Friday, 21 November 2008

National Intelligence Council report: sun setting on the American century

The report said that global warming will aggravate the scarcity of water, food and energy resources
Tim Reid in Washington

Read the report in full

The next two decades will see a world living with the daily threat of nuclear war, environmental catastrophe and the decline of America as the dominant global power, according to a frighteningly bleak assessment by the US intelligence community.

“The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons,” said the report by the National Intelligence Council, a body of analysts from across the US intelligence community.

The analysts said that the report had been prepared in time for Barack Obama’s entry into the Oval office on January 20, where he will be faced with some of the greatest challenges of any newly elected US president.

“The likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used will increase with expanded access to technology and a widening range of options for limited strikes,” the 121-page assessment said.

The analysts draw attention to an already escalating nuclear arms race in the Middle East and anticipate that a growing number of rogue states will be prepared to share their destructive technology with terror groups. “Over the next 15-20 years reactions to the decisions Iran makes about its nuclear programme could cause a number of regional states to intensify these efforts and consider actively pursuing nuclear weapons,” the report Global Trends 2025 said. “This will add a new and more dangerous dimension to what is likely to be increasing competition for influence within the region,” it said.

The spread of nuclear capabilities will raise questions about the ability of weak states to safeguard them, it added. “If the number of nuclear-capable states increases, so will the number of countries potentially willing to provide nuclear assistance to other countries or to terrorists.”

The report said that global warming will aggravate the scarcity of water, food and energy resources. Citing a British study, it said that climate change could force up to 200 million people to migrate to more temperate zones. “Widening gaps in birth rates and wealth-to-poverty ratios, and the impact of climate change, could further exacerbate tensions,” it said.

“The international system will be almost unrecognisable by 2025, owing to the rise of emerging powers, a globalising economy, a transfer of wealth from West to East, and the growing influence of nonstate actors. Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor, the United States’ relative strength – even in the military realm – will decline and US leverage will become more strained.”

Global power will be multipolar with the rise of India and China, and the Korean peninsula will be unified in some form. Turning to the current financial situation, the analysts say that the financial crisis on Wall Street is the beginning of a global economic rebalancing.

The US dollar’s role as the major world currency will weaken to the point where it becomes a “first among equals”.

“Strategic rivalries are most likely to revolve around trade, investments and technological innovation, but we cannot rule out a 19th-century-like scenario of arms races, territorial expansion and military rivalries.” The report, based on a global survey of experts and trends, was more pessimistic about America’s global status than previous outlooks prepared every four years. It said that outcomes will depend in part on the actions of political leaders. “The next 20 years of transition to a new system are fraught with risks,” it said.

The analysts also give warning that the kind of organised crime plaguing Russia could eventually take over the government of an Eastern or Central European country, and that countries in Africa and South Asia may find themselves ungoverned, as states wither away under pressure from security threats and diminishing resources..

The US intelligence community expects that terrorism would survive until 2025, but in slightly different form, suggesting that alQaeda’s “terrorist wave” might be breaking up. “AlQaeda’s inability to attract broad-based support might cause it to decay sooner than people think,” it said.

On a positive note it added that an alternative to oil might be in place by 2025.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

BNP Membership list leaked.

Communist allies China, Cuba hold landmark summit

HAVANA (AFP) — China's President Hu Jintao on Wednesday was to wrap up a landmark visit to Cuba where he brought millions of dollars in aid and promises of closer trade ties.

The Chinese leader brought 4.5 tonnes of humanitarian aid for victims of three hurricanes that battered Cuba this year, which was handed over late Monday after Hu's arrival at the Jose Marti International Airport.

Receiving the gift, Cuba's Minister of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation Rodrigo Malmierca said Cuba "deeply appreciates the visit of President Hu Jintao, at the exact moment the country is struggling to recover and continue its development."

It was China's third donation to assist Cuba in its recovery from hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Paloma, which caused 10 billion dollars worth of damages in the space of two months. Hurricane aid from the Chinese government and businesses has totalled more than 2.5 million dollars.

China also extended Cuba a 70-million-dollar loan to repair damaged hospitals and another 10 million for social projects, as part of the second tranche of a 350-million-dollar line of credit approved in 2004.

On Tuesday Hu accompanied President Raul Castro on a visit to a school for Chinese students, where the Cuban leader sang a refrain from a Chinese song praising late Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong.

