Nepal: June 4, 2002


While the army has been effective (where the police weren't) in going after the rebel camps, popularity for the rebellion remains in many of the most poverty stricken areas of the country. The leaders of the Maoist rebels, who have tried to keep their identities secret, turn out to be educated members of upper caste families. This is the usual leadership in rebellions like this. The rank and file are teenagers and young adults who see dim prospects for themselves (and a better way of life in places outside Nepal). Most young Nepalese cannot get an education and are illiterate, so the current revolution is preached from village to village. The country has a semi-feudal social system that has been resistant to change. While the rebels have supporters, most of the population still backs the established order.


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