Ban on Maoists is India’s internal matter, says Nepal

June 24th, 2009 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, June 24 (IANS) Closely watching the battle in India’s West Bengal state between security forces and tribals backed by Indian Maoists, Nepal, the survivor of a decade-old Maoist uprising, Wednesday said the neighbouring country’s decision to ban the Left radicals was its own internal affair.

“It is the decision taken by a sovereign country,” said Shankar Pokhrel, Nepal’s information and communications minister who is also the spokesman of the communist-led government that came to power last month after the fall of the country’s first Maoist government.

“It is an internal matter of India. In Nepal, we are yet to have the entire perspective. Also, our party does not have any fraternal relations with the Indian Maoists.”

The Nepali party that did have fraternal ties with India’s Maoists - the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) that after 10 years underground emerged as the biggest party in a historic election last year - also echoed the communists, though both are at loggerheads now.

“The ban on Indian Maoists is an internal matter of India,” Maoist lawmaker and spokesman Dinanath Sharma said.

After 1996, when the Maoists began their ‘people’s war’ in Nepal, they too were banned by the Nepal government. Even today, despite having signed a peace agreement, they are regarded as a terror organisation by the US government.

Sharma, however, added that his party rejected repressive tactics and believed talks were the only way for the resolution of any problem. “In a democracy, there is no place for repression,” he said.

During the ‘people’s war’, the then Royal Nepal Army had contended that the Maoists’ guerrilla army had been trained by the Indian Maoists, especially the People’s War (PW) and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) groups. After laying down arms, Nepal’s Maoists had said that while they had ideological ties with the Indian Maoists, they were not actually involved.

While the Nepal Maoist party did not react to the Indian government’s ban imposed Monday and reinforced by the state government of West Bengal a day later, the party organ, the Janadisha, flayed the move.

In its editorial Wednesday, the daily said the ban exposed the hollowness of India’s democracy and would be as ineffective as Nepal’s monarchy and the old parliamentary parties of Nepal that had supported military repression.

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