China pushed Prachanda into sacking army chief

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Yusuf, May 9, 2009.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    NEW DELHI: While India was inviting popular opprobrium in Nepal trying to prevent Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda from sacking the army chief,

    China at the same time sent messages to Prachanda pledging support for doing just the opposite!

    According to sources monitoring events in Nepal during those crucial days, China reportedly told Prachanda to stick to his guns and they would support him. In fact, they had offered to train the PLA cadres who could be integrated into the Nepal army.

    Apparently, it was one of the assurances that led Prachanda to disregard the opinions of his allies in government and go ahead with the sacking, with disastrous consequences to the government and the infant democracy in Nepal.

    After India came under attack in Nepal for trying to "interfere" in its internal affairs, Prachanda on Friday called in Indian envoy Rakesh Sood for the first meeting after his resignation. The meeting smoothened ruffled feathers on both sides, but there was no sign that the task of building a government was going anywhere. The meeting was significant to the extent that having blamed India, both Prachanda and India are clearly open to mending fences. Reports from Kathmandu said that during the meeting Prachanda repeated the platitudes of maintaining the peace process.

    Prachanda has been on the defensive ever since a leaked video showing him revealing the Maoists' strategy of taking over Nepal's institutions of army and judiciary were revealed. This has added an edge to the normal political chaos in Kathmandu. In the video, Prachanda is shown telling his cadres that their main aim was to capture power and the signing of a peace accord was just a strategy to attain their goal.

    As the political parties in Nepal continued their efforts on Friday to cobble together a consensus government, it became clear the Maoists were not willing to roll over. As the president-imposed deadline to form a consensus government approaches on Saturday, the Maoists have refused to endorse UML as head of the new coalition. The Nepali Congress has said it would back a UML candidate for prime minister.

    If a consensus government eludes the parties, a vote will be held on the floor of the house for the parties to prove their majority.

    Meanwhile, reports also said US ambassador Nancy J Powell met Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala to try to form a government. Prachanda also met the chief of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Karin Landgren, and discussed the peace process.
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I did not put this in the Nepal thread on purpose as I wanted to discuss the Chinese involvement in Nepal and the implications on India.

    Prachanda is a known to have allegiance with the Chinese and if he comes back to power with a majority, then we can say good bye to Nepal as an Indian backyard.
     
  4. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    I'm not the least bit surprised...

    I'd expected Nepal to leave our orbit as soon as I noticed that Prachanda had broken with tradition and decided to visit China first as his official visit before coming to India...

    Though, at the time he denied that it had any implications on the India-Nepal relationships, the effects are clearly visible now...

    I hope we can do something to make sure that the Maoists don't come back to power... if the news channels in our country are to be believed they say that the discontent of the people against the Maoists is growing...

    Let's hope they are true...

    We need a G P Koirala government there which will be friendly to India and not a Maoist government which will be friendly to CCP !!!
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    More about Chinese involvement in Nepal turmoil

    Nepal Turmoil – More Than Meets The Eye

    By Bhaskar Roy

    For most of the nine months of the coalition government in Nepal, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the dominant component, single mindedly pursued the policy of converting the country into a totalitarian state. There was little governance, the Constituent Assembly hardly got to seriously work on a new constitution on the basis of a national consensus taking into consideration the protection of the legitimate interest of all sections of the people. The peace process never appeared to be at peace.

    The Nepali Congress (NC), the party with the second largest number of seats in Parliament, was a most unlikely member of a coalition led by the Maoists. Having been the main political party in Nepal and the moving spirit behind the democratization of the country, the NC was not going to play second fiddle to the Maoists. The ideology of two were in contradiction. They joined forces in second people's revolution, or Janandolan-II, to oust the draconian rule of King Gyanendra. But it cannot be said that the NC was happily in favour of dissolving the tradition of monarchy altogether. The Maoists, on the other hand, always suspected the NC of harbouring a secret desire to revive the monarchy at least in the form of a figure head.

    The Madhesi Janadhikar Front (MJF), generally representing the aspirations of the Madhesis of the Terai region had much hope of support from the Maoists who preached equality for all people.

    The CPN (UML), the second largest party in the government, buried past ideological differences with the Maoists, and found a common benefactor in China. The other components of the coalition were not of any significant significance.

