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[pct-l] FW: State of Emergency in Nepal

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Marge Prothman [mailto:margepr@sunvalley.net]
  Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 10:48 AM
  To: BackpackingLight
  Subject: FW: State of Emergency in Nepal

    For many of you who have trekked in Nepal this is indeed:
    Sad news.  This most recent activity took place in the District many of
you have traveled thru to the Everest area.  For more news see
    MARGE (the old gal)

    originalMessage -----
    From: A. Jay Chapman
    To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
    Sent: Monday, November 26, 2001 7:42 PM
    Subject: State of Emergency in Nepal

    Nepal calls state of emergency
    November 26, 2001 Posted: 8:58 PM EST (0158 GMT)

    By Suman Pradhan
    and wire services

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- The king of Nepal has imposed a state of
emergency -- suspending civil liberties -- after violence over the weekend
by Maoist rebels.

    The state of emergency was issued Monday after King Gyanendra accepted a
recommendation from his Cabinet.

    The recommendation came after a rebel attack Sunday night that killed
more than 30 police and army officers and the chief distict officer in an
eastern part of Nepal called Solukhumbu, 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of

    Government sources say between 50 and 200 Maoists rebels may have been
killed in the latest hostilities.

    The decree allows the government to send in soldiers to fight the
rebels, who have been fighting for a socialist state for more than five

    Before the state of emergency was declared, the Nepalese military was
limited to defending Nepal from outside attack.

    Instead, police have been used to combat the Maoist rebels who wish to
abolish the monarchy and to establish a socialist state.

    The rebels broke a four-month cease-fire on Friday, launching attacks
across the Himalayan kingdom.

    A total of 76 soldiers, police and government officials have been killed
since then.

    The rebels blame King Gyanendra for the June 1 massacre at Nepal's royal
palace that left the previous king and eight other royal family members

    An official investigation found that Crown Prince Dipendra shot and
killed his parents and other relatives before turning a gun on himself.

    Under the state of emergency, airports and borders will remain open and
government offices will function as normal but security will be tightened
across the nation, the Associated Press reports a government spokesman

    The emergency measures will restrict freedom of the media, as well as
freedom of assembly, expression and movement.

    Peace talks failed
    Suspects will be able to be detained for three weeks without charges.

    The military and the armed police are now being mobilized to comb rebel
hide-outs, concentrated mostly in the remote hills of midwest Nepal.

    The rebels fashion themselves after Peru's Shining Path guerillas and
draw their name from China's revolutionary communist leader Mao Tse-tung.

    It is estimated 2000 people have been killed since the rebels began
their campaign.

    The rebels say peace attempts last week had failed due to the
government's rejection of their demands to reform the constitution, Reuters
news service reports.

    The decision to declare a state of emergency has also raised concerns by
opposition groups in Nepal over human rights and the possiblity of civil war
breaking out.

    Threat of civil war
    "The situation is quite grave," Rabindra Khanal a political science
professor at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, told Reuters.

    "I think we are entering into a civil war."

    Opposition party members said the government had missed the chance to
solve the problem during the peace talks.

    "Suspension of fundamental rights of the people will only curtail
democracy," said Jhalanath Khanal of the Communist Unified Marxist-Leninist
party, Nepal's main opposition group.

    Meanwhile, an Indian foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday India
was monitoring events in Nepal closely.

    India has in the past accused Pakistan of using Nepal as a base for
anti-Indian activities, a charge Nepal denies.

    The Associated Press & Reuters contributed to this report.

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