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Unregistered
14th March 2005, 07:25 AM
Kathmandu, March 13: In a move that will bring life to a standstill in the Himalayan kingdom, Nepal’s Maoist rebels today announced they would step up attacks against security forces and enforce a month-long economic blockade starting tomorrow.

In a statement issued today via email to all media houses, the rebel group’s chief, Prachanda, said the agitation will be launched in two phases from tomorrow.

He said that in the first phase lasting 20 days, his group would step up attacks against the security forces, mainly the Royal Nepal Army (RNA), and enforce a blockade by restricting vehicular movement on all highways in the kingdom. This phase will focus on cutting off supplies to Kathmandu.

During the last blockade that lasted two weeks and was called off a fortnight ago, the rebels managed to choke Kathmandu Valley, forcing the RNA to escort supply convoys every day.

The Maoist chief announced that in the second phase, his group would enforce a Nepal bandh for 10 days. The bandh will severely impact the landlocked nation, which is totally dependent on imports, especially from India.

Prachanda also appealed to the working class, farming community, teachers, students, women, doctors, lawyers and journalists to support the month-long programme. He said his group was forced to announce the month-long agitation after King Gyanendra’s government failed to respond to its demand to restore democracy.

The Maoist announcement comes on the eve of an agitation being launched by mainline political parties against the coup by Gyanendra on February 1.

Street protests are expected all over the country.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050314/asp/nation/story_4490697.asp

Unregistered
17th March 2005, 10:31 AM
kathmandu, March 13th/ Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has announced 11-days General strike from 12th-22nd April. Chairman of the party issuing a press Statement today has appealed the masses of the people of all levels and sects including workers, peasants, women, students, teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers and journalists to create a storm of movement in favor of full democracy and against autocracy. Please find below the full text of the press Statement.

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Central CommitteePress Statement Today, the Nepalese society has arrived at a very sensitive crossroad in its political history. The feudal autocracy that by challenging Nepalese people?s aspiration of achieving full democracy has come to the fore through the so-called royal proclamation is being opposed everywhere. But, the feudal elements that have come up for their last battle of existence are busy in exhibiting drama of conciliation, gift, punishment and intrigue against people under the leadership of autocratic monarchy. Feudal ringleaders, who have already staged the artless drama of repeating 1960, are now playing the same old game of dividing and repressing political parties. The Nepalese people, who were enduring the dirty game of feudal palace since 55 years, will never be deluded from this. On the contrary, the great Nepalese people of the twenty-first century will advance unitedly ahead with full determination of accomplishing the necessity of democratic revolution, the overdue since 1950. It is sure that the feudal elements that by closing all the doors of peaceful and forward-looking way out have adventured to push the wheel of history back with the strength of terror of royal army sustaining with foreign aid will be thrown out into the garbage of history.

Taking seriously into consideration the political sensitivity of the country, our party has been very responsibly emphasizing on the necessity to advance ahead against the feudal autocracy by establishing a broad front of all the political parties, civil societies and intelligentsia. Taking lesson from the bitter experiences of the past, it is urgently necessary to build up, first of all, a concrete understanding among the political parties to unite the broad masses. In this context, our party would like to clarify its preparedness for the sacrifice necessary from our part through this statement. Declaring not to obstruct all political parties that are against feudal autocracy rather to help conduct political activities in any part of the country without any hindrance, our party thinks necessary to go ahead by carrying out criticism and self-criticism among the political parties and maintaining unity in a new basis; and also wants to clarify its preparedness for that. In addition to this, we would like to request humbly all the political parties in and outside of the country not to have any doubt in our party?s declared policy of Constituent Assembly and multiparty democratic republic.

It is known to all that our party had carried out countrywide wheel-jam and blockade as an immediate protest against the so-called royal proclamation. Being responsible to the people, we had suspended that program after 15 days. In that very context, challenging the feudal elements to revoke their totalitarian step, we had also clarified that we could declare a higher level of program of struggle if not complied with that. But the authoritarian elements taking it not as a way out are now adventuring to save their existence through killings, terror, Pancha-rallies and stupid propaganda. In such a situation, our party heartily appeals the masses of the people of all levels and sects including workers, peasants, women, students, teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers and journalists to create a storm of movement in favor of full democracy and against autocracy. For this, our party, along with strikes, wheel-jam, shutdown and blockade in the local and regional level, declares a program of countrywide mass mobilization and military resistance from March 14 to April 1 and a countrywide general shutdown (Nepal Bandh) from April 2 to April 22 on the occasion of the historic mass movement day in 1990. Our party heartily appeals the broad masses of the people again to make this program of struggle a success and let the absolute feudal elements, which are trying to push the country back towards medieval era, know people?s strength.

