Nepal: Extortion For The Cause


June 10, 2006: The Maoists demand that the monarchy be eliminated and the country be declared a republic. If that doesn't happen, the Maoists will go back to war. At the moment, the Maoists are free to run their extortion racket ("revolutionary taxes") through about two-thirds of the country. The Maoists need about $20 a month for each fighter they have in full time service. Not all of these people are armed, because of a shortage of weapons. But the revolutionary taxes enables them to buy more weapons and smuggle them in. Since the truce last month, the government has backed off on anti-smuggling patrols.

The king has lost most of his powers, which India will tolerate. But India will not release Nepalese Maoists it is holding in prison, nor will it stop hunting for Nepalese trying to cross the Indian border with smuggled weapons.

The Maoists are still intent on establishing a communist dictatorship, and completely revamping the Nepalese economy and culture. India doesn't want this, because there are Indian Maoists trying to do the same thing in India (with much less success). The Maoists are using the ceasefire to build up their combat forces, and entrench their administration in rural areas they control. The Maoists use terror, or the promise of economic reform, to maintain control in the rural areas. The Maoists are running a scam, because communist revolutionary groups have never been able to deliver on their grand promises of economic reform and prosperity. Maoist success will just produce another communist dictatorship, like the Khmer Rouge in 1970s Cambodia, or North Korea today. The Maoist movement is another example of the triumph of hope over experience.


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