Kathmandu Post 17.9.03 Maoisten

Artikel aus der Kathmandu Post vom 17. September 2003


Maoists pick on tourists in ACAP for easy donations

By Dinesh Regmi and Kul Chandra Neupane

POKHARA, Sept 16 : Maoists have started collecting donations from foreign trekkers along the trekking routes within Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) for the past few days. Maoist activists approach tourists, demand money for which receipts are provided, according to concerned sources.

Maoists operating under ‘People’s War Assistance Campaign’, charge Rs.1,000 from each tourist, a ‘donation’, which they say is mandatory.

Ghorepani, the famous tourist spot in the ACAP area has become a secure venue from where they approach tourists for the donation. Security personnel have not made it to the place yet and it continues to be a Maoist safe haven.

"The Maoists came to the hotel, demanded Rs.1,000 each, gave us the receipt and left," said a German couple who returned to Birethanti from Ghorepani.

"Despite being lured by its enchanting natural beauty, it is unlikely that tourists will be flocking to the area until the security situation improves", said the couple.

"How much nicer Nepal would be had it not been plagued by insurgency," expressed another couple from Holland.

However, U.S. and U.K. citizens are interrogated more rigorously, it is learnt.

They raise donation issue with guides and ask the amount from tourists. They even resort to threats in case donations are refused.

In a case involving
donation issue last Friday, a French citizen had a quarrel with Maoist activists, according to sources.

The recent Maoist activity has resulted in creating an adverse situation among tourism entrepreneurs as most of the hotels and restaurants are now empty.

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