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View Full Version : CURFEW in Ktm-City + a few other towns


mieke
17th January 2006, 03:32 AM
As of now there is a curfew in the center of Kathmandu-City (inside "the ring") and several other towns,
from 11 pm till 4 am (23:00 - 04:00).

Click below links to read the announcements on the BBC & The Himalayan Times websites, for example:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4617514.stm

Quote:

Security forces have been told to shoot on sight anyone found breaking the curfew between 2300 and 0400 (local time), the government said.

- - -

The Himalayan Times:

http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullstory.asp?filename=6a3Qa1sa.9amal&folder=aHaoamW&Name=Home&dtSiteDate=20060116

Quote:

The curfew orders will be effective in areas within the Ring Road in Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City until further notice. The DAOs in their notices said security forces have been allowed to shoot anybody trying to break the curfew orders.
Meanwhile reports say that night curfew has also been imposed in certain areas of Biratnagar, Dharan, Jankapur, Pokhara, Syangja, Kapilvastu, Saptari, Rupendehi, Jhapa, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Taplejung and Sarlahi.

- - -

And be aware, anyone out there now or going there real soon, that such a situation - a curfew - applies
to TOURISTS and FOREIGNERS as well!
I'm told that during the demonstrations in 1990, when there was a period with a curfew too in the capital,
several tourists were seriously harmed for not obeying the curfew-instructions of the government.
So be warned!



.

Oli
17th January 2006, 05:17 AM
Thanks Mieke, tourists would be well advised to observe these dictates.

That said, there was a curfew in force when I was in Kathmandu in the spring of 2002, but it was not so rigorously enforced in Thamel. And when my bus from Pokhara arrived at 3am we were not harassed by the security forces.

When I was traveling across country in Nov '04 we had to stop for the night near Ilam because the security roadblocks prohibited road travel after 9pm. But the next night our bus passed unmolested through several checkpoints on the roads between Birtamod, Hetauda and Bharatpur (local bus, not tourist class).

1990? That was when Nepal became a "constitutional monarchy", a relatively long time ago and six years before the rise of the maoist insurgency. Are your anecdotal reports still valid?

I think it is safe to say that in Thamel there will not be a "shoot first, ask questions later" policy. But when I get turfed out of Sam's Bar at 11pm I'll be going straight back to my hotel. :eek:

Wiliam
17th January 2006, 05:52 AM
There is useful information about Nepal safety at the site below. It may be useful for some of you.

Is Nepal Safe? (http://isnepalsafe.blogspot.com/)

mieke
17th January 2006, 07:49 AM
Wonderful, Oli. Myself I also find it hard to believe that those who are obviously foreign tourists in town, would run the risk of being physically harmed indeed. So I've asked that question on TT tonight, hoping that a few Nepali regulars on that board will post their opinions in that respect when they wake up.

The post here (like the one on YZ) isn't meant to scare anyone off. But it's better to be safe than sorry, and in my opinion a few soldiers over there in Nepal are just a bit too trigger-happy every now and again.

I guess it's a good idea to inform people (trekkers, tourists) of the curfew, also via travelboards, and then get replies like yours to balance things out. Because the many newsreports about this curfew do sound scary...

yakshaver
17th January 2006, 08:00 AM
Indeed I also remember 2003 I think, and the 9pm (as different to 11pm) curfew being applied quite strictly, even in Thamel, at least when I was there.

Like Oli, I also believe tourists (while perhaps inconvenienced by more checkpoints etc) will not be really badly affected. Thamel will continue to be relatively safe.
For tourists it is imperative (as it was over the last 7 years) to obtain current local information, especially in relation to areas like Thamel, airport and the trekking areas. It is quite probable, though by no means guaranteed, that these areas will continue to be safe from the present escalation in the upheaval, as it was from the previous escalations. Keep informed.

Very good stuff William. Whoever put together that website did a very good job, and I hope they keep it updated.
I would take the Maoists warning of "more storms in the days ahead" quite seriously. And also their ability, upto now, to keep their "hits" confined to the government and police offices in the Kathmandu Valley. In other words their past behaviour shows they are quite good in keeping the tourist areas generaly out of harm's way.
If I were to go to Nepal right now, I would proceed with caution and keep informed, but I would definitely proceed.
People did still enjoy Nepal last year when the Maoists controlled the KTM to Pokhara highway, and despite the fact that some bus rides lasted 10-12 hours instead of the customary 5-6 hours, because of the numerous check points.

