bold abandonment ofthe
dictatorship ofthe proletariat in favour of DDTC met with
a cool reception. "What is new in the concept of 21st
century democracy raised by the CPN(M) and how is it
qualitatively different from the democracy ofthe twentieth
century (communism)?", asked Azad.83 Indian Maoists
worry that DDTC is vague on the concept of political
competition, not clarifying whether it is applicable after
seizing power or during the revolutionary process. They
strongly oppose a general commitment to multiparty
politics. The CPI (Maoist) supports neither the new phase
of democratic republic nor the idea of a people's republic
diluted by political competition.
2.   On tactics
Dissolving the "people's regime". Indian Maoists consider
the "people's governments" and "people's courts" a major
achievement and fear their dissolution will lead to "an
irreversible process of losing all the revolutionary gains
achieved till now".84
Cantoning the PLA. Indian Maoists called on their Nepali
comrades "to withdraw from their agreement with the
government of Nepal on depositing arms of PLA [the
Maoist People's Liberation Army] as this would make the
people defenceless in face of attacks by the reactionaries".85
They criticise the proposed merger of the PLA and
Nepalese Army into a new national army as "even more
dangerous": "By merging the people's army with the
reactionary army ofthe ruling classes (until now the
faithful servant ofthe king), the people will become
defenceless in case of a reactionary armed offensive by
the enemy".86
Inviting in the UN. Indian Maoists objected to the UN's
role in supervising the arms management process. They
say it is not neutral but "essentially an instrument of
imperialism and particularly American imperialism".87
Relations with the Indian establishment. The Indian
Maoists are particularly affronted by their Nepali
counterparts' wooing ofthe Indian government and the
83 Ibid He offers his own answer: "We are still not clear what
is this new concept and qualitative leap claimed by CPN(M)
except for their line of multiparty democracy and political
competition, which boils down to competing peacefully with the
various reactionary and revisionist parties for power in a so-called
transitional multiparty democratic republic".
84 Ibid.
85 Azad, press statement, 13 November 2006.
86 Interview with Azad, People's March, op. cit.
87 Ibid.
mainstream CPM.88 On his first formal visit to India, in
November 2006, Prachanda reassured Delhi's political elite
that "India is no more a reactionary state" and declared: "We
have no working relations with the Indian Maoists, but only
ideological relations".89 For their Indian comrades, the
Maoists' burgeoning relations with the CPM were the
hardest to swallow. The CPM, which backs the Congress-
led government, has long been hostile towards Maoists,
who in turn consider it a "reactionary party".
Model for Naxalites. The CPM's suggestion that Nepal's
Maoists are an example of peaceful transition that their
Indian counterparts should emulate met with an even frostier
reaction.90 Nepali Maoists also urged the Indian Maoists
"to reconsider their revolutionary strategies and to practice
multiparty democracy" and claimed "their current tactics
in Nepal would be an example".91 When an interviewer
asked, "to what extent do you think the logic of your line
on multiparty democracy applies also to the Maoist
movements in India?", Prachanda replied, "we believe it
applies to them too...They have to understand this and
go down this route".92
3.       Conflict or compromise?
These disagreements led to strained relations between
Maoists on either side ofthe Nepal-India border. Coming
on top oftheir other differences, the CPI (Maoist) found
Prachanda's call for it to follow the CPN(M) route "even
more surprising",93 and it formally objected94 The CPN(M)
responded one week later, asking their comrades to
understand the difference between "theoretical-political"
and "diplomatic" expressions and proposing a bilateral
meeting for detailed discussion. But in a further letter, the
CPI (Maoist) complained that the Nepali Maoists should
have offered a public self-criticism over their "negative"
and "provocative" comments on their Indian comrades.95
Crisis Group interview, Nepali Maoist leader, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
89 Nilova Roy Chaudhury, "We have no working relation
with Indian Maoists", Hindustan Times, 18 November 2006.
90 CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Azad warns that "[CPI (Marxist)
leader] Sitaram Yechury has particularly sought to pit the Nepal
Maoists against the Indian Maoists. While the CPI (Marxist)
brutally suppresses the Maoists in West Bengal, it is
hypocritically speaking in praise ofthe Nepal Maoists". Azad,
"Maoists in India, a rejoindef', Economic and Political Weekly,
14 October 2006.
91 Azad, press statement, 13 November 2006.
92 Interview with The Hindu, op. cit.
93 Azad, press statement, 13 November 2006.
94 This objection was contained in a 16 February 2006 letter sent
by the CPI (Maoist)'s international department. Crisis Group
interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu, November 2006.
95 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 12
CCOMPOSA's August 2006 fourth conference, held in
Nepal, offered a chance for Indian and Nepali Maoists to
talk over their differences. The Indian Maoists admitted
that their spokesman Azad had spoken "too much" in
public interviews without consulting his Nepali comrades.96
In an attempt to rein in the embarrassingly public war of
words, the parties issued a joint press statement affirming
that "all tactical questions ... being adopted in the
respective countries are the sole concern of the parties
operating there... .We shall continue debates on ideological,
political and strategic issues on which we differ in the true
democratic traditions of the international communist
movement. These debates and discussions will take place
bilaterally and, occasionally, publicly."97
During the bilateral meetings, Indian Maoists frequently
suggested the CPN(M) consider two "revolutionary
options". Ideally they should intensify work towards
a mass uprising to capture central power. If that is not
possible, they should consolidate their base areas and move
towards Kathmandu gradually by capturing territory.98
The CPN(M) rejected both options, arguing that they
should first try for peaceful change through the CA and
only if that fails revert to mass movement tactics.99 In their
rejection ofthe classic people's war strategy and new
focus on urban demonstrations coupled with participation
in government, the Nepali Maoists have clearly broken
with their comrades' vision. Although they have reached
a temporary truce, many oftheir cross-border colleagues
would welcome the failure ofthe revised strategy and
would probably use any setbacks to press for a return to
the traditional line.
IV.    THE END OF PEOPLE'S WAR?
Crisis Group interview, CPN(M) leader who participated
in CCOMPOSA conference, Kathmandu, November 2006.
97 Azad and Satya (CPN(M) representative), press statement, 8
August 2006.
98 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader involved in talks with
CPI (Maoist) representatives, Kathmandu, December 2006.
'Ibid.
The Maoists have manoeuvred themselves into a share in
government. This has caused consternation among their
determined opponents, who complain that they have
outwitted the SPA on every front and stand poised for
power. However, from the Maoist leaders' perspective
things do not look so rosy. They have had to make major
concessions, they worry that they may have wasted the
leverage they hoped to gain from their military capacity
(by going into cantonments before securing any oftheir
objectives), they fear most other political forces (from the
UML through to the NC, the palace and foreign states,
including India) are working to stall real change and freeze
them out of meaningful power, and they will have a tough
job keeping their cadres happy and persuading them they
have made the right decisions.
A.    The Balance Sheet
1.       Gains
In 1996 the Maoists were a small, fringe party with no
weapons, few active members and a support base limited
to a few pockets ofthe remote countryside. Their ten-year
armed insurgency transformed them into a powerful
political force capable of standing alongside, and sometimes
overshadowing, Nepal's major, established parties. Although
they have joined a coalition government within the
framework ofthe peace process, they have retained, and
partially legitimised, their own armed force while expanding
their openings for building urban support. In terms oftheir
original strategy, they are still pursuing the second plan
ofthe people's war counter-offensive phase and targeting
a democratic republic as their immediate goal.
The Maoists point to several achievements from their ten-
year, people's war campaign:
Ending the old system. The major achievement has been
requiring all the political forces to accept that the 1990
dispensation was defunct, and a new constitution and
system were needed. So far, this victory is largely confined
to paper but most major parties have made serious
commitments to significant changes. The Maoists believe
their movement can take credit for making republicanism
a mass demand and for boosting Nepalis' political
consciousness and attention to demands that had previously
been sidelined. They see this "progressive awareness"
as their greatest strength, not an historical achievement
but a basis for future mass mobilisation.100
Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu, November
2006.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 13
Political and organisational capacity. The CPN(M) has
become a broad-based, active and militant organisation.
In its nationwide reach, political determination and
organisational capacity (not to mention its military base), it
probably outshadows all other parties. It has developed
into a fairly mature, cadre-based political-military party,
with experience of war and open politics. Despite its
internal debates, the central committee lays down an
unambiguous political line and disseminates it through
a well-structured network, from the central commands
and regional bureaus down to district, area and cell
committees. As a party, it generally enjoys clarity, discipline
and dedication, characteristics that could serve it well if
it does become a committed, mainstream player.
Armed force. The war's most visible achievement was
the conversion of a rag-tag guerrilla force into the
formidable PLA. Although its strength on paper (more
than 30,000 troops in seven divisions and over twenty
brigades) is exaggerated, its ability to confront a much
larger state army has been well demonstrated. The Maoists
have placed the PLA in cantonments under the terms ofthe
CPA but organisationally it remains intact and accepting the
UN-supervised process has earned it a form of legitimacy.
Parallel governance. As the war progressed, the Maoists
became the de facto rulers of most of Nepal. They neither
aimed for, nor achieved, unchallenged territorial control
but made the most ofthe state's absence.101 In the vacuum
left by local government's collapse or flight, they formed
parallel "people's governments" from central to region,
district, village and ward level. Like their "base areas",
these existed more in theory than in practice: it was not
such a great sacrifice to dissolve them under the CPA.
But the local influence they represented is something the
Maoists are determined not to throw away. They continue
to pursue the ends of parallel governance through other
means, using tools such as regional and ethnic liberation
fronts, Young Communist League cadres and the leverage
in open politics brought by their entry into government.
The Maoists have also benefited from their transition into
mainstream politics. The alliance with the SPA saved them
from a potentially sapping stalemate, and their coming
above ground after the April 2006 movement helped them
consolidate earlier achievements and extend their reach.
Apart from their new legitimacy, they have a better chance
of addressing some oftheir chronic shortcomings, such
as weak urban penetration and a poor trade union base.
