Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mais textos em inglês

Nepal: victory turns sour:

As a strike wave sweeps the country, the Maoist leadership agrees to banning strikes.


The ongoing strike wave is diverse(1); everyone from transport workers, labourers and poor villagers to doctors, teachers, students, journalists and other professionals are striking and blockading across the country. The demands are equally wide-ranging; wage rises to counter rising food and fuel prices, demands for better public services, local councils in remote rural areas demanding increased funding from central government, calls for land distribution to the rural poor. There are also many short local strikes and actions in protest at attacks, murders and intimidation by political factions; relatives of murdered victims demand compensation and investigation of the crimes. Some strikes are led by different unions (with their various political affiliations, including the Maoists), others actions are self-organised by participants. (...)

Faced with the unrest, Maoist Party leader and Nepalese Prime Minister Prachanda proposed to fellow politicians a ban on all public sector strikes, to which the seven major parties all agreed. In a recent press interview, just prior to the agreement, the Maoist governmental Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai tried to justify a ban;


Nepal is in reality an underdeveloped capitalist economy with certain remaining feudal hangovers within social relationships. (These traditions are either declining or adapting to modern-day norms.) Abolition of monarchy and the pro-democracy movements in recent decades might be seen as part of an unfinished bourgeois revolution(3) - yet the Maoist leadership generally present their desire to move towards greater industrialisation as the beginning of a bourgeios-democratic revolution. The Maoists portray the present period as one in which Nepal is emerging from feudalism (as supposedly evidenced by the recent abolition of the monarchy; unlike, e.g, 'feudal' royalist Britain!) and so needs to build up a strong national industrial economy. The lack of a strong national entepreneurial bourgeoisie has hindered such a development in Nepal, and - like nationalist and leftist parties across the '3rd World' - the Maoists intend to play that developmental role themselves, in alliance with other 'progressive' bourgeios forces. The Maoist leadership are reported to be discussing with China the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Nepal. SEZ's are industrial zones offering partial or complete tax exemption to foreign investors (and sometimes also to native capitalists) along with other financial benefits including stricter labour discipline. Having just passed the relevant legislation, their concern to impose stricter discipline on unruly workers is clearly linked to establishing SEZ's and a general desire to attract greater foreign investment;
[Para quem não tenha reparado, os maoístas subiram ao poder no Nepal há alguns meses]

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