July 4, 2010


[An extremely beautiful and profoundly peaceful Himalayan country of Nepal where the Buddha was born 2554 years ago to preach nonviolence and  compassion has become one of the violent places on the face of the earth since the Maoists began their ‘peoples’ war’ in 1996 that lasted  10 years taking some 16000 lives. Broad daylight murders and abductions have become  common phenomena in Nepal. The government has become utterly useless in this regard. The recent murder of a Hindu youth leader in Birjung and abduction of a doctor from Bharatpur hospital reflect the actual ‘essence’ of the modern Nepalese governance and look completely different in nature from  the high profile June 29, 1998 murder of a sitting member of then ‘national parliament’ Mirja Dilshad Beg and the February 7, 2010 broad daylight murder of Jamim Shah, a media baron who, RAW, an Indian intelligence agency finger-pointed being an agent of ISI, Pakistani intelligence agency, plotting against Indian interests. Should the report hold any truth below that the Dalai Lama’s Lhasa (China) also smuggles arms  into the  already ‘Bihari gun culture’ plagued  Kathmandu Valley that is what worries us   the most.]

By Joanna Jolly
BBC NewsKathmandu
Thamel is popular with tourists

The central Kathmandu tourist district of Thamel has become a centre for illegal trade in guns and small arms.
Kathmandu's police chief said the area was becoming increasingly violent because of its popularity with the city's drug dealers and criminals.
With cheap restaurants, backpacker hostels and shops, Thamel has long been the tourist capital of Nepal.
Most tourists spend at least a day here before heading out into the country to go trekking or rafting.
But in recent years, the cafes selling banana pancakes and vegetarian food have been joined by strip bars and dance clubs, many of them employing underage girls who have been trafficked into the capital from the countryside.
'Problem remains'

"We're finding a lot of criminal transactions are taking place in Thamel," said Superintendent of Police Ramesh Kharel.
"We're trying to contain the growing gun culture, but the problem remains."
Thamel shopkeepers say that criminal gangs are gaining more and more power in the district.
"They come here at night and fight and even fire their guns," said one shopkeeper who refused to give his name out of fear.
"We're all scared, we want freedom from this, but there are too many of them," he said.
Superintendent Kharel said that many of the guns used by the gangs were smuggled over the border from India, in particular from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
"There is a well-known gun culture in these places and it's easy for criminals to cross the border without being checked," he said.
He added that he had seen an increase in small arms coming into Nepal from Lhasa, across the northern Chinese border.
A local resident, who also declined to give his name, said that Thamel was becoming notorious as Kathmandu's red-light and hard-drinking district.
"It's very difficult for the women in my family to walk through the streets without being harassed," he said.
He said he was worried that the increase in violence would scare foreign tourists away.
Superintendent Kharel said the police had increased patrols and stepped up intelligence gathering in the area.
"We're working very hard. In a couple of months we'll contain this problem," he said.