"I learned to be a student like you, young like you and will remain so all my life," Castro told Hu and 300 Chinese students in the town of Tarara, east of Havana.

During his 36-hour visit -- his first to Cuba since 2004 -- Hu planned to oversee the signing of various cooperation deals.

Hu also visited convalescing former president Fidel Castro, 82.

The Chinese leader held a "long conversation" with the former Cuban leader and described finding Castro "very recovered," according to the Chinese official Xinhua news agency. The two appeared in a picture published on the website.

Fidel Castro has met with several foreign leaders in recent months, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Hu arrived in Havana late Monday after attending the world economic crisis summit in Washington and making a stopover in Costa Rica, where he launched free-trade talks and a string of cooperation deals.

His Latin America tour also includes an Asia-Pacific summit in Peru. It comes as China expands its diplomacy and investment around the world, eyeing natural resources and developing markets for manufactured goods and even weapons.

Chinese exports to Latin America grew 52 percent in the first nine months of 2008 to 111.5 billion dollars, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

China was Cuba's second business partner, after Venezuela, in 2007 with 2.7 billion dollars of combined trade, and one of its main creditors.

The two countries have remained close for decades, their Marxist Socialist past a driving force in relations, and they have increased ties since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

China offered key support to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro when Cuba fell into dire economic straits after the former Soviet Union collapse, forging a divide which Russia has recently sought to reduce.

Current deals include Chinese oil prospecting and extraction in Cuba -- onshore and offshore -- and two Cuban eye hospitals in China and a third under construction.

Since Raul Castro officially assumed power in February, taking over from his ailing older brother Fidel, analysts have suggested he is moving toward China's market economy model.

The authorities however still underline support for Cuba's state controlled economy.

Raul Castro recently sought foreign investment for the prospecting and exploitation of gold, silver, zinc and copper deposits.

China already invests in nickel, Cuba's main export, and hydrocarbons on the island, which produces the equivalent of 80,000 barrels of oil and gas per day.

The two countries both have Communist-led governments, but vastly different styles of governments.

China embraced market reforms to become a world economic powerhouse, while Cuba's economy remains under state control.

Hu's visit comes less than two weeks before the arrival of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in another Russian bid to fortify relations with outspoken US adversaries in Latin America on the back of a trip to Venezuela.

Monday, 17 November 2008

China & stimulus

Published Nov 16, 2008 6:47 PM

China has become vulnerable to trends in the worldwide capitalist system since it allowed market mechanisms to coexist alongside state-owned industries. That seemed highly desirable when the world capitalist economies were ballooning up. China sustained double-digit growth year after year. Allowing investment in companies that exported everything from household items to clothing, it became the world’s fourth-largest economy. It also sustained such a favorable balance of trade with the United States that today China has $1.2 trillion in its currency reserves.

Now that the market for China’s exported products is drying up, however, it is experiencing bankruptcies and a big loss of jobs—just like the capitalist countries. China’s economic growth has slowed sharply, dropping from 12.6 percent in the second quarter of 2007 to about 9 percent in the third quarter of this year.

However, China is different, because it went through a great revolution against landlord oppression and imperialist domination that led to mass efforts to build socialism. Even though the retreat toward the market began 30 years ago, the role of the state in the economy is still a major force. And that state, unlike in so much of the world today, has its hands on a lot of cash.

So it’s not surprising that China has come up with a stimulus plan for its economy that is very, very different from those in the United States and Europe. It is not handing over billions to bail out banks and insurance companies.

Instead, under the plan, China will spend $586 billion over the next two years “to finance programs in 10 major areas, such as low-income housing, rural infrastructure, water, electricity, transportation, the environment, technological innovation and rebuilding from several disasters, most notably the May 12 earthquake.” (Xinhua, Nov. 10)

Environmentalists in China see these times as ideal to increase efforts at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the billions will go to develop mass transportation—especially trains and subways.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimated in March that the U.S. needs to spend $1.6 trillion over the next five years to shore up this country’s crumbling infrastructure, including roadways, bridges, drinking water systems, public parks, railroads and the power grid. The budget debated by Congress this year would cover less than a fifth of that.

If China can build public housing and subways and update its electric grid, why can’t the U.S.? Millions of jobs could be created to partially offset the looming crisis of unemployment. But it will take a militant mass movement to force this banker-ridden political system to change its priorities by even a penny.

