Maoists back mandatory military training
KATHMANDU, May 31: Lawmakers from the Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) have objected to a proposal for mandatory military training to all citizens above 18 years as proposed by a thematic committee of the Constituent Assembly (CA).
The provision is proposed by National Interest Preservation Committee of the CA in its preliminary draft report on the new constitution.
“Such a provision will lead the society toward militarization and that will invite civil war in the country,” NC lawmaker Dr Narayan Khadka said while addressing the CA meeting.
Also, Khadka and other NC leaders expressed their objection to describing Maoist combatants as People´s Liberation Army (PLA).
They said terming them PLA was against the spirit of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and other past accords.
CPN-UML lawmaker Bhim Rawal termed the mandatory provision for military training to all citizens as a wrong provision. He said the Maoist fighters should be called combatants as described by the CPA. He said calling them PLA personnel would be against the CPA.
However, lawmakers of Unified CPN (Maoist) strongly criticized the statement of the leaders from other political parties.
Maoist lawmaker Khim Lal Devkota accused other leaders of betrayal. “The PLA personnel are the ones who fought for republic system and the CA. You all (leaders from other parties) were against it,” said Devkota, adding, “It is a deceitful behavior from you who are reaping rewards in the new systems while disrespecting the fighters.”
He claimed that without contribution of Maoist fighters, establishing republic in the country would have been impossible.
“One special chapter should be dedicated in this report to adore the fighters´ glorious contribution,” Devkota said, adding, “Trying to overlook their role is dishonesty on the part of other political parties.”
Chandra Bahadur Thapa, another Maoist lawmaker, also fiercely attacked leaders from other political parties. “We have felt that other parties are trying to push us toward war by disrespecting the PLA members,” he said.
Thapa, who is also Kathmandu valley in-charge of Maoists´ paramilitary wing Young Communist League, claimed that the CA members who had fanned out earlier to collect people´s opinion had received 22,764 votes in favor of the mandatory military training system. “Can we disrespect the people´s mandate,” he asked. He claimed people supported the idea by giving overwhelming votes for this.
Meanwhile, National Interest Preservation Committee in the CA has tabled a concept paper and preliminary report of the new constitution prepared by the committee.