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Nepal News & Discussion
Nepali army launches air strikes against rebels

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepali troops backed by helicopters have attacked Maoist camps in the jungles in the west of the country, as part of a new offensive against the rebels launched after the king seized power a week ago.

Dozens of Maoists have been killed in the strikes on training camps and shelters near the western city of Nepalgunj, newspapers reported on Tuesday, but the army said it was still waiting for details.

A senior military officer in Nepalgunj told Reuters by telephone troops were returning to the city after Monday's operation, but he did not yet have casualty figures.

The army said at least three Maoists had been killed in other clashes and a soldier had been killed defusing a land mine the same day. The rebels have not commented on the latest clashes.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Nepal seeks Indian troops against Maoists

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal seeks Indian troops against Maoists

8 January 2005: <b>In his meeting with Indian ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee at the headquarters of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) in Kathmandu, RNA chief General Pyar Jung Thapa hinted at invoking the 1950 Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty to demand Indian troops deployment against Maoist insurgents. </b>

Under the terms of the treaty and secret annexures, either country has to come to the other’s defence in an emergency, and <b>during the 1971 war, the RNA secretly fought against the Pakistan army, and when Kargil Gurkha casualties reached Kathmandu to public protests, the then King Birendra was forced to concede compulsions under the agreement. </b>

Top <b>sources said that Mukherjee,</b> after consultations with New Delhi, <b>told the RNA chief that all military assistance would be provided to Nepal to fight the insurgents, and that in an emergency, even troops could be deployed, but he urged with General Thapa to make troops deployment the last option, </b>and not to go public with the demand at any stage, because India was honour-bound to the treaty.

Officials said that General Thapa was not convinced with Mukherjee’s plea, and he will conceivably report his misgivings to King Gyanendra, but <b>India finds itself embarrassed</b> to come to the military aid of a dictatorial regime it has strongly condemned, <b>but going by the RNA's glorious past contribution, it cannot refuse Nepal’s request for troops, if and when they are formally made.</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

To call the UPA bluff, Nepal will ask for troops against the Maoists and that could unravel the UPA. Lets see.
Rajeev Srinivasan's: Nepal, the next Tibet

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Have you noticed how, in the maps used by various news agencies covering the recent Nepal story, that nation's neighbours are India, Bhutan, and China? The fact that it is not China, but Tibet, that is next to Nepal has been erased from history. The brutal colonial conquest of Tibet is now a fait accompli, and nobody cries any more for the Tibetans. They are a vanished civilisation thrown into the garbage bin of history.

Exactly the same thing is likely to happen to Nepal in the near future, <b>as a Chinese-engineered coup will overthrow the monarchy, and the 'only Hindu kingdom in the world' will be formally colonised by Han China. It was to set the stage for this that the previous monarch, King Birendra, and his family were brutally massacred in 2001. At the time, I wrote in a column that the assassination was part of a Sino-Islamist plot directed at, who else, India.</b>

The Maoist pattern in Nepal has been to create a parallel administration and ensure that the government's writ doesn't run in district after district. This is a blueprint for India, too, for Sun Tzu-schooled Chinese tacticians: a classic 'fifth column'. <b>Naxalites in India are active in 150 districts, a three-fold increase in just one year, no doubt encouraged by the idea that Marxist-Congress axis will be friendly to them</b>. Furthermore, at least in the case of Andhra Pradesh, the Congress government has virtually caved in to the Naxalites.

Clearly, the Naxalites are in cahoots with the Nepali Maoists, and this is a grave security threat. <b>Even the brashly Old Left Outlook magazine was moved to talk about the fact that more or less the entire eastern seaboard of India is now vulnerable: extremists may soon control the coast. Now add to this the fact that the Chinese have been intruding further and further into the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, setting up listening posts and spying on Indian military installations. </b>

Does a pattern emerge? Surely, it does. Then there is the Pakistani port of Gwadar being built by China. Chinese use of Myanmar's Cocos Islands as a base, and the rumoured plans to build ports on the Myanmarese coast. <b>All this is the 'unfinished business of 1962': the Chinese project to destroy India. Which a large number of Indians are quite happy to co-operate in</b>. I visualise them waiting with marigolds to garland Chinese invaders; of course, this would be just moments before they are lined up and shot contemptuously as traitors by the esteemed visitors.

