wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02KATHMANDU804
2002-04-24 12:43:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

MORE TRAFFIC MOVING, BUSINESSES OPEN IN STRIKE'S

Tags:   PTER  ASEC  PGOV  CASC  NP 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000804 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR SA/INS AND DS/OP/NEA
LONDON FOR POL - RIEDEL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC PGOV CASC NP
SUBJECT: MORE TRAFFIC MOVING, BUSINESSES OPEN IN STRIKE'S
SECOND DAY

REF: A. (A) KATHMANDU 795

B. (B) KATHMANDU 753

---------
SUMMARY
---------

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 000804

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR SA/INS AND DS/OP/NEA
LONDON FOR POL - RIEDEL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC PGOV CASC NP
SUBJECT: MORE TRAFFIC MOVING, BUSINESSES OPEN IN STRIKE'S
SECOND DAY

REF: A. (A) KATHMANDU 795

B. (B) KATHMANDU 753

--------------
SUMMARY
--------------


1. (SBU) Summary: More traffic was moving and shops open on
the second day of the general strike called by Maoist
insurgents April 23-27. One mini-bus was torched inside
Kathmandu after a crowd attacked it; no injuries were
reported. In districts outside Kathmandu Maoists hijacked
four ambulances; set fire to the country home of the Prime
Minister, and killed two Armed Police Force policemen in an
ambush April 23. The Government of Nepal announced rewards
for information leading to the capture of the top Maoist
leadership. A core EAC met at COB April 24 to assess the
situation and determine actions for the following day. The
international school, which most Mission dependent children
attend, as well as the French and British schools, will
remain closed April 25. Absent any violent incidents in the
intervening hours, we expect observation of the strike to
fall even more steeply on the third day, as
people--especially at the lower end of the economic
scale--begin to feel the pinch. End summary.

--------------
VOLUME OF TRAFFIC, BUSINESS SOMEWHAT HIGHER
--------------


2. (U) Considerably more shops--an estimated 35 percent of
the total--were open and vehicles moving in Kathmandu on the
second day of the Maoists' strike, or "bandh," called for
April 23-27. Most drivers of non-official vehicles,
including public transportation such as buses and taxis,
followed Government of Nepal (GON) advice and taped over or
otherwise obscured their license plates to avoid retribution.
At COB April 24 the RSO had received reports of only two
violent incidents within the city limits: the bombing of a
small shop and the torching (after the passengers alighted)
of a mini-bus by an angry crowd. No injuries were reported
in either incident.

--------------
FURTHER INCIDENTS:
DAY ONE
--------------


3. (U) In addition to the incidents reported Ref A, on the
first day of the strike Maoists set fire to the country home

of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in Dadeldhura District
in the far-western region of the country. Deuba and his
family were in Kathmandu at the time of the incident, and no
injuries were reported. (Note: The incident follows the
April 20 bombing of the country home of Finance Minister Ram
Sharan Mahat in Nuwakot District. Mahat and his family were
in Kathmandu at the time. End note.) Maoists also
reportedly hijacked four ambulances that had been returning
from Kathmandu via a major highway near the Chitwan-Dhading
border April 23. Press reports said the police had
successfully reclaimed the ambulances, but the local director
of the Nepal Red Cross Society, which owned three of the four
vehicles, said his organization had not yet recovered them.
In a separate incident about noon the same day, an Armed
Police Force (APF) contingent providing a security escort for
a passenger bus came under attack in Majhintar, Dhading
District. Two APF policemen were killed.

--------------
WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE
--------------


4. (U) In an unprecedented move, on April 23 the GON
announced cash rewards equivalent to about USD 65,000 for
individuals that hand over to the security forces either of
the Maoists' top three leaders: Prachanda, Baburam
Bhattarai, and Mohan Vaidya. Those providing information
leading to the arrest of those leaders will receive half of
the reward. Individuals handing over certain members of the
second-tier leadership, including former negotiator Krishna
Bahadur Mahara, will net a reward equivalent to USD 45,000.
Those turning in Central Committee members earn a reward
equivalent to USD 32,000. Lesser amounts will be given to
individuals who turn over certain weapons believed to have
been stolen from the security forces by the Maoists. The
announcement, issued by Police Headquarters and featured
widely in the local press, noted that the wanted individuals
may
be turned over "dead or alive."

--------------
EMBASSY ACTIONS
--------------


5. (SBU) A core EAC met at COB April 24 to assess the
situation and determine actions for day three of the strike.
It was decided, as in the previous two days, that the Embassy
will operate under normal working hours, although FSN
shuttles will depart one hour earlier in the late afternoon.
The management of the international school, which most
Mission dependent children attend, as well as that of the
French and British schools, have decided their institutions
will remain closed on April 25.

--------------
COMMENT
--------------


6. (SBU) Adherence to the bandh, at least in the city,
appears to be gradually eroding. Absent any violent
incidents in the intervening hours, we expect observation of
the strike to fall even more steeply on the third day, as
people--especially at the lower end of the economic
scale--begin to feel the pinch. The rewards announced
represent a substantial sum of money by virtually any
Nepali's standard, and are sure to catch the attention of the
general public. The GON has only recently begun to publish
the names and photographs of its "most wanted"--the top
Maoist leadership--in the local press. Dissemination of the
photographs have reportedly led to at least two arrests (Ref
B) already; whether the stepped-up publicity and the rewards
announcement result in further arrests remains to be seen.
MALINOWSKI