Today marks the 12th anniversary of the initiation of the revolution in Nepal. Led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the revolution, called a “People’s War” by its proponents, began with sporadic actions in Nepal’s isolated rural areas in 1996 and now sees the rebels controlling 80% of the country. Mystifyingly ignored by North American media, the revolution in Nepal may have wide-ranging repercussions in a region already marked by turmoil.
The CPN(M)’s rapid advance is largely due to their winning over much of Nepal’s poverty-stricken rural population – support won by relying on a program of wiping out national, caste, and gender discrimination as well as by implementing land reforms. That, together with a highly unorthodox strategy the Nepalese Maoists call “Prachanda Path” named after their Party Chairman, has placed the maobadi on the verge of country-wide power in the land-locked Himalayan country.
A peace agreement, signed in November 2006, is currently being respected, but things show signs of heating up. The Maoists have just re-activated their rural governments that were dissolved when the peace agreement was signed, and a new showdown seems set for April when elections for a new Constituent Assembly will take place.
PHOTO VILLAGERS IN A MAOIST BASE AREA, NEPAL: LI ONESTO/REVOLUTION NEWSPAPER