Embassy advise Everest trekkers to pay Maoists
11:34 a.m. EST Feb 6, 2004
Asian Times reports from Nepal that Maoist guerillas now routinely break local peoples legs using rocks.
The trekkers are asked to pay "fees". Sheila from England, paid 200 rupees. Rolph, from Holland, and his party were stopped by a large group of armed Maoists who asked them for 4,000 rupees each.
Some trekkers were beaten because they refused to pay the Maoists. So Foreign embassy advisories advise us to pay.
It's worse for our Nepali brothers. One 27 year old was forced to dug a ditch. When he refused to lie in it, the Maoists chopped off his legs and buried him alive.
A 79-year-old had his head slowly cut off in front of his family after refusing to pay a donation to the Maoists. Since 1996 the conflict has killed 8000 people in Nepal.
Maoists emerged after the failings of Nepal's feudal and corrupt elite. But what began as a just movement for improvement, has now changed to sheer brutality.
"The 'trick' to sowing fear into the population appears to be to gather together the villagers to watch. In some cases, the victim's family members were forced to inflict the punishment, an eerie echo of the excesses when Chinese Red Guards forced children to kill their parents. Young male and female Maoists appear to be the main players in this "purification", continues the article.
"In one case two years ago, a teacher became the taught when he was stabbed and hung in front of his school pupils" Asian Times ends;
"This 'friendly and hospitable' trekkers' heaven can change in a flash into Dante's hell."
Yet the Maoists reportedly still most often treat Westerners with silken gloves. In 2002, eight trekkers in the Everest region were flown out from Lukhla by authorities to prevent their holiday from being ruined by gunfire. Soldiers and Maoists were battling it out nearby.
They Maoists worry about their "International reputation" plus they need our money. So you should be fine. But even with that, when you stop at the teahouses - don't just ask for a bed and a meal. Not this time. This year - listen to our Nepali brothers and sisters.
Image "Storm over Everest" ExplorersWeb files.