    The 238 year old monarchy was a benevolent ‘god on earth’ for the Nepalese people. He was the symbol of Lord Vishnu. In the eyes of the people, however, King Gyanendra had desecrated the lineage of the monarchy. He came to the throne in a palace massacre in 2001 when King Birendra was killed by his son Crown Prince Dipendra and was himself killed. This is the official version. But many people still suspect otherwise

    Although the Maoists still said to have some public support, and have their own armed youth wing the Young Communist League (YCL) and the Maoist army of over 33 000 also known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the people’s support is still to be tested on the ground.

    One of the agreements of the peace process was the rehabilitation of the PLA fighters mainly in the security forces. The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) did the initial segregation in the PLA selecting only those eligible on the criteria of age and the date of joining the PLA. Here the main problem started.

    The Nepali Army Chief Gen. Rookmangud Katawal put his foot down against wholesale induction of the PLA into the army. He held that only those among the PLA who satisfied the set bench marks for recruitment would be inducted in the army. He was very vocal against the politicization of the country’s professional army.

    But the Maoists, mainly led by Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, had other ideas. He and the Maoists wanted a Nepali Army as an politicized and indoctrinated PLA on the pattern of the Chinese PLA. There were allegations that ultimately the Maoist army Chief would take over as the Nepali Army Chief.

    Technically, it is correct that Gen. Katwal defied some of the orders of the Defence Minister and the Cabinet including filling up the vacancies in the army through normal recruitment process. He also reinstated immediately without reference on the stay orders of the Supreme Court on the retirement of eight Brigadiers against the Defence Minister’s wishes. Further Katawal instructed the regular army sportsmen not to complete with PLA participants at the national games. In short, Gen. Katawal made it clear the Nepali Army did not recognize the legality of the institution of the PLA. This was not acceptable to the Maoists.

    The Maoists appeared to be in great haste to establish Marxist rule in Nepal. They picked up pages from several Marxist revolutions across the world especially the Chinese communist revolution victory. Therefore, the first thing to be done was to demolish the existing state and free institutions of Nepal including the army, the higher judiciary, the existing bureaucracy and the free media that dared criticize the Maoist policies.

    The army is seen by the Maoists as the strongest pillar of the erstwhile ruling establishment which fought the Maoists. It was also the preserve of the deposed monarchy. Though Gen. Katawal was born a plebian, he was adopted by King Mahendra making him a converted reality, if there is anything like that. That the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, appeared to side with the army and Gen. Katawal on some issues, incensed the hardliners among the Maoists. They would settle for nothing less than Katawal’s head. The Maoists wanted to replace Katawal with Lt. Gen. Khadka, who is to retire at the end of May. The law laid down by Maoist Central Committee was ‘head I win, tail you lose’.

    It appears that the CPN (M) head and Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal @ Prachanda, was in favour of a consensus. But consensus could not be arrived at because hardliners wanted everything their way to emphasize their writ. The opposition within would not have it. Prachanda was not given an option by his Comrades, forcing him to dismiss Gen. Katawal, which was negated by the Nepali President, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. Prachanda had to resign as Prime Minister, and India was blamed by the Maoists.

    India did interfere in the sense that it tried to advise all concerned to avoid a confrontation that would bring down the Maoist led government. But the Maoists deliberately twisted the Indian intentions, despite the fact that India had supported the Maoists against King Gyanendra and helped broker the 12-point agreement between the Maoists and the other political parties to institute democracy in Nepal and start the peace process.

    Despite enjoying Indian goodwill for a peaceful Nepalese political settlement, the Maoist hardliners felt India would not turn a blind eye on their one party state strategy. They went to China from the very early stages for support. This despite the fact that the Chinese supported the monarchy including with arms to fight the Maoists, while India, the US and UK stopped military supplies to monarchy led government of King Gyanendra.

    The Maoist swallowed the Chinese bait hoping put India against China in Nepal, and inviting the Chinese in. They forgot the political principle a country remained safe and independent as long as it did not indulge in setting one neighbour against another. They also missed the point that after Tibet, China was trying to push its strategic border against India to the Indo-Nepal borders.

    In June, 2007, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Zhen Xialing, told a local newspaper the ‘Nepal’ “China will not tolerate any foreign intervention in Nepal”, adding “whenever the Nepali people face any problem or difficulty, China shall treat them as our own especially when the problems pertain to sovereignty or territorial integrity”. Both the interviewer and Ambassador Zhen recalled the 1962 statement of Chinese Vice Premier Chen Yi, that China would not tolerate any foreign interference in Nepal. The import 1962 and China’s attack on India that year, is pregnant with significance in the current context. Since then other Chinese official visiting to Nepal have expressed similar support.

