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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
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Oxygen Burning

Maoists lift their economic siege of Kathmandu, but its troubles aren't over yet Updates

Oxygen Burning
AP
Oxygen Burning
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The breathtaking scene could have been straight out of a World War II docu: helicopters hovering over the convoy of trucks rumbling down the serpentine Prithvi Raj Marg highway; escorting the truckers, the Royal Nepal Army’s mine-proof carriers. The images were at once symbolic and very real: the Nepalese state had resolved to ram through the Maoist wall around Kathmandu. In throwing an indefinite siege, the insurgents had wanted to choke the landlocked capital of essential commodities, but it was eliciting from the government a reaction far from surrender. On Day 6, amid rising official petulance over ‘big brotherly’ concern from India, the Maoists announced an end to the economic blockade. Kathmandu heaved a sigh of relief—it wasn’t to feel the slow burn of a blockaded city.

The Himalayan kingdom’s agony isn’t over yet. Twelve major companies remain closed. Top of the list is Surya Kiran in which India’s itc has a 69 per cent share, and alone contributes four per cent to Nepal’s revenue. The Nepal government has tried to convince these companies to reopen,...

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