And all this takes on new momentum when the Nehru dynasty is in power, as the Chinese know they can depend on the Nehruvian Stalinists to fiddle, as it were, when Rome burns. This is not conjecture, this is exactly what happened with Tibet too, as laid out in exhaustive detail in Claude Arpi's well-researched Born in Sin: The Panchsheel Agreement. The Indian powers-that-be simply did not comprehend then what was going on, lost in the miasma of Hindi-Chini-bhai-bhai.

I'm afraid history is repeating itself. Once again, China has a clear plan: to remove the next buffer state. It may be remembered that China considers Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim, as well as Arunachal Pradesh and parts of Uttar Pradesh as their rightful due, because at some distant point in the past, Tibetans had some religious tutelary rights in these areas. Han Chinese are into land-grab.

Says historian R C Majumdar, as quoted by Arpi: 'There is, however, one aspect of Chinese culture that is little known outside the circle of professional historians. It is characteristic of China that if a region once acknowledged her nominal suzerainty even for a short period, she would regard it as part of her empire for ever and would automatically revive her claim over it even after a thousand years whenever there was a chance of enforcing it.'

Thus we can expect Nepal to disappear into China's maw unless India takes action. <b>There is speculation that King Gyanendra of Nepal and his ne'er-do-well son Paras have been getting chummy with the Chinese: Paras made a couple of recent trips to Hong Kong, for instance. </b>But all this is no reason for India to snippily put on airs about 'democracy' and 'constitution'. India has to work with Gyanendra and try to contain the Maoist menace lest it, and its leader <b>Prachanda, a JNU graduate (where else?) </b>decide to seek fresh pastures in India once they have successfully taken control of Nepal.

Manmohan Singh has been making certain noises that have been taken to mean he was unwilling to go to the SAARC summit because he didn't want to break bread with Gyanendra. This is the height of absurdity. <b>India ostracised the ruling junta in Myanmar, preferring Aung San Su Kyi, while the Chinese cosied up to the generals. India got nothing, the Chinese got the harbours. In Nepal's case too, best to go with expediency and wield both carrot and stick: Gyanendra knows an Indian blockade would hurt; and Indian military and other help can help him contain the Maoists. </b>

Alas, I have no faith that reason will prevail. India will muff this chance too: after all, the motley crew in power doesn't give one any sense of confidence. They happily beat up on poor defenseless Hindus, but halting wild-eyed, fundamentalist Marxists is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Besides, there is a series of coincidences that makes me cringe. I once wrote about the connections between Kerala and Tibet in The Buddhist Connection and later I was flabbergasted to realise that India's disastrous Tibet policy under Jawaharlal Nehru was the handiwork of two Keralites: K N Panikkar and V K Krishna Menon, while another Keralite, M O Mathai, was Nehru's private secretary.

Well, guess what: today there is another bunch of Keralites wielding significant power: National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, the PM's Principal Secretary T K A Nair, and now RAW chief Hormis Tharakan; the private secretary to the Nehru dynasty scion these days is yet another Keralite, Vincent George.

This is not a good portent for poor Nepal.

<b>Nepal's coup to intensify civil war: Think tank</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal King Gyanendra's royal coup is likely to strengthen the Maoist insurgency and intensify the country's civil war, an international think tank comprising several world leaders has said.

In its latest report, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) projected an intensification of the "civil war" and strengthening of Maoist insurgency in Nepal following the February 1 "royal coup".

"King Gyanendra justified his coup on the need to beat back the Maoists, but it will have exactly the opposite effect. An absolute monarch undermining democracy will only aid the Maoists and do nothing to reduce the risk of them coming to power," ICG President and former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans said in the report entitled 'Nepal's Royal Coup: Making a Bad Situation Worse'.

Observing that Gyanendra had "backed himself into a corner," its Programme Director Robert Templer said the only way to achieve peace was "through effective military action combined with a political strategy that undercuts Maoist positions. Neither is possible without a broad-based democratic government."

<b>The ICG, which has former Prime Minister IK Gujral and several other world leaders on its Board</b>, said the King had "gambled that the world would be reluctant to criticise his move too harshly or to cut support for Nepal as long as Maoist insurgents remain a serious threat."

"However, as international condemnation has gathered pace over the past week, that gamble appears not to be paying off," it said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Natwar calls envoy</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, Feb. 12: Foreign minister K. Natwar Singh has summoned India’s ambassador in Kathmandu Shiv Shankar Mukherjee to Delhi for urgent consultations.

