People’s War Day or Violence Day? UML Chair KP Sharma Oli says glorification of violence is not acceptable

While the wartime atrocities including killings, disappearances, rapes and torture still remain unaddressed, Maoist-led government had decided to celebrate Falgun 1 as “People’s War Day”. The UML chair is not happy with the move.

Nepalese Maoist soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) aim their rifles during an exercise at the Bansgadhi area of the Bardiya District near Nepalgung, western Nepal, 26 June 2006. AFP PHOTO/RAMESHOR BOHARA (AFP via Getty Images)

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Amid the speculations that the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Center) may take a decision to sever ties with UML to  revive the previous alliance with Nepali Congress and other parties, CPN-UML chair KP Sharma Oli has fiercely lashed out at the Maoist party. 

On Thursday, chair Oli dubbed the first of Falgun a ‘violence day’. Maoist chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal government had decided to celebrate the day as the People’s War Day. To that effect the government had declared Falgun 1 as People’s War Day, and announced to perpetuate it for the years to come.

UML leadership had not vigorously opposed the decision at that time, though it was fiercely criticized at people’s level.

Twelve days later, KP Sharma Oli, chair of CPN (UML), came heavily against the CPN (Maoist Center) as the former publicly denounced the government’s decision to declare Falgun 1 as “People’s War Day,” calling it a day of violence and terrorism.

The statement from Oli came after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ expedited meetings with leaders from the Nepali Congress, the biggest party in the House, to revive the pre-electoral alliance of five parties.

Earlier, the government decided to give a public holiday on Falgun 1 to what Prachanda termed the day as “People’s War Day”. On Feb 13, 1996, the CPN (Maoist) started an armed insurgency against the government, which it has been celebrating as the “People’s War Day”. 

Why should anybody glorify violence when they have already been part of the peace process? Oli questioned. Oli called the decision ‘unfortunate’. This is an indication that the mindset of violence and trend of glorifying violence has not yet ended, he said. “This is wrong. Why did this government take such a decision [to celebrate people’s war day]? Why was the decision taken all of a sudden?”

He went on saying that Nepali society does not favor any form of violence. “We cannot accept any movement that encourages our people to fight against each other. It [violence] was not accepted yesterday. It is not accepted today. It will not be accepted in the future,” Oli declared.

Maoist insurgency had formally started in Nepal on 13 February 1996 [1 Falgun 2052 as per Nepali Calender]. The armed conflict that lasted for 12 years claimed the lives of thousands of people while leaving several thousands of others injured, displaced or disappeared. 

Tens of thousands Nepalis were tortured, raped, killed and disappeared during the decade-long conflict. Though the government formed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) in 2015 to investigate the war-era cases, these transitional justice bodies have not been able to take the war era cases to logical conclusion.  Thousands of cases and complaints remain pending in these bodies and the calls of the victims of the war-era crimes for justice have not been addressed.