September 19, 2007:
Maoists, unable to bully the political parties into deposing the monarchy, have
quit the government. The monarchy issue was to have been negotiated by the
delegates selected in the upcoming vote. But the Maoists seemed more intent on
getting their way via threats and intimidation. Leaving the government and
threatening a resumption of their armed rebellion, was the latest bit of
bullying. In part, the Maoists are responding to rebels within their own ranks.
Younger Maoists want to proceed with the revolution. These younger activists
are forming large groups and taking control of remote villages. The outnumbered
police follow orders and refrain from using force. The Maoist plan now appears
to carry out large scale protests, disrupt the elections in two months, and
bully the government into doing what the Maoists want. The Maoists are willing
to risk a resumption of the civil war. This is reckless, as the Maoists have
made themselves less popular with their bullying tactics. Many people remember
that the whole point of Maoism is to establish a communist dictatorship. Only a
minority of Nepalese want that.
Meanwhile, the ethnic warfare
in the south has heated up, when a royalist leader was murdered. Maoists were
accused, but members of other factions may have been responsible. The new
violence in the south has left nearly twenty dead. Nevertheless, the Maoists
are more feared in the south than any other group. The Maoists tend to
disrespect tradition and religion. In the south, most people are very much into
tradition and religion.
The 31,000 officially
recognized Maoist fighters are stirring in the 28 UN camps. Some 5,000 Maoist
fighters left their camps for several hours last week, to demonstrate against
living conditions. The rebels are demanding a $45 a month cash allowance from the
government. There are no armed guards at these camps, although the Maoists
weapons are somewhat protected.