Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the October 2, 1997 issue of Workers World newspaper
A general strike closed down Katmandu Sept. 17 and 18. A coalition of communist parties called the action even though the Nepalese government had arrested over 100 activists distributing leaflets in the week before the strike.
Marketplaces and schools closed. The streets were deserted and government officials who went to work had either to bicycle or walk.
The communist parties want the 20-to-60 percent price hike for gasoline canceled. Additional demands include that Indian troops leave and that the 1950 treaty between Nepal and India--which allows India to intervene in Nepal's internal affairs--be ended.
The strikers also insist that a law--supposedly against crime and terrorism--be withdrawn. This law is directed against the Nepal Communist Party-Maoist, which has been waging a war against the constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system since February 1996. And it can also be used against any opponent of the government. As one of the organizers said, "The law will give unlimited powers to local authorities and police to arrest, detain and interrogate any Nepalese allegedly involved in terrorism."
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