    The Chinese also promised the Maoist PLA assistance and training in open and official statements. The Chinese also sent a secret draft of a new friendship agreement with Nepal earlier this year which contained articles that more than implied Chinese support to Nepal against India especially on territorial issues. For more than a decade now the Chinese have been whispering to the powers that be Nepal to open a dispute on the Kalapani border issue with India, something which would be in China’s tactical military interest on the ground against India.

    The Nepali political parties and people must seriously contemplate on two Chinese strategies that threaten Nepal’s own security. First is the strengthening of a parallel Maoist army in Nepal in opposition of Nepal’s national army. The second is to conjure confrontation with India where none exists. The Nepalese people would have to weigh this against the benefits and security that rest in the historical, cultural and people-to-people India-Nepal relations.

    President Yadav has given a deadline to the Nepalese political parties to form a national government by May 9. This is unlikely to happen. On the eve of proclaiming dismissal of Gen. Katawal, the Maoists had mobilized their cadres, the YCL and the PLA to take positions in Kathmandu and elsewhere in the country.

    The CPN (UML) withdrew from the government. The Nepali Congress is also organizing countrywide protests against the Maoists. Anti and pro-Maoists demonstration are taking place. If the Maoists, at the instance of the Chinese, resort to another armed movement, the people of Nepal would be the losers. The world will not stand by mutely and see the Maoists burn Nepal.

    Both the opposition and the Maoists are working to form a government. The Nepali Congress is willing for a new government with the UML as the leading party and Madhav Kumar Nepal of the UML as the Prime Minister. But the Maoists are trying to split the UML by enticing a faction by the pro-China President of the UML to join the Maoists with his followers. But Prachanda’s personality suffered when a video appeared on Nepali television showing a speech by him in which he said how they had inflated the PLA figures and tricked the UNMIN to induct their other cadres in the Nepali army and grab State power. This has also created some consternation in the party.

    The Maoists cadres, YCL and the PLA have warned officials and workers of the Nepali Congress and UML not to oppose the Maoists and leave their villages. Clashes are also being reported.

    The Nepali Congress leader G.P.Koirala, had cautioned Prachanda if Gen. Katawal was dismissed they would be inviting a catastrophe. This old politician’s experience goes longer than that of the Maoists put together.

    The CPN (M) may also be heading towards a split between the moderate and the hardliners. The only way to save the situation in Nepal would be for the Maoists to desist from armed action and arrive at a consensus through discussions. The Nepali congress and the UML would still be amenable to reasons. Destructive diplomacy of fighting for China’s machination against India has disaster written all over.



    Nepal Turmoil- More than Meets the Eye
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I think India has to pump in lots of ammo into the Nepalese Army and if things get bad, it has to back a coup by the Army. The Nepalese Army is well dispensed towards India and wary of the Maoists and their Chinese masters.
     
  7. deltacamelately

    deltacamelately Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The Nepalese army chief apparently seems to have known the grand scheme of things, as is vindicted by his stubborn resistance against inclusion of the Maoist cadres in the regular forces. China can continue to play the dagger in the velvet gloves as long as it wants, however, as long as the Nepalese army remains a viable and professional force, the PRC stands little chance.
     
  8. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    India has to be pro active. If it sits back and waits and watches, we might lose Nepal to China.
    We have be assertive and make sure that the Maoists are gone for good.
    We have to support the Nepalese Army in every possible manner and also support a non Maoist democratic government. If there are new election, we bloody well rig it and make sure the Maoists are now where near power.
     
  9. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Agreed, but this has to be done in a very covert way as India is not a very popular country there... if it is done overtly, then I'm afraid the Nepali people will just see it as big brother meddling around and not letting them get their own free will...

    Also, if it is apparent that we are meddling, then Prachanda will obviously use it to his own advantage to further his own cause...

    So, we must do it slow and steady but surely must back the Nepali Army to defeat the evil designs of PRC...
     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    The Nepalese people don't like the Maoists anyway. India has to give them a helping hand.
    Chinese in Nepal is a nightmare scenario for India.
     
  11. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Actually the Maoists are quite popular. They are the largest party after all.