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Freed Basque terrorist fights extradition in Belfast court

David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

A Basque convicted terrorist living in Belfast will today fight an international extradition warrant issued by the Spanish authorities.

Iňaki de Juana Chaos was freed from a Spanish jail in August amid a storm of public protest. He had served 21 years of a 3,000-year sentence for murdering 25 people in eleven attacks by the Basque separatist terror group Eta.

The Spanish authorities are seeking Mr de Juana in connection with a charge of “incitement to terror” because he allegedly read a statement in support of Eta at a rally of supporters upon his release.

Mr De Juana denies that he wrote or read the statement. He fled Spain immediately after his release to escape the highly-charged publicity. He flew to Dublin and lived briefly in the house of James “Mortar” Monaghan, a former director of the Provisional IRA’s “engineering department”.

Monaghan was found guilty by a Colombian court of training the powerful Marxist group Farc – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – in IRA-style bomb-making skills.

Monaghan and two accomplices fled Colombia while on bail and resurfaced in Ireland. Colombia’s request for their extradition was turned down on the grounds of there being no extradition treaty between the two countries.

Last week Monaghan’s house was searched by Irish police and an improvised explosive device was taken away. Four people were arrested at the house, not including Monaghan.

Mr De Juana gave his address in Dublin while applying through the Spanish embassy for a new passport. The application was denied. Kevin Winters, a lawyer in Belfast for Mr de Juana, said his client was fully co-operating with the authorities, but it is expected that he will argue against extradition in court today.

The lawyer is expected to argue that since his client is co-operating there is no need for the extradition to proceed and that Mr de Juana is prepared to assist the Spanish court from Belfast.
Eta is blamed for killing 823 people in its 40-year campaign of bombings and shootings for a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.

The most deadly attack involving de Juana took place in July, 1986, when 12 members of the Civil Guard police force were killed in a bomb blast in Madrid.

Jailed in 1987, he qualified for early release in 2004 but was sentenced to a further three years over threats he was alleged to have made in a Basque newspaper.

He went on hunger strike in protest before doctors intervened to force-feed him after 66 days.
The Spanish government had planned to hold Mr De Juana under house arrest after being released from hospital, but he was returned to prison when Eta ended its ceasefire in June 2007.

His sentence was later reduced on appeal and he was released in August. Thousands of Spaniards protested against his release, claiming that the government had done a secret deal with Eta.

It is understood that the Public Prosecution Service in Belfast is deciding whether the alleged crime for which he is sought in Spain has an equivalent in British law. The international arrest warrant seeks to question him about being a “terrorist apologist”.

The nearest equivalent would be incitement to hatred, but since it carries a maximum sentence of six months it does not fall under the parameters of the warrant. Qualifying offences require a minimum one-year sentence.

Mr De Juana’s solicitors have told the Spanish authorities that he is prepared to answer the charge via video link from Belfast.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

French anarchists linked to New York bombing

French anarchists linked to New York bombing

A French couple arrested in connection with a series of anarchist attacks on the country's rail network have been linked by the FBI to a bomb attack in New York.

French anti-terrorist police are holding 10 alleged members of a violent anarchist movement suspected of sabotaging power cables on high speed TGV train lines.

But it now transpires that the alleged culprits were netted thanks to information from the FBI, which allegedly linked two of them to the home-made bomb attack on an army recruitment centre in New York's Times Square in March.

Julien Coupat, 34, the suspected head of the "anarcho-autonomist" group, and his 25-year old girlfriend, known only as Yldune L, were stopped allegedly trying to enter Canada from the US illegally in January. It was claimed they were carrying anarchist texts in English and photos of an army recruitment centre in New York.

Although they had left the US before the bomb attack, they had allegedly been spotted shortly before at American anarchist meetings in New York.

Tipped off by the FBI, France's domestic intelligence services and anti-terrorist police had been watching them for months in a tiny village in the Corrèze region, central France.

Police also carried out arrests in the northern city of Rouen, the Meuse region in the northeast and in the Paris area.

Tens of thousands of French were hit by severe delays at the weekend when power was cut by metal bars hooked onto overhead electric cables on TGV lines around Paris.