The decision to call the envoy, who earlier this week met King Gyanendra, has come in the wake of growing demands from either side of the border that Delhi use its influence over the palace to ensure that democracy is restored in the kingdom. Several allies of the Congress-led government, particularly the Left, have called for urgent steps from India.

Sources said Singh’s talks with Mukherjee, who will visit the ministry headquarters for the first time since Gyanendra sacked the Sher Bahadur Deuba government, will give Delhi an idea of what the king plans to do and to what extent it could intervene.

On the same day, foreign secretary Shyam Saran has decided to explain India’s policy towards its South Asian neighbours to journalists and the intelligentsia in the capital.

India’s policy — towards Nepal in particular, and the neighbourhood in general — has come in for criticism in the past few days. Delhi has used the “political turmoil” in Nepal after the palace coup to justify staying away from the Saarc summit that was to have been held in Dhaka last week.

India’s Nepal policy is based on constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. It has asked Gyanendra to take immediate steps to restore democracy, but has made it clear it would not cut off links with the palace. South Block has also shied away from serious contact with the Maoists as it feels the rebels’ growing influence might have a negative impact in India.

<b>So far, India — the main supplier of arms to Nepal — has made the right noises by indicating it would put further supplies on hold. But it has remained ambiguous on whether it would use this as a leverage to get democracy restored.

Delhi’s ambiguity stems from its fear that if it fails to deliver arms, the king might turn for military hardware to China, which has so far described the developments as Nepal’s “internal affairs</b>”.

South Block also fears that if the <b>democratic forces continue to be marginalised, the space will be taken over by the Maoists who would push the king and the Royal Nepal Army into a corner.</b> Gyanendra might then have to seek help from the US and others to bail him out against the “armed terrorists” and pave the way for the entry of foreign forces in Nepal, which would not be to India’s benefit.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->]<b>India suspends military aid to Nepal: report</b>

NEW DELHI: India has suspended indefinitely military aid to Nepal’s fight against Maoist insurgents in a bid to pressure the monarch of the Himalayan nation to restore democracy, a news report said on Sunday.

India harshly criticised Nepal’s King Gyanendra after he dismissed the government. But analysts initially expressed doubt that New Delhi would withdraw military aid, fearing a Maoist victory would encourage communist rebels in India. However, the Tribune newspaper quoted unidentified Indian foreign ministry officials as saying New Delhi decided on Saturday to stop helping the Royal Nepalese Army and summoned its ambassador in Katmandu to discuss the situation.

Meanwhile, some 800 Nepalese living in India demonstrated in New Delhi, shouting slogans such as, “Hang dictator Gyanendra; long live democracy.” The rally was held to mark the 10th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Nepal. ap
Just when you think things cant get any more un-imaginative with nutwar he surprises you even more.. <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Nutwar is stupid and fool running India's foreign policy. Worst, we can't do anything.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>King and aye </b>
The Pioneer Edit Desk
<b>The democracy-busting palace putsch in Nepal was a recent sign that the Kathmandu-New Delhi hotline had malfunctioned somewhere. Since Nepal is vital to India's security interests, New Delhi was expected to repair the communications breakdown.</b> Instead, its Nepal policy has lacked clarity, even threatening to collapse into woolly-headedness. As South Asian big brother, India would naturally be miffed at King Gyanendra's sudden declaration of Emergency. <b>But surely it cannot sacrifice neighbourhood realpolitik to churlishness.</b>

<b>Nepal's politicians have traditionally been no more than a buffer-on-paper between the King and the Maoists.</b> So-called democratically elected leaders have long colluded in an institutional set-up ensuring their own status as the palace's creatures. More, they have failed to counter insurgency's scourge, the ostensible brief of every short-lived political power-wielder. As in the past, it was a matter of time before the monarchy and the Maoists found themselves locked in direct confrontation. Yet India's response to the inevitable has not been marked by consistency. It first denounced the royal coup, without the mitigating signal that it wished to be kept in the King's loop.

