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Maoists threaten ex-child soldier

Sunday, July 4th, 2010
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The cover story of latest Himal Khabarpatrika featured Sita Tamang's testimonials on being a child soldier during the insurgency.

The cover story of latest Himal Khabarpatrika featured Sita Tamang's testimonials on being a child soldier during the insurgency.

Former Maoist child soldier, Sita Tamang, who gave testimony at the United Nations Security Council in New York last month, has been threatened by Maoists at her home in Chitwan.

Tamang, now 18, was introduced as ‘Manju Gurung’ by the UN Special Rapporteur on Children in Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswami, on 18 June. Sita recounted her life story and how she was forced into the Maoist movement at age 12.  Following this, five combatants from the UN-supervised Shaktikhor Cantonment went to Sita’s home while she was out grazing goats.

“A car stopped at our house and five people came out of a car looking for my daughter,” said terrified Dhan Maya Tamang. “They said she might have to face consequences in the future.”

“The Maoists said to me that I should not have criticised them, and that something bad could happen to me in the future,” Sita said.

Sita first told her story to Himal Khabarpatrika three months ago, as part of a series on what has become of former Maoist combatants. The UN then took her to New York as a case study of how ex-child soldiers can be successfully rehabilitated.

Sita told the magazine: “The Maoists made me feel miserable, disillusioned and devastated.” Human rights organisations and journalists in Chitwan say they are worried about Sita’s safety and the local police has posted a sentry at her house.

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