Date: March 13th, 2005.

Prachanda
Chairman
Central Committee
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

mieke
18th March 2005, 04:34 AM
@ webmaster@trekinfo.com

Dare I ask why, even with the sticky you posted above this forum, directing people to www.nepalbbs.com if they're into discussing Nepal politics, you nevertheless allow
Maoist political propaganda on your website?


mieke

Unregistered
18th March 2005, 03:29 PM
18 March 2005


KATHMANDU - Nepalese troops Friday began escorting vehicles moving in and out of the Kathmandu valley as a largely-ignored road blockade called by Maoist rebels entered its fifth day, a security source said.

“Security personnel have begun escorting vehicles entering and leaving the Kathmandu valley through the Nagdhunga checkpost since Friday morning,” said the source.

“Things are normal on the highways without any reports of incidents or roadblocks. There has been very little effect of the blockade,” he said, adding however, “We felt it was our duty to escort the vehicles as no one can be trusted these days.”

A similar blockade last month, which was enforced by the rebels more through threats than physical action, saw traffic slow to a trickle nationwide and prices of fresh produce in the Kathmandu valley soar.

Maoist leader Prachanda called Sunday for “general strikes, a transport blockade and blockade at local and regional level between March 14 and April 1” to protest at King Gyanendra’s seizure of power.

The king dismissed a four-party coalition government on February 1 and seized control of Nepal, imposing emergency rule and vowing to tackle an increasingly bloody Maoist revolt that has claimed 11,000 lives since 1996.

The power grab has been widely condemned internationally, with India and Britain freezing military aid needed by Nepal’s badly-equipped army to fight the Maoists. Washington has threatened to follow suit unless the king restores basic freedoms.

The United Nations and donor agencies warned Friday that Nepal is nearing a humanitarian crisis and urged the security forces and Maoist rebels not to block vital aid and to protect civilians.

“The United Nations and bilateral donor agencies in Nepal urge all parties to ensure that movement of supplies and vehicles intended to alleviate the suffering of civilian populations are not restricted,” they said in a joint statement.

Reminding the warring parties of their duty to protect civilians caught up in the conflict, the statement said: “Every effort should be made to ensure that civilians have access to essential humanitarian supplies and that medical emergencies are given free passage at all times.

“Insecurity, armed activity and Maoist blockades are pushing Nepal towards the abyss of a humanitarian crisis,” it warned.

Karl
18th March 2005, 03:32 PM
@ webmaster@trekinfo.com

Dare I ask why, even with the sticky you posted above this forum, directing people to www.nepalbbs.com if they're into discussing Nepal politics, you nevertheless allow
Maoist political propaganda on your website?


mieke

Maybe it is because that "propaganda" explains what is going on (or is about to go on) and will help people understand the situation.

Just my idea.

Don Gibson
18th March 2005, 07:51 PM
@ webmaster@trekinfo.com

Dare I ask why, even with the sticky you posted above this forum, directing people to www.nepalbbs.com if they're into discussing Nepal politics, you nevertheless allow
Maoist political propaganda on your website?


mieke
Here here.

mieke
19th March 2005, 06:57 PM
Thanks Don. But with no reaction yet from the webmaster, my guess is it doesn't really matter to him. Pity, real pity.

webmaster
19th March 2005, 07:35 PM
It is not our role to censor posts. Inapproriate posts that clutter up a forum are moved to a more appropriate place. Duplicate posts and spam are deleted, though we try to keep at least one copy if it has some possible use.

But delete a post because it is propaganda or we don't agree? I don't think that is our role and it's a pity that you think we should so so.

Frankly, the post in question is very interesting because it gives a very good feel for the kind of propaganda that a trekker might be subjected to if maoists decide to deliver a harrangue.

So try to relax and not get upset about what others in this forum do. The Nepal government is censoring the press and that makes it impossible to find out what is really going on. Let's not follow their example here!

mieke
20th March 2005, 12:36 AM
Hi webmaster, thanks for replying.

But delete a post because it is propaganda or we don't agree? I don't think that is our role and it's a pity that you think we should do so.

Frankly, the post in question is very interesting because it gives a very good feel for the kind of propaganda that a trekker might be subjected to if maoists decide to deliver a harrangue.

So try to relax and not get upset about what others in this forum do. The Nepal government is censoring the press and that makes it impossible to find out what is really going on. Let's not follow their example here!Oh but I'm not upset about what others in this forum do; I just wondered what political propaganda about terrorists did in here. I do agree with your explanation however that it makes an interesting read. On the other hand: there are so many trekkers already who seem to feel about the Maoists as a new attraction in Nepal.

