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Thread: Maosts just below Namche

  1. #1
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    Default Maosts just below Namche

    Am writing this from Namche...today myself and lots of other trekkers were all forced to pay 2500 Rp just before Monjo on the way up to Namche...

    According to the local sherpas I spoke to they have been working this area for the last few days while now extorting money from the trekking lodges...

    They had a long table table setup with 3 people sitting down then 2 other people stopping all trekkers from passing...a receipt was issued...the sherpa guide that I was with was told by them that they would be checking receipts further up the trail...although we did not see anyone else nor did anyone check my receipt...

    I intend to claim this on my insurance as armed robbery, and will make the appropriate police statement before leaving...

    BFN

  2. #2
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    Angry Re: Maosts just below Namche

    Hi Todd, this is not good news, but thanks for reporting it.

    The army bases at Lukla and Namche are pretty secure, but evidently the trail between them is not. And it is disturbing to hear that the maoists are still up to their extortion - evidently their adherence to the ceasefire does not limit them to strictly legal activities. And you can be sure that the menaces used to extract money from the lodge owners are rather more unpleasant than those used to rob tourists.

    There may soon be a gun battle in this area.

    And Todd, I don't know how successful you will be in making an insurance claim for this. As likely as not your insurance underwriters will say you should have expected this sort of robbery and/or that it's an act of war or somesuch. edit/ps: but good luck trying
    Last edited by Oli; 4th October 2006 at 05:01 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Maoists around Namche, demanding money

    @ Todd,
    In spite of this unexpected experience you had, I hope you'll nevertheless have a very enjoyable and safe trek in the Khumbu, pleasant weather and a safe return.

    But it's like Oli said: thanks very much for reporting. Because what you said doesn't sound very good. Not primarily because of the 2.500 Rupees, but because of what these events might cause in terms of trouble between the Sherpas of Namche, and their Maoist "brothers". Both groups can be very determined to get what they want, or don't want!

    So, and instead of asking your permission first, I've mentioned your news on Thorn Tree meanwhile and also on the German Trekkingforum. Couldn't simply link, because this sub-forum is invisible to people who are not registered and logged-in here. Both the webforums I mentioned are frequented by quite a number of people who have the Khumbu on their trekking itinerary later this month. And because what you described is rather unprecedented in recent years, I guess they deserve to be aware as well. Hope that's okay with you.

    Take care, and enjoy your trek!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Maosts just below Namche

    I'm very sorry, but: WHY you so afraid maoists? Why you see a problem? It's just my interest...

  5. #5
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    Default it's a tricky situation

    "Maoists" are Nepalis who are the result of a lot of injustice and poverty especially on the countryside, and they have become "one side" in what was definitely a civil war between 1996 and perhaps the summer of 2006. A civil war is not to be compared with many other types of war; it's worse.
    And to answer your question polecat: afaik Maoists have never much been in the area of Sagarmatha National Park, also because of a heavy Nepali Army-presence there throughout the years. The army is still there, there is an entirely new government in charge since May, the peace-talks with the Maoists were postponed again, and now it's possible - contrary to many previous years - for Maoist Nepalis to extort the Sherpas in and around Namche Bazaar?
    The Sherpas, the Khumbu have never suffered too much from the political crisis and the civil war this past decade. Because Sagarmatha Park was protected - as said - also by a heavy army presence and patrolling. Do you see the danger, the worries now with this sudden news Todd posted?

    I should add that the above are my views, my understanding of the past and the present. But what I know for sure is that the Sherpas of the Khumbu will not sit still very long and let it all happen. And what about the army and the police out there? What are their orders? Which is probably what Oli meant too when he said there's a risk then perhaps of a couple of fights very soon, to get rid again of the Maoists in the Khumbu/Sagarmatha Park. You may like them, a lot of people do not and for very good reasons.

    edited for language error
    Last edited by mieke; 4th October 2006 at 02:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Maosts just below Namche

    remember the Battle of Beni

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Maosts just below Namche

    Quote Originally Posted by Oli
    remember the Battle of Beni

    Version of mass media:
    "NEPALI troops killed 500 Maoist rebels in a 12-hour battle yesterday, the army said" ( http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=330162004 )


    Version of Maoists:
    "Even though the royal spin-doctors initially tended to cover up their total defeat in the battle of Beni and fictitiously sought to mislead the entire world by claiming that the PLA attack was foiled with “500 casualties” (which was unquestionably carried by the major world media), the real truth was gradually unfolded and it was irrefutably established that the royal army had faced one of the most emphatic and humiliating defeats in the entire civil war in the past eight years. A number of independent journalists and observers have now visited Beni and verified the real story originally told by the PLA Commissar and Commander." ( http://www.cpnm.org/new/English/docu...bulletin-9.htm )

    So, who is right?
    Let's remember the history of revolution in Cuba... and position of american and pro-american mass-media and the actual state of affairs
    Last edited by polecat; 4th October 2006 at 05:25 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Maosts just below Namche

    Yes, thanks for that polecat. I had just been reading that infromation bulletin and was considering refining my choice of links... (I'll not bother now)

    Generally the Nepali war has been conducted away from most tourists, but the lure of tourist dollars is too much for the greedy mao bandits and too important for the government coffers. It is impossible to say who is right and who is Right. It's all a sad horrible messy situation, and the main losers are the thousands of innocents that have died over the years. Do ask the Nepali to try to explain it to you and try to understand their plight.

    I'm sure that if they do have a little battle down below Lukla they will all try hard to not shoot any trekkers. But if it does kick off then it has the potential to be explosive.
    Last edited by Oli; 4th October 2006 at 05:39 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Maosts just below Namche

    All this is a "development" on the Lukla Namche Khumbu situation. This is the first instance of an official trekker reporting Maoists asking for money after Lukla.

    The situation between the Maoists and the Nepali army is not so clear now. There is an official truce in place (going on 6 months now), and the Maoists are supposed to be part of the new constitutional assembly which might be called at some stage. They are no longer officially "the enemy".

    I guess that under this confusing situation, the army no longer just starts fighting them at any give opportunity.

    Would this have lead to the maomao setting up shop at Monjo (convenient place to set up a toll-booth by the way... This is where the old Sagarmatha National Park permit and pay chek-booth was...)

    I am eagarly awaiting other trekkers to report this.

    It may well be that this does not last for long. The maoists depend on local support and the people of the vally were not usually interested in them at all.

    Still, no reason not to trek.
    yakshaver

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Maosts just below Namche

    I find this a disturbing development. On top the reports of 'increased' extortion from business by the Maoists, UN reports that projects simply can't proceed or are hindered by Maoists 'tax' demands and the advent of Maoist inspired unions all points to a situation that is not under control of the interim government and nor will it be. At at point of their chosing I expect the Maoists to attempt to take full control of Nepal by force, minus the democractic process and 'peace taks' they pretend to be embracing.

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