Nepal: Slip Sliding Away


August 18, 2007: The courts and public opinion have forced the Maoists to back off in their campaign to shut down media that is unwilling to submit to Maoist censorship. The Maoists consider this a temporary setback, not a defeat, and will continue to seek ways to gain control over the media. Meanwhile, the Maoists have been splintering, meaning that the Maoist leadership has little control over the new factions going off on their own. There are at least half a dozen of them, some with over a hundred members. The only way to control the factions is to attack them, and the Maoists do not want a civil war. The government, meanwhile, is beset by separatist tribal and ethnic groups demanding more autonomy, and money. These groups account for about a third of the population, and the government is broke. That's because the Maoists continue to block government tax collection in areas where the Maoists are strong. Instead, the Maoists demand "revolutionary tax" payments from businesses and wealthy families. The Maoists are particularly hard on Indian owned businesses. These have more money, usually because of the parent company back in India, and the Maoists like to play up their anti-Indian credentials by sticking it to the Indian companies.

The country is falling apart. The democrats are unable to unite, the royalists are a minority and the Maoists still believe they can take over and establish a communist dictatorship.

August 17, 2007: In the south, ethnic violence is spreading, partly because some of the ethnic activists are trying to intimidate populations into supporting, or at least not opposing, their particular movement.

August 15, 2007: In the capital, riot police were required to break up fighting between Maoist and non-Maoist students. The Maoists have been using violence, and weapons (knives and clubs) to intimidate other student groups into going along with the radicals. When many of the non-Maoists students refused, larger scale fighting broke out.

August 13, 2007: Maoists are increasingly using labor unrest and violence to intimidate journalists who write things the Maoists do not like. The Maoists want to establish a communist police state, and that means no free press. So to the hard core Maoists, there is no such thing as a free and independent press.

August 11, 2007: Increasingly, groups of Maoists have broken away to form more radical organizations. These usually identify themselves as "youth groups," in recognition of a generation gap among the Maoists. The older ones realize that going to far with the radical politics gets you a disaster, and destruction. The younger Maoists are clueless, ruthless and more inclined to violence.


Article Archive

Nepal: Current 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999



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