now want to return their ministers to the government, but the prime minister
has refused to let them. All this political maneuvering is in support of Maoist
attempts to increase their popularity, and their chances of success in
elections that will change the constitution, and install a new government. The
Maoists are split between those who believe a communist government can be
elected (after which it would, as past communists have done, outlaw future
elections), and those who believe control of the government must be seized by
force. Discipline in the Maoist movement is breaking down, which is to be
expected after years of fighting. But the decision to try and take over via
elections caused more severe splits within the Maoist movement than the Maoist
leadership expected. Meanwhile, the king remains popular, if only for his
importance in the religious life of many Nepalese, and the democratic parties
sill have the support of the majority of Nepalese. For the Maoists, their
problem is that they attract the support of only a minority of Nepalese, and a
shrinking minority at that.
October 18, 2007: Some groups
of former Maoists have become criminal gangs, using their power and organizing
skills to pursue various lucrative scams.
October 17, 2007: In the capital, soldiers defused two bombs
found abandoned near the airport.
October 16, 2007: The UN has
demanded that the Maoists stop their campaign of extortion and terrorism. These
Maoist activities are meant to weaken groups that support the king and the
democratic parties, and make it easier for the Maoists to recruit new members,
and take control of more rural villages and towns.
October 13, 2007: Ethnic
separatist groups in the south, noting how the Maoists do business, have also
been extorting money and goods from businesses and aid groups. This has become
too much for many of the foreign NGOs supplying food and other aid, and these
groups have shut down or withdrawn from the area. This is seen as the only way
to make the rebel groups become more reasonable in their demands.