Then it fuelled the notion that military and economic assistance was conditional to restoration of democracy. It subsequently appeared willing to grant Nepal's request for continued military aid in the form of equipment, logistical back-up and personnel training. A joint security group meeting was slated to discuss the Royal Nepal Army's requirements. Just when India seemed to set its priorities right, the Manmohan Singh regime called off the date. This is supposed to be a "signal" to King Gyanendra that his democracy-dismantling is unacceptable. That India is projecting itself as a regional pontiff is worrying enough in terms of the security impact of frayed Indo-Nepalese ties. <b>That it seems keen to join the 'multilateral' bandwagon of the West's self-serving caretakers of democracy is even more misguided.</b>

India recently sent a tsunami-related message to the West that South Asia was its sphere of influence. Why the US-UK should now help it wield clout in its own backyard is not comprehensible. While constitutional monarchy is the ideal for Nepal, it is not India's paramount concern. <b>Democracy in Pakistan is a sham. That hasn't blocked Indo-Pakistani dialogue</b>. Nor have the US and Europe been less indulgent towards the country under army jackboots. If India and the world can do business with Myanmar under the nose of the Mandela-like Aung San Suu Kyi, their mourning for political freedoms in Nepal can only seem contrived. <b>It is expected that the Congress-led regime at the Centre would use the Nepal crisis to do its bit of Nehruvian grandstanding in the name of universalist principles. But India's security concerns cannot be made to play second fiddle to sermonising.</b> Despite its regional clout, India could not anticipate, much less stop, democracy's collapse in Nepal.

After the event, pragmatic as-is-where-is diplomacy is unavoidable. New Delhi simply cannot afford to desert King Gyanendra in the anti-Maoist battle. How the anti-terror war is waged in Nepal, and who wins it, have a huge security bearing for left extremism-afflicted India. Two facts must be faced squarely. One, given the failure of Nepal's political class to check the Maoist sway, the Himalayan kingdom has two ways to go. Either it sticks with the monarchy, which the Maoists have vowed to destroy, for the time being. Or it braces for a Nepalese-style Pol Pot-a scary prospect for the region. Two, India can help the King fight the Maoists. Or it can help the Maoists fight the King-by not engaging him. The second course will serve neither India's security concerns, nor the cause of democracy in Nepal.
The congress is appeasing maoists both in Nepal and in India to appease the CPM

Maoists are the immediate threat to hindus, xtianity the medium term threat and
islam the long term threat

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Extremist strategy

recently in Kathmandu

The Maoists, who have built a strong base in the countryside using ideology and strategy, now feel that a broad political front against the King is a "historical necessity".

THE Maoist insurgency in Nepal is only 10 years old but has today spread all over the country with most rural areas under its control. "The Maoists contested the first elections held in 1991 and won nine of the 205 seats," said Pradeep Nepal, standing committee member, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist, or UML) in an interview in January in Kathmandu. The Jan Morcha, the party of the Maoists at that time, also won some local authorities.

Armed police posts in Nepalgunj. The Maoists have considerable influence in the town despite the presence of the security forces.

"But the Nepali Congress government and the State authorities did not cooperate with them and blocked all development funds for their constituencies - no schools, no roads, no water works," Nepal said. Many of the Jan Morcha MPs were from linguistic and ethnic minorities, with their own culture, which is distinct from the Newar-dominated Nepali culture and language. "When their MPs wore their own ethnic dresses they were even stopped from entering Parliament by the police guard posted outside," Nepal said. The Jan Morcha boycotted the next elections and by 1995, the "people's war" had been declared by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN (M).

There has always been a faction among the Maoists who wanted to continue the armed struggle, and the first recorded attack on a police station was as far back as 1986. Since the revival of the armed struggle in 1995, the Maoist army has grown by leaps and bounds and today it consists of three divisions, nine brigades with 29 battalions. At full strength this should comprise 29,000 soldiers. Government sources in Nepal claim that this army consists of only 8,000 soldiers and a 20,000-strong militia.

Whatever the terms used, a visit to Nepal outside of Kathmandu confirms that it is Maoist arms that hold sway in much of the country.

Nepalgunj is 4 km from the Indian border. It is the main market town and administrative headquarters of the mid-western region of Nepal as well as the headquarters of Banke district. It has a large garrison of the Royal Nepal Army (RNA), the Armed Police and the regular police. Every street corner and road junction has a permanent armed barricade, and heavily armed patrols on foot are a constant reminder of the military presence.

On December 26 last year, the CPN(M) issued a proclamation asking all employees of the Royal Nepal government to stop working and told the people to "boycott" the "old regime". Since then not one government office has been functional. When this correspondent visited the town in the third week of January, the Appellate Court was absolutely deserted at noon. The judges were all there, but not a single petitioner was present.