Tlie Maoists announced they had created three types of "base
area" (permanent, semi-permanent and temporary) but in
fact they never secured any permanent base areas, as the RNA
proved by entering their heartland on occasion - a provocation
the Maoists met with tactical retreat rather than armed defence.
Their five cabinet ministers and six dozen lawmakers102
give them a foothold in the state alongside other political
parties. Although they failed to win control ofthe most
powerful ministries, they carefully selected their consolation
prizes, choosing ministries which increase their influence
in critical areas: Information and Communications Minister
Krishna Bahadur Mahara is now the government
spokesperson; having performed the same role for his party,
he can make the most ofthe state-owned media under his
control.103 Local Development Minister Dev Gurung
directs the urban, district and village-level bodies that
implement development projects and distribute budgets.
Forest Minister Matrika Yadav controls a key public
resource and oversees the important network of thousands
of community forest users groups. Hisila Yami is in charge
of housing and physical planning, while Khadga Bahadur
Biswakarma oversees NGOs and INGOs - both positions
which offer significant influence.104
2.
But no revolution
Despite these achievements, the Maoists have been forced
into serious concessions. A critique from a classical
communist perspective suggests they have submitted to
mainstream politics without making substantial gains.105
They have gone back on their original boast that they
would capture central power single-handedly, and they
have not even secured a leading position among the
political forces after the April 2006 mass movement. As
the "eighth party", they are only one partner among many
in the interim legislature and in a government headed
by a non-communist prime minister. Maoist leaders
acknowledge they have been forced into significant
compromises.106
The Maoists' 73 seats in the 329-member interim legislature
puts them on a par with the UML. They were also allowed to
nominate ten further members; unlike the other parties, they did
not allocate these position to their own members but gave them
to sympathisers who do not have to follow the CPN(M) whip. See
Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Constitutional Process, op. cit.
103 As well as regulating the independent media, the state runs
its own daily newspapers, radio and TV stations. Mahara has
experience in this area, gained as Maoist spokesman, as do
numerous Maoist journalists and propagandists. Maheshwar
Dahal, coordinator ofthe Revolutionary Journalists Association
and former editor of Maoist mouthpiece Janadesh, has been
appointed Mahara's media adviser; pro-Maoist writer Rishiraj
Baral is the new chairman of Nepal Television. On taking office
Mahara promptly appointed loyal Maoists to replace the editorial
team of Ghatna ra Bichar, a popular Radio Nepal current affairs
program.
104 On the Maoists' behaviour in government, see below.
105 Rabindra Shrestha, "Maoko topi, Prachandako jutta", Jana
Aastha, 10 June 2007.
106 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu December
2006.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 14
They ended their war without securing either their short-
term objective of an all-party roundtable or their longer-
term goal of a republic. Instead of moving quickly into
government, they lost months and used up much baigaining
power haggling over the terms oftheir entry into the interim
government. The interim constitution is similarly silent on
many oftheir major aims - although it includes promises
for land reform, it does not address the higher priorities
of federalism and a restructured military.
Maoist leaders could earlier boast to their followers that
their "new regime" had forced the "old regime" into
negotiations but however much they seek to retain
independent local influence, their assimilation into the
state is slowly undermining their former independence.
Their "people's governments" and "people's courts"
(which were popular with many for producing rough but
quick justice) have gone; in their place the Maoists have to
justify efforts to reform the "old" bureaucracy, judiciary
and security forces from within.
The Maoists' original plan, reflected in the November 2005
agreement with the mainstream parties, was that their
PLA and the state's army would be of equal status and
equally subject to UN supervision. However, they have
had to accept that the arms management process is primarily
targeted at their forces: most ofthe old RNA (now known
as just the NA) is not under supervision,107 nor has its
monopoly on providing security to the state been challenged.
Maoist ministers have accepted army bodyguards - a
welcome sign of growing confidence but also a sign of
their weakness at the negotiating table. Similarly, they did
not secure the dominant role in government they had hoped
for. There had been a private agreement with the SPA that
they would be offered the deputy prime ministership. In
the end, they were forced to be satisfied with relatively
junior ministries, while NC and UML dominated the major
positions. (There is some advantage in this marginal
participation in government: should the interim
administration become unpopular, the Maoists will find
it easier to escape the blame for its failures.)
According to Prachanda, their "revolution" is at a halfway point: they have achieved almost 60 per cent oftheir
goals; the remaining 40 per cent will be come in the near
future with election ofthe CA.108 If a republican system is
not established, however, it will be hard for the Maoists
to prove the decade of violence was worthwhile.
The CPA specified only that the NA should place under
supervision a number of troops and weapons similar to the
Maoist total.
108 Interview with Prachanda, I 'espresso, November 2006, at
www.espresso.repubblica.it/dettaglio/Prachanda:%20Our%20
Revolution%20Won/1431107, republished in www.blog.com.np/
united-we-blog/2006/11/10/.
B.      NEW ROADMAP(S)
For the Maoists, the current interim period is a transitional
phase to destroy the "old mechanism" and to build a new
state structure through the CA constitution-making
process.109 If this succeeds, they will declare the "peaceful
revolution" a victory for their new strategy.110 But ifthe
process is derailed, they will try to lead a more traditional
"revolution" in the form of a mass insurrection.111 The one
option that is not on the table is a return to full-scale
insurgency. While the Maoists retain the capacity to go
back to war (and could easily retrieve their weapons from
UN supervision if they chose), few leaders want a return
to the unproductive military stalemate they have already
experienced. Most would prefer to have their cake and to
eat it: to keep a foothold in government and enjoy the
benefits of open politics and better relations with other
forces, while also using the weapon of street pressure.
This balance is difficult to envisage in theory and may be
even harder to achieve in practice.
The Maoists had hoped that the April 2006 movement
would establish a democratic republic immediately, leaving
the CA for later, but the restoration ofthe old parliament
blocked this plan.112 To this extent, the push to establish
a democratic republic through the CA is already a fallback
option. The tension between negotiation and insurrection
has been a feature of all policy debates within the CPN(M)
since April 2006. One month after the mass movement,
the central committee approved two alternative tactical
plans: peace talks or revolt. They formulated a ten-point
roadmap for peace talks113 but also drew up a rough plan
for mass insurrection named, with a nod to Lenin, the
"April thesis".114 The talks roadmap was published; the
thesis was a (not very well kept) secret.
Initially, the first option appeared to be working. Confident
the CA would vote for a republic, the Maoists restructured
their   party   organisation   to   focus   on   electoral
Interview with Prachanda, I 'espresso, op. cit.
110 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
111 Ibid.
112 The Maoists blamed this on "a grand design of some
international power centres", arguing that parliament was restored
to rescue the king. Prachanda, press statement, 25 April 2006.
1:3 For detail, see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Peace Agreement,
op. cit, p.6.
114 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist central leaders, Kathmandu
November 2006. The title "April thesis" reflects the Maoists'
ambition: it deliberately recalls Lenin's famous "April theses"
published in the build-up to the October 1917 Russian revolution.
(Lenin's article, published mPravda on 7 April 1917, was titled
"Tlie tasks of the proletariat in the present revolution"; it can be
foundatwww.maixiste.org/archfve/lenin/wonW1917/apr/04.htm.)
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 15
constituencies.115 They believe they can be a strong force
at the ballot box: they are a fresh face compared to the
mainstream parties, have a popular agenda and an
established organisational base. Prachanda has estimated
they could win an outright majority.116 But when the
peace talks lost momentum after the June 2006 eight-
point agreement, another central committee meeting
concluded that preparation for revolt should take priority
over negotiations. The leadership managed to hold the
line when the peace process again moved forward but
the alternative plan for revolt is alive and well, with some
of its committed supporters increasingly restive.
Whether through a peaceful constitutional process or
insurrection, the Maoists are still committed to developing
a new, Nepali revolutionary model and justifying their
strategy in terms oftheir ideology. They hope to claim
credit for the first successful communist revolution since
the collapse of twentieth century communism and to export
their "new ideology" around the world. They see a clear
distinction between their commitment to respect political
pluralism and the need to remodel their party on
mainstream democratic lines. Despite building more
cooperative relations with other parties, the Maoists have
shown no interest in emulating their structure or way of
working, which they still condemn as feudal and bourgeois.
However much they have shifted strategy, they intend
to retain ideological purity and will resist diluting their
political culture.
Tlie three central "commands" were doubled in number, and
fifteen regional bureaus were set up. The new commands
are: Eastern (In-Charge Ram Bahadur TTiapa (Badal)), Middle
(Barshaman Pun (Ananta)), Western (Top Bahadur Rayamajhi),
Mid-Western (Post Bahadur Bogati (Diwakar)), Far-Western
(Netra Bikram Chand (Biplov)) and International (Chandra
Prakash Gajurel (Gaurav)). The new regional bureaus are: Mechi
(In-charge Gopal Kiranti), Koshi (Ram Karki), Sagarmatha-
Janakpur (Haribol Gajurel), Mithila (Matrika Yadav), Narayani
(Kul Prasad K.C.), Kathmandu valley (Hitman Shakya), Bagmati
(Agni Sapkota), Dhaulagiri (Devendra Poudel), Lumbini
(Pampha Bhushal), Gandaki (Hitraj Pande), Rapti (Hemanta
Prakash Oli), Bheri-Karnali (Shakti Basnet), Seti (Lekhraj
Bhatta), Mahakali (Narayan Prasad Sharma) and India (Hari
Bhakta Kandel).
116 In Prachanda's words, "I think the majority ofthe population
will vote for us. More than 50 per cent should be for our party.
In rural areas, according to our estimates, more than 80 per cent
of the masses support our party. In urban areas and in the Terai
there is a mixed situation. So now we are trying our best to win
over population in urban areas and on the Terai's plains. Anyway,
I think that Maoist party will be supported by more than 50
percent of the country. Overall the democratic, republican,
radical and left forces will gain more than 75 per cent of the
vote". Interview with Prachanda, L 'espresso, op. cit.
