Published on 14th December 2016 by

The Secret War (1999): In a rare report from inside the rebel heartland, we meet the local cadres.

For similar stories, see:
The Innocents Maimed by Nepal’s Communist Power Struggle (2006)

Is It Mao Or Never For Nepal? (2008)

Criminals and Vigilantes Are Battling It Out in Nepal (2009)

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They’re young and educated – a world away from the poor Nepalese they claim to represent. Secret camera captures government sanctioned brutality and police arresting journalists.The insurgency in Nepal has already killed up to 2000, with as many in prison and 500 disappeared. We meet the local cadres. Young and well-educated they’re a world away from the rural masses they claim to represent. Yet their local solutions to rural poverty are winning favour. When a village wanted electricity, it was the guerrillas and not the government who organised the shopkeepers into a co-operative so they could buy a generator. Government attempts to eliminate the Maoists have given the police free reign to terrorise. Anybody who reports anything but the official version of the war is ‘disappeared’. We film the arrest of journalists in Katmandu. Hours later the police deny they are in custody. The government continues to fight the war covertly – to call in the military would be a declaration of civil war. Yet a battalion of 600 men arrives outside a guerrilla village. Officially they’re building roads. With a hidden camera still running the officers tell us why they think they are here: “Security” they say. With police and army harassment of villagers fuelling converts to the guerrilla’s cause, it’s hard to see the new government winning this battle in a hurry.

ABC Australia – Ref. 590

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