Similarly, at the Land Revenue office nearby all the employees were sitting outside and there was not a single member of the public present. The head clerk, visibly scared by the arrival of an unknown person (this correspondent), refused to talk. Another employee said: "We were scared of the Maoists and stopped coming to office as people also were not coming anymore. But Army men came to our homes and threatened us and our families that we would be arrested as Maoists if we did not report for work."

Thus, government employees are walking a tightrope. They come and sign in at their offices, but immediately go out of the building and sit in the lawns or on the roadside, only to scurry inside when the Army patrol comes for inspection.

It is a difficult tightrope indeed. The government employees are in a tight spot - government employees are regularly arrested or detained without any legal cover by the Army on charges of being Maoists. Despite an armed police post merely 100 metres away, Maoists blasted a room at the land revenue office on January 15 at 1 p.m. as a warning to government employees to follow their diktat.

While the gun, whether of the Maoists or of the RNA, seems to rule the lives of people, it would be incorrect to think that the Maoists' success is solely because to the gun.

"In Nepalgunj town we have two powers - the Royal government and the Maoists. In the rural areas there is only one government - the Maoists," says a journalist in Nepalgunj. Most political observers agree that in at least 45 of Nepal's 75 districts the Maoists hold complete sway. Even in other districts they control the villages with the district town under the control of the Royal government. In a recent newspaper report, the RNA admitted that even in Kathmandu there were about 300 armed Maoists present, though they had only a limited hold on the capital.

In the rural areas of Banke district and neighbouring Bardiya district, the Maoists have taken control of thousands of acres of agricultural land and given it to the landless, says one human rights activist working as a conflict field monitor in Nepalgunj. The journalist explains this process: "The Maoists have made it clear that whatever land a person owns, has to be cultivated by that person's family. No hiring of labour will be allowed." He says that those who had hundreds of bighas of land have now left the villages for the relative safety of towns such as Nepalgunj and Kathmandu, leaving the Maoists in possession of their land. "The Maoists have become the biggest landlord in Nepal today," he says. Previously, much of the land was under the traditional 50:50 sharecropping, with lower-caste communities like Tharus and Kamaiyas actually cultivating the land. "The Maoists with their slogan jiski jot, uski pot (harvest belongs to the actual cultivator) have practically abolished this system," said the journalist.

The Maoists seem to have built up an entire alternative structure of governance in Nepal. They have their own justice system and have reportedly "arrested" and punished close to 1,000 landlords, government employees, traders and contractors for violating their edicts. Their favourite form of punishment, human rights activists say, is to sentence their prisoners to labour. As they term them shram kaidis (labour prisoners).

The Maoists also collect taxes that range from 5 per cent for the common people to 40 per cent for forest contractors and big businessmen. They have a radio station of their own - the Jana Ganatantrik FM Radio - whose components are carried in baskets and set up on hilltops for transmission.

The Maoists have now started `development works'. In Rolpa district of mid-western Nepal, they are building a 92-km-long mountain highway, with 10,000 people working on it every day, including the shram kaidis. Already, 30-odd-km of this road is ready for use after just three months of work. They have also started a cooperative bank, a medical college and other works. In Rukum district the Maoists have constructed a mini-hydel power station on Sisne lake to supply electricity to a neighbouring village with a few thousand people.

Moreover, the Maoists have proved to be master strategists by building a social base for themselves in the rural areas.

About 25 per cent of the rural population suffers from social discriminations of various forms. While some of them are termed "untouchable", others face varying degrees of discrimination and social exclusion. The Maoists have banned all these and there have been reports that those found continuing with practices of untouchability and caste exclusion have been punished severely or even killed. This reportedly has created much goodwill for them among the lower-caste populations of the rural areas, especially since the democratic political parties had not addressed the problems of social oppression in the villages after they formed the government in 1991.

In a masterstroke of political savvy, the Maoists have also started giving land to the families of Royal Nepal Army soldiers and police personnel who were killed in combat with them. Their argument is that they were `poor peasants' who had joined the Royal forces not for ideological reasons but to survive. Therefore, they argue that it is their duty to provide for their families, as they do for the families of their own cadre who were killed in combat.