C.    A Phased Revolution
The Maoists' first goal is a democratic republic which
provides space to restructure the state and move towards
a people's republic. With the establishment of a republic,
they would focus on merging the NA and PLA into a new
national army and implementing federalism. (Some of
these goals have influenced the interim constitution, which
in effect suspended the monarchy and moved away from
defining Nepal as a unitary state.) Maoist leaders are
confident that a democratic republican structure would help
them to consolidate a powerful position.117 They believe
they could secure the post of head ofthe state for themselves
or an allied party; they could play to their strengths in
addressing class, caste, region and gender-based issues;
they could implement a federal system in line with their
longstanding proposal;118 and they could ensure that a
reformed national army would either be loyal to them or
at least neutralised as a threat.119
According to the Maoists' analysis, this would put them
in a dominant position within the multiparty system.120
They could then try to form a people's republic, a Nepali
version of Mao's "new democracy", preferably by
amending the constitution or using other peaceful means,
although they suspect some confrontation would be likely.121
Under this system political competition would be much
more restricted (see above); the Maoists would then aim
to replace the "feudal production system" with their own
type of "capitalist production system".122 This would entail
distributing the land of large landlords among the landless
poor and nationalising industries owned by the "comprador
bureaucratic capitalist classes".123
Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
118 Interview with Badal, Pratyakraman, September 2006.
Federalism has become one of the defining features of the
Maoists' proposed democratic republic. Although anti-Maoist
violence in the Tarai raised concerns that playing the ethnic card
might be counterproductive, Maoist leaders have not abandoned
their plans for federal unite framed on ethnic lines and still hope
to both capture and control the potentially powerful field of
identity politics.
119 Crisis Group interview, PLA division commander, December
2006.
120 Crisis Group interview, Maoist central committee member,
Kathmandu, December 2006.
121 Prachanda, "Naya nepalko ruprekha", Nava Chetana,
November 2006.
122 Ibid.
123 Ibid. "Compradof', as used in Mao's analysis and, following
from it, Nepali Maoist texts, refers to subservient domestic
intermediaries or partners of foreign capital and governments
who encourage the subordination of the national economy.
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Page 16
According to the DDTC plan, one section ofthe party
leadership will go into government "to control, monitor
and intervene" in the state while others will be responsible
for party functioning.124 These groups may periodically
rotate but the core leadership, including Prachanda,
Baburam Bhattarai, Ram Bahadur Thapa (Badal) and
Mohan Baidya (Kiran), would avoid involvement in day-
to-day government, instead instructing and monitoring
the junior leaders whom they would deputise for the
task.125 Nevertheless, Prachanda has not categorically ruled
out the possibility of himself or other senior leaders going
into government if needed.
Like other parties, the Maoists promise a "new Nepal". In
Prachanda's words, "with good government we can become
one ofthe richest countries in South Asia. But we need
transport, hi-tech and scientific projects, infrastructures,
and a lot of courage. In ten years we'll change the whole
scenario, rebuilding this country to prosperity. In twenty
years we could be similar to Switzerland".126 The Maoists
have outlined their development priorities as: (i) improving
transportation with an east-west railway line and a new
east-west highway through the hill districts, with north-
south links to the existing highway across the plains;
(ii) boosting electricity generation with a mix of small
hydro-power projects and larger schemes funded by "anti-
imperialist foreign investment"; and (iii) replacing private
education with a free, state education system and expanding
free health care.127 Maoists leaders say they believe in a
mixed economy and will invite foreign investment under
certain conditions.128
D.      LEADERS OF THE RADICAL LEFT?
Despite their quarrels, Nepal's Maoists do not want to
isolate themselves from their international allies. Rather,
they want to pursue an ambitious goal of leading like-
minded radical groups around the world, an objective they
made clear from the beginning: "The Nepalese revolution
is an integral part ofthe world proletarian revolution, and
this will serve the world revolution. In this conext our
Party takes it as a serious responsibility to contribute
towards the further development of RIM.. .and to create a
New International".129 This is one goal that they have
124 "On the Experiences of History and Development of
Democracy in the 21st Century", op. cit.
125 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November-December 2006.
126 Interview with Prachanda, I 'espresso, op. cit.
127 Prachanda, "Naya nepalko ruprekha", op. cit.
128 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
129 "Theoretical Premises for the Historic Initiation ofthe
People's War", op. cit.
not dropped: Maoist leaders now talk about establishing
a "Fourth International" from Nepal.130
In their quest to assume supremacy among revolutionary
parties, they are considering two options. The first is
to take over RIM's leadership.131 They argue that this
leadership should be from the "third world", rather than
being dominated by radical Western intellectuals, who
have few followers and no effective organisations but
still give instructions to those who are leading genuine
armed struggles.132 They are particularly frustrated with
the American Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP),
which projects its chairman, Bob Avakian, as Mao's
successor though he has no real experience of revolution.
The Nepali Maoists think that RIM should be based in
South Asia and that Prachanda has earned the right to lead
If they cannot win over RIM members with this argument,
the CPN(M) may form a new organisation.134 With this
goal in mind, it organised a five-day international seminar
on "Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution in the 21st
Century" in late December 2006.135 It was billed as part
ofthe Nepali people's war tenth anniversary celebrations,
and it drew more than three dozen representatives from
fourteen Maoist parties - perhaps the most significant
gathering since the formation of RIM in 1984.136 Nepali
and Indian Maoists presented two concept papers, and the
Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu January
2007. The "first international" united communist parties in the
pre-Russian revolution period; the second and third internationals
were established by Lenin and Stalin respectively, following
which there has been no such forum.
131 Crisis Group interview, Maoist international command source,
Kathmandu, November 2006. (The "international command"
is the CPN(M)'s foreign affairs and relations department; see
below.)
132 Ibid.
133 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
134 Crisis Group interview, Maoist international command source,
Kathmandu November 2006.
135 The seminar took place at an unspecified location in Nepal
on 26-30 December 2006.
136 The participant parties were: the Communist Party of
Afghanistan, Communist Party of Bhutan (MLM), Communist
Party of India (Maoist), Communist Party of India (MLM),
Communist Party of India (ML-Naxalbari), Communist Party of
Iran (MLM), CPN (Maoist), Communist Party ofthe Philippines,
Maoist Communist Party-Italy, Maoist Communist Party (Turkey
and North Kurdistan), Proletarian Party of East Bengal (CC),
and the Proletarian Party of East Bengal (Maoist Unity Group).
The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the Workers'
Party of Iran were observers. See "Press communique of the
International Seminar on Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution
in the 21st Century", A World to Win News Service, 19 February
2007.
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Nepali Maoists tried to present themselves as the leaders
ofthe international communist movement.137
In December 2006, Nepali Maoists also hosted RIM's
sixth South Asian regional conference, with seven member
parties participating.138 The other parties expressed many
reservations overthe CPN(M)'s "revolutionary experiment".
Still, they agreed to pursue their ideological struggle in
private and to launch a "Nepal campaign" across South
Asia to support Nepal's Maoist movement.139 One problem
was that the CPI (Maoist) is not a RIM member and was
not at the meeting.140 Although CCOMPOSA is only a
regional grouping, the fact that it includes the CPI (Maoist)
makes it more important to the Nepali Maoists than the
global RIM. Only if they win support from South Asian
Maoists parties, including the CPI (Maoist), can they
build an effective international network. None of these
difficulties has dulled the Maoists' ambition. Prachanda
declares that, "even if we are a small country in South
Asia, we think that our revolution can have impact all
overthe world".141
COOPERATION, CONTENTION
AND CONFRONTATION
Crisis Group interview, Maoist international command source,
Kathmandu January 2007.
138 Participating parties were: CPN(M), Communist Party of
India (MLM), Communist Party of India (ML-Naxalbari),
Communist Party of Afghanistan (Maoist), Bhutan Communist
Party (MLM), Bangladesher Samyobadi Dal (ML) and Purbo
Banglar Sarbohara Party (CC). Dipak Sapkota, "Chautho
internationalka lagi pahal", Mulyankan, February 2007. Two
Bangladeshi Maoist leaders entered Nepal clandestinely by
the eastern border crossing of Kakarbhitta. "Prachandako
surakshartha bishesh dasta", Jana Aastha, 27 December 2006.
139 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu,
December 2006.
140 One ofthe CPI (Maoist)'s founder members, the MCC-I,
was a RIM member but its other main constituent, the CPI-
ML(PW), was not; the CPI (Maoist) is now an observer within
RIM and applying for full membership.
141 Interview with Prachanda, I 'espresso, op. cit. Elsewhere he
has elaborated: "If [our revolution is] successful in Nepal, it has
and will have direct impact on the one billion people of India,
and it will also spill over into China. When it affects two or two
and a half billion people, it means it will have impact all over
the world". Interview with Prachanda, The Kathmandu Post, 7
February 2006.
While Maoist strategy documents attempt to bring
coherence to their new situation, CPN(M) leaders face a
complex task of balancing competing imperatives and
pursuing sometimes conflicting tactics. Their headline
policy is one of cooperation: maintaining the overall unity
ofthe eight-party interim government and crafting a stronger
alliance of leftist/republican forces. They have to maintain
unity and discipline within their movement while managing
the reshaping oftheir domestic and intemational relations.
At the same time their private - and increasingly public
- assessment is that the peace process will inevitably bring
further confrontations, for which they are preparing.
