Nepal: A Scrappy New Year

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December 24, 2007: While the April, 2006 ceasefire largely held this year, there was a lot of ethnic and political violence, and this resulted in about 150 deaths, hundreds of wounded, and about 200 kidnappings. There were also thousands of property crimes, ranging from theft to arson. The Maoists, in particular, continued their extortion activities, in order to raise cash to maintain their full time staff.

December 23, 2007: The Maoists reached a compromise on their demand that the monarchy be abolished immediately. The interim constitution will declare the nation a republic (no monarchy), but that won't be official until after there is a vote (which the Maoists know they could still lose.)

December 21, 2007: An international survey found Nepal to be the poorest nation in the region, with a per capita income $788 a year. China, by comparison, is about $3,000, while India is about half that. That poverty is a major cause of all the violence. There's no easy cure for the violence, because modern medicine and better sanitation have caused a population explosion among upland populations that have little useful activity available to sustain them.

December 16, 2007: All parties have agreed to hold national elections in mid-April, 2008.

 

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