"These individuals are characterised by a total rejection of any democratic expression of political opinion and an extremely violent tone," said Michele Alliot-Marie, the interior minister.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

MI5's watchdog Kim Howells was an art school anarchist... trailed by the Spooks in his revolutionary student days

By Jason Lewis and Peter Day
9th November 2008

As the man who is running the secretive Government committee that oversees MI5, Kim Howells must keep the Spooks' every move under close scrutiny.

How different from 40 years ago when he was a revolutionary student and it was he who was being watched by them.

Back then, as a self-styled anarchist revolutionary, fine art student Kim Howells led a group of students who took over his art college.

But now, as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, the former Foreign Office Minister's brief is to watch the Security Services do not step out of line.

A new book tells how Howells, an 'agitator with a Welsh accent', led demonstrations and a sit-in at Hornsey College of Art, in North London, at the height of the protests over the Vietnam War.
It claims he was a leading light in the Revolutionary Socialist Student Federation, which was under surveillance by MI5 and Special Branch, and delivered firebrand speeches to fellow students who occupied the college for six weeks in 1968.

The takeover began after Howells and other organisers handed the college authorities a list of grievances including: 'lack of union or sports facilities', 'lack of a common room' and 'poor catering facilities'.

Kim Howells, circled, and fellow students during a sit-in at Hornsey College of Art in 1968
At the height of the protest, an impassioned 21-year-old Howells told his fellow students: 'I say s*** on their art world. I want nothing to do with it.'

He added: 'Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, their thing is a phoney product of a phoney conditioned mind. It exists as a luxury of the bourgeois elite.'

Lisa Tickner's Hornsey 1968 - The Art School Revolution, reveals that when Howells was a revolutionary student, it was he who was watched by MI5

The book, Hornsey 1968 The Art School Revolution, which was published earlier this year, says Howells drew up plans for the sit-in at his flat at 2 Crescent Road, opposite the college, which was owned by a Mrs Kafka, a relative of the writer Franz.

Written by Professor Lisa Tickner, art historian at the Courtauld Institute, the book describes Howells as leader of the sit-in's Student Action Committee with the official role of running the 'Front Office and Stewards'. He also helped arrange the visit of several Left-wing speakers.
Among those who attended was Joan Littlewood, theatre director and wife of folk singer Ewan MacColl.

Recently released MI5 files reveal the couple were banned from the BBC during the Second World War because the Corporation thought they were communist sympathisers and they were under long-term Security Service surveillance.

A report to the college's board of governors at the time complained of intimidation of staff and students, picketing of annexes, the tearing down of the canteen partition, and haranguing by an 'agitator with a Welsh accent (i.e. Kim Howells)' who told fashion and textile staff and students they were 'bloody fools' for selling themselves down the river.

In evidence to a House of Commons education select committee shortly afterwards, the Hornsey principal Harold Shelton complained that the events at Hornsey were an integral part of student unrest.

He said the claim that outside agitators, militants and trade unionists had failed to infiltrate the college was 'a real hoax' and 'a cover for other activities' and produced literature from the Radical Student Alliance and the Revolutionary Socialist Student Federation to illustrate his point.

The RSSF manifesto called for the abolition of exams and grading and equal access to higher education but it was also opposed to imperialism, racism and immigration control.
After the sit-in, Mr Howells was suspended from the college but was later reinstated in November 1969.

However, he failed his diploma because the film he presented as part of his final exams, 'a 20-minute film about politics and riots in Paris, Tokyo and the USA', was not considered fine art.
The Government files on the period are all sealed, including those under the heading 'Socialist Labour League and International Socialists (anarchists and Trotskyists): rival groups; latter group caused disturbance; march to French Embassy in March 1968 in support of French students protesting against General de Gaulle'.

MI5 files on the period are also still classified and unlikely to be available to the public for many years.

But the RSSF which was also behind protests at the London School of Economics, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside the American embassy in Grosvenor Square and disturbances in Northern Ireland was being kept under surveillance.

MI5 has recently dropped operations against so-called 'Reds under the bed' but at the time 'enemy within' surveillance, monitoring the activities of hundreds of radicals feared to be plotting the overthrow of the Government, was high priority.

Also closed are files on Mr Howells's later role as an official of the National Union of Mineworkers during the Miners' Strike of 1984-5.

A taxi driver was killed by two striking miners and Mr Howells has since confessed to going to the NUM offices and destroying information associated with co-ordinating the strike for fear of a police raid.