A.      THE MAOISTS ON THE THRESHOLD OF
RESPECTABILITY
The Maoists are slowly becoming part ofthe establishment
in three areas:
In parliament. Maoist members ofthe interim legislature
are showing signs of learning how to play by the rules
but are not yet ready to follow all of them. They took a
constructive role in various debates and have supported
amending the interim constitution to introduce federalism
and revise the electoral system.142 Maoist lawmakers have
a good attendance record; some have been appointed to
cross-party committees.143 They have quickly adopted the
usual parliamentary tactics - such as forcing adjournments
or resorting to more dramatic protests to stall proceedings144
- and have pointed out that they are receiving training on
proper parliamentary behaviour.145 Still, taking part in
the legislature is not the same as embracing democratic
principles. Among the more dramatic departures from
basic standards, one Maoist lawmaker claimed to have
For example, Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Dev Gurung
spoke extensively about the role of the Maoists in bringing
progressive change in the country during the inaugural session
of the interim legislature. Other Maoist MPs have participated
in discussions on water resources and drinking water.
143 For example, Devi Khadka and Lokendra Bista are members
ofthe Natural Resources Committee.
144 For example, on 27 March 2007 they protested the formation
of the Electoral Constituency Delineation Commission,
complaining that appointments were decided unilaterally, by
chanting slogans and surrounding the speaker's rostrum. In the
last week of April, they disrupted the legislature again, demanding
the immediate announcement of constituent assembly elections.
145 The Maoists' parliamentary affairs department, headed
by Baburam Bhattarai and other leaders, gave classes to their
newly appointed lawmakers just before the start ofthe interim
legislature's first session.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 18
brought a gun into the house and threatened his
opponents.146 Top leaders such as Prachanda and Bhattarai
have not joined the interim legislature, leaving some to
question their commitment to the parliamentary system.
In government. The Maoists joined the interim government
on 1 April 2007. Their ministers are behaving much like
their counterparts from other parties, fulfilling their day-
to-day duties while pushing their own agenda.147 Their
relationship with a fairly conservative bureaucracy is not
straightforward; they have asked permission to transfer
senior civil servants and to replace some with political
appointees.148 Apart from appointing sympathetic journalists
as advisers, Information Minister Mahara has reportedly
told the state-owned media to highlight Maoist leaders'
statements.149 All these trends are in keeping with patterns
established by successive democratic governments, and
the Maoists have been similarly pragmatic when forced
to accept policies they instinctively dislike. Once in power,
Mahara rapidly reversed his opposition to foreign
investment in the media;150 Hisila Yami backed public-
private partnerships for water supply. 151 While Maoist
ministers have clashed with their cabinet colleagues, the
top leadership has tried to patch up misunderstandings.152
On 26 February 2007, during an all-party meeting in the
parliamentary secretariat, Lokendra Bista said he was carrying a
pistol and dared other lawmakers to take action against him.
After objections, Maoist deputy leader Dev Gurung apologised
for the incident. "Lawmakers express objection to Maoist MP's
statement on arms", nepafnews.com, 1 March 2007.
147 For example, Mahara has announced that a right to
information bill will soon be tabled. Forest Minister Matrika
Yadav promised to crack down on smuggling of forest produce,
while Minister for Planning and Physical Works Hisila Yami
announced that the government will not privatise water utilities
in Kathmandu.
148 "Maoist ministers seek to appoint, transfer officials",
ekantipur.com, 26 April 2007.
149 Mahara has appointed Maheshwor Dahal, former editor of
the Maoist mouthpiece Janadesh, as his adviser. Sachin Roka
and Bishnu Prasad Sapkota, coordinators of Maoist-run FM
stations, have been appointed to run two politics programs
on state-owned Radio Nepal. These appointments have led to
concerns among mainstream journalists that there will be a
concerted squeeze on the expression of liberal, non-Maoist
viewpoints; Mahara's refusal to apologise for the killing of
journalists during the conflict has also added to worries about
Maoist attitudes on press freedom.
150 "No curb on foreign investment in media now",
nepalnews.com, 2 April 2007.
151 "Campaign to promote household water treatment",
nepalnews.com, 23 April 2007.
152 For example, in a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Koirala,
who also holds the defence portfolio, rebuked Yadav for publicly
accusing the Nepal Army of felling trees and killing endangered
animals. Yadav cited the right to speak on matters within his
ministerial jurisdiction, leading to a brief spat with Koirala and
In dealing with the international community. The
Maoists have managed to win a degree of international
recognition - something that was always denied to them
while underground. Maoist ministers regularly meet
ambassadors and donors, most of whom have continued
to support Maoist-run ministries, and have had some high-
profile encounters with visiting dignitaries.153 Their
engagement with the UN has made it easier for other
countries to stop considering them as untouchables, although
the U.S. still considers them terrorists and does not deal
with them.154 A British minister who met Maoist leaders
Bhattarai and Mahara was impressed by their willingness
to engage with the outside world but stressed that
encouragement oftheir role in the peace process will always
be accompanied by strong messages on abandoning
violence.155 International actors who have pressed for
action on human rights are dismayed by Maoist failure to
implement many oftheir commitments, from demobilising
underage soldiers and enabling the safe return of internally
displaced people to guaranteeing fundamental rights such
as press freedom.156
B.       A UNITED LEFT?
The Maoists and mainstream leftist parties share some
common policies and may agree to a tactical alliance,
especially ifthe NC reunites and also draws on the support
of smaller parties to form a more powerful conservative
bloc. But there is still an ideological gulf between the
Maoists and the UML, and each party is determined to
assert itself as the leader of a broader leftist front. The
Maoists have used the structure ofthe peace process - in
which they and NC are the decision-making core - to
weaken the UML's position. Internal politics will play a
role in determining whether a working understanding
walk-out by Maoist ministers. The issue was resolved only after
Prachanda and Bhattarai visited the prime minister.
153 For example, Gareth Thomas, a British international
development minister, met senior Maoist leaders and assured
them of support to the peace process but warned there should be
no intimidation in the run-up to the constituent assembly polls.
154 For the list of terrorist organisations, see www.treasury.
gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs/terror/terror.pdf. The
Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha, a violent Tarai outfit, has
also been added to the list. "U.S. says Maoists still a terrorist
organisation; JTMM added", nepalnews.com, 2 May 2007. The
American ambassador has consistently stated that the U.S. will
review the Maoists' status only if they completely abandon
violence. Interview with Ambassador James F. Moriarty,
Dishanirdesh, Nepal Television, 26 March 2007.
155 Crisis Group interview, Gareth Thomas, Parliamentary Under-
Secretary of State for International Development, London,
May 2007.
156 Crisis Group interviews, Kathmandu, Brussels and London,
May 2007.
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 19
can be reached: both parties have factions for and against
an alliance.
The case for a working alliance appears to be strong. Leftist
parties can unite around the republican agenda (though
some are more fervent believers than others, and there are
differences over how to achieve the republic157), make a
stronger stand within the legislature and government against
what they see as NC heel-dragging, and maximise the left's
potential at the ballot box as and when elections go ahead.
Leaders of both parties stress that outright unification is
impossible but a form of united front could be built.158
Private feelers have given way to more public consideration
of options. On 22 April 2007 (Lenin's birthday and the
57th anniversary ofthe original Communist Party of
Nepal's establishment) the Maoists hosted a cross-party
leftist leaders' gathering in Kathmandu. Most speakers
wanted "to cement the absolute majority commanded by
the communist forces in the parliament, the cabinet and
the street".159 Baburam Bhattarai said: "Let us fuse the
ideologies espoused by late Pushpa Lai, late Madan
Bhandari and Prachanda".160 Prachanda and UML General
Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal held a follow-up meeting
in which, according to Prachanda, they agreed to form a
left republican alliance.161
This process will probably gain momentum if an election
date is announced. Both the CPN(M) and UML fear that
ongoing rivalry within the left could damage their individual
election prospects. The Maoists, who lack an established
voter base, may see advantage in a seat-sharing arrangement
to avoid competing against the UML in most ofthe first-
past-the-post constituencies. The UML might trade this
off in return for assurances of support in the proportional
part ofthe vote.162
As doubts grew over whether CA elections would happen,
Prachanda demanded the interim legislature immediately declare
a republic; the UML revived its proposal for a referendum on
the monarchy. The Maoists said they would support the UML
proposal but Prime Minister Koirala is not ready for either option
158 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist and UML leaders,
Kathmandu, April 2007.
159 Sanjaya Dhakal, "Red Storm Rising?", nepalnews.com, 23
April 2007.
160 Ibid. Pushpa Lai was the Communist Party of Nepal's first
leader; Madan Bhandari, who died in a road accident in 1994,
was the UML's general secretary and architect of its transition
into a mainstream party that accepted parliamentary democracy.
161 "UML, Maoists discuss left unity; bashPM', nepafnews.com,
25 April 2007.
162 The CA election system will be partly first-past-the-post
constituency-based and partly list-based proportional
representation. For the FTTP constituencies, a delimitation
commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Arjun
Bahadur Singh has proposed the hill and mountain regions should
Both Maoists and UML leaders have warned that anti-
communists want to prevent the polls. In Madhav Nepal's
words, "reactionaries are trying to disrupt the forthcoming
CA elections as they fear a communist majority in the
CA".163 In fact, the various communist parties already
command a majority in both the legislature and the cabinet
but have been unable to leverage this due to their own
internal differences.164 This is unsurprising given the
Maoists' outlook: their engagement with the UML and
India's CPM is at heart contingent and instrumental. They
have pressed ahead where they have seen advantage in
the relationship but their priority remains to push for more
radical change than mainstream communists can stomach.
C.      TRANSITIONAL TENSIONS
The Maoists remain a fairly cohesive movement and are
sticking to the framework ofthe peace process as their
preferred route forward. However, their current unity and
commitment to a peaceful compromise cannot be taken for
granted. Ifthe elections do not take place and a republic
is not established by other means, they will revert to
insurrectionary tactics. If neither route is successful, they
will face serious internal tensions. As outlined above, the
Maoists arrived at their current strategy after much debate;
individuals and groups opposed to the policy of "peaceful
revolution" will be quick to seize upon any serious stumbles.
Since October 2005 the CPN(M) has followed Baburam
Bhattarai's political line and Prachanda's leadership; both
top figures will have tough questions to answer if they fail
to deliver. The untested CA hypothesis - which had been
sold to sceptics as "an experiment in revolution"165 - came
under attack in the April 2007 central committee meeting.
