Vacating Camps Will Take Time’

<br><EM><STRONG>Chandra Prakas Khanal</STRONG></EM>

Dec. 12, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-11 Dec. 09-2011 (Mangsir 23,2068)<br>

Some leaders in Nepali Congress and CPN-UML are trying to derail the peace process. Particularly, the recent comments of Nepali Congress leader Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal is in bad taste. The recent comments of leader Dr. Mahat and leader Rawal calling for a through investigation in the budget allocated to combatants is highly objectionable and against the spirit of the peace process.  I don’t think the verification process is the final process for reintegration. We have various issues which need to be settled before the beginning of the process. I don’t understand on what basis Congress leader Dr. Mahat and UML leader Rawal announced that the cantonments will be vacated within a few months.

The first phase of verification process came to an end but it will take more than another five to six months to vacate the cantonments. I don’t think the vacation of cantonment is possible by second week of December as per the agreement.  The process needs a long time to complete. The regrouping and verification process is not a process of integration as the integration process has its own rules and ways. I don’t understand why some leaders of Nepali Congress and UCPN-UML are trying to project the completion of verification process as a completion of integration process.

At least three months are needed just to complete the process of releasing the persons who choose voluntary retirement. After the completion of the project, then only the process of integration will begin. Finally, the process of integration will take another two to three months.

Integration process will be taken as per the suggestion of Nepali Army. But, the concerned parties are yet to agree on leadership, positions and status after the integration. Without completion of all these processes, there is no question to vacate the cantonments. We have just accepted separate directorate proposed by Nepal Army but the other things like the question of leadership, adjustments of the positions and numbers are yet to be finalized.

The commitment made by members of integration committee of Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on the issue of missing combatants is fabricated. We are very suspicious about their statements. I would like to request members of Nepali Congress and CPN-UML not to make such comments. UCPN-Maoist has not misused any amount of money given to the Maoist combatants. The recent allegation against our party is false. The allegation intended to break the peace process. By blaming Maoists as taking the money given to the Maoist combatants, other political parties are making efforts to overshadow the success achieved in the peace process. The number of Maoist combatants reduced in the cantonments because those who went to India for treatment did not return to the camps. Similarly, many other disabled combatants left the camps. I want to challenge the political leaders to prove the misuse of the money. Nothing as such happened in the cantonments. Our comrades are taking the money as per the rules and regulations of the Special Integration Committee.

So far as the number of integration of Maoist combatant is concerned, there is the need of some sort of flexibility in the process of integration. As more than 9,000 combatants have chosen integration, they need to be integrated even in Nepal Police and other security related agencies. This issue must be addressed. If a new agreement is required, political leaders must show the flexibility. By raising the unnecessary issue, it is not possible to end the peace process.
(Khanal is a spokesperson of Maoist Combatants)

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