Nepal: Maoists Grow Stronger as Parliament Haggles

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May 18, 2006: While there is a ceasefire in place, there are still skirmishes between Maoists and security forces. The Maoists now believe they have won, and cannot be touched in the rural areas where they control most of the population through terror. Actually, the 20,000 armed Maoists are spread pretty thin, but they have guns, go where they want and take what they want. The Maoists continue to recruit and train fighters, and have increased smuggling people and weapons across the border with India.

May 17, 2006: Protests have been banned in some parts of the capital. Parliament plans to vote on curbing the kings power, an issue that generates a lot of heat on both sides of the question.

May 13, 2006: Four of the kings former ministers have been arrested, and the head of the army is under investigation as well. The Maoists won't start negotiations until Maoists held in prison are released. Many of these prisoners are charged with serious crimes, and releasing them would not be a popular move.

May 10, 2006: Maoists seized five policemen outside the capital. The government demanded the policemen be released, but the Maoists said nothing.

May 9, 2006: The government no longer classifies the Maoists as terrorists. In return, the terrorists are supposed to restore property they have seized from people in the countryside. There are over 200,000 refugees, who have fled Maoist controlled areas. Many of these refugees had their property taken over by the Maoists.

 

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