Netra Bikram Chand (Biplov), a younger generation leader
who represents the Maoist stronghold of Rolpa and is
currently in charge of the far-western command, won
majority support for a new line which rejected the basis
ofthe peace process.166 In his words:
have 124 seats and the Tarai 116. See Madhav Dhungel,
"Nirvachan kshetrako tanatan", Nepal, 29 April 2007.
163 "Reactionaries fear communist majority in CA: MK Nepal",
nepalnews.com, 22 April 2007.
164 Five ofthe eight ruling parties are communist (CPN(M),
UML, NWPP, ULF and Janamorcha Nepal), as are twelve ofthe
22 cabinet ministers. Communists have 182 ofthe 329 seats
in the interim legislature (UML 83, CPN(M) 83, Janamorcha 9,
NWPP 4 and ULF 3), including the speaker; even if NC reunites,
it has only 134 seats. See www.parliament.gov.np/member
hr.htm.
165 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders and cadres,
Kathmandu, 2006.
166 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu, April
2007.
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We have been constantly raising three demands:
the restructuring ofthe state, constituent assembly
elections and a federal democratic republic.... But
in a way we have ended up sacrificing and
undermining the basic concept and achievements
of our ten-year people's war for the sake of these
tactical objectives. Sadly it is now clear that
following America and India's plan, Girija Prasad
and the dalal tendency167 are using our own
weakness and sacrifices as weapons to advance
their conspiracy to finish us off and scupper the
restructuring of the state, constituent assembly
elections and federal democratic republic.168
Bhattarai opposed targeting India but accepted the party
decision. While the new line was officially set by Prachanda,
key elements were based on Biplov's arguments and
senior leader Mohan Vaidya's advice. Their and Bhattarai's
perspectives are quite far apart but Prachanda is attempting
a middle path between them. The CPN(M) has always
contained some factions and lobbies but they were largely
invisible during its underground days. Some groups are
based on loyalties that predate the party's formation,169
some coalesce around ideological positions; there are also
occasional personality clashes and rivalry between leaders,
most of whom have their own coteries.
Still, there is little likelihood of an imminent split or, despite
the aggressive language of certain lobbies, a return to all-
out war. The ever more public display of doubts over the
peace process may make Prachanda look weak but may
also strengthen his hand in negotiations with the other
parties - he can credibly point to the difficulty of selling
the process to cadres that are becoming restive at the loss
of momentum. Commanders still have control over PLA
fighters but must assuage their dissatisfaction on two fronts:
they are suffering from the cantonments' poor physical
infrastructure, and some are starting to wonder if the
party leadership will be able to deliver a satisfactory
settlement, including a genuine merger ofthe PLA and
NA.170 Discipline problems appear to be growing, from
lower level cadres' disrespect of party decisions to
A dalal is literally a go-between or middleman. For the
Maoists, this term covers both comprador capitalists (and their
local brokers) and politicians compromised by working for
outside interests (the main targets in this instance).
168 Biplov, "Naya karyanitilai dhridhatapurvak karyanvayan
garaun", Janadesh, 17 April 2007.
169 Members of the parties that joined to form the CPN(M)
sometimes function as distinct lobbies within it. For example,
Baburam Bhattarai represents the former CPN (Mashal), while
Prachanda, Baidya and Badal were with its rival, Masai.
170 Crisis Group interview, PLA source, Kathmandu April 2007.
The interviewee suggested that following the cantonment
process, relations between the PLA and the party's political
leadership had somewhat cooled.
unauthorised extortion and intimidation; a central
monitoring committee led by Mohan Vaidya recommended
that the party take steps to reestablish discipline.171
D.    Clashes to Come
Maoist leaders believe that further political confrontation
is inevitable, whether they follow the CA route or opt for
revolt. In their view, the king, sections ofthe army and
other royalist elements will try to obstruct the CA and may
go so far as attempting a coup to halt the process. (The
Maoists would counter this by mobilising a mass movement
and making their own bid to seize power.) As always, they
see deliberate polarisation as one ofthe best means of
moving the political process forward. If their efforts
to encourage a sharper polarisation between leftist and
conservative political forces are successful, this may
heighten the likelihood of confrontation. There are four
areas where clashes are likely.
Nepali Congress. The complex relationship between
the Maoist leadership and Prime Minister Girija Prasad
Koirala (who leads the NC) lies at the heart ofthe peace
process. On one level they have built a successful working
partnership: the CPN(M) and NC have been the drivers
ofthe peace process and the key arbiters of disputes during
the negotiations, often to the exclusion of other parties.172
The Maoists have devoted serious attention to studying
Koirala's character and political behaviour and have
exploited the fact that he relies more on personal confidants
than party or government structures. Prachanda and
Bhattarai have won a degree of trust with Koirala and his
main gatekeepers, and this has served them well.173 But
both sides know that their relationship is fundamentally
antagonistic: they share an interest in marginalising other
political players only so that there is a less crowded arena
for their future showdown.174
Vaidya's committee organised a national training program in
April 2007 that concluded the CPN(M) needed a "purification
process". "Yasari hundaichha maobadi shuddhikrit", Pahal, 6
May 2007. Such efforts are nothing new. Maintaining discipline
and political coherence is a constant challenge which has
frequently demanded leaders' attention. See Crisis Group Report,
Nepal's Maoists, op. cit, pp. 12-14.
172 See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Peace Agreement, op. cit.
173 It was Koirala's trusted emissaries, in particular his nephew
Shekhar Koirala and current home minister Krishna Prasad
Sitaula, who initiated the secret dialogue with the Maoists
in Delhi in the spring of 2005 and did more than any other
mainstream party leaders to shape the eventual November 2005
deal. See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's New Alliance, op. cit.
174 This consideration informs Maoist tactics in dealing with
possible allies on the left and also underlies the NC's reluctance
to drop the monarchy entirely: by holding out the chance of a
ceremonial role for the king it can win the backing of moderate
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Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 21
This subtle relationship plays out in a strange, but not
illogical, mix of cooperation and frontal assault. Each party
needs the other but it also needs to keep up a barrage of
charge and counter-charge, partly to shift the blame for
delays in the process and partly to manoeuvre on more
substantive issues. When Koirala needled the Maoists by
saying he was bringing "terrorists" to the mainstream,
Prachanda retorted: "Wait and see. The coming days will
show who brought whom".175 Their main policy difference
is over the monarchy. Ifthe elections are delayed, the
Maoists want the interim legislature to declare a republic;
Koirala has generally advocated a ceremonial monarchy
(while suggesting Gyanendra abdicate in favour of his
grandson, Hridayendra), although if he felt the country
were irrevocably heading towards republicanism, he would
want to position the NC at the forefront of any change.
Other more immediate issues have already led to friction
and could cause escalating tension. These include the lack
of action on the Rayamajhi commission report;176 failure
to investigate disappearances;177 and the lack of interest
in implementing key elements ofthe CPA, from land
reform to army restructuring.178 Soon after joining the
interim government, the Maoists upped the ante. They
accused Koirala of deliberately delaying the constitutional
process, and the April 2007 central committee meeting
royalists who know they cannot face off against the Maoists on
their own. On NC calculations see Crisis Group Report, Nepal's
Peace Agreement, op. cit, pp. 16-18. Former royalist prime
minister and Rastriya Janashakti Party Chairman Surya Bahadur
Thapa has already responded to the signs of left cooperation by
calling for unity among "democratic forces", saying that "Nepali
Congress, as the biggest democratic party, should take the
lead, and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala should take the
initiative". The Himalayan Times, 29 April 2007.
175 S. Chandrasekharan, "Nepal: CEC urges postponement of
CA Elections", saag.org/notes4/note378.html.
176 The Rayamajhi Commission was formed to probe the royal
government's use of force to suppress the April 2006 movement.
Its report has not been published, and no action has been taken
against any of those it criticised for their actions.
177 The CPA committed both the state and the Maoists to
investigate outstanding cases of forced disappearances within 60
days. Neither side has implemented this commitment; the state
is responsible for many more alleged disappearances (around
1,300), some of which have been well documented such as the
four dozen supposed Maoist activists who were secretly detained,
tortured and probably killed by the RNA in late 2003. See
"Report of investigation into arbitrary detention, torture and
disappearances at Maharajgunj RNA barracks, Kathmandu, in
2003-2004", Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR), Kathmandu, 2006, at http://nepal.ohchr.org/
en/index.html.
178 For example, the state has still not released all Maoists
detainees, has not nationalised royal property and has not formed
the national peace and rehabilitation commission specified in
the CPA.
decided to target him from all fronts - the street, parliament
and government.179 Maoist MPs started disrupting
legislature sessions and their ministers boycotted the 18
April cabinet meeting.180
If there is agreement on dealing with the monarchy, the
confrontation with Congress may be postponed or even
avoided. For all their public griping, the Maoists have
generally been happy to support Koirala as prime minister
- not least because he is likely to bequeath the NC a messy
succession struggle, which they hope to exploit. Still, both
parties recognise that their visions of a future Nepal and
its political institutions are very different. There will have
to be a battle over the direction the country takes and
they are determined to lead the opposing forces in it.
The monarchy. Despite their past dalliance with the
palace, ending the monarchy is a core issue for the Maoists.
They have always assumed that a transition towards a
republic could only come about through a decisive final
confrontation. The November 2005 Chunbang meeting
concluded that "the party should never, and will never,
fall prey to the fantasy that monarchy can be easily ended
through the CA and a republic will appear just like that".181
This conclusion has not changed. According to Maoist
leader Badal, they have only destroyed the enemy's outer
periphery; the inner circle (i.e., the monarchy) is yet
to break.182
The king has been quiet but not passive. In the face of cuts
to his status and privileges, he has dug in his heels with a
mix of truculence and defiance. When the government
brought the royal palace service under the civil service
and ordered the dismissal of key officials, Gyanendra
extended their tenure and promoted them.183 He refused
to answer the Rayamajhi Commission's queries about his
role in suppressing the April 2006 movement and justified
his 2005 coup in a "democracy day message" on 19
February 2007.184 On the anniversary of his surrender of
power, he made a very public, army-escorted temple visit,
"Khulyo morcha sangharshko" Janadesh, 1 May 2007.
