RealNews

Nepal's Maoist Guerrillas Let the Revolution Rest, for Now

Down a brick alley here, beyond the Music Nepal shop, a red flag with a gold hammer and sickle hangs from a balcony. Nepal’s Maoists, who once vowed to raise high the glorious red banner over Everest, are settling for a rented row house. Nepal’s rural guerrillas have come here to the capital, not by strangling the city from the countryside as they once vowed, but under a cease-fire that has virtually stopped the political violence since it took effect four months ago. From 1996 until last year, Nepal’s civil war festered out of the sight of Katmandu, as a faraway irritant that claimed about 500 deaths a year in a nation of 24 million people. Then, last year, the Maoists’ fight with royalist troops exploded tenfold, claiming 4,655 lives. Nepal’s economy shrank by 1 percent, and foreign tourist arrivals fell to 216,000, half the level of 2000. Full Story

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