As for your remark about censhorship of the Nepali media: really? Well I assume Prachanda doesn't get the chance to have his lies published in any of the common Nepalese media. But there really is NOT much cénsorship in those editions; I'm following them more intensified ever since February 1, and so far all the major newsitems published in foreign media, got a place in the Nepalese media as well. Either in a shorter article, or in a longer one. There's also room for ongoing soft or sharp criticism on government actions and its organisation of matters, áfter Febr. 1 and regarding all sorts of subjects.

Anyway, so why the "sticky" that sends people to nepalbbs if at the same time you feel Prachanda's view on how the world ought to function, is interesting here? There's nothing particularly interesting, for trekkers, in maimed civilians, dead bodies, orphaned children, burnt houses, looted lodges, raped women and young girls, mutilated breastfeeding mothers, scores of Nepalis fleeing the countryside ánd their country, demolished state property such as TV stations, ablazed ambulances, or 58 buffalos burnt alive in the trucks that carried them during the February bandh, and so on and so on, co-financed by trekkers donations. Unless of course you suspect trekkers to have a certain sense and judgement about "terror" and "terrorists". In which case you say:Frankly, the post in question is very interesting because it gives a very good feel for the kind of propaganda that a trekker might be subjected to if maoists decide to deliver a harrangue.
You know: perhaps you should have invited Prachanda specifically to post his propaganda here a few years ago already, and send him some flowers to show your appreciation for his good work. So trekkers could get used to the idea of what Nepal will look like in future if this current mess continues and the Maoists finally get what they're fighting for. Such serious information here, and in advance, might have saved the country from a > 70% downfall in trekkers-arrivals over February last.

Okay, fair enough; you made your point, I hope I made mine.

Unregistered
20th March 2005, 01:03 AM
Immodium works for all types of diarrhea...

mieke
20th March 2005, 01:18 AM
Good one! But how would you know? Met any victims of the Maoists, and spoke with them at length?
I don't think Immodium will help them a lot, you know.

(Unless of course you accidentally posted in the wrong forum, looking for the Health-branch instead....)

Unregistered
20th March 2005, 05:13 AM
It works for verbal diarrhea I meant...

mieke
20th March 2005, 12:32 PM
yes, of course YOU did..

yakshaver
21st March 2005, 05:42 AM
mieke,

I have this view of you that you see the world through "black and white" lenses... It's a silly metaphore of course. Both the maoists and the Nepali Army, under the direction of the government, have caused and are causing a lot of pain and suffering for the people of Nepal. It is interesting that the Nepali goverment have long refused to label the maoist fighters as terrorits, and initially only did so under the pressure of the US government. What makes terrorists into insurgents, and vice versa? Difficult to tell. We have to remember that the widely respected former South African president Nelson Mandela has been labelled a terrorist by, among others, various European governments and at one time the American administration in the late 60s. Mandela has certainly coordinated and condoned "terrorist acts" in which civilians have lost their lives. I don't want to go into comparing and contrasting the two situations. I am sure strong points can be made about both, as well as arguing about use of "terror" methods, whatever that means, in fighting for what one sees as "good" or "patriotic", or "righteous" cause, whatever that might be.

To every complex problem there is a simple solution, and that solution is almost always wrong. Nepal is is a complex situation. No simple rule of thumb will do. Same with who writes on this forum and why.

mieke
21st March 2005, 05:47 AM
mieke,

I have this view of you that you see the world through "black and white" lenses... It's a silly metaphore of course. Both the maoists and the Nepali Army, under the direction of the government, have caused and are causing a lot of pain and suffering for the people of Nepal. It is interesting that the Nepali goverment have long refused to label the maoist fighters as terrorits, and initially only did so under the pressure of the US government. What makes terrorists into insurgents, and vice versa? Difficult to tell. We have to remember that the widely respected former South African president Nelson Mandela has been labelled a terrorist by, among others, various European governments and at one time the American administration in the late 60s. Mandela has certainly coordinated and condoned "terrorist acts" in which civilians have lost their lives. I don't want to go into comparing and contrasting the two situations. I am sure strong points can be made about both, as well as arguing about use of "terror" methods, whatever that means, in fighting for what one sees as "good" or "patriotic", or "righteous" cause, whatever that might be.

To every complex problem there is a simple solution, and that solution is almost always wrong. Nepal is is a complex situation. No simple rule of thumb will do. Same with who writes on this forum and why.
Sure yakshaver; obviously everything you say is true. How could it be otherwise? Don't let anyone spoil your plans for April next.

