|‘Can Nepal Maoists rule in democracy?’|
|From Shyam Bhatia DH News Service Washington:|
|As Nepal’s Maoists seek to consolidate their position within the emerging new power structure, a leading American authority has expressed his concern about their past activities and potential for taking over the country.|
As Nepal’s Maoists seek to consolidate their position within the emerging new power structure, a leading American authority has expressed his concern about their past activities and potential for taking over the country.
The observations of Professor Tom Marks stand out in sharp contrast to the protestations of Maoist leader Prachanda who told the New York Times Sunday, “We want to show a new example from Nepal. What is the reason for not trusting us? We are not the problem for the country and for democracy.”
Marks, who is Professor of terrorism and counter-terrorism studies at the National Defense University in Washington DC, describes Prachanda and co-leader Baburam Bhattarai as part of a very “dogmatic Marxist Leninism as it is taught in South Asia”.
He says their Stalinist approach, discarded and discredited in much of the rest of the Communist world, still takes its inspiration from centralised planning and what he describes as the unsuccessful and extremely bloody solutions of the past. Marks describes the Maoists as the best politicians in Nepal, but also points out that they have been responsible for the deaths and mutilations of 10,000 teachers, government officials and others, some of whom had their legs broken with hammers and their limbs slashed with sickles.
It was 10 years ago on February 13, 1996, according to Marks, that the Maoists officially declared people’s war against Nepal. They then embarked on a strategy of eliminating everyone and anyone who opposed them.
Their favourite weapon was a rice cooker wired as an improvised explosive device that was used against rural police stations and even against the fledgling Royal Nepalese Army. “The Royal Nepal Army was quite small and they’re not the Gurkhas,” Marks explains.