    India should have sensed the wind direction and pushed for political reforms in Nepal before these Maoists became the representatives of change. Now that they are here, we have no choice but to deal with them.

    Above all, India should learn its lesson and deal with its own Maoist insurgency before things start to get out of hand. Involving maximum voters in the electoral process is just one way of doing so.
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    If the protests on the streets against the sacking of the army is anything to go by, then most people in Nepal are done with the Maoists.
     
  13. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    people, lets get over with the notion that india is sleeping over this problem. why do we underestimate our diplomats so much, have faith in them as a matter of fact the whole crisis that nepal finds itself today would have not happened in the first place had it not been india in the backdrop and by now one would have seen the authoritarian rule of the maoists in nepal underway. mind you at a time when our armed forces find it hard to source the requisite talent with the bare minimum requirements, IFS stills is able to source the finest of the talents that our country produces with recession or no recession in the pvt sector, that is the charm of foreign services and when we can give credit to our armed forces then we should certainly give credit to our diplomats, just to earn the due credit people do not have to make the supreme sacrifice by laying down their lives. the only thing required is political will and as far as this situation is concerned one can see enough political will and so far the good thing is that the indian communists are sitting in the opposition. the only stumbling block if any in furthering our agenda i can see is if the next government is formed with the support of the communists or with them in the lead role and if that were to happen then well sitaram yatuchri will make a lot of trips to kathmandu trying to build the bride with the maoists but then that would mean a situation like last time where maoists would play a bigger role.


    maoists are popular or unpopular cannot be ascertained by the number of seats they have at the moment, in fact the popularity graph has always seen its shares of ups and downs in any democracy, so how popular they are today can certainly not be judged on how they performed in 2008 elections, may be they are more popular or may be they have lost ground in a big way. why they were voted in or why they happened to be the single largest party can be looked at as a party which till then was untested and was seen as lesser of the devils where till then the nepal political parties were seen as the most opportunistic as they are master in the game of aya ram gaya ram where they happened to beat our goan politicians hands down. the politics of sub continent has not matured to the extent that incumbents get voted in, look around and you would have your answer and since we have entered the era of coalition politics in india even we have not done the same at the national level, so if history has to say anything then well maoists would find themselves lucky if they have been able to retain or gain ground if the elections were to happen anytime round. as i have said before the maoists got played in and from where i can see they have most certainly lost ground big time in their home turf level alone gaining ground in the bastion of other political parties. just look at protests that have happened now post prachanda exit and compare to lal march not so distant past in 2007 and the difference can be seen and this no show now has happened at a time after repeated calls of street protests by the senior leadership of maoists. this speaks volumes of the so called popularity of the maoists.


    my only real fear is if the all the communists of nepal were to come under a common plank and have a common agenda and then contest elections together, boy if that were to happen then for sure we can say good bye to nepal and i can sense the things are going to move so fast then that nepali army will be a no show and then there would be full fledged PLA with communist ideology deeply ingrained. this is a little difficult to come around but certainly not impossible. the hindrance i can see are the egos involved. maoists tend to speak from a point of strength which is not quite acceptable to the other commies who would like an equal playing opportunity from where they can grow in strength, and this is something the maoists are not ready to play around with for the moment. the other communists for the moment fear that maoists would grow to such an extent that they would get completely sidelined but these fears can be put to rest if prc was to work with all of them and one thing that could certainly get them together would be the common hatred for india and in case this were to happen then there would be areas divided with in nepal where each communist party would play its role and the others would not interfere. india needs to get ready for this challenge and this could happen rather soon if prc is smart enough. now to tackle this problem we need to maintain our contacts with all the communist parties including maoists and the best solution for this situation would be if we are able to engineer a split amongst them and with in these parties but that looks too far fetched. till the time this happens enjoy the drama as it gets unfold in the theater called nepal.
     
  14. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Maoists popularity is over-rated in Nepal just as Left popularity is over-rated in West Bengal. AFAIK, it was India which mediated and brokered the peace in Nepal that allowed the Maoists to get into Govt.
    Remember, India was ruled by the UPA Govt which depended on the Left for survival. So, the simple deduction is that Manmohan SIngh goaded by Yechury(guided by Beijing) brokered the entry of Maoists in Govt. India should learn its lesson and turn against the Maoists. Put them in their place. China can enter only if India allows it.
    Recently, a video of Prachanda baring his intentions was leaked to media in Nepal. Most probably, this was a subtle but powerful reaction of India. After, the video leak, Prachanda made some pro-india statements and mostly his position has weakened, public have turned against him. If india follows this approach, we have no fear. But if Maoists are allowed to grow in Kathmandu because Dilli leans on Left for support then India's backyard will become chinese playground.
     
