Nepal: At Any Cost

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February 9, 2008: In the south, police have started cracking down on the ethnic political groups. Many of these have gone from political activism to criminal activity (extortion of "taxes" and increasing violence). Gang/group leaders have been arrested, which often cripples the group. Anonymous violence has become an increasingly popular tactic. Setting off bombs has become more common, with political rallies and busses being popular targets. While most of these violent groups are associated with the Maoists, southern ethnic activists or royalists. Now some anonymous groups are showing up, doing things like raiding rural police stations for weapons.

With a new law passed, to eliminate the monarchy, the monarchists are getting organized, and violent. There are now several bombings a month, and this is expected to get worse as the April 10 national elections get closer. The bombers are from several groups, but the monarchists are feared the most, because they have been relatively quiet so far.

The Maoists are running in the elections, and are making Nepalis nervous with things like a call for people to celebrate the birthday of North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung. The Maoists want a North Korean type government for Nepal, but without the famine and economic disasters.

Revolution is in the air, what with the feudal economy, poverty and ethnic tensions to motivate the young folks to demand change at any cost. There may not be any change in the end, but there will be a high cost.

 

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