Dahal gives training to commanders

SHAKTIKHOR: Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ today gave political training to the commander-level combatants of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) here.

All the commanders from the PLA divisions and camps across the nation and other leaders in the Third Division Cantonment in Shaktikhor of Chitwan received their training from Prachanda. Very strict security measures were adopted for their entry to the training ground following the sensational video tape of Prachanda’s earlier political sermon to the commanders prior to the Constituent Assembly election was released in May last year.

Media persons, though were allowed to enter the cantonment gate, they were prevented from entering the training venue.

Deputy Commander of PLA Chandra Prakash Khanal ‘Baldev’ briefed the media persons, who reached the cantonment, about the training. According to Baldev, participants had requested Prachanda not to take the initiative for integration until a clear concept of the integration process was made public by the government.

Baldev also said that there had been discussions concerning the disqualified combatants sent out of the cantonments by the UNMIN. He also informed that the participants had urged the government to float a clear concept of the national army prior to integration. They had also demanded that a programme be implemented within a year addressing the needs of the disqualified combatants.

Senior leaders of the party- Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’, Nanda Kishor Pun ‘Pasang’, Janardan Sharma ‘Prabhakar’, Barshaman Pun ‘Ananta’ also trained the PLA combatants. The leaders arrived at the venue at 9 am. The training kicked off two hours later.

According to sources, Prachanda had trained the participants focussing chiefly on party’s current strategy, integration of the combatants and the process of drafting the constitution. According to a participant, the training was also focused on the issue of management of the combatants, who will be left in the cantonments after the integration process. Earlier, Prachanda had publicly said that nearly 5,000 combatants would be integrated in the army. However, PM Madhav Kumar Nepal had ruled that out saying only 3,000 to 4,000 could be integrated. Integration of the PLA into the Nepali Army is one of the hotly debated issues. Nepali Congress acting chairman Shushil Koirala had earlier warned that there could be a revolt if the combatants were integrated in the army.