Last night Mr Howells said: 'I was never a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Student Federation, too many Trots. But I did organise the sit-in at my art college. Whether they [MI5] were watching me I don't know.

'I don't remember anyone politically agitating but I was very much involved in the anti-Vietnam demonstrations. I was not aware that I was targeted by the Security Services. I have never asked if they had anything on me. I'd rather leave it alone.'

Friday, 7 November 2008

The U.S. presidential election—A NEW POLITICAL SITUATION

Rife with potential for working class solidarity and workers’ struggle
By Larry Holmes
Published Nov 6, 2008 11:05 PM

There is a new political situation in the U.S. and in the world. Even though Barack Obama’s sweeping electoral victory was not entirely unexpected, now that it has happened—the reality of it—the way in which it demonstrated to the world that something big has changed about the working class in the U.S., is so stunning that many still find it hard to believe.

The long history of racism in the U.S. seemed to preclude for the foreseeable future the election of an African-American president. The meltdown on Wall Street and the gravest capitalist crisis in 75 years beat back the bigotry that could have stopped Obama’s victory.

A record-breaking turnout on the part of African-American and Latin@ voters, and a tidal wave of young voters, cemented the multinational electoral coalition that made history.

True, much of the U.S. ruling class had concluded that Obama might be the radical makeover that their government needed to deal with the crisis ahead. But that fact cannot negate the role or the feelings of the masses in this phenomenon.

In the African-American communities from Chicago to Harlem to the still Katrina-devastated New Orleans there is elation over the outcome of this election, even a feeling of liberation from a measure of the racism born out of slavery, then cultivated into an unofficial second-class status, enforced by terror at the hands of the police, prisons or the KKK.

Indeed hundreds of thousands of people everywhere, for the most part spontaneously, took to the streets after Obama was declared the winner and the first African-American president of a country built on African slave labor.

And the celebrating was by no means exclusive to the African-American community.

Everywhere, both within and beyond the borders of the U.S., people of every race and nationality poured into the streets crying, yelling and embracing strangers as if a long terrible, reactionary, life-stifling occupation, exemplified by the Bush regime, had finally come to an end.
Will this election restore people’s faith in the U.S capitalist system and government at the very time that exposing the system and government is so critical to forging the mass struggle against capitalism? Perhaps for a little while, but it won’t last long.

In the coming days and months, the mass suffering brought on by the deepening of the worldwide capitalist economic crises, and the reality of the continuing U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, will betray the truth of what has or has not changed as a result of the presidential elections.

The inevitable revelation of how much change the incoming U.S. government represents, and how the mass of working and oppressed people in the U.S. and everywhere react to that revelation, will to a large degree provide the content of the world struggle against U.S. imperialism over the next period.

In lieu of that revelation, something has already changed. Only time will tell how deep and meaningful that change is. The people by the tens of millions have awakened and they have desperate expectations. The people want the U.S. capitalist government to end its wars abroad, stop layoffs and home foreclosures, provide healthcare and education.

Will the new government end the wars? Or will it withdraw troops from Iraq only to send them to Afghanistan?

Will the new Democratic Party government, with an even larger majority in Congress, bail out the workers who are losing their homes and jobs? Will it take the side of labor against capital?
One of the issues that is likely to come before the new Democratic government is a long-standing, simple, proposed law that would require a majority of workers at a workplace to sign union cards in order to get union recognition. The labor movement has been waiting for this law to pass. Will it be signed?

The people want the government to come to their rescue instead of Wall Street’s. It’s a dangerous thing to wake people up and arouse the expectations.

Now that the people are awake they may organize and fight for what they want and need. More than anything else, it is this potential that portends a new political situation in the U.S. and the world.

The feeling on the streets of cities large and small across the U.S. on election night was that now, anything is possible, and it is.

Articles copyright 1995-2008 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Swansea anarchist recalls links with ‘terrorist’ in US election spotlight

Oct 27 2008 by Matt Withers, Western Mail

A WELSH anarchist once described as “the most dangerous man in Britain” has spoken of his relationship with a former terrorist propelled into the spotlight of the US election.

Ian Bone, a political activist who rose to prominence in Swansea in the 1980s, is a comrade of Bill Ayers, the so-called “Weatherman” whose alleged links to Democratic candidate Barack Obama have been repeatedly raised throughout the election campaign.