180 The Maoists were also disappointed when Koirala formally
invited the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) for talks, granting
it recognition despite the fact that its activists killed 30 Maoists
in Gaur on 21 March 2007, when they clashed while organising
rival meetings. Police raids on Maoist Young Communist League
offices in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur on 15 April 2007,
reportedly on the prime minister's orders, added to tensions.
181 See Nepal kamyunist parti (maobadi) ko aitihasik
dastavejharu, op. cit., p. 314.
182 Badal, "Jatiya mukti aandolan ra baigyanik karyadishako
prashna", Hamro Jaljala, September 2006.
183 Crisis Group interview, government official, Kathmandu,
April 2007.
184 See Crisis Group Report, Nepal's Peace Agreement, op. cit,
p. 21.
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received a 21-gun salute from the NA and had the old,
abolished, national anthem played - none of which
seemed in keeping with the letter or spirit ofthe interim
constitution.185 Gyanendra still has some support from
small political parties,186 a few international sympathisers,
a section ofthe army and his 3,000-strong palace guard.
The Nepalese Army. There is likely to be increased friction
with the NA over its unwillingness to countenance
substantive reform and continuing resistance to democratic
control. The army's traditional loyalty to the palace has
theoretically been severed, and some generals say they
have no desire to burn their fingers by serving the king's
ambitions once again.187 Still, they will take "strong steps"
to protect their institutional interests, which could extend
to stepping in ifthe country faces serious instability.188
They will also hold out against merging Maoist fighters
into a reformed force, citing reasons of professionalism
and political neutrality but privately determined that
as a militarily undefeated force, they should not have
unpalatable reforms imposed on them.
Resolving these questions will be difficult even if a republic
is smoothly established. The Maoists' and army's mutual
distrust is understandable: each has good reason to question
the other's intentions. Maoists leaders fear a serious attempt
at army restmcturing could prompt an army revolt backed
by foreign powers opposed to the emergence ofthe radical
left.189 The army suspects that Maoist talk of merging
the two forces is thin cover for a plan to take it over from
within and disable the last bulwark against full Maoist
control. The only peaceful way out of this deadlock is a
process of security sector reform that leaves the army less
likely to play politics but also prevents the security
forces becoming the tools of any one political grouping.
Unfortunately, no mainstream party is interested in pursuing
this agenda. The timid are still too scared of the army
The interim constitution, promulgated on 15 January 2007,
in effect suspended the monarchy and left the prime minister
to assume the head of state's duties. Prime Minister Koirala
received the credentials of a new ambassador for the first time
in April 2007, a role that previously was performed by the king.
"PM Koirala receives credentials of Chinese ambassador",
nepafnews.com, 19 April 2007.
186 A handful of small royalist parties have applied for registration
with the Election Commission: the Rastriya Prajatantra Party
(Nepal), Nepal Sadbhavana Party, Samajbadi Party and
Janamukti Party. "Four pro-monarchy parties registered with
EC", nepalnews.com, 20 April 2007.
187 The interim constitution and amended Army Act place the
army under the direct control ofthe government.
188 Crisis Group interviews, security and political sources,
Kathmandu, November-December 2006.
189 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
to demand action; the confident are too tempted by the
idea of trying to turn it into their own instrument.
India. Nepal's most influential neighbour prompts deep
ambivalence among the Maoists. India looked favourably
on them in the early years ofthe insurgency, and they long
saw it as a fairly safe refuge. But as Delhi adopted a
tougher line, the Maoists in turn played on latent anti-Indian
sentiment among their supporters. They accepted Indian
facilitation ofthe November 2005 deal with the SPA partly
out of necessity and partly on the understanding that Delhi
would drop its longstanding support for constitutional
monarchy. The Maoists did not imagine India would remain
sympathetic indefinitely, so they planned to keep it at arms
length until a republic was established and then review
relations.190 For a year after the April 2006 movement,
they behaved cautiously and diplomatically, reining in
anti-Indian rhetoric and recognising the need for constructive
engagement.191
However, the strains are showing. The 2007 central
committee meeting concluded that India had not dropped its
twin-pillar policy and was trying to preserve a ceremonial
monarchy. The Maoists also allege that Indian intelligence
agencies are waging a covert war against them through
regional armed groups such as the Janatantrik Tarai Mukti
Morcha.192 This has led to a slight backtracking: the Maoists
have decided to give priority to "nationality" alongside
republicanism, implying that they once again see Delhi
as a serious threat to the nation. Their leaders say they
will only restore warmer relations if India supports
republicanism.193 They are aware that they cannot afford
to anger their neighbour, that "no government can
survive here without some support from New Delhi".194
Nevertheless, this relationship will experience further
tensions.
United Nations. The Maoists called early and consistently
for UN involvement in a peace process. However, they
have always been suspicious ofthe UN (tending to view
it as subordinate to Western/imperialist interests) and sought
its engagement for a clearly limited function. They realised
that bringing in the UN could help them effect the transition
into open politics safely and with recognition, especially
for the PLA. But ifthe UN-led arms management process
Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu,
November 2006.
191 On his first formal visit to India in November 2006, Prachanda
met former prime ministers and expressed thanks for India's
support for the democratic movement. See "Visit To The South",
Spotlight, 24 November 2006.
192 Sudheer Sharma, "Maobadima pherieko bharat-rananiti",
Kantipur, 23 April 2007.
193 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu, April
2007.
194 Crisis Group interview, Baburam Bhattarai, April 2007.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 23
cannot deliver a deal on the longer term merging oftheir
fighters into a new national army, there will be further
criticism ofthe original decision. Prachanda has followed
the example of other Maoist leaders in publicly criticising
the Special Representative ofthe Secretary-General, Ian
Martin.195 Although plenty of politicians from other parties
have also been happy to use the UN as a convenient
scapegoat, the Maoists are willing to stall a key element of
the arms process - the verification of their combatants
- to demand faster progress from other parties and to
remind the international community that they do not feel
obliged to fulfil their part ofthe deal if others hold back
on their own commitments.
E.      PLAN B
The Maoists have from the outset warned that they will
keep other revolutionary options open ifthe peace process
fails. Such warnings are partly bravado and brinkmanship
(for example, the "October revolution" that they threatened
in 2006 was never a realistic option) but also reflect serious
fallback plans. Maoist strategists are having second thoughts
about the constituent assembly: they fear that delays may
strengthen the palace's hand and that even ifthe CA
declares a republic, the king will not accept its decision
without a fight.196
Prachanda has long threatened revolt ifthe elections are
not held on time;197 when a delay became inevitable, Maoist
leaders made a show of blaming Prime Minister Koirala's
"grand conspiracy".198 Prachanda announced the end of
unity with the SPA and warned that agreement on declaring
a republic through the interim legislature can be the only
base for its renewal.199 The April 2007 central committee
meeting also approved a plan to launch a mass movement,
suggesting the start of more serious confrontation. Initially,
the Maoists are collecting signatures for a republican
Prachanda criticised Martin's assertion that the Maoists had
imposed preconditions for cooperating in the second stage of
PLA verification. See "Prachanda criticises Martin, says no
preconditions have been set for verification", nepalnews.com,
3 May 2007.
196 Crisis Group interviews, Maoist leaders, Kathmandu, May
2007.
197 Interview with Prachanda, Sanshleshan, December 2006.
198 Biplov, "Naya karyanitilai dhridhatapurvak karyanvayan
garaun", Janadesh, 17 April 2007. The government has not
officially announced that it cannot meet the proposed June date
but on 12 April 2007 Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj
Pokhrel wrote to the prime minister saying he would need at
least 110 days to prepare for polls, in effect pushing back
the likely election date to November, after the monsoon and
festival season.
"Ekatako naya adhar sojhai ganatantra", Janadesh, 17 April
2007.
petition but they also have plans to surround Singha Durbar,
the seat of government, to take their protest to the top.200
The first goal is to pressure Prime Minister Koirala into
concessions; failing this they will experiment with their
mass movement plan.201
The Maoists, like most other parties, were rarely as
enthusiastic about the elections in private as they made out
in public. They were neither convinced the CA could
deliver revolutionary change nor as sure oftheir electoral
prospects as they would have liked. The delay in the polls
is a convenient opportunity to push for more rapid change
and to placate growing unrest in their party.
The likelihood of a further confrontation was the main
rationale for reorganisation ofthe Maoists' militant wing,
the Young Communist League (YCL). The YCL was first
formed in the early 1990s, during the initial preparations
for people's war. It was then converted into the guerrilla
squads which were the forerunners of the PLA and in
December 2006 relaunched by the CPN(M)'s December
2006 central committee meeting202 Although its members
are largely unarmed youths, in keeping with its military
origins it is led by PLA commanders who did not go into
the cantonments. Former PLA fourth division commander
Rashmi (Ganeshman Pun of Rukum) is the chairman of
its 25-member central committee.
Semi-underground YCL committees have been formed
from central to regional, district and village level. Groups
of members are based in Kathmandu and other urban
areas, while former militia members make up the bulk
of its presence in villages. NC leader Sujata Koirala (the
prime minister's daughter) has alleged that the YCL
is training its cadres in "booth capturing" for the CA
election203 YCL units have been openly carrying out extralegal activities in Kathmandu like a parallel police force;204
in April 2007 the state police started to take action against
them but it is not clear if this will significantly limit their
capacity.205 Some oftheir actions are calculated to win
sympathy (they have helped with traffic management,
embarked on city clean-up campaigns and seized illegally
imported goods to hand over to the police) but this only
adds to the consternation of mainstream parties, who fear
the combination of populism backed by intimidation.
200 "Lakhaun janatale singhdarbar gherne", Pahal, 6 May 2007.
