People's Liberation Army Launches Offensive Throughout Nepal
Revolution #032, January 29, 2006
On January 2, the Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist) announced the end of a four-month-long unilateral
ceasefire. That same day guerrilla military actions by the
People's Liberation Army took place throughout the country,
including bomb explosions in several cities and attacks on
Royal Army vehicles. This was followed by major coordinated
armed battles in many parts of Nepal, including near Kathmandu
at key entry points into the capital city.
This was the beginning of an offensive captured
in the slogan "Stand on the backbone and hit the head"
– where the state’s "backbone" is represented by
the major highways and suburbs and "hitting on the head"
means striking at the strategic weak link of the enemy in
the capital and headquarters.
Describing one major clash, the World to
Win News Service reported: "In the two-day battle at
Chitrya Bhanjayang, the Royal Army lost 22 soldiers, including
an officer, and the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) lost nine
fighters. In the Dhangarhi attack, the PLA engaged the Royal
Army at several different locations in the area while launching
a centralized raid on the district headquarters. The revolutionaries
destroyed the offices of the Chief District Officer, the district
jail, and several other government facilities."
A year ago, King Gyanendra dissolved the
parliament, banned political activity, arrested hundreds of
political opponents, and instituted widespread censorship.
Now, on February 8, he is planning to stage a farce of municipal
elections to cover up his autocracy. The Communist Party of
Nepal (Maoist) has said it will disrupt the elections and
the anti-monarchy coalition of seven parliamentary parties
is boycotting the voting.
The parliamentary parties announced a mass
protest for Friday, January 20. In an attempt to crush all
opposition the government instituted a night curfew in Kathmandu
on January 17. Then the day before the planned demonstration,
over 100 political leaders and human rights activists were
arrested, many in early morning raids. A top government official
said they had orders to arrest 200 people and that 22 security
teams had been mobilized. A daytime 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
curfew was announced for Friday and government employees were
told to get to their offices early.
Starting Monday, January 16, all political
demonstrations have been banned and public buses are prohibited
from carrying protesters into Kathmandu. The day before the
planned Friday demonstration, Internet services and both land
line and mobile phone services were severed.
Reporters Without Borders has voiced outrage
over Gyanendra’s persecution of the media and reports that
the government of Nepal is responsible for half the
number of reported acts of state censorship in the world in
2005. According to RWB, at least 425 journalists were arrested,
attacked, or threatened last year in Nepal. And Human Rights
Organization Nepal (HURON) reports that 599 people have been
disappeared by Gyanendra's regime.
Over the January 21-22 weekend, people defied
the ban on demonstrations in Kathmandu. Protestors hurled
bricks and stones at the police -- who fired tear gas into
crowds, beat people and arrested hundreds. Clashes continue
between the Royal Nepal Army and Maoist guerrillas, including
in areas close to the capital city. On Sunday, January 22,
in Western Nepal, a battle lasted for three hours after rebels
attacked security personnel who were trying to clear road
blockades placed by the Maoists.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution
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