Mr Ayers was once a member of the Weather Underground, a terrorist group that bombed the Capitol, the Pentagon and the State Department in the 1970s.

He was loosely involved in Mr Obama’s election as an Illinois state senator in the late 1990s, when he was introduced to local activists at a meeting in his house. He also donated $200 to Obama’s re-election campaign in 2001.

Mr Obama served with Mr Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund, a philanthropic foundation, for three years, and shared a platform with him at two conferences.

The links have been cited by Republicans throughout the campaign, with Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin accusing Mr Obama as being “someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country”.

Now it appears that Mr Ayers has links to Wales, having struck up a rapport with Mr Bone following a meeting at a conference in London two years ago.

“Bill Ayers was debating ‘armed struggle’ with John Barker of the Angry Brigade [a 1970s militant group] at the ICA in late 2006,” said Mr Bone.

“I knew John from when he came to live in Swansea after his prison sentence.”

He would not reveal what he and Mr Ayers had discussed – “I don’t reveal private conversations, unlike George Osborne,” he said – other than the fact that the anti-war activist was “pretty unapologetic” about his actions in the past.

“As John Barker said, ‘Petrol bombs are more democratic than dynamite.’” he added.

The Weathermen, a small band of extreme left-wingers who took their name from a Bob Dylan song – “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” – conducted a bombing campaign against targets such as police headquarters, prisons and courts for three years to “bring the war home”, a reference to Vietnam.

Two police officers were killed in 1981, when members of the Weathermen and the Black Liberation Army stole $1m from an armoured car. It was their last action.

Mr Ayers, now 63, turned himself in to police that year, but charges against him were dropped because of mishandled surveillance. He is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois.

“Bizarrely half the Weathermen are in jail for life, the other half are university professors,” said Mr Bone.

He thought the link between Mr Obama and Mr Ayers represented “desperate tactics” from the Republicans. “Obama’s campaign was not laid out in Bill Ayers’ front room,” he said. He thinks “Obama will be less liberal, McCain less right-wing than thought”.

Mr Bone, 61, now lives in Bristol but is spending a lot of time back in Swansea after selling the film rights for his autobiography, Bash The Rich to filmmaker Greg Hall for £10. “I’m in Swansea a lot because my book is being made into a feature film and half of it is set in Swansea,” he said.

He was dubbed “the most dangerous man in Britain” by the People newspaper after founding Class War – a tabloid newspaper costing 20p that became a whole anarchist movement.

Through its support of striking miners, dockers and print workers, and riots – Brixton, Toxteth and Stonehenge – in the 1980s, the paper was, at its height, selling 15,000 copies every week.

Ruling Nepali communist parties form coordination committee 2008-11-02 23:42:41

KATHMANDU, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The two ruling communist parties in Nepal on Sunday formed a high-level coordination committee to ensure better coordination between them and advise the government on important issues.

Senior leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by its chairman and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda", and the coalition party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML), held a meeting on Sunday and decided to form the 12-member committee with senior CPN-M leader Mohan Baidya, also known as "Kiran" and former CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal as coordinators, local news website reported.

"A joint coordination committee has been formed to hold discussions on mutual relations between the two parties and to advise the government," another local news website eKantipur quoted CPN-M spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara as saying after the meeting.

"We decided to further discuss the issues relating to government operation tomorrow," said CPN-UML leader Bhim Rawal.

Besides the formation of the committee, the ruling partners have formed two separate investigation committees to look into the clashes between their cadres erupting recently.

The cadres of CPN-M youth front Young Communist League (YCL) and the CPN-UML's Youth Force have been engaged in frequent clashes in various parts of the country recently.
They also discussed the inclusion of the opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) representative into the special committee for army integration. They have agreed to take measures from their side to persuade the NC to join the committee.

The Nepali government formed a five-member special committee on Oct. 28 to oversee the management, integration and rehabilitation of the CPN-M combatants monitored by UN. The committee has still one seat vacant, which was assigned to the opposition party, NC.
Prime Minister and CPN-M chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" and CPN-UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal were also present at the meeting.

Top leaders of the two parties will again meet on Monday to further discuss ways to resolve their differences on a number of issues including the tricky issue of army integration, leaders said.

Prachanda was elected the prime minister on Aug. 15, and the republic cabinet got its final shape on Aug. 31.