Nepal: August 18, 2005


Several dozen Maoist rebels attacked a large textile plant 150 kilometers south of the capital. A bomb was set off, causing a fire. Another large plant was shut down in response to threats from the Maoists. The rebels are attacking the economy, trying to cause as much disruption as possible, in order, according to Maoist doctrine, to cause more chaos and the collapse of "capitalist" society. Meanwhile, the Maoists run an extortion racket with as many businesses as they can, using the income to run their operations. 

Meanwhile, the king's anti-corruption effort led to the arrest of the Director-General of Inland Revenue Department Abanindra Kumar Shrestha and Ministry of Finance official Sharada Prasad Dahal. An arrest warrant was issued for  Ministry of Finance official Deep Basnet, for corruption and tax evasion. Corruption in the government has long been a problem, and one reason the king suspended the government, was so that he could do something about it. The government, and the Maoists, are both led by ethnic Hindu Indians, who have long occupied the lowlands of Nepal, and dominated its economy. The non-Indian tribes comprise about a third of the 25 million population. However, 90 percent of the population practices the Hindu religion. The leaders of the Maoists are educated members of the Nepalese Indian middle and upper class, who believe a communist dictatorship would solve Nepal's social and economic problems. 



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