Nepal: A Great Sounding Idea That Didn't Work


March 23, 2010: The Maoists are becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to take control of the government. The revolutionary attitudes the Maoists helped spread throughout the country have backfired. Lots of Nepalese had complaints, but few saw the Maoists as the solution. Replacing an imperfect constitutional monarchy with a communist dictatorship was not popular at all. Thus, even though the Maoists got lots of votes, they did not have the support of enough political groups, ethnic and tribal factions, to take over the government. Then there are the economic realities. Millions of Nepalese work in India, and foreign tourists support a large tourist industry inside Nepal. India controls the best access to land locked Nepal. Maoist violence and anti-Indian rhetoric does not go down well with most Nepalese.

The Maoists now threaten to block adoption of a new constitution until they are once again head of the government. The Maoists are also insisting that the 20,000 members of their armed units (currently sitting in UN monitored camps) be allowed to join the army. The Maoists want their fighters in the army all at once, while the army refuses and insists on examining each recruit individually. Meanwhile, it is believed that many of the Maoist fighters have left the camps and joined unarmed Maoists gangs, that are used to try and intimidate other groups. The UN refuses to tell the government how many Maoists have left the camps, insisting that this would violate confidentiality agreements.

There's also increasing evidence that the Maoists are suffering from the same corruption they so long accused other of. As a political party, and because of the 2006 ceasefire agreement, there's a lot of government, and foreign aid, money being turned over to the Maoists. Attempts to check the accounts have been unsuccessful, and met with increasingly hostile resistance by the Maoists. Meanwhile, the Maoist leadership accuses business interests of trying to bribe factions within the Maoist movement, to change their attitudes.

The revolution is on hold, and not likely to get started again. After a decade of violence, and 13,000 dead, most Nepalese see the Maoists are a great sounding idea that didn't work.


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