January 2, 2008:
After months of
investigations, the UN found that 40 percent of the 32,000 men and women who
claimed to be part of the Maoist fighting forces, were not. As part of the
ceasefire, the Maoists fighters were to report to 28 UN run camps, and stay
there until a peace deal was worked out. The UN was initially suspicious
because the number of weapons surrendered was far less than the number of
"fighters" who showed up. The Maoists sent many unarmed members of their
organization to the camps, just to inflate the numbers and make the Maoists
look more powerful than they actually were. The deception was discovered after
UN investigators interviewed most of the people in the camps.
The parliament passed a bill abolishing
the monarchy. But this won't take effect until after the new constituent
assembly is elected in three months, and approves the resolution. That's a big
if, but it's enough to satisfy the Maoists, for the moment.
Despite the Maoist and ethnic violence,
tourists have still been coming to Nepal in record numbers. Last year, 360,000
tourists arrived, 27 percent more than the previous year. Most of the violence
takes place in remote areas that are not visited by tourists.