Yes, let's do that; as author of what I believe is the original source of info for what Comrade Alistair calls the "Western 'left'", let's clarify; my article was called "Nepal: victory turns sour" - (sorry, not enough posts yet to post links). It stated in the first sentence "...the Maoist leadership agrees to banning strikes." Not that they had banned strikes. This article was then reposted by some persons unknown elsewhere with the title "Maoists Ban Strikes". So my article was accurate and can't be lumped in with a blanket condemnation of "Western 'leftists'" - having posted on threads where the article is linked to, CA should know this and take the accuracy of the source article into account before making blanket condemnations.Originally Posted by Comrade Alastair
My understanding about SEZs is that the first ever in Nepal was proposed to open in Feb 2009 in Bhairahawa in southern Nepal - as far as I know that didn't happen (correct me if I'm wrong). So I don't think there are "many SEZs", it would seem unlikely there's any.Originally Posted by CA
Wrong - after the Maoists stated their intention to ban strikes in Jan 09 they restated it in April 09 and it was reported in the mainstream press and I also wrote a libcom article on it. CA is apparently a very regular or daily reader of the Nepali press, so strange if he seems to have missed this - but then he says he knows how many times it was reported, so maybe he didn't miss it - perhaps not strange that he might not see fit to report it.I think it was a wrong proposal. But the thing people don't seem to realise is that the ban on strikes was reported on by one or two media outlets just the one time, then never mentioned again. It was never implemented and never happened.
This is wrong and CA should surely know it is; the maoists in government, with full co-operation from other parties, were putting the legislation through the necessary processes to put it on the books in preparation for introducing SEZs. The 4 yr old legislation had been drafted by an earlier government; so CA's 'explanation' for the proposal above is myth. This was explained in my original source article - if CA feels qualified to make blanket condemnations of those who criticise Nepali maoists surely he would have read that article so know that what he claims above is inaccurate? Further; my post reproduced below was made on a thread about claims that maoists were paying widows to marry which then developed into a debate on the strike ban; CA posted on the same page just below my post and said he would reply later about this issue but never did. So why is he now repeating the same invented myths and lies maoists keep trotting out - here, on Kasama etc - to try and excuse the embarassing intended strike ban; when he has already read their factual refutation on the earlier thread?Originally Posted by CA
My earlier post;
To ignore knowledge of such facts and instead only continue to repeat discredited invented myths can only cast doubt on Comrade Alastair's reliability as a general source of information.Why do the Maoists never get the facts right about what they pretend to refute? All the pro-maoist 'explanations' and defences here (and much elsewhere) of the proposed Nepal maoist strike bans are talking nonsense - if they bothered to take their blinkers off and read the linked articles they could find the truth of the matter. But perhaps the truth has a bad taste... The legislation had nothing to do with public sector strikes by rival parties, nor was/is it aimed only at public sector strikes - this is made clear in my articles, so stop pretending otherwise (can't link directly to articles, as haven't posted enough);
SEZ's are industrial Zones common in Asian countries set up with preferential conditions for employers - eg, tax concessions, strike bans - to attract foreign and local capitalists; hyper-exploitative zones. Some months later Bhattarai restated the intention to ban strikes in some sectors;Originally Posted by libcom
Maoist governmental Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai tried to justify a ban;
Now, to create a vibrant industrial economy, is in the interest of both the management and the workers. But this reality is not sinking in their minds. This government is playing its role in creating a healthy relationship between the two. [...]
The workers shouldn't resort to bandas and strikes. If this understanding is honoured we'll have a healthy environment in the days to come.
Q: So the party wants to ensure that whenever there is a labour dispute, legal recourse should be taken?
Bhattarai: Yes. At least for some time, there should be no bandas and strikes in the industrial, health, education sectors, on the major highways, in the public utility sectors. The government is trying to build political consensus on this issue.
KATHMANDU, Jan 22: After four years of finalizing the draft, the cabinet on Thursday endorsed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act, paving way for the implementation of the SEZ projects in the country. [...]
...the Act treats SEZ as a land where other domestic laws related to labor and industries would not be applicable. It has mooted an autonomous SEZ Authority to oversee its operations.
The source stated that the ratification of the Act, which had so far lingered due to the differences over the tighter labor provisions, had became possible after the seven parties recently agreed not to launch strikes in the industries or disturb productions.
“The Act allows workers to unite and practice collective bargaining, but prohibits them from undertaking activities that affect production and normal operations of industries,” said the source. It also allows the entrepreneurs to hire workers on a contract basis.
No mention of 'sabotage strikes' by other rival parties - there was a consensus among all parties on this disciplining of workers as exploited labour power. So stop making up false excuses.Quote:
"We are in a new political set-up and it demands a new outlook in business and industries also," said Bhattrai. He assured entrepreneurs that the private sector would remain a key economic player in the country. He asked business communities to explore fields of competitive advantage.
Nepal is in political transition and there are many problems in trade and commerce sector. "The government knows the problems and is working to solve them," Dr Bhattarai said. The government has been providing subsidies in fuel to industries from the second half of March.
Furthermore, the government is planning to restrict bandhs [street protests] and strikes in industries and essential commodities. "Such regulations will come soon," he assured.
(Himalayan Times online - Apr 10 2009)
Recently on another revleft thread - originally about Bangladeshi garment workers' struggles in SEZ zones - Maoists were queueing up to express 3rd worldist solidarity with the workers there. But when Nepal Maoists seek to introduce the same kind of hyper-exploitation SEZ zones for the Nepali working class they make up all sorts of excuses and fictions. On that thread the Maoist strike ban also came up and I replied;
On the other thread I also commented on the further double standards of Maoists here;As far as I know, the strike ban was never passed into law, it was just expressed as intended legislation (as I made clear in my articles). In Jan 2009 the Nepal Cabinet "endorsed" the legislation - and in April (shortly before leaving govt.) Maoist finance minister Dr Bhattrai, speaking to Nepal's International Chamber of Commerce, promised "Such regulations will come soon". The Maoist Minister was referring to a law drafted by a pre-Maoist govt. that he intended to make operational. But Prachanda, when in govt., was reported as already trying to use his influence to stop bandhs for some time ('bandh' can variously refer to street protests, strikes, shutdowns/blockades etc).
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has announced several times that bandas are henceforth banned. No one listened to him. Everyone thought, "They did it when they were underground, now it's our turn." You now have the absurd situation where political parties in the coalition, organisations affiliated to the ruling parties call for shutdowns.
Nepali Times - ISSUE #441 (06 MARCH 2009 - 12 MARCH 2009)
... when someone quotes the mainstream press as part of a criticism of Maoists he dismisses it with 'well the bourgeois press would say that' - but on the Nepal sticky thread he and others are happy to cheerlead bourgeois press reports that are interpreted to be flattering to the Maoists. [...]
The Maoists were quoted months apart in the media expressing the same intentions to ban strikes - they never issued any denial or claim of being misquoted after the first mentions nor the second. And, as you should already know, Nepali Maoists have never been slow to take aggressive action against newspapers who they feel misrepresent them.