Unregistered
21st March 2005, 03:14 PM
Propaganda? Isn't that what CNN has been handing out for quite some time? Regardless, the Maoists are nearing ten years in their insurgency, one that was launched out of noble, necessary means. But, that noble cause has turned into a civil war where too many civilians - the people the Maoists are trying to liberate - are suffering. The government is no better. Like my very good Nepali friend says, "We don't have a real king, you know?" If this carries on, we may just see another band of rebels formed, then another, and another... Oh, dear.

yakshaver
21st March 2005, 05:39 PM
mieke,
I apologise if I have been rude or hurtful. I read your statement as sarcasm. I see no connection between one's political/social view of the situation in Nepal and the desire or otherwise to go visit that country. I am not about to stop going to visit London simply because the English have no idea how to cook... And you must admit that this is a terror far greater than anything anyone can dream up, hidden up somewhere in the Hindu Kush mountains.

dyl
22nd March 2005, 12:04 PM
mieke you need to get a life

traveller
22nd March 2005, 03:16 PM
I'm about to set out on an everest bse camp trek. How does this activity affect trekkers?

yakshaver
22nd March 2005, 03:59 PM
Assuming you fly in and out of Lukla, whatever blockade is planned will not affect you at all, the Khumbu region (Gokyo and EBC treks) have not been affected. Even on the Jiri to Lukla stretch no one has reported problems.

Don Gibson
22nd March 2005, 07:52 PM
Dyl - Really useful point. Thank you for registering to post that.

Yak shaver - Don't let Gordon Ramsey hear you say that! ;)

So we are caught up in semantics. The long and the short is one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist.

From what I can see, the Maoists (who, lets face it have a worse human rights record than the Government) took up arms to get what they want and are refusing to talk at a table of peace. The King has had enough, sacked the government, and is going after the Maoists. The king has said that when the Maoists are defeated/stop, then power goes back to the people.

And so instead of talking, the Maoists are fighting this.

Is this a good (basic) synopsis of what is going on?

If we look at the social history of the world, (and yes, I know the victors write the history), people who live by the sword, die by the sword. If the general population wanted Maoism, then there would be a peaceful revolution like in Lebbanon. As they don't, then the Maoists should put down the guns, stop forcing people into their beliefs (because if they don't they are nearly as bad as the Americans), and sit down at the table, and talk.

Now can we stop calling each other names and get back to planning and gathering information for our trips and lives in this amazing country?

mieke
23rd March 2005, 01:55 PM
Thank you, Don. I really appreciate your reply.
With so many foreign Nepal-enthusiasts around including those who certainly don't avoid any political discussion soon as other countries/governments are concerned, I guess I would have welcomed a kind of global initiative asking / urging / inviting Nepal-trekkers and tourists to support a strong appeal on all parties concerned to end the violence in Nepal, as well as to end the support of the violence there.

Nepal's economy is heavily dependent on tourism revenues. Why simply stick to sheeple-behaviour, where you could instead raise your voices and express your utter dislike and worries about the atrocities taking place there, before as well as after the royal takeover on Febr. 1st?

But no, rhetoric and debate are strictly kept for discussions about the current US government, and for views regarding the "safety" of trekking there at present. So how's Nepal? "Nepal is fine! Nothing to worry! You'll have the time of your life!"
I imagine there may come a day when politically uninterested, uncritical holidaying in Nepal will be considered just as politically, morally and ethically incorrect as visits to South Africa used to be, and visits to Myanmar still are in the eyes of many people.

Btw latest news is that India stopped its oil supplies to Nepal ever since four days ago. If you care to have some Nepali as well as general newssources at hand (don't know if you do), you may appreciate =this thread= (http://www.nepalbbs.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?p=142&highlight=#142) to take a glance every now and then.


take care Don,
and all the best to you

mieke

mieke
24th March 2005, 02:47 PM
You may take an interest in this: The Rising Nepal (http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/pageloader.php?file=2005/03/24/topstories/main8), March 23.
Nepal’s tourism hit by wrong reporting
By A Staff Reporter

KATHMANDU, Mar. 23: A gap between reality and communication and the negative connotation of the term ‘state of emergency’ in the international community have battered the image of Nepalese tourism.

Tourism entrepreneurs and experts gathered at a forum said that the concerned authorities have failed to present the true picture of the nation’s present situation to the world. They also blamed the political parties, human rights activists and travel advisories issued by different nations for distorting Nepal’s image in international tourism markets.

