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  The Chatter Box : Travel
maoist rebels/nepal by [email protected] on 20 January 2005 1:30am
Going to Nepal Feb.05
Concerned about the Maoist Rebel Situation there
Re: maoist rebels/nepal by Godfather on 20 January 2005 2:46am
Speaking from my experiences of Nepal. The Maoist problem has been around for a long time. But was always low key in remote areas. But it was even there on a low key level when i first went in 1999, and in 2002 army checkpoints were around in areas. Once in Pokhara (99), we heard a far away explosion and i was told it was just a home made bomb by the maoists. So it's not a new thing in Nepal.

But since then, it's simply that they've become more of a prescence in other areas and infiltrated the regions that tourists also visit. Hence,they've become more known outside Nepal.

Most visitors wont experience a problem with them. They "will" ask for money from you though, if they see you when trekking (and they have a receipt to give you too, it's that organized). Usually RS1000. The most absurd thing, is that in places like Annapurna you still have to pay the Government NRS1000 for the permit to trek there. Yet,they have no security to provide for you there.

Plus,you're usually asked another NRS1000 from the Maoists if you meet them. They wont get violent, but its' best if you dont try and resist. Some travellers have been brave (or foolhardy, depending on how you see it) and although paying them made it very clear that they didn'nt agree with what they were doing. If you are not agressive,you wont have a problem. One french man in 2003 had a problem because he apparently got too big for his boots and got a bash on the head. Just pay them,and you wont have any problems.

In 2003,my parents went and did the ABC trek in Annapurna (on Michael's program). They met Maoists in some of the lodges. Most people find them to be pretty naieve village boys, who are apparently pretty shy and they've always stated they wont harm tourists because they are well aware of how important to locals they are. But they are "very" serious when it comes to other Nepalese. They wont hesitate at getting into a gunfight with Nepalese army. So they're not paper tigers. But tourists have never been killed there.

Their prescence in visitor areas, and money collecting has really pissed off a lot of travellers who have vowed not to return until the Nepalese government does something about the problem (which they cant,because they've lost control).

The Nepalese army has a problem, because when the Maoists are already in the hills,they are sent up on a long slog up the hills with all their heavy equipment and the Maoists can see them coming several hours away from up the valleys. By the time they get there,they've fled. So it's a tough situation.

Since 2003, they've caused more problems such as getting closer to Kathmandu and setting up road blocks at times. All this will mean for "you" as a tourist,is inconvenience though rather than danger really.

The very recent reports i hear from travellers there,is that they are doing a good job of making life inconvenient for everybody. But no tourist has been harmed. They're just causing a lot of strikes and roadblocks to occur. So you can go to Nepal, but keep in mind that delays could be very common now.

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