  15. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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  16. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Trust deficit between India, Nepal: Prachanda

    KATHMANDU: Dismissing as "ridiculous" India's fears that Nepal was moving closer to China, Prime Minister Prachanda has, however, said there was a "crisis of confidence" between him and the Indian establishment.

    Prachanda, the Maoist leader who resigned as Prime Minister last week after Nepal's President Ram Baran Yadav annulled his dismissal of the army chief Gen Rukmangad Katawal, said that India had backed the "extra-constitutional" action of the president.

    "We are fighting for civilian supremacy (over the army) but directly or indirectly the new position of New Delhi is not consistent with civilian supremacy."

    "To support the steps of the president which are extra-constitutional and to support the army chief is not consistent with civilian supremacy," the caretaker Prime Minister said in an interview.

    Asked if there was a lack of trust between India and Maoists, he replied, "May be. But we need to have more interaction and debate on the issue (with India). We shall have to review the process of understanding and I hope ultimately we will come to a new agreement and we will go ahead with the peace process."

    To a question if there was a trust deficit between India and Nepal, Prachanda said, "Yes, there is a crisis of confidence....I hope ultimately we will be able to have a new understanding and level of confidence."

    He warned that if the "peace process is derailed it will not be helpful to any country, Nepal or India".

    Prachanda blamed "bureaucratic and security officials" in India for the trust deficit and said that because India's political leaders were busy in the election campaign these officials were handling Nepal. "This is really unfortunate for me," he added.

    Answering a spate of questions on Nepal's growing ties with China, the caretaker Prime Minister said that his country wanted good-neighbourly relations with both India and China. "There is no dispute or controversy on this issue."

    Explaining visits of several Chinese delegations to Nepal in recent months, Prachanda said that the Chinese leadership was very much concerned about "a serious incident" in Tibet last year and any relationship between Nepal and that incident. He did not not elaborate.

    "Therefore, naturally they (the Chinese) were more active about the changing political scenario in Nepal. Time and again their delegations came. Unfortunately the Indian side thought that we had invited them," he said.

    About India's perception that he was getting closer to China, Prachanda said such suspicions are totally baseless. "I think it is very ridiculous."

    He went on to say he had never asked any Chinese delegation to visit Nepal.

    Asked if he had intended to sign a treaty of peace and friendship with China during a visit there earlier this month, which was postponed because of the current crisis, Prachanda said that it would not have been signed during that visit.

    "I told them (China) that this treaty should be discussed with different political parties. Only then can we sign this....it has to be studied from different angles and a national consensus would have to be there."

    Is signing of the treaty not on his immediate agenda, Prachanda was asked.

    "No, no, no. It is quite clear," he responded.
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Prachanda is a blatant liar.
    We cannot trust him and more so after the leaked video.

    He is now trying to show a mellowed approach so that India dont jeopardize his chances of return to power.
     
  18. deltacamelately

    deltacamelately Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    thakur_ritesh,
    India or the Indian Army can not allow the RNA to be a no show...come what may.

    Just some food for thought. IA chiefs traditionally take over as honorary chief of the Royal Nepal Army. Infact the chiefs of the Indian and Nepalese armies enjoy honorary chief status in each other's country. By convention, the first foreign trip of a new IA chief is to Nepal, symbolic, but very critical. New Delhi has been clearly sending not-so-subtle messages to Kathmandu that their unique military relationship might be in peril if corrections are not made vis-a-vis the Chinese.
     
  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I dont think the NA wants anything to do with the Chinese, its the Maoists who want to.
    What India needs to do is make sure that it keeps the NA well supplied and loyal towards India and that no Maoist penetration allowed.
     
  20. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    His warning should be taken seriously and his designs must be thwarted. Pashupati and Tirupati must be sanitised of Maoists' presence..

    That explains the successful and chanakyan leak of the video. If our incompetent GOV had been in control, then it would have been utter failure. The hope now is that the next GOV doesnt depend on LEFT for support. That would be the endgame for Anti-Indian games of these maoist thugs in Nepal.
     
  21. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Anyone with any details if all these Maoists have been given a general amnesty or not?
     

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