wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03KATHMANDU563 2003-03-28 09:42:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

UPDATE ON NEPAL'S MAOIST INSURGENCY, MARCH 22-28

Tags:   PHUM PTER CASC PGOV NP IN 
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 000563 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS AND DS/IP/NEA
STATE ALSO PLEASE PASS USAID/DCHA/OFDA
STATE ALSO PLEASE PASS PEACE CORPS HQ
USAID FOR ANE/AA GORDON WEST AND JIM BEVER
MANILA FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA
LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL
TREASURY FOR GENERAL COUNSEL/DAUFHAUSER AND DAS JZARATE
TREASURY ALSO FOR OFAC/RNEWCOMB AND TASK FORCE ON TERRORIST
FINANCING
JUSTICE FOR OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL/DLAUFMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PTER CASC PGOV NP IN
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON NEPAL'S MAOIST INSURGENCY, MARCH 22-28

REFERENCE: (A) KATHMANDU 0472
(B) KATHMANDU 0140
(C) KATHMANDU 0358

SUMMARY
-------



1. Progress toward peace talks between the Government of
Nepal (GON) and Maoist insurgents remains stalled during
King Gyanendra's two-week visit to India. In the interim,
Maoist and GON representatives are accusing one another of
failing to create a "conducive atmosphere" for talks, and
violating the code of conduct agreed upon during the
ceasefire (Ref A). Police sources said that Maoist
idealogue, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai arrived in Kathmandu on the
afternoon of March 28. A Maoist leader in Sindhuli District
declared on March 23 that the Maoists were not involved in
the brutal murders of Krishna Mohan Shrestha, Inspector
General of the Armed Police Force, his wife and bodyguard
(Ref B), directly contradicting previous statements by Dr.
Baburam Bhattarai that Maoists had accepted responsibility
for the murders. In spite of the disagreements,
reconstruction efforts have gotten underway with the repair
of telephone lines destroyed in past Maoist attacks. End
summary.

MAOIST LEADER ARRIVES IN KATHMANDU


--------------------------





2. Police sources said that Maoist idealogue Dr. Baburam
Bhattarai arrived in Kathmandu on March 28. Bhattarai was
reportedly meeting with a pro-Maoist lawyer in downtown
Kathmandu late afternoon.

BLAME GAME OVER PEACE TALKS STANDSTILL


--------------------------





3. As expected, progress toward possible peace talks
between Maoist insurgents and the Government of Nepal (GON)
remains stalled during King Gyanendra's March 18-30 visit to
India. In the interim, the two sides have traded charges
that the other is impeding progress by failing to create a
"conducive atmosphere" for eventual dialogue. Narayan Singh
Pun, Minister of Physical Planning and Works and government-
appointed coordinator for the peace talks, accused the
Maoists on March 23 of delaying the peace talks by
continually increasing their demands. Pun said the
insurgents have issued new demands, such as the immediate
release of all Maoist detainees from GON custody, as
preconditions for peace talks, refusing to even sit for
"goodwill talks" unless their demands are met.



4. Maoist leader Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, the
chief negotiator for the Maoists, repeated charges that the
GON is not moving quickly enough toward peace talks, and has
failed to follow through on its putative promises to release
all prisoners. Prachanda also criticized the GON for its
delay in forming a negotiating team two months after the
ceasefire was mutually declared, and said that these
"irresponsible activities" were raising doubt and suspicion
instead of building confidence and trust. Krishna Bahadur
Mahara, member of the Maoist negotiating team, said talks
would begin once the GON releases all prisoners and
withdraws the pending criminal cases against five party
leaders, including Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, the
two most senior Maoist leaders. (Note: The GON has
released from detention over thirty lower-ranking Maoist
cadres this week, and has released other detainees as well
since the announcement of the ceasefire. Minister Pun has
explained publicly that prisoners cannot be released without
following proper legal procedures, and private lawsuits
against Maoist leaders cannot be waived by the GON. End
note.)

ACCUSATIONS OF CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATIONS


--------------------------




5. Minister Pun told an audience of human rights activists
on March 24 that the GON had received reports of seventy to
eighty incidents of ceasefire violations by the Maoists,
amounting to what he termed "armed terror." Pun said the
reports detail continued extortion attempts; looting;
abduction of children, women and several policemen;
physical assault on civilians; and the murders of a school
teacher and a Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist
Leninist (CPN-UML) worker. Maoist spokesman Mahara denied
the reports and issued counter-charges accusing the GON of
violating the code of conduct by performing illegal searches
and arrests, banning organized meetings, and sending army
personnel, dressed as civilians, to Maoist programs in order
to spy on Maoist cadres. A Maoist district leader in
Lalitpur allegedly declared that if the GON continued with
such activities, Maoists would soon retaliate with force.
Dipak Gurung, Spokesman for the Royal Nepal Army (RNA),
responded that maintaining law and order is not violating
the code of conduct.

MAOIST LEADER LIES ABOUT IGP'S MURDER


--------------------------





6. A Maoist leader in Sindhuli District participating in a
roundtable conference on March 23 denied that the Maoists
were involved in the brutal murders of Krishna Mohan
Shrestha, Inspector General of the Armed Police Force, his
wife and bodyguard (Ref B). His comments directly
contradicted Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, senior-level Maoist
leader and head of the Maoist negotiating team, who
reportedly said his party accepted responsibility for the
murders. Investigations into the killings concluded that
they were part of a strategy of a special task force within
the Maoist party to kill political, security and
administrative chiefs (Ref C).

RECONSTRUCTION EFFORTS UNDERWAY


--------------------------





7. Telephone service has been restored throughout the far-
western regions, after being destroyed by Maoists during the
insurgency. In Tehrathum District alone, Maoist attacks
damaged close to thirty telephone lines, and in Dipayal
District the insurgents severely disrupted phone service by
destroying all the solar panels, antennas, wires and
batteries. Many of the districts have been without
telephone service for over a year.

MALINOWSKI