Prachanda: "A Man in Control"
Blogdai found this excellent article in today's kathmandu post. we do occasionally reprint good articles to facilitate their greater exposure. It reiterates perfectly what we mentioned below (blogdai: "the beginning of the end"). Seems like "The Fierce One" has a fierce public relations problem on his hands. Looks like he spends quite a bit of time apologizing for maoist mistakes. -=blogdai
Apology notwitstanding, Maoist excesses continue
By Tilak P. Pokharel
KATHMANDU, June 8 - Maoists have attacked innocent civilians umpteen number of times and made several "pledges" not to repeat such "mistakes". Yet, civilians continue to fall victim to their barbaric acts.
Most recently, Maoist Supremo Prachanda again issued a statement on Tuesday "repenting" the June 6 attack by his cadres on a passenger bus in Chitwan, killing at least 38 civilians, the highest civilian casualty in any single incident since the rebels launched the armed insurgency in 1996. In the statement, Prachanda said that the attack contravened "party policy" and pledged that the findings of an "internal probe" into the incident would be made public.
Prachanda had issued a similar statement on November 16 after a passenger bus in Dolakha hit a Maoist-laid landmine on November 13, 2002, killing two civilians. In his statement, Prachanda had said such an attack was "beyond their imagination". At that time too, he had pledged to probe into the incident and had said the outcome of the probe would be made public. However, that never happened.
And yet another "beyond-their-imagination" incident occurred in Sarlahi on April 9 where a public bus hit another land mine in which five passengers were killed.
Likewise, when the Maoists went on a rampage attacking leaders and cadres of the People's Front Nepal (PFN) in September-October last year, Prachanda, in a statement on October 6, had said that the attacks were against "party policy". However, attacks on PFN members continued unabated for several months even after this.
The cold-blooded murder of journalist Dekendra Raj Thapa by the Maoists in Dailekh in August 2004 was also followed by an apology by Maoists Spokesperson, Krishna Bahadur Mahara. Mahara had said that his party had no policy of attacking or persecuting journalists and indicated that all attacks on mediapersons by the rebels were "aberrations".
Likewise, the Maoist cadres had set fire to an ambulance in Dhankuta on May 17 last year, besides torching a private vehicle. Incidentally, the incident occurred just a couple of days after a statement by Prachanda in which he had said that his party didn't have any policy to attack civilian targets.
The first ever public apology from the Maoist leadership came during the 2001 cease-fire when Prachanda had said the "forceful collection" of donations by Maoist cadres was against the party policy. That, however, didn't stop the Maoists from extorting common men and women.