In a context where most families of soldiers who are killed in combat with the Maoists are yet to receive even one rupee of the compensation announced by the Royal Nepal government, this is a strategy that not only reinforces the moral hold of the Maoists in rural areas but also provides them with a steady stream of recruits.

Pradeep Nepal, who is reported "missing" after the coup.

"Every dead RNA soldier's family is a potential source of Maoist recruits," says the journalist.

Strategies such as these have made the Maoists the predominant power in the rural areas of Nepal and given their relatively small army a much larger punch. The reach and ability of the Maoist army was on display twice when it blockaded Kathmandu and there was not much that the RNA, despite its superior arms and manpower, could do to remove it.

Most Nepali observers, both sympathetic to the Maoists and their critics, agree that despite their spectacular successes of the past few years, the Maoists are not in a position to capture state power in Kathmandu merely with the gun. "The geopolitical situation is such that a simple capture of power is impossible," says Govinda Sharma Bandi, an advocate in the Supreme Court of Nepal.

Not only are India, the United States, the United Kingdom and China firmly against the Maoists, they have not managed to break completely the hold on the people of the democratic parties such as the UML and the Nepali Congress.

"There is no democracy in the Maoist-controlled areas," said the human rights activist in Nepalgunj. "From their central committee member to the local cadre they all repeat the same words and give exactly the same answers and opinions," said the activist. Speaking one's mind can even get one a bullet in the head.

Moreover, there are dissensions emerging within the Maoists. It is commonly accepted that there is an uneasy relationship between the CPN(M) supremo, Pushpa Kamal Dhal, who is known by his nom de guerre Prachanda, and the number two, Baburam Bhattarai, who has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Some months ago, Sherman Kuwar, a Maoist central committee member, was captured and killed by the RNA in Saptari district and there were reports that Bhattarai alleged that Prachanda's people had betrayed Kuwar.

But what is of greater significance is that people in the rural areas are also turning against the Maoists. In Dullu village of Dailekh district, the women residents came out openly against the Maoists and informed the local RNA garrison about the whereabouts of senior Maoists in their area. Most of the leaders were captured and killed. Since then some of the villagers have been attacked by the Maoists and an uneasy calm prevails in the village at present.

According to newspaper reports and human rights activists in Nepal, the women of Dailekh protested against the demands of the Maoists and the imposition of their social edicts. The Maoists would demand workers and soldiers from the village youth and supplies to feed their army, and pass orders on various social customs. One of the orders related to putting sindoor (vermillion on the hair parting on the head) by village women. The Maoists declared it a feudal, patriarchal, practice and said that henceforth either no woman would apply sindoor or all women would apply it, including widows.

It appears that the Maoists also understand their limitations. In a recent statement released to the press after the takeover of executive powers by King Gyanendra, Prachanda called on the "parliamentary parties" to form a united front with the Maoists against this "fratricidal, artificial king" and promised to make the "necessary sacrifice and flexibility" for this. The Maoists have said that a united front with democratic parties against the monarchy and the RNA is "a historical necessity". Simultaneously, they announced an indefinite countrywide blockade and traffic strike from February 13, the 10th anniversary of their armed struggle.

Today, with the King seeming to return to the autocratic monarchy of the pre-1990 era, it seems that the Maoist demand for a republican government is gaining ground.

In the relatively calmer conditions in January, Pradeep Nepal said: "The Maoists are willing to lay down arms if a political solution is offered where they also have a share in power and the safety and security of their cadre is assured." He said that if Parliament, which was dismissed by King Gyanendra in 2002, was re-instated and elections for a constituent assembly were ordered, a political solution to the armed conflict was possible.

Pradeep Nepal questioned the wisdom of the Indian policy of blindly supporting the RNA with arms and know-how. "Much of the arms land in Maoist hands and in any case, the RNA has proved itself incapable of resolving the issue militarily," he says. The only solution is to accept that the Maoists have emerged as a dominant power in Nepal and negotiate a settlement with them, he argues.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Frontline is pro commie

The only way that India can save its ass is all out support to Gyanendra
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Frontline is pro commie<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
It is commie mouthpiece.

