From A World to Win News Service

U.S. Intervention in Nepal: The Facts

Revolutionary Worker #1245, July 4, 2004, posted at

The following article is from A World to Win News Service.

June 14, 2004. A World to Win News Service. At the end of April, the U.S. replaced its envoy to Nepal. The Bush administration brought home ambassador Michael Malinowski six months before his tenure was completed. James Francis Moriarty was named to replace him. The new diplomat said that he would work with the old state of Nepal, which the Nepalese people hate and have been fighting to overthrow. At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Moriarty declared that, like his predecessor, "If confirmed, I work in close coordination with our international partners to assist the government of Nepal in countering the Maoist threat." Also like his notably unsuccessful predecessor, Moriarty tried to wrap U.S. intervention in Nepal in concern for human rights and combating "terrorism."

The actual content of U.S. intervention in Nepal, however, shows this to be pure hypocrisy in the service of naked counterrevolution. By "working with our international partners," the U.S. means it is "coordinating" with India against the people's war led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). It is also working with the UK and Belgium to supply the hated Nepalese monarchy with arms and other military aid, and giving unconditional political support to the old regime, regardless of human rights or any other consideration except a determination that revolution in Nepal must not be allowed to succeed by any means, armed or otherwise.

First of all, "coordinating" with India means that the latter country has been waging an intense campaign against Nepalese revolutionaries visiting or living in India, even though the borders between the two countries are supposedly open. Most recently, on June 2, Indian police arrested 11 leading members of the CPN(M), the United People's Revolutionary Council it leads, and other Nepalese in the Indian city of Patna. This incident follows the kidnapping and overnight extradition to Nepal of CPN(M) leaders Matrika Prasad Yadav and Suresh Ale Magar and India's continuing imprisonment of Chandra Prakash Gajurel (Comrade Gaurav).

Secondly, and most centrally, the U.S. is "coordinating" the arming of the monarchy with the UK, Belgium, and India, with itself playing the main role. At least 30 American soldiers conducted joint training exercises with the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) in April according to Nepali newspaper reports. A C-130 Hercules giant transport plane brought the soldiers to Nepal. An RNA spokesman said the U.S. flight crew was learning flying skills over Nepali terrain. "The flight and maintenance crew of C-130 is here for joint training exercises," the daily Himalayan Times quoted an American official, who added that at the same time a U.S. Congressional delegation was in Nepal as part of a mission to "collect information" about the country's civil war and the whole of South Asia. There have been widespread reports that U.S. personnel are involved in surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Nepal and are working with the RNA to develop operational plans.

The U.S. also gave the RNA 5,000 M-16 automatic rifles and promised another 20,000 as part of a new $17 million military aid package announced in April for the coming year. The British government said in May that it was providing two spy planes and additional military supplies. The aircraft can be fitted with machine guns and night vision equipment. Belgium has supplied the old regime with thousands of automatic weapons. The Indian government is reported to have sent helicopters and other hardware.

Thirdly, the U.S.'s political support for the monarchy really has been unconditional, no matter what its representatives say. The new U.S. ambassador announced that he would work with the old Nepalese regime "to strengthen its democratic institutions and improve its human rights record." Yet the U.S. and Indian governments are reported to have vetoed a United Nations resolution calling on the UN to strengthen human rights monitoring in Nepal. The U.S. and Indian move came at the session of the 53-government UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Furthermore, at a meeting of the Nepal Development Forum in Kathmandu where many donor nations took an unequivocal stand against the Nepal regime's human rights violations, the Bush administration remained silent on these issues. This could only indicate approval of the monarchy's kidnapping, torture, and murder carried out against the population in the name of combating the Maoists.

The U.S. claims it is supporting "democracy" in Nepal in the form of a "constitutional monarchy." Yet it had nothing to say when Gyanendra became king by having the former king and most of the royal family murdered. The U.S. has continued to support Gyanendra politically, economically, and militarily despite the fact that he dissolved parliament in October 2002 and took power into his own hands, a situation that has not changed with his recent appointment of a new prime minister. No doubt the United States would like the cover of a parliamentary system to disguise the fact that the U.S. and India control the country. But American behavior has made it clear that the U.S. would prefer any government at all rather than see the country liberated.

It should be noted that a senior official accompanying U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when he visited Nepal in January 2002 announced that in a meeting with Nepalese defense officials, the Secretary made it clear that any military assistance the United States provided would be "non-lethal." This was just an out-and-out lie.

When Powell met with the chief of the Royal Army and took detailed notes about the Royal Army's fight against the Maoist revolutionaries, he said, "The United States is very concerned about what is happening in Nepal, and we hope that the Nepali government will play an important role in fighting against terrorism not only inside of Nepal but all over the world." This justification of blatant interference in Nepal with the now-standard references to "terrorism" has no more truth to it than the concocted claims about Saddam's now-infamously non-existent "weapons of mass destruction" that Powell peddled at the UN. Now the U.S. is trying to get Nepal to send troops to help rescue the beleaguered occupiers in Iraq.

The U.S. has put the CPN(M) on its list of "other terrorist groups." As Moriarty arrived in Kathmandu, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, "We have designated the Maoists under an Executive Order, blocking any Maoists' assets in the U.S. or held by U.S. persons, wherever located, barring U.S. citizens from transactions or dealings with the Maoists." This is a very serious move toward criminalizing all international support for a revolutionary struggle.

Nepal's students delivered an irrefutable slap in the face to these attempts to slander revolution as "terrorism" in a national strike that shut down all the country's educational institutions starting June 6. Students from thousands of schools and colleges took up the demands of the Maoist-led All-Nepal National Free Student Union (Revolutionary): that the government remove the "terrorist" label it had stuck on the organization, that it free imprisoned Maoist leaders, and that school fees be lowered. Some international aid organizations criticized this strike as "interfering" in education, as though the country's feudal monarchy and foreign domination, not to mention the lack of truly free education, were not the source of the country's almost 50% illiteracy.

The degree to which the Maoist demands represent the will of the people was partially revealed in a recent national "mini-referendum" students organized at 30 university and college campuses across Nepal. Of the 35,366 students who took part, about 99% percent (34,906) supported the demand for a republic - in defiance of the king, the parliamentary parties and the U.S., UK, Belgium, and India, which all support the ruling monarchy in one form of another and are trying to use armed terror to prevent the emergence of a Maoist-led people's republic.

Of course, what most reveals the will of the people is the fact that the world's only superpower and its allies and underlings have been unable to turn back the Nepalese people and their ever more powerful and armed demand for revolutionary change.