KATHMANDU, September 17, 2010-The Special Committee on Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation today endorsed a new directive, ending UCPN-Maoist command and control over the ex-PLA combatants living in several UN-monitored cantonments across the country.
A Special Committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal approved the Directive on Supervision, Control, Command Procedures and Code of ethics of the Maoist PLA combatants. “Now, Maoist combatants have come under the government’s control,” said Nepali Congress representative at the Special Committee Dr Ram Sharan Mahat. “With this, the concept of two armies ceases to exist, and the combatants will come under the command and control of the committee the day its secretariat begins to carry out its tasks.”
UCPN-M representative at the committee Barsha Man Pun termed the day’s development ‘a step forward in the direction of completing the peace process’. “It is a significant step for integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants,” said Pun, a former PLA commander.
In January, the government and the UCPN-Maoist had agreed, in principle, to bring the Maoist combatants under Special Committee, but the directive had yet to be approved. This had stalled the integration and rehabilitation process of the former combatants.
The meeting also revamped the eight-member Technical Committee into a full-fledged secretariat to implement the directive. The secretariat will have 12 members, four of them newly inducted — one representative each from the Nepali Army, the Armed Police Force, Nepal Police and the Maoist party.
The meeting also re-endorsed the code of ethics that not only bars the Maoist combatants from getting involved in the political activities carried out by the Maoist party but also prevents Maoist leaders from delivering political speeches at PLA cantonments, according to a member of the Special Committee.
The code was finalized earlier in January this year. However, the government argues that the PLA has been violating it since its implementation.
Under the code, combatants have to stop hoisting party flags and keeping signboards and photos of their leaders in the cantonments. It also requires the PLA to remove pictures of national and international communist leaders and their communist flags. They will have to stop saluting their leaders in the communist style once the code comes into effect, said the members.
Source: Lekhanath Pandey (Himalayan times)