July 4, 2007:
So far this year, about 120
have died in political violence, and hundreds more injured. The two main
sources of the violence are Maoist gangs, who use intimidation to maintain
their power in rural areas, and ethnic Indians, who are the majority in many
parts of the south, and who are agitating for more political representation in
the new parliament. Some of the ethnic Indian political groups in the south are
now demanding a separate state down there. This is causing more violence, by
Nepalis opposed to partitioning of the country. The ceasefire is coming apart,
not because of the Maoists and government troops, but because of all the new
political factions that have appeared recently. Some of the factions are
Maoist, and it is uncertain if these are truly independent, or just pretending
to be. Royalist gangs may also be subsidized by royalist parties. But the
dozens of tribal, ethnic and religious groups that have recently formed gangs
are under no central control. More of these new organizations are obtaining
weapons, and a new civil war is brewing.
July 3, 2007: The continued strike in the
south has cut off fuel supplies to the capital, and the 2.5 million people
living in that part of the Katmandu valley. Normally, about 180,000 gallons a
day arrive (at least 18 tanker trucks), to supply the 350,000 vehicles in the
region. The center for wealth and power in Nepal has long been the Katmandu
valley. Half the country's population lives in the valley, but most goods,
including fuel, must be trucked in from the south.
June 29, 2007: UN inspectors have ordered
some 400 Maoists from the camps where fighters are supposed to be staying.
Those expelled were either under 18 (and thus "child soldiers"), or
were recently recruited (in violation of the peace agreement.)
June 28, 2007: A Moslem political
organization insists that Moslems comprise ten percent of the population, and
must be guaranteed ten percent of the seats in parliament.
June 22, 2007: Ethnic Indians in the south began a
general strike, shutting down much activity in the area.