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Of Maoists and Men - More trouble in Nepal
image story

Apr 30, 2004 16: 24 EST
When you make a search for the word "Maoist" on MountEverest.net, you'll find that already last year, and in numerous articles since, ExplorersWeb has alerted our readers to the disastrous effect the Maoists are inflicting on Nepal tourism and economy.

Some opposed the concerns; "Nepal is as safe as ever," they said. The Maoist leaders chimed: “From a policy level, we have been banning abduction or physical attack upon a foreign citizen, tourist or government employees."

Since then, tourists have been beaten, forced to pay bribes, and even killed by a landmine this spring. Expeditions are so fearful of Maoists that they order up a helicopter to get them out. Not to mention how locals fear for their lives should they not obey a Maoist strike.

Our Sherpas' and trekking agencies' burden is twofold: Not only has tourism declined, but if the Maoists take power, they - the trekking and Sherpa entrepreneurs - could be the first to go, according to Communist ideology.

We've already seen the reports from some of them, like the Dutch Everest climbers’ trekking agent who was imprisoned at their arrival. Here is the latest on the situation with the Maoist’s:

The United States has added two Maoist groups to a list of what it considers to be terrorist organizations. The US embassy in the Indian capital, Delhi, said the terrorist classification covered two communist groups - the Maoist Communist Center of India and the People's War.

Two Sikh organisations - Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation - are also included on the US State Department list. - BBC

38 members of the Nepal Police and one civil servant recently captured were released by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) and handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The release took place in Nundhaki, in the Sankhuwasabha district of eastern Nepal, in the presence of representatives of the ICRC and the CPN-M. - ICRC

Interview with the former finance minister and central committee member of Nepali Congress: “The nation is in a very bad shape. People are already talking of a failed state syndrome. The confrontation between the Maoists, political parties and the present regime is most unfortunate, and something we cannot afford - especially at a time when the whole world is marching towards progress, and prosperity.” - Nepal News

Increasing attacks by Maoist guerrillas in remote regions of Nepal have destroyed scores of health posts, leaving them powerless and deserted, with hapless villagers forced to fend for themselves.Several rural workers are fleeing health posts, of which Nepal has around 700. Many prefer staying in district capitals. Over a dozen health workers were among around 8,000 people killed in the eight years of Maoist insurgency. – Navhind Times

Image of recent protest in Kathmandu, courtesy of BBC News and AFP.
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