201 Crisis Group interview, Maoist leader, Kathmandu, April
2007.
202 This meeting was held on 12-20 December 2006 in
Bhaktapur.
203 "Sujata accuses YCL of training on booth capturing",
nepalnews.com, 17 April 2007.
204 YCL cadres also seized royal land in Sallaghari, Bhaktapur
on 22 April 2007.
205 Police raided YCL offices on 15 April 2007; six days later
they arrested seven YCL cadres from Kapan.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 24
In case of a violent confrontation, the YCL will be
mobilised as the Maoists' primary frontline force but the
PLA is also standing by in reserve.206 Prachanda has said,
"if reactionaries take action against the consensus, then
a revolt will take place in Nepal and we will lead it. There
will be no alternative but for the PLA to come out ofthe
cantonments to join the revolt alongside millions of
people".207 Although most oftheir fighters and weapons
are confined in the UN-supervised cantonments, Maoists
leaders view this arrangement as valid only for enabling
the CA elections. Ifthe process falls apart, they will readily
consider remobilising the PLA and calling it out with its
weapons.208 Frequent demonstrations by cantoned PLA
troops outside their camps are meant to remind their political
rivals that they still have other options and may not be
afraid to use them.
VI.    CONCLUSION
Nepal's Maoists have been driven by ideological purism
but managed to sustain their long insurgency and enter a
peace process thanks to their pragmatism. The tension
between these opposing impulses lies at the heart oftheir
evolving approach to strategy and tactics. Their commitment
to the peace process is not hollow but it is conditional:
progress (which, for them, would have to include some
radical reforms) would strengthen the hand of more
moderate leaders who have argued the case for compromise.
If the process stalls, those who prefer a return to
confrontation will feel emboldened - as will those who
are still hoping the peace deal will fall apart.
Kathmandu/Brussels, 18 May 2007
Crisis Group interview, YCL source, Kathmandu, January
2007.
207 Interview with Prachanda, Sansheleshan, op. cit.
208 Crisis Group interview, PLA deputy commander, Kathmandu
December 2006.
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 25
APPENDIX A
MAP OF NEPAL
The boundaries and names shown and the designations
used on this map do not imply official endorsement or
acceptance by the United Nations.
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—    International boundary
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degrees and 32 degrees north latitude using the WGS84
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Map No. 4304    UNITED NATIONS
January 2007 (Colour)
Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Cartographic Section
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 26
APPENDIX B
GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS
CA
CCOMPOSA
CPA
CPI (Maoist)
CPI-ML (Liberation)
CPI-ML(PW)
CPM
CPN(M)
CPN (Unity Centre)
DDTC
MCC-I
NA/RNA
NC
NC(D)
NSP(A)
NWPP
PLA
PWG
RIM
SPA
ULF
UML
URPC
WPRM
YCL
constituent assembly
Coordinating Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia
Comprehensive Peace Agreement
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (Liberation)
Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (People's War)
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre)
Development of Democracy in the Twenty-first Century
Maoist Communist Centre of India
(Royal) Nepalese Army
Nepali Congress
Nepali Congress (Democratic)
Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandidevi)
Nepal Workers and Peasants' Party
People's Liberation Army (Maoist)
People's War Group, see CPI-ML(PW)
Revolutionary Internationalist Movement
Seven-Party Alliance
United Left Front
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist)
United Revolutionary People's Council
World People's Resistance Movement
Young Communist League
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 27
APPENDIX C
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP
The International Crisis Group (Crisis Group) is an
independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation,
with some 130 staff members on five continents, working
through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy
to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.
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Teams of political analysts are located within or close by
countries at risk of outbreak, escalation or recurrence of
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Foundation and private sector donors include Carnegie
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May 2007
Further information about Crisis Group can be obtained from our website: www.crisisgroup.org
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 28
APPENDIX D
INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP REPORTS AND BRIEFINGS ON ASIA SINCE 2004
CENTRAL ASIA
The Failure of Reform in Uzbekistan: Ways Forward for the
International Community, Asia Report N°76, 11 March 2004
(also available in Russian)
Tajikistan's Politics: Confrontation or Consolidation?, Asia
Briefing N°33, 19 May 2004
Political Transition in Kyrgyzstan: Problems and Prospects,
Asia Report N°81, 11 August 2004 (also available in Russian)
Repression and Regression in Turkmenistan: A New International
Strategy, Asia Report N°85, 4 November 2004 (also available in
Russian)
The Curse of Cotton: Central Asia's Destructive Monoculture,
Asia Report N°93, 28 February 2005 (also available in Russian)
Kyrgyzstan: After the Revolution, Asia Report N°97, 4 May
2005 (also available in Russian)
Uzbekistan: The Andijon Uprising, Asia Briefing N°38, 25 May
2005 (also available in Russian)
Kyrgyzstan: A Faltering State, Asia Report N°109, 16 December
2005 (also available in Russian)
Uzbekistan: In for the Long Haul, Asia Briefing N°45, 16
February 2006
CentralAsia: What Role for the European Union?, Asia Report
N°l 13, 10 April 2006
Kyrgyzstan's Prison System Nightmare, Asia Report N°118,
16 August 2006 (also available in Russian)
Uzbekistan: Europe's Sanctions Matter, Asia Briefing N°54,
6 November 2006
Kyrgyzstan on the Edge, Asia Briefing N°55, 9 November 2006
Turkmenistan after Niyazov, Asia Briefing N°60, 12 February
2007
NORTH EAST ASIA
Taiwan Strait IV: How an Ultimate Political Settlement Might
Look, Asia Report N°75, 26 February 2004
North Korea: Where Next for the Nuclear Talks?, Asia Report
N°87, 15 November 2004 (also available in Korean and in Russian)
Korea Backgrounder: How the South Views its Brother from
Another Planet, Asia Report N°89, 14 December 2004 (also
available in Korean and in Russian)
North Korea: Can the Iron Fist Accept the Invisible Hand?,
Asia Report N°96, 25 April 2005 (also available in Korean and
in Russian)
Japan and North Korea: Bones of Contention, Asia Report
N°100, 27 June 2005 (also available in Korean)
China and Taiwan: Uneasy Detente, Asia Briefing N°42, 21
September 2005
North East Asia's Undercurrents of Conflict, Asia Report N°108,
15 December 2005 (also available in Korean and in Russian)
China and North Korea: Comrades Forever?, Asia Report
N°112, 1 February 2006 (also available in Korean)
After North Korea's Missile Launch: Are the Nuclear Talks
Dead?, Asia Briefing N°52, 9 August 2006 (also available in
Korean and in Russian)
Perilous Journeys: The Plight of North Koreans in China and
Beyond, Asia Report N°122, 26 October 2006 (also available in
Korean and Russian)
North Korea's Nuclear Test: The Fallout, Asia Briefing N°56, 13
November 2006 2005 (also available in Korean and in Russian)
After the North Korean Nuclear Breakthrough: Compliance
or Confrontation?, Asia Briefing N°62, 30 April 2007
SOUTH ASIA
Unfulfilled Promises: Pakistan's Failure to Tackle Extremism,
Asia Report N°73, 16 January 2004
Nepal- Dangerous Plans for Village Militias, Asia Briefing N°30,
17 February 2004 (also available in Nepali)
Devolution in Pakistan: Reform or Regression?, Asia Report
N°77, 22 March 2004
Elections and Security in Afghanistan, Asia Briefing N°31, 30
March 2004
India/Pakistan Relations and Kashmir: Steps toward Peace, Asia
Report N°79, 24 June 2004
Pakistan: Reforming the Education Sector, Asia Report N°84,
7 October 2004
Building Judicial Independence in Pakistan, Asia Report
N°86, 10 November 2004
Afghanistan: From Presidential to Parliamentary Elections,
Asia Report N°88, 23 November 2004
Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse, Asia
Report N°91, 9 February 2005
Afghanistan: Getting Disarmament Back on Track, Asia Briefing
N°35,23 February 2005
Nepal: Responding to the Royal Coup, Asia Briefing N°35,
24 February 2005
Nepal: Dealing with a Human Rights Crisis, Asia Report N°94,
24 March 2005
The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan, Asia Report N°95, 18
April 2005
Political Parties in Afghanistan, Asia Briefing N°39,2 June 2005
Towards a Lasting Peace in Nepal: The Constitutional Issues,
Asia Report N°99, 15 June 2005
Afghanistan Elections: Endgame or New Beginning?, Asia
Report N° 101, 21 July 2005
Nepal Beyond Royal Rule, Asia Briefing N°41,15 September 2005
Authoritarianism and Political Party Reform in Pakistan,
Asia Report N°102, 28 September 2005
Nepal's Maoists: Their Aims, Structure and Strategy, Asia
Report N°104, 27 October 2005
Pakistan's Local Polls: Shoring Up Military Rule, Asia Briefing
N°43, 22 November 2005
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 29
Nepal's New Alliance: The Mainstream Parties and the Maoists,
Asia Report 106,28 November 2005
Rebuilding the Afghan State: The European Union's Role,
Asia Report N°107, 30 November 2005
Nepal: Electing Chaos, Asia Report N° 111, 31 January 2006
Pakistan: Political Impact of the Earthquake, Asia Briefing
N°46, 15 March 2006
Nepal's Crisis: Mobilising Intemational Influence, Asia Briefing