Speaking at the Reporter’s Club on Wednesday, Tek Bahadur Dangi, acting director of Nepal Tourism Board said that Nepal has become one of the safest tourist destinations at present but the true message has not reached to the international community. “Either our network has not been functioning well or the message has reached there in distorted form,” he said.
He said that the NTB has changed its strategy to attract the tourists through different packages in association with Cosmic Air and the Royal Nepal Airlines. “Besides that we have invited travel and tourism sector journalists from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, India, Bangladesh and Germany to observe the real situation in Nepal.”

Rabi Poudel, president of Nepal Association of Travel and Tour Agents (NATTA) said that the concerned authority has to send a message to the world community that the state of emergency has not adversely affected the tourism sector but rather has had positive impacts.
“The state of emergency should be defined clearly and its limitations should be mentioned,” he said. If the concerned authority had sent the messages including reasons and limitations of the state of emergency, the tourist arrival rate would not have gone down by 43 per cent in April, he added.

Deepak Mahat, president of Travel Agents Association of Nepal said that the past governments ignored the problems of tourism sector and the present government which has come to solve the aberrations should pay attention to the problems existing in the sector.
“Though the state of emergency has positive impact in tourism sector, we failed to take advantage of the improving situation of peace and order because of the wrong message sent to the world community,” he added. He said that the tourist arrival rate has decreased by 60 per cent in Lukla.
Mahat said the government has to use foreign media to disseminate the correct information.

Murari Bhakta Mathema, Managing director of Comic Air said that the air services of his company have not been affected much by state of emergency and they are planing to add one more flight to India. He said that the domestic passengers have increased by almost twofold.

Narendra Bajracharya, president of Hotel Association of Nepal said that the hoteliers have been passing through difficult times and the financial institutions have also not been cooperating at the present difficult time.
“Negative propaganda has deteriorated the image of the Nepalese tourism sector which has also become victim to the human rightists, political parties and travel warnings issued by different nations,” he said.
He said that occupancy rate in the hotels have reduced to 10-15 per cent for the past few years which is not adequate to cover even the running cost. “At the same time financial institutions have been discouraging us by blacklisting and auctioning the property,” he added.

Harihar Pathak of Rafting Association of Nepal said that the rafting has been limited to Trisuli and Bhote Koshi rivers along despite many prospects available in different parts of the nation. He said, “Negative news flow has devastating impact in tourism sector.”
© Copyright 2004. Gorkhapatra Sansthan.

mieke
27th March 2005, 10:54 PM
Re. "sheeple" versus ethical travel, here's an example. Not entirely what I was thinking of when I wrote the reply about raising your voices as tourists, but an inspiring article anyhow.
Ethical travel offers dose of reality (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/travel/3099687), Houston Chronicle.com March 25

One of the organization's first efforts was to lead a boycott of travel to Nepal after the government there began blocking the passage of Tibetan refugees into India. The Nepalese government, heavily dependent on tourism, quickly reversed its policy, and the boycott was lifted.

Ethical travel. Responsible tourism. Whatever the terminology, the trend appears to be growing, building on the success of ecotourism.

yakshaver
2nd April 2005, 08:59 PM
While with other "products" I can understand the ethical choice used in the largest sense, and I often use my choice this way, I find it difficult to see the ethics being used in travel. There is an anlternative if you don't want to buy Nike sports shoes which are manufactured in sweatshops. There are other similar products at a similar quality, doing the same job, but with a different label perhaps.

But there is no other country which is the same as another, as in fact there are no two people the same. There is no other Nepal. If we start making choices for travel along ethical lines, many of us would stay home and watch TV. Even that is not very ethical, and most of it is poor quality, as most stuff on TV is crap put there in order to sell advertising space. Adventure travel means exploring, taking risk, pushing boudries. And they could be any kind of boundries (For example when I travel I love to knit, crochet, shave yaks and tongue kiss, not necessarily in that order).

For anyone who wants to legitimately comment about a place I suggest they stop commenting about it and travel there to experience it. Then they can talk. Because then they may develop some understanding.

Linwood
2nd April 2005, 10:33 PM
Call me naive, but I think those who travel to Nepal from other lands have a very important role to play as ambassadors, if you will. Considering the lame job that the western media has done on reporting on events in Nepal, both before and after Feb 1, we can help add a more nuanced interpretation of the situation for our friends and family back home, as well as our govt officials who have to make decisions about aid packages and the like. And by behaving mindfully and responsibly while in Nepal, we can help the Nepali people on a number of levels.

In times of peace and in times of conflict, my inclination is to want to foster more communication and exchange rather than less. Without communication, understanding and skillful action is not possible.

Just my two rupies...

L