Nepal: Ethnic Politics and Buried Treasure


February15, 2007: The Maoists have increased their extortion efforts, apparently to make up for what they would have been making with bank robberies and other outright theft. Since the peace deal with the government, the Maoists have promised to stop things like bank robbery. But the rebels still need the money to cover their expenses.

February 14, 2007: The new elections, and the promised new constitutions, has many of Nepal's tribes now demanding autonomy, and more money. Some of the tribes are in the capital to hold demonstrations.

February 13, 2007: A Maoist representative was captured in Indian Kashmir, making a deal to buy weapons from an Islamic terrorist group. The Indians are still trying to figure out what all this means.

February 12, 2007: Maoist leaders are now talking about a conspiracy to rig the June elections and undo the Maoist victory. The Maoists are also calling for the removal of the monarchy, and establishment of a republic. Most Maoist gunmen have surrendered their weapons, which have been placed in freight containers. While Maoist commanders have the keys to the locks on these containers, the containers are guarded, for the government, by retired Ghurka soldiers (who are unarmed). The political parties suspect that the Maoists still plan to take over the government by force and establish a communist dictatorship.

February 11, 2007: In western Nepal, villagers conspired with some Maoist gunmen to dig up a buried treasure, worth nearly a million dollars, and steal it. The gold, money and valuables had been buried by a Maoist leader. Most of the money was the result of a bank robbery two years ago. Believing the Maoist commander planned to keep the treasure for himself, some of his subordinates made a deal to have some local villagers dig up the loot and carry it away. However, once the goodies were shared out, some of the villagers started living large, and this was noted by the Maoist commander. He checked his treasure, found it gone, and began interrogating the newly affluent villagers.

February 9, 2007: The ethnic violence in the south has ended, after the government agreed to give the ethnic Indians in the south more seats in parliament. The Maoists pushed the ethnic Indians to violence with strong arm tactics and the prospect of continued bad treatment.

February 1, 2007: Ethnic violence continues in the south, with at least eleven dead so far, and over a hundred injured.


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