Nepal: The Maoists Have a Plan, and It Is Working


September 28, 2006: The Maoists continue to extend their power, using force and intimidation to control the media, and collect "taxes" from Nepalese and foreigners alike. While tourism has not been attacked, foreigners traveling through rural areas will encounter groups of armed Maoists, who will insist that "taxes" of $20-$100 per person be paid. Receipts are given and it's all very business-like, but it's still extortion.
Newspapers and radio stations that disagree with the Maoists are feeling the heat as well, and some have been temporarily closed by groups of armed Maoists. The rebels will still back off when confronted by police, but the Maoists are constantly moving against those that oppose them (which is actually a majority of the population.) The Maoists use murder and kidnapping to intimidate opponents, and dismiss investigations of these crimes by saying that the incident was the result of bandits or a rogue Maoist who would be punished (but never is.)
The Maoists are operating straight out of the Communist playbook, as exemplified by the Bolsheviks in 1917 and the Chinese Maoists much later. While there has been a ceasefire for five months, the Maoists have stalled when it comes to meaningful peace talks, and moved ahead with their "revolution." With the army confined to their bases, and the police outnumbered, the Maoists continue to grow stronger. Apparently the plan is to eventually declare the peace talks "pointless," resume the civil war and, now much stronger, take control of the country. First, the Maoists must weaken the army, and that will apparently be a major part of future negotiations with the political parties. This Maoist strategy may take a year or more, but they are on their way, and there does not appear to be any will, or way, to stop them.
India is not very happy with Maoist progress in Nepal, because there are even more armed Maoists in India, who have been working with the Nepalese Maoists. If the Maoists took over in Nepal, India would see its own Maoists using Nepal as a sanctuary and base for operations. This could lead to an Indian invasion of Maoist Nepal, a very unpleasant prospect.


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