I didn't even realize there has been a blockade of Kathmandu for last four days.
Trucks stalled at Indo-Nepal border
Friday, December 24, 2004 (Kathmandu):
Nepalese forces and insurgents have been involved in intense clashes as the Maoists enforced blockade of Kathmandu enters its fifth day today.
The Nepalese government has set a deadline of 13 January for the Maoists to come to the negotiating table. But the deadline has been rejected.
Meanwhile, the blockade is also resulting in a huge pile up of trucks on the Indian side of the border.
The Sunoli check post on the Indian side of the border with Nepal is the end of the line for hundreds of trucks. The trucks, many laden with food, essential items and other produce, are the main means of transporting goods to Kathmandu.
But Maoists have set fire to 22 trucks in the last two days, bringing to a halt most of the trucks entering Nepal from India.
"All the vehicles have been stopped. We have been told that the vehicles from India are being targeted by the Maoists They are either smashed or burned, so we are not going ahead," said Anil Kumarm a truck driver.
"For the last two to three days, the transport movement has reduced greatly due to the Maoist threat. All of the trucks are stalled. The situation is not good," added Girish Chand, Sunoli Border Police.
The latest blockade comes amidst allegations by the Maoists of summary detentions and disappearances of their comrades by the Army.
1) Regarding the 1950 Treaty between India and Nepal, all unequal stipulations and agreements should be removed.
2) HMG should admit that the anti-nationalist Tanakpur agreement was wrong, and the Mahakali Treaty, incorporating same, should be nullified.
3) The entire Nepal-Indian border should be controlled and systematized. Cars with Indian number plates, which are plying the roads of Nepal, should not be allowed.
4) Gorkha recruiting centers should be closed and decent jobs should be arranged for the recruits.
5) In several areas of Nepal, where foreign technicians are given precedence over Nepali technicians for certain local jobs, a system of work permits should be instituted for the foreigners.
6) The monopoly of foreign capital in Nepal's industry, trade and economic sector should be stopped.
7) Sufficient income should be generated from customs duties for the country's; economic development.
8) The cultural pollution of imperialists and expansionists should be stopped. Hindi video, cinema, and all kinds of such news papers and magazines should be completely stopped. Inside Nepal, import and distribution of vulgar Hindi films, video cassettes and magazines should be stopped.
9) Regarding NGOs and INGOs: Bribing by imperialists and expansionists in the name of NGOs and INGOs should be stopped.
II. DEMANDS RELATED TO THE PUBLIC AND ITS WELL-BEING
10) A new Constitution has to be drafted by the people's elected representatives.
11) All the special rights and privileges of the King and his family should be ended.
12) Army, police and administration should be under the people's control.
13) The Security Act and all other repressive acts should be abolished.
14) All the false charges against the people of Rukum, Rolpa, Jajarkot, Gorkha, Kavre, Sindhuphalchowk, Sindhuli, Dhanusha and Ramechap should be withdrawn and all the people falsely charged should be released.
15) Armed police operations in the different districts should immediately be stopped.
16) Regarding Dilip Chaudhary, Bhuvan Thapa Magar, Prabhakar Subedi and other people who disappeared from police custody at different times, the government should constitute a special investigating committee to look into these crimes and the culprits should be punished and appropriate compensation given to their families.
17) People who died during the time of the movement, should be declared as martyrs and their families, and those who have been wounded and disabled should be given proper compensation. Strong action should be taken against the killers.
18) Nepal should be declared a secular state.
19) Girls should be given equal property rights to those of their brothers.
20) All kinds of exploitation and prejudice based on caste should be ended. In areas having a majority of one ethnic group, that group should have autonomy over that area.
21) The status of dalits as untouchables should be ended and the system of untouchability should be ended once and for all.
22) All languages should be given equal status. Up until middle-high school level (uccha-madyamic) arrangements should be made for education to be given in the children's mother tongue.
23) There should be guarantee of free speech and free press. The communications media should be completely autonomous.
24) Intellectuals, historians, artists and academicians engaged in other cultural activities should be guaranteed intellectual freedom.
25) In both the terai and hilly regions there is prejudice and misunderstanding in backward areas. This should be ended and the backward areas should be assisted. Good relations should be established between the villages and the city.
26) Decentralization in real terms should be applied to local areas which should have local rights, autonomy and control over their own resources.
III DEMANDS RELATED TO THE PEOPLE'S LIVING
27) Those who cultivates the land should own it. (The tiller should have right to the soil he/she tills.) The land of rich landlords should be confiscated and distributed to the homeless and others who have no land.
28) Brokers and commission agents should have their property confiscated and that money should be invested in industry.
29) All should be guaranteed work and should be given a stipend until jobs are found for them.
30) HMG should pass strong laws ensuring that people involved in industry and agriculture should receive minimum wages.
31) The homeless should be given suitable accommodation. Until HMG can provide such accommodation they should not be removed from where they are squatting.
32) Poor farmers should be completely freed from debt. Loans from the Agricultural Development Bank by poor farmers should be completely written off. Small industries should be given loans.
33) Fertilizer and seeds should be easily and cheaply available, and the farmers should be given a proper market price for their production.
34) Flood and draught victims should be given all necessary help
35) All should be given free and scientific medical service and education and education for profit (private schools?) should be completely stopped.
36) Inflation should be controlled and laborers salaries should be raised in direct ratio with the rise in prices. Daily essential goods should be made cheap and easily available.
37) Arrangements should be made for drinking water, good roads, and electricity in the villages.
38) Cottage and other small industries should be granted special facilities and protection.
39) Corruption, black marketing, smuggling, bribing, the taking of commissions, etc. should all be stopped.
40) Orphans, the disabled, the elderly and children should be given help and protection.
We offer a heartfelt request to the present coalition government that they should, fulfill the above demands which are essential for Nepal's existence and for the people's daily lives as soon as possible. If the government doesn't show any interest by Falgun 5, 2052, (February 17, 1996,) we will be compelled to launch a movement against the government. *** The above demands put forth by the Samukta Jana Morcha, led by Dr. Bhattarai, were handed over to the then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.