By Renu Kshetry
KATHMANDU, Aug 29 (IPS) - Every year, around June, people living in the impoverished western half of this mountainous country suffer from food scarcity. This year was no different, except that the problem got aggravated by increasing dependence on rice flown in rather than locally grown food grains.
Earlier, people in the mountainous western areas used to grow a variety of grain including finger millet, buckwheat and barley, but the situation changed due to lack of productive land, loss of farming skills and knowledge and changing dietary habits.
By Marty Logan
KATHMANDU, Sep 21 (IPS) - As talk of the need for a second people's uprising swirls in the air, the United Nations human rights office here warns that the excessive use of force by security forces in April's protests could be repeated.
By Bikash Sangraula ROLPA, Nepal (Asia Media Forum) - It is no accident that Rolpa, the hilly western district that gave birth to Nepal's Maoist insurgency, is one of the poorest in this impoverished country. Because living conditions are harsh here, resentment toward the capital Kathmandu runs very high.
Santosh Budha Magar, 45, is the chief of Magarat Autonomous Republic, the largest ethnic wing of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. With his influence spanning in 12 of the 75 districts in Nepal, Magar is believed to be one of the 20 most influential leaders in Nepal's Maoist outfit that has staged the most successful communist rebellion in the twenty-first century. He began left politics in 1979 and has been with the Maoists since the beginning. He is underground ever since Nepal's Maoist insurgency started in February 1996.
From Nepal's Red Capital, Bikash Sangraula* writes about villagers and Maoists' accounts of why they joined the revolution, their views of the rebels' attempts at governance and their attempts to reform a patriarchial society in the remote western districts of this Himalayan kingdom.