<b>India seeks early restoration of democracy in Nepal </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh met Nepalese Ambassador to India Karna Dhoj Adhikari and sought immediate reinstation of multi-party democracy, restoration of freedom of the media and steps for the release of political leaders, journalists and human rights activists. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>US, EU, India recall envoys from Nepal to protest King's power grab</b> <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
I agree with Mr Giri. What the heck are people smoking ? And what hypocrisy from each and every one of their critics to lecture Nepal on democracy.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nepal shrugs off foreign critics
Tulsi Giri taking oath of office
Mr Giri says the government has no choice but to take tough action
The authorities in Nepal have rejected international criticism of the king's decision to seize absolute power.

They say the move to implement a state of emergency was necessary to stop the country sliding into chaos after years of bloody conflict with Maoist rebels.

Newly-appointed deputy premier Tulsi Giri told the Reuters news agency that there is a "chaotic law and order situation because of terrorism".

On Monday the US, and EU nations recalled their ambassadors to Nepal.

'No alternative'

Mr Giri told Reuters that Nepal was acting no differently from the US after the World Trade Centre attack in September 2001, or from India in its fight against militants in Kashmir.

Armed police in Kathmandu
Security is heavy in Kathmandu for the Maoist blockade

"Every country has a problem which it is trying to solve," he said, "but then it's not justice that you make comments on how Nepal is dealing with it."

Mr Giri said the government would have no choice but to pursue the guerrillas if they kept rejecting peace talks. "If they co-operate, it's OK. Otherwise, what's the alternative?" he asked.

On Monday US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Washington was "deeply concerned by developments in Nepal".

Recalled for consultations

King Gyanendra assumed direct control nearly two weeks ago, saying the former government had failed to tackle Maoists, during whose nine-year insurgency 11,000 people have been killed.

Reflecting their governments' opposition to the royal coup, the US, the UK, France and others all recalled their ambassadors for consultations on Monday.

King Gyanendra of Nepal
The king took over nearly two weeks ago

Mr Boucher said: "King Gyanendra's dismissal of the government, declaration of a state of emergency, detention of politicians, human rights workers and students and the suspension of fundamental constitutional rights is a step away from Nepal's path toward democracy."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who is visiting Pakistan, said Britain "strongly" supported constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy in Nepal.

"We continue to call upon the Maoists to end their violence and for both sides to return to the negotiating table."

India also urged Nepal to take "immediate steps" to restore multi-party democracy.


The king moved to ease some restrictions on Monday, when he freed former premier Surya Bahadur Thapa, a prominent lawyer and a senior leader of the country's biggest communist party.

But he also consolidated his power by appointing Mr Giri and another former prime minister, Kirti Nidhi Bista, as his deputies in his new cabinet.

They were both in power during the last time that Nepal was directly ruled by a king and are seen as staunch royalists.

Meanwhile the kingdom's biggest party, the Nepali Congress, is calling for a nationwide, non-violent struggle for the restoration of democracy from this Friday. Details are still being worked out.

A transport blockade launched by Maoist rebels entered its fourth day on Tuesday, with traffic movement reported to be lower than normal and prices rising in the capital, Kathmandu.

The rebels say that the royal coup has forced them to abandon earlier negotiation demands and implement the blockade as a means of abolishing the monarchy. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Nepal update by Dr Chandrasekharan.. This guy writes balanced stuff.
The UPA govt is now turned against Gyanendra to appease the CPM
We will get a maoist regime in Nepal soon
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>VHP backs Nepal king Gyanendra</b>
Press Trust Of India
Posted online: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 1953 hours IST
New Delhi, February 15: The VHP today came out in full support of the monarchy in Nepal saying it was in India's interest to crush "Maoist terrorism" and demanded that New Delhi extend all possible cooperation to the Himalayan kingdom in this task.

"King Gyanendra had given time to the government to put an end to Maoist violence but they indulged in mutual wrangling all the time and, therefore, he had to take charge to crush terrorism that was spreading by the day," VHP senior vice-president Acharya Giriraj Kishore told reporters here.

Pointing out that after the annexation of Tibet, Nepal was the only buffer state between India and China, he said, "It is in India's interests that Maoist terrorism is stamped out. India should provide all cooperation to Nepal in this regard."

Asked about the blow to democracy in the Himalayan kingdom after the king's take over, he said, <b>"Why we did not raise such objections to the dictatorship in Pakistan? Why we received Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf with open arms?"</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Seven Dead, 11 Injured in Nepal Clashes </b>

Delhi message for Gyanendra: Retrace, we will help bring rebels to table


IOW, they want to humiliate the king.

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