Boulia
17th January 2006, 10:30 AM
As someone booked and ready to go to Nepal in March I have obviously been reading whatever I can regarding possible increased risks to tourists. What has changed ? Is the risk greater then before the weekend ? maybe yes, certainly higher then during the recent 'ceasefire' but higher than during the period prior to this ?. My personal view is that further raids inside KTM and certainly if they are indiscriminate regarding targets, then I would perhaps reconsider. The curfew will not worry me at all. If Iím going to get shot I will make sure its trekking, not coming home from a pub in Thamel though I may feel less pain on the latter.

I fully expect restrictions again on communications in the near future. Both phone and email as the Govt seeks to limit coordination of attacks on polling.

What I would like to see is some posts soon from those in Nepal, so a plea to anyone about to go, please drop a short post on your impressions once you are there.

Thank you

Oli
18th January 2006, 12:10 AM
Actually, Mieke, having just browsed some of the TT threads.... one of Shadowrati's posts does corroborate what you are saying. So I do have to acknowledge your mention of tourists being harmed (shot!) during the 1990 (pro-democracy) demonstrations / curfew. And the use of lethal force to surpress troublemakers could easily, albeit accidentally, extend to tourists.

This is worrying news, but I'm not (yet) going to cancel my trekking for March & April. However I'll certainly be more careful and keep my head down.

yakshaver
18th January 2006, 06:39 AM
Oli,

The situation in 1990 and now are somewhat different. If the the king orders the army to shoot at demonstrators, as in 1990, the whole kaboodle will come down in a heap and we'll have a republic in Nepal happening overnight. The feeling against the King is very strong at present with a good percentage of the Nepali population, especially in the KTM valley. Almost everyone in the valley in fact, appart from some of the Newaris... The situation with the Newaris is paradoxical right now, but this is another discussion). The king knows the dangers of inciting an already hostile population quite well.
King Gyanendra, I believe, is misguided and maybe ill-intended, but he is not entirely stupid.
No indiscriminate shooting at crowds of unarmed civilian demonstrators will occur. I may be wrong, but this is my assessment right now.
Any threat to tourists will come from unluckily finding themselves in a possible cross-fire between the army or police and the Maoists.

One possible scenario when the escalation to full civil war can occur, is if the monarchy will resist any attempts at reform (moving towards a constitutional monarchy along the lines of the Brittish or Thai model, which the parlamentary parties and the Maoists seem to want), and in desperation the king will try to stifle any possible voice of opposition in a ruthles and direct way. This is not yet occuring, despite the king's coup.
A full confrontation may then result, and it will not be the mickey-mouse games which have happened over the last 7 - 8 years, and are happening now. It may come to that, in order to change the Nepali political and social system for the better. Some local observers and comentators believe this. At this stage I don't think the chances for full civil war escallation are too great.
The local elections next months might be a bit of a predictor, a very small one. Or they may not be.

Wiliam
18th January 2006, 07:48 PM
Curfew is now from 9pm till 4am.

Wiliam
19th January 2006, 11:51 PM
Tomorrow's curfew is 8am -6pm and them 9pm -4am

Nick Nepal
26th January 2006, 08:25 PM
The only problem tourists will encounter is the uncertainty of strikes or curfews..over four million have visited since the problems began in 1996.. not one has been abducted let alone killed..the most you can expect is a Maoist tax of around $15 which is receipted and one off.If people are venturing outside of the main trekking areas they may have to pay more. You might get charged immeditely North of Annapurna.. also if you are trekking from Jiri to Lukla..not in Langtang but perhaps if you extend into Helembu. Not from Lukla to E.B.C.

Hope this helps.

Nick Nepal
26th January 2006, 09:06 PM
The facts are these over 4 million people have visited Nepal since the troubles began in 1996..to date not one person has been abducted let alone killed ..the most you can expect is a $15 payment to the Maoists then only when trekking through the areas they control..the major tourist trekking routes ..you may have to pay immediately North of Pokhara ..poerhaps at the start of the Annapurna Cicuit..between Jiri and Lukla(Everest) if you are trekking up E.Base .Camp. ..nothing in Langtang but perhaps if you are coming over the hill through Helambu back to Kathmandu. The problem at the moment is the unpredictabilty of strikes so best to get into the mountains as soon as poss.If you are trekking to more remote regions you are likely to have to pay more and possibly more hassel.

Well there we go.