N°49,19 April 2006
Nepal: From People Power to Peace?, Asia Report N° 115, 10
May 2006
Afghanistan's New Legislature: Making Democracy Work, Asia
ReportN°l 16, 15 May 2006
India, Pakistan and Kashmir: Stabilising a Cold Peace, Asia
Briefing N°51, 15 June 2006
Pakistan: the Worsening Conflict in Balochistan, Asia Report
N°119, 14 September 2006
Bangladesh Today, Asia Report N°121, 23 October 2006
Countering Afghanistan's Insurgency: No Quick Fixes, Asia
Report N°123, 2 November 2006
Sri Lanka: The Failure of the Peace Process, Asia Report
N°124, 28 November 2006
Pakistan's Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants, Asia Report
N°125, 11 December 2006
Nepal's Peace Agreement: Making it Work, Asia Report N°126,
15 December 2006
Afghanistan's Endangered Compact, Asia Briefing N°59, 29
January 2007 (also available in French)
Nepal's Constitutional Process, Asia Report N°128, 26 February
2007
Pakistan: Karachi's Madrasas and Violent Extremism, Asia
Report N°130, 29 March 2007
Discord in Pakistan's Northern Areas, Asia Report N°131, 2
April 2007
SOUTH EAST ASIA
Indonesia Backgrounder: Jihad in Central Sulawesi, Asia
Report N°74, 3 February 2004
Myanmar: Sanctions, Engagement or Another Way Forward?,
Asia Report N°78,26 April 2004
Indonesia: Violence Erupts Again in Ambon, Asia Briefing
N°32, 17 May 2004
Southern Philippines Backgrounder: Terrorism and the Peace
Process, Asia Report N°80, 13 July 2004 (also available in
Indonesian)
Myanmar: Aid to the Border Areas, Asia Report N°82, 9
September 2004
Indonesia Backgrounder: Why Salafism and Terrorism Mostly
Don't Mix, Asia Report N°83, 13 September 2004
Burma/Myanmar: Update on HIV/AIDS policy, Asia Briefing
N°34, 16 December 2004
Indonesia: Rethinking Internal Security Strategy, Asia Report
N°90, 20 December 2004
Recycling Militants in Indonesia: Darul Islam and the Australian
Embassy Bombing, Asia Report N°92, 22 February 2005 (also
available in Indonesian)
Decentralisation and Conflict in Indonesia: The Mamasa
Case, Asia Briefing N°37, 3 May 2005
Southern Thailand: Insurgency, Not Jihad, Asia Report N°98,
18 May 2005 (also available in Thai)
Aceh: A New Chance for Peace, Asia Briefing N°40,15 August 2005
Weakening Indonesia's Mujahidin Networks: Lessons from
Maluku andPoso, Asia Report N° 103, 13 October 2005 (also
available in Indonesian)
Thailand's Emergency Decree: No Solution, Asia Report N°105,
18 November 2005 (also available in Thai)
Aceh: So far, So Good, Asia Update Briefing N°44, 13 December
2005 (also available in Indonesian)
Philippines Terrorism: The Role of Militant Islamic Converts,
Asia Report N°l 10, 19 December 2005
Papua: The Dangers of Shutting Down Dialogue, Asia Briefing
N°47, 23 March 2006 (also available in Indonesian)
Aceh: Now for the Hard Part, Asia Briefing N°48,29 March 2006
Managing Tensions on the Timor-Leste/Indonesia Border,
Asia Briefing N°50, 4 May 2006
Terrorism in Indonesia: Noordin's Networks, Asia Report N°l 14,
5 May 2006 (also available in Indonesian)
Islamic Law and Criminal Justice in Aceh, Asia Report N°l 17,
31 July 2006 (also available in Indonesian)
Papua: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Asia Briefing
N°53, 5 September 2006
Resolving Timor-Leste's Crisis, Asia Report N° 120, 10 October
2006 (also available in Indonesian)
Aceh's Local Elections: The Role ofthe Free Aceh Movement
(GAM), Asia Briefing N°57, 29 November 2006
Myanmar: New Threats to Humanitarian Aid, Asia Briefing
N°58, 8 December 2006
Jihadism in Indonesia: Poso on the Edge, Asia Report N°127,
24 January 2007
Southern Thailand: The Impact of the Coup, Asia Report
N°129, 15 March 2007
Indonesia: How GAM Won in Aceh , Asia Briefing N°61,21
March 2007
Indonesia: Jemaah Islamiyah's Current Status, Asia Briefing
N°63, 3 May 2007
OTHER REPORTS AND BRIEFINGS
For Crisis Group reports and briefing papers on:
Africa
Europe
Latin America and Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
Thematic Issues
CrisisWatch
please visit our website www.crisisgroup.org
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 30
APPENDIX E
INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Co-Chairs
Christopher Patten
Former European Commissioner for External Relations,
Governor of Hong Kong and UK Cabinet Minister; Chancellor of
Oxford University
Thomas Pickering
Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan,
El Salvador and Nigeria
President & CEO
Gareth Evans
Former Foreign Minister of Australia
Executive Committee
Cheryl Carolus
Former South African High Commissioner to the UK and
Secretary General ofthe ANC
Maria Livanos Cattaui*
Member ofthe Board of Directors, Petroplus Holding AG,
Switzerland; former Secretary-General, International Chamber of
Commerce
Yoichi Funabashi
Chief Diplomatic Correspondent & Columnist, The Asahi Shimbun,
Japan
Frank Giustra
Chairman, Endeavour Financial, Canada
Stephen Solarz
Former U.S. Congressman
George Soros
Chairman, Open Society Institute
Par Stenback
Former Foreign Minister of Finland
*Vice-Chair
Morton Abramowitz
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Turkey
Adnan Abu-Odeh
Former Political Adviser to King Abdullah II and to King Hussein
and Jordan Permanent Representative to the UN
Kenneth Adelman
Former U.S. Ambassador and Director ofthe Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency
Ersin Arioglu
Member of Parliament, Turkey; Chairman Emeritus, YapiMerkezi
Group
Shlomo Ben-Ami
Former Foreign Minister of Israel
Lakhdar Brahimi
Former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General and Algerian
Foreign Minister
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Former U.S. National Security Advisor to the President
Kim Campbell
Former Prime Minister of Canada; Secretary General, Club of Madrid
Naresh Chandra
Former Indian Cabinet Secretary and Ambassador of India to the U.S.
Joaquim Alberto Chissano
Former President of Mozambique
Victor Chu
Chairman, First Eastern Investment Group, Hong Kong
Wesley Clark
Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Pat Cox
Former President of European Parliament
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Former Foreign Minister of Denmark
Mark Eyskens
Former Prime Minister of Belgium
Joschka Fischer
Former Foreign Minister of Germany
Leslie H. Gelb
President Emeritus of Council on Foreign Relations, U.S.
Carla Hills
Former Secretary of Housing and U.S. Trade Representative
Lena Hjelm-Wallen
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister,
Sweden
Swanee Hunt
Chair, The Initiative for Inclusive Security; President, Hunt
Alternatives Fund; former Ambassador U.S. to Austria
Anwar Ibrahim
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
Asma Jahangir
UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion or Belief;
Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Nancy Kassebaum Baker
Former U.S. Senator
James V. Kimsey
Founder and Chairman Emeritus of America Online, Inc. (AOL)
Wim Kok
Former Prime Minister of Netherlands
Ricardo Lagos
Former President of Chile
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Novelist and journalist, U.S.
Mark Malloch Brown
Former UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator ofthe
UN Development Programme
 Nepal's Maoists: Purists or Pragmatists?
Crisis Group Asia Report N°132, 18 May 2007
Page 31
Ayo Obe
Chair of Steering Committee of World Movement for Democracy,
Nigeria
Christine Ockrent
Journalist and author, France
Victor Pinchuk
Founder oflnterpipe Scientific and Industrial Production Group
Samantha Power
Author and Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard
University
Fidel V. Ramos
Former President of Philippines
Ghassan Salame
Former Minister, Lebanon; Professor of International Relations, Paris
Douglas Schoen
Founding Partner of Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, U.S.
Thorvald Stoltenberg
Former Foreign Minister of Norway
Ernesto Zedillo
Former President of Mexico; Director, Yale Center for the Study
of Globalization
INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
Crisis Group's International Advisory Council comprises major individual and corporate donors who contribute their advice
and experience to Crisis Group on a regular basis.
Rita E. Hauser (Chair)
Elliott F. Kulick (Co-Chair)
Marc Abramowitz
Anglo American PLC
APCO Worldwide Inc.
Ed Bachrach
Patrick E. Benzie
Stanley M. Bergman and
Edward J. Bergman
BHP Billiton
Harry Bookey and Pamela
Bass-Bookey
John Chapman Chester
Chevron
Citigroup
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
Richard H. Cooper
Credit Suisse
John Ehara
Equinox Partners
Frontier Strategy Group
Konrad Fischer
Alan Griffiths
Charlotte and Fred Hubbell
Iara Lee & George Gund III
Foundation
Sheikh Khaled Juffali
George Kellner
Amed Khan
Shiv Vikram Khemka
Scott J. Lawlor
George Loening
McKinsey & Company
Najib A. Mikati
Donald Pels
PT Newmont Pacific Nusantara
(Mr. Robert Humberson)
Michael L. Riordan
Tilleke & Gibbins
Baron Guy Ullens de Schooten
VIVATrust
Stanley Weiss
Westfield Group
Don Xia
Yasuyo Yamazaki
Yapi Merkezi Construction
and Industry Inc.
Shinji Yazaki
Sunny Yoon
SENIOR ADVISERS
Crisis Group's Senior Advisers are former Board Members (not presently holding national government executive office) who
maintain an association with Crisis Group, and whose advice and support are called on from time to time.
Martti Ahtisaari
(Chairman Emeritus)
Diego Arria
Paddy Ashdown
Zainab Bangura
Christoph Bertram
Jorge Castaiieda
Alain Destexhe
Marika Fahlen
Stanley Fischer
Malcolm Fraser
Bronislaw Geremek
I.K. Gujral
Max Jakobson
Todung Mulya Lubis
Allan J. MacEachen
Barbara McDougall
Matthew McHugh
George J. Mitchell
(Chairman Emeritus)
Surin Pitsuwan
Cyril Ramaphosa
George Robertson
Michel Rocard
Volker Ruehe
Mohamed Sahnoun
Salim A. Salim
William Taylor
Leo Tindemans
Ed van Thijn
Shirley Williams
Grigory Yavlinski
Uta Zapf

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