This programme include three phases. The first phase, from 10 September to 2 October, involves countrywide political propaganda such as putting up wall posters, leafleting, street-corner speeches and cultural performances in favour of the formation of an interim government, the election of a constituent assembly and the establishment of the People’s Republic of Nepal. The second phase, to last another month, will focus on door-to-door visits aimed at informing the Nepalese people about the current political situation and the party’s policies. These public relations efforts will be accompanied by small-scale development projects. The third phase will see bigger and bigger demonstrations at the district and regional levels and the broad arousal of the masses to achieve the agenda put forward by the party.

The declaration of the unilateral ceasefire brought immediate major political repercussions in Nepal and internationally. Voices from the Nepali parliamentary political parties, the UN and the European Union have welcomed it. Nepalese media reported expressions of support from broad and varied nationalist and democratic forces, including people from different quarters such as political figures and prominent personalities, writers and reporters, artists and academicians. There was also much support for the ceasefire among the middle and lower classes in the capital of Kathmandu and in towns and villages throughout the country. The widespread public opinion in favour of the establishment of a People’s Republic of Nepal has put tremendous pressure on the feudal autocrats in Singha Durbar (the official seat of government) and the Royal Palace in Kathmandu.

Explaining the objectives of the unilateral cease-fire, CPN(M) Chairman Comrade Prachanda told Janadesh weekly, “The declaration of the ceasefire is aimed at creating an atmosphere at the national and international level in favour of a forward-looking political exit, inspiring the seven political parties to come to the co-struggle by aiming their tactical agendas straight forward, reinforcing the struggle of various sectors of civil society, increasing the political pressure on the old state and strengthening public relations by respecting the desires and feelings of the broad masses of people.”

Chairman Prachanda also made it clear that “there is no possibility of a dialogue with the old state, which would be meaningless.”

The party has been leading a people’s war since February 1996 to carry out a New Democratic revolution in Nepal and then advance to socialism and communism. The CPN(Maoist) has entered negotiation processes twice in the past, and during those political moments, millions more Nepalese people across the country were mobilised in favour of revolution. Though entirely isolated from the masses of people, the reactionary feudal monarchy of Nepal has refused to hand over political power to the people through peaceful means but instead resorted to brutality in an attempt to crush their revolutionary desires. Instead of respecting the peace process, the ruling reactionaries killed thousands of people, raped women, looted the people’s property and burned their homes. The party responded by dealing deadly military blows against the Royal Army. The reactionary regime has shown that they have no intention of handing over political power to the people peacefully, and that people’s war is necessary to end the unjust war imposed by the reactionaries.

Chairman Prachanda’s statement warns king Gyanendra Shah, “If, taking our comprehension of our responsibility towards the people and a political exit as a sign of weakness, the royal regime responds with adventurism, stepping up military activities and expanding Royal Army camps, we would like to make it known that we will break the ceasefire at any point and mount a whole new level of attacks.”

The party’s declaration of the unilateral cease-fire presents grave challenges nationally and internationally.

The first and foremost challenge is to the king. In a sign of the major political earthquake that has shaken the Royal Palace, Gyanendra Shah cancelled his scheduled visit to UN headquarters in New York at the last minute. This known drug dealer had intended to take part in the General Assembly’s yearly opening session to tell the biggest monsters on the earth – like Bush & Company of the United States – that he needs more weapons to kill more Nepalese people. And these monsters need a fascist flunkey such as Gyanendra. “The disruption [caused by the ceasefire] is so severe,” a Nepalese newspaper commented, “that the text prepared by royal experts working day and night for a month so that the king could read it at the UN has become useless.”

The second challenge is to the parliamentary parties: whether to take the side of the people and the new political power to be born, or the side of the dying feudal monarchy. Despite the fact that the Nepali Congress Party recently removed its pledge of loyalty to a “constitutional monarchy” from its party programme and the United Marxist-Leninist (UML) party just made a similar move, declaring itself in favour of the struggle for a republic, they continue to vacillate. This political vacillation is profoundly expressed in a letter to UN General Secretary Kofi Annan. The letter, signed by seven parliamentary parties and handed over to the UN envoy in Kathmandu, urges Annan not to let the “unconstitutional old government” take part in the General Assembly. It continues, “We have, as representatives of seven major political parties, come together and made public our common platform in which we propose the reinstatement of the Third House of Representatives, formation of a government of all-party consensus, free, fair and peaceful elections to the constituent assembly following peace negotiations with the insurgent Maoists, and inclusive restructuring of the state as a way out of the current crisis.”

The “reinstatement of the Third House of Representatives” means the re-establishment of parliament. This can lead nowhere but to the survival of Nepal’s semi-feudal, semi-colonial system (as a country that is independent in name but run by feudal and big capitalist forces entirely dependent on imperialism). Despite the massacre of the former king that brought Gyanendra to power in 2001, his dismissal of the parliamentary government in 2002 and his takeover of executive power through the royal coup of 1 February 2005, the parliamentarians have always refused to support the abolition of the monarchy as the immediate task, because of their own anti-people class character.

Chairman Prachanda clearly stated, “The main responsibility for achieving a political outlet falls on the political parties.” He cautioned against “conspiracies” to “end the existence of Nepal by declaring it a failed state.” Instead of deeply considering the grave situation, the parliamentary parties have been slavishly throwing themselves into the arms of the imperialist powers, raising demands that the People’s Liberation Army should give up its arms and that the Maoist party should commit itself to the reactionary parliamentary system. The declaration of the cease-fire has opened the door for the parliamentarians to advance and help overthrow the feudal monarchy if they are truly committed to the service of the people. Otherwise, if the Nepali Congress’s changes to its programme and the UML’s declaration of republican intentions are simply bargaining chips to be used in coming to an agreement with Gyanendra, if their intention is to protect the feudal monarchy, they will be left behind by history.

The third challenge is to the imperialist warmongers who have been undermining the right of the Nepalese people to sovereignty, prosperity and self-respect. These monsters have been dreaming of resorting to foreign armed intervention beneath the blue flag of the UN with the pretext of civil war in Nepal. Gyanendra Shah, a prudent puppet of imperialist and expansionist forces, would rather see a foreign army parading on Nepalese soil, with the survival of his outdated system dependent on the killing of thousands, than give up political power to the Nepalese people. The declaration of the unilateral cease-fire is meant to deal a blow to the agendas of the imperialists.

Mixed messages have come in response to the ceasefire. On behalf of the government of the old state, Tanka Dhakal said, “The sincerity of the truce offer is doubtful, as we have experienced in the past that such commitments have been flouted time and again.” Responding to the statement of the monarchy, a Congress leader said, “It has forgotten its responsibility towards people as it is resorting to suppression rather than consolidating peace and democracy.” Similarly, UML leader Jhalnath Khanal said, “I have sensed a language of panic in the government statement. Either it is trying to disband the peace process or is trying to ignore it.” Another leader from the Congress-Democratic party declared, “Peoples’ priority is peace, but they are interested in military operations rather than finding a political way out, which is very tragic.” A human rights activist remarked, the “immature response of the government exposed its true nature.”

More and more, the reactionary regime in Nepal is being cornered. The decadent monarchical system is staring at the possibility of its collapse.