As we were on our way back from Nepal at the end of October we finally got in touch with our friends and family and there were a few who were seriously concerned about our welfare. Nepal certainly is not a well-known corner of the world, but a feature article published in the November 2005 issue of National Geographic was alarming to those following our trek from the blog here. The article “Nepal: Inside the Revolution” gives a little background on the conflict between the insurgent “Maoist” forces and the King’s Royal Nepalese Army (RNA). The violent clashes have been predominantly in the western regions far from the capital city of Kathmandu and vicinity of Mt. Everest. The author Ed Douglas does portray the conditions as being grim and savage where guerrilla squads terrorize many innocent villages and where the RNA troops lay down force indiscriminately. The political situation is dicey, and I doubt the author wanted to hold onto that hot potato very long. I’ve heard a very creative theories about what machination are at work in the administration, but the author just gave the official version.
I’m glad I have Shovan here to keep me straight on the Nepali perspective. I mentioned the article to him and he gave me a few minutes worth of his views on the matter, amazingly objective. I’m not about to take sides in this blog either, but it is much better to be informed than to be more worked up or distressed than necessary. While we were in Kathmandu and in the Khumbu regions we saw almost no signs of the conflict (except for the obvious troop buildups) and there was an open sense of security for us as tourists. All Nepalese people are still respectful of their visitors and I never felt unwelcome. I’ve heard rumors of violence and terror tactics in the country, but I didn’t feel like I was in much danger while I was there (except for the obvious perils of traffic – taxis and yaks). I did develop a strong feeling of empathy for the people there, and when I saw the pictures in the article I welled up with a little emotion. I feel very bad for the civil turmoil and the suffering and uncertainly of the people. I don’t have enough understanding of the whole situation, but I do hope it will be resolved to serve the best interests of the Nepali people.Kathmandu Maoists nepal politics Trekking in Nepal