Saturday, December 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

81 Maoists killed in Nepal
International Press warned of curbs

Kathmandu, November 30
At least 81 Maoist rebels have been killed in an encounter with the security forces in western and southwestern Nepal, state-run daily Gorkhapatra reported.

A group of 70 Maoists trying to set landmines were killed in an encounter with the army security personnel late yesterday in Salyan district 250 km west of Kathmandu, the Nepalese language daily said quoting Defence Ministry officials.

Eleven more of the extreme Leftist guerrillas were killed in Dang district, the paper said.

The rebels launched a people’s war in 1996 against the current constitutional monarchy and demanding a “people’s republic”. The insurgency has so far claimed more than 2,100 lives in Nepal.

A state of emergency was announced on Monday after scores of people were killed in Maoist actions in several parts of Nepal, with the rebels breaking a four-month-old truce agreed to in July.

Meanwhile, two days after the government slapped censorship on the Nepali media, it has warned “action would be taken” against the international press if it did not comply with the guidelines.

The government set up two news monitoring cells — print and electronics — to keep track of news related to army and police operations against Maoist terrorists and other related news.

The directive warns against publishing material that “aims at creating hatred and disrespect against his the King and the Royal family; anything that is likely to harm sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Nepal and disturbs security, peace and order.

“Anything that is likely to create misunderstanding and communal hatred among the people of different castes, communities, religions, classes and regions and news that hurt the fundamental values of multi-party democracy; anything that is likely to harm national dignity.”

WASHINGTON: The USA has deplored the Maoist violence in Nepal and said it would supply Kathmandu with non-lethal weapons and also provide development assistance to improve living conditions in rural areas of the Himalayan Kingdom.

“We have in the past, and will continue to condemn most soundly attacks like this and to call on these Maoists to pursue their goals peacefully within the democratic framework established by Nepal’s Constitution,” State Department Deputy spokesman Philip Reeker